Month: December 2018 (page 1 of 4)

Leah on the Offbeat is actually very on the beat

Known as the second installment in the critically acclaimed “Simon-verse” of Becky Albertalli, Leah on the Offbeat can easily be read as a standalone. A standalone that focuses on the stigma of female bisexuality, and the struggles that come with coming out and femininity.

Coming out is personal, the same way identity and sexuality is. Even with a completely accepting environment around you it can still be scary and confusing. Leah on the Offbeat captures that internal struggle perfectly, while combining it with the normal dose of teen angst.  The fact that it is easily relatable to women in the lgbt+ community is what makes this book so great, why it is staying on my bookshelves, and it only becomes better as it can easily be read without reading its predecessor.

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Hit the deck

“Ladies and gentlemen, we don’t want to alarm you but if you hear a lound bang please do not be frightened.” Of course, all heads pop up, eyes follow the flight attendant nervously. A set of tweezers in her hand, her gaze focused on a chair in the middle of the plane. Located almost directly above the wint.
She’s on a mission, set on neutralizing the threat in the aircraft. The owner of this threat, however, has no intention on parting with it. The attendant puts on her softest, sweetest smile, for a second hiding the electrician’s tool behind her back. She doesn’t want to scare the target, who is part of a small group.

“Sir, the pilot made it very clear that it is not okay for you to have brought this object unto the plane,” she says. The oldest man grumbles, they walked on without any problem earlier. The plane has taken off already without a problem!
“We know sir,” the attendant continues. “But we don’t even know how you got on with it. And as you can see it is really about to pop because of the pressure.”
“Can’t you store it somewhere until we land?” the man asks, trying to defuse a dificult situation. The owner of the target looks like she’s about to show her true temper. The attendant shakes her head, showing the tweezers.
“That won’t help sir,” she tries once more. “It can explode anywhere. I really have to cut it.”

The surrounding rows of seats put their fingers in their ears, lean away from the three chairs, physically and mentally preparing themselves for the explosion that will most likely happen.
The bang is indeed quite loud, shock shows on faces of people further away who sticks up their alarmed faces. The flight attendant makes a calming gestuer towards them. There is nothing to worry about anymore.

The little girl’s face doesn’t show shock or fear, it shows sadness and anger over the fate of her beautiful – helium filled – balloon. Which can no long er be showed to her friends back home…

De eerste kerstdag – Vandaag in

Vandaag in 337 is ‘s werelds eerste kerstdag. Hoewel de zogenaamde ‘geboortedag van Jezus Christus’ op zijn minst controversieel te noemen is, is deze dag wel redelijk zeker.

Het was paus Julius I die besloot dat de geboorte van Christus apart gevierd moest worden, in plaats van tijdens Drie Koningen. Daarvoor koos hij 25 december, de dag die nu bekend staat als ‘kerstdag’.

De keuze van Julius I voor het einde van december voor deze nieuwe feestdag is relatief makkelijk te verklaren. In het ‘heidense geloof’ van de Romeinse bevolking, was het einde van december gekoppeld aan het feest Saturnalia. Rond 17 december legden de Romeinen het werk neer om een week lang uitbundig te feesten en zo het begin van een nieuw jaar te vieren. Saturnalia werd gevierd met vrienden en familie, aan lange tafels voor met eten. Gezellig, warm, maar vooral ook ‘heidens’. De kerk was sinds de opkomst ervan al bezig om dat soort feesten en gewoonten eruit te werken, en het vervangen van een heidens feest tot een christelijk feest was aanzienlijk makkelijker te verkroppen voor veel volgelingen. Dit zou later opnieuw worden bewezen door keizer Constantijn I, die op die manier de rustdag invoerde.

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