lifelong obsessions

Lin-Manuel Miranda on His Lifelong Oscars Obsession and Why the Show Still Matters (Guest Column)

The Hollywood Reporter
February 20, 2017

During college, Lin-Manuel Miranda and a friend used to improvise interpretative dance tributes to best picture nominees at their annual Oscar party. “It was a lot of breathing and rolling around,” recalls the creator of the Broadway smash Hamilton. “We had a great Seabiscuit dance one year.”

For the New York-born son of Puerto Rican parents — his father a political consultant, his mother a psychologist — it was just another phase of a lifelong fascination with the Oscars that began when he was growing up in the Inwood section of Manhattan, playing and replaying the telecasts that his family recorded on their VCR. At 37, Miranda is about to cross the threshold from superfan to participant: “How Far I’ll Go,” which he wrote for the Disney film Moana, is nominated for original song, and on Feb. 26, Miranda (with his mother) will attend his first Academy Awards.

It’s an auspicious step in a career that will see him star with Emily Blunt and Colin Firth in Disney’s 2018 Mary Poppins Returns and collaborate with composer Alan Menken on the studio’s live-action The Little Mermaid, one of Miranda’s favorite films and, he reveals here, the gateway to his Oscars obsession.

My brain is a compendium of Oscar moments: Tom Hanks’ beautiful acceptance speech when he won best actor for Philadelphia in 1994. Roberto Benigni climbing over chairs and wanting to make love to everybody in the world when Life Is Beautiful won best foreign-language film in 1999. Kim Basinger presenting in 1990 and telling the audience that one of the best films of the year, Do the Right Thing, was not nominated. For her to take a stand, 25 years before #OscarsSoWhite, was incredible — and impressive because time has shown the prescience of that film.

I expect we’ll see more of that this year. It’s a political time, so I imagine the Oscars will look exactly like your Twitter or Facebook feed. Why should we ignore for three hours what we’re talking about 24 hours a day?

The Oscars were always a family affair when I was a kid. One sort of unintentional tradition we had every year was during the “In Memoriam” part of the show. My family called it the “She died?” section because my dad, who is pop culture-oblivious, would always go, “She died? He died? She died?!” the whole time. So, it was very sad and yet also very funny watching my dad catch up.

When I was a kid, the Oscars felt like this impossibly larger-than-life thing. The first time I felt like I had a horse in the race was in 1990. I was 10, and The Little Mermaid was up for best song and best score. They did that crazy “Under the Sea” number with the late, great Geoffrey Holder and dudes in scuba outfits tap-dancing with flippers. We had a tradition of recording the show on our VHS, and I must have watched it a million and a half times.

There was also an amazing Chuck Workman montage at the beginning of the show that depicted 100 years of filmmaking with classic scores. I was already in love with movies, but this was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen in my life.

That was the period when Billy Crystal was hosting, and I would memorize his musical spoofs of the year’s top films. He did them with Marc Shaiman, whom I’m working with right now on Mary Poppins Returns… I was a huge fan of those moments and musical numbers — they showed a genuine love of movies while still poking fun at them. I may also be the only person in America who laughed his ass off to “Uma, Oprah. Oprah, Uma.” David Letterman’s commitment to that bit was enough to put it over the top for me. He didn’t care if no one got it. In his head, it was funny.


Hosting the Oscars is not a thing I would ever want to do… You always have to do this dance as a host: You’re playing to a billion people at home, and you’re playing to anxious contestants in a room, and that’s an insanely hard thing to divide. It’s the most thankless task in the world. I have a pretty healthy ego, but it does not extend in that direction. I’d much rather be the guy writing the opening tune than having to deliver it.


Another Oscar moment that really stuck with me was when Whoopi won her best supporting actress for Ghost. I’ll never forget, at the top of her acceptance speech she said, “Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted this,” which is so rare. Then she said, “As a little kid, I lived in the projects, and you’re the people I watched. You’re the people who made me want to be an actor.” For me, it was like she was saying, “If you want this, you can get it, too. I’m proof that you can.”

I had been seeing myself in this world since I was old enough to do anything, and it was as if she reached through the screen to talk to me. I was that kid. Even my mother used to say, “Remember what Whoopi said.”

