τοῦτ᾽ αὐτὸ νῦν μου πρῶτ᾽ ἄκουσον ὡς ἐρῶ.
- from Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus, predicting the future meme of “let me explain you a thing” (literally: “firstly, hear this thing itself from me, now, that I will say”)
When in doubt, tea.
When happy, tea.
When cold, tea.
When sad, tea.
When sick, tea.
When no inspiration, tea.
When have to leave bed, tea.
When supposed to be doing homework, tea.
When scheming to take over world, tea.
When summoning minor demon, tea.
When accidentally starting apocalypse, tea.
Things I have not and probably will never learn: restraint in buying books.
ANNIE - Official Trailer (2014)
Mary wants your opinion too.
april-rainer, there’s a Kelowna shout-out. I love their precious little Canadian accents. Also, you know, all the smart stuff being said.
…I think I need to go back and actually watch this entire series. Adorbs. Also, scary Jane is scary.
And, long since ashore with his men and his booty, Crawford of Lymond, man of wit and crooked felicities, bred to luxury and heir to a fortune, rode off serenely to Midculter to break into his new sister-in-law’s castle.
Dorothy Dunnett, the Game of Kings.
This is just hilariously brilliant, but I also love because every word of that description is 100% correct yet, on reread, so completely misleading - because sure he is witty (and verbose) but he is using that to screen his general screwed-upness (I have never met a main character this suicidal), and the ‘bred to luxury etc’ part is true, but it doesn’t at all talk about both the family tragedies and the horrific time he’s had on the galleys etc. And of course the break in is merely the beginning of his complicated plan to protect both the Queen and his family.
Basically, I have all the feels for this book, forever.
YES, ALL THE FEELS FOREVER!!!
"I have never met a main character this suicidal" hahah YES. I started counting and I think I got to eight big dramatic attempts, not counting the various times other people try to kill him.
A video made for the Museum of Cluny, and its “The Sword: Uses, Myths and Symbols” exhibit. It tries to dispel some of the beliefs that are still prevalent today about the weight and mobility of fighters in plate armor and show some of the techniques used in combat against armored opponents
I’m always pleased to see videos like this. It’s as if people won’t believe unless they’re shown (and there are always some who go “ah, yes, well, in aluminium stage armour it’s easy.”)
Well, the Museum Cluny video, like the Royal Armoury demo team, uses real steel armour: those two pictures at the start show the originals; the video uses reproductions because no curator will let someone take two exhibits from his museum and roll them around on flagstones. Mike Loades in the UK has been doing similar armour demonstrations for years, as has Tobias Capwell of the Wallace Collection. Eventually the old “clunky, immobile, in with a wrench, out with a can-opener” image of plate armour will go away – but I won’t hold my breath. (That shade of purple isn’t a good complexion anyway…)
Even the faster demonstrations of these combat techniques are still dialled back to about half speed. Try to visualise how much quicker and more brutal this would be if the two fighters meant business, when the first rule was Do It To Him As Quickly As Possible Before He Does It To You.
Writer and swordsman Guy Windsor writes about doing motion-capture work for a computer game; his completely authentic techniques couldn’t be used because they were so small, fast and economical. The game needed big swashing movements because the real thing looked unrealistic, too insignificant to be effective…
You won’t see a “killing fight” (full speed, full power, full intent) recreated very often, either on documentaries or in museum exhibitions, because it’s very, very dangerous for (when you think about it) obvious reasons. These techniques from 600-year-old fight manuals were how men in armour maimed and killed other men in armour - and since they’re the original material, not a re-interpretation after 600 years of being diluted down to sport-safe levels, the techniques will still maim and kill men in armour. Even a blunt “safe” sword is pointed enough (first demo on the video, 1:54-59) to go into a helmet’s eye-slot and through the skull inside…
But if you’re lucky enough to see a full-speed demo between fighters in real armour using wasters (wooden practice swords), be prepared to pick your jaw up from the floor. It is awesome. And also as scary as hell.
Comments on comments:
"Pretty much proof positive that the people who claim that skimpy female fantasy armor is for increased maneuverability don’t know what they’re talking about."
They know exactly what they’re talking about. They want to see T&A on fantasy game and book covers, and since they don’t have the balls to be honest about it, this is their excuse.
