Connor | Darth Maul - Death Sentence (Spoilers)

Hi, my name is Connor and I'm a geek. I'm a huge fan of Star Wars, various animated series and computers. My love for Star Wars is astronomical, and that's evident in the fact that I have read all of the expanded universe material (Boo to Disney for decannonising it!). I even have Storm Trooper cushions in my living room and they look awesome bloody awesome!

So when Elyse and I were asked if we wanted to review something from Speedy Hen I jumped at the chance. You see Speedy Hen sell books, Dvd's, CDS and graphic comics! Yep I’m a sucker for a magazine type book with cartoons in them. I find I easily get drawn in by the imagery and the story and in times of high stress, (which is pretty common with us people juggling lifes many problems) it’s sometimes good to revert back to your inner child, you know, as a form of stress relief.

What did I pick?

I picked the graphic novel "Darth Maul: Death Sentence" which is made up of a 4 part comic miniseries by the same name.

What is it about?

This graphic novel follows the exploits of Darth Maul and his brother, Savage Opress and how one insanely rich mining magnate's bounty has put a hold on their rampage through the Outer Rim worlds.  How will they over come this roadblock? And will they be able to continue on their path of destruction?

Taking The Stress Out Of Planning A Huge Party

Sometimes, an event demands that you go just a bit further than usual. The average impromptu gathering isn’t going to cut it for an extra special birthday, celebrating an important anniversary, or an engagement. Sometimes, you want a party to be something special, something worthy of a Gala. But planning even a small party can bring on the stress. How do you keep a cool head while putting together something that huge?

Venue and date come first

This should be obvious, but a lot of people send out invitations and start throwing together plans before they have anything set. Remember that you don’t have to make the date align with the “big day” perfectly. If you want a lot of people there, you have to try and make it convenient. When it comes to choosing a venue, there are a lot of questions you have to ask to make sure it’s the right one. Is the availability, location, and price right? Does it have a reputation and experience dealing with large parties? Can the venue work with you or a planner to specialize the occasion? Once you have those questions sorted, you can move on.

Save up your inspiration

If you’re getting hands-on in the planning, then you have to make a lot of creative decisions. In the moment, it can be easy to come up blank on what drinks, food, and d├ęcor pieces are available. Instagram and Pinterest are great tools for seeking out inspiration, so spend some time every day or other day browsing to collect images you can use for ideas long before you have to make those choices.
Keeping track

Don’t let something important fall through the cracks, either. Make sure that you have a checklist of all the moving parts that make a great party. You don’t want the big day to arrive only to find that you had planned for live music only to forget to finish booking the band.
Never underestimate the pro touch

A good venue might take care of a lot of the particulars of the party, but that’s not always the case. You might not be using an established venue but rather your own space, too. If that’s the case, using professionals for a bit of a helping hand can really make your struggle much easier. Directories like Source Me are an easy way to find local organizers. Similarly, don’t forget how much ease caterers can offer. You don’t want to spend the whole party making food for the guests.
Know what not to do

Bearing that last point in mind, even if you are organizing a party yourself, organize it in a way that you’re not responsible for absolutely everything there. Allow for a self-serving bar and a buffet instead of having to be the one to help guests to everything. Freeing up more of your time allows you to spend more of it being a good host or hostess.
Forward-thinking, careful planning, and a few friends can make planning that big event much easier than you might think. Don’t throw yourself in the deep end and don’t put it on yourself to take care of absolutely everything.

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Loneliness | Think of Your Parents

Every person on the planet is unique. We all have different wants, needs, hobbies, likes, dislikes, and circumstances in which to navigate, and this uniqueness doesn’t change even when we reach our rather patronizingly titled “Golden Years.” There is one overarching theme that can creep in, however, and that is loneliness. Unfortunately, there are just so many variables that can creep in and trigger this sense of isolation. It may not be depression, but loneliness isn’t fun.

