Echidnas are named after a Greek monster that was half women and half snake, and gave birth to most of the other monsters. That seems a bit unfair, considering how cute they are. There are four species of echidna and they’re related to the one species of platypus. Platypuses will fuck you up.
Lots of links, sorry no pictures this time. Feeling too lazy.
Fossil Words of Yore in the Offing “we may wait with bated breath for something in the offing, but it’s unlikely that anything else in our experience is ever bated, or that we’ve made any other use of the noun offing.” (From the MacMillan Dictionary Blog)
Princess Princess “Sadie and Amira are two very different princesses who decide to take their fairy tale into their own hands!” Short finished comic (44 pages) Lovely bits: Sadie is fat and can’t sing. Amara is a WOC and has awesome hair. The unicorn is not too bright. Not so lovely: they treat a guy like dirt for being a bit sexist and the villain uses fat-shaming and ableist language.
1-Up Mushroom Pizza Rolls “When you need energy to make it through the mushroom kingdom on you way to rescue Princess Peach (again), level up your game with these 1-Up Mushroom Pizza Rolls.” (from Kitchen Overlord)
Look Straight Ahead “Jeremy Knowles is a 17-year-old outcast who dreams of being a great artist. But when he suffers a severe mental breakdown brought on by bullying and other pressures at school, his future is called into question.” TW: depiction of schizophrenia based on the creator’s experience. Complete.
Beyond the Binary: Master Post “twenty four questions about gender, sex, sexuality, genderqueer issues, trans issues, stuff, things, the kitchen sink etc. answered by an amazing panel. Some of it’s 101 – some of it 201 – some questions that we get asked all the time, and some that many won’t have considered before.” (from A Gentleman and a Scholar)
Let’s Be Real: Balancing Life’s Roles “We say that ‘real men don’t eat quiche’ or ‘real women have curves,’ and it lets us draw arbitrary boundaries around broad identities in order to make them more exclusive, more secure.” (from Balancing Jane)
The Problem When Sexism Just Sounds So Darn Friendly… CN: discussion of benevolent sexism and history of research about sexism. The comments aren’t too bad, but there’s gender essentialism, sexism, and call outs of ‘reverse sexism’ there. Of course.
16 Words That Are Much Older Than They Seem (from Mental Floss)
Psychopathic criminals have empathy switch “Placed in a brain scanner, psychopathic criminals watched videos of one person hurting another and were asked to empathise with the individual in pain. Only when asked to imagine how the pain receiver felt did the area of the brain related to pain light up.” TW: the other links of the page are probably triggering (from BBC News)
What is an ontological metaphor? “metaphor in which an abstraction, such as an activity, emotion, or idea, is represented as something concrete, such as an object, substance, container, or person.” (Glossary of Linguistics terms) (Saving for when I get back to conlanging)
English words with Chinese characteristics “Chinese netizens are making up new English words based on very Chinese cultural phenomenon, making the foreign language a unique part of China’s online popular culture” (from Offbeat China)
Willard Suitcase Project – Jon Crispin is photographing the contents suitcases left behind by patients of the Willard Asylum. It’s very non-judgemental and each suitcase acts as a time capsule.
Pokemayan – Pokemon redesigned by a Mexico-based artist (from Monarobot)
SNESbox.com – play NES and SNES games in your browser.
Social justice link roundup (from Pharyngula Wiki)
bibliobibuli n. – those who read too much, and hence tend to be unaware of or oblivious to the real world
Trying to clear out the backlog of links so this is going to be a big one. But I’m including pretties this time.
(as always pics are linked to their source and you can view more of my favorites on DeviantArt)
Prints & Photographs, Tissandier Collection – hundreds of old prints, including lots and lots of hot air balloons. Good for steampunk stuff. (from the Library of Congress)
The Magazine Rack – free digitized magazines that are out of copyright. Omni, Galaxy, Heavy Metal, lots others. Available in PDF, epub, mobi, djvu, some more. Preview it before you download – if they did OCR it’s terrible, but scans are good. (from Archive.org)
My Robot Nation – design a robot and get it 3-D printed. It costs to get it printed, but it’s fun just to play with it.
