Lightning: An Illustrated Guide Available on Kindle!

My new book, Lightning: An Illustrated Guide is now available in the kindle store!

See the cover a few pixels below this sentence!


There are so many kinds of lightning out there in the world, this book is your exhaustive guide to recognizing lightning by situation and appearance.

Much in the same way that a bird watching book doesn’t contain advice on surviving a bird attack, this book does not contain any information on lightning safety.

Buy the book in the kindle store now! You can also borrow it for free with Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited!

The 4th Annual JKIRE Awards

Welcome to the 4th Annual JKIRE Awards! It’s just like the Golden Globes except without a tv broadcast, interaction with the people receiving the awards, or any tangible manifestation of the reward. Check out 2013, 2012 and 2011‘s awards!

Best TV Series and Best New TV Series – True Detective
Incredibly well made in every way, it must be seen by anyone interested in the crime/mystery genre.

Best Film – Birdman
The best made film of the year overall, however my favorite film of the year is The Gambler.

Best Podcast – Mysterious Universe
Still my favorite, I’ve been an MU+ subscriber all year.

Best Sci-Fi Film – Interstellar

Best Comedy Film – 22 Jump Street

Best Horror Film – The Babadook

Best Animated Film – Big Hero 6

Best Comedy TV Series – Veep
Runner-Up – Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Best New Comedy TV Series – Silicon Valley
HBO is killing it

Best Reality Competition Series – The Amazing Race
The pring season was fantastic with a perfect ending. The fall season was quite a bit more satisfying overall than the fall season of Survivor.

Best Actor: Michael Keaton
Incredible job in Birdman, and one of the best things about RoboCop

Best Actress: Scarlett Johansson
I enjoyed every film I saw her in this year.

Best Animated TV Show – Bob’s Burgers


Movies I Saw In 2014

Wow, last year I saw 49 new movies in the theater, this year I saw at least 71 (I keep remembering more independent films that weren’t on the list of 2014 releases I used for reference, I seriously keep updating this number) plus a bunch of special events like Ghostbusters, Memento, a bunch of anime, Dismember the Alamo quadruple feature… I’m not including all that stuf fon this list though, it may very well double the list. This year I’m also going to list them roughly in order of my favorite to least favorite! Here it goes….

