edg: (Writing III)
So here's the thing: I'm wondering if it's worthwhile to put creative work on this journal.

The obvious goal of putting my work on this journal is to get feedback, and by and large, that doesn't happen. I get one or two people commenting at most, and usually it's not even that. (I do appreciate the comments I get, though!) The people who read this journal don't seem particularly interested in my ability to be creative; or if they are, they don't seem particularly interested in letting me know that they are.

It's important, too, that I'm not looking exclusively for praise here. I generally don't have a very high opinion of my own work, and I don't expect anyone else too either. When I post something I've created here, I don't expect anyone to blow sunshine up my ass; in fact, I'd almost rather have negative comments than squeeing. I would say that what I'm really looking for is evidence that you're interested, but I'd really even rather get "this is boring" than silence.

But what I'm getting is silence, for the most part. When I put my creative work on this journal, it doesn't fulfill the stated goal of getting feedback, and, as far as I can tell, it's not even being entertaining for most of you. The end result is that I'm left wondering whether I should keep doing it.

I don't know the answer, but I am feeling pretty discouraged.
edg: (Disappointed)
I get strange images in my head when I'm reading well-written fiction and waiting for laundry to dry.

I part my left hand's fingers and look through cautiously. Regan has transferred her murderous gaze to me, and Katherine has paused mid-stroke, the match and the box still clutched in her fingers. I can see the ropes around Regan's waist and the gag around her mouth -- and, barely, the paper stuck haphazardly into her socks, over her slacks.

My girlfriend's eyes narrow to slits, and I just shake my head, pick up the satchel that fell from my left hand, and take a drag off the cigarette in my right. "Well, at least she's got the theory down..."


I would really like to see this scene drawn, but I don't have the skill for it...

Writing

Nov. 30th, 2005 06:52 pm
edg: (Writing)
I can't focus on the paper that's due Friday. I know I have to; but I can't. I am helped, though, by knowing that it's 5-10 pages plus illustrations, not 10-12 pages plus.

In the meantime, I'm going to post one of the poems I wrote for my Poetry class (handed in this morning).

Read more... )
edg: (Writing)
All of you know that I am generally not one to appreciate the merits of my own work. I overcriticize myself, and am never satisfied with what I've produced.

This makes it somewhat startling, and yet inordinately pleasing, that even several months after its release, when several products that are (in my eyes) far more meritorious have been released, my book is still the single highest-rated item on e23.
edg: (Surely you're joking)
The names are placeholders. Perspicacious readers will, by those names, guess what's been on my mind the last few days.




There are only a few really effective ways of finding another ship, provided that the other ship doesn't actively want to be found. The first method that comes to the minds of most people is just to look for them. The problem with this is that space is very, very big, and the ship you're looking for is probably quite far away. In addition, there just isn't a whole lot of ambient light in space; there are billions and billions of stars in the galaxy, but - like the ship you're looking for, only more so - the overwhelming majority of them are ridiculously far away, and so they don't do a very good job of illuminating the area around your ship. A ship floating in the vast space between stars - or even in the outskirts of a solar system - can just vanish into space, unless they're going out of their way to light themselves up. Therefore the only really good place to look for starships is near a planet or a star, where the light can either illuminate the near side of the ship or provide a backdrop for a little black blob off in the distance.

Probably the most common method for finding ships is by looking for stray electromagnetic emissions; a ship that's powered up will be positively buzzing with them; hence the first priority of a crew in danger of being found when they don't want to be is to shut down the power and go quiet. No computers, no shields, no engines. The problem with this for the crew, of course, is that it takes a few minutes for the ship to get up to speed again, so if they are found, the game's pretty much over unless their trackers are really slow on the uptake.

The best method by far, though, is infrared detection. Infrared light is produced by, among other things, heat; stars produce an awful lot of it, as do other celestial bodies (albeit to a lesser extent). Starships, as a rule, don't; only the oldest or most ill-maintained starships will have any heat signature at all. It takes power to heat a starship, and a ship that's not insulated against the almost-absolute-zero of space consumes more power; in general, the ship's captain wants to expend as little energy as possible, and thus most modern, well-maintained ships are heavily insulated. (This is why it was such an event when, a few decades back, someone created a fully-transparent near-perfect insulator; it meant that starships could have windows again.)

Despite starships having insulation, though, it's actually pretty easy to find one through thermal imaging if you have a fine enough resolution. As I mentioned earlier, there are an awful lot of stars in the galaxy, and almost all of them give off heat. To an infrared imager, space looks like a dense blanket of stars that aren't visible to the naked eye, and a hundred-meter cruiser with no heat signature at all is going to stand out among all that light. Even at a significant distance, the ship's computer can compare what's actually present in the starfield to what should be there, and pick out the strange object (or objects). Naturally, though, the farther away you are from your prey, the smaller they appear, and the harder it's going to be to find them in all the noise, which is why you want as high a resolution as you can get, if you're going to be tracking ships in the relative void of space.

