Link Dump – Linguistics Edition

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:

Other Things

From Aveneca.com, host of the new CBB (aka the conlang board I’m on)

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.

How many languages did Tolkien make?

From Frathwiki.com, one of the conlang wikis:

  • Conlang Terminology – common jargon like lostlang, sketchlang, relex, ANADEW (Another Natlang Already Did it Even Worse).
  • Software Tools – a lot of the links are outdated, unfortunately, but there are word generators, several conlanging guides, sound change appliers, and more.

Webcomics I read

(Content notes: Obviously with a continuously updated comic I can’t provide complete trigger warnings. Please do your research. I’ll try to mark what I can see; please let me know what I miss)

Updated Daily / Weekdays

Schlock Mercenary From Wikipedia: ” It follows the tribulations of a star-travelling mercenary company in a satiric, mildly dystopian 31st-century space opera setting.” Origin of the The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries. Very funny, with great character design and creative aliens.. (CN for violence, character death, and occasional horror.)

Skinhorse by Shaenon Garrity (of Narbonic) and Jeffrey Channing Wells. “Somewhere in this great nation is a top-secret government agency dedicated to aiding America’s nonhuman citizenry, but on a very tight budget.” Stars a talking female dog, a mult-racial zombie, and a crossdressing man. Diversity is fun!

Irregular Webcomic. On reruns with new content. From TV Tropes: “A webcomic done with LEGO figures and roleplaying miniatures, by David Morgan-Mar, an Australian physicist.” “Full of deliberately bad puns and surprisingly erudite references; one can learn a great deal just by reading the annotations.” Really several webcomics in one, with each theme having a separate storyline (most of the time).

Misfile. From the Misfile Wiki: “It chronicles the story of Ash Upton and Emily McArthur who, after a universal filing error in the Celestial Filing Depository, find that their lives are very different than they were the day prior. Emily has become two years younger and Ash has swapped genders completely, and is now a girl. In order to make things the way they were, they must play along to ensure that Rumisiel (the Angel who caused this mess in the first place!) gets back into heaven before the bosses find out and make the changes permanent. ” (CN for discussion of gender essentialism).

Bug Martini. From TV Tropes: “Features caricatures of cockroaches as its characters and uses those character to poke fun at a wide array of subjects. The comic touches on a wide variety of comedic material, with little pattern as to what Huber will lampoon. The comics themselves rarely have a set punchline, often instead having a joke in each panel, thus providing multiple laughs per strip.”  Sometimes immature humor.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. Read the bonus panel (red circle). From Wikipedia: ” It features no recurring characters or storylines, and has no set format; some strips may be a single panel, while others may go on for ten panels or more. Recurring themes in SMBC include atheism, God, superheroes, romance, dating, science, research, parenting and the meaning of life.” Funny at least three times a week. Sometimes offensive.

Updated MWF

PS238 by Aaron Williams. “Superheroes eventually want to start families, and so the need arose for a public school for their ultra-powerful kids. Ps238 was founded to help them train and learn what it means to wield unearthly power… except for Tyler. His parents are among the most powerful superheroes the planet has, yet he seems destined to be disappointingly normal. Sent to ps238 in the hopes that he’s a late bloomer, his adventures (and those of his classmates) have thrilled readers the world over.”

Use Sword on Monster by Aaron Williams. The comic is about the world turning a bit more supernatural. Unfortunately, this takes the form of creatures thought to be mythological appearing and wreaking havoc. Lucky for us, whatever is going on has affected a select few, letting them perform amazing feats of martial skill if they’re holding some kind of melee weapon and choose to attack one of these marauding beasts.

The Adventures of Dr. McNinja Read the alt-text. From TV Tropes: “the love child of the Rule Of Cool and the Rule of Funny. It is the most awesomely epic / epically awesome webcomic ever. […] What’s interesting about the comic is Hastings’ sheer commitment to the utter weirdness. Every bizarre twist gets a completely straight reaction from the cast, and can have repercussions that stretch over multiple chapters.”

