Why I Will Not Return to Arisia

Ahem Ahem!, This Is Important, Thumbs Down

Content note: references to rape, trauma, sexism, gaslighting, harassment, intimidation, and stalking. Also note: an f-bomb or two.

TL;DR – I’ve been to Arisia before, and enjoyed it. In fact, it was my first U.S. con. I was looking forward going back after a break. However, due to failures in following and enforcing their own Code of Conduct, which had the practical effect of protecting a stalker, I will not return to Arisia in the future.

A Pompom Solar System

Arts & Crafts, DIY, Geek out!, Stunt Double

Love this – Lisa Tilse at We Are Scout turned our solar system into a pompom mobile:

We Are Scout Lisa Tilse Pompom Solar System

Lisa Tilse at We Are Scout.

So clever! The blue and green Earth is the best, closely followed by Saturn with its rings and the colorful Jupiter.

Visit her site for the tutorial.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Two Black Amazons from 1400s

Arts & Crafts, Bits in Spaaace!, Thumbs Up

Oh, goodness! An illumination from a 15th-century French manuscript shows two black Amazons. Have a look:

Le secret de l'histoire naturelle, France, ca. 1480-1485, BnF, Français 22971, fol. 2R; via discarding images on Tumblr.

Le secret de l’histoire naturelle, France, ca. 1480-1485, BnF, Français 22971, fol. 2r; via discarding images on Tumblr.

This image has clearly been cropped and edited. My source, discarding images on Tumblr, says the two women are Amazons but gives no more details.

Being an early history nerd, I did some additional digging. Below is the whole page via Gallica, the digital library for the national library of France (Bibliothèque nationale de France, or BnF).

Le secret de l'histoire naturelle fol 2r Full Page

Le secret de l’histoire naturelle, France, ca. 1480-1485, BnF, Français 22971, fol. 2r.

The full title of the manuscript is Le secret de l’histoire naturelle contenant les merveilles et choses mémorables du monde. It was created between 1401-1500, and is currently stored at BnF. The illumination comes from the first part of the book, which presents the great countries and the great provinces of the old world.

Unfortunately, my French isn’t good enough anymore to be confident in my reading; I can understand a word here and there, but not the whole. However, it does look like the first word below the illumination is Amazon.

I’ve cropped into a separate image the bottom left corner of the illumination with the text following immediately after it:

Le secret de l'histoire naturelle fol 2r Amazons

Le secret de l’histoire naturelle, France, ca. 1480-1485, BnF, Français 22971, fol. 2r; cropped.

I just cannot make out the full spelling of the first word due to the ligatures that squish up the last two or three letters. It definitely looks like it’s inflected, though. The sequence ma definitely follows the capital A, with most likely a z and o further along.

It also looks there’s a sigil marking an abbreviation on top of the o, which was very common in handwritten Medieval documents to mark inflectional endings, among others. (Unless it’s a diacritic like in modern French – were they even used in Medieval French? If so, maybe Amazonye? Amazònye? Amazónye?? Amazônye???)

Anyway, it seems that Amazons are indeed talked about on the same page. The larger block of text above the illumination mentions the word affricà, too. (Again, not sure whether that’s a sigil or diacritic on the final a.)

In any case, if the two women aren’t Amazons, at the very least they are heralds of some sort leading a column of warriors. The image details, like the mi-parti dresses, are really neat, too.

Found via MedievalPOC on Tumblr.

And speaking of MedievalPOC, I’ve found it a truly valuable source for types of art imagery that’s not usually included in the canon from the Middle Ages onwards. The site is sometimes a little too interesting: on several occasions, I’ve spent much longer than intended there, happily chasing intriguing details down the rabbit hole. If you’ve got the time to spare, I wholeheartedly recommend it. 🙂

P.S. You can also follow MedievalPOC on Twitter. Happy browsing!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Geeky Color Combos: Alliance Colors in an Office

Colors, Design & Designers, Geek out!

Since I’m currently cleaning house in game, my brain apparently sees World of Warcraft everywhere. At least if this office is to judge by: the colors clearly nod in the direction of the Alliance.

Desire to Inspire Masquespacio Spain 1

Masquespacio / photo by Bruno Almela Egido, via Desire to Inspire.

Desire to Inspire Masquespacio Spain 2

Masquespacio / photo by Bruno Almela Egido, via Desire to Inspire.

The photos are from a meeting space at the Masquespacio studio in Valencia, Spain. Masquespacio describes their field as creative consultancy, which seems very accurate – their expertise ranges from interior plus product design to art direction and communication.

The vibrancy of colors and the color combinations in their work is very arresting. It brings to mind midcentury modern, yet there is also something unquestionably contemporary. The effect is subtle and considered; very nice. More amazing photos on Masquespacio’s Instagram and Twitter.

Found via Desire to Inspire. (Visit Desire to Inspire for more photos from the office, including a an absolutely delectable dark green wall.)

