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7th October 2015

8:37pm: Epic of Gilgamesh gets an update
WaPost Article: A new chapter in the world’s oldest story

20 New Lines from The Epic of Gilgamesh Discovered in Iraq, Adding New Details to the Story

the [Sulaymaniyah] museum has a matter of policy paid smugglers to keep artifacts from leaving the country, no questions asked. The tablet was acquired by the museum in late 2011 as part of a collection of 80-90 tablets sold by an unnamed shady character. Professor Farouk Al-Rawi examined the collection while the seller haggled with museum official Abdullah Hashim. When Al-Rawi saw this tablet, he told Hashim to pay whatever the seller wanted: $800.

For more Gilgamesh, that sounds like a great deal!

Sulaymaniyah Museum talks (in Kurdish) about the new discovery, saying (in translation): “The tablet dates back to the Neo-Bablyonian period, 2000-1500 BCE. It is a part of tablet V of the epic. It was acquired by the Museum in the year 2011 and [then] Dr. Farouk Al-Raw transliterated it. It was written as a poem and many new things this version has added, for example Gilgamesh and his friend met a monkey. We are honored to house this tablet and anyone can visit the Museum during its opening hours from 8:30 morning to noon. The entry is free for you and your guests. Thank you.”

These lines come from Chapter Five of the epic and cast the main characters in a new light. Gilgamesh and his companion Enkidu are shown to feel guilt over killing Humbaba, the guardian of the cedar forest, who is now seen as less a monster and more a king. Just like a good director’s cut, these extra scenes clear up some muddy character motivation, and add an environmental moral to the tale.

So, a bit more detail, a bit more character motivation, it's not just 20 lines, it's 20 good ones ^^
6:07pm: Jaws 19 Trailer
Originally posted by marianlh at Jaws 19 Trailer

It's October 2015, the time of the future part of Back to the Future II, and while we don't have holographic billboard ads―thank Celestia―Universal made a tongue-in-cheek trailer for the movie in the movie:

Continue....Collapse )

Also, Pepsi is making Pepsi Perfect bottles.

28th September 2015

2:16am: Blood Moon Eclipse
We had the so-called 'blood moon' eclipse in my area tonight!

I say so-called because we totally didn't get any red where I was ^^

And unfortunately there were clouds, but only for part of it. I watched until it was about half-eclipsed, then clouds, then the clouds cleared in time to see a thin crescent appear on the other side, then more clouds until it was done with.

21st September 2015

1:12am: SPX!
Did the Small Press Expo this Saturday!

Which is basically a single ballroom jam packed full of creators selling their work- and this time's selection was impressive. Like, 'my normal con bag was full so I had to get additional carrying capacity.' That almost never happens.

Like, "they had volume 2 of Lumberjanes (PS Get Lumberjanes it is fantastic), but I skipped it because I knew I'd be able to get it elsewhere eventually and there was so much good stuff and my budget was straining."

Small press recommendations, LGBT stuff, and etc. within!Collapse )

12th September 2015

4:21pm: Leaf Zeroia

Leafperson Zeroia by Kory Bing by Q99 on DeviantArt

I had this picture of Zeroia as a Leaf person done by Kory Bing of the webcomic Skin Deep, famous for it's mythological types. When she had an offer to do commission drawings myth-izing people, I decided to try and find one unusual- and while digging through Hawaiian mythology I found mention of Kupua, demigods with different types of bodies, and specifically Ka-poe-kino-lau, "The People who Had Leaf Bodies".

I could find no art of them anywhere, but I decided I had to see that concept, talked with Kory a bit, and this was the result :)

10th September 2015

4:42pm: I feel like I should post something.
So, uh, what's interesting?

3rd September 2015

6:03am: Flag ratings
Found a cool thing of two people, each doing Letter grades of flags from all over the world

I disagree with both authors on some things- I personally find simple three-color bar designs way too common and overused, and crosses as well- before even getting into poor color choices. I also think you can have as many stars as you want *provided* they're in a good pattern. Still, lots of other points I agree with!

And it's cool to see just the variety of flags there ^^

What are your thoughts on flag design?

2nd September 2015

4:57am: Mice and books part 2
While opening a box of books in order to re-shelve things, I discovered... one of the mice had been using a box as a seed storage! My mom kept birdseed bags inside for awhile, and the first sign of the mice had been finding eaten ones, but this time it was a huge cache of uneaten birdseed. The box had an opening for handhold, and it must've been using that.

Fortunately no damage done this time. One book needed a cover cleaned, but no gnawing (I guess it could use the hole, but it didn't seem like the box or anything in it had any gnaw marks so I dunno if it ever came back to eat).

