Ever wonder “How to get my book reviewed”?

Books/Image Source: Vbctulsa

So you’ve published your book. Its been edited and published, and now you’re trying to figure out how to get to your potential readers. While starting your marketing campaign usually happens well before your book is completed, getting your first reviews can’t begin until your book is done or in a final draft status.

Many stores won’t carry a small press or self-published book that doesn’t have reviews from a recognizable publishing. So how do you get someone to pay attention to your book among all of the hundreds, if not thousands, of submissions they see every month?

City Book Review, publishers of the San Francisco Book Review, Manhattan Book Review and Kids’ BookBuzz all have programs to help you. Kids BookBuzz is only for kids, tweens and young adult books, but the other two will take almost any book you have (including children’s stories).

So how do you get your book reviewed by the San Francisco Book Review?

If your book is within 90 days of the publications date, you can submit it for general review (at no cost). The closer you are to the 90 days, the less of a chance it will have to be reviewed, but you can still start there. The SFBR gets more than 1000 submissions a month, and only reviews 300 or less, so your opportunities of getting your book reviewed in this way is less than 33%. But you can give it a try and see if it gets reviewed.

General Submission Guidelineshttp://www.sanfranciscobookreview.com/submission-guidelines/general-submission/

If your book is more than 90 days past its publication date, or you really want to have it reviewed and don’t want to just hope it’ll get picked up through the general review, you can go through the Sponsored Review program. While there is some controversy about paying for a review, SFBR is a respected publication like Kirkus or Foreward Reviews and doesn’t offer vanity reviews for payment. You can expect the same level of professionalism from their standard reviews. And they don’t mark sponsored reviews any different than the other reviews.

Get My Book Reviewed from the San Francisco Book Reviewhttp://sanfranciscobookreview.com/submission-guidelines/sponsored-review/

Get My Book Reviewed from the San Francisco Book Review

There are a lot of different options for getting your book reviewed, mostly around how long it takes to get your review back, and if you want more than one or an interview as well.

  • Standard Reviews Take 8-10 weeks for turnaround from the time they receive your book Start at
  • Expedited Reviews Take 3-5 weeks for turnaround from the time they receive your book Start at
  • Get more than one review for the same book you’ll get a discount on the normal cost of 2 or 3 reviews. Reviews range in price from $150 to $299.
  • Getting a podcast interview for Audible Authors to promote yourself and your book, and you can add an interview to a review package at a discount.

And if you really like your review, you can have it posted on the other publication’s website for $99, or get a new review from a different reviewer. Both can help with your marketing and search engine optimization.

So how do you get your book reviewed by the Manhattan Book Review?

The Manhattan Book Review uses the same format for the San Francisco Book Review. Different audience, so if you’re an East Coast writer, you might be more interested in having the credit from MBR over SFBR. Personal taste is the only difference between the two for reviews. If you are a local SF or Manhattan writer, they will also flag that in your review.

General Review Submission Guidelines for the Manhattan Book Reviewhttp://manhattanbookreview.com/get-my-book-reviewed/general-submission/

Sponsored Review Submission Guidelines for the Manhattan Book Reviewhttp://manhattanbookreview.com/get-my-book-reviewed/sponsored-reviews/

So how do you get your book reviewed by Kids’ BookBuzz?

First thing, all of the reviews for Kids’ BookBuzz are done by kids. They are assigned age appropriate books, but the kids read them and write the reviews themselves. The younger kids have some help from their parents, but the words are all theirs. Don’t expect any easy reviews either. These kids see a lot of stories, so they know good books when they read them.

General Submission Guidelines for Kids’ BookBuzzhttp://kidsbookbuzz.com/get-my-book-reviewed-by-a-kid/general-submission/

Sponsored Review Submission Guidelines for Kids’ BookBuzz http://kidsbookbuzz.com/get-my-book-reviewed-by-a-kid/sponsored-reviews/

Vikings star Clive Standen talks new season, show rumors and Game of Thrones comparisons

Read more: https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/vikings-star-clive-standen-talks-new-season-show-rumors-and-game-of-thrones-comparisons

Drew Brees Gives Tearful God-Inspired Message to His Kids After Breaking Peyton Mannings Record

After Monday night’s game against the Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees broke Peyton Manning’s record to become the all-time leader in passing yardage.

A touchdown pass to Tre’Quan Smith put the Saints at a 26-6 lead in the second quarter and officially put Brees in the record books.