Gunnerkrigg Court From Wikipedia: “The comic tells the story of Antimony Carver, a young girl who has just started attending a strange and mysterious school called Gunnerkrigg Court, and the events that unfold around her as she becomes embroiled in political intrigues between Gunnerkrigg Court and the inhabitants of the Gillitie Wood, a forest outside the school. The comic’s style and themes include elements from science, fantasy creatures, mythology from a variety of traditions, and alchemical symbols and theories; the literary style is heavily influenced by mystery and manga comics.”

Shortpacked “about people who work in a toy store and tell jokes about Batman.” I find it hit or miss, but generally funny. David Willis mocks fandom and creators equally. And the cast is now mostly women, and a car in a female body. (CN for discussion of sexism and other bigotry)

Girl Genius. “Adventure, Romance, MAD SCIENCE!” From Wikipedia: “presents an alternate history ‘where the Industrial Revolution has escalated into an all-out war’ due to the battles between Sparks – highly charismatic mad scientists with supernormal abilities in one or more sciences.” Often funny, usually outrageous.

xkcd. Read the alt-text. “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.” From TV Tropes: “It is a gag-a-day comic, and generally does not have a continuing plot line or continuity (though there are occasional short story arcs). Many of the jokes are based on math, physics, UNIX and Internet memes, as well as romance and sex.”

El Goonish Shive. From TV Tropes: “It’s about a cast of characters and their relationships while in the middle of spellcasting, Shapeshifting (voluntary and otherwise), gender-bending, and blatantly disregarding the laws of physics. Or, alternately, it’s about a cast of characters who occasionally take time off from obsessing over their relationships to cast spells, change shape, and break the laws of physics. The gender-bending is pretty constant, though.”

But I’m a Cat Person. By Erin Ptah of And Shine Heaven Now. “What happens when you take a heap of shounen-power-up and mahou-shoujo tropes, dump them all in a blender, and then throw the blender away and make a sandwich instead.” From TV Tropes: “In a world not too different from our own, humans share the planet with a mysterious servant species known as Beings. Shapeshifting, flying battle monsters, they have spent countless ages dueling each other in a contest with no end, known as the Game… which most of humanity has spent just as long ignoring. It’s not really that interesting if you’re not involved.” It’s awesome.

Broodhollow “An anxiety-ridden man, struggling to overcome his elaborate fears and phobias, slowly learns that they may be an unlikely key to understanding a town’s disturbing supernatural events. Or so he believes.” By Kris Straub, the author of Checkerboard Nightmare, Starslip Crisis, Chainsawsuit, and horror fiction site Ichor Falls. (CN for horror. So much horror. Don’t let the cute art at the beginning fool you. It’s frikking scary.)

Other Three Times a Week

Basic Instructions Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday. A very funny cut and paste comic.

Darth and Droids Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday. By David Morgan-Mar of Irregular Webcomic. From TV Tropes: “What if Star Wars as we know it didn’t exist, but instead the plot of the movies was being made up on the spot by players of a Tabletop Game? Well, for one, the results might actually make a lot more sense, from an out-of-story point of view…”

Updated Twice a Week

Looking for Group Monday, Thursday. By Ryan Sohmer and Lar DeSouza. A fantasy parody comic that has gotten more serious and complicated. Still very funny. (CN: often immature and sexual humor. Blood.)

A Girl and Her Fed Monday, Thursday. From TV Tropes: “An unnamed woman who works as a journalism intern finds she is on a terrorist watchlist. When she confronts the Fed who is set to watch her, things get seriously, fantastically weird. There’s a good deal of humor thrown in. And did we mention the forty billion undead pixies? And the talking super-genius koala?”

Full Frontal Nerdity Tuesday, Thursday. By Aaron Williams (Nodwick, PS238). “Join four guys, usually around a gaming table, as they celebrate and dissect everything geekdom has to offer. From video games to movies to the latest version of D&D, Frank, Shawn, Lewis and Nelson find fault, find joy, and find that you really shouldn’t let Lewis roll for anything if a 1 spells disaster.”

