ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the February 2015 Crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chordatesrock. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. This poem belongs to the Aquariana thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

"Tools and Toys"

As part of her work in the Maldives,
Aquariana spent time getting to know
Skipper and some of the other dolphins.

Two more had joined the roll
of cetacean superheroes:
a mindhealer nicknamed Siggy
who worked with special needs clients,
and an albino juvenile called Styrofoam
serving as a lifeguard offshore of Villingili Beach
across a channel from the capital city Malé.

Skipper's own pod was quite small
and mostly they played tour guide
for other, larger pods of dolphins.

Siggy had come alone, and had
no permanent pod of his own,
preferring to socialize with
whomever was around.

Styrofoam's substantial pod was
fanatically protective of her,
because her white coloration
made her a target for sharks
and unethical humans, so they
tended to keep her in the middle.

Sometimes they all gathered together,
with Moderato the humpback whale
happily joining in the fun, and
Steel the sperm whale
a glum shadow below.

Come and play with us,
Skipper invited, and Aquariana
dove over the side of the boat.

She enjoyed swimming
alongside them, now and then
hitching a ride on someone's fin
or balancing on their slippery backs.

The dolphins were particularly fond
of human toys -- frisbees and flying rings,
hula hoops and inflatable balls.

Aquariana did not expect them
to provide toys of their own.

One of Skipper's podmates
started it, blowing a bubble
that soon expanded into a ring.

She bit off a smaller ring,
repeating the action several times
until the bubble reached the surface.

Skipper joined in, followed by several others,
all twirling around each other as they
chased the silvery rings, sometimes
passing them from person to person
and other times swimming through
the center to pop the hoop.

That looks like fun, Aquariana mused.

Do you want to play with us? Skipper asked.

She can't play, Siggy said.
Humans don't have blowholes.

Some humans can blow hoops,
said Styrofoam. They use their flippers.

I can blow bubble rings, well, sometimes,
said Aquariana. She wasn't anywhere
near as good as the dolphins though.

With a little effort, she managed
to blow several bubbles, but every time
she tried to manipulate them, they popped.

It takes practice, Styrofoam's mother said gently.

I'm less of an athlete and more of an artist,
Skipper said, though other people are better.
He blew a beautiful series of hoops and spheres
that did indeed look like a shimmering sculpture.

Moderato blew an enormous ring, but
as soon as he tried to add to it,
the entire thing collapsed.

You're a great dancer but a terrible artist,
Skipper said, his mindvoice
rippling with amusement.

Moderato's tenor laugh shook the water.
I don't care, he said. I just think it's fun.

Bubbles aren't toys, Steel said on a darker note.

Well, to us they are, Moderato said firmly.
You don't have to play if you don't want to,
but don't mess with our games.

These are actual games? Aquariana said.
I mean, you have rules, not just freestyle play?

We've been playing Hoops for an hour,
Skipper said. You blow a bubble ring.
Then you hit it with your snout to break off
a smaller ring, and that's one point.
Next time you do that, it's two points,
then three, and so on as far as you get.

Five points if you can blow a bubble
big enough for a podmate to swim through
as far as their fins,
Styrofoam added.

I don't have a snout, Aquariana said.

Try using your flippers, Skipper suggested.
I've seen you do much fancier things with them.

Aquariana discovered that she could,
once in a while, manage to hit a bubble
just right to generate the second hoop,
but she never got more than one.

Eventually she climbed back aboard the Bilimbi,
a comfortable little cuddy cabin powerboat
run by the Whale & Dolphin Company,
ideal for cruising around the bay.

She rinsed off the saltwater, used the head,
and then went to the galley where Captain Koul
was heating up the sandwiches for lunch
while the cetacean biologist Sheck
opened a tub of fresh fruit.

Over lunch, Aquariana told the crew
about the bubbles and the game of Hoops.
Sheck babbled happily about cetacean intelligence
and how he couldn't wait to tell his mentor.

They had almost finished eating
when something underfoot
gave an alarming clank and
the boat began listing to the left.

"Dammit, that right prop is acting up again,"
the captain grumbled as he hurried
to shut off the engine.

The Bilimbi coasted to a halt.

"I'll strip off and go underwater
to see if it can be fixed out here,"
said Captain Koul. "Otherwise,
we're going to need a tow home."