That speech was the inspiration for the opening song I co-wrote for Neil Patrick Harris, “Bigger,” for the 2013 Tony Awards:

There’s a kid in the middle of nowhere sitting there, living for Tony performances singin’ and flippin’ along with the Pippins and Wickeds and Kinkys, Matildas and Mormonses / So we might reassure that kid and do something to spur that kid  / ‘Cause I promise you all of us up here tonight, We were that kid and now we’re bigger


Another of my favorite moments was in 2005, when they had Antonio Banderas sing “Al Otro Lado Del Rio” from The Motorcycle Diaries, which was nominated for best song. And then when Jorge Drexler, who composed it, won, he went onstage and sang it, like, “This is how it really goes.” It was so funny and ballsy and great. I’m happy whenever Latinos win anything, so I was thrilled by both performances.

I can’t tell you what it feels like in that room because this will be my first time at the Oscars, but I can tell you why the Oscars matter. It’s a night when the arts and artists are formally honored, and this recognition is seen by millions of people across the country and around the world. The show inspires people to keep pursuing their craft, or to seek out the nominated films or the overall body of work of the nominees, and through that exposure, people gain a greater appreciation of what the art of filmmaking brings to our culture.

anonymous asked:

do you have any good plont blogs or online resources recommendations ? i'm trying to educate myself but i'm too broke to buy new books and the bookstores in my city are really, really tired of me reading inside.

This is In Defense of Plants, an AMAZING botany podcast hosted by a botany grad student in Illinois named Matt!!!

every episode, Matt Candeias brings on new plant people and interviews them about their job/research in the world of botany. they literally just talk about plants for 30-60 minutes, and it covers a wide range of super cool topics and professions in botany and isn’t terribly technical; things are explained in layman’s terms for the everyday listener, which makes it an easy listen. 

People are ask me a lot how to get into Botany/good resources to use to learn a little more, and this is an AMAZING place to start; it gives a diverse set of viewpoints and topics so you can find something you’re most interested in, while learning about plants on a general spectrum. there are also discussions on research, science, and how to build a career in botany, and each professional is asked what path they took to get into their research and job. some have been doing this their whole lives, others changed directions multiple times before settling. again, amazing. HIGHLY recommend. 

There are around 120 episodes to choose from so far, and all of them are free to listen and available through several different podcast sites (including itunes!). 

my faves so far (in no particular order):

Ep. 68 - From Seed to Orchid: A Behind the Scenes Look at Orchid Conservation

Growing orchids from seed is no simple task. It’s not a matter of throwing seeds in soil and waiting for nature to take its course. That is where people like Matt Richards come in. Using specific laboratory techniques, Matt has made a career out of propagating rare and endangered orchids from all over the world…

Ep. 71 - Nepenthes and Other Botanical Treasures with Stewart McPherson

Getting bit by the carnivorous plant bug can lead to a lifelong obsession with these botanical wonders. That is exactly what has happened to Stewart McPherson. He has dedicated his life to finding, photographing, and naming these amazing organisms. He is especially fond of the tropical pitcher plants in the genus Nepenthes. Over the last decade Stewart has explored some of the most remote corners of the globe in search of these plants…

Ep. 76 - Broomrapes: A Celebration of an Interesting Family of Parasitic Plants

Parasites have earned themselves a bad reputation in our society. We often see them as nauseating freeloaders. This could not be farther from the truth. More and more we are starting to realize just how important parasites are in any given ecosystem. Not only do they promote and maintain biodiversity, they also serve as vital indicators of ecosystem health…

Ep. 79 - A Lifetime With Orchids

Today we are joined by Tom Mirenda. Tom has the unique position of Orchid Collections Specialist for the Smithsonian Institute. At somewhere around 8,000 plants, this is no small task. He has spent his life loving and caring for orchids and when he is not doing that, he is busy lecturing and writing about them. This is a wonderful case in which a passionate hobby has turned into an illustrious career centered around these incredible organisms…

Ep. 86 - Plant Propagation at Kew

Personally, I think plant propagation is one of the most important skills anyone can have. That is why I was so excited to talk with my guest this week. Rebecca Hilgenhof is a Botanical Horticulturist at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. She has the charmed position of propagation a bewildering variety of plants both for conservation and education…

Ep. 96 - Guam’s Changing Forests

Guam is a sort of poster child for invasive species. Following the accidental introduction of the brown tree snake, this tiny Pacific Island lost nearly all of its bird populations. With them went all of the ecosystem services they performed. Joining us today is Dr. Haldre Rogers of Iowa State University to talk about some of the ramifications of this ecological upheaval. As you will soon find out, the loss of birds is felt throughout the entire forest ecosystem…

Ep. 104 - Rock gardens, alpines, and aquatics, oh my!