Undoubtedly, his stunning performance impressed millions of fans, but it was what the quarterback said after the game to his children that really shows the stand-up role model that Brees is.

Following the record-breaking game, a reporter asked the father of four what he told his children that night.

“What has resonated so much with the folks watching was what you said to your kids,” said ESPN reporter Lisa Salters. “Do you remember what you even said to them?”

“Well it’s probably what I tell them every night before they go to bed,” Brees replied with a smile, “which is you can accomplish anything in life you’re willing to work for. Nothing’s given, everything’s earned. God has equipped us for great works,” he continued tearfully. “I tell them that every night.”

On top of being an inspiring man of faith, Brees continues to be a shining example on and off the field. He’s also currently on pace to break Peyton Manning’s touchdown record.

Manning sent a hilarious congratulatory video to the Saints legend, first mildly venting, and then sincerely offering his words of praise.

“Drew, for a thousand days I’ve held the record for all-time passing yards in the NFL,” Manning says as he chops tomatoes. “I gotta tell ya, it has been the greatest one-thousand days of my life. And thanks to you, that’s over now. You’ve ruined that for me.”

“So, thank you very much,” Manning jokingly continues. “I have nothing left to look forward to except slicing my tomatoes making dinner for my family, putting together this wedge salad. Also, let this serve as a congratulations for the touchdown record because as you can see I’m very busy. I don’t have time to keep doing these videos for you congratulating you.”

Manning then offers a sincere congratulations while holding up an old photo of Brees and himself, dating back to Manning’s third year in the NFL.

“But in all seriousness, Drew, congratulations on this record,” adds Manning. “You’ve done it the right way. All your hard work and dedication have paid off… Way to go. Proud of ya. Good luck the rest of the way.”

Congrats to Brees, and may God continue to be glorified both on and off the football field!

Read Next On FaithIt
Denzel Washington Was Supposed to Give a Speech—Instead, He Took These Grads to CHURCH

Read more: https://faithit.com/drew-brees-god-inspired-message-kids-after-breaking-peyton-mannings-record/

Carmen Maria Machado’s ‘Her Body and Other Parties’ to be adapted into feminist ‘Black Mirror’-style anthology at FX

What’s that? The Handmaid’s Tale isn’t dark enough for you?

After negotiating through what Deadline is calling a “competitive situation,” FX has won the rights to adapt Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties into a televised anthology series. 

And that’s great news for people seeking out their next bout of nightmares.

The feminist short story collection has been described by its publishing house Gray Wolf Press as a collection of “narratives that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.” 

From horrific re-imaginings of Law & Order: SVU to the disturbing observations of a woman who can hear porn actors’ thoughts, Machado’s tellings have gained a reputation for their unnerving depictions of femininity and fairy tales. 

The source material comes so highly praised that the fledgling FX series—still in pre-production—has been described as “the feminist Black Mirror.” (Notably, Charlie Brooker’s Emmy-winning science fiction series released its most female centric season to critical acclaim just late last year.)  

Machado will produce the project under the direction of industry veteran Gina Welch, who is slated as the series’ EP. Welch previously collaborated on FX’s Bette and Joan with creator Ryan Murphy, who has helmed FX’s mainstay horror anthology, American Horror Story, since its premiere in 2011. (Murphy is not currently expected to contribute to the Her Body adaptation.)

FX has yet to commit to a production timeline for the adaptation. However, if the fall horror premiere pattern continues, then we can likely expect Machado’s nightmarish tales to hit screens in time for a future Halloween binge.

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/her-body-and-other-parties-fx-anthology/

Writer Of “How To Murder Your Husband” Killed Her Husband Betches

Do you love true crime? We’re launching a true crime podcast called Not Another True Crime Podcast on October 1! Follow @natcpod on Instagram and Twitter for more info. 

I’ve been sitting staring at my laptop for the past 20 minutes trying to figure out how to write this news story in a fresh, clever way, but sometimes a story just writes itself and the best way to tell it is to simply word vomit. So, here goes nothing. A novelist who literally wrote an essay called “How to Murder Your Husband” just got charged with, you guessed it, MURDERING HER HUSBAND.

Nancy Crampton-Brophy, the 68-year-old Oregon woman who deadass has a series of books with muscular dudes on the covers called Wrong Never Felt So Right allegedly killed her husband Daniel, and then threw up a shady Facebook status acting shocked. Come on, Nancy. According to The Oregonian, Daniel was found dead at a kitchen in the Oregon Culinary Institute in June, and she was charged with the murder this week.

