1. Game of Thrones Memorabilia. Game of Thrones’ second season is over. No, don’t weep! Instead, buy yourself something really nice from the kingdom of Westeros to make you feel like you actually live in the TV series. (Because that’s healthy.) For those of us on a budget, this Hand of the King broach, available through Etsy for a mere $25, could be just the thing. Or, if you’re Richie Rich, why not go for the gusto with a life-size replica of the Iron Throne, available from HBO’s website for just $30,000 plus an additional $1,800 shipping. Just don’t get so lost in the fantasy that you try to behead anyone. That would be bad.
2. Anastassia Elias. When crafters use toilet paper rolls as one of their principal ingredients, they usually end up making nonfunctional binoculars or poorly painted cardboard castles. But not French artist Anastassia Elias, oh no! She has to show up every fourth-grader in the world by constructing intricate and amazing silhouetted scenes inside the toilet paper rolls. I don’t know how Anastassia could possibly have the patience (or steady hands) to build these things, but I’m glad she does. The cowboy scene (complete with saguaro cactus) is particularly cool.
3. Aaron Diaz’s X-Men reboot. Despite the success of superhero movies and TV shows over the past 10-15 years, it’s no secret that superhero comic books are dying. Marvel and DC have control of some of the biggest cultural icons in the world, but they insist on keeping their comics mired in overwhelming levels of continuity and catering to a small (but vocal) gang of 100,000 or so middle-aged men. How to break out of this cycle? Aaron Diaz’s X-Men revamp might be one way! At his blog, the talented New York-based cartoonist has re-envisioned Marvel’s venerable mutant team as disaffected, contemporary teenagers. I especially like the idea of Kitty Pryde as a Nancy Drew-like teen detective and Piotr Rasputen (Colossus) as glammy Eurotrash. These look like superheroes that modern readers of popular YA novels could really get behind.
4. Mario Brothers Aquarium. Do you like fish? Do you have a soft spot for Super Mario Bros. video games? If so, you’re going to love this Super Mario Bros.-themed aquarium. That’s 55 gallons of fun, ladies and gentlemen! And now that I’ve seen it, I can’t stop thinking about it… I may have to build one of these for Casa de Corey.
5. What happens when Fresh Air is over. So, there you are being interviewed by NPR’s Terry Gross, right? You’ve just finished a rockin’ discussion about your life and career when she utters those famous last words, “Well, INSERT NAME HERE, thank you for joining us on Fresh Air.” What happens next? Comedian/filmmaker Mike Birbiglia knows—and he’s willing to show you in this hilarious 7-minute short film. Join Mike and Terry on their increasingly ridiculous downward spiral through drinks, dinner, and—well, that would be telling. Just watch the video!