[Notice that I have changed from Miss B. to Miss C., for a variety of reasons. The older ones will be renamed at some point as well, but I can't be bothered to do so just now.]
Like most gentlemen my age, I take an interest in rodents. I am, of course, a member of the prestigious Vole Club in Bardshead – two times Acting Secretary or, as it is wittily referred to, ”Head Rat” – and in my youth, I was in a somewhat ”jazzy” little ensemble, alternatively called “The Glires Boys”, “The Rat Pack” or, when ladies were present, “The Gallant Gerbil Quartet”. I even penned a light – some say whimsical – poem on the subject, called “Ode to Rodents, or: Rode to Odents”; it starts thus:
To be a Rodent – oh! what joy!
The dream, I think, of every boy.
Their dreamy little whiskers – bless! –
A-quiver with adventurousness Continue Reading »
Posted in Portmanteau, Stories | Tagged Aoyama, Brighton, capybara, cheating, Competition, Cordhamptonshire, gerbil, Kuala Lumpur, lemon, mara, porcupine, Portmanteau, rat, Rodent, squirrel, tea, tree weasel, wheelchair | Leave a Comment »
Public Service Announcement:
It is that that time of the year again — the exciting start of the annual celebration of scientific achievements known as the Nobel prize. As usual, there is a confusion regarding the nomenclature, so I thought I would set the record straight: One does not win the Nobel Prize, one is awarded it. To quote from the FAQ of the NobelPrize.org homepage:
Why do you use the word Nobel Laureate and not Nobel Prize Winner?
The awarding of the Nobel Prizes is not a competition or lottery, and therefore there are no winners or losers. Nobel Laureates receive the Nobel Prize in recognition of their achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, or peace.
Therefore there are no winners this year, nor have there been any in previous years. There are, however, some well-deserving laureates who deserve recognition for their work.
Three cheers for Science!
Posted in Politics, Rantscript, Science | Tagged Competition, language, Lottery, Nobel, Nobel prize, Science | 1 Comment »
Another one from last year’s Pica pica challenge, this time the word was “gulps”. Not much to say about it, except that I am at least semi-fond of it…
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Posted in Co-operative writing, Pica Challenge, Poetry, Stories | Tagged bile, blood, execution, gulps, hen, Pica pica, Poetry, short story, water, wordnik | Leave a Comment »
In last year’s Pica pica challenge, one of the words was “heartquake”. It felt natural to write a sonnet on the topic. I dedicate it to Baron Faucon de la Santé, and of course to Sir Patrick.
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Posted in Co-operative writing, Pica Challenge, Poetry, Science Fiction | Tagged Baron Faucon de la Santé, Enterprise, fan-poetry, heartquake, JeanLuc Picard, O Captain! My Captain!, Pica pica, Poetry, Shakespeare, Sir Patrick Stewart, sonnet, Star Trek, wordnik | Leave a Comment »
I realised that using the script I had written to make the maps of Tau Ceti, it would be a simple matter to make an animation giving the illusion of a rotating planet. The orthographic azimuthal projection approximates this very well, and once one has access to the equirectangular map, there is nothing special about the two particular hemispheres used in the original maps — any meridian can be used as the centre meridian of the projection!
Edit: I have now added an animation of Gethen as well.
Continue Reading »
Posted in Cartography, Visual Crafts | Tagged Anarres, animation, cartography, fan-cartography, gif, giffing, Git, Le Guin, mülksüzler, orthographic, python, stereographic, Tau Ceti, The Dispossessed, Urras, Ursula K. Le Guin, word of the year | Leave a Comment »
Having read Skyman’s brilliant piece on borders, and seeing that most of the stuff published recently was his, I felt compelled to do something about that. Thus, this poem, which was written in a few hours this afternoon, and then not edited, so there are parts that I don’t really like, and I may go back and change these later. Anyway, here is a poem about borders: Continue Reading »
Posted in Poetry, Politics | Tagged border, brain, capitalism, circle, community, dignity, disguise, evil, eyes, factory, fallacy, host, humiliation, leader, listen, louse, obey, Poetry, Politics, pyramid, responsibility, seduction, statistics, subversion, the Other, the past | 1 Comment »
Warning: Wall of Text!
This was supposed to be a post about some maps I’ve drawn, but it turned into a minor essay (featuring fifteen footnotes and two poems). This regularly happens when I set about describing my work (this paragraph is no exception). I am terrible at leaving unimportant details out of the picture. Since the readership of this blog is very limited, however, I have decided that it is all right this way. I wrote it mostly for myself anyway. If you don’t want to read about my love for maps, and for the works of Ursula K. Le Guin, feel free to jump to the maps, or got to Get Stuff where you will find more versions. (I also made some animations of the planets revolving which can be found in a follow-up post.) If, on the other hand, you are interested in the background to and process involved in the making of the maps, you are more than welcome to continue reading.
I’ve always loved maps.
I remember, that when I first discovered fantasy (through The Hobbit, as it were), for many years I held the opinion, that a map was a sure sign of a good novel. If there were ample appendices or a word-list for a made up foreign tongue, all the better! I have since realised that a map is not a sure sign that a book is worth my time, and that not all the appendices in the world could save a bad book from being bad read — I remember one fantasy heptology in particular, whose appendices were beyond most in ambition, but whose story soon dwindled from acceptable to dull, and in the end turned offensively stupid. But I still hold, that a mediocre book can be saved by an inspired map, and that a good map always makes a good book more memorable.
After The Hobbit, I read Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings (great appendices), Eddings (mediocre, but good maps) and the Earthsea trilogy by Le Guin (excellent and with excellent maps ). At some point I discovered Science Fiction, and started to prefer it to Fantasy, even though science fiction novels seem to be utterly devoid of maps. Until I discovered The Dispossessed. Science fiction, by an author I knew I liked, from having read The Word for World is Forest and the Earthsea books — with a map!
Continue Reading »
Posted in Cartography, Poetry, Politics, Songs, Visual Crafts | Tagged abundant appendices, Always coming home, ammar, ammaresti, An Illustrated History of Sloths, Anarchism, Anarres, azimuthal, borders, bug fix, cartography, cylindrical, equal-area, equidistant, equirectangular, fan-cartography, fan-poetry, footnotes, Gadamer, Gethen, Git, imperialism, Kesh, Lambert, Le Guin, Learn Create Tell, Los dos gallos, maps, mülksüzler, no borders, Odo, orthographic, planetary survey, Politics, projections, rectangular, Shevek, stereographic, Svarta tupp, Tau Ceti, The Dispossessed, The Left Hand of Darkness, true journey is return, Truth and Method, Urras, Ursula K. Le Guin, Winter | 1 Comment »
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