I don’t think I have to say that my favorite people are plant people. Joining us today is Tom Freeth, the man in charge of the rock, alpine, and aquatic gardens at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. Tom has devoted his life to growing and understanding plants and has had an amazing journey to get to where he is at today. He passion and interests come through in every word…

Matt also hosts a youtube version where he goes on various plant adventures and wrote a short article about IDOP for Plant Science Today!!!

If you would like to donate to help him out on his plant education mission, IDOP also has a Patreon, and you can buy stickers here!!

Steven Universe ask prompts~

Steven: What makes you starry-eyed?
Garnet: What are your relationship goals?
Amethyst: How do you compare to people’s expectations of you?
Pearl: What’s been your lifelong obsession?
Rose Quartz: What traits from your parents do you see in yourself?
Greg: The most supportive person in your life just now?
Connie: A series you’re super passionate about?
Lion: If you had infinite pockets, what would you carry with you at all times?
Sadie: What’s your relationship with your workmates like?
Lars: Name a few of your insecurities.
Ronaldo: Favourite conspiracy theory?
Lapis Lazuli: Which element would you control?
Peridot: Describe a day where everything went wrong.
Jasper: What brings out a mean streak in you?
Mayor Dewey: What’s your position on the political compass?
Onion: If you could replicate anything 100 times, what would you make copies of?
Cookie Cat: Do you miss any discontinued products?
Dogcopter: Ever enjoyed a movie adaption of a book you like?
Ruby: Describe a person who would be the polar opposite to yourself.
Sapphire: Your trademark feature that people recognise you by?
Opal: Something you’ve been anticipating for a long time?
Sugilite: The most reckless thing you’ve ever done?
Alexandrite: What do you think you’d be like/are like as a parent?
Malochite: A toxic relationship you’ve been in?
Rainbow Quartz: Something you love to show off?
Stevonnie: What do you and your best friend totally bond over?
Centipeedle: Have you ever helped/rescued a wild animal in trouble?
Sour Cream: Invent a new food-related nickname for yourself.
Jenny: Favourite pizza topping?
Peedee: The moment you realized you weren’t a kid anymore?
Jamie: The most romantic thing someone’s done for you?
Buck Dewey: Share the last picture that made you laugh.
Mr Smiley: Favourite type of donut?
Kofi: Ever had an item special to you that got broken?
Nanefua: What do you think you’ll be like when you’re much older?
Kevin: Last person who made you uncomfortable?
Frybo: The scariest thing you’ve ever seen?
Purple Puma: What would your alter ego be?
Tiger Millionaire: Describe the backstory for a character you’ve created.
Cat Fingers: What’s something you have too much of?
Archimicarus: Top 10 fav fictional characters?
Dave Guy: Something totally average about yourself?
Mr Queasy: What’s the sickest you’ve ever been?
Tiny Floating Whale: If you could poof anything into existence right now, what would it be?
Crying Breakfast Friends: Last time you cried watching a tv show/movie?

I’ll never forget, at the top of [Whoopi Goldberg’s Oscar] acceptance speech she said, “Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted this,” which is so rare. Then she said, “As a little kid, I lived in the projects, and you’re the people I watched. You’re the people who made me want to be an actor.” For me, it was like she was saying, “If you want this, you can get it, too. I’m proof that you can.”


I had been seeing myself in this world since I was old enough to do anything, and it was as if she reached through the screen to talk to me. I was that kid.

— 

Lin-Manuel Miranda on His Lifelong Oscars Obsession and Why the Show Still Matters
The Hollywood Reporter
February 20, 2017

“That speech was the inspiration for the opening song I co-wrote for Neil Patrick Harris, ‘Bigger,’ for the 2013 Tony Awards”

I honestly don’t understand the point of this scene. Obviously we all love to see Andrew Scott again, but what are we meant to understand, here? That Moriarty was Eurus’s henchman the WHOLE time and that he was tormenting Sherlock and his family on HER orders? When it was perfectly explained from the beginning that Sherlock’s prying into Moriarty’s criminal network was what sparked his lifelong obsession.

