pictograph


How astonishing it is that language can almost mean,
and frightening that it does not quite. Love, we say,
God, we say, Rome and Michiko, we write, and the words
Get it wrong. We say bread and it means according
to which nation. French has no word for home,
and we have no word for strict pleasure. A people
in northern India is dying out because their ancient
tongue has no words for endearment. I dream of lost
vocabularies that might express some of what
we no longer can. Maybe the Etruscan texts would
finally explain why the couples on their tombs
are smiling. And maybe not. When the thousands
of mysterious Sumerian tablets were translated,
they seemed to be business records. But what if they
are poems or psalms? My joy is the same as twelve
Ethiopian goats standing silent in the morning light.
O Lord, thou art slabs of salt and ingots of copper,
as grand as ripe barley lithe under the wind’s labor.
Her breasts are six white oxen loaded with bolts
of long-fibered Egyptian cotton. My love is a hundred
pitchers of honey. Shiploads of thuya are what
my body wants to say to your body. Giraffes are this
desire in the dark. Perhaps the spiral Minoan script
is not a language but a map. What we feel most has
no name but amber, archers, cinnamon, horses and birds


Jack Gilbert - The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart

Image:  Early Sumerian pictograph



The ruins in New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon are some of the most well-preserved remnants of the Ancestral Pueblan civilization in the Four Corners area of the southwest. But tucked in a small canyon, painted on a rock overhang are these strange pictographs. One is a clear depiction of a human hand, but the other two are thought to show the crescent moon alongside a star that went nova on July 4th, 1054. 

This event would have been noticeable and spectacular–the brightness of a supernova is such that it can be seen in the daytime and even outshine the moon itself, making the night sky appear eerily bright. It was seen all around the world, and matches similar depictions seen in every inhabited place on Earth at the time. And on that night, the moon was indeed in the waning crescent phase.

Today, although the bright supernova is no longer lighting up the sky, we now know it as the Crab Nebula.  

You have five seconds. Five seconds and then you need to walk out of here and smile and laugh like nothing is wrong. Five seconds alone in this bathroom stall.

Five seconds.

One.
They kissed. Play it over and over again in your head. The edge of the window obscured only what you could fill in anyway. They kissed, and that’s the end of it. No last-ditch attempts, no alternate endings. He is in love with her, and he kissed her, not you. You watched from the sidelines, just like you always do. You thought you were in the game but you’ve been benched all season, playing holograms and recordings and pictographs of memories.
For this second, embrace that rawness. He kissed her and it hurts because she isn’t you.

Two.

I know you want to argue, that you’re doing it right now. You’re making excuses and adding in ‘but what ifs.’ After all, you didn’t actually see it. Maybe your eyes played tricks on you. Maybe it wasn’t what you saw.
You want to say, but what about two days ago? What about the things he said, the way he looked at me? At just me.
It doesn’t matter what he says. It doesn’t matter how you think he felt. It doesn’t matter who you think he wants, it matters who he’s with.
And he is with her. Not you.

Three.

You were wrong about everything. Admit it. Own up to your dreams that got in the way of reality, acknowledge the danger of overanalysis. He makes you feel like home, but if he’s home, why does it feel like he just scraped out your insides?
And not for the first time. You feel hollow–cling to this. Maybe he is where your heart is, maybe he is your heart. Maybe he is everything to you, but you’re not to him. If you were, he wouldn’t have kissed her.

Four.

Remember all those things, one last time. After this, they are gone. They have to be gone. It’s the only way you’re going to survive. Remember the first time you met him and you knew you were going to fall in love with him and you knew it was going to break your heart. You always saw this coming. Deep down, you’ve just been waiting for the blow to fall.

Five.


I don’t know if you’re going to love anyone else. I don’t know if distance will finally solve what proximity cannot touch. I don’t know if you’re ever gonna really forget how much this hurts.
But one day, it will stop hurting. I promise

Look in the mirror, take a deep breath, and smile.
You are beautiful, you are brave. You love without regard for the consequences, and that is one of the best things about you.
You have amazing friends and a whole summer with them ahead of you.
Don’t miss out on that because you’re sad about him.
You are going to live through this, and you’re going to be better.

Walk out of here and don’t let them see those five seconds. Life’s too short to get all weak-kneed over some fuckboy who doesn’t care.

—  “Five Seconds in a Bathroom Stall”
5

Breaking news: famed curse-breaker Dean Thomas has joined private firm Madcap Curse Breakers

Dean Thomas Joins Madcap Curse Breakers

Once chiefly known for having fought alongside Harry Potter in the Battle of Hogwarts, the past decade has seen Thomas build a name for himself in the dangerous and profitable field of curse-breaking. 