He peeled down to his trunks,
donned his snorkeling gear,
and flipped neatly over the side
to examine the wayward propeller.

A minute later he surfaced and said,
"I can't even figure out what's wrong with it."

Would you like to borrow my mechanic?
Skipper offered politely.

"You have a mechanic?" Aquariana said,
staring at him over the edge of the boat.

Gladhammer is mostly a fluid mechanic,
but she works with solid materials too,

Skipper said as he surfaced alongside one of
the dolphins who had been playing Hoops earlier.

Aquariana relayed the offer
to Captain Koul, who gladly accepted.

Gladhammer ducked underwater
and emitted a series of sharp clicks
and pings that echoed through the hull.

She says ... Skipper's mindvoice
trailed off in a blur of dizzying noise.

"Sorry, Skipper, I didn't get that,"
Aquariana said. "Could you rephrase?"

It was Moderato who answered, though,
his greater experience with humans helping him
figure out how to translate from sonar to words
The part that spins is too loose. Something
has gotten caught between it and
the part that does not spin,

he said to the humans.

"Yes, that has happened before,"
said Captain Koul. "I'll have to take it
into the shop to get that fixed."

Gladhammer says that your ship
will go if you remove the piece
that does not belong there,

Moderato said.

"I can't see to pry it loose,"
Captain Koul said.

I can hear where it is, but the pieces
are very small,
said Steel. If I try
to move anything, I might do more damage

Watch closely, Moderato warned.
Gladhammer will make a flashlight.

"What do you mean, make a flashlight?"
Aquariana asked. "And make it with what,
our floaty balls and a piece of seaweed?"

A bright light flared underwater,
as blue-white as starfire, and
then a roil of bubbles surfaced.

Captain Koul surfaced, grinning.
"I saw it!" he announced.
"It's just a short piece of wire.
I'll grab a couple of tools, pry it loose,
and then test the engine. If the wire
didn't do any lasting damage, then
we can get home under our own power."

"How did she make a flashlight?"
Aquariana wondered, shaking her head.
"Does she have Light Powers or something?"

"I have no idea," the captain said
as he sorted through his toolbox.
Then he went back overboard.

"Bubbles," Sheck mused. "I've been
thinking about that, because my roommate
in college was a mathematician, and he used to
go on and on about the Navier-Stokes equations.
I told him about dolphins blowing toroidal bubbles,
but I didn't know they played actual games."

"Oh, I've heard about those equations," Aquariana said.
"My shapeshifting tutor thought that it might help me
with my Water Form. They're over my head, though."

Underwater, the bluish light flared again.

Sheck let out a piercing squeal.
"It's shrimpoluminescence!" he yelled,
skittering around the deck as he
flapped his hands in glee. "Okay, no,
I guess it would be delpholuminescence."

Aquariana grabbed the back of his shirt
and pulled him to the middle of the boat
so he wouldn't fall overboard. The Bilimbi
was meant to give access to the water,
so its low back deck had no railing.

"Be careful," she scolded gently.
"And could I get that in English?"

"She really did make a flashlight," he said.
"She just made it out of air. It's science!
It's, it's bubble technology. I knew about dolphins
blowing bubbles but I didn't think of it the right way,
only now it turns out they're actually used as
tools and toys, not just random blobs. You know,
like whales make fishnets? But I didn't see it,
nobody realized what we were looking at, because
we all think technology is this --" He kicked the toolbox.
"stuff we can touch and keep. We didn't recognize
ephemeral technology because it doesn't last."

Well, of course, Moderato said. You landers
are wonderful at making solid things, but you
don't understand fluid mechanics at all and
your grasp of mathematics is rudimentary at best

Steel's baritone laugh shook the water,
and Aquariana could feel it tickle her feet.
Their pathetic attempts at sonar, he said.
That's never going to stop being funny.

Steel, don't be so rude, Moderato scolded.
They can't help their handicaps.

"Hey, we're not that bad," Aquariana said. "I heard
that some Super-Intellect called the Numerator
is close to solving the Navier-Stokes equations,
and she's just a little girl. Imagine what she will
be able to do when she grows up. Hmm, maybe
I should see about putting you guys in touch with her."

