# bitstreams

For the winner of the bitstream @dogmaster-312! An adorable strawberry dragon!

10

“So, which part of me did you come from?”

Legends Slipstream

Would you be able to tell me how long someone could survive trapped very close to fire (say, in a wood-burning oven) before being rescued?

Not very long, dearest Hansel. There are a few problems with this situation. I’m going to start off with some warnings, because some readers are sensitive to various topics, and burns are one of those things that make even my veteran ass cringe. So here we are:

## CW: BURNS . CW: GORE . No images, but some nasty descriptions.

First, the air in ovens gets really, really hot. I know that sounds like a really stupid thing to say, because that’s the point of an oven, right? They get hot. But the human airway is designed to inhale gas at anywhere from about 0*F to about 120*F, give or take. Anything higher than that and you start to get inhalation burns.

Now, the nose is a pretty good tool. It’s designed to temperature-moderate and humidify air as it enters the nasal cavity and before it goes down to the delicate tissue of the airway itself. But it can only do so much to cool air.

Freakishly enough, there was a computer modeling of human airway burns at temperature done by some Cornell students, because of course there was. The full paper is here ( https://ecommons.cornell.edu/bitstream/handle/1813/7903/group1.pdf?sequence=1 ), but their conclusion was as follows, with the Kelvin-to-Fahrenheit conversions courtesy of Dr. Google:

We concluded that significant burn starts at around an inhalation air temperature of 358K (85ºC) (185ºF) over a period of 20 seconds. A person can ideally inhale air under 358K  (185ºF) for 20 seconds without sustaining significant tracheal tissue damage. From 358K to 368K (185-203ºF) , the burn increases dramatically at 40.464 mol/K.  For every degree K increase, there is a 40.464 mol increase in the extent of burn of the tracheal tissue. A person inhaling temperatures over 358K  (185ºF) over a period of at least 20 seconds will sustain tracheal tissue damage

For whatever reason, their model was limited to only 20 seconds, which means that even if they were only in the oven for 20s, a character set to bake at  350ºF would still incur inhalation burns.

Why is that important? Because when the airway burns, the airway swells, and it’s possible for the airway to swell so much that it actually swells shut, and your character could die from the edema rather than from the actual thermal burns themselves. Basically, they burn until they swell until they suffocate until they die.

It’s also worth noting that a lot of the actual thermal damage from hot air burns is because of steam, not because of direct hot air; a character in a steamy environment is going to suffer a lot more burns, a lot faster, than a character in a dry environment, because water at the same temperature as air carries a lot more thermal energy that it absorbed in its change from water to steam. So if your Wicked Not-A-Witch (hey, I know a bunch of witches, including @scriptwitchcraft, they’re nice people, don’t judge) has decided to roast them it’s one story, but if it’s a braise kind of a deal or there’s already some broth in there, it’s much, much worse.

Now, part 2: the burns to the rest of the body.

Your character got shoved into an oven, Hansel-style. Respect. Gotta love the gingerbread.

But he’s not gonna just go in there and float, basking in hot air. He’s still subject to that cruel master of us all, gravity. That sucker’s gonna sit on something. And that something is  likely to be metal.

Metal is a terrific conductor of heat, which means it’s also a terrific conductor of burns, because burns are nothing more than heat transferring from something (oven) to something (your character). Any exposed skin in that oven will start to sear, almost immediately.

Now, clothing can be a pretty good contact insulator, especially cotton based items or natural materials, like leather or wool. But synthetics do terrible, terrible things at temperature, like melt and stick to skin, and melt into skin. They also burn and cause toxic byproducts in the air, which get into the lungs and can cause toxicity, though I’m not sure if there’s enough toxic byproduct in a shirt or jacket to cause cardiac arrest from toxic byproducts.

Either way, thermal burns are absolutely awful, and they’ll be almost instant-onset. Consider crawling into a small box, and then think about all the places you would touch that box–with your head, with your hands, your feet, your back, your elbows, your knees. These are all the places your character is likely to suffer burns, or would if they were naked; these are the places synthetic clothing will melt to them.

So the ultimate answer to your question, Anon, is that I have no idea where the survivability curve lies. But I know that a character who’s been thrown into an oven will likely have trouble breathing, will likely have severe burns all over their body, will likely have singed hair, and will likely be in the most excruciating agony you can imagine and then some.

If you choose to go this route, don’t forget that this person has lots of burns in lots of places, including their eyes, their nose, their throat, and their lungs. Don’t forget that they will need a lot of time to recover and a LOT of whatever kind of pain relief can be found, and their lives will still be miserable, especially if this is in the same timeframe as the Hansel and Gretel myth.

All in all, I can’t give you a recipe for a character surviving getting tossed in an oven. I can tell you that inside of 20 seconds their airway will start to burn, and that their burns will be worse if the environment is moist (ie if there’s water or broth in the oven). I can tell you that they’ll have burns all over. But as to an actual survivability chart, dearest Anon, I’m glad to say it doesn’t exist.