Punch an’ Pie Tuesday, Thursday. By Aeire (of Queen of Wands) and Chris Daily. Sequel to Queen of Wands. “Tongue-planted-firmly-in-cheek, PnP explores what happens when you’re outta college and attempting to be one of those mysterious ‘adult’ creatures we always hear about, and just trying to make life work – and what happens when it doesn’t live up to your expectations.”

Wondermark Tuesday, Friday. From TV Tropes: “A world of top hats and Steampunk laptops played down to contrast the modern, neurotic characters that populate it. A gag-a-day webcomic with Negative Continuity and no recurring characters (except maybe the alien Gax), each strip is a brief window into the lives of absurd but not entirely unrealistic new people.”

Goblins Tuesday and Friday afternoons. From TV Tropes: “The main story follows five members of a cannon-fodder goblin tribe (Thaco, Chief, Big-Ears, Complains-of-Names, and Fumbles) who decide to stop being cannon fodder and become Player Characters. A side plot follows a sixth goblin (Dies-Horribly) who goes on a solo adventure arc quite against his will. It features detailed world-building (including quite a few whole-cloth, background creatures with detailed biologies) and characterization, particularly of the villains. One of the goblin characters, Big-Ears, is a rare instance of a truly gentle, heroic and noble paladin, while the paladin status of the most opaque and brutal villain, Kore, thus far is one of the most foreboding mysteries.” (CN: violence, blood, horror, confrontation of consent issues.)

Nimona Tuesdays and Thursdays. “Lord Ballister Blackheart has a point to make, and his point is that the good guys aren’t as good as they seem. He makes a comfortable living as a supervillain, but never really seems to accomplish much – until he takes on a new sidekick, Nimona, a shapeshifter with her own ideas of how things should be done. Unfortunately, most of those ideas involve blowing things up. Now Ballister must teach his young protégé some restraint and try to keep her from destroying everything, while simultaneously attempting to expose the dark dealings of those who claim to be the protectors of the kingdom – including his former best friend turned nemesis, Ambrosius Goldenloin.”

Updated Once a Week

The Non-Adventures of Wonderella Saturdays. From TV Tropes: “It focuses mainly on the mundane parts of the life of Wonderella, a somewhat air-headed and lazy Valley Girl-ish superheroine who demonstrates little interest in being a hero… or, in fact, doing anything much outside of partying, getting completely wasted, violence, and shopping. She is super-strong, super-durable, and she can’t fly but she can ‘totally jump hella high'” Often immature, often funny.

My So-Called Secret Identity. Two pages on Sundays. “Who is Cat? She’d tell you she’s nobody special, that she’s just like you. Just an average, Irish-American girl in her early twenties; a cop’s daughter, studying in the big city. […] She’d tell you that the city’s special, not her: Gloria City, with its vibrant little communities, its bright lights, grand architecture and Broadway shows. And most of all, its larger-than-life personalities. Gloria has a cast of celebrity superheroes […] But Cat really is someone special. Cat is the smartest person in Gloria City. She remembers everything she reads; she knows how everything connects. And she’s getting tired of pretending, of hiding, of acting dumb to save other people’s feelings.” But slightly more importantly, “My So-Called Secret Identity is what happened when internationally-acclaimed Batman scholar and popular culture expert, Dr Will Brooker, decided to stop criticising mainstream comics for their representation of women, and show how it could be done differently; how it could be done better. […] In a deliberate reversal of mainstream industry conventions, almost all the creative team behind MSCSI are female.” It’s pretty and clever.

Romantically Apocalyptic Saturdays. “I am the captain. The year is 20__ something something. I stopped counting a while ago, and therefore not sure what day it is. Humanity is virtually wiped out in a nuclear holocaust. Me and my last squad: pilot and sniper, live in the wasteland ruins of tomorrow. This is my story. I am captain.” Silly, somewhat random, rather baffling.