She knew that the Numerator was into foam and bubbles,
because there had been a hilarious incident involving
a countdown timer and a can of whipped cream
which Leapfrog would probably never live down.

It's quite all right, I believe I've found her, Moderato said.

"You what?" Aquariana exclaimed. "How could
you possibly -- what did you do, make
a telephone out of bubbles now?"

No, of course not, I'm using telepathy,
Moderato said. There are so few minds
on this level, it's not hard to find a specific one
Then he whuffed in annoyance. She does not
believe that I am who I say I am, though

Aquariana was about to protest that
America was clear across the globe from here,
then remembered that whale songs could
travel up to ten thousand miles, so maybe
it wasn't such a reach for him after all.

"Let me see if I can help," she said,
stepping into the cabin to make a phonecall.
"Hi, SPOON dispatch? This is Aquariana.
I'm in the Maldives with my friend Moderato.
He's trying to have a telepathic conversation
with the Numerator about advanced math,
and she doesn't believe who he is. Could you
please ring her and confirm his identity?"

"Happy to oblige," said Cheersquad, his bright voice
making Aquariana smile. "Please hold."

Less than a minute later, Moderato said,
Now she believes me! Thank you.

"Okay, we're good here," Aquariana said.
"Thanks for the assist, Cheersquad."

Moderato was so engrossed in his conversation
with the Numerator that only a distant ripple
reached Aquariana's senses.

Captain Koul surfaced then, and had to
nudge Sheck gently away from where
the young man was leaning over
the sealadder to watch Gladhammer.

"All right, I got the wire loose," the captain said.
"Let's see if the motor will run now."
He turned it back on, and it purred to life,
twin engines synchronized and functional.
"Good enough. We can head back whenever
you two are through hanging out with the whales."

Aquariana leaned over the edge to look for Moderato,
who was hanging head down in the clear water.
Are we done for now, or do you want to play some more?
she thought at him as clearly as she could.

Forget it, Steel told her. He is ...
what do you say? Zoned out?

"Okay, we'll see you later then," she said.
"Please tell him I said goodbye, and
thank Gladhammer for her help."

"What's her favorite toy?" the captain asked.
They'd gathered up all the playthings before lunch,
but now he opened the trunk again.

It was Skipper who picked up that thread
of conversation, and soon reported
Gladhammer's fondness for the flying rings.

Captain Koul flicked one over the waves.
"Tell her she can keep that one," he said.
"I know some of you folks follow cruise ships
hoping we'll lose something fun over the side."

"They're trailing you for item drops?" Sheck said,
then doubled over laughing. "Aw man, that is epic.
Now I wonder if I could teach a dolphin
how to play video games."

"You could try," Aquariana said. "You'd need
to figure out some special equipment, but
Gladhammer is probably the person to invite.
They play with bubbles and balls, they use
bubbles and sponges as tools, and dolphins
absolutely love playing. It's worth a shot."

As they headed back toward the distant skyline
of Malé on the horizon, Aquariana mulled over
the day's discoveries. Bubble technology,
who would have thought it?
Yet now that
she had seen it in action, there was no denying
that the whales and dolphins were using
fluid mechanics to make tools and toys.

It meant that she'd have a bunch more paperwork
to do, documenting what had happened, along with
its relevance to the ongoing legalities about
cetacean personhood and sentience, and then
figuring out who needed to be notified
about the math side of things.

She didn't mind a bit, even looked forward to it.

Oh yes, Aquariana thought.
That's going to rock some boats.

* * *


Siggy -- He is a spinner dolphin working with special needs clients. He helps people cope with difficult emotions or experiences, and also teaches about telepathy. Currently he has tutors come from the Maldives National University to teach him about human psychology and health. They are still debating the feasibility of a customized major in Interspecies Therapy.
Origin: Siggy grew up in a dolphin swim program so he has an unusually high familiarity with humans. His mother was one of several dolphins from an earlier experimental program so that may have contributed to Siggy's development of superpowers. When he heard about the cetacean superheroes in the Maldives, he came out of the fuse box.
Uniform: None. He goes nude.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Counselor, Expert (+4) Dolphin, Good (+2) College Student
Poor (-2) Bubble Artist
Powers: Expert (+4) Mindhealing, Good (+2) Telepathy
Motivation: To heal what he can.