Best of luck with your story.

## xoxo, Aunt Scripty

The Script Medic is supported by generous donations on Patreon. Have you considered donating?

I ♥ mathematics

Thanks for all the positive feedback and new ideas! This is why I love the Tumblr math community. Based on your suggestions and remarks, some other designs:

• A heart-filled matrix for linear algebra:

• Cryptography gets a bitstream encoding a heart:

• Complex analysis with a heart-shaped contour integral:

• A logical Boolean circuit:

• Another cardioid for geometry:

Still to do: number theory, algebra, combinatorics, perhaps trigonometry?

2

Hey Kae, what fonts do you usually use for your edits? I've gotten back into graphic design recently but I factory reset my laptop a while ago without keeping a list of my frequently-used fonts, and i've been meaning to get some recs for more anyway. Thank you~

OH MAN I AM THE WORST AT FONTS, I HAVE NO SENSE OF TYPOGRAPHY DESIGN AT ALL *sweats nervously*

Okay but the ones I use mostly in my edits + animations are:

- League Gothic (example)

- Futura (example)

- Fairview (example)

- Bebas Neue (example in the main gifs, not the 3 in betweens)

- I Know a Ghost (example)

- PT Sans Narrow (recent watermark font, example at bottom corners)

Also some cool font sites: dafont, Lost Type, MyFonts, Font Squirrel, The League of Movable Type

This site is also helpful for seeing how your text will look with all the fonts you have on your computer

Another cool font thing is Bitstream, in which you can type in text and choose different styles and it’ll pick different fonts to show you how the text will look like

Since you are an awesome freedom artist, do you create your own fonts or find impactful fonts (that are license free) that you used for your recent works? If possible, what do you suggest to find a bunch of interesting fonts online and what sort of fonts you used right now?

Using free-licensed fonts is indeed very important for individual artists, as commercial font royalties are often calculated by letters and can be extremely expensive. Fonts that come with proprietary operation systems — like Microsoft Windows and Apple OS — are, most likely, also proprietary. You cannot use these fonts to publish your work without paying the license fee, otherwise the owner of the font can sue you for that.

What’s a Free Font?

Free and open-souce fonts are often licensed using SIL Open Font License, sometimes referred to as SIL or OFL. These fonts are free to use, study, modify and distribute. A full list of various of free font licenses (from Open Font Library):

There are 4 primary sources from which I get my free fonts:

1. From the repository of a GNU/Linux distribution

Most GNU/Linux distributions hold a number of basic free fonts that are easy to read, which resembles to those preinstalled in MS Windows. If you are not using GNU/Linux, you can still download them from their websites. I use the following ones more often:

• Liberation fonts (Libreoffice’s default font, good for document)
• DejaVu fonts (arguably the most widely used free font, good for on screen display)
• Droid (Once the default font of Android)

Google maintains a large repository of free and open source fonts. It has a very friendly interface that allows you to type whatever preview text and set the font size you want. It helps you in using those fonts on your website as well.

If you are using Ubuntu or its derivatives, you can use TypeCatcher to make font searching and installing from Google Fonts much easier.

3. From Font Squirrel

Font Squirrel hosts a large number of fonts that free for commercial use, which are not necessarily free-licensed. However, the website has a filter to shows only those fonts with OFL/Apache license.

4. Open Font Library

Open Font Library also hosts a large number of free fonts but the interface is funny so it’s not very easy to find what you want there.

Visit Open Font Library

What are the most likely figures scholars have produced for aztec human sacrifice?

It’s definitely not Harner’s (1977) estimation of 20,000 people a year. He based this figure on his hypothesis that the Aztecs ate people due to a protein deficiency. That somehow the lack of meat from sources like cows, chickens, goats, and sheep necessitated the need to practice cannibalism. We now know that people got more than enough protein by just eating maize and beans supplemented with dog, turkey, fish, wild fowl, lizards, amphibians, and even insects.

The hard part about estimating the amount of sacrifices per year is the lack of documentation by the Aztec coupled with the lack of archaeological data. It isn’t that there is a lack of burials in which we believe that the person was sacrificed, it is a lack of numerous burials as well as firm dating methods. You could have 50 burials in which you believe the people were sacrificed, but when you get the radio carbon dates back from the lab you find out the date ranges for the burials span 500 years. Does that mean 1 sacrifice every 10 years? Are they clustered closer together with larger gaps between sacrifices? How representative is your sample of sacrifices compared to other Aztec sites which have sacrifices? It’s hard to say for any scholar.

I don’t recall coming across any other sacrifice estimate other than Harner’s, but that is in part due to the issues mentioned above. His paper received a lot of flak and many people don’t want to risk the same thing happening to them.

Here is a critique by Ortiz de Montelleno that touches upon some of the issues I mentioned.

A great article by Isaac on Aztec cannibalism

Dodds Pennock has an article on outlining the difficulties of arriving at sacrifice numbers,

Alunni has an interesting article on the romanticism of Aztec sacrifice