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a frog the size of texas

September 25th, 2009

08:28 am - Hostees of mine!

I got word that magatsu.net has been moved to a different server. Hopefully, nothing should be wrong. But check your sites and if anything's wonky, let me know. :)

Crossposted to my Dreamwidth account at http://telophase.dreamwidth.org/1604604.html. You can comment here or there.

08:32 am

Thorin Oakenshield's pitch to Bilbo as a Nigerian scam letter.

Crossposted to my Dreamwidth account at http://telophase.dreamwidth.org/1604803.html. You can comment here or there.

08:54 am - Golden Cloth made from Spider Silk


Note for arachnophobes: there's a photo of two large spiders being held by someone. :)

A rare textile made from the silk of more than a million wild spiders goes on display today at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

To produce this unique golden cloth, 70 people spent four years collecting golden orb spiders from telephone poles in Madagascar, while another dozen workers carefully extracted about 80 feet of silk filament from each of the arachnids. The resulting 11-foot by 4-foot textile is the only large piece of cloth made from natural spider silk existing in the world today.

Crossposted to my Dreamwidth account at http://telophase.dreamwidth.org/1604910.html. You can comment here or there.

02:01 pm - Read this past weekend

Ooku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 1, by Fumi Yoshinaga. The mangaka of Antique Bakery turns her pen to historical fiction with a gender-bending twist: during the Edo period, an illness arises that kills off most of the men in Japan. The manga examines what might happen to society if this was the case, with a focus on the (now female) shogun's inner chambers, now staffed by men instead of women.

The book contains one complete story arc and the beginning of another. In the first one, a beautiful young man enters the Inner Chambers to support his family and encounters politics and treachery. The second story arc begins to cast the net a little more widely, and features the new shogun starting to ask questions about why the government hides the truth about Japan's gender imbalance from the rest of the world.

Ooku is a more serious than Antique Bakery, so if you're looking for a more lighthearted story, this may not be your first choice. My only problem is that the editors chose to portray what I suspect was classical Japanese in the original as slightly archaic English full of thees and thous. And while I didn't catch them using 'thee' and 'thou' incorrectly at any point that I bothered to check*, it still grated on my nerves and the dialogue felt more like that at a RenFaire than that of an imperial court.

But recommended anyway, if you can get past the language.

* "Thee/thou" is intimate, used for those you are close to (and perhaps your social inferiors?) - "you" is formal. People who don't know better at RenFaires and in bad books often screw that up in an attempt to sound Olde Worlde.

Crossposted to my Dreamwidth account at http://telophase.dreamwidth.org/1605204.html. You can comment here or there.
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