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Tagged by the lovely @honeybeelullaby to describe myself using only pics already saved to my phone! I’m an 1) introverted, nature-adoring, 2) stubborn as hell, holding onto faith, 3) fantasy-loving 4) musical 5) sci-fi nerd, 6) a nervous butch lesbian, writer, reader, feminist, night owl with a restless streak, 7) Victorian-fiction-obsessed 8) lifelong Holmesian. (Credit to @anotherwellkeptsecret for the Holmes/Watson art, nature art by @elioli-art!)

Tagging @marathecactupus, @victorian-detectives, @granada-brett-crumbs, @jeremiebrett, @nibblesofflesh, @tremendousdetectivetheorist, @educatedinyellow, @artemisastarte, @realize8, @plaidadder, @holmeshero, @astronbookfilms, @jeremyholmes or anyone who wants to!

if eurus told moriarty about redbeard and how that caused a lifelong subliminal obsession with water for sherlock it would kind of ruin the “oh it’s the final problem story like in canon but without the waterfall” cleverness of reichenbach

because, c’mon, jim

work some kind of freaking aquatic element into that overly elaborate plan

a koi pond, that school water fountain that sprays you in the face, anything

i feel like you’re getting sloppy, man

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.
—  John Rogers
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get visual references for your audience, your pitch, or to help you visualize your own ideas by emailing me at queenofzan at gmail! more details on my commissions page!

*I have a Degree and years of experience in the theatrical costuming world, not only my lifelong obsession with it!

It’s been 20 years since the release of Titanic, and I am eternally grateful the film not only introduced me to what I know will be a lifelong obsession with the grandest ship that ever set sail, but one that formed my idea of love and the preservation of meaning in those short-lived, passionate romances, as well as offering the realization freedom and release can come from another person, even if it seems impossible within yourself. Titanic has maintained it’s beauty when it’s become hard to see, and I will cherish the movie for as long as I live!

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In the weeks prior to his death, Turner is said to have declared to John Ruskin, “The Sun is God” – what he meant was very likely, two-tiered, one very probably purely ‘Spiritual’ - although no one would know this for sure, but, for the other interpretation, what is not in any doubt is the central role that the Sun played in Turner’s lifelong obsession with light and how to paint it.  For me, no one ever, truly, mastered Sun light, like he did.

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851)

JMW Turner - Going to the Ball, San Martino 1845, from a pair

JMW Turner - Venice - The Giudecca Canal, Looking Towards Fusina at Sunset 1840

© Tate-via ArtDaily

Snape: Not The Hero We Deserve

Snape has largely been considered a heroic character within the Potter fandom, with apologists going so far as to suggest that he did nothing wrong. However, anyone who reads the books with a critical eye knows that Severus Snape, one of the most well-written and interesting characters of the series, was a complete toolshed. This panel, which will be open to screaming and boos from the audience, is designed to separate impressions of Snape’s value as a literary character from his values as a person within the books.

Keep reading

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.
—  John Rodgers 
Treasure Planet sentence starters

“You got the makings of greatness in you.”
“There you go, poetry.”
“You’re something special, ____. You’re gonna rattle the stars, you are!”
“WAS I EVER DANCING WITH AN ANDROID NAMED LUPE?”
“Oh, shut up, ____, you know I don’t mean a word of it.”
“I never was much good at games. Always hated to lose.”
“This is the answer to all our problems!”
“You still don’t know how to pick your fights, do ya?”
“I speak nothing but my heart at all times!”
“Didn’t your pap ever teach you to pick your fights a bit more carefully?”
“Just a lifelong obsession, ____. I’ll get over it.”
“Sometimes…plans go astray…”
“That was more fun than I ever want to have again.”
“Do you have something to hide, bright eyes?”
“You give up a few things, chasing a dream.”
“Well, ____, this should be a wonderful opportunity for the two of us to get to know one another.”
“I don’t wanna lose you.”
“Stay out of trouble, you old scalawag.”
“When have I ever done otherwise?”
“Hit your head there pretty hard, didn’t you?”
“____, again, with the greatest possible respect, zip your howling screamer.”
“Methinks you have a soft spot for him.”