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October 31st, 2010 06:22 pm - Sola scriptura, sola fide, sola gratia
Ah. Of course I wore my voice out the day before Reformation Sunday, when we sing all the good old traditional hymns.

Anyway, to make me less depressed after listening to Pastor's Reformation Day sermon, which was all about the deeply disappointing way the ELCA is (slowly, politely, quietly) attempting to schism itself over the issue of same-sex partnerships (which our Churchwide Assembly decided they approved of last year), here is an embed of the video our Presiding Bishop posted as part of the It Gets Better project, which [personal profile] beatrice_otter linked to a few days ago:
Video + transcript )
And, wow, I'd never really thought about the fact that Lutheran pastors have a specifically recognizable style, but it is so very painfully obvious what denomination he's from even without the intro. Which is to say: it's not by any means a perfect statement, but I am *so proud* of my Bishop for deciding to join the project, especially given the way his Church is spasming over it right now, and the cultural Lutheran more that you avoid divisiveness at all cost.


...oh, is there another holiday on 31 October? Sorry, you know how tunnel-vision us Christians can get about other folks' holidays. :P

I have very specific tastes when it comes to horror, I have come to realize.

The horror I find nicely shivery brings in a few particular factors: the unseen monster and the unknown fate; the incomprehensible but malignant outsider sentience; and the shift of ordinary things and places into sudden objects of fear.

The first horror-y fiction I ever read that I actually both found scary and liked was the classic fantasy novel The Face In The Frost, by John Bellairs. It's a short novel which combines parody/humor, classic quest fantasy with evil wizards, and that sort of deep horror of the mundane and unknowable. It stars two wizards named Prospero (but not the one you're thinking of) and Roger Bacon (also not the one you're thinking of) as they try to stop Melichus (a old schoomate of Prospero's) from evoking a formless, all-encompassing alien evil out of a mysterious book.

The book was clearly inspired by the Voynich manuscript, a deeply creepy Medieval book full of drawings of cyborg women, strangely biological-looking circle diagrams, and alien plants, which is written in a mysterious script that has never been decrypted. Melichus' book from The Face in the Frost is very similar, but it is finally read - by Melichus - after he discovers that, when you study the book obsessively, sleeplessly, compulsively, staring only at the pages of the book until all the rest of the world seems unreal - suddenly it wavers into something readable. Something alive, strange, something that wobbles between not quite real and too real to exist, but readable.

I've always wanted to mock up some pages of the book, properly bespelled, and since I finally found my stylus, I drew them for All Hallows. Here it is, a two-page spread from Melichus's evil book:
a two-column layout that looks like it's from a medieval manuscript, with intricate and creepy drawings of plants, circle diagrams, and naked women in plumbing all around the margins. The text is in an alphabet that is strangely familiar, but not one you know.
And yes, if you figure out how to read it properly, it really does decrypt by itself, one slow letter at a time, alive and wavering but readable, like the evil book in the story: there is proper magic in it.

The plaintext I used was a nonsense poem from later in the book. The marginals are directly inspired by the Voynich manuscript - luckily the artist of the Voynich wasn't a particularly good draftsman either.

If you figure it out or try try and fail, let me know? I've never really tested this method on anyone else, so I'd love to know how well it works. Anybody posting a full decryption within the next few days gets their comment screened, but discussion of methods is strongly encouraged. :D

ETA: If you want to know how this encryption works, [personal profile] siegeofangels worked out the cheating decryption method, and I give the rest of it away in comments to her entry.

(24 comments | Reply)

March 9th, 2010 08:45 pm - Where did I put my roller skates?
Alternating between reading Bujold fic and Winter Olympics RPS has me wanting a story about elite-level Zero-Gravity Athletics competition. The Extra-Atmospheric Olympic Committees require that ZG athletes spend at least thirty percent of their time in more than .5g, which is of course the source of much shenanigans, angst and H/C.

Also, I think one of the main characters of the story started their career as an Abolympic competitor (that's a sort of "special" competition limited to people who use no or only minor biomodifications, chemical enhancements or technological augmentation; the real competitors think of it as kind of the cute little sibling, but it has a rabid following of its own, 'rabid' often being the operative term). As a result of a major practice injury last season, said character was disqualified from the Abolympics, and made the unusual choice of moving to standard competition rather than retiring, and is having a lot of trouble fitting in. Being kind of an asshole isn't helping. The other main character is one of the only elite-level XA athletes to have grown up on an actual planet and gets a lot of crap about it (incluing constant suspicion that XA judges are biased against planetaries), but refuses to be anything but sparkly and peppy and is the favorite of nearly all the planetary fans who follow XA sport. Character also actually enjoys having to spend time in grav (despite having the same ostopenia and asthenia adaptation difficulties that are common to ZG athletes), and whenever there's a competition near a settled planet is constantly trying to get fellow athletes to go snowboarding and ice-skating.

...that would actually slot right in to my existing space opera universe. And the established FTL physics I have there would add the extra layer that anyone competing in intersystem leagues would have chosen to accept the temporal isolation that comes with regular relativistic accelaration... The Galactic Olympics are held every four years standardized time, but most of the athletes on the competition circuit would've only aged about two-three years in that time - and another regulation is that they are *required* to have at least 18 months subjective time between Olympic entries.

>_< I am going to spend the next few days writing this story in my head, I can tell. LIKE I NEEDED ANOTHER STORY TO WRITE. Somebody else offer to pick up the bunny, please, so I don't have to??