Manly Guys Doing Manly Things Mondays (more or less). From TV Tropes: “a comic about a temp agency to help “ludicrously macho guys” find work in the real world when they no longer have work as popular fiction characters. How well they actually integrate has… mixed results.”

Skin Deep Mondays. From TV Tropes: “Unknown to most of humanity, mythical creatures have lived under the radar for centuries; disguised by magic, developing their own culture, and generally just trying to live a normal life. Whatever that means.”

Rusty and Co. Wednesdays. From TVTropes: “With the charismatic Mimic, absurdly cute rust monster Rusty, and the silent yet deadly Gelatinous Cube, the three set out in search of fame, fortune, and experience levels – and every level (adventure), they ally themselves with an Action Girl for at least part of the level. Of course, things that would be obstacles to more conventional adventurers pose no problem for these three, whereas other more simple tasks create great difficulties. Expect hilarity (with a side of Lampshade Hanging) to ensue.”

Galaxion Tuesdays. “Galaxion is the name of a quirky little civilian scientific survey starship owned and operated by the Terran Space Association, and captained by Fusella Mierter (reputedly also quirky and little, but don’t say that to her face). As the story begins, TerSA has made a deal with rival organization Interplanetary Patrol, giving command of the Galaxion over to General Scavina Nelson and her team to test an experimental Jump engine.”

Spare Keys for Strange Doors. On hiatus. “Your local Specialists are: Toby Hathaway and Marion Sark. Highly experienced and skilled professionals, experts at handling the uncanny, supernatural and subnatural. Some experience of the natural, but discussion of your exact needs is advisable. Specialities include visitations, disappearances, compulsions, manifestations, transformations and removal of uninvited guests. ”

Thistil Mistil Kistil Thursdays. From TV Tropes: “The recently deceased Coal must complete a quest for the gods in order to gain acceptance into Valhalla, but he needs to track down the trickster Loki and get his help. No easy task when the god is the reason for his troubles in the first place.”

Next Town Over Saturdays. “Next Town Over is a weekly paean to the western, with some steampunk and fantasy splashed in.” From TV Tropes: “John Henry Hunter is a notorious and dangerous outlaw with pyrokinetic abilities; so infamous is he across the territories that he has a reward of $10,000 and counting on his head. […] Trailing after him is the equally dangerous and mysterious Bounty Hunter Vane Black. Vane, a stone-faced woman with an eerie pallor, an old acquaintance of Hunter’s who is hunting him down for having wronged her in the past. As they battle across the frontier, they take advantage of every object, person, or animal which might help them to achieve their goals. And neither of them seems to care much about the collateral damage they cause during their confrontations.” (CN: for violence, some horror, consent issues)

Updated Randomly (in approx order of update likelihood)

Sunset Grill (generally multiple times a week): “The year is 2426. Earth is a patchwork quilt of restive, squabbling Domains, loosely joined under the mantle of the Empire, […]None of which matters particularly to the patrons of the Sunset Grill, a bar on the shady side of town in the run-down and corrupt city of Kieselburg. They’re too busy staying alive. Because no matter what the year, there will always be those who struggle to survive. And no matter how distant, how strange, or how advanced the place, there will always be someone to ask that all-important question: ‘Hey, is there anywhere in this dump I can get a decent beer?'” (Content notice for fantastical racism and other bigotry)

Underling

The Property of Hate (generally once a week). From TV Tropes: “Perhaps going off in the middle of the night with a snarky floating TV head monster was a BAD idea.”

Help Desk “It happens every time you call the technical support hotline: you suspect the person on the other end of the phone doesn’t really care about your problems, isn’t interested in solving them, and is in fact paid to convince you that the problem has nothing to do with your computer or the software it runs, but is instead due to your own ineptitude and folly.”

