Pokemon Picross: Mindbendingly Fun Puzzles

Nintendo has done it again! First it was Pokemon Shuffle, and now it’s Pokemon Picross. I’m addicted, yet again!

pokemon picross

Pokemon Picross is free to play, but for those who are impatient you can buy more of the in-game currency, Picrites, with real money (which I don’t recommend doing. Especially not without parental permission!).

Even though the Picrites are rather limited to get, there are daily challenges that you can play to supplement the amount you get from completing missions on each puzzle! For more tips and information on playing Pokemon Picross without spending money, try this Gamefaqs thread.

I’ve never played Picross before, should I be worried?

Nope! The game teaches you the first time you load it (for those who are already familiar with picross, you are able to skip this, yay!).

pokemon picross 2

Still having trouble even after the in-game tutorial? Try this! It may make a bit more sense to you instead. It’s a tutorial that applies to how to play normal picross, but it still totally works. The only thing that is different is the skills you get from Pokemon that you bring into puzzles with you.

How is it different from normal Picross?

For one, it has Pokemon! Which just makes everything better.

pokemon picross 3

When starting out, Eevee was my favorite Pokemon to use! Rising Reveal is <3 

The Pokemon are the reason what makes the game different. You take them into the puzzle with you and each one has a different ability to make the puzzle easier. Click here for a list of them and explanations.

Each time you complete a puzzle, you “catch” a new Pokemon to help you in your quest.

Any tips?

The biggest advice I can give you is when you’re feeling flustered, just put it away for a while and come back to it. The spot you were stuck will suddenly seem oh so clear to you!

I also like to do puzzles twice: once to get a feel for it, and a second time to actually complete the missions all at once. Sometimes I’m able to do it all in one go, but when you assume you’re going to do it twice, it takes a lot of pressure off the first time you’re encountering a new puzzle!

And don’t forget about those daily challenges to build up your Picrites stash!

Now go forth and catch some Pokemon!

Literary Pairings aka ‘Ships


Ok, so, we’ve all heard of Bradgelina and Bennifer, right?  This is called a portmanteau, a combination of two names to create a new name for them and their relationship (or ‘ship).  Jennifer + Ben = Bennifer.  They’re ALL over the place.  Some of them are commonplace (like Bennifer) but some of them are a little harder to guess.  

Can you figure out these literary and media portmanteaus?
(Answer Key is at the end of the post.)

  • _____ + _____ = Bedward
  • _____ + _____ = Caskett  
  • _____ + _____ = Shamy
  • _____ + _____ = Fourtris
  • _____ + _____ = Blackeye
  • _____ + _____ = Rogneto
  • _____ + _____ = Malec
  • _____ + _____ = Puke
  • _____ + _____ = Snack
  • _____ + _____ = Swoon


Before I reveal the individuals that make up the above pairings, I want to challenge you to think up your own portmanteaus.  They can include character names from ANY fandom (they don’t have to be from the same world), celebrity names, and even people you know (get their permission first).  Wanna pair Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice with Charmander?  Do it!  Wanna ‘ship yourself with your favorite character!  Yes!  Leave your clever combos in the comments or come into the Vortex to tell me in person!The answer key is below (written in white).  Select/highlight the next 10 lines or so to see the answers.

Bella + Edward = Bedward (Twilight)
Castle + Beckett = Caskett  (Castle TV show)
Sheldon + Amy = Shamy (The Big Bang Theory)
Four + Tris = Fourtris (Divergent)
Black Widow + Hawkeye = Blackeye (Avengers)
Rogue + Magneto = Rogneto (X-Men)
Magnus + Alec = Malec (Shadowhunters, Mortal Instruments)
Percy + Luke = Puke (Percy Jackson and the Olympians)
(Severus) Snape + (Sirius) Black = Snack (Harry Potter Universe)
(Emma) Swan + (Captain) Hook = Swoon (Once Upon a Time)


What Inspires You? Pt. 2

As planned, I actually made my fish and risotto meal on Saturday!  How did it come out? Well…

fish risotto

It was delicious! I was so proud of myself, I had never made it before and it came out really great! I did make a slight alteration to the recipe as I was making it. I ended up using the half amount of mushrooms suggested because 2 lbs of mushrooms just seemed a little excessive. I don’t regret my choice! I also ended up using less chicken broth (more about 5 cups than 6). Other than that, I followed the recipe.

The next time I play Tales of Symphonia, I’ll have to see if there’s any other foods that catch my eye!

In the meantime, there’s another video game inspired recipe I’d like to share with you. Ice cream is a huge deal in Kingdom Hearts II and 358/2 Days. The flavor the characters eat is called sea salt ice cream and thanks to the powers of the internet…you can make it too!

I’ve made it myself several times. I don’t have an ice cream machine so I just fill popsicle molds with the mixture and it comes out fine.


Video of Recipe from Nerdy Nummies  

Nerdy Nummies also has a cookbook now! And don’t forget that you can check out Kingdom Hearts games (as well as the manga) and Tales of Symphonia from the library!

What video game inspired food should I make next? Reply below in the comments!

Teen Blind Date with a Book

Blind Date with a Book 2016
Teens, fall in love with a good book!

For the month of February, check out a book from our Blind Date with a Book display. The books are wrapped up in brown paper so you don’t know the title until you check-out.  Here is your chance to read something you might not normally read.

We have a big selection of books, including: science fiction, fantasy, romance, suspense, drama, history, biographies, graphic novels and so much more.  You can check out more than one book from the display.