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

New to Me: Majestic 3d-Printed Dice

Design & Designers, Games

Oh, wow, look at these 3d-printed dice:

Etsy MajesticTrinkets Art Deco Dice Set

MajesticTrinkets on Etsy.

They’re designed and made by Carolyn. She sells her dice under the name Majestic Trinkets through an Etsy shop and a Shapeways shop.

Shapeways Majestic Trinkets D20 Lace Brass

MajesticTrinkets on Shapeways.

Carolyn uses CAD software to design the dice, so they’ll be properly balanced. Some of the designs can be printed from a variety of materials.

Shapeways Majestic Trinkets D10 Spindown Nickel

MajesticTrinkets on Shapeways.

Very cool – what a wonderful way to channel your creativity. I love that she combines her training (mechanical engineer) and hobbies to make pretties for her fellow nerds. 🙂 Kudos!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

P.S. Visit MajesticTrinkets on Twitter for more photos of neat die projects!

Creativity Is: Wonder Woman – Renaissance Garb Crossover

Arts & Crafts, Geek out!, Stunt Double

Jenn at Ms. Makes mashed up Wonder Woman and Renaissance garb with brilliant results:

Instagram Msjennmakes Wonder Woman Renaissance Full

Ms. Jenn Makes on Instagram; photo by Angela (wanderings_in_wonderland).

Instagram Msjennmakes Wonder Woman Renaissance Portrait

Ms. Jenn Makes on Instagram; photo by Angela (wanderings_in_wonderland).

It’s a version of late fifteenth century Florentine dress. Jenn describes the details:

“The outfit is based on those common in 1490’s Florence, largely documented by Domenico Ghirlandaio, and consists of a camicia, side lacing gamurra (with bead and sequin embellished neckline decoration), a set of tie on sleeves (also embellished), a velvet giornea, and a #tambourbeading embellished and faux leather belt! Other accessories include a lasso holder, faux hair braid, and a diadem […]”

She also shared some details of the costume, like the beaded collar piece

Instagram Msjennmakes Wonder Woman Renaissance Neck Beading

Ms. Jenn Makes on Instagram.

…and detachable sleeves, lined, with another set of embellishments from Wonder Woman’s costume:

Instagram Msjennmakes Wonder Woman Renaissance Sleeves

Ms. Jenn Makes on Instagram.

Absolutely breathtaking! Jenn mentions using a beading technique called tambour beading, which I hadn’t heard of before. I just love learning new things from my fellow textile geeks!

Visit Jenn’s Instagram for more views and details or the Ms. Makes website for more sewing talk and tips.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Close Quarters: Hello, My Name Is Inigo Montoya…

Design & Designers, Geek out!, Stunt Double

I actually did a double take while looking at this elaborate bedroom gallery wall:

DSponge Peaches Freund 18-bedroom-north-22-800

Yes, it IS Inigo! Smack in the middle in a fancy gilt frame.

Seeing Inigo’s portrait reminds me of how my sister and I went to see The Princess Bride (without knowing what it was about), came out and went straight back in again to see it for the second time in a row. It turned out to have been the last weekend it was showing locally in the theaters, too. It was the first and only time I’ve done that, and I’ve never regretted it. 🙂

“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

From the small but unabashedly colorful and inventive home of freelance designer and author Peaches Freund. Found via design*sponge – visit the post for more photos of Peaches’s incredible style!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Spotted Online: Life-Sized Boba Fett Wall Decal

Movies & TV, Room of Awesome, Stunt Double

I had to share this in honor of the U.S. opening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Nicole Balch used a life-sized Boba Fett wall decal to finish off her son’s Star Wars -themed room, and the results are fantastic.

Nicole Balch Making It Lovely Sons SW Room

Nicole Balch at Making It Lovely.

Kudos! Visit Nicole’s blog for the full details.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

My Finland

My Spaces, This Is Important

Today, my native country Finland turns 100 years. I speak of Finland on this blog now and then because it’s a huge part of my identity.

My Finland Summer Flags Naantali

Sadas itsenaisyyspaiva joulukuun 6 2017

Here, to celebrate our first centennial, are a few aspects of my Finland. All photos by me unless otherwise mentioned.

 

My Finland is woods and access to nature

Finland is among the most forested countries in the world, and people inhabiting the area have lived off of its forests for millenia. I really love woods. I would feel exposed without woods around me.

My Finland Central Finland Woods

My Finland Nuuksio Natl Park

In Finland, nature is incorporated into even the largest cities, and not only as manicured lawns or shrubberies. In addition to national parks, we have relatively untouched areas of nature almost within a stone’s throw from anywhere. And lakes – thousands of lakes.

 

My Finland invests in infrastructure and future-conscious planning

Multiple modes of transportation are an inseparable part of modern community planning. I’ve been biking to get myself from A to B as long as I can remember, and LOVE the bicycle paths. There’s even wintertime maintenance on them! I also love Finland’s clean, safe, up-to-date public transit. To wit: the metro system in the greater Helsinki region was just extended.