With the area redone and stuff out of boxes, and *definitely* instructions to not keep birdseed around here any more, hopefully that's the end of things!

*Edit* Darnit, some damage after all! A comic and a Schlock Mercenary poster.

31st August 2015

6:11am: Mice and books
Mice have been at my books!

Or, not just now, we had some right before our work downstairs, and I discovered more evidence of it- chewed books and seed shells (whereever they hung out, they brought seed shells they got from a bag of bird seed).

Unfortunately this time it was... webcomic books.

*Fortunately*, it was from a webcomic that still makes books! Took out three (not completely wrecked, but damaged enough for me to decide to toss), but one higher or lower in the stack and they'd have gotten something really hard to replace (since with most webcomic books, when they're gone, they're gone- and sometimes the sites they're from are gone too!). Whew.

Combined with prior casualties... five books lost total, two of which I probably would've donated sooner or later anyway, three of which are replaceable.

Could be worse!

30th August 2015

5:59am: Medical spam

I just got a spam e-mail asking me if I wanted to sell my *kidney* for $200,000 dollars.

Even if I did need money that badly, I think I'd be too terrified to conduct the sale through an e-mail account provided by a spam message!

26th August 2015

7:00pm: Comic store people
Comic store stories!

Today, I interacted with two comic store employees I like and talk to, at two different comic stores-

One of who is also a writer, who just had the first issue of his comic, Zodiac Star Force, come out this week from Dark Horse! It's a magic-girl comic, and previously I'd picked up a prototype form of it they'd self-put-out. Anyway, first issue is good, I recommend snagging it ^^ And I forgot to get mine signed!

Second, Jay, at my nearest store (mostly a game store so I only get my subscriptions there, but he handles comics), alas, is having his last day because he's moving from the area! So I bid him farewell, and we talked Kory Bing/Skin Deep (someone who he's a biiig fan of, which I discovered when I wore my Skin Deep necklace into the shop once, and who I'm getting a Pacific Rim commission from), and Pacific Rim (which he's also a big fan of!). Stuff like the worldbuilding, how cool the Russians are, and that he almost stood up and cheered at the not-kiss at the end ^^ In the past we'd talked lots of comics ('specially Transformers, but also Sonic and how the latest crossover included cameos from his favorite video game), related industry stuff like sales, proper portrayal of Wonder Woman, and all kinds of stuff. So, I'll miss our conversations. I also put the upcoming Pacific Rim comic on my pull list, a job he naturally passed on to the new guy ^^ Bye Jay, I wish you luck in your new home!

20th August 2015

11:08pm: Sea Lion
A short video clip from my zoo trip :)

This California Sea Lion liked to buzz the tank window in loops.

19th August 2015

1:50am: Today Ryan North got stuck in a Hole
Webcomic artist Ryan North of Dinosaur comics and writer of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl got stuck in a hole.

This is his story

Article on Comics Alliance

17th August 2015

1:56am: Intervention con '15
Another year, another Intervention con report!

Normally this is a convention I totally love, and while I still enjoyed myself, I'd say it's the weakest one I've been to so far.

The con people were apparently focused a bit on expanding into media stuff (some new small geek films), and doing a bit of cross-promotion with their Dr. Who con (the voice of Davros was there). End result, the Dealer's room had more merchandise and stuff before, and a fun comic industry pro (I got an interesting comic from her about a Chinese Buddhist legend)... but not a single new webcomic person, or at least not that I saw. Only a few of the standbys had new books, at that (got the latest Sluggy Freelance one). Did snag some good art (Centaur-deer dryad with this plant growing out of her... a very neat print) and DVDs, though.

Panel wise, this translated into, well, same webcomic panels I'd seen before, only updated a little (and alas, Shaenon Garrity, who did *great* panels the first few, was still probably too busy with kid. I hope she starts coming back). Fine for first timers, not so much for me.

That said, don't mistake that for not having fun! I saw two 'Cinematic for the People' shows- basically a live action MST3k, with audience participation encouraged. One of 'em, Cyborg 2078, was *dull*, totally needed the commentary, but the other? A Buck Rogers serial that was cut down from a 200+ minute epic to a very punchy 60 minute affair. Very entertaining, it'd have been watchable without the commentary.

Game rooms, no arcade cabinets this time, which was not a shock because there was almost no-one there in the past. Traditional game room was a lot of fun- did two games of X-wing, wherein first I took a TIE Defender and two TIE fighter aces vs 3 A-wings and a B-wing (half controlled by a vet, half a newbie). First I took out the vet's A-wing, lost a fighter, then got the two other A-wings, and the B-wing booked it off board since it was pretty much decided. Second one, E-wing (Corran Horn) vs two TIEs. Took some good hits, got worried for a bit, but a poor maneuver on the foe's part left me in a position to do Corran's double-tap and finish 'em off. Yay me!