Having graduated from the Cairo Institute of Magical Art and Architecture with a First Class Hons. degree in Ancient Art, Thomas went on to work as curse-breaker for Gringotts Wizarding Bank for six years. He then spent two years dragon-wrangling in the ancient tombs of Egypt and China, in what was initially intended as a brief sabbatical.

Upon his return to the UK in 2007, he published his findings in the prestigious Journal of Ancient Curse-Breaking, which led to a high-profile interview in Magi-Archaeology Quarterly. This then resulted in a job offer from iconic magi-archaeology scholar Hercules Hurta; Thomas joined his team to work on translation of Etruscan runes and magical pictographs. He stayed there for three years.

It is rumoured that Blaise Zabini offered him a job at Greengrass and Zabini, but Thomas turned it down for the wider clientele and job scope at Madcap. 

The Madcap headquarters are located two blocks away from Seamus Finnigan’s famous tavern in Camden. According to a local source, Thomas has permanently relocated to the lodgings above the expanded premises, and often instigates raucous shut-ins on Thursday nights. These events have become so popular that tickets are now sold in advance. 

More 21st century wizarding here

For the anons who wanted something on Dean, who was always a personal fave of mine!

Body language vs Pheromones

More humans are weird: we are super into body language as a species. Like, we’re so into body language that we created cute pictograms to insert into our otherwise non-pictographic language specifically to add facial expressions to text communication. Which in and of its self is super cool. Most species have some form of this, like mating dances etc, but most of them also have pheromones to go with it. We do to, but we aren’t very good at sensing them or at least picking up that we’re sensing them. We rely on visual cues as our primary form of none-oral communication. So what if aliens are more pheromonal? Their body language is secondary to their chemical communication, so for instance they have a harder time flirting with someone across the room because they can’t smell/taste them. An alien and a human watch one of their friends at the bar interacting and the human say “we aren’t getting our drinks for a while, looks like Claire found herself a catch” and the alien is confused because how can you tell if she’s interested from across the room. You can see it on her face of course. Or! We describe some pheromonal cues visually, like when we describe pregnant women as glowing.
Human ‘Preeya looks amazing right now’
Alien ‘She seems rather tired right now actually’
Human 'Well, yeah, carrying a baby is hard, but she’s got that pregnant glow’
Alien (concerned) 'Do humans produce bioluminescence when they are pregnant? That was not in the books! She does not appear any brighter’
Human 'What no not literally, it’s just.. idk a thing pregnant women have. Like an aura of life’
Alien 'Oh you mean her pheromones. Got it.’
Human 'What? I can’t smell anything.’
Or
Human Mike returns to ship after unsuccessful night at the bars
Mike: Hey guys I’m baaaaaack (slightly drunk singing)
Caro Lyssan: Hah, struck out huh?
Mike: What? Yeah this Caro chick was all over me one sec and then the Cupid Shuffle came on and when I started dancing to it she looked really grossed out and left. How could you tell?
Lyssan: You have rejection stink all over you man. Take a shower it’s making me sad
(The Cupid Shuffle is highly offensive in at least six cultures because shuffles are considered to be highly vulgar, similar to hip thrusting on earth)

Hegman Lake Pictograph

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hegman_Lake_Pictograph

The Hegman Lake Pictographs are a well-preserved example of a Native American pictograph, located on North Hegman Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota, USA. The rock art is considered “perhaps the most visited and photogenic pictograph within the State of Minnesota.” The rock wall overlooking the lake has a panel of images as described below.

From “Interpreting the Pictographs of North Hegman Lake”, Kevin L. Callahan:

The panel shows a human figure in an outstretched arms posture standing near a quadruped animal with a long tail, possibly a dog or wolf, and a remarkably well drawn bull moose with splayed hooves and dew claws. (A dew claw on a moose is a reduced hind toe or the false rudimentary hoof above the true hoof .) Beneath these figures is a long horizontal line, probably representing the ground or horizon, and above the human figure are two vertical rows of short horizontal lines or dashes. One set has 4 lines and next to it are 3 lines. Above and to the right are what look like three canoes. The top two canoes have two paddlers and the third has a faint single one in the middle. Above the moose’s rack is a single mark. Above all of these figures is a large cross like a “plus” sign.