The loss of a spouse. Physical decline. Inability to drive. Worries over sight or hearing or both. Less of a social life and fewer friends to invite on their annual trip to Ibiza or Magaluf. All of these encourage so many elders to back away from life in favor of staying safe within the four walls of their home. Having an inkling that this may be happening to your aging parents isn’t going to fill your belly with a warm fuzzy feeling, but being aware will let you better prepare for it.

Here are our top tips on you can protect your folks from a life of loneliness:

Constant Contact

One of the best things you can do to combat any feeling of loneliness is to stay in regular contact. You don’t need a special reason, you don’t need to have any groundbreaking news to share, you just need to call often and always. Once or twice a month just isn’t enough. Even if your elderly parent has a social life that you’re jealous of, hearing your voice every day will be the highlight. Of course, visiting in person would be even better. Nothing beats a hug. Nothing.

Consider Care

It’s never an easy topic to breach, but discussing care with your parent is definitely worth doing. One thing to keep in mind is the words and approach you use. Instead of saying you think they should, say you met a lady who was raving about Porthaven care homes and show them the website. You could even choose to steer away from the care aspect and concentrate on the setting and the environment, focus on the social aspects and the independence on offer. Admitting you need care is not easy, so maneuver around this by showing how fun it could be.

Tech Lesson

The world has become a much smaller place thanks to the next level connectivity we have out our fingertips and in our pockets. Any device that has a camera can reach those loved ones they want to stay in contact with. So long as they are willing, anyone can learn how to use FaceTime or Skype. It won’t just let them feel closer to you, or let them see how their grandkids are growing up, it could open up a whole new world. That’s what the internet does. As a little word of advice, consider getting a professional in. Patience seems to be in short supply when you try and teach them yourself.

Do More Together

Whatever your mom or dad enjoy doing, do it with them. Get tickets to that theater production you think they may like. See what concerts are going on in your area. If the Tate is doing an exhibition you think will peak their interest, go with it. Comedy gigs, farmers markets, community events, social activities; these are all things they may love to do but maybe wouldn’t get the chance to alone. Eradicating that feeling of lonely hopelessness is best done with creating memories through shared experiences.

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Psoriasis: A Common Condition We Don't Know Enough About

According to the World Psoriasis Day consortium, 2-3% of the world’s population suffer from psoriasis. When you consider a number of people included in that statistic, it’s enough to make us sit up and take notice. Yet, when you mention psoriasis to many, they reply with something along the lines of ‘what’s that?’

We may all be familiar with other skin conditions, like eczema. But, considering how common psoriasis is, our lack of knowledge is worrying. It’s possible that many individuals with the condition don’t even realise it. That’s why we’re going to take a closer look at what it is, who’s at risk, and what they can do about it!

So, what is it?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder. It occurs when our immune systems go into overdrive. Excessive cell production causes a buildup on the skin’s surface which makes itself known through red and flaky patches. Much like eczema, these can itch and cause discomfort. But, that’s not the only issue when you face life with psoriasis. You also have to deal with the visible impact of the condition. This can have a major effect on quality of life and self-confidence. We’re sure you’ll agree that it’s far from ideal.

Who can become affected?

Much like other illnesses, psoriasis doesn’t discriminate. Anybody is at risk of falling under this burden. While skin care goes a long way once you're diagnosed, it may not save you getting the condition. Moisturisation should help to keep the issue at bay, but there’s no guarantee you’ll be safe forever. In fact, the best thing you can do has nothing to do with your skin itself. Caring for your immune system is the only sure way to ensure psoriasis never enters your life. Eating the right foods and living as healthy a life as possible makes you much less likely to suffer.

To gain an idea of how many people are at risk, it’s worth looking to celebrities who have suffered at some point. These are, after all, the picture perfect people we base our images upon. If they can get it, anyone can.

A fantastic example is Kim Kardashian. She made no secret about the leg psoriasis which developed when she was thirty. LeAnn Rimes also suffered from a severe form of the condition from the young age of two years old, though you wouldn’t know it to look at her now! And, Oasis singer Liam Gallagher has also admitted to suffering from psoriasis.