Best game was certainly, "Aye, Dark Overlord!", a storytelling game where everyone plays the minions of a dark overlord and deals story cards to deflect blame from a failed mission. Falter in the story 3 times (either don't think of something, contradict previous story, or just have a poor excuse- One person lost due to accidentally blaming the overlord!), get the blame (and whoever took the blame, played the Overlord next time). It was sooo much fun! I think we did something like 4-5 rounds.

Stories got weird ^^ One, the others pretty much stopped trying to pin it on me after I used the old 'struck by lightning fuzzed my memory' excuse, and started blaming others for giving me the idea to do something in the first place... something about a brain swap... and one long-going round was about how we had to get the overlord's slippers from a box (box was my idea!) and ended up going through the stories of how we lost about 3 or 4 replacement keys before we finally opened the thing....

And played a few rounds of Coup. Fun bluffing game, I think I've mentioned it before (first played it last Katsucon). I should probably get the expansion...

All in all, I'm thinking next time I'll only go 1 day instead of 3.

Had fun, but only a B- to the normal As of Intervention. Bit too much downtime between the highlights.

12th August 2015

12:05am: SF Novel: The Baba Yaga
I recently finished The Baba Yaga by Una McCormack and Eric Brown, which takes place in Brown's 'Weird Space' universe. I'd never read any of the two prior ones in the series which were Brown only, but reviews said that was fine, and I was interested in picking up something in a female writer so I dove right in.

It mostly follows two very different female characters- One, Delia Walker, an intelligence analyst trying to push her government to find a way other than uncertain war to deal with a seemingly implacable bizarre foe (the 'Weird'), who's mind-controlling infections make sterilization the safest approach to an incursion, and Maria, a mother on a world that should be safe from attack. When video of an incursion on Maria's world happens, she's sent into flight to avoid being killed as an infection risk, and Walker's left stranded by her government (fired under the BS excuse of an affair with a coworker- normally a not-so-serious infraction, but with the change of the guard enough of a reason) so sets out to find a way to convince the Weird to live peacefully with humanity, searching down the trail of a slight rumor of a world where the Weird landed but didn't attack. Two different women, two different stores.

I liked, though can't say I loved, most of the cast. Walker's definitely the most developed and interesting.

The story does bring a twist or few down the way, which I won't spoil.

Setting wise, Weird Space, with it's human civilization, the 'Expansion,' and it's frontiers beyond with the Weird, plus another alien race, former enemies but now united in fear of the Weird, isn't bad at all, but the aliens weren't as developed as some other recent ones I'd read, and it didn't strike me as having as strongly unique feel as some of the others I've read. Though that may have been just because it focused more about the journey and the mission, than the setting. Which, in it's favor, does mean it's fairly fast pace, but I'm a sucker for setting development. I would've liked to hear a bit more on the wider consequences of actions in the book, but the plot remains focused on the protagonists and a few other characters they encounter.

Rating: B-

It didn't make me fall in love, but that may just be overly high standards and setting addiction (between the Ancillary series, CJ Cherryh's Foreigner, Ryk Spoor's Grand Central Arena, the Quantum Thief... recently I've been awash in great stuff with lotsa setting that focuses on culture and such a lot ^^). It was a solid read I enjoyed throughout, and while it's not going too high on my recs list, I'd consider reading more in the series, and will say if you want a fun novel to pass the time, you could do much worse.

9th August 2015

7:16pm: Players- Update
Remember my recent post on the RPG (Ankoquest) I run, Players... the heck?

Weeeell it seems the player's turn to competence was a false alarm. After first being talked out out of tricking one potential ally to attempt to kill another (who had something they wanted), they decided to negotiate... but weren't willing to provide any gestures of trust, and seem to have lost any sense of urgency. A discussion with one of the players was either an attempt to fish for assurances that these reinforcements were really going to let them win (which, answering would've drained the drama of), or honestly discounting the value of reinforcements because negotiations were hard (or rather, not *difficult*, but required showing the willingness to put something important into their ally's hands. Which they were not- not a great basis for recruiting someone for a life and death battle).

I'm left with the impression that the remaining people in my game simply aren't too interested in fitting the genre, which is all about standing firm to one's way, and using cleverness to overcome great odds.

So, game on hiatus now. Dunno when I'm going to restart it, possibly dependent on finding additional players.

4th August 2015

8:48pm: Zooooo!
For some reason, I have *never* been to the National Zoo- or at least so far back I have no memory of it (which strikes me as unlikely, I have a good memory of places). Despite me going to the Smithsonian really often.

So, Zoo!