Her post reads, “For my facebook friends and family, I have sad news to relate. My husband and best friend, Chef Dan Brophy was killed yesterday morning. For those of you who are close to me and feel this deserved a phone call, you are right, but I’m struggling to make sense of everything right now. There is a candle-light vigil at Oregon Culinary Institute tomorrow, Monday, June 4th at 7 pm. While I appreciate all of your loving responses, I am overwhelmed. Please save phone calls for a few days until I can function.” And there are over a hundred comments being like, “my heart hurts for you, Nancy!” and “So very sorry for your loss.”

Nancy’s essay, “How To Murder Your Husband”, was posted on a WordPress website called See Jane Publish, which has since completely disappeared. It’s basically just like, a rambling of why she’d rather kill her husband than get divorced, and then a few suggestions on how to do it. Homegirl is certain that every one of us is capable of murder, to which I say, okay that’s your opinion, but I have a hard time believing things can be that infuriating in Portland, Oregon on a daily basis. I’ve never been there, but I have watched a lot of episodes of Portlandia, and it seems like there are tons of nice people who wouldn’t murder anybody. Like, deal with the New York City MTA for one week and then talk to me about wanting to commit a capital offense.

“As a romantic suspense writer, I spend a lot of time thinking about murder and, consequently, about police procedure,” Nancy wrote. “After all, if the murder is supposed to set me free, I certainly don’t want to spend any time in jail.”

I just feel like… if you’re going to publish an essay all about your desire to murder your husband, maybe just write it under a pen name? I mean, sh*t, I’m even writing this under a pseudonym. Did she really think the police were that dumb?

I’m not even going to hide the fact that I’m a little salty that normal betches everywhere get ghosted for like, triple texting, and this woman stayed married for eight years after writing about how she’d kill her husband. 

Do you love true crime? We’re launching a true crime podcast called Not Another True Crime Podcast on October 1! Follow @natcpod on Instagram and Twitter for more info. 

Read more: https://betches.com/?p=36599

Archaeologists Surprised To Find “Comic Book” Style Murals In Ancient Greco-Roman Tomb

A large Roman-era tomb unearthed in modern-day Jordan in late 2016 has continually astounded international researchers in the time since due to its remarkably well-preserved art and artifacts, which provide a glimpse into the rich tapestry of cultures present in the region nearly 2,000 years ago.

The consortium of expert historians, archaeologists, conservationists, and architects – who have been studying the site since spring 2017 – are especially delighted by one finding in particular.

The walls of the 52-square-meter (560 square feet) subterranean chamber are adorned with murals embellished with accompanying text describing what the painted figures are doing – not unlike an ancient comic strip, according to the researchers.

“These 60 or so texts painted in black, some of which we have already deciphered, have the distinctive feature of being written in the local language of Aramaic, while using Greek letters,” Jean-Baptiste Yon, of the Histoire et Sources des Mondes Antiques, told CNRS News. The combination is rare and will help them better understand the structure and development of Aramaic.   

That’s not the only unusual thing about it though.

“The inscriptions are actually similar to speech bubbles in comic books, because they describe the activities of the characters, who offer explanations of what they are doing (‘I am cutting [stone],’ ‘Alas for me! I am dead!’), which is also extraordinary.”

The clearing of the site of Capitolias, with the assistance of Dionysos and other gods. Depictions of deities interacting with mortals in this way are exceedingly rare in Greco-Roman art. © CNRS HiSoMA.

The tomb was uncovered under the entrance of a school in the town of Bayt Ras, yet in the first century CE, this location hosted the Capitolias, one of the 10 city-states that comprised the Decapolis. Known from historical records to be Roman-ruled but semi-autonomous from the larger empire, these settlements became epicenters of Greek and Roman commerce and expression scattered amidst a landscape of native Semitic cultures.

The chamber comprises of one large room and two funerary rooms, one of which contained a sizable basalt sarcophagus in excellent condition. The abundant paintings, featuring nearly 260 figures in various scenes, are present on three walls of the main chamber and appear to form a narrative that centers upon a tableau of a priest offering a sacrifice to the patron deities of Capitolias and Caesarea Maritima, the provincial capital of Judaea.

