Monday, December 31, 2012

Daily Cosplay

Back into the Wild

The adventure we run each week finds the characters back into the frozen wilds. Its easy to forget how utterly cold it is when you have a safe warm place to return to at night. But bedding down, traveling, camping and getting up in this mess for days on end would be mind numbing I think.

Of course if your used to it . . . .

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From Hubble


The Hubble Telescope captured this beauty. Its the star ring of the galaxy 1097. Its a spiral as you can see her arms flung far out into the Darkling Skies. More here.

Post Apocalyptic Worlds

So we could have had really cool cars with cool car chases, and bad ass looking dogs, like this:


Or been fighting machines with really cool sound affects for control of the planet . . .


Some water . . .


Zombies . . .

But instead of battling zombie machines with cool cars and dogs we get this . . .


So That's What they Eat When They Can't Get Hobbit

Its hard to explain, but there is just something wrong about this picture here. That little fellow (who really isn't that little, being it appears, longer than me or you) was already having a bad day and then this.

This took place off the coast of New Zealand.

Full Reddit discussion.

Word of the Day -- Dunderhead

Not literally, but probably metaphorically, thunder head is kin to dunce, or numbskull. From thunder, at some point, we got dunder.  It's thought that a thunder strike would knock you temporarily stunned, or "dumb" and thus the combination of thunder to dunder and head.  So if you are a dunderhead, you are thought to be either dumb or at the very least dumbfounded.  Origin is interestingly not very complete, dating back to the early 17th century.  What is clear, however, is that the word is losing it's power and usage.  It's one of those words we sort of know, but rarely use.  So the next time you see someone acting like a fool, call out to them: "Dunderhead!"  Help us save the word. :-)  Have a Happy New Year's eve everyone, we'll see you in the new year!  Tim

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Daily Cosplay

Life Sustaining Supplies

Here's all you need to survive in this post-apocalyptic world . . . .

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Arnie is Back!

Snow Bound

The party fought a white dragon two weeks past. Last week they spent the entire time attempting to break the treasure free from the dragon's frozen lair. No simple task that, the dragon's magic and penchant for cold led it, as it does all white drakes, to keep his bed frozen, though broken apart so that he could shift and slide down beneath the wreck of it. The cavern itself was so cold that while casting a spell the wizard suffered severe frost bite that led to gangrene and the fileting of his fingers to save them (he was none too amused).

It took them five days at which point a giant pack of werewolves attacked and killed the mostly dead monk, Karagi. So by the time the treasure was removed Ki the ranger was blind in one eye; Braelic's arm had nerve damage (-1 to all actions), Karagi's arm was mangled and broke and he in a coma, Tolvar the wizard lost two fingers.

They have retreated back to the town of Rotenheim to recoup and to safeguard the sister of the mage the made a pact with.

What they will find out of course is the sister road off into the snowy Tar Kiln to finder her now dead brother. Next week should be fun . . . back into the wintery wastes.



Through the Looking Glass

This is just really cool. The concept of the mirror being a gateway to another time, space, dimension or world is fascinating. Stepping through the mirror is an act of pure fantasy. From Legends and Darkness to this . . . .


Friday, December 21, 2012

Daily Cosplay

Ice Age Giants

Animals tend to grow bigger in colder climates as they follow Bergmann's Rule, that being a the larger you are the less surface to volume there is; this means the bigger you are the warmer you are as you can heat yourself faster and more efficiently. So in cold environments, large is optimum. Clearly food sources play into this as well, African animals tend to be large as well, but food source is the primary driver there.

But in the ice age, big was good.

That means Trolls shall Survive!

Speaking of Giants

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Castle Ruins

Here's another nice piece of interest. I think there will be a running battle in the near future that brings them to this end:


Things in Space

Canadian scientists are tracking the long term affects of radiation on astronauts.  Apparently being up and out of the protective shield of he earth exposes the Travelers to all manner of cosmic buffeting. From solar winds carrying the radiation to distant super-novas pounding driving it across the universe and even our own magnetic sphere, where radiation lays trapped the astronauts are under constant pressure.

I'm in!

Handy

A theory has been put forward that proposes the human hand evolved as a fighting tool. This an interesting hypothesis. They theorize the manner in which we can make a fist allows us to buttress the fingers making the hand a potent weapon. Other primates cannot do this. Its an interesting read, you can see the paper here.