Gladhammer -- She is a supernary spinner dolphin adept in the use of technology. She loves technology of various kinds, and is especially fond of playing with solid objects that fall into the water such as leaves or balls. Unlike most dolphins who are happy with their bodies, she is frustrated by her lack of hands and envies humans their fine manipulatory appendages.
Qualities: Master (+6) Dolphin, Master (+6) Fluid Mechanic, Master (+6) Tool User, Expert (+4) Artist, Good (+2) Athlete
Poor (-2) No Hands

Styrofoam -- She is an albino spinner dolphin who works as a lifeguard offshore of Villingili Beach. Styrofoam and her pod moved to the Maldives from Maui, Hawaii. Her pod is very protective of her due to her unusual coloration, which has made her a target for sharks and unethical humans. But like her new friend Moderato the humpback whale, Styrofoam really likes humans and wants to keep them safe. She has also cozied up well with her human coworkers on the beach. They have rigged a double bell that can be activated from land or sea to alert the other half of the team to trouble. Gizmologists skilled in chemistry are still trying to devise an effective sunscreen for Styrofoam since lifeguarding requires her to spend more time on the surface and she's vulnerable to sunburn.
Origin: She was born with Telekinesis. Human Speech is actually a learned skill, but so few cetaceans can do it at all that it counts as a superpower.
Uniform: None. She goes nude. Her white coloring serves a similar purpose, however, in making it easy for people to recognize her.
Qualities: Good (+2) Dolphin, Good (+2) Human Friends, Good (+2) Lifeguard, Good (+2) Water Dancer
Poor (-2) Resistance to Sunburn
Powers: Average (0) Telekinesis, Poor (-2) Human Speech
Motivation: Saving people.

Captain Boshi Koul -- A native of the Maldives, he works for the Whale & Dolphin Company. He worked his way up the ranks, having captained a number of ships for them in recent years. Sometimes he still mans the public cruises or tours, and now he also works with Aquariana and the cetacean soups. He strongly prefers life on the water, dislikes going ashore, and doesn't deal very well with cities. Boshi collects postcards from around the world, mostly waterscapes but a few landlocked monuments as well. He knows an amazing amount of trivia, the kind of things that people print on such souvenirs.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Ship Captain, Good (+2) Interspecies Relations, Good (+2) Swimming, Good (+2) Postcard Collector
Poor (-2) Not a Landlubber

Sheck Caperton -- He has fair skin, brown eyes, and short brown hair. He works as a spotter at the Whale & Dolphin Company, helping them find cetaceans for the tourists to watch, and observing them himself. He is currently studying cetacean first aid with a marine veterinarian. Recently he has begun volunteering with Aquariana and the cetacean soups. He's just getting started in life, has a degree but little practical experience. He still gets excited and loses control sometimes.
Qualities: Good (+2) Cetacean Biologist, Good (+2) Endurance, Good (+2) Energetic, Good (+2) Memory
Poor (-2) Just Getting Started

* * *

Dolphin cognition is complex, and some of them really enjoy human company. Swimming with dolphins can involve some of the tricks I mentioned here, although care is needed to make the experience safe for humans and dolphins alike. Many cetaceans adore toys.

Villingili Beach lies across a channel from the capital of the Maldives.

Fluid mechanics deals in the qualities of liquids, gases, and plasmas. Fluid dynamics is a subset featuring fluids in motion. The Navier-Stokes equations describe some parameters of fluids. Toroidal bubbles have some fascinating qualities. Dolphins play with toroidal bubbles, along with other bubbles, and humans can too. Check out some of the math.  Here is a discussion about whether cavitation may play a role in dolphin sonar, noting that cavitation has a caustic effect on ship propeller blades.

Gaming theory states that games have rules and interesting choices. A good game should be fun and challenging.

Bilimbi is a plant native to the Maldives. The boat is a 2000 26' Grady-White 265 Express. A cuddy cabin is a type of small powerboat. Nautical vocabulary has its own terms for a lot of things: a head is a marine toilet and a galley is the kitchen.