(19 comments | Reply)

June 16th, 2008 12:21 am
So rather than going home, packing some, working up a real con report and doing the follow-up stuff I promised, I went to [journalfen.net profile] stellar_dust's apartment and she mixed us both Sonic Screwdrivers and we watched DW 4x10 and Torchwood (Meat) while I taught myself how to tie cherry stems in knots with my tongue. (It seems like a useful skill.)

DW was generally good, and we spent about ten minutes afterward being annoying-sisters to each other in one of the traditional ways, but it was *creepy* this time (seriously, I bet all the mothers in Great Britain are cursing RTD by now) but OMG, Rusty, spoiler )

Meat was awesome, my first actual Torchwood ep after lurking the fandom for two years, and Rhys rocks, and I agree with sister (and Jack!!) that Rhys and Jack have mad, mad UST and need to do something about it STAT, preferably with Gwen in the middle and Ianto and Owen off having sex somewhere else, because OMG.

I remember the reaction when the episode first aired - the old-school macros, the anti-gwen panic - but am I the *only* Torchwood fan who's read enough bad Highlander fic to immediately realize why immortal Jack was so determined to give that story a happy ending? God, talk about nightmares, and I hope it never comes out that it actually *did* happen to him (or, bad thought but knowing Jack, he *volunteered* for it.)

So anyway sister also downloaded a bunch of John Barrowman singing showtunes which I need to steal off her hard drive and then bed. But first, for my own memory, list of fics I was told I needed to write while at the con:
Read more... )

(13 comments | Reply)

October 23rd, 2007 09:54 pm - Stuff.
Fandoms you should never, ever get confused with each other:
MASH and Supernatural.
('Ah, it's the famous Winchester stamina,' he says, and I blink.)
I bet Sam and Dean totally have a Great-Uncle Charles up in New England somewhere that Dad never talks about except they went there that once when the thunderbird ripped Sam's leg open all the way down and Uncle Charles sighed and moaned and wrinkled his nose a lot, and then fixed it.

Two things I wouldn't care about at all if it weren't for certain people on my flist:
The Red Sox are going to the Series! wOOt!!
(I wonder if I'll have my multifandom Baseball AUs recs set ready to post for the start of Game One tomorrow?)
Ronnie O'Sullivan lost! Waaaah!!
(I wonder if anyone ever has written a snooker AU. --Lust Over Pendle totally doesn't count, no matter how sexy Neville was bent over a table with a cue.)

Gilgamesh the king of Uruk invented a ball game once, according to the Sumerian story "Bilgames and the Underworld". He cut down a possessed tree to make a bed for Inanna, and with the leftover wood made the equipment for the game. Then the game became so popular among the young men that the women they were ignoring got angry and kicked the equipment into the netherworld, so Gilgamesh's manly life partner Enkidu volunteered to go down and get it back, but Enkidu didn't follow instructions and got stuck down there, and Gilgamesh had to make a deal to let him hitchhike along with the sun-chariot the next day to get him back to the light.

To which I have several reactions:
1. Man, the Gilgamesh stories were much cooler before somebody went and turned them into a tragic epic.
2. So very, very manly.
3. What is this game? How was it played? HOW CAN I PUT IT IN MY NANO?
4. When (and where) on Earth did Gilgamesh meet up with Hunahpu? And which of them was more gay?(Has anyone investigated similarities between Old Sumerian and Quiche?)

Current Music:: stairway to heaven

(2 comments | Reply)

June 15th, 2007 10:53 pm
I think I'm officially a grown-up now. I went to a baseball game and instead of rooting for it to go into extra innings, I rooted for it to end half-an-inning early so I could go home and get on the internet go to sleep.

Also there were fireworks afterward. And now I really really want to see the Singapore sequence of AWE again. :(

(1 comment | Reply)

March 6th, 2006 07:41 pm - i just keep it for the ticks.
Yay, sister blogged so I don't have to!
Two pictures of me from our walk by the river: In Which I am a Dryad; In Which I am a Nazgul.
Other pictures from Saturday are up at her scrapbook, here. Don't follow the link in her entry, it is wrong, wrong, wrong! q-: I have some more pictures from the train ride down to her place; I may get around to putting them up eventually.

Let's see. In other news, I am still three days behind in my Lent reading, and did not entirely succeed in keeping the laptop closed today (although I *mostly* suceeded;) I only got home fifteen minutes ago and have two short essays to write for tomorrow; and on the ride home this afternoon, the sword&sorcery NaNo novel I started for my first time - three years ago - the one where each of the main characters is more gender-confused than the last - suddenly returned and started eating my brain.

And now I apparently have to eat my dinner before it gets cold, go down by the fire where it's warm, and
prepare to watch [livejournal.com profile] stellar_dust's imaginary boyfriend. My life is so hard.

ETA: Okay, tonight's Digging for the Truth was actually pretty darn good. It probably helps that I have long had a massive geek-crush on Teotihuacan, though. And I now *desperately* want to find some actual evidence that BSG's Pyramid/Triad is related to the ball game. I have believed this since I first saw a Pyramid court, I just don't have anything to back up my instinctual conviction. Possibly because the continuity of Pyramid is even more bollixed up than the continuity of Sabacc. (Okay, apparently the original game of Triad has some clear resemblance to the post-classical ball game. I should make my sister loan me her tape of that episode, since I already borrowed-without-permission her copy of the Popul Vuh.)

Current Mood:: [mood icon] exanimate

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