Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Some Beach, Somewhere

When Did Mr. Hand Come to Be

It would seem that we haven't quite pin pointed when homo sapiens developed precision use with thumb and forefinger...meaning, they can put pressure there. Our neighbors the chimpanzees cannot manage this. Anthropologists have tied it to tool use or climbing trees or both. Tool use appears way before homo sapiens wander on the scene, so its hard to say when it was.

The bone adjusts quickly to new uses...you can see this in archers... so the transition may have been very rapid.

Word of the Day -- Blizzard

A blizzard is a severe snowstorm characterized by strong sustained winds of at least 56 km/h (35 mph) and lasting for a prolonged period of time—typically three hours or more. A ground blizzard is a weather condition where snow is not falling but loose snow on the ground is lifted and blown by strong winds.

In the United States, the National Weather Service defines a blizzard as a severe snowstorm characterized by strong winds causing blowing snow that results in low visibilities. The difference between a blizzard and a snowstorm is the strength of the wind, not the amount of snow. To be a blizzard, a snow storm must have sustained winds or frequent gusts that are greater than or equal to 56 km/h (35 mph) with blowing or drifting snow which reduces visibility to 400 m or 0.25 mi or less and must last for a prolonged period of time—typically three hours or more.

A view outside Tim's window this morning:


Armor Up (Khalgrim Gunnarson)

Movie Trailer 2 ~ Green Inferno

Walking with the Walkers

I finally read the first installment of the Walking Dead. I bought the hardcover version which is like the first 7 graphic novels or some such. Its very good. Interestingly, its so different than the show that I didn't feel that the two interfered with each other. Its almost as if it is two different stores in the same universe.

Very refreshing.

Of course I'm a huge fan of the show, one of the best, if not the best TV shows I've every watched (that's my thunking clearly as it doesn't appeal to everyone). And I've been very hesitant to read the graphic novels as I didn't want one to get me all warped over the other.

It didn't happen. Very refreshing.

The Warlord

From my favorite comic book as a youngster. I have all these issues piled around here somewhere . . . the Warlord.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Daily Cosplay

Asteroid Coming By

Some time  Monday an1800 foot wide chunk of the solar system's early debris field will fly by earth. It will pass just on the outside of the moon's distance from earth and be the closes big rock to pass in quite a while. 

You should be able to see with binoculars or a decent telescope.

Why is it when I read about this I immediately wanted to play Asteroids?

Under Ice Fish

They shown again that creatures can live in environments that we can't...which always seems to be a surprise to the internet narrators (I know longer believe that any of this is a surprise to biologists or astro-physicist (because if it is, they should be fired).

They have found life a half mile under the antarctic ice sheet. What this means for Europa? There a half way decent chance that there is life out there.

Movie Trailer 2 ~ Monsters Dark Continent

Armor Up (Warrior Priest)

Finally!! Scooby Doo Meets....

The legos! 

Lego has announced a full like up of Scooby Do lego sets, including that fantastic Mystery Machine, the characters and a haunted house. This comes with a 30 minute tv show to boot. 

Scheduled for release this August!!!

Now that's scrooby crack baby.

Word of the Day -- Notaphily

Notaphily is the study and collection of paper currency, and banknotes. A notaphilist is a collector of banknotes, paper money, or plastic notes.

It is believed that people have been collecting paper money for as long as it has been in use. While people began collecting paper currency more systematically in the 1940s, the turning point occurred in the 1970s when notaphily was established as a separate area by collectors. The term was devised in this decade by a group of employees working for the collectors and investements firm Stanley Gibbons, in a successful attempt to formalize and encourage interest in the area.

At the same time, some developed countries such as the USA, Germany and France began publishing their respective national catalogs of paper money, which represented major points of reference literature.

In 1961, The International Bank Note Society, (IBNS), was formed as an international association of banknote collectors. Nowadays it has thousands of members from around the world. The IBNS publishes the quarterly IBNS Journal, holds regular mail bid auctions, and promotes lectures at congresses.

