onyxhawke: (Default)
( Nov. 25th, 2008 05:02 am)
It always pays to study your history, I've been heard to mutter that those who don't learn their history are doomed to keep stepping in it. There are less charitable and polite versions, but the point stand. It is sometimes easier to project the future based on past events. A conversation with several friends about the possibility of a certain highly populated nation invading a nearby sparsely populated one and the values of both quantity and quality brought this video:
(note crude language, and STTOS level graphics)

And mention of the battle for the Philippines.

True, the video has one or two deviations from reality, and the Marianas Turkey Shoot won't have any exact analogues in anyones fiction, but both do provide food for thought.

As a follow on to yesterday's post I've got a couple books to recommend. I may have mentioned some of these before, some are pretty basic, some are a bit further afield.

The Encyclopedia of Eastern Mythology. ISBN0754800695
Great guide to the deities, legends, and more of the eastern world. The cover price was $40 when i bought it and i consider that a pretty low price for its quality. It has a good number of illustrations, and parses gods, demons and heroes.It tells you what areas a deity was worshiped in and lists relationships where appropriate.

The Icon and the Axe James H Billington. It's a huge, thick Russian history book that goes from the formative period to the fall of communism. It's not the most readable history text ever, but far from the worst. If you can' get a decent grasp of Russian history reading this there's not much anyone can do for you.

Adolescence. Laurence Steinberg.This is a psychology text that covers a lot of the theory, practice and research on adolescent psychology. It leans slightly towards behavioral theory but has strong biological credentials. I've got the seventh edition, i doubt for most writers there will be much difference between it and the sixth both are probably available on Ebay/Half or elsewhere.

DSM-IV-TR. This is the encyclopedia of mental health used across disciplines. the DSM 5 is expected out soon (and has been for three years) and this should be enough to make any mental health writing solid.

Family Names and their story. S. Baring-Gould. It covers the family names of a lot of the northern European area. It has some interesting anecdotes and goes into nicknames as well.

Africana. Appiah & Gates. ISBN 046500711 It covers pretty much everything with a heavy African influence that has happened since the African diaspora. It's huge and expensive. The version i got is i believe out of print, and i doubt anyone will want to part with theirs. The one i have is the original version is oversized and more than 2000 pages. It has ethnic groups, various African cities, celebrities. The list goes on and on. There are a couple other versions available.

The Good War. Studs Terkel. This is a collection of oral histories from people who lived through WW2. It has soldiers from more than one nation, nurses, people detained in the "Japanese" prisoner camps in the US. It's fascinating.

Two Years Before the Mast. Richard Henry Dana Jr. Good information about what was going on and what the world was like during Dana's time. Not really a thrilling read except for the information.

Got any you'd like to share?

The human mind is capable of doing amazing things. When you think of if, it's rather amazing we haven't made more technological advances. The first airplane was designed without the aid of computers, and the general principles of aerodynamics are not much changed since that time. Someone decided that the funny stuff growing in a petri dish might make a real good medicine, and it has. Both of these were the results of specialized thinking. General thinking though is what has lead to the far ranging works of Leonardo da Vinci and his contributions not just to art, but to engineering, mathematics, botany and more. Ben Franklin was another generalist contributing in social and physical sciences.
cut for length and pics ).
<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/LU8DDYz68kM&hl=en"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/LU8DDYz68kM&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

Not entirely on topic, but a great real life example of why medieval armies (lions) and mercenaries (croc's) were careful of how far they pushed peasants (buffalo).
While I'm skeptical of anything that doesn't have a decent amount of evidence to support it, there are reports out of Senegal that our Chimpanzee cousins are using tools. Spears specifically to hunt other primates. My question is why only other primates?

And nothing says I love you like wine, flowers and song? Well, the boto way of making song seems to be a touch different than the human one. Given that they are a species of river dolphin this is hardly surprising. I wonder if any of these guys have a MySpace page?
onyxhawke: (Default)
( Feb. 11th, 2008 09:50 pm)
I was talking to a writer friend tonight about him doing a new character. I asked him what he knew about his character? This ties in really well with some of the points that Laura Gilman, myself and others made at Arisia about building characters because the more you know about your characters, the better you can write them. I asked a the people in the audience who were curious to imagine their character standing in the corner. And then picture them: Are they standing on one foot, if so, which foot? Are they standing with their arms crossed? Leaning against a wall?
Here are some of the questions I asked my friend that are probably applicable to more than just the UF we were discussing:

so how did said character become a werewolf? (insert vampire, cavalryman, mage, space mercenary)
what's his favorite weapon?
Is he a loner or part of a pack?
Is he a loaner thats been forced into or out of a pack?
Where's he from?
What makes him laugh?
What does he regret?
What does he do on his day off?

Other questions that might be useful:
What do they do for work?
What if any faith do they have?
What's their family like?
What's their relationship with their family like?
What do they like most and or least about themselves?

While you may never put all of this information into the story, knowing that your main character is an avid hockey fan mean you know they're likely to get or make jokes about tripping over the blueline, or make a sports analogy to explain something instead of a political one or a car one.
onyxhawke: (Default)
( Feb. 7th, 2008 10:44 pm)
Work Reward by Intelligent Thorough Execution.
onyxhawke: (Default)
( Dec. 1st, 2007 11:07 pm)
Interesting article on the brain, autism, and Asperger's.

How the grey and white wrinkly lump works.

Trippy brains.

What do you mean brain dead?

Brain repair!

Male brain, female brain, your brain my brain, wow brain (pdf), [Bad username or unknown identity: defending the brain,  no brain.]
onyxhawke: (Default)
( Nov. 15th, 2007 09:25 am)
Sometimes i honestly feel as if a lot of the slush, and published stuff I've seen was written in this way. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zc1Js9P3urw


onyxhawke: (Default)


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags