robinson's island

Counting down: My 30 favourite albums of 2014

Albums 10-1

10. Future Islands - Singles


9. Metronomy - Love Letters


8. Sticky Fingers - Land of Pleasure


7. Porter Robinson - Worlds 


6. Mac DeMarco - Salad Days


5. Temples - Sun Structures


4. Bombay Bicycle Club - So Long, See You Tomorrow


3. Foster the People - Supermodel


2. Jungle - Jungle


1. SKATERS - Manhattan

About the Robinson challenge

I talked about it a while back and you never heard of it again but I still plan to do one. I’m going to play the entire challenge first take a shit ton of screenshots and then I’m going to write the whole thing and probably post it in 5 short posts a day. I’m not going to ask you guys to make me contestants because of a few reasons, one of them being that I want to keep my CC organized and don’t like to use nose masks and all that kind of stuff that clogs up my make-up section. Besides that, I want to have a certain variety of sims which I can’t guarantee when I let you guys make them. Maybe if I do another challenge in the future I’ll let others make the sims but for now I’ll make them myself. Another reason is that I want to practice with my new cc sliders and making 5 new sims is a good way to do that.

5 you say? Yes 5 because this challenge is going to have 3 special guest sims! Justine Avesnes, Izanami Omikami and Jack Diamond will be contestants in this challenge! It’ll probably be quite a while before I start posting. This is to let you guys know I haven’t forgotten about it!


Happily Marooned.

At El Nido Lagen Island Resort, Northern Palawan, Philippines. Sandwiched between a lush forest and a calm lagoon is not a bad place to be. Especially after an hour-long ride on a tiny plane. Just as I think we are about to land, the plane swoops down and flies back into the air. “Too many carabaos on the runway”, complains the pilot.  I catch a glimpse of a harassed farmer shooing the water-buffaloes away. This is the Pilipinas. An idyllic country I called home for 6 years. An archipelago of 7,107 islands at low tide. At high tide, who knows? All that matters is that the sea surrounding the islands is a bright turquoise. 

Of Palawan’s stunning El Nido resorts, we pick Lagen for its closeness to the massive limestone cliffs rising out of the sea. The rooms are on stilts in water. We spend our days kayaking around the islands, deep-sea fishing and mindless-gazing at the resident school of clown fish in the marina.

Most memorable experience? Getting “marooned” on an uninhabited island, Robinson Crusoe-style.  The staff drop us off with kayaks and snorkels and disappear, returning only to deliver meals by motor-boat. Imagine “owning” one of the 7,107 islands for a whole day!

@ VJ Singh | Far/Back | 2004

Vanity, a.k.a. D. D. Winters, had worked as a model in her native Ontario and even had a couple of B-movies under her belt—Terror Train and Tanya’s Island, a Robinson Crusoe-ish flick that has since been relegated to T.V. heaven—when she met Prince backstage after one of his concerts in 1981. She introduced herself as a songwriter, but Prince didn’t hear that as much as he noticed her distinct looks—penetrating brown eyes, long, dark hair framing a classically beautiful face, and those legs.
Prince suddenly found the perfect idea for another act. Vanity 6, the act’s debut album also on Warners, featured funk with an edge, with songs like “Drive Me Wild” and the raucous monologue of “If a Girl Answers (Don’t Hang Up).” The group’s first album procuced by the Starr Company scored well in 1982, selling almost 500,000 copies. However, Prince had scored much more than just another record. He and Vanity immediately became an item. For months they did everything together, and Vanity moved into his Minneapolis home. Prince even stopped seeing his share of other women, which his friends took as indication that he was somehow becoming emotionally stable.
“When we saw Vanity’s face around Minneapolis more than just three times, we said,‘Oh shit! The Kid is acting like he’s in love,” said a fellow musician. “It’s not Prince’s way to tell too many people how he feels about a chick, and he didn’t say anything to me, but just that they were spending a lot of time together meant something. Prince is not the kind of cat who lets too many people, man or beast, in his personal life for very long. She’d already made a coup in that respect.”
Living in Prince space, however, meant eating, drinking, living Prince. “Despite his freethinking spirit, those acquainted with Prince during the period still knew him to be pretty conventional when it came to his treatment of lovers. If he wanted to be with the fellas in the band, he was with the fellas in the band; the chick stayed at home or found something else to do—if he considered whatever else she decided to do was cool with him. Control is a big word in this man’s life, so you can imagine what he expects of his girlfriend.” Apparently, though, it takes more than simply donning an apron to please Prince. An observer close to the situation recalled some tough times beween Minneapolis’s new couple.
—  Steven Ivory “Prince”

I’m a sucker for a good scary book, and last year I read Jeremy Robinson’ ISLAND 731, which was both a propulsive adventure yarn and a creepy-as-heck horror story.  Robinson did a great job building goosebumps during the read (if you’re looking for a horror audiobook, this one’s a treat), and so when a recent trip allowed for the chance to start a new audiobook, I listened to another Robinson book, PROJECT NEMESIS, and started its sequel.  It’s in the Kaiju genre (giant city-detroying monsters) and I felt like drawing its titular beast tearing through downtown Boston


Today the Penguin Teen Author Spotlight is trained on the lovely Danielle Vega. Her first YA novel, The Merciless, is a suspenseful tale about mean girls and possible demonic possession that will keep you turning pages long into the night (pro tip: don’t read it when you’re home alone). Intrigued yet? Check out our interview with Danielle, who is warm, funny, and totally not as scary as her novel:

Name: Danielle Vega
Novel: The Merciless
Available: June 12, 2014

Who’s your favorite author, living or dead?