Here some Grull Action

This actually looks like any good earth elemental!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Daily Cosplay (Yoko)

Mount Austrien and the All Father

Al-Erde, the All Father, fashioned the first people upon the slopes of Mount Austerien in the Arnhul mountains. As is written:

Erde labored long and hard upon his forges, pounding upon the substance of creation. At first he could not shape his vision and he became angry and his anger fired the forge. He used his tools and lit the embers of desire with the Language and tried to force the shape he saw. But this did not work as he intended. He shook the stuff in His hands, shaping it into molds, but the molds, once set became hard and would not change. He bellowed at the iron and stone that served him, for it was unyielding. He raged against it and his voice rent the heavens, drawing lightening and thunder down upon the world, the echos of which remained ever after in places far and away, returning at times in raging storms. In this way lightening came and it spoiled the gentle rains; from that day to this, as often as not, the echoes of the All Father's rage carried through the heavens, unleashed in thunder-clad bolts and winds that turned to deadly storms. ~ The Andanuth

I've never actually conceptualized Al-Erde as a human male with beard. His is a description a little different.

When I saw the picture in the following blog post, I finally saw the All Father in his labors upon the mountain.

Imaginarium ~ the All Father

Supergirl Joins the Fray

CBS has announced who is to play Supergirl in the upcoming TV series of the same name. Melissa Benoist of Glee fame is set to take up the role of one of the coolest super heroines of all time. The character has been cast in a variety of roles and guises, with different personalities, but always as a confident, generally happy character...refreshing from the stereotypical "I doubt myself super hero."

Ms. Benoist looks like she has the looks to do it!

Can't wait.

Weapon of the Day - Urumi

This is a sweet weapon. One has to see it in action to believe it. The is a 'sword' though I might call it a metal whip. The blade of the urumi is constructed of flexible steel such that the blade is in motion like a whip when used. It has a hilt with a cross guard. It is very difficult to master and is used similar to a flail (though requires less energy). There can be a single blade or numerous blades. The Sri Lankan version had 32 blades.

I would imagine there is a great chance of injuring oneself when using this unless very well trained.

and video

Armor Up (Slavic Warrior)

This guy is just too cool.


I've been out of the classroom for awhile but have been sort of following the transition from BC to BCE and AD to CE. It was first brought to my attention while working on the Crusader Journal, a friend of mine Joe Wolz, was writing a history article and used the BCE designator. I've not paid much attention to it as most of the history I read do not use it.

CE is Common Era and replaces AD.
BCE is Before Common Era and replaces BC.

I'm not sure any of it is necessary as the years stay the same, though it is thought that some people may object to the AD, which stands for Anno Domini, The Year of Our Lord, a reference to Jesus.

But really, if they are going to revise it they need to revise the whole damn thing (make 10s of millions of books almost impossible to use) and pick some point in the world's history that was really cool and start from there as year 1.

I vote for the founding of Sparta. Why? Because they beat the tar out of everyone and looked really, really cool doing it.

Movie Trailer ~ Wild Card

Word of the Day -- Spats

Spats, a shortening of spatterdashes, or spatter guards are a type of classic footwear accessory for outdoor wear, covering the instep and the ankle.

Spats were primarily worn by men, and less commonly by women, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They fell out of frequent usage during the 1920s. Made of white cloth, grey or brown felt material, spats buttoned around the ankle. Their intended practical purpose was to protect shoes and socks from mud or rain but this footwear also served as a feature of stylish dress in accordance with the fashions of the period.

Increased informality may have been the primary reason for the decline in the wearing of spats. In 1923 King George V opened the Chelsea Flower Show, an important event in the London Season, wearing a frock coat, gray top hat and spats. By 1926 the King shocked the public by wearing a black morning coat instead of a frock coat (a small but significant change). This arguably helped speed the Frock coat's demise (although it was still being worn on the eve of the Second World War). Spats were another clothing accessory left off by the King in 1926. Interestingly it is said that the moment this was observed and commented on by the spectators it produced an immediate reaction; the ground beneath the bushes was littered with discarded spats.

By the mid 1930s high topped shoes and spats were regarded as being very old fashioned "The high
Senator Sumner wearing spats and Longfellow
topped shoes your grandpa used to creak around in" although the same newspaper report from 1936 predicts the return of spats amongst fashionable men despite "Observing that in recent years well-dressed men have been discarding spats because they have become the property of the rank and file." This seems to indicate another reason for their decline.

The third reason is probably the most significant, and the most prosaic - once western city streets became cleaner; due to the replacement of horses by cars and the use of asphalt and concrete - there simply was much less filth about and consequently much less need for "spatterdashs". Although some elderly men continued to wear them into the 1950s as part of their business garb since the second war the wearing of Spats seems to have been confined to places like the Royal Enclosure at Ascot or very fancy private weddings.

From Mass Effect