Zebra Girl “Sandra Eastlake was a relatively normal young woman until the day her housemates, Jack and Crystal Clarity, came across a strange book in the attic of their home. Dark powers were meddled with, and before you can say “monkeys fire burgers into the mouths of hungry babies with all the skill of strange creatures hailing from whole galaxies made of grease” an accident occurred which changed their lives forever.” (CN lechery in the beginning, consent issues, horror)

Order of the Stick From TV Tropes: “The comic started off as a gag-a-day strip, often mocking D&D rules, but things quickly took a turn for the dramatic: their journey to defeat the evil Xykon entangled them in the lich’s plot to harness the power of The Snarl, a sinister reality-eating… thing formed at the dawn of creation from literal tangles in the fabric of reality. Along the way, they butted heads with hordes of monsters, plot complications, an overzealous paladin or two, and the Linear Guild, a group of Evil Counterparts led by Elan’s Evil Twin brother, Nale. Of course, even with all that going on, it’s still covered with plenty of humor.”

Erfworld From TV Tropes: “A fanatical, obsessed gamer geek gets magically summoned to another world to be the “Perfect Warlord” for a city that’s losing a war, in a world that seems to be one giant Turn Based Strategy wargame. Plays with many different strategy game tropes. Includes cutesy, Super-Deformed art and dark characterization, landing DEEP in the territory of Grotesque Cute. Many features of Erfworld are references to real-world popular culture and Internet memes.” (CN: for fantasy violence, consent issues)

Power Nap. By Marita Campos (of College Roomies from Hell) and Bachan. From TV Tropes: “In a World where nobody sleeps, Drew Spencer tries to hold on to a job and his sanity. Drew is unable to use the pills known as “Z-Sup” which let everyone else stay awake 24 hours a day, due to an allergy. Being run ragged by a world without sleep and a society that seems to accept the weirdest of events without question, Drew is also being roped into something sinister going on behind the scenes of this bizarre world.” (CN for violence and sexism. There’s a woman named Token, okay? I’m pretty sure that’s going to end ironically, but it’s still there)

Bird Boy “When a small boy stumbles upon a legendary weapon, he must flee across a dangerous land of gods, men and beasts to keep it from falling into the wrong hands…”

Tales of the Questor From TV Tropes: “It tells the tale of Quentyn, a young anthropomorphic raccoon (or “Rac Cona Daimh” or “Racconan” but who are we kidding?) who spends his days with adventure books and daydreams. When the traditional ritual where young kits choose their career for life approaches, young Quentyn shocks everyone and becomes the local laughing stock as he declares his desire to become a Questor – a type of noble hero-for-hire whose like hasn’t been around for ages, and who are practically nothing but adventure book fluff. But, it turns out there are legal requirements to have one when someone offers. So begins Quentyn’s own adventure – he’s now an official Questor and it’s up to him to do what a Questor must, even if it means having to face great dangers and things he’s never had to encounter during his young, sheltered life – and practical exile as he’s tasked with a gigantic quest that requires him to head into the lands of humans.” (CN: frightening imagery, horror)

Hark! a Vagrant From TV Tropes: “Best known for its historical comics, which are one-shots of varying length focusing on historical events or figures. There are occasionally other kinds of comics, including comics in which Beaton visits her younger self, a few comics about a pony called ‘Fat Pony’, and a story about a sailor who meets a mermaid. There is little continuity and each comic is a standalone strip.”

Batman and Sons From TV Tropes: “not only portrays Batman as a superhero/crime fighting detective, but also as a single father trying to raise his four sons: Dick, Jason, and Tim (the three most famous Robins), and a baby named Terry. The comic is not only funny and adorable, but also succeeds at poking fun at topical points in comics.” (CN: child endangerment)

Lackadaisy From TV Tropes: “Follows the exploits of the Lackadaisy crew, a formerly prosperous crime gang fallen on hard times after the murder of their boss, Atlas May. Now under the leadership of Mitzi, widow of the ‘businessman’, they attempt to make a living in the criminal underworld of St. Louis. Their major opposition comes from the Marigold gang, headed by Atlas’s former partner and filled with former Lackadaisy employees.And they’re all anthropomorphic cats. The series is very much a tongue-in-cheek affair with a serious plot line and strong characterizations.” (CN: violence, blood. Look, it involves bootlegging and criminals, and despite the cats, it treats it realistically)

No Rest for the Wicked “One day, the Moon up and disappeared; where it went, or why, none can say. Without the Moon’s light to keep them in check at night, monsters, crawling horrors, and other creatures of the dark run rampant throughout the land. But Princess November has much more pressing matters to worry about: she hasn’t had a decent sleep in ages.”