It’s scientifically impossible for a writer to choose just one favorite author, but since The Merciless is a horror novel, I have to give a shout-out to all the fabulous ladies who made the genre what it is today. We’re talking women like Mary Shelley and Ann Radcliff and Shirley Jackson. Anyone who thinks horror is a men’s game clearly hasn’t read their work.

What’s your favorite thing about your book?

So. Much. Pink.

Seriously, the cover is pinker than any horror novel has a right to be. There are lots of amazing things inside of the book, too, but I’m completely obsessed with the cover. Pink is the new black. Tell your friends.

If you could spend one year on a deserted island with one character from literature, who would you choose?

This is an impossible question. I’ve been staring at it for fifteen minutes. The most interesting people in fiction seem like they would be HORRIBLE in real life, and I’m supposed to spend an entire year with them alone on a deserted island?  Maybe Robinson Crusoe? Honestly, I never read the book but he makes that awesome tree house, right? I want a tree house.

Where do you write?

There’s this funky little café a few blocks from my apartment (see above photo). If someone had come up to me a year ago and asked me to describe the perfect café, I would have come up with this place, right down to the mismatched chairs and smoked mozzarella and apple grilled cheese. I’m still kind of convinced it’s a figment of my imagination.

External image

Who is your favorite hero or heroine of history?

I’ve always been partial to Nellie Bly, the female journalist who spent three days in insane asylum to expose the horrible treatment of the mentally ill. Check out her Wikipedia page if you ever want to feel really bad about all your achievements. I mean, I’m sure you’re really smart and everything, but did you endure three solid days of torture in the name of journalism? I didn’t think so.

She also went around the world in 72 days. Suck it Jules Verne.

Do you tweet? What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever tweeted?

I do tweet! Usually when I should be working. I think my funniest tweets are about my husband and how nerdy we are. Like, he named his umbrella “Oathkeeper” because we watch way too much Game of Thrones. And sometimes I plot sneak mushroom attacks when he’s cooking.

What is your favorite season?

Fall. I’m a HUGE fan of Halloween and sweaters and pumpkin everything. I think this might make me a stereotype but I’m really okay with it because who are we kidding? Sweaters and new boots are the BEST.  

If you could teleport anywhere in the known universe right now, where would you go?

I really should be more creative than this, but I have a friend who’s spending ten days travelling around London and Paris right now (hi Courtney!) and I can’t stop thinking about how amazing that sounds. Aren’t you jealous? I’m super jealous.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I don’t know about rituals, but I definitely have quirks. Like, after I type a new paragraph I have to write it out longhand to make sure it’s right. And I have to give myself 24 hours to digest my editor’s notes before I start working on a new draft. And all the animal sacrifices I do before starting a new book. You know, normal stuff.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?

I never feel better than after a good day of writing, when everything just kind of clicks and I’m really proud of the words I put on a page. Those are the days to live for, especially when they also involve coming home to my aforementioned nerdy husband.

What is the best concert you’ve ever been to?

The Decemberists, hands down. Colin Meloy is my everything. I really don’t understand why more musicians don’t sing about evil child butchers and people being swallowed by whales. What’s wrong with the world?

What are you currently working on?

Something really and truly horrific! I can’t say much, but I’ll give you three hints: an underground rave, New York City, and rats. So many rats.

Thanks Danielle! We’re excited – and scared, but in a good way – to read your next book! And speaking of scared in a good way, The Merciless is on sale today! Go read it now–you’ll get goosebumps from the very first page.

You can find Danielle online on Twitter and her website.

Add THE MERCILESS to your “to-read” shelf on Goodreads!

Purchase THE MERCILESS online here.

Juan Fernández Firecrown (Sephanoides fernandensis)

…a critically endangered species of hummingbird (Trochillidae) which is endemic to the Robinson Crusoe Island, part of a three-island archipelago which belongs to Chile. Juan Fernández Firecrowns typically inhabit forests, thickets and gardens and like most hummingbirds feed primarily on nectar, preferring the flowers of Dendroseris litoralis and Rhaphithamnus venustus. However, thy are also known to take insects and other arthropods as well.  Like the closely related green-backed firecrown (S. sephanoides) Juan Fernández Firecrowns are known to hang from flower petals or leaves by its feet while feeding. 

Currently Sephanoides fernandensis is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN as its population has been in a general decline for years. This is thought to be due to habitat destruction, the destruction of native flora, the invasion of species like Rubus ulmifolius and Aristotelia chilensis and the introduction of predators like cats. 


Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Trochiliformes-Trochilidae-Sephanoides-S. fernandensis

Image: Héctor Gutiérrez Guzmán