The conclusion is quiet entertaining, 

"There appears to be a paradox in the evolution of the human hand. It is arguably our most important anatomical weapon, used to threaten, beat and sometimes kill to resolve a conflict. Yet it is also the part of our musculoskeletal system that crafts and uses delicate tools, plays musical instruments, produces art, conveys complex intentions and emotions, and nurtures.”

There seems to be no paradox. The hand evolved and it has proven a most apt of evolutionary mutation; an appendage that can be used for a weapon and the creation of tools, both important ones and, well, not-so important ones. Hence our ability to thrive for so long.


This does play into my hypotheses that our species is designed to be hunters and fighters, not candlestick makers.

Word of the Day -- Incunabulum


Here's a word all lovers of books in general and fans of C&C in particular will love:  Incunabulum.  It is: simply, a book published before 1501.  Which by itself is interesting enough but when you learn of the etymology of the word, it becomes so much better.  The invention of the mechanized printing press in the 15th century revolutionized the way books were produced, dramatically increasing the number and variety of works to be published and distributed to awaiting readers. "Incunabulum" first appeared in English in the 19th century, referring retroactively to those books produced in the first decades of printing press technology — specifically those printed before the year 1501, a date that appears to have been determined only arbitrarily. In Latin "incunabulum" is singular of "incunabula," which translates literally to "swaddling clothes" or "bands holding the baby in a cradle." The "baby" in this case is a figurative one, referring to a book that was produced when the art of printing was still in its infancy.  Isn't it a grand word?  I love arcane words, especially those dealing with books.  

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Daily Cosplay

Bow Shock

Zeta Ophiuchi is hurling through space. When her companion unraveled, exploding into the Darkling Skies with mind-numbing force the force of his death throes sent Ophiuchi hurling through space at roughly 54000 miles per hour. Tumbling, wildly spinning, Ophiuchi has no home now; until the force of her mate's death spends itself the aggrieved star must hurl through the oblivion.

More on Zeta Ophiuchi.

This is her bow shock, as she pushes gases in front of her:

Dr. Who...Who?


Aihrde Globe

video

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The Horn

There is something about horns. Boromir carries the Horn of Gondon in battle and sounds it when in need. The horns over the fields of Pellinor (Lord of the Rings, ride of the Rohirrim) remain one of the best moments in fantasy literature.

The sound of the horn in the dark lets all know that someone is on watch and they have called. It is the hand in the darkness. On the trail it calls comrades to us to drive the hunt. In times of danger it is the link that binds us.


post script: Apocalypse tomorrow and I have no bloody horn.

Tonight's Adventure

Not sure what's going to happen but the picture clearly needs to take part in the game tonight.

Its not Bilbo!!

This eagle was clearly re-enacting the "Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire" chapter of the Hobbit. Seeing young Bilbo helpless upon the ground he swoops into to rescue him from the giant and her imprisoning basket-of-doom!

Check this out. Pretty wild stuff. You can actually see the kids airborne in the slow-motion portion.


post script: I don't think this is fake. The shadows are dead on, even the shadow of the youngster as he falls......and I would be wrong! Read here! VERY GOOD ANIMATION PROJECT!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Daily Cosplay

Swords in the Snow

Zombies in the Old World

Periodically archeologists unearth bodies with stones jammed in their mouths. This was how, we believe, people believed you kept the dead from returning as the undead. 

How did that get started? 

It probably has nothing to do with the undead. Some Irishman got a little tipsy and boasted he could swallow a rock. He put it in his mouth and couldn't get it back out.

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Dogs

There seem to be few species that work so well together as dogs and homo-sapiens. There are some symbiotic species, where one requires the other to survive, but nothing quiet like the dog/human relationship...maybe the clown fish and sea anomie.

We have archeological evidence for the comradeship dating back about 14000 years. This is a dog burial in Germany, where one was laid to rest with a human. Another, just a dog burial, lies in the wilds of North America at about 11000 years. So speculation places dog/human interaction at about 35000 years ago. This will probably be moved back as the archeological record is never complete and always adjusting itself as new finds are discovered.

Homo-Sapiens have been be-bopping about for about a quarter of a million years, it seems hard to believe that at some point in that long journey some hairy dude was sitting on a rock gnawing on a rabbit leg, looking at a smattering of wild dogs and resisted the urge to toss the dog a bone.

But whoever did that, whenever they did it. Thank you!