Sacred Pie From TV Tropes: “About three 20-somethings, Sid, Roonas, and Bob. Hanging out in their apartment one day, they’re visited by a dying man called the Traveler. In his final breath, he gives them four items, a Tunic, a pair of Gloves, a pair of Boots, and a Medallion. Then his body disappears, and they take them, deciding to save the universe as he asked on the basis that there’s nothing on TV anyways. The first thing they do is accidentally assassinate an alien Chancellor and try to escape. All that is just the first twelve or so pages, and it just gets crazier from there.” (CN: sexism, violence)

Suicide for Hire From TV Tropes: “a mature-rated Furry Comic by Rafael Medina about two teenagers, the extremely enthusiastic sex-obsessed fox Hunter Ravenwood, and the chain-smoking highly paranoid mouse Arcturus Winrock (who also has a homicidal split personality), who help other people kill themselves, often in a highly karmic way.” (CN: oh boy. Just… everything. Religious prejudice, violence, confrontation and played with sexism, mental issues.)

Finished

Dominic Deegan. From TV Tropes: “It follows the life and times of Dominic Deegan, a messianic yet pessimistic seer who travels about with Spark, his feline comic relief, and assorted companions. Originally a lighter strip based on puns and wordplay”, it’s gotten darker as the cast exploded. (CN: violence, fantastical racism, sexual violence)

Narbonic (Director’s Cut). From TV Tropes: “Answering an innocent job offer, Dave Davenport is drawn into a shocking spiral of vice, crime and moral depravity. Hopelessly ensnared by a madwoman’s feminine wiles, can he return to the world of sanity before it is… too late? Narbonic skates over some surprisingly serious territory, but with such a light touch you will probably be too busy laughing to notice.” (CN: mental issues)

The Pantheon (NSFW)

Cracks of Sunshine “is a mental health comic that neither glamourizes nor catastrophizes mental illness. […]Consider the entire site to contain a MASSIVE trigger warning for frank discussions of (among other things) suicide, rape, depression, and eating disorders. But it is a happy comic! It’s just mostly about sad things. Plus the occasional joke about sadistic unicorns and Hal Jordan, just for a break.”

Link Dump – Anodyne Edition

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.)

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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)

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Encyclopedia of Tie Knots – a breakdown of every possible way to tie a tie, based on topology.

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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.

Link Dump – Serendipity Edition

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)

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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.

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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)

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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)

Link Dump – Lapin Edition

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)

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(Go see the full-size version!)

“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)

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Justice League of Rodents!

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

Link Dump – Gunsel Edition

“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)

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Savoy Stomp Stomping through the Savoy Cocktail Book. Also other cocktails, recipes, and other blog stuff.

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You *have* to see the full size one of this to get the details. I wish it had better contrast, but it’s lovely.

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)

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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)

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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)

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I love the colors in this.

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:

gunsel

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.

Link Dump Cyan Edition

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.

Link Dump

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.

Week 3 – Shopping

I didn’t do much the third week, so this’ll be a short entry.

First was actually something my awesome dad did. I didn’t show you a picture, but my closet is very small, narrow, and not really enough to store all my various junk and my clothes. Therefore, Dad did this:

As you saw before, there’s a little room between the main room and the bathroom. On one side of that is the door to the main room, on the other is the closet (I’m standing in the bathroom to take the picture). Originally I was just going to put up two clothes rods, but there were no studs available, so Dad built a free-standing thing that was then secured to the wall. So this is my ‘dressing room’. (It has clothes on it now).

Next, I finally got a microwave.

Yeah, that was terribly exciting, but incredibly necessary.