충사/Mushishi Vocabulary

Originally posted by dezaki

I’m finally reading Mushishi in Korean, and am going to share some of the best/most important vocab found in each story. This is an amazing manga/anime (one of the only ones I’m into) and I hope there are other people who enjoy it/will gain interest in it~


녹색의 연회- Green Banquet (Green Seat)

불길하다- ominous/foreboding

꺼림칙하다- uncomfortable/leery/uneasy

기괴하다- strange/mysterious/bizarre/odd

흔하다- common(place)

여겨지다- considered/regarded

품다-bear/harbor/carry

녀석- guy/fellow

선명하다- vivid/distinct

선천적으로- inherently/naturally/by nature

젠장- hell/damn/dang

상형문자- pictographs/hieroglyphics

수다스럽다- talkative

먹물- (Chinese/India) ink

거절하다- refuse/reject/deny

창조하다- create/make

경이롭다- wonderful/marvelous/extraordinary

존재- existence

애매하다- vague/ambiguous/indefinite

정체- identity

감지하다- preceive/sense

환각- hallucination

환상- illusion/fantasy

조종하다- manipulate

사소하다- trivial/minor/insignificant

휑하다- deserted/empty/lonesome

달맞이- moon viewing/watching

시건방지다- cocky/cheeky

뻔뻔하다- shameless/brazen

중단하다- interrupt/halt

쪼개하다-split

저물다- grow/get dark

감시하다- watch (over)/observe/monitor

샘솟다- surge/well up

스며들다- permeate/soak through

불가피하다- inevitable/unavoidable

Barbarian Week: Barbaric Magic Items!

These are some new homebrew magic items that work especially well for the barbarians in your D&D group! Happy barbarian week, everyone! (I tried to stay away from straight-up weapons, opting for things that either work off of a barbarian’s rage ability, play to a barbarian’s strengths, or give more HP rather than AC)


Cleaving Weapon

Rare, any slashing weapon

Such weapons have a thick blade, almost like a guillotine. They are outfitted with heavy duty iron chains grafted to the blade and hooked onto the haft or hilt. After killing an enemy with a Cleaving Weapon, you can make an additional free melee attack with it against an adjacent enemy at a -5 penalty to attack.

Greater Cleaving Weapon

Very Rare, any slashing weapon

After killing an enemy with a Greater Cleaving Weapon, you can make an additional free melee attack with it against an adjacent enemy at a -2 penalty to attack.

Karmic Weapon

Very Rare, any melee weapon, requires attunement

This weapon usually has a hand guard with wicked bone spines jutting out of it. Its hilt or haft is wrapped with stingray skin leather. Whenever a creature successfully lands a melee attack against you, if that creature is in your threatened area, you may use your reaction to make a melee attack against that creature with your Karmic Weapon.

Mask of Focused Fury

Uncommon, head, requires attunement by a barbarian

This mask is a magically treated elk skull. It does not have antlers but streams of fire jet out of the two spots where antlers would normally go, and only while the wearer is raging. While enraged, if you are attuned to this mask and are subjected to a WIS saving throw, you may end your rage early using your reaction to gain a bonus on the saving throw equal to your proficiency modifier. Once you use this item, it cannot be used again until you finish a long rest.

Helm of the Mad Gods

Very Rare, head, requires attunement by a barbarian

This spangenhelm looks to be magically shaped several strips of metal twisted together. The rivets seem to shift like metallic eyes. While raging, roll an additional damage die whenever you roll for damage. The target of each of your attacks is determined randomly. Only creatures within a radius equal to your movement speed centered on you are eligible to be attacked, and you will move if necessary to attempt to attack such creatures. If there is only one creature within this range you have a 25% chance to attack at imaginary enemies, completely ignoring other creatures for that round. This does not end your rage prematurely.

Torc of Restoration

Rare, arm, requires attunement by a barbarian

This armband of woven gold can be used once a day as a bonus action to remove a condition currently afflicting you or else heal you for 4d4+4 HP. Using this ability expends one daily use of your rage.

Sash of Ceaseless Furor

Uncommon, waist, requires attunement

This woolen cloth belt is red with an orange pattern that looks like dragon scales. You may use this sash to enter a barbarian rage for one minute once per day as a free action. If you are a barbarian, this rage lasts for two minutes instead and expends a use of your rage as normal.

Maul of Havoc

Rare, any martial bludgeoning weapon, requires attunement by a barbarian

Most Mauls of Havoc are blessed by Kord and are made of a heavy metal with his holy symbol somewhere prominent on the business end. The weapon always proves to be a lot heavier than it looks. It is actually testing its potential wielders, becoming lighter for those that can successfully lift it. This weapon is treated as a +1 magic weapon. You can expend a daily use of your rage ability to deal a bonus 6d10 force damage when attacking an unattended, nonmagical object.

Oil of Blunting Blows

Rare, oil

This thick paste is an ocher color with green flecks in it. It smells strongly of troll sweat. When you apply this oil to your skin, a process taking about one minute, you gain 30 temporary hit points that fade after two hours or after you have taken over 30 damage.

Harness of the Boar

Very Rare, torso, requires attunement by a barbarian

These mystic leather straps and belts are inscribed with pictographs from some lost civilization. While wearing the harness, if you are reduced to zero HP during a rage, you continue to fight. However, you must attack the nearest creature each round, even if it is an ally. If there is more than one possible target, you must roll randomly. You continue to roll a Death saving throw each round as you normally would while at 0 HP. If you stabilize, you gain one level of exhaustion and fall unconscious.

