"As a person of faith, I find writing bloody carnage to be a real challenge because it directly contradicts my own core values. Therefore, it seems odd if not ridiculous for an ordained Baptist pastor to be writing a book about a cold-blooded killer—unless the book is less about glorifying the two-dimensional narrative and devaluing of human life in favor of making the book about the consequences of violence and the ultimate toll that lifestyle takes on you." -- Christopher James Priest
"Deathstroke by Priest and Pagulayan will be the smartest and most nuanced approach to the character you've ever seen." -- Editor Alex Antone
( Read more... )
Mitigating factors: he is sick with a cold this week; he hasn't been sleeping well; it's his first class of the day.
The good news so far: he's only struggling to complete his work in that one class, according to his aide. After social studies, he has P.E. and Math; the rest of his classes are after lunch.
Anxiety levels through the roof as the social studies teacher said, "I don't want to punish him, but..." Also he called me Mrs., which got my hackles up. Respect shown to women should not be qualified by apparent age or martial status; I always use Ms. and have come to expect the same from others. However, this is the first time Will has had a male teacher and I don't want to antagonize him by going Full Metal Feminist on his ass... at least, not immediately.
So I spent 3-4 hours this afternoon problem-solving with Will and writing emails to the social studies teacher and the IEP aide. Then I went to bed early because fuck this. Of course now I'm awake again, but hopefully not for long.
I remember Arletta from the email lists and loops in '97 or so, when I still counted Light Cousin among my subsidiary affiliations. Long ago and far away. I remember that she once wrote an FK fanfic in the form of a script and convinced her drama group — I don't remember whether this was community theater, or a club, or a class — to perform it. I remember that she shared David Eddings's conviction about not reading in the genre in which one writes; she's the only fan I've ever known to take that approach.
Thanks to the wonderful language-themed radio series A Way With Words, who give a justified hat tip to Atlas Obscura, we’re led to an article by Robert E. Johnson about “An Extension of Oregon Sawmill Sign Language”. (Current Anthropology 18(2):353-354, 1977.)
On JSTOR, you can read it for free if you register.
In my dissertation I refer to Meissner and Philpott’s slightly earlier work on PNW sawmill sign languages, which gives a visual lexicon of many dozens of signs.
Johnson’s stuff is new to me, and I’d be intrigued to track down the two additional articles of his listed in its bibliography.
For the moment, I’m just enjoying learning more about non-oral pidgin languages, of which our region had several. (Aside from the gestures widely, if shallowly, documented as having accompanied Chinook Jargon.)
Happy listening and reading!
After centuries of dormancy, Mount Vesuvius erupts in southern Italy, devastating the prosperous Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and killing thousands. The cities, buried under a thick layer of volcanic material and mud, were never rebuilt and largely forgotten in the course of history. In the 18th century, Pompeii and Herculaneum were rediscovered and excavated, providing an unprecedented archaeological record of the everyday life of an ancient civilization, startlingly preserved in sudden death.
The ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum thrived near the base of Mount Vesuvius at the Bay of Naples. In the time of the early Roman Empire, 20,000 people lived in Pompeii, including merchants, manufacturers, and farmers who exploited the rich soil of the region with numerous vineyards and orchards. None suspected that the black fertile earth was the legacy of earlier eruptions of Mount Vesuvius. Herculaneum was a city of 5,000 and a favorite summer destination for rich Romans. Named for the mythic hero Hercules, Herculaneum housed opulent villas and grand Roman baths. Gambling artifacts found in Herculaneum and a brothel unearthed in Pompeii attest to the decadent nature of the cities. There were smaller resort communities in the area as well, such as the quiet little town of Stabiae.
At noon on August 24, 79 A.D., this pleasure and prosperity came to an end when the peak of Mount Vesuvius exploded, propelling a 10-mile mushroom cloud of ash and pumice into the stratosphere. For the next 12 hours, volcanic ash and a hail of pumice stones up to 3 inches in diameter showered Pompeii, forcing the city’s occupants to flee in terror. Some 2,000 people stayed in Pompeii, holed up in cellars or stone structures, hoping to wait out the eruption.
A westerly wind protected Herculaneum from the initial stage of the eruption, but then a giant cloud of hot ash and gas surged down the western flank of Vesuvius, engulfing the city and burning or asphyxiating all who remained. This lethal cloud was followed by a flood of volcanic mud and rock, burying the city.
The people who remained in Pompeii were killed on the morning of August 25 when a cloud of toxic gas poured into the city, suffocating all that remained. A flow of rock and ash followed, collapsing roofs and walls and burying the dead.