So, you see, no one is exempt!

Where can it appear?

In truth, Psoriasis can appear anywhere on your body. That said, there are areas which seem to see the worst flare ups. Elbows and knees are particularly susceptible. The scalp is also a problem area to look out for. However, psoriasis appears in a variety of places. And, if you do develop the condition, it may affect many areas. As this article shows, some people even develop psoriasis on eyebrows or their faces.

You’ll face different challenges depending on where psoriasis appears. And, different treatments are required for each. For the scalp, for example, treatment shampoos are advised. On the legs and arms, however, creams are usually required. What can you do about it?There’s no known ‘cure’ for psoriasis, but there are many treatments which can make the condition all but disappear. Remember, LeAnn Rimes had a severe problem which is all but invisible.

So, how can you ensure your psoriasis goes in the same way? For one, it’s important to visit a doctor. Self-diagnosis is always risky, and you'll struggle to get your condition under control. For the most part, a doctor will diagnose psoriasis from appearance only. In some cases, they may send off samples so they can develop effective treatment plans. As mentioned above, creams or shampoos are usually all it takes to get things under control. Your doctor will be able to see what form of psoriasis you have and will prescribe these as necessary.

It may also be worth considering if anything triggers your breakouts. Diet is often the main issue. Do you suffer after eating a particular food? Noticing patterns like these will help you avoid and understand the issues.In extreme cases, a doctor may recommend phototherapy. This is a treatment which involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light rays. The thought behind the method is that these rays will penetrate the skin and slow cell growth.

Bear in mind, though, that this should only be undertaken with medical supervision!
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Gift Guides for All Your Weird Friends


The average person has a lot of different types of friends. Perhaps in school, we only hung out with one or two types of people, but when we get older our friend groups tend to have a little more variety. Some will be workaholics. Some will love sports and cars. Some will be fitness fanatics. They’ll have totally different personalities and interests to you, but they’re still good friends!But when it comes to finding gifts for people with different interests, things can get a little difficult.

Thankfully, this guide should have you covered!

The fitness freak

Doesn’t the average fitness freak already have everything they need to pursue their interest? The things they may not have seem pretty expensive, like new sneakers and gym memberships. See if you can find out a problem they’re having with their routine at the moment. Do they listen to music while they run? Get them some in-ear headphones that are sturdier and of a higher quality than the ones they have!

The metalhead

Look, we don’t want to stereotype people too much… but we all know long-haired, bushy-bearded metalheads, right? Even if they were the sort of people you avoided back in school, then you’ll end up befriending one eventually. Every office usually has at least one closet metalhead! If you want to know where to start, then personal grooming items such as beard trimmers and oils can be good. It’s worth noting that metalheads tend to be very humorous and self-deprecating; with this in mind, something that juxtaposes metaldom with something more ‘innocent’ can be great - a metal Christmas sweater, for example!

The sports fanatic

Even people who loathe sports are bound to be friends with at least one person who is the exact opposite. If you’re not all that clued-in on the culture of their favorite sport, then it can be pretty difficult working out what exactly to get them. Novelty items are pretty easy to think of, such as candies based around a sport, but that might seem a little simplistic. If you’re really stuck, you might want to consider getting them a DVD or Blu-Ray of a classic sports movie. Is boxing their favorite? Get them a copy of Raging Bull (or Rocky if they prefer less blood and swearing). Baseball fans may dig Field of Dreams or Moneyball. Soccer fans may enjoy The Damned United.

The workaholic

It may not seem like giving a workaholic a gift would be that fruitful. Aren’t they a little too occupied with work to have be having fun? Isn’t a gift just a distraction from work? The trick here is to make sure you get them something practical. Anything that will help them in their day-to-day life will be appreciated. Even something as simple as a new notepad and pen would make an amazing gift for a workaholic. Anything that helps save them time at home would also be good. Slow cookers, food processors, automatic vacuum cleaners - these are the sorts of things they might like!

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