Sonoluminescence can be created by tiny bubbles. Shrimpoluminescence is real, produced by at least two species in different ways: the pistol shrimp and the mantis shrimp. It's not even a superpower for them; it's a species standard. When I started imagining what kind of technology cetaceans might use, I looked for things they were already doing, then searched out related aspects, and finally imagined how that would look if turned into something productive or entertaining.  Research into delphine sonoluminescence has been proposed.  A few references to what dolphins can do with sound, light, and bubbles have been made but are difficult to track down.  These really are fields that humans don't understand very well yet, especially in comparison to solid physics such as metallurgy.

In our world, sonofusion has become somewhat of a taboo field.  Terramagne has been exploring all kinds of fusion technology; the problem there is not politics but the inherent limitations of talent.   A Super-Intellect or Super-Gizmologist routinely achieves results which cannot be duplicated because nobody else understands how they work.  Even Gizmology takes a great deal of effort to retro-engineer for the mass market.  So they have things like cold fusion, but in extremely limited quantities and often secret applications.  For some cetaceans to have sonofusion would fall right in line with this: people using their own abilities in ways that can't necessarily be replicated by someone else.

Whale songs can travel up to 10,000 miles. The distance from the Maldives to the United States is 8797.1 miles. I figured that Moderato's mindvoice should carry at least as far as his physical voice, and likely farther.

Item drops appear in many games. Although most common after winning a battle, they may occur at other times. Some creatures are worth following precisely because they shed valuables at unpredictable intervals.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-26 04:45 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
Hee! Very cool. Dolphins with the seaborne equivalent of Handfire!

And satphones for the win!

I remember my time with the Dolphins at Kona.... they had one of the mother dolphins over working with us, and they sent her back to the other side of the lagoon, and immediately, uncommanded, her baby - just barely old enough to be training - shot over and demanded in on the action... so we got to pet a baby dolphin :)

Very complex indeed. And for some strange reason they *like* us gangly, unstreamlined critters. Gods know why...

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2017-03-22 09:29 pm (UTC)
djbluejay: Man with dreds holding saxophone (Default)
From: [personal profile] djbluejay
"Awesome! I once got to hold a tiger cub. They were tiny little things, just old enough to be socializing with humans ... but utter hams, as demanding as housecats. They were on a schedule, and when put down away from humans would immediately go "MOW! MOW! MOW!" wanting more attention. Not to mention the one who tried to crawl into another lady's sweater."

ROTFL, too funny.

I sometimes wish we could do somethin' like that, but we ain't found a program that do that. near us yet :(


OH, thank you!

Date: 2015-02-26 05:19 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
The Numerator is very, very bored girl whose parents just do not see her as a /child/ rather than a /prodigy/. Moderato CAN play, LIKES to play, and will LET her play with him.

Oh, by the way, she's STILL upset that her parents didn't even ground her for thrashing her dad's $5k watch for a TIMER, but she's also not sure HOW to apologize to Leapfrog, either... Maybe Moderato can help her figure it out? She'd certainly be willing to help them with more solid-tech in return for learning about their fluid-tech.

I loved this, I truly did! Thank you!

Re: OH, thank you!

Date: 2015-02-26 05:55 am (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
"thrashing": trashing?

Re: OH, thank you!

Date: 2015-02-26 06:21 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Moderato can tell she's an immature human, no matter how smart she is, and when she admits she doesn't have grownups she can ASK about this, will suggest Seth, or Aquariana, etc. Humans HE trusts enough to not make the situation worse at the very least, and whom the Numerator would be willing to at least talk with.

The scientific questions are a good "excuse" to set up some kind of more frequent contact at least, which leaves a lot of playing space to see how it'll develop.

The Numerator's parents feel that she should not be moved out of her age cohort for socialization reasons, yes, but they're also not paying enough attention to what the poor kid's teachers are saying to understand they don't mean "She's a bright girl," but "She's read everything in the school library, scribbled corrections in the margins of any book she felt needed it, and she's making me tear my hair out!"

Re: OH, thank you!

Date: 2016-09-20 09:21 am (UTC)
callibr8: (CanDo)
From: [personal profile] callibr8
<< "She's read everything in the school library, scribbled corrections in the margins of any book she felt needed it, and she's making me tear my hair out!" >>

Whoops! Busted! I did that, in second grade... the teacher who set up the parent conference told mine, "Please get her a library card at the public library* -- she's read everything we have, here."