To the left of the entrance, one mural depicts gods reclining on beds, feasting on offerings brought by smaller humans while another shows a country landscape dotted with farmers tending to grapevines, gathering fruit, and plowing fields with oxen. Curiously, the next panel shows woodcutters chopping down several types of trees with the help of gods, an exceedingly rare occurrence in Greco-Roman imagery, say the researchers.

On the right wall, a painting shows the building of a stone wall, replete with stonecutters, foremen, laborers, and even several construction accidents. On the ceiling and near the center, there is a more traditional tableau of marine and Nile-based imagery featuring nymphs and symbols of the zodiac.

“Of course other Roman tombs from the Decapolis also offer sumptuous mythological decor, but none of them can hold a candle to this one in terms of iconography,” they shared in a press release sent to IFLScience.

“For all these reasons, the new painted tomb of Bayt Ras is an extraordinary record of religious, political, and social history, as well as an open window on the cultural interactions in a Greek city in the Roman Near East.”

The first results from their ongoing studies will be the presented at the International Conference on the History and Archaeology of Jordan in January 2019.

Read more: https://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/archaeologists-surprised-to-find-comic-book-style-murals-in-ancient-grecoroman-tomb/

A self-driving car could soon deliver your groceries

Bob Woodward visits Trump Tower, January 2017.
Image: drew angerer/Getty Images

There is a great narrative to be written, a first draft of the history of the Trump administration and the long national nightmare it is making us suffer through. Unfortunately, Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward isn’t it. 

Having slogged through Michael Wolff’s gossipy Fire and Fury and Omarosa Manigault-Newman’s self-serving but not very self-aware Unhinged, I had high hopes for Woodward’s book. The legendary Washington Post reporter has dished the goods on five presidents now, famously helping to bring down one.

If anyone could bring us back to Earth and do the full Nixon number on Trump, many thought, it would be Woodward.

Unfortunately, it seems that at this point in his life, Woodward has become more a creature of official Washington, DC than just about anyone in that city. For example, he has a certain starry-eyed reverence for the military; more than one general in Fear is described as “ramrod straight.” 

Vast chapters focus on internal debates over what to do about Afghanistan and Syria, while the chaos of the Muslim travel ban gets nary a mention. If you based your entire knowledge of the Trump era on this, you’d think Stephen Miller was just another staffer rather than the most loathsome kind of Nazi troll. 

And in the most unintentional self-parody, Woodward declares himself skeptical about the Steele dossier on Trump-Russia collusion, which contained the infamous rumor of a pee tape that the Russians are said to be using as “kompromat” against Trump. But his skepticism about a document that has been largely verified is based on … well, himself. Woodward at the time was skeptical about its content, and he quotes his own television appearances from early 2017 at length. 

It’s fair to say his opinion that the Russia thing is overblown has not aged well, so it’s odd to see him trumpet it like this. It’s especially odd to see him quote Trump’s lawyer John Dowd claiming the Trump Tower meeting to get dirt from the Russians on Hillary Clinton; Dowd calls it “opposition research” even if it comes from a foreign government, which it manifestly is not. It is a crime, it should have been reported to the FBI, and it’s odd that Woodward doesn’t push back. 

The benefit of the doubt he gives Trump borders on imbecility. He is apparently shocked when Trump declares in a TV interview with NBC’s Lester Holt that he fired FBI director James Comey because of the whole “Russia thing.” This answer, Woodward declares in passing, “seemed very much at odds with [the reasons given in] his letter to Comey.” 

Gee, Bob, you think? 

Woodward has good sources, but is incredibly credulous about them. You can practically hear the stampede as members of Trump’s inner circle rush towards Woodward to get themselves portrayed in the best light. He repeats conversations as Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, and Senator Lindsay Graham related them. By contrast with interviews elsewhere in the media, they all come out glowing. 

Most shamefully, Woodward leans heavily on accounts of conversations by former Trump staffer Rob Porter. Only in the last 20 pages does he casually mention that Porter resigned after evidence emerged that he beat his wife. 

Much of what emerges from these conversations is as gossipy as anything in Wolff’s book. Only Wolff, a seasoned gossip columnist, knew how to make this stuff interesting. Woodward has committed the cardinal sin of political reporting: He has written a boring narrative.