Rings of Shared Temper

Rare, finger, requires attunement by two creatures.

This pair of rings come clasped together. They each look like two pieces of Arborean wood woven together, either grown that way or through magical means. While two creatures are each wearing one of these two rings and are attuned to them, they empathically share their strongest emotions. One wearer can make an Insight check against the other’s CHA check to determine how the other is feeling at any given moment. Strong emotions may not require a check at the discretion of the DM. Most notably, when a barbarian attuned to one ring enters a rage while another creature is wearing and attuned to the other ring, that creature also enters a rage. The creature may attempt a DC 16 WIS saving throw to resist the effect.

Vest of the Owlbear

Very Rare, torso, requires attunement

This thick vest has large feathers on the openings for the arms and head and is fitted with bone clasps. A creature wearing this owlbear leather vest has their maximum hit point total increased by 15. Once per day, the wearer can cast Enhance Ability on themselves, choosing Bear’s Endurance.

Blade of the Falling Star

Legendary, requires attunement

This sword is a wide, rectangular blade with a thick barbed point facing the enemy. Upon it is engraved the epic tale of a celestial that fell from the heavens to the material plane to offer their guidance in times of dire need. When you speak the celestial’s name, it shimmers a baby blue. This weapon is treated as a +2 greatsword. A creature attuned to this weapon deals +2d4 Radiant damage on attacks with the weapon while they have less than half of their maximum hit point total.

Emblem of Fire

Very Rare, chest, requires attunement by a barbarian

This golden brooch is emblazoned with rubies cut to look like fire. When you enter a rage, the rubies glow hot and red. You may use a bonus action to cast Fire Shield on yourself.

Gauntlets of Titangrip

Rare, hands, requires attunement

These hefty mitts are made of a secret gray dwarven iron and are carved with runes on the backhand and palms. The knuckles are embellished with stout talons. When you grapple a creature that is at least one size category larger than you, they cannot choose to automatically escape your grapple. When grappling a creature that is equal to your size category, you gain +2 to the roll.

Emoticon

Emoticons are picture messages created by using punctation marks, letters and numbers. They are used in similar scenarios as emojis but are made in a much basic form, by simply using characters already on the keyboard. Here are some common emoticons:

  • :)
  • ;)
  • :0
  • :’(
  • >:(
  • :*
  • :-)

In Western culture the emoticons are written, to be read with your tilted to the left. In Japan another style of emoticon is used known as kaomoji which is to be read with your head level with the sentence and not tilted to any side. Some popular Kaomoji are:

  • ( ^ ω ^)
  • (─‿‿─)
  • ヽ(・∀・)ノ 
  •   ( ̄ω ̄) 
  •   (◕‿◕) 
  • (〃^▽^〃)
  •   \( ̄▽ ̄)/ 

The word originates from the two English words ‘emotion’ and ‘icon’ and are commonly used in forums, messengers/SMS Text and online PC games. 

8

Last year, we went on a one-night camping trip late winter, but no one checked the forecast… It was a lovely sunny day (top two pictures) involving a river crossing, Aboriginal pictographs, and nice views. But the next morning, we woke up to a surprise dumping of snow (next four pictures). Brr! Crossing the river on the way back was veeery cold. The last two pictures show the abrupt overnight change haha.

Emoji

Emoji are electronic messages that consist of small smileys and images such as emotions, objects, weather and animals. The word ‘Emoji’ derives from two Japanese characters; ‘ 絵’ meaning picture and ‘ 文字’  meaning character. Meaning emoji roughly translates into picture character which nicely describes what emoji are and what they’re used for.

Most people believe the misconception that emoji is based of the word emotion. But instead Emoji originated from Japanese mobile phones that made use of extra unicode values to use to create emojis. 

They became internationally popular after Apple added them to their keyboard on the iPhone and then soon after, Android also chose to include them.

The first emoji was made in 1999 by Shigetaka Kurita who was part of the working team at i-mode mobile internet platform. The first emoji were heavily inspired by the weather symbols used on news forecasts. In 2010 the emoji were incorporated with Unicode.

My favorite emoji is the 🤦‍♂️ (Man face-palming), due to its resemblance to myself and I think the expression has a wide range of scenarios to be used making it a very versatile emoji.

Adolph Gottlieb
Composition
1955
Oil on canvas
72 x 60”

“Different times require different images. Today when our aspirations have been reduced to a desperate attempt to escape from evil, and times are out of joint, our obsessive, subterranean and pictographic images are the expression of the neurosis which is our reality. To my mind certain so-called abstraction is not abstraction at all. On the contrary, it is the realism of our time.” 

– Adolph Gottlieb