*It was a small town, there was only *one* public library. Hard to imagine, nowadays.

Re: OH, thank you!

Date: 2016-09-20 05:00 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
When we moved to CA my mom put me in a private school. It lasted a week. In the meeting they told mom flat out that I was ahead in every subject but French (and the French teacher refused to believe that I didn't even know the alphabet, what a mess!)--and the librarian told her that I'd spent my time helping /shelve/ books during the library hour, muttering "read it, read it, that's out of date," under my breath.

Oh, well. The second time we tried private school for Freshman year, I got a year of Latin out of it!

Re: OH, thank you!

Date: 2016-09-23 09:21 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Yep. Been there, and it's as bad a fit as too easy classes across the board.

There's a reason why so many of my characters have different schooling-- to show that it can be done, first of all.

Too many people are stuck on the Prussian model of school, and too many people insist on "peer socialization"--which could be another ten page rant-- which makes any OTHER solution seem "weird" or at best, scarce.

Re: OH, thank you!

Date: 2016-09-23 09:58 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Yeah, but our society has stripped out anything but age-group socialization for three or four GENERATIONS now, and it's the standard.

It also sucks rocks for actually TEACHING socialization.

Think about it: the seven-year-old sibling can teach a four-year-old -whether sibling or a neighbor- to tie their shoes. A fourteen-year-old can teach a ten-year-old how to write in cursive.
(So can a seventy-year-old neighbor, if there's a social network around, but that's a whole 'nother kettle of caltrops.)

Mixed-age classrooms are a /start/ at regaining the social structure we're losing.

The other Sunday we went for a drive and saw that a public school had a banner hanging on their fence reading "FREE BREAKFAST" right next to a newer banner reading "DINNER SERVED HERE." Think about the idea of eating NO meals with your kids until the weekend, and it's easier to understand the studies that show parents average (13.5 hours per week for mothers in 2011, compared with 7.3 hours for fathers).
(That's a Pew research study that actually says parent-child time is INCREASING, which blows my mind.)

When is there time to talk or tell stories or teach something not on the school curricula or state tests in an average of an hour a day for dads and (rounding UP) two hours for moms? It's beyond absurd to expect that schools can cover /everything/.

Now let's add the kids who have different needs: ADHD, asthmatic, disabled or "gifted"-- and the vertical model is practically the ONLY way to build a social network strong enough and flexible enough to keep the kid from being another touch-starved Rhesus monkey.

Which is, in effect, what happens when the environment where a kid is supposed to socialize either ignores a kid to the point of isolation, or actively bullies them. Not having someone to discuss food forests or dinosaurs or string theory at your interest and aptitude level is just as damaging as insufficient touch.

Re: OH, thank you!

Date: 2017-03-22 09:41 pm (UTC)
djbluejay: Man with dreds holding saxophone (Default)
From: [personal profile] djbluejay
Yeayh it is, an' I don't like that.

Meanwhile we got all kindsa shit in my world (PM me if ya want the mame; I'd rather not make it public here yet) for that type of thing.

Granted we got a long way to go, because they different issues )Paranoia about shifters/other people with different abilities an' half-breeds )Half incubus kids, for instance) bein' more dangerous than they actually be, an' we actually goin' through the same personhood issues T-America be doin', but schoolin's one of those things that actually bedone right for once.

Or mostly, anyway. Som gifted people be fallin' through the cracks, but that be because they other shit too-super intelligent half-succubus girls, for instance, or super intelligent animal shifters of any sort.


I feel weird talkin' this much; Fallon usually be the wordy one. that ain't me. o.o


Re: library access

Date: 2016-09-21 12:58 am (UTC)
callibr8: icon courtesy of Wyld_Dandelyon (Default)
From: [personal profile] callibr8
<< none of this shit where people outside the city limits have to pay $60 or $100 per year for a library card >>

THIS! I'm glad that where I live (Pugetopolis, i.e. the Greater Seattle Area), there are reciprocal agreements in place such that I have library cards for our county's library, the Seattle Public Library, and the library system one county north (Sno-Isle). Between those three collections, I've been able to find any particular book I've checked for, at least 90% of the time. I'm glad that T-America is "on the same page", so to speak. :-)

Re: library access

Date: 2016-09-21 08:23 pm (UTC)
callibr8: icon courtesy of Wyld_Dandelyon (Default)
From: [personal profile] callibr8
Rain City it is! Neat!!