The best way to stay hidden, therefore, is to stay very, very still, not do anything at all, and to be very, very far away from whatever's looking for you.

This is why, at that moment, the Croesus was in a stationary orbit over a star, trying very hard to look like a sunspot, and I was using a powerful telescope to watch the Gyges fight a Conqueror destroyer out near the life belt.

...huh.

Oct. 8th, 2005 11:26 am
edg: (Writing)
I've decided to take a cue from [livejournal.com profile] fadethecat and [livejournal.com profile] selentic and see if I can get something written every day. Doesn't matter how long it is; I just need to write something.

So this morning I sat down and thought, "you know, I'd like to play World of Warcraft, but if I do that I'm not going to get anything done this morning. So I'll write a few paragraphs about Frontier or something, and then I'll play for a while." Call WoW a carrot, if you will.

1100 words later, I have A Brief History of Frontier: The Separation War.

Huh. I didn't know I was that inspired.

(Also I need another Writing icon. This one is cute, but I'd like to be able to alternate.)
edg: (Writing)
So I'm trying an experiment. Here is my current draft of the paper that I'm working on, courtesy Writely. Here's the prompt I'm working from:

Hurwit defines the 8th century, the period when the Iliad was presumably first written down, as a time when the Greeks were attempting to define themselves, both in terms of their own cultural past and in terms of the advanced civilizations with which they were coming in contact. Discuss one way in which the Iliad reflects this movement towards self-definition for the Greeks. The Iliad is a long poem and this is a short paper. Be sure to restrict your discussion to a single, well-supported argument.


Leave comments here, if you have any; I'm going to be republishing this document regularly, so if you do want to track what I'm doing with the paper, keep an eye on that page. (It will not refresh when I re-publish the document, but the URL will stay the same.) Any outline listing marked [???] is a point where I know I want something, but I'm not sure what yet. (Point IV may disappear entirely, depending on how well I support the other two major points. It's interesting, but I know less about it, and it's not necessary to the thesis.)

EDIT: I can't express how happy it makes me to call Agamemnon a hyperbasileus. I'm just sayin'.

EDIT MORE: I know I have some linguists in the crowd. Anyone happen to know what the proto-Indo-European root meaning "over" is? I'm betting it's up or ub. (Consider Latin super, Greek (h)uper, and German über.)
edg: (I'm With Stupid)
And not on the Spumonian Greeks.

I. Introduction.
II. The Greeks ate ice cream.
III. Until the vicious Spumonian dictator NEAPOLITAN NUTTGANGER kidnapped all of the Spartan children!


Okay, seriously, I'm going to stop making fun of that query letter now.

Well...

Oct. 2nd, 2005 12:07 am
edg: (Blip!)
I made it through the first two hundred-odd years of Frontier's recorded history today - although admittedly the first 188 years of that were terraforming. I also figured out what its original name was (Eiluphates Gamma - the third planet of the star Eiluphates - then Federal Frontier Colony 1079), some interesting things about the way the Federal government works, and why Dodge City is named Dodge City.

Didn't get anything else done, though. (Well, I watched through Firefly again, but that hardly counts.)
edg: (I just can't win)
You almost certainly do not want the phrase inertial dampener. An inertial dampener makes inertia damp; I suppose this could be your intent, but I suspect that it is not.

The phrase you want is inertial damper. To damp is to hold down, to suppress; an inertial damper suppresses inertia, so that your characters don't turn into chunky salsa when they turn on the hyperdrive.

Just FYI.


Apparently there are some dictionaries which disagree with me. Very well; I concede the point.
edg: (Blip!)
It's really late, so I'm posting Latin.

Trimalchio autem miti ad nos vultu respexit et, "Vinum," inquit, "si non placet, mutabo: vos illud oportet bonum faciatis. Deorum beneficio non emo, sed nunc quicquid ad salivam facit, in suburbano nascitur eo, quod ego adhuc non novi. Dicitur confine esse Terraciniensibus et Tarentinis. Nunc coniungere agellis Siciliam volo, ut cum Africam libuerit ire, per meos fines navigem."


And my loose translation:
Satyricon! )

I really need a Classics icon.

Also, I think I might start translating "Trimalchio" - the name of the host at the dinner we're reading about - as "T-Money".

Huh.

Sep. 27th, 2005 02:49 pm
edg: (Heyyyy)
Remember this post, where I went all Latin-geek on the XBOX 360 "viral ad"?

