Miriam Joy (Author)
Writer of mythology-inspired urban fantasy and action/adventure novels about sarcastic modern-day knights. Reader of books, dancer of ballet, singer of songs, and blogger of an eclectic combination of things, usually relating to mythology, history, language, books, or social issues. Also swords.
Situated on the eastern border of Turkey, across the Akhurian River from Armenia, lies the empty, crumbling site of the once-great metropolis of Ani, known as “the city of a thousand and one churches.” Founded more than 1,600 years ago, Ani was situated on several trade routes, and grew to become a walled city of more than 100,000 residents by the 11th century. In the centuries that followed, Ani and the surrounding region were conquered hundreds of times — Byzantine emperors, Ottoman Turks, Armenians, nomadic Kurds, Georgians, and Russians claimed and reclaimed the area, repeatedly attacking and chasing out residents. By the 1300s, Ani was in steep decline, and it was completely abandoned by the 1700s. Rediscovered and romanticized in the 19th century, the city had a brief moment of fame, only to be closed off by World War I and the later events of the Armenian Genocide that left the region an empty, militarized no-man’s land. The ruins crumbled at the hands of many: looters, vandals, Turks who tried to eliminate Armenian history from the area, clumsy archaeological digs, well-intentioned people who made poor attempts at restoration, and Mother Nature herself.
According to the laws of physics, a planet in the shape of a doughnut (toroid) could exist. Physicist Anders Sandberg says that such planets would have very short nights and days, an arid outer equator, twilight polar regions, moons in strange orbits and regions with very different gravity and seasons.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1kPLXGT via io9
petition to turn the earth into a fucking doughnut
THE STORY POTENTIAL FOR THIS IS AMAZING YOU COULD HAVE TWO ENTIRELY DIFFERENT CIVILIZATIONS SEPARATED BY DESERT ON THE OUTSIDE AND AN PERMANENT NIGHT-WINTER ON THE INSIDE
YOU COULD (WITH A LITTLE FUDGING ON TIDES OR SOME STABILIZATION FORCE) HAVE MOONS THAT GO THROUGH THE FUCKING HOLE, WITH LUNAR-POWERED SORCERERS LIVING ON THE INNER EQUATOR IN GIANT ICE CASTLES WAITING FOR THE TIME OF THE MONTH WHEN THE MOON ILLUMINATES THE ETERNAL NIGHTTIME AND THEIR SPELLS HAVE THE MOST POWER
YOU COULD HAVE ENTIRELY DIFFERENT SPECIES THAT EVOLVED ON OPPOSITE SIDES WHO ARE BASICALLY ALIENS ON THE SAME PLANET AND WHOEVER CROSSES THE GIANT DESERT OR ARCTIC CIRCLE (HEH) MAKES FIRST CONTACT
THIS IS SO COOL
THIS IS SO COOL
I WANT TO RUN FIFTY THOUSAND GAMES ON WORLDS LIKE THIS HOLY FUCK
THIS JUST IN IF I’M UNDERSTANDING THE MAGNETIC FIELDS CORRECTLY I THINK THE ETERNAL NIGHT ICE REALM WILL HAVE NEAR-CONSTANT ELECTRICAL STORMS
Re-reblogging for the additional stuff.
this is the coolest article oh wow
guys. GUYS. Part of the world would have eternal winter, part would have eternal summer, the seasons would be weird as fuck, gods only know what could evolve in different parts of the world…
i’m fairly certain that there’s a star trek: voyager episode about something like this
Does anybody want to talk to me about their experiences running a wordpress.ORG website? I’m thinking of switching (from .com) and would like some opinions.
Dear white people,
I don’t think you’re getting the joke. The joke is that white people don’t, in fact, get described like that. White skin gets described with terms like “tanned” and “pale,” terms that in this context are understood to just refer to the range of skin colors of white people. These descriptors are self-referential and rely on people understanding what white skin looks like, instead of scrabbling for comparisons to objects the readers are familiar with. All terms for describing white skin boil down to “it’s this specific subtype of white person skin color”. As I showed in my last post, none of the actual objects that light skin is compared to are literal matches for skin color, and nobody seems very interested in hunting down exact matches for white people’s skin color. And that’s if authors even bother to describe white people’s skin in the first place. White skin is often assumed to be the default, and race or skin color is only noted when it deviates from the “default”.
The skin of people of color is often described in excruciating detail, and as N.K. Jemisin points out, is often "described in terms of the goods that drove, and still drive, the slave trade - coffee, chocolate, brown sugar". I’ve seen books where the authors barely mention that most of their characters are white, let alone describe their specific skin tones, but lavishly describe skin of their characters of color, making sure to specify the exact shade of brown by comparing them to inanimate objects. Wood. Earth. Spices. Chocolate. Coffee.