For example, Woodward tells us that Bannon eventually shed his boisterous appearance at the beginning of the administration, became a team player, and “was 10 times the unifier that Jared and Ivanka were” by the end of his time in power. There’s no justification for this statement; it’s just put out there like some ineffective slam from a B-movie version of Mean Girls. Wolff, come back, all is forgiven.

Similarly, we’re repeatedly told that former National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster felt shut out by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who had formed a “team of two” against him. But so what? Who cares? Trump is actively tearing away the fabric of the American republic, and this is what you chose to focus on?

Just about all the shocking news from the book — such as the fact that advisers like Porter would hide trade withdrawal letters from Trump to prevent him from signing them — has already come out. What remains in Fear has the feeling of album filler from a band that knows you’re just buying their latest record for the hit singles. 

As for Trump himself, he really didn’t need to go nuclear on Woodward. He comes out of the book looking relatively good. Sure, he is petulant, foul-mouthed, perpetually insulting, unwilling to learn or to change his decades-old concepts on trade and international alliances. But we already knew that about him. Woodward portrays him as a man constantly trying to do the right thing by his base. 

There’s little mention of the president’s inherent racism, his overt obstruction of justice, or his decades of involvement with Russian organized crime (as detailed in another book out this month, Craig Unger’s superior House of Trump, House of Putin). Woodward does Trump a huge favor: He takes him at his word. He legitimizes him. In these pages, the tantrum-throwing leader is transformed into a president who’s not afraid to break a few eggs in his pursuit of a harsh but pro-America agenda. 

Especially, he legitimizes Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, quoting that speech at length. And again, he does not push back on Trump’s claim that he was “elected to represent Pittsburgh, not Paris.” It would have been the work of a single sentence to add that Pittsburgh’s mayor issued a strong statement of disapproval at that: the city knows we need to address climate change.

Which is not to say we don’t get a negative picture of Trump. In many sections he comes across as a sad, small man, unable to control his impulses, unable to listen, bereft of true friends. 

It’s more that Woodward is a journalist of the old school who insists on a studious and fake neutrality even when the house is in flames. As Winston Churchill once complained about the BBC before World War II, Woodward has reached the point of being “neutral between the firefighter and the fire.” He may have been the right man for Watergate. He is not the right man for Stupid Watergate.

In fact, it’s a good thing Woodward has spent his promotional media blitz telling us that he’s trying to get his readers to wake up and pay attention to the dysfunction at the White House. Because that is not something you’d necessarily get from his book; it’s almost an apology for Trump. 

If this is what passes for the first draft of history, then the only thing we have to fear is Fear itself. 

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/fear-woodward-trump/

Harry Potter and the crowded glen

Image caption Potter enthusiasts at Glenfinnan

Harry Potter fans are arriving in their hundreds at a Highlands location for two of the films adapted from JK Rowling’s books about the boy wizard.

Filming of 2002’s Harry Potter and the Chambers of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, released in 2004, took place at Glenfinnan.

Here, fans gather on a hillside near the Glenfinnan Viaduct to catch a glimpse of the “Hogwarts Express”.

In real-life, the Express is the Jacobite steam train.

The steam train crosses the railway viaduct on its journeys along the West Highland Line.

Hundreds of railway enthusiasts and tourists on holiday in the Highlands also visit the site each year to witness the spectacle.

Image copyright BBC/Tom Hayward
Image caption JK Rolwing’s creation continues to draw large crowds to Glenfinnan
Image caption Some fans are prepared to wait hours for the “Hogwarts Express”
Image caption The viaduct is a hotspot for the taking of selfies and group photographs

The train and the viaduct appear in a famous scene featuring Harry Potter, friend Ron Weasley and a flying car.

So many Potter enthusiasts are now turning up in Glenfinnan, home to a village of the same name, that the local community is seeking funding for a new car park to cater for the visitors.

There are just 50 parking spaces available at the moment, and people are parking on side roads and along the verges of the busy A830.

Image caption Hundreds of people gather almost daily in the glen
Image caption Excitement mounts as the steam train comes into view

Some of the many visitors have been arriving to wait four hours to catch a glimpse of the Hogwarts Express.

Fiona Gibson, of Glenfinnan Community Council, told BBC Scotland: “It’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt.

“Kids are walking on the road and, because people are on their holidays, they are not really thinking about which side of the road they should be walking on.”

She added: “We’ve had bumps and scrapes, but fortunately no fatalities.”

The community hopes its planned new car park will be a wizard solution to the current parking problems.

