ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the May 6, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] peoriapeoriawhereart. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] stardreamer.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
For you alt-history mavens, here are 20 maps that never happened.  Feel free to use any of those as prompts in a suitable prompt call.  The high-speed rail looks a bit like an early, truncated version of the robust mass-transit system that Terramagne-America enjoys.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Sung and played, it's very pretty.

According to my farmemory, this is a credible rendition of the court/temple style, you know, classical stuff.  The popular music was, um ... earthier.  Louder, faster, ooga-chaka stuff.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the December 2, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.


"Fun Weighs Nothing"


Modern entertainment is all based
on expensive computer consoles
or board games that cost $50 a box

but there was a time when
fun weighed nothing
and didn't cost either.

Kids ran around outside
playing tag and red rover
and blind man's bluff.

They made snowball forts
and fought epic battles,
built sand castles and mud slides.

There were no cell phones then,
no helicopter parents, and
neighbors actually knew each other.

Today most of the kids are fixated
on toys that blink and beep
and run out of batteries

but some of them still remember
that fun weighs nothing and
twilight isn't really dark

until Mom drags you indoors by the wrist.

* * *

Notes:

The title is a riff on the premise that "Knowledge Weighs Nothing" and refers to games that can be played without special equipment, as long as you have someone who knows the rules.

These are some traditional games.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Just in case you thought only modern art needed a secret decoder ring, check out this Anglo-Saxon stuff.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an interview about Lucy, one of my all-time favorite fossils. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today we needed a crockpot lined with foil.  Therefore I needed to know how much foil to pull off the roll.  Now, I know there's a formula for calculating that; I could've looked it up.  But I wanted to figure out a way to do it myself, without the math.  So I used a piece of string to measure the inside of the crock, and then the foil.  Problem solved, no math required!

This is a vital life skill.  You don't have to be able to do everything, just know how to get everything done.  Schools don't teach it, parents these days are often unavailable, so people may not learn it.  There are usually a lot of different ways to accomplish things.  I could just as easily have asked my partner, who was three feet away chopping peppers.  But I'm proud of myself for knowing how to figure out these little everyday puzzles -- the stuff that ordinary people actually need math for, only a lot of time, you don't need the numbers.  You need an amount  of something.  That can usually be obtained through practical methods, faster and more accurately if you are not good with numbers.  I'm good with string.

The other thing is that a friend of ours was practicing with his longbow out in our yard, and let us try it.  This is the first time I've gotten to fire a longbow in this life -- the others were compounds.  It was way too heavy a draw for me, but I did manage to launch an arrow with it, and not smack my boobs or elbow with the string.  I remember how to do it, even if this body won't really go there.  Close enough is ... not good enough to put a rabbit in the pot, but good enough to put a smile on my face for sheer nostalgia.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... the Fifth of November!

You might also enjoy reading my Steamsmith poem "Gunpowder Treason" and my Sherlock fanfic "What Fireworks Are Like" (which is actually set near Fireworks Night but applies to Guy Fawkes too).
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Nina Paley has posted two GIFs of Hebrew slaves in Egypt, one of men and one of women.  And look!  They're brown, with curly black hair, not whitewashed.  I love the stylized geometric body parts too.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Explore the massive changes in peaches, watermelons, and corn over millennia.  Science is delicious!

History

Oct. 19th, 2014 03:51 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Things I enjoy about my current life: not having to wear 5-40 layers of clothing.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of lengthy conversations with [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, and with [personal profile] helgatwb  who lives in southern Louisiana, about how Easy City could have developed from the fractious mix of cultures there.  It also fills the "argument" square in the Birthday Bingo Fest public card.  It is posted here in thanks for LJ user Natasiakith sorting out the Polychrome Heroics poems into individual storylines, and this poem belongs to the same series.

WARNING: This poem features cultural tensions, rude language, arguments, natural disasters, minor character death, and some other challenging topics.  The overall tone is hopeful, though.  Sensitive readers should aim for viewing this while in a steady state of mind.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the October 7, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] chanter_greenie[personal profile] mdlbear, and Shirley Barrette.  It also fills the "suicide" square in my 7-30-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo  fest.  This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.

WARNING: This poem deals with some intense and controversial issues. Some of the warnings are spoilers; highlight to read. It talks about historic suicides, possible murder, assisted suicide in battlefield conditions, homosexuality, kink, vulgar and derogatory language, discrimination against smart people, homophobia, despair caused by social pressure, and other cultural ills. Please think carefully about whether or not this is something you want to read.
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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the October 7, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] brushwolf  and Shirley Barrette.  It has been sponsored by Shirley Barrette.  It also fills the "history" square in my 9-29-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo Fest.

WARNING: This poem contains true stories of genius abuse and neglect.  If that's sensitive territory for you, think carefully about whether you want to read onward.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)

This poem was written outside the prompt calls, inspired by discussion with [personal profile] dialecticdreamer about her character Aidan.  It also fills the "Wild Card: Daily Rituals" square in my 6-1-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest.  It has been selected in an audience poll for the general fund.  This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

The following is a morning/evening prayer that Aidan uses, from his childhood, which is thousands of years ago.  It's bilingual in a version of Proto-Indo-European and English.  The cool thing about PIE is that it's primarily a set of word bones with a few grammatical guesses.  So if you want to extrapolate what a historic tribe might have been speaking, you can pick and choose among the variables until you get something you like.  Several linguists have done this for our world; listen to an example here.  (I can actually parse words out of that.)  Here's one for Terramagne.
 

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Meet the current biggest dinosaur, link courtesy of my partner Doug.  Imagine riding that into battle.

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