<< Another thing that shuts people out is networking all the libraries into one system -- which means if you ever have a problem with one library, you can't work with any library in the state until you make the first one happy. >>

Ouch! That's never been an issue for me, but I do see your point. *wince*

Re: OH, thank you!

Date: 2017-05-11 08:27 am (UTC)
kengr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kengr
Ah yes, once they talked about having me skip a grade, but decided that I'd not fit in with the older kids.

Ignoring both that I didn't fit in with the kids my age, and got along quite well with a guy 3 grades ahead of me who the school had tutoring me on science.

In fact, that was a pattern for a long time. I got along better with folks older/younger than me than I did with folks about my age.

Re: OH, thank you!

Date: 2017-05-11 08:56 am (UTC)
kengr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kengr
>> There was never any question of me fitting in: my parents are teachers.<<

Ouch. My mom was a retired teacher. And in first grade the teacher of the *other* first grade class was a friend of mom's.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-26 05:23 am (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu

Q: How to pronounce "Koul"?

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2015-02-26 02:23 pm (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu

Cool# I meant: Cool! (Typing with a faceful of cat.)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-26 05:48 am (UTC)
mdlbear: (happy-turtle)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear

I remember watching that video with the dolphins making bubble hoops -- it's great to see where you went with it.

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2015-02-26 07:13 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Steel was FUNNY-- I swear, his line about sonar is just PERFECT for him. He contributes when HE feels safe, which is very believable for him. But too much of Moderato's "helpful suggestions" could damage that sense of safety... or become stale.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-26 06:53 am (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
I wonder if some super-gizmologist could make the kind of handling tools for Gladhammer that the cetacean Commander Hwii uses in Diane Duane's Dark Mirror?

Are there other stories about the Numerator? The conversation seems to imply that there are, but I don't recall seeing any.

Tangentially related: I was looking at eye shadow in the drugstore, and found a 5-color set called Maldives Sky by Wet 'n Wild. And it was in my colors, so of course I bought it. :-)

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2015-02-26 03:47 pm (UTC)
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsixwing
>> It's really into body dysphoria territory.<<

Reading her notes, I was wondering about this.

...and now thinking about the 3d-printed bionic hands that just showed up. I wonder if something similar would help Gladhammer - tying into the existing interface to her flippers, frex.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2015-02-26 10:35 pm (UTC)
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsixwing
Auxiliary limbs make sense, particularly in Gladhammer's situation. She's got to still be able to maneuver, or she's going to end up in a world of hurt.

And, of course, she'd need to have a big influence in the design of any such thing - she'd know exactly how to streamline it, make it comfortable, to the extent that human engineers may never even think of! This is a fun brain toy.

Emergency ship repairs are a small example, even - how about underwater structures to direct the worst of storm surges away from things they'll wreck, creating havens for both cetaceans and humans? This sort of thing, as well as giving her very good press, could tremendously influence the course of Terremagne's island nations.

Only vaguely related: you have examples of human soups with telekinesis. It'd be very interesting indeed to see what a cetacean could do with that. I'm essentially imagining a waterbending whale.
Edited Date: 2015-02-26 10:37 pm (UTC)

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2015-02-26 06:13 pm (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
Hands are exactly what Hwii has. Here's the reference:

Picard watched with interest as Hwii flicked his watery "sleeves" up and slipped his fins into the manipulators, which promptly sprouted long graceful tendrils of metal, five from each glove. "There's a neural-transfer net installed just under the skin of each flipper," Hwii said, flexing the tendrils. "It transfers even very small movements of the phalangeal bones to the waldoes."

(Note: in order to function freely in a dry-land environment, Hwii has a personal force-field generator which keeps him enclosed in an inch-thick "skin" of water. Obviously, being able to stick his fins out of the water at need is a useful feature.)

And year, for current tech those "bionic hands" would probably also work.