“It amazes me that the old saws about Western armour and techniques are still going about, because surely two minutes’ thought would let you know that of course knights had to be able to get up off the ground… Europeans were wearing armour for centuries, why wouldn’t they develop techniques of fighting in it?”
It’s easier to laugh (do the same people laugh about samurai?) and repeat what “everyone knows about armour" than it is to waste that two minutes thought. Thinking might reveal something to mess with set opinions, and that would be annoying…
“Biggest pet peeve: People commenting on the weight and shape of armour restricting mobility…”
As before - “everybody knows" that European armour is massive and clunky because that’s what "everybody knows.” God forbid they should ever apply the “if it was so useless then why was it used" logic to anything. Because then they might realise that what "everybody knows" is wrong.
I’m going off to (not) hold my breath for a while… :-P
as recited by april-rainer to the Strange Book Club
[I’m compiling a list of the other general references in the first days, but I figured it would be worth it put Medea’s story out there, since it’s kind of important to the plot. Like most of the old myths, there are a lot of versions, and a lot of side stories; I’ve tried generally to stick to consensus according to wikipedia, and focus on Medea. Who is awesome, by the way.]
Jason, deposed of his throne by a wicked uncle, goes on a quest for the Golden Fleece. His ship is called the Argo, hence his crew are the Argonauts. They’re pretty epic themselves.
The story involves Jason & co. traveling around a bunch of mythical Greek Islands, and having adventures. And, because this is Greece, sleeping with lots of people, killing (sometimes accidentally) even more.
He eventually arrives at Colchis, where the king owes The Golden Fleece. Aeetes (the King) sets his three impossible tasks. However, apparently Hera likes Jason (this came as a surprise to me, because Hera is married to Zeus, King of the Gods and philanderer extraordinaire, so she has a hard life, and doesn’t usually like *anybody*), so Hera convinces Aphrodite (the goddess of love) to convince her son Eros (who you might know as a distinctly creepier, less consensual realization of Cupid) to make Aeetes’ daughter Medea fall in love with Jason. She promises to help him with his tasks, but he has to promise to marry her.
The tasks are as follows. (1) Yoking and plowing a field with fire-breathing oxen — Medea provides ointment that protects him against fire. (2) The field he sows sprouts an army of warriors, who will attack him. Medea told him in advance this would happen, so Jason throws a stone into their midst while they’re emerging, and they all get into a fight and kill each other. (3) Finally, he has to overcome the dragon that guards the Golden Fleece, which he does with another of Medea’s potions, this one that makes that dragon sleep.
Aeetes is naturally displeased that Jason has acquired the Golden Fleece, and also his daughter, and throws a hissy fit. Jason and Medea run away, killing Medea’s brother Absyrtus in the process (who killed him, and why, seems to depend on the legend).
On the way (equally meandering) back to Jason’s home country, Medea continues to be awesome and kick butt on Jason’s behalf. She’s generally recorded as an enchantress, and is the niece of Circe (yes, that Circe who turned people into pigs). Eventually, they get home, and Medea tricks Jason’s wicked uncle’s daughters into killing him.
Jason then abandons Medea for Glauce, a Corinthian princess. Medea, not pleased with this turn of events, sends Glauce a poison-coated dress and crown. Glauce dies, as do two of Medea’s children. In Euripides’ play (which is my original source for this story) she kills her children herself to get back at Jason.
After killing Jason’s fiancee, Medea goes to Athens, where she ends up marrying Aegeus, and having a son with him. When Aegeus’ long-lost son Theseus comes home, Medea tries to poison him (so her son will inherit), but Aegeus recognizes Theseus’ sword in time and saves him.
Medea then finally returns to Colchis, discovers her uncle has usurped the throne, kills him, and returns the throne to her father.
Because Hera doesn’t take kindly to unfaithfulness, Jason dies alone and miserable.
Shout out to girls who don’t mind being called dude and man casually
shout out to boys who don’t mind being called guuurrl
shout out to humans who don’t mind being called dawg
shout out to dogs who will let you call them anything so long as you say it in a happy, friendly tone.
Shout out to Guinea Pigs which are neither pigs nor from Guinea.
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