Apparently somebody's reading...

(From this Slashdot post.)
edg: (Heyyyy)
I got a bare A- - 90/100 - on the history paper that none of you wanted to see, you ingrates.

Expansion

Sep. 24th, 2005 09:41 pm
edg: (Writing)
This came about because [livejournal.com profile] fadethecat wanted inspiration.

I'm really sorry, fade. I think I stole yours.

(Mannie and Hari are characters created by [livejournal.com profile] fadethecat. The In Nomine setting was developed by and belongs to Steve Jackson Games. EDIT: Forgot: also, a hat tip to [livejournal.com profile] tepes for the weapon recommendation.)




Stockholm

I am learning to appreciate the subtle differences between Djinn and Cherubim. For example, there is the difference between subject and direct object when someone to whom a Djinn or Cherub is attuned is in danger: I drag a Djinn along. A Cherub drags me along.

Thus I find myself in the back seat of a station wagon, going what Kai would probably consider a sedate, grandmotherly speed down an interstate highway. The other drivers probably would not agree with my friend, who would also wonder what the point was in driving a car with a top. The Cherub, however, is doing an admirable job of causing danger neither to us nor to the other cars on the road beyond a few frayed nerves, and so I do not vocalize any of this.

Instead I say, "Now that we are safely on the road, Anetheon, may I ask where we're going?"

Stockholm )
edg: (Writing)
"Hello, Mannie. Nice gun."

The Lilim glanced at the pistol. "I thought you might like it. You always did prefer the classics."

"I'm not sure I'd call that a classic." Hari sighed and set his pointer down on the easel. "Why are you here, Mannie?"

Mannie paused and looked over his shoulder at the captive angel.

"...he keeps bringing me sandwiches when I work too late."

"You could just go on a date with him when he gets out of Trauma. I understand that's what you do with all of the angels who take care of you."

Mannie took a deep breath. "Are you going to undo the padlock, Hari, or will I be forced to remove it by other means?"


Two of [livejournal.com profile] fadethecat's characters. A Steve Jackson Games setting.
edg: (Cheerful)
Actually, only one item on the list this time.

When I post to weblogs that use the TypeKey authentication system, my weblog, Aleae Iaciens (I just found out yesterday that if I really wanted to be accurate, that should be "Iactens" - "Iaciens" is valid Latin, but it's a verb with slightly different connotations - but who's counting?), gets linked from my name. The same thing happens with TypePad weblogs, but I have to manually put the link in; TypeKey remembers my link, when it bothers to remember that I'm logged in.

What happens occasionally is that I'll leave a comment on, say, Websnark, on a post which has a lot of readers who don't usually see my comments, and from the link on my name I'll get a little flurry of hits to Aleae. Today I've received ten hits from my comments on this Websnark post.

I think that's pretty neat.

([livejournal.com profile] phosphodae, Websnark is where I got my "I Aggro Drama" shirt. Eric doesn't have any more left, but I'm sure he could be persuaded to start up a second batch...)

([livejournal.com profile] demiurgent and [livejournal.com profile] weds, I've given out Websnark's address to two people since I've been at Earlham based solely on their approaching me because of my "I Aggro Drama" shirt. I have also done my duty in cautioning these people that you don't have any more shirts left, but telling them that you run a cool site anyway.

Just, y'know, so you know.)
edg: (Writing)
...of what I'm going to write on the board tomorrow morning.

"An Attempt at Unrhymed Verse"

People tell you all the time,
Poems do not have to rhyme.
It's often better if they don't
And I'm determined this one won't.

Oh dear.

Never mind, I'll start again.
Busy, busy with my pen...cil.
I can do it if I try--
Easy, peasy, pudding and gherkins.

Writing verse is so much fun,
Cheering as the summer weather,
Makes you feel alert and bright,
'Specially when you get it more or
less the way you want it.

-- Wendy Cope
edg: (Writing)
I have finished the history paper (On The Viability of Martha Ballard's Diary as a Source of Research). Now to... do the History reading. And the Latin translation. And the Poetry reading for Tuesday, and the Politics reading, and the Words & Works reading...

Yaaaaaaaaay.

(If anyone wants to read it, I'll post the essay here after the due date, which is 1 PM tomorrow. I choose to believe that my classmates would not be intellectually dishonest, but I choose not to encourage it either.)
edg: (Writing)
On _Mnemonic_ )

(Probably unnecessary, but: © 2005 C. Anthony.)

Feh.

Sep. 15th, 2005 11:50 pm
edg: (Dark angel)
I am putting this behind a cut, because although I like the metric scheme and the concept, the execution is so wanting as to be practically begging.

Warning: doggerel ahead )

And, added because it amuses me:

Less doggy erel )

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