Image caption The “Hogwarts Express” in all its glory

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-45359275

7 Baby Shower Gifts Your Pregnant Friends Will Love Betches

Blessed be the fruit. Honestly, we’re a little shocked that we’re having to put up posts about baby gifts, but here we are. Unfortunately for all of us, at some point we’ll have to attend a baby shower and watch a v pregnant almost-mom open gift after gift of everything from oversized stuffed animals to nipple balm. It’s a thing, and it’s terrifying.

Anyway, if you want to be the real VIP MVP of the baby shower circuit, make sure your gifts are on point. Whether you shower the parents-to-be with amazingly hilar onesies or gift cards to the best area restaurants ensuring them a night out, don’t fall into the trap of getting boring, loud, or weird baby gifts.

Hilarious Onesies From Shop Betches

Shop Betches Cool Mom Baby Onesie 

I’m not going to NOT plug our own merch, which is like, rly cute. You may as well buy about 100 onesies for any new child, since they’re likely to go through anywhere from five to 500 in any given day. They may as well look cute while they throw up on themselves. Babies, they’re just like us.

Something For Mama

Nektek Foot Massager Kneading Siatsu Therapy Plantar Massage

Mama is going to get a sh*tload of stuff for baby, i.e. toys, diapers, more diapers, onesies, baby food puree systems, tiny shoes and socks, etc. Get something for the new mom to enjoy, like, a day trip to a really nice spa complete with an offer of babysitting (I KNOW), several bottles of wine that age well considering she won’t be able to drink it until she’s done breastfeeding (unless she pumps and dumps), or a foot massage system that she can sit in while ordering her SO to actually change a diaper for once.

Baby Food Puree Systems

BEABA Babycook 4 in 1 Steam Cooker and Blender

If mom is already the owner of something like a Vitamix or Ninja blender system, she’s probably going to love the Baby Bullet (kinda off on the name, there, marketing people) or a similar product. It allows mom to make her own concoctions of baby food. That means she doesn’t have to run to the store and buy 1,000 glass jars.

Quiet Distractions For Bae

Melissa & Doug Soft Activity Baby Book

You know what new parents don’t want? Any kind of toy/distraction device that sings a song or makes any kind of sound. They’re getting enough sounds every three hours, morning, noon, and night. Find a toy that makes no noise but will keep bae distracted so mom can, like, pour a glass of wine for herself. Try items made from fabric, like soft baby books, foam blocks, and other soft, soothing, items.

Tiffany’s Things

Love Feeding Spoon by Tiffany’s 

Call it bougie, and it is, but if this is mama’s first baby, you can’t go wrong by buying the classic silver baby spoon from Tiffany’s. This isn’t really something that serves a true purpose–it’s a keepsake. Tiffany’s also has baby brushes, rattles, and other silver things that, at the price of around $300+, will definitely get you into the good graces of the parents … hopefully, so much so, that they’ll never ask you to babysit. It’s a win-win for everyone, fam.


Pampers Baby-Dry Disposable Diapers

This is neither classy nor cute, but the parents-to-be will be singing your praises. If there’s one thing that babies go through a lot of, it’s diapers. Duh. Build a diaper pyramid with about 15 packages of Pampers or Huggies or whatever, and the parents will be forever grateful. You’re essentially saving them a screaming argument at 3am about whose turn it is to do a diaper run. Praise be.

Baby Monitor

Babysense Video Baby Monitor 

Hey, you know what’s awesome? Being able to tune into baby in the crib without leaving the comfort of the couch. These days, there are tons of systems that include full sound AND video, so mom or dad can watch bae sleep (not in a creepy way) and decide whether or not the fussing is worth getting up for.

Images: Nynne Schrøder /Unsplash; Amazon; Shop Betches; Tiffany’s

Read more: https://betches.com/?p=34351

Meet Vinni Pukh, Soviet Russias Bizarre Take on Winnie the Pooh

This week, everyones favorite cartoon bear goes full Ted with a live action Disney movie starring Ewan McGregor as an adult Christopher Robin, all boring and unimaginative now that hes grown up. If the movie, creatively titled Christopher Robin, feels a little like Winnie the Pooh deja vu, youre not totally wrong; Hollywood last borrowed from the beloved story less than a year ago with Goodbye Christopher Robin, the Domhnall Gleeson-starring biopic of tortured storybook author A. A. Milne. Its safe to say Winnies having a moment.