Inside each book will be a “Rate Your Blind Date” review form.  Complete the form and return it to the Vortex by 8:30 p.m. on Monday, February 29 to be entered into a gift card drawing.

Angry Birds IRL

Angry Birds recently turned 6 years old!

It’s hard to believe it’s been around so long!  In case you’ve lived under a rock for the past 6 years and are not familiar with the game, Angry Birds is a fun little game in which you use a giant slingshot to hurl birds in an attempt to squash all the little green pigs.  (This explains why the birds are so angry.  I have no explanation for why the pigs are green.  I call them pigfrogs.)  Frequently, the pigfrogs hide behind rock walls, inside wooden boxes or under glass roofs.  (The cowards!)  You must discover the best bird-flinging angle for each task.  

There are a number of specialty birds in addition to the average red bird.  Yellow “Biggerize” birds biggerize when you tap the screen.  (Yes, of course, that’s the official name.)  White birds drop eggs because they already look like eggs with beaks.  Blue “Instantaneous Offspring” birds split into three tiny clones of the original bird when you tap the screen.  Black “Fall Down, Go Boom” birds… Well, you get the idea.

In honor of this auspicious anniversary,

Fountaindale Public Library District is pleased to present:

Live Action Angry Birds

February 10, 2016     *     3:30 – 5:00 P.M.

Calling all Architects and Anarchists!  

Do you like to build things?  Do you like to destroy things?  

Now you can do both at your library!  (Insert evil laugh here.)

You can practice physics by writing long, complicated  formulae…

or you can fling birds at green pigfrogs and test gravity the fun way!

Bring your friends!  Form a team!  Conquer the Pigfrogs!

What Inspires You?

There are so many different places we draw inspiration from: nature, art, music, your friends and family, etc. The sources are virtually limitless!

I personally find a lot of my inspiration from video games.

As you guys saw from one of my previous posts, I’ve recently become addicted to cooking shows.

There’s more to this addiction than me just living vicariously through others on TV. I’ve been trying to become a better cook myself (no worries, I’m nowhere near the level to be able to be a contestant on the show)! I’ve been trying to branch out into being braver and trying different and (hopefully) healthier recipes!

Now what does this have to do with inspiration and video games I’m sure you’re wondering! No worries, I’m not just rambling this time. I promise I have a point.

What is that point?

I’ve gotten some recipe ideas from video games! The video games I play inspire me to want to branch out and try something new. Even if it seems scary to make, I’ve already been introduced to it through the characters I love so I’m more willing to give it a try anyway.

When I was young, I was obsessed (and still am to an extent) with the game Tales of Symphonia for the Gamecube. (Luckily for you guys, it’s been re-released recently for the PS3 which we have here at the library!).


Directly after battles, or from the menu, you can “feed” your characters by having any of the party members cook to recover your health and magic. There were TONS of different recipes to choose from and each recipe had different effects on your party (Note: try to avoid letting Lloyd or Raine cook! They’re terrible and have a risk of making your party sick instead!).

One of those recipes, risotto, has stuck with me through all my life for whatever reason. Maybe because it had a fun name, or maybe because I really like rice and it’s a rice dish! Now, I’ve never had the opportunity to try it yet… Until this weekend! I am finally going to (attempt to) cook it myself to make my past self proud! Will I like it? I hope so! The recipe I found sounded super yummy and had great reviews. I’ll also make some fish and broccoli to go with it. Tune in next week to see if I succeed!

Nicest Holiday Ever

When I need ideas for book displays and library programs, I frequently turn to calendars and lists of goofy holidays for inspiration. There are some truly ridiculous celebrations out there. (Like, this month’s Craft on the Go was inspired by National Drinking Straw Day on January 4. Now you know.)

Thus, I discovered that yesterday, January 24, was National Compliment Day. Cool, huh? I kind of like the idea of a day set aside to remind us to be nice to each other (and ourselves). I mean, seriously, who doesn’t like to hear someone say something kind to them?

eagle wings

When I was in high school, I participated in something called Operation Snowball. (I don’t know if that’s still a Thing, but, if it is, check it out! It was SO much fun!) We had day-long and weekend-long retreats where we did a ton of different things. (I won’t go into great detail. If you have any questions about Snowball, you can refer to the Wikipedia article here or ask me about it. I’d be happy to share.)

One of the things we did at every event was make “warm fuzzies.” A “warm fuzzy” is a braided yarn necklace with a yarn pom-pom at the end. Throughout the day or weekend, people would remove a piece of yarn from their pom-pom and tie it to another person’s necklace while giving them a compliment or saying something nice to them. Sounds silly and it was, but also awesome and meaningful and fun!

warm fuzzies 2

By the end of the event, each participant had a necklace full of little yarn bows, and a seriously depleted pom-pom. I went to 9 separate Snowball events and I saved all of my warm fuzzies in a giant tangled rainbow mop that a friend of mine referred to as my “rat’s nest.” I saved those things for years! I finally threw them out sometime in my 20s, but I did save one strand from each of them that I made into a tiny pom-pom that I still keep.

warm fuzzies

The point here is: compliments are powerful. That little pom-pom still makes me smile – 20 years after the actual words were said. YOU are powerful; the things you do and say have a profound effect on those around you. You get to decide what kind of effect that will be.

cereal   sneeze

The great thing about compliments is that they don’t have to be grand or eloquent; they just need to be genuine. If you need help thinking of kind things to say, there is a decent list of compliments on this website. It would be fantastic if we could remember to be kind every day. But, National Compliment Day is a good place to start.


good job