Stagecoach Mary Fields – incrediably badass black woman. (link CN: violence, gun violence, historical racism). Apparently she’s going to get a movie soon, which will be awesome. (from BlackCowboys.com)
From gay marriage to cougar wives, the Victorians have much to teach us (CN: ableist language) (From Guardian.co.uk)
Pattern Cooler – where I got my background. You can customize the colors and size of thousands of seamless patterns. PNGs are free, other options cost.
How not to be a privileged ass: A lazy person’s guide (from Stealing Commas)
Giving the gift of worlds – “Non-fiction opens up the world we live in, teaching us more about our surroundings. Fiction opens countless others. It lets you climb inside the head of somebody else and see the universe through their eyes for a while. If the character in question resembles you, it can make you feel less isolated. If they don’t, you gain understanding and empathy for people whose experiences of life are entirely different from your own.” She’s looking for recommendations for ebooks with minority or women protagonists. (from Tea-Fuelled Musings)
(Sorry, I don’t have the energy to deal with selecting, resizing, and linking pictures. Look here for pretties.)
Bavardage – chitchat, prattle
(as always pictures go to their source and have been shrunk)
Okay, this person illustrated all the elements as characters for her senior thesis. It’s cool.
Super Obvious Secrets That I Wish They’d Teach In Art School (from Marvelous Mustache Factory)
Steampunk Leather Top Hat Tutorial (from Tom Banwell)
Clothing Reference, sorted by decade/era and gender.
American Science & Surplus. This site is just random, but cool. It’s all sorts of stuff, mostly scientific. Look, just go see it, okay?
Gif Reducer. Shrink large gifs online. Works well
Sheep and Goats: Learn the Difference. Deviantart Tutorial. No idea when this would be useful, but if you have to draw a bunch of sheep and goats, then here you go.
Sorry, this is going to light on pretty pictures and heavy on things that are of limited interest to most people. You don’t like it, there are thousands of other blogs you could be reading.
Teach yourself linguistics
From all things linguistics:
- Protolinguist resources: Teaching yourself morphology. Morphology is how words are put together.
- Protolinguist resources: Teaching yourself syntax. Syntax is how words combine into phrases and sentences.
- Protolinguist resources: Teaching yourself semantics. Semantics is how things mean stuff.
- Stuff you didn’t know you already know: lexical and functional words
From Aveneca.com, host of the new CBB (aka the conlang board I’m on)
- Introduction to romlangs. What’s a romlang (an artificial Romance language), and basics of how to build one.
- Yes/No systems. How different languages handle yes and no questions.
Linguistics lessons for language learners. Includes IPA, phonology, morphology, syntax, historical linguistics, sound change, and more. (from Nativlang, which also has some free lessons in different languages and published some books on Amazon and Lulu that look interesting)
It’s ‘not’ history – how negation usage changes in a cycle through languages. (from the University of Cambridge)
Lexique Pro – a free program for creating a lexicon for your conlang (or natlangs). I wish it was portable. Windows only.
From Frathwiki.com, one of the conlang wikis:
History of Type – five part series – link starts at the beginning. Probably only interesting to type and design geeks (of which I am one). (from I love typography.)
DIY String Art – I’m going to do this in my dining room. I’ve seen other tutorials but this particular result is really cute. (from Hellobee)
Encyclopedia of Tie Knots – a breakdown of every possible way to tie a tie, based on topology.
Fiction Into Reality: Why We Borrow From What We Love (from Tor.com)
You can see more of my favorited art on DeviantArt (I just can’t link it all here).
It occurs to me that if I’m going to use weird words for these, I should define them.
Anodyne is a pain reliever or anything that relieves distress. It was also Madelyne Pryor’s codename in the rather forgettable X-men/Alpha Flight crossover where Loki was going to give everyone in the world super powers, at the cost of their imaginations. Her costume was terrible.
Last time’s word, serendipity, means to stumble unto desirable discoveries, from a story called The Three Princes of Serendip (more info). And it was a series of really adorable (if sometimes slightly twee) kids books.