But amid this mini-renaissance, theres one rendering thatat least among Americanshas been largely forgotten: the adventures of Vinni Pukh, the peculiar Pooh of Soviet Russia.

A simpler, stranger, funnier take on the childrens story, the three animated shorts that make up Vinni Pukhs brief run were released between 1969 and 1972 by a Moscow-based studio called Soyuzmultfilm. Directed by Fyodor Khitruk, the series presents Vinni as a deadpan oddball bopping about his 2-D world with a pared-down crew of the usual suspects: Piglet, Rabbit, Eeyore. (Christopher Robin and Tigger are missing, but who needs them.)

Where Winnie is dopey and cozy, Vinni is droll and crafty, dunking himself in a pond to disguise himself as a raincloud (hes hiding from bees) or paying a visit to Rabbit to score a free snack (When we enter, the main thing is to pretend that we dont want anything, he instructs Piglet). Like the natural-born comedian that he is, Vinni will often break the fourth wall to shoot the audience a look with wide, mock-innocent eyes whenever he screws up or is hit with something unexpected. By comparison, Winnies reaction in such cases is simply, Oh, bother.

The animation itself is cruder than the American cartoon, set in a two-dimensional world of muted color and fuzzy shapeslike a George Braque painting or a first-graders refrigerator art. Unlike the yellow, crop top-wearing American teddy bear, Vinni is brown and rotund, with wide raccoon eyes and black paws that tend to detach from his body as he plods along. While Winnie seems like a fully-grown bear with a belly, Vinni looks more like a chubby cub. Russian Piglet is even more adorable than his American counterpart, blue-eyed and petite with plaid pants hiked up to his armpits.

Like the Disney version, the Russian storylines are drawn from A. A. Milnes celebrated books, including classic scenarios like Vinnis efforts to cheer Eeyore up on his birthday, or Vinni getting himself stuck in a hole and needing his friends help to dislodge. The three films' combined runtimes only total around 40 minutes, but even in that brief span, Vinni comes to life vividly.

Perhaps the weirdest (and most hilarious) part of the series are the songs. Pairing basic xylophone melodies with loud, atonal chants, the Russian tunes tie the episodes together with a sporadic, dissonant soundscape and absurdist bent. The lyrics have that rare quality of being so frenzied and bizarre as to feel almost profound: If Im scratching my head it doesnt matter / There is sawdust in my head, yes, yes, yes, Vinni chants in the opening lines of the first short. In another, he belts tunelessly, Heres an empty jar, its a simple object / It wont get anywhere / and thats why empty jar is much more valuable. Making it even weirder is Vinnis inexplicable vocal fry, as if hes been ripping Soviet cigs for the extent of his short life.

According to The Moscow Times, director Khitruk had never seen the Disney cartoon version when he set out to adapt Milnes story. Maybe, if Id seen it, I wouldnt have done my own. Whats the point in doing it over? he said in 2005. But I should tell you that Im not really satisfied with the Disney version. And now, in hindsight, I can tell you what the director of the second American film, Wolfgang Reitherman, told me. He also wasnt happy with his version. In the interview, Khitruk also addressed the absence of Christopher Robin, explaining that, by leaving the boy out, Khitruk sought to dispel the notion that Vinni, Piglet, and the rest of the gang were toys brought to life by a humans imagination. For us, it was all one world, he said.

Its a nice sentiment, elevating Vinni and those in his orbit out of the realm of the make-believe and into something much more real. And they deserve it: Vinni and his crew are a straight-up joy, and its truly a crime that his series hasnt yet reached cult-level popularity in the West. We can only hope that, as Winnie the Pooh fans gear up to watch Christopher Robin all grown up in London, some of them will stumble onand precede to immediately fall in love witha bizarre, early 70s Russian cartoon in the meantime.

Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/meet-vinni-pukh-soviet-russias-bizarre-take-on-winnie-the-pooh

Better Versions Of Your Favorite Entertainment Juggernauts

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There’s a glut of incredibly popular entertainment out there. The thing is, a thing isn’t necessarily popular because it’s good. We asked our readers to come up with better, lesser-known versions of popular games, music, books, and other pop culture staples.

The best one is below, but first, the runners-up:


Entry by Hestutomo



Entry by burritomouth



Entry by Busteq


Read more: http://www.cracked.com/pictofacts-997-better-versions-your-favorite-entertainment-juggernauts