I also got a sideboard to hold my table linens, bathroom supplies, and whatever else ends up in there. I got it from a great vintage shop in Ventura called Attaboy Vintage. Two of my awesome coworkers helped me get in my place.

Apparently at one point it was painted white, and then stripped before Attaboy got it. You can still see white paint in the crevices, as well as inside behind the drawers. They only refinished the top. I’ve oiled it and it looks really nice now (although it could probably use more oil). I should probably get a piece of glass for the top (it’s got some scratches and a gouge, but it looks nice).

That’s it for the week. Next week will be light as well. Things are slowing down. I’ll have to get on making some other content for the site!

Arranging – Week 2

I’m going to get right into it. This week involved a lot of unpacking, picking up packages from the post office, rearranging, organizing, and a trip to Ikea! Thanks to my mom for the copious amounts of help.

A hint of things to come:

 New thing #1: 1950s pole lamp! A gift from my parents.

It’s brighter now, since I’ve put new fluorescent bulbs in. It bathes the whole room in a warm red glow. It’s made of four sections of metal tubing. I ended up having to take a section out because complete it was too tall for my ceiling. Once I put it up on the bench it was just about perfect (here it’s got some fabric folded underneath. I’ve since gotten a wooden stand that I still need to paint black.)

Since we’re in the main room, let’s continue there.

As you can see I moved my dress form up onto the bench. The dress form was originally bought to display kimono, and now that my kimono wardrobe is here I can do that! (And I have now). Also new are my folding kitchen chairs. I only have three, and they need some work, but they’re comfortable.

But what’s that piece hiding behind the coffee table?

If you know Mid-century stuff at all, you probably recognize the manufacturer. It’s Heywood-Wakefield. I couldn’t find a stamp on this piece, so it’s conceivable it’s not. I think I’ve posted about it on Facebook. Anyway, I got it for $100. Someone had started to strip it and gave up when they couldn’t figure out how to get the shelves out (it’s not that hard, but you have to take the pegs out). Dad and I refinished it using reproduction stain (we both stripped it, he did all the staining). Unfortunately I only had three original pegs, so they aren’t the same. But doesn’t it look awesome? I may use the extra stain on the kitchen chairs when I get to fixing them up.

Other main room details:

 

Detail of the bookcase all cleaned up.

With stuff in it (and dust in front). Yes, I’ve got a wide range of decades there. A Megabloks ice dragon, a tiger from GI Joe Sigma 6, a Sky BAT from the same line (you can hardly see him) all from about 2007. A Thundercats bank (now full of money) and below it, the Tongue-a-saurus. A norfin troll from around 1990 and a Radix Adventures ogre from around 2005.

The top of my coffee table. Under the glass is a furoshiki (Japanese wrapping cloth) that we got from one of our Japanese exchange students when I was a kid. I’m thinking of replacing it with another one, but I’m not sure I have any more that are the right size.

Slightly better pictures of the front of my desk.

It needs to be cleaned and oiled and it’s even more cluttered now. But I’m getting there. On the right is a file drawer. On the left is two drawers.

That pretty much covers the main room. Why don’t we move the the bathroom real quick?

You can see my new 1950s trash can.

Isn’t it cool?

Two not Mid-century things.

The wash cloth was a gift from my parents (with towels, obviously). It’s about the only pink thing I have in the bathroom so far. As far as the towel rack, I originally wanted a 1950s tension rod one, but I couldn’t find one for less than $100 (except for the first one I saw, which I let get away). This one is from Ikea and folds up compactly, so it works quite well.

I know you all want to see the cool medicine cabinet, so here it is.

The door is really heavy duty. Look at that hinge on top! The glass shelves are supposedly adjustable, but it’s been painted too many times and I can’t get the brackets out (bummer). And as you can see, it has the slit for old razor blades! (The cup is just there because it’s cool. Yes, that’s my bathroom cup. It came with some bento box stuff my sister gave me one Christmas. You can’t see it, but the manufacturer is ‘Lube Sheep.’ I am not kidding.)