For one thing, *free* Zoo. They, like, just let you walk in!

For a second thing, Otters! Asian short-clawed otters. I got to see three of 'em play and swim together for awhile- from really, really close.

A number of small cats, like fisher cats.

The Sea Lion was also quite neat, swimming around under the water. Got to see the Tiger playing with a ball... mostly behind bushes, but still cool ^^

Small mammal place was neat. There was a really energetic Armadillo!

'Amazonia' exhibit had a ton of cool fish. And a bird who did not mind people, like, two feet from it (it stood on the handrail while multiple people took photos).

Food was 'eh'. The main cafe is not the place to eat, next time I'll hit the Panda cafe, which had different stuff.

A lot of the larger animals were sleeping due to heat by the time I got over to their areas- the gorillas for example.

Finishing up, I saw a Sloth Bear eating.

I could spend all day in a zoo soooo easily!

Rating: A, would go again, food's the only problem ^^

1st August 2015

9:49am: The Pizza triangle
The following information is utterly irrelevant, be warned.

Not far from me was an area by an intersection that had two pizza places. Z-Pizza, a small place that was rather good, my go-to place for getting a single slice (and who had an employee who used to drive a decepticon car), and a Pizza Hut in dire need of a refurbish and better maintenance across the way from it (Pizza Hut in general I don't find bad, but they gotta take care of the place!).

Then right near, a new walmart went in, and along with it a new shopping area where, among other things, a new pizza place was added.

However, just a few months later, that one closed down, and less than a month after that, so did *both* of the others!

Thus, I hypothesize that these three places formed a *pizza triangle* and sucked each other into oblivion!

Also right near them is a subs & pizza place, but that doesn't fit with my hypothesis so I chose to ignore it for convenience reasons.

Any questions?

25th July 2015

5:51am: Early early morning hours...
*Loud insects right out the window, me in bed*

Me: 'Ugh, those bugs are so loud, I wonder when they'll stop...'

*Bird makes call, bugs shut up immediately*

Me: 'Fascinating!'


It seems the bugs here know the sound of the first birds is exactly when they need to shut up!

23rd July 2015

11:40pm: Players.... the heck?
Ok, so I run a freeform RPG, 'Ankoquest,' based on Naruto.

I wanted to do a story based more on social-stuff than violence, and warned players in advance what they were getting into... but when push come to shove, they choked. They initiate interactions, then back off when any social obstacle happened. They didn't want to talk with any of the other nobles, or try and exchange information with the clearly-suspicious guy, or what have you.

So I went, "Heck with it. Players, vote if you want me to just drop a big villain on this plot! Unanimous? Good! Big villain it is!"

And now they're trying to social-fu all the surrounding characters into helping them fight the big villain!

Plaaayers, what is with you!
2:06am: Transformers comic stuff
So, 'More Than Meets the Eye 43' reveals that the cast has moved from their space ship, the Lost Light, to the apartment from Friends.

And that's not a joke, there's previews behind the link, it's totally the apartment from friends :)

Meanwhile, in it's sister book (simply titled 'Transformers') issue 43, it's mostly serious, but Laserbeak and Buzzsaw heckle Statler and Waldof style (Muppet old guys!) through most of the book. But they do it while in space, and are still robot birds, and do not live in the Friends apartment.

IDW Transformers comics are pretty interesting ^^

19th July 2015

10:34pm: Endless building dream
In my last dream, I was the member of a small human colony in a giant constructed place of some kind, building in all directions (if you've read the manga Blame!, somewhat like that, though not as vast-seeming), but very colorful, some bits almost like a playground. We knew our local area in every direction, down, up, and so on, and it was colorful building stuff everywhere, and that applied as far as we knew existed.

Endless colorful building dream behind cutCollapse )

16th July 2015

6:16pm: Shoes
Me: "This model of shoe seems to fit great, but it's too small."

Shoe store: "We'll have the next half-size up here in a week!"

Me: "Yay!"

*Next Week*

*Shoe fits right but one feature is now enlarged enough to hit part of food in uncomfortable manner*

Me: "Aggh!"

15th July 2015

7:39pm: Two dreams
I had a dream about Christopher Lee/a scientist running an isolated space colony on a barren planet that begins as a project to perfect humanity, but over the years transforms into an organ-harvesting organization to keep him alive.

I also had another dream where I was playing a pen & paper RPG, based on Star Trek away team missions, and we were selecting characters. I decided to play a 'vampnoodle'- which was a species of felt vampires all like the Count von Count from Sesame Street. Another player chose a centaur-proud-warrior-race type and was having a lot of fun hamming it up when talking backstory, but we never really got past character creation when the dream ended. Still, it was a fun one.
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