Much of what we know about the eruption comes from an account by Pliny the Younger, who was staying west along the Bay of Naples when Vesuvius exploded. In two letters to the historian Tacitus, he told of how “people covered their heads with pillows, the only defense against a shower of stones,” and of how “a dark and horrible cloud charged with combustible matter suddenly broke and set forth. Some bewailed their own fate. Others prayed to die.” Pliny, only 17 at the time, escaped the catastrophe and later became a noted Roman writer and administrator. His uncle, Pliny the Elder, was less lucky. Pliny the Elder, a celebrated naturalist, at the time of the eruption was the commander of the Roman fleet in the Bay of Naples. After Vesuvius exploded, he took his boats across the bay to Stabiae, to investigate the eruption and reassure terrified citizens. After going ashore, he was overcome by toxic gas and died.
According to Pliny the Younger’s account, the eruption lasted 18 hours. Pompeii was buried under 14 to 17 feet of ash and pumice, and the nearby seacoast was drastically changed. Herculaneum was buried under more than 60 feet of mud and volcanic material. Some residents of Pompeii later returned to dig out their destroyed homes and salvage their valuables, but many treasures were left and then forgotten.
In the 18th century, a well digger unearthed a marble statue on the site of Herculaneum. The local government excavated some other valuable art objects, but the project was abandoned. In 1748, a farmer found traces of Pompeii beneath his vineyard. Since then, excavations have gone on nearly without interruption until the present. In 1927, the Italian government resumed the excavation of Herculaneum, retrieving numerous art treasures, including bronze and marble statues and paintings.
The remains of 2,000 men, women, and children were found at Pompeii. After perishing from asphyxiation, their bodies were covered with ash that hardened and preserved the outline of their bodies. Later, their bodies decomposed to skeletal remains, leaving a kind of plaster mold behind. Archaeologists who found these molds filled the hollows with plaster, revealing in grim detail the death pose of the victims of Vesuvius. The rest of the city is likewise frozen in time, and ordinary objects that tell the story of everyday life in Pompeii are as valuable to archaeologists as the great unearthed statues and frescoes. It was not until 1982 that the first human remains were found at Herculaneum, and these hundreds of skeletons bear ghastly burn marks that testifies to horrifying deaths.
Today, Mount Vesuvius is the only active volcano on the European mainland. Its last eruption was in 1944 and its last major eruption was in 1631. Another eruption is expected in the near future, would could be devastating for the 700,000 people who live in the “death zones” around Vesuvius.
The theme is games and gaming. Originally I thought that Sumo wrestling would be a fine sport for Oprah Whinny (AKA Whoa Nelly), but when I went to get her particulars, I found that her legs were just too short and skinny. I'm sure she has enough fun doing the Talk Circuit in all the large cities in Equestria that she doesn't really have time to train for Sumo wrestling.
Transparent spidery lines do bring out the details, but this sketch isn't really Scribbler material. Not worth experimenting on.
So the Hugo awards were given out a few days ago, generally awesomely, and the long-list came out immediately after, as it does, and once again, it appears that I would have made the ballot if not for the weird ballot-stuffing hijinks that have been going on for a couple years.
And honestly, I wouldn't have said anything, but a couple people have expressed their sympathy, very cautiously, and it occurred to me that maybe I should say something to forestall concerns, because people may think it's a sore bit.
So--no, really, I'm cool.
1) I was in Ireland having the time of my life. I glanced at the results to see if...well, okay, to see if Chuck Tingle had won, I'll be honest, and saw links and clicked and said "oh, look, Wooden Feathers...uh, let's see, math, so if...ah. Well, goddammit."
And I waved it at Kevin, who looked at it, and uttered some variation on "Goddammit."
And then we went back to being in Ireland and having the time of our lives, because Ireland.
2) Naomi Kritzer's story rocked and her win was absolutely well-deserved.
3) Look, the shiny rocket ship is shiny and the big plastic cube full of planets is shiny (and also sets off airport security like WHOA) but that's not the real prize. It's awesome, but it's the symbol, not the prize. You could go buy a trophy if you really want something else to dust.
The real prize on any literary award is that a bunch of readers and writers thought your stuff deserved to stand with the best stuff of the year. And I totally got that. Wooden Feathers got the votes of a whole bunch of people who thought it deserved recognition. I feel the love! And the love, for me, is the important bit at this point, because:
4) I've still already got one. The buff still doesn't stack. I'm already fairly well known in my weird little field. It won't impact my career the way it might somebody else's. Other people definitely have the right to be upset, but for me, it seems a bit churlish to demand more.
And, of course, the really important one...
5) I'm 39. My first major sale was a little over nine years ago. In writing terms, I'm still so wet behind the ears that I can sustain a breeding population of newts in my scalp.
And I've already written a bunch of stuff. I have readers whom I love and am grateful for, and who have somehow not run screaming into the night yet. I will very likely keep writing until my hands go or my mind goes or I am killed in a freak gardening accident, and if the gods of words are kind, I will write a great many stories between now and then. And some will rock and some will suck and a couple will probably be profoundly baffling, and maybe a couple will even be great.
So, y'know. To those future stories, whatever they may be.
Nothing doing. Apparently that song is about the evils of peer pressure. It took me five minutes to stop laughing.