There’s one new thing in the dressing area.

1950s nightstand. At first I thought it might be Heywood-Wakefield, but it’s not. It was apparently made in Japan, from reclaimed wood. The underside of one of the drawers has a stamp from a shipping crate or something (I don’t remember exactly.) There was another one that was in worse shape.

Why is the Lego Batman shirt there? What does that have to do with the 50s? Well, Lego Batman is awesome. The 1950s are awesome. Therefore it’s totally relevant.

This is getting really long and I still have a bunch of kitchen pictures to show, so I’m going to split that off to a different post.

Kitchen – Week 2

All right, if I did that much in the apartment, what did I do to the kitchen? Well, Mom and I took a trip to Ikea (as you already saw in the bathroom). That combined with some stuff from Target, my stuff, and my mom’s organizing skills led to this:

(Click to see bigger)

Commentary:

Obviously, the wooden kitchen cart is new. It folds. I haven’t need it to fold yet, but it can. It was also somewhat of a pain to assemble, but only because I was by myself. The trashcan is from Target. We switched the dishes and pantry items. Pantry stuff is in the cabinets in turquoise baskets from Target.  You can’t see it, but because the lip of my sink is so high, I stick a saucer under the end of the drainer so it’ll actually drain. And I have a bad tendency to let dishes pile up before I wash them, so the glasses go on a towel on the counter.

The rails and stuff are a combination of Bygel and Grundtal from Ikea. Nice. My silverware is all mismatched stuff from thrift stores. I love it. The knife bar is also from Ikea and I’ve since moved the steak knives to a drawer so you can get to the outlet more easily. I mean to paint the wood bar teal, but I want to paint those baskets too. But I can’t find a spray paint in the right color, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do.

I have a lot of colanders and strainers. I’m not entirely sure how that happened. I also need to get a few more Pyrex casseroles in middle sizes. That cardboard box in the cabinets has been replaced. My extra dishes (and I have a lot) are in the dead space in the corner. I don’t know when I got the Ritz and Saltine tins. The Ritz one is full. And there’s the cork for the ‘cookie’ jar on the stove.

I only have one of those cherry blossom mugs. I love it. And I’ll probably never fill the teal salt and pepper shakers because they’re huge. I put the salt in one of the blue ones, and I have a pepper grinder so I’m not using the other one. What else starts with P and S that I could put in the teal ones?

Those red tins can also be found in yellow. They’re really awesome for crackers and cereal, because they really do keep it crisp. You do have to bake the knob often though. It doesn’t really turn ‘pink’ over time. It’s the color they are now. When they’re baked they’re bright blue.

Things I still need to do in the kitchen? Besides fill the few holes, get out my Swanky Swigs (I have the wildlife ones. I’m sorry I can’t find an informative link.) I have another Bygel bar to get up, and I need to get a basket for it like the one holding the salt and pepper shakers. And the general reorganizing, cleaning, etc.

Moving In – Week 1

Now it’s time to see some of my actual stuff. I’m only taking pictures at the end of the week, so we’ve skipped over the piles and piles of boxes, the furniture in really strange spots, and other such amusements.

First, some details I didn’t photograph the previous week:

The closet / dressing room door. I need to find an appropriate skeleton key.

Isn’t that drain cute? It looks like a daisy.

And on to the meat of the post: Continue reading “Moving In – Week 1”

Moving – Week 0

I’ve actually been there almost two weeks now, but I’m doing this in order, dammit! =^_^=

So, I moved into my first apartment completely by myself, completely from the beginning. It’s in Ventura in an building that was apparently built in 1907 (according to the sign that I still need to get a picture of).

I looked at another apartment in the building that had a lot of cute mid-century touches (like black and white checkerboard linoleum in the kitchen and bathroom, and peach tile in the bathroom). But I couldn’t afford that one. I got one that is half below ground and very private, except for the laundry room right next door (which is cool). It doesn’t have the same cute touches, but it’s nice. So, to the tour!

Continue reading “Moving – Week 0”