  1. The Gambler – I really can’t quite explain why I loved this movie so much.
  2. Interstellar – Amazingly shot, great music, loved the story. Saw it three times in the theater. Must win all of the technical awards, except cinematography which has to go to…
  3. Birdman – Best made film of the year, it must win all of the awards. The top three are very close, hard to decide. Saw it in the theater twice.
  4. Guardians of the Galaxy – So funny, so well made. Saw it three times in the theater.
  5. Snowpiercer – Chris Evans is great, really well executed sci-fi action. Saw in the theater three times.
  6. Edge of Tomorrow – Also really well executed sci-fi action, and really funny. Saw it three times I think?
  7. Whiplash – So so so so good. Anyone who has played music of any kind needs to see it.
  8. 22 Jump Street – best comedy of the year, and best comedy sequel ever.
  9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier – This is a really great action thriller. Forget about it being a comic book movie, it just happens to be about comic book characters. And Scarlett Johannson…
  10. Gone Girl – Really great mystery film, glad I knew nothing about the plot when I saw it.
  11. X-Men: Days of Future Past – Best X-Men film yet, it came out before Edge of Tomorrow so I thought it was awesome… but then Edge of Tomorrow came out and did something with time travel I enjoyed even more.
  12. John Wick – Really great action film. We need more of this.
  13. Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods – I love Dragon Ball, that’s all there is to it!
  14. Big Hero 6 – Best kids movie I saw this year (of the three)
  15. Lucy – So weird and awesome! And Scarlett Johansson…
  16. The Raid 2 – Amazing action, a bit slower paced than the first film.
  17. Under The Skin – So weird and creepy! And Scarlett Johansson…
  18. Nightcrawler – Didn’t know much about it, turned out to be great!
  19. The Interview – So much hype. Possibly overhype. I really enjoyed it. Puppies!
  20. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – pretty good action but I got distracted by the CGI too much.
  21. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 – Didn’t see any of the films until a couple days before I saw this one. Really like them all, looking forward to the final film!
  22. The Babadook – Great horror film, Australian, different, fun.
  23. Horrible Bosses 2 – Really funny, on the same level as last year’s We’re The Millers
  24. Locke – Great film consisting entirely of Tom Hardy in a car. Well done.
  25. The Maze Runner – I knew nothing about the books and ended up really enjoying it, I can’t wait for the second installment.
  26. Fury – New favorite war film.
  27. The Lego Movie – This probably should be further up on the list but I saw it so long ago… Very good!
  28. Men, Women & Children – A great recommendation from Maggie! I really like a lot of people in the cast and they did a great job.
  29. The Purge: Anarchy – Great followup to the first film, lots of good action and interesting further exploration of the Purge world.
  30. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – So much better than Rise, a really solid sci-fi film.
  31. Noah – I really liked this rock monsters and all.
  32. Hercules – I really liked this Rock monster and all.
  33. Exodus: Gods and Kings – I really liked this despite a lack of rock monsters.
  34. The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson. Fun, stylized, and it’s a heist so I can’t really dislike it!
  35. The Fault in Our Stars – Good recommendation from Maggie. Bit of a bummer, but glad I saw it.
  36. This Is Where I Leave You – Pretty good ensemble comedy, Jason Bateman doing his thing. Works better in HB2 though.
  37. Godzilla – Godzilla was awesome, the people were not.
  38. Transformers: Age of Extinction – Cool robot fights. I like Mark Wahlburg and T.J. Miller. Otherwise, nothing out of this world… That might be a joke in reference to the movie with the robots coming from space or something I don’t know.
  39. Chef – Funny, heartwarming, food! And Scarlett Johansson….
  40. Calvary – Very dark comedy, some might think less of you for thinking it was very funny.
  41. Neighbors – Not a dark comedy, some might think less of you for thinking it was very funny.
  42. Oculus – I almost forgot about this one, this was like the only horro film for the first three months of the year. I enjoyed it!
  43. Annabelle – Great prequel/spinoff of the Conjuring. I really just want to see The Conjuring 2 though.
  44. Horns – Pretty solid horror/fantasy.
  45. Foxcatcher – Very well made. Made me anxious/stressed pretty much the entire time.
  46. Dumb and Dumber To – Very funny, very dumb, hard to live up to a comedy classic.
  47. The November Man – Unexpectedly good, looking forward to any sequels though it is nothing groundbreaking.
  48. The Skeleton Twins – Pretty good but kind of a bummer for me.
  49. A Million Ways to Die in the West – Funny and dumb, but met/exceeded my expectations. Glad I saw it. Honestly only the last three movies on this list did I actually not enjoy.
  50. The Equalizer – Pretty decent, some aspects of it didn’t make sense, but I enjoyed it.
  51. Deliver Us from Evil – Nice mid-summer horror film
  52. Laggies – Decent comedy, I always enjoy Sam Rockwell
  53. Blended – Less zany than other recent Adam Sandler films, had a bit of hear to it
  54. The Book of Life – Decent children’s film, great unique animation, I wouldn’t run out to see it again or anything though.
  55. St. Vincent – Pretty good, but something a bit off about it.
  56. The Monuments Men – Some great moments, but was expecting more of an Ocean’s Eleven in WWII Europe.
  57. RoboCop – It was pretty entertaining but I didn’t care for some of the characters. Mainly RoboCop.
  58. Tusk – Entertaining but gross and weird. Great story behind it being made.
  59. The Judge – Pretty good but a bit all over the place and tough for me to watch at times.
  60. Rosewater – Pretty good but not subject matter that I get pulled in by.
  61. Non-Stop – Taken on a plane. I think I would have enjoyed this more later in the year after I had seen Taken and Taken 2.
  62. The Pyramid – Some cool stuff… but shouldn’t have been a found footage film.
  63. The Theory of Everything – Nice story, well acted, but I feel like there were at least 62 more entertaining films that came out this year! Also blue and blue then red then more blue.
  64. Jessabelle – Oh boy.
  65. Ouija – Well, it was, hmm…
  66. Fed Up – Ah, well you see….
  67. Reach Me – Okay…
  68. Before I Go to Sleep – Now you’re not even trying…
  69. The Signal – No, please stop.
  70. By The Gun – Seriously, stop.
  71. America: Imagine A World Without Her – ….

How to Draw Any Person

In this tutorial you will learn the basic techniques for drawing any person you can imagine.

Materials you’ll need:
marking tool (pen, pencil, crayon)
drawing surface (paper, papyrus, canvas, pizza box)

Always draw safe and be sure to have fun!

Share your creations with me on twitter @jkire and let me know who you’d like to see me draw in future videos!

Order original drawings and designs from me on fiverr

enjoyable stuff by erik j skinner