It took me quite a lot of time to get into the skin of this book and enjoy it. Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson wasn’t an easy read to begin with. Let me directly get to the plot.
The book begins on New Year’s Eve 1987 in a fictional college town Lintonburg, Vermont. Two teenagers, Teddy and Jude are out partying with their new friend Eliza from Manhattan. Everything seems to be going fine when Teddy is found dead the next morning, after huffing Freon and on an overdose of Cocaine. The guilt weighs heavy on Jude and Eliza, as they were the ones who provided the drugs. Eliza also discovers that she is pregnant with Teddy’s baby and is confounded about what to do. Eliza, Jude and Teddy’s older half-brother Johnny then decide to raise the baby.
That is essentially the crux of the story. I found it a little difficult to read initially because of the structure but when you get used to it, it is a breeze. The parents of the teenagers are as involved in the book as the kids. The story also centers on the parents’ decisions and its impact on their kids. Jude’s divorced parents make their living by selling marijuana. Eliza’s mom is a self-indulgent and aging ballerina. Teddy and Johnny’s mom is an aging hippie. In short: Nothing is what it seems and it all goes wrong and also connects everyone with the other after Teddy’s death.
The book does tend to get repetitive at times but it is fascinating to some extent. There are times when you can get into the characters’ minds because they are so well-formed and etched. Maybe it is nothing new, but the content covers almost every topic – from homelessness to the emergence of AIDS in the late 80’s, to the time when things were progressing rapidly in the US of A and its impact on the characters and their lives.
The metaphors used are marvellous and fit like a glove on every page. The redemption of characters takes place gradually in the book and when you see it as a reader, it has the capacity to astound you. The overarching themes make the plot what it is – beautiful that is. The moral dilemma of the characters only adds to the book.
Ten Thousand Saints may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it was definitely mine and I am glad I endured and read through it.
Games : LittleBigPlanet Vita
LittleBigPlanet’s riveting protagonist, Sackboy, has become some sort of a trusty hero for Sony and Playstation fans with his stellar appearances on the PS3. With the Vita in a seemingly desperate state, Sackboy has been called in, handled by an entirely new developer, to save the day and revive an impressive system that needs that one killer app. After spending a considerable amount of time in Craftworld, jumping, swinging, and creating, we can say that Sackboy’s venture onto the Vita is not only successful, but perhaps his best installment to date – and even that may be an understatement.
As we alluded to earlier, Sackboy’s adventure throughout Craftworld will be highlighted by intense, yet silly platforming that’s both new and advanced player-friendly. Though the game is definitely action oriented, it does a spectacular job of presentation behind and throughout the story as you play through five worlds and more than forty levels. Your job is to simply restore the peace that’s been choked out of Craftworld by a mysterious puppeteer. This presentation plays nicely with the adorable, yet strange characters you’ll meet throughout your journey, including your very own Sackboy that you can dress up however you please. It’s also mightily impressive how gorgeous the entire game looks. Longtime fans of the series will have trouble distinguishing the Vita’s graphics to the PS3, it may even be possible that LittleBigPlanet Vita is the best looking Sackboy game yet, though that’s through the eyes of the beholder.
Transitioning from the PS3 installments of LittleBigPlanet to Sony’s handheld isn’t an easy task. But yet, it opened the door for many new features that set this title apart from any other Sackboy adventure, specifically the Vita’s touchscreen and back panel support. As you make your way throughout Craftworld, you’ll be presented with countless puzzles that will have you using your touchscreen to control objects, whether that’s to open pathways or create jumping opportunities. Tarsier Studios did a fantastic job separating the regular button control sequences from the Vita’s core functions. It’s a completely new game that doesn’t feel like a watered-down sequel and that’s incredibly difficult to accomplish with a series that’s only had success on one platform.
If we were worrisome of any specific item, it would have to the Vita’s response in conjunction with the gameplay at hand. Would we lose our game’s momentum trying to touchscreen our way through a certain level? Thankfully, the game includes a lengthy, yet lovely introduction level that gets you used to the new features in real-time. After a few attempts, we were comfortable with the front and back touch sequences, making for a fluid gameplay experience that fans have come to expect with the LIttleBigPlanet franchise.
Vita fans have been screaming, frantically even, for more games to support their purchase; who knew that the answer would come from one single game? The community element of LittleBigPlanet is absolutely brilliant and opens the door for literally anything that comes to the minds of the fans. Sackboy cart racing, Sackboy whack-a-mole, Sackboy Fruit Ninja – these are only a few of the creative mini-games the community have already dreamed up, and millions more (yes, millions) will only follow upon the game’s release.
Interestingly, though, the creative aspect of the game is truly one of the only downsides to the entire experience. Creating your own world is dynamic, complex, frustrating, and brutal. The tools at your disposal are great and varying, but newcomers will inevitably be over cumbered with information. We don’t believe that this will damper the ideas that’ll eventually become realities – we just expect some to shy away from that aspect of the game due to its nature.
Nevertheless, LittleBigPlanet Vita is simply a masterpiece. It’s Sackboy in your pocket. It’s Sackboy on the train. It’s Sackboy at the lunch table. It’s anything and everything you wish it to be, and that’s a unique experience for the Vita and the LittleBigPlanet series. Tarsier Studios have crafted the Vita’s one, true killer app that is worth owning a Vita for in and of itself. The best part, though? The excellence doesn’t stop post-release. More and more free content will be thrown up and playable for the entire world, and that’s something that you’re just not used to seeing in today’s industry, but it’s something we’ll quickly love.
Game Rating: 9.5
Beauty Tips : Tips for dry scalp
1. Dry scalp occurs when there is a lack of moisture or natural oils on the scalp. Olive oil is best for dry scalps.
2. It may also be due to infrequent shampooing of hair and not rinsing the hair properly. So wash and rinse hair several times in cold water. General preventive care for dandruff is to keep your scalp moistured well.
3. Apply oil regularly and massage in circular motion. Heat oil and once it is warm apply it on hair and leave it on for 45 minutes and then wash off with warm water.
4. Rinse hair thoroughly with mixture of vinegar and water so that there is no shampoo residue left in the scalp, because the shampoo residue itself will make the scalp dry and leads to itchness.
5. One of the homemade shampoo is with fenufreek seeds. Soak it overnight and grind it to thick paste and use it as shampoo after oiling the hair. It gives moisture and good texture to hair.
6. Neem leaf extract stimulates circulation to the scalp, promotes hair growth and thereby reducing the irritation of scalp. Rinsing with neem water treats drandruff and hair loss.
7. Rinse hair thoroughly with mixture of vinegar and water so that there is no shampoo residue left in the scalp. As the shampoo residue will lead to itchness in scalp.
8. Warm coconut oil and massage gently all over the scalp. Wrap a hot steamed towel over the head so that the oil gets absorbed. Leave it on for an hour. Then apply lemon juice on your scalp. Shampoo after 15 minutes.