The Likeable Unlikeable Character – “Even an unlikeable character has virtues. Eeyore, the melancholy donkey in A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh stories, is not a likeable character at face value. He’s a moper and complainer and oozes negativity. But his unselfishness is a virtue that Milne used to endear us to him. Eeyore didn’t exude happy thoughts but he’d likely give you the tail off his back if you needed it.” (from Novel Rocket)
Fantastic Batwoman Cosplay – Not entirely related: even though I don’t read the comics (it violates my guideline of not reading anything modern because I tend to get stabby), I appreciate the current Batwoman for not being the same old stereotypical male gaze oriented, super sexy supermodel. I like that she’s generally drawn bigger and curvier, with feminine strength. She’s not generically beautiful. Anyway, unnecessary opinion over. This is just a really good cosplay.
Ame-Comi Duela Dent (Joker) Cosplay – The character is silly and the statue it’s based on is basically fan-service, but this cosplay is really well-done.
Wordcount for Lovecraft’s Favorite Words – “One of the things any fan of Lovecraft discovers early on is that Lovecraft was very attached to certain words. We either laugh or groan every time we hear something described as ‘indescribable’ or called ‘unnamable’ or ‘antiquarian’ or ‘cyclopean.’ And sometimes we wonder how many times he actually used the words.” (from Cthulhu Chick)
12 Mind Blowing Number Systems From Other Languages – “The Oksapmin people of New Guinea have a base-27 counting system. The words for numbers are the words for the 27 body parts they use for counting, starting at the thumb of one hand, going up to the nose, then down the other side of the body to the pinky of the other hand” (from Mental Floss)
Tutorials off DeviantArt:
Understanding Your Style: Symbols, Design Pattern, and Anti-Pattern -or- Why a Little Figure Drawing Never Hurt Anybody. (Two parts, this links to the first part and there’s a link there to the second part.)
The Really Flippin’ Easy Way to Make Things Look Like Crappy Silver Age Comics (pretty sure I linked this before, but that’s alright)
Skin: A Tutorial (four parts, just linking to the first.)
Paper Charm Bracelet Tutorial (how to turn paper into cool looking beads)
In Which My Toddler Helps Me Think of “Character” in a New Way – “Our son, the one we call ‘B-Dub,’ thinks of the people in his life abstractly. Example: if he sees a magazine ad featuring the car you drive, he’ll point to it and say your name. If he sees a spot on the floor where one of the dogs likes to lie down, he’ll say that dog’s name. But it can be even more abstract, to the point where it takes us time to figure out what the connection is – like it’s a little bit of a puzzle.” (from terribleminds)
“Well, you should learn to control your temper” – Why Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is NOT an abuse-apologist narrative. “So what does Belle do? Does she put aside her hurt and attempt to be kind and loving? Does she assume he must have a troubled past and decide to go along with his not-requests until her sweet acquiescence tames him? No. She stays the hell away from him, not even allowing herself to be in the same room with him, and has dinner that night with nice people who care about her feelings instead.” (from Sailor Ptah’s Dreamwidth)
1958 Sears kitchen cabinets and more – 32 page catalog (from Retro Renovation)
NPC Characteristics Generator – Linking because it’s also good to give minor characters some sort of background or quirk.
Quickie Character Backstory Generator – another one
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” – Mae West
11 Weirdly Spelled Words – And How They Got That Way Thought, Asthma, Colonel, and more words whose spelling makes no phonetic sense (from mental_floss).
(All images, click to go to the DeviantArt page and see full-size. I’ve shrunk them down quite a bit more even than the DA preview)
Savoy Stomp Stomping through the Savoy Cocktail Book. Also other cocktails, recipes, and other blog stuff.