My Finland Bike Path

Flickr JElliott Moving in Helsinki

J.Elliott on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

 

My Finland is multilingual and international

For centuries, Finland was stuck in between and fought over by two larger powers. We were first a part of the Swedish realm, then Russia took over. There’s no denying that Finland is a small country, population-wise, and a small market. That doesn’t stop us from connecting; on the contrary.

Finland is officially bilingual (Finnish and Swedish), and the Sami languages, Karelian, Romani and Finnish sign language have been legally recognized as minority languages. Apart from the newer minority languages, there are also older communities speaking Russian and Tatar, for example. Today, pupils learn the basics of a minimum of three languages besides their native one before they leave elementary school.

My Finland Turku Railway Sta Newspapers

I also happen to LOVE the Finnish language. It’s an agglutinative one, which means we can build massive words like mustaviinimarjamehutiivistepullonkorkissanikin (‘also in the cap of my bottle of black currant juice concentrate’), typically spelled as one despite the length. Finnish also employs vowel harmony, which means that for instance the back vowel a cannot appear in the same word as the front vowel ä – but because of agglutination, we can build a compound where both do appear. For example, there’s a (theoretical) word with only one consonant and seven vowels: hääyöaie (‘intention on wedding night’ – can’t really see anyone ever using that in everyday life).

 

My Finland Reads

Finns love reading, whether it’s newsprint, websites or physical books. Or Donald Duck!

My Finland Kirjasto in Helsinki

Finnish Reading March 2017

Several Finnish authors have achieved international fame.

Moomin Butt from Complete Comic Strip #1

 

My Finland designs beautiful things

Modern Finnish design has made a name for itself. Brands like Marimekko or Iittala and names like Alvar Aalto and Eero Saarinen are known internationally. I’m partial to jugend (art nouveau / national romanticism) and wood.

My Finland Natl Romantic Architecture

 

My Finland is playful

Finns don’t do just high design, we also allow our humor to blossom – check out, for instance, the huge Posankka statue in Turku that is a hybrid between a marzipan pig and a rubber duck.

My Finland Posankka

We also love games and playing. Recent Finnish game franchise hits include Max Payne and Angry Birds. I sometimes wonder if the speculative genre Finnish weird might have arisen from our tendency to play around with ideas and color outside the lines. Not to mention to innovate!

 

My Finland invests in technology

Almost as long as there’s been an administrative unit called Finland, it’s been poor. Only after the World Wars did we really start trying to improve our lot, and by and large have succeeded. From Fiskars (which started as a forge in 1649) to Nokia and Linux, to mention but a few examples, for a tiny country we’re doing darn well.

Legendary Pinking Shears

Flickr Museovirasto JOKALS4Vaa01-3 Leipomo vuonna 1998

The ruisleipä line in a bakery in Kotka from 1998. Photo by Lauri Sorvoja / JOKA via Museovirasto (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

 

My Finland is unabashedly geeky and nerdy

Since reading is a big pasttime in Finland and since we love our technology, it’s probably no surprise that we have an active SF/F / larp / anime community. Thanks to the efforts of the Finnish fan community plus supporters all around the world, we hosted Worldcon 75 in Helsinki this past August.

Eppu at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki Aug 2017

 

My Finland Loves Music

From traditional to tango, from classical to heavy metal – even the combination of the two! – music is everywhere in Finland. I’m not a terribly big fan of classical music, but Jean Sibelius is special. Here’s a version of his Finlandia Hymn by Cantus Vocal Emsemble, with lyrics (I believe) from a Unitarian Universalist hymn book:

The Finlandia Hymn by cantussings

The Eurovision Song Contest is popular, and various folk styles are making a comeback.

Pernilla Karlsson – “När Jag Blundar” (Finland) via escDjpo2012

Ulla Pirttijärvi is one of my favorite Sami vocalists. I’ve also grown to like the combination of traditional yoiks and contemporary music quite a lot.

Ulla Pirttijärvi ~ Lullaby via FamilyOfLightMember

 

My Finland sauna bathes

Sauna is the only truly wide-spread Finnish word. We have sauna often, sometimes multiple times a week, and many people still make their own sauna whisks.

Sauna Whisks for Sale

 

My Finland cares

Finland is not perfect, but by and large we take care of each other. Finland’s women gained the right to vote first in Europe, in 1906. In the first elections where women were allowed to vote they were also allowed ro run for office; we elected 19 female members of parliament that year. We’ve already had one female President. (High time for another!)

My Finland Bunnies

This year we legalized same-sex marriage and are experimenting with universal basic income. There’s still plenty to do, for instance abolishing the mandatory sterilization of trans people, reversing the trend of cutting from the care of the disabled and the old, trying to reduce domestic abuse and making sure the social security nets already in place hold.

My Finland in the Sky

In my Finland, there’s space to be who you are.