There will be more prompts for The Numerator in my future. :-)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-26 12:00 pm (UTC)
ext_74: Baron Samadai in cat form (Default)
From: [identity profile] siliconshaman.livejournal.com
Uh oh... given Steel's earlier attitude towards humans It's probably just as well he can't produce sonoluminescence. Since the phenomenon is basically an example of controlled fusion, or at least production of plasma. Which is quite capable of melting holes in propellers or hulls when it's created by cavitation.

BTW.. riverine dolphins have been known to make flashlights IRL
Edited Date: 2015-02-26 12:01 pm (UTC)


Date: 2015-02-26 07:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>> Uh oh... given Steel's earlier attitude towards humans It's probably just as well he can't produce sonoluminescence. <<

Steel has his own ways, plural, of sinking ships. He has telekinesis, metalbending, and whale-sized super-strength. He just implied that he also has a non-recreational grasp of bubble technology. I suspect that it's not sonoluminescence, but now that he's seen it in action that might give him ideas.

>> Since the phenomenon is basically an example of controlled fusion, or at least production of plasma. Which is quite capable of melting holes in propellers or hulls when it's created by cavitation. <<

Do you have any links for this?

>> BTW.. riverine dolphins have been known to make flashlights IRL <<

O_O Wow! I hadn't found that. Please tell me you can provide a reference.

Re: Well...

Date: 2015-02-26 08:53 pm (UTC)
ext_74: Baron Samadai in cat form (Default)
From: [identity profile] siliconshaman.livejournal.com
Here's a good point to start on bubble fusion:

It's takes fairly non-critical approach. Whether or not fusion occurs in the imploding bubbles, what isn't in doubt is the production of a hot gas plasma.

I can't find an online reference for the river lights. I've read about it in a marine biology journal, and in a travelogue. The assumption in both cases was the dolphins were either chasing or using some bio-luminescent species that was unidentified. However, it seems at least possible that it's the result of acoustic cavitation. Most bio-luminescent species produce a steady glow, not bright sharp flashes.

Re: Well...

Date: 2015-02-26 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>> Here's a good point to start on bubble fusion:
http://www.quantum-fusion.com/science.shtml <<

Linked, thanks.

>> It's takes fairly non-critical approach. Whether or not fusion occurs in the imploding bubbles, what isn't in doubt is the production of a hot gas plasma. <<


>> I can't find an online reference for the river lights. I've read about it in a marine biology journal, and in a travelogue. The assumption in both cases was the dolphins were either chasing or using some bio-luminescent species that was unidentified. However, it seems at least possible that it's the result of acoustic cavitation. Most bio-luminescent species produce a steady glow, not bright sharp flashes. <<

Okay. I have managed to dig up a few more tangential references. Basically what I said maintains: humans don't have a very thorough understanding of these things yet. We're better at grasping how solid objects work.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-26 12:18 pm (UTC)

Thank you!

Date: 2015-02-26 07:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
I'm glad you liked this.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-26 06:53 pm (UTC)
ext_12246: (Default)
From: [identity profile] thnidu.livejournal.com

• preferring to socialize with / whomever was around.
→ whoever :
> Who was around? → socialize with whoever was around.
> Whom did he meet? → socialize with whomever he met.

gizmology for cetaceans

Date: 2017-03-07 08:26 pm (UTC)
callibr8: icon courtesy of Wyld_Dandelyon (Default)
From: [personal profile] callibr8
I was just re-reading this poem after having come across the link to the article about an engineer who is working on creating an upper-body exoskeleton for a friend of hers who was paralyzed in a dirt-bike accident. I bet Sam would *love* to work with Gladhammer on similar gear customized for cetacean needs!

Re: gizmology for cetaceans

Date: 2017-03-22 09:55 pm (UTC)
djbluejay: Man with dreds holding saxophone (Default)
From: [personal profile] djbluejay
I love this. So much.

My friend do this, too, but he don't have a real big pod yet-two he hang on to don't come around much and they a helluva lot older than he is, so Lucus an' me the only one he kinda like hangin' with. Other than some of the others in other system he know.

The play. I got a grin out of al lthat, thankyes for linking me.


Re: gizmology for cetaceans

Date: 2017-03-22 10:30 pm (UTC)
djbluejay: Man with dreds holding saxophone (Default)
From: [personal profile] djbluejay



ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

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