No Logic in “Etymological”: A Response I Actually Sent Kory Stamper is a lexicographer at Merriam-Webster. She gets odd correspondence. This is a response to one of them. (from Harmless Drudgery)
The Germans have a word for it – and it’s a very long one. ‘The editor of the Accidental Empire series muses on another thing the Germans do extremely well’ (from The Guardian)
Look! Up in the sky! It’s…it’s… it’s an amazing optics display What you can get from just ice crystals and sunlight (from Bad Astronomy)
Cocktail DIY: Stocking Your Bar At Home I’ve started following the blog which has all sorts of great recipes, aside from cocktails. (from Putney Farm)
They Came From Outer Space Creepy astronomical and otherwise photos (from Bad Astronomy)
An Open Letter to Writers in 3 Acts: the Anguish & the Glory (from A. Victoria Mixon, Editor)
(note on this post’s title: Gunsel has a factoid associated with it that will never fail to amuse me. From Dictionary.com:
1914, Amer. Eng., from hobo slang, “a catamite;” specifically “a young male kept as a sexual companion, esp. by an older tramp,” from Yiddish genzel, from Ger. Gänslein “gosling, young goose.” The secondary, non-sexual meaning “young hoodlum” seems to be entirely traceable to Dashiell Hammett, who snuck it into “The Maltese Falcon” (1939) while warring with his editor over the book’s racy language.
” ‘Another thing,’ Spade repeated, glaring at the boy: ‘Keep that gunsel away from me while you’re making up your mind. I’ll kill him.’ “
The context implies some connection with gun and a sense of “gunman,” and evidently the editor bought it. The word was retained in the script of the 1941 movie made from the book, so evidently the Motion Picture Production Code censors didn’t know it either.
Yeah, I’m just naming these something silly from now on.
“Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.” – Neil Gaiman
The crayola-fication of the world: How we gave colors names, and it messed with our brains, part 1 and part 2. Why green lights are blue in Japan, how you name colors if your language only has two words, and a lot more cross-linguistic facts. (From Empirical Zeal)
Tired of cliché? Want to be unique? Pursue the why. Figure out the causes of your scenario and the consequences to add depth to your writing. (From TalkToYoUniverse)
Rules, Schmules: Don’t Follow the Rules, Tell a Great Story. “If you’re more concerned with the technical rules of writing than the story itself, you’re hurting your chances of ever getting published.” (From The Other Side of the Story)
Why I Love That Bad Guy: The “S” and “Z” Blocks. Did you know Tetris has villains? This is just amusing. (From Love the Bad Guy)
Mario’s Creators Answer Burning Questions About The Series. Interview with Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka. We find out the Koopalings aren’t Bowser’s kids and that ‘Dr.’ Mario has no medical license. (From Game Informer)
Review of the Weaponeers of Monkaa (From Michael Crawford’s Review of the Week). And the announcement from Spy Monkey Creations, with more pictures. I don’t need any more toys, but these look awesome to have on your desk to fiddle with. They come apart into lots of pieces (at least 25) and are compatible with all Glyos System toys. The most original thing? Some pieces can be a hand or a head and look nice as either.
And in other pretties news, my latest favorites on DeviantArt: A cat in Nick Fury cosplay, a really amazing Ryuk (from Death Note) cosplay, a gorgeous Voodoo Priestess drawing, and the best tutorial for getting that old comic book look I’ve ever seen.
I would post another chapter of ‘Ostanes’ except I had a stupid moment (they’re unfortunately not uncommon, but usually small) and left the thumbdrive with it at home. I may post it later today, since I finally have internet at home.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about doing a link dump, and then I saw the first thing and HAD to share it.
- House with Bird Feet (from Tea with the Squash God). The start of a story from Ursula Vernon. As you may guess from the title, it’s got Baba Yaga. “If you’ve ever wondered how I write a thing (and lord, why would you?) the answer is that I sit down and write something like this one afternoon, and then I shove it into a metaphorical drawer and see if it ever bothers me again.” (This is about how I end up writing as well, except I tend not to write them down until they’ve been bugging me for a while.)
19 Old-Timey Slang Terms to Bolster Your Vocabulary (from MentalFloss). I tend to find the lists there lackluster, but this one has good things like zib and John Hollowlegs.
- Forest Tutorial (from the ConceptArt.org Forums). Basic, but useful. I imagine it would well for any sort of background as well, like cityscapes. The ‘duh! Why didn’t I think of that?!’ moment for me was ‘start from the back’.
- Varying Your Body Types (from Fritter and Waste). Has naked female model, so probably NSFW. Personally, I’m good about not having all my women (or men) look the same, but this has some points I hadn’t thought about and it’s really well illustrated.
- Vum (from Languagehat). Just a fun word from a language blog I like.