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September 28, 2016

Who's Afraid of Conceptual Art? BBC Documentary 2016

"Dr James Fox has never really got conceptual art. And he's not alone. Conceptual art has been treated with suspicion and incredulity by virtually everyone outside the art world for nearly a hundred years."

Posted by Ghost of a flea at 09:37 AM

September 27, 2016

Michael Wood - In search of Beowulf (2009)

"There's still poetry in these islands. Until the dragon comes."

Historian Michael Wood returns to his first great love, the Anglo-Saxon world, to reveal the origins of our literary heritage. Focusing on Beowulf and drawing on other Anglo-Saxon classics, he traces the birth of English poetry back to the Dark Ages.
Posted by Ghost of a flea at 09:02 PM

September 26, 2016

Words of the Space Marine: "Chant"

From the comments:

Robert Brown 2 months ago (edited)

"Wow... I just got a very surreal feeling. Like you sometimes can get when you're in a huge crowd of people, or someplace high up looking out on a wide sweeping view of the world below, or when you lose yourself and get disoriented looking up at the stars. It's that feeling of smallness, of insignificance next to the sheer scale of the universe around you. But this feeling is a little different. This time it was as if all the various worlds and universes we imagine were suddenly juxtaposed in my head at once, an infinite variety surging and circling around me, the awestruck observer. All of their grand vistas and rich histories, the seething masses of people who inhabit them and all of their hopes and dreams, joys and suffering, the great world-changing events and movements taking place within them, Empires forged, civilizations founded, ages ended. What are we next to the vastness we imagine? We are nothing, and yet they would truly be nothing were it not for us. I strain my eyes, looking for one universe in particular... Amidst countless others swirling about my stationary vantage point, I see the United Federation of Planets from Star Trek. It is bright, hopeful, and looking towards the future. Beside it, the free peoples of Middle Earth stand tall, living in a world of magic and wonder. The Culture and its Minds passes by to my left, no less magical for its godlike technology. Rising from beneath my feet, the citizens of King’s Landing are going about their daily lives while the nobles fight for the right to rule them. Emerging from behind a universe I do not recognize, but which I know I've seen before somewhere, the Mass Effect universe comes into view. This one is interesting, because in it, humanity is fighting for its very existence, defying the odds. I take a moment to admire their tenacity, but this is not the universe I'm after. The one I hope to find is much older, with far worse odds. After much searching, I find it. 40k is among these infinite universes like a diamond in the ruff, standing as a testament to the resilience and tenacity of the human race. As it wheels into view, the very fabric of this universe looks frayed, desperate, like a piece of rope straining under a heavy load, but which refuses to snap. Nowhere else is our dogged determination to survive against all odds so plainly displayed, or so harshly put to the test. They may not be 'real' in the way we normally use the word, but the souls who exist within that bleak reality are still to be both pitied and admired. Across the omniverse of myth and legend, created and sustained by those of us lucky (or unlucky, as the case may be) enough to live in the 'real' world, 40K shines forth as a beacon of inspiration to us all, as an example of courage and, if not hope, at least stubborn defiance in the face of inevitability. Most people say that 40K is grimdark. I disagree. 40K is the poem 'Do not go gentle into that good night' made real."

Posted by Ghost of a flea at 07:38 AM

Warhammer 40,00 March of the Tanith

"March of Cambreadth" by Heather Alexander Tanith First and Only!

Posted by Ghost of a flea at 07:36 AM

September 25, 2016

A Brief History of Vancian Magic

"As you almost certainly already know, Vancian magic is named after the magic system found in Jack Vance’s Dying Earth novels. There’s no evidence, however, that Gygax and Arenson based their magic system directly off the books. It seems to have been more of a “We have a square hole… oh, look, a square peg!” situation where Vance’s books coincided with their design theories."

Posted by Ghost of a flea at 08:34 AM

Coil - Going Up

"Going Up" is a cover version of the "Are You Being Served" theme tune, the vocals from "Going Up" are sung by François Testory as well as (mostly much lower in the mix) Jhonn Balance. François Testory's vocals are from a studio recording whereas Jhonn's are from a bootleg of the last live Coil concert in 2004.

Coil – Going Up Lyrics

Ground floor perfumery,
Stationery and leather goods,
Wigs and haberdashery
Kitchenware and food...
Going up

First floor telephones,
Gents ready-made suits,
Shirts, socks, ties, hats,

Underwear and shoes...
Going up

Second floor carpets,
Travel goods and bedding,
Material, soft furnishings,
Restaurant and teas.
Going up!

Posted by Ghost of a flea at 08:32 AM

September 24, 2016

MAR Barker - Tékumel Music

"Professor MAR Barker chaired the South Asian Studies Department at the University of Minnesota. A passion for languages helped him develope the world of Tékumel. ...

"In the late 1970s, Barker and a few of his friends made a tape of Tékumel Music. This recording was kept at his home, and rarely heard. In 1985, after a gaming session, I recorded this tape, off the speaker, and played it on Shockwave Radio several times.

"Aside from its airings on Shockwave Radio and the few times it was played by Barker for his friends, this is the first time Tékumel Music has been made public. ..."

Posted by Ghost of a flea at 05:56 AM

September 23, 2016

Restored 'Star Trek' Enterprise Model Lands in Its New Home

"The original studio model of the famous 'Star Trek' Enterprise went back on display in the National Air & Space Museum Tuesday, with a fresh coat of paint, new lights and a state-of-the-art climate control case in the new Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall."

Posted by Ghost of a flea at 05:17 PM

Snoke Is Mace Windu - Star Wars Theory

Has J.J. Abrams salvaged something from the prequels?

Posted by Ghost of a flea at 03:35 PM

September 21, 2016

Please stand by

A useful lesson in the Google ecosystem: YouTube has changed its interface for linking to videos. While it looks great and includes link buttons for social media platforms I've never heard of - fun! - it no longer includes a link to the embed codes I need to post their content. I had expected them to correct the oversight in a day or two... If they don't, or if it's not an oversight, I will likely shift over to Vimeo and other alternatives for posting video content.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at 09:51 AM