There are no words to describe dark skin as skin itself, just as there are no words to describe light skin as objects. The skin of characters of color can be described with elaborate coffee order descriptions specifying the amount of milk, the flavor of coffee, the exact spices sprinkled on top, detailing their skin color so thoroughly you can practically go out and buy a bucket of paint in that exact shade, and readers don’t even blink. People read a description of a white person’s skin as “tanned” and consider that accurate enough. People read my description of eggshell-colored white skin and giggle.
Sure, it’s a funny post, but there’s a reason it’s funny. It’s not an earnest list of writing recommendations, nor is it racism against white people. It’s mocking a widespread inequality in the descriptions of white people and people of color. Part of the point of my post was providing a vocabulary for describing white skin, so everyone can indulge in silly descriptions as a form of revenge against the ubiquitous invisibility of whiteness in writing. And part of my point was that there isn’t a vocabulary for describing white skin, and that it isn’t described. And let’s think about why it isn’t described. White skin is unmarked. White skin is default. White skin is invisible.
White people, I think you’re missing the point of the exercise here. The point isn’t to give you cute, special new names to describe your skin color. The point is to show you that your skin doesn’t even have a vocabulary to describe its color because it is considered the standard color for skin. It’s an exercise in white privilege to read that post and go “wow, I’m glad we have this vocabulary too!” instead of “shit, we get described very differently from brown people, don’t we?” Sure, it’s a funny post. But it has a point.
And now, for a random example off my bookshelf, to drive the point home: Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine. Not that it’s particularly egregious or a bad book, but it’s a pretty good example of how this shit works.
Descriptions of white people’s skin:
"You looked like a china doll, with a white ribbon in your black hair, and your cheeks red from excitement."
"They each had tawny curls and swarthy skin."
"Her face was a pasty white with twin spots of rouge on the cheeks."
Descriptions of the skin of people of color:
"Her skin was the color of cinnamon with a tint of raspberry in her cheeks."
P.S. You should probably read the rest of the posts on describing characters of color in N.K. Jemisin’s sidebar. They’re really good, and struck a chord with a lot of people.
A 2500 year old mummy that had some amazing tattoos.
NO FUCKING WAY.
YO HOLD ON.
IT GETS BETTER.
This mummy, found in the Altai mountains of Siberia, is actually that of a young woman who died at about the age of twenty-five; she is thought to have been a member of the Pazyryk tribe.
She was buried with six horses and two similarly-tattooed men (the horned griffon that decorates her shoulder also appears on the man buried closest to her, covering most of his right side), possibly escorts. She was also wearing a horse-hair wig, silk, and elaborate boots, which is all a level of ceremony that would have likely only been accorded to a woman of high rank. You didn’t get inked like this unless you were very important, and had worked your way up to that importance.
…Hence, of course, the references to her by researchers as ‘The Ukok Princess,’ although due to the lack of weapons in her grave they have concluded that the woman was in fact a healer or a storyteller.
And now I’m all consumed with curiosity: Who was she? What amazing things did she accomplish? Why these symbols, and what did they mean? Who were the two men alongside her?
The most informative article about it can be found here, although I would completely eat up any other information you guys could find.
Power struggles seem to be omnipresent in every field of human endeavor, extending all the way up and down society. We assume that power has a certain reality. Apart from comic books, where Superman has the power to fly, the only power real human beings have is the power they think they have. You see that sometimes in the collapse of a society. Why did the Soviet Union fall? Because one day the Kremlin gave orders and the soldiers said no, and the whole thing fell apart. It’s a fundamental truth that I think Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. , hit on, that power depends on the obedience of the less powerful. A leader is powerful only when he says jump and people jump. He has no actual power to make them jump. It’s their belief that he has power. It’s an illusion, a shadow on the wall. And sometimes people stop jumping, and then the world changes.
“they tackled heavy topics, such as death, loneliness, and sacrifice in a deep, honest, raw, and beautiful way. I was constantly underlining passages in the book because they were so breathtaking”
“Crossroads Poetry is full of dark imagery that is executed brilliantly, with free verse and a vast vocabulary. As a lover of words, this put a smile on my face.”
“Yes, there’s some dark stuff written about, but surprisingly there was the opposite as well. It seems, to me, a varied collection written beautifully, with some real heart felt moments along the way. My advice would be to remember this author, as she is going places.”
The reviews that have been left on Amazon for Crossroads Poetry make me very happy! Shoutout to these readers, who are awesome. :)
Happy World Book Day, Tumblrites!