Fantasist's Scroll

Fun, Fiction and Strange Things from the Desk of the Fantasist.


Why so quiet

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Oh, boy, where to start.

Well, first, let me say that I probably just won’t be posting for a bit. My wife left me last week Sunday, right before Thanksgiving, and we’ll be getting a divorce. So, that’s going to be taking a lot of my time and energy, which will leave little left over for the blog.
Second, I’m afraid that I might say some things that are legally innapropriate considering my current marital situation, so, again, not a good idea to post anything for a bit.

Not sure how long it will take to get this resolved, but, when I do, I’ll start posting again.

Thank you for your support. If you’re the praying kind, keep me in your prayers.


Conlangs and Generators

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Dog which is in the evening time.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Hey, look, new stuff!

Okay, so my life has been a little crazy the past couple of weeks and I haven’t been posting too much new stuff. Well, there’s a person I know from several lists on-line who was so inspired by my conlang generators that he made his own. His name is Nikhil Sinha, and one of his websites is Azukania. Also, a direct link to his PERL word generator is here. For more information about Azgen, Nikhil’s word generator you can go to his Azgen Information Page.
Great work, Nikhil! We need more people making word generators out there!


DaVinci the Roboticist

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

The ultimate genius.

I have long admired the genius that was DaVinci. He did a little bit of everything and he did it all so very, very well. An artist and an inventor and now, it seems, a bit of an entertainer, too.
This story on Wired examines another aspect of Leonardo’s genius: robots. More accurately, automata. Think of Disney’s animatronics in the Middle Ages. These drawings, which have been long interpreted as some kind of spring-powered “car”, were drawn and presumably built in roughly 1478. Their modern recreation, painstakingly recontructed from numerous drawings and sketchs, have produced a a cart that runs along a predetermined path. A path that can be changed based on gears and other settings within the device itself. In other words, a Middle Ages robot.

Now, there’s got to be some great ideas for fantasy worlds and stories in that! And, it’s a great article. Check it out.


Early Man Earlier than we thought?

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Here are two stories to make you think.

First, there’s the story about the archeological dig in South Carolina that may provide evidence that early man migrated to North America as much as 25,000 years earlier than originally believed. It could change everything we believe about the early migration of primative humans. At first blush, that may not sound like a big deal, but it really is.

Secondly, there’s the story about a recently discovered “new” ape fossil that may be the so-called missing link. The creature that made this fossil may be the earliest known, not to mention closest, ancestor to both modern apes and modern man. Of course, this is very controversial and may not be true, after all, the science of hominid evolution is very, very speculative due to it’s nature. It’s not a living process that we can actually observe in real-time. Still, it does provide more information and a whole lot of food for thought.

Anyway, it seemed like a pair of interesting, inter-related, stories. Enjoy!


Museum of Future Invetions

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

No, this is not something out of the back pages of Wired.

It’s a real thing being put together by the DaVinci Institute, called, yes, the Museum of Future Inventions. Their idea is simple, actually, dedicate a museum to future technologies that haven’t been actually invented yet with the hope that someone will be inspired to make them reality. I don’t know if it will actually work, but it sure sounds like a fun museum to visit! In any case, anything that promotes hope for future generations is all right in my book!

And, what the heck, it’s Friday, so go check it out.


Cell Phone Localization

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

You’d think this belongs on my other blog, which is tech oriented, but…

Well, okay, it probably belongs there, too. Wired News ran this story about the efforts of researchers to localize cell phones for Ethiopia last week. It’s interesting to me for a number of reasons.
First, there’s the “alphabet”, which is actually a syllabary. It’s got over 300 characters and is nothing at all like the Roman alphabet. (You can see what it looks like at A bit of a challenge for the English-speaking cell phone designers!
Second, it’s a fascinating look at the way technology effects us and the way we effect technology. The goal was to get SMS into the hands of farmers who could use it for communication and weather prediction to better manager their crops.
Thirdly, it’s a look at a section of the world that I hear about all too little. Africa is most likely the birth-place of man, or at least the tribe of man from which modern Europeans descended, but it seems so primative by our, oh, so refined Western standards.

In short, it was a very interesting look at an aspect of life that I rarely see. How will all that change in the future? Where will it all end up? How much will situations like that be the norm out on space colonies, if we ever get them? Language and technology make for very interesting idea combonations. There’s lots of stories there.


Euphemism Generator

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is a New Moon

I always love a good random generator.

God knows, I’ve needed a good laugh the past week or two, so when I found the Euphemism Generator, I knew I’d hit gold. Of course, it mainly generates sexual euphemisms, but it does have others and, in any case, it’s a laugh riot! Most of them are a little bit off, if you know what I mean, but some of them are so dead funny that I thought I was going to spit my coffee all over my monitor.

Anyway, it’s Friday and you deserve a laugh, too, no matter who you are, so click the link.


Review: Code of Bushido

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is a New Moon

The male version of the “bodice ripper”.

Let me preface this review with the simple statement that this is: a) Not the kind of book I usually read, b) There is almost nothing about real “bushido” in the book, and c) Was purchased at a used book store for less than a dollar. Okay, I admit that I was looking for something different, and not too challenging to read, but I was hoping for more.
I finished Code of Bushido by Don Pendelton this week. This is from a series of “men’s fiction” (no, that’s not a euphemism for pornography!) called SuperBolan, which is named after the main character, Mack Bolan. It’s about as low-brow as you can get and still be reading books that don’t have illustrations.
The characterisation is weak and the rest of the writing is worse. Everyone is a giant characature of actual characters. Mack Bolan is a stereotypical, steely-eyed, tough-guy fighting a shadow war against terrorists for the CIA. He’s the ultimate dark hero. A professional killer who’s out there killing the bad guys and keeping America safe. Yes, it’s really that heavy-handed.

But, setting all that aside. It was entertaining. Entertaining in the same way that, say, a Sylvester Stalone movie is. Lots of action, a little mostly bad dialog and not much else. But, I didn’t have to think about it. It was what it was. There wasn’t any really deep social message here, just action and lots of it. So, it was an oddly soothing change of pace for me. The only really annoying thing was the totally wrong presentation of bushido and traditional Japanese culture. This author has obviously never read anything about bushido, or any of the traditional martial arts, or even talked to anyone with more than a passing interest in Japanese culture.
So, while I can’t reccomend this book in all good conscience, if you’re in the mood for mindless mayhem and a break from anything too heavy, this might just get the job done.

But, to counter the “low-brow-ness” of Code of Bushido, I started reading The Science of Words. Nothing like some good linguistics to wash the filth off!

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