Feb 27, 2011
Feb 19, 2011
Feb 15, 2011
I once wrote a very bad book called The Last Animator.
The book was about a chap (our hero) who was locked in a cell with a fellow named Newton. Newton had this habit of banging his head against the cell bars incessantly - and when I say incessantly I mean incessantly.
Day in, day out. Minute after minute, hour after hour. Incessantly he banged his head. Adfinitum. Circum maximus nauseum, bigtimeus.
Eventually our hero, whose one heroic quality was that he could make wonderous fantasical animations with his mind, was driven mad by the constant 'boink, boink, boinking' of Newton's skull against the iron bars.
It was a sad book. A bit like 'War and Peace' meets 'Dr Zeus'.
Sad or not, I'm sure it might have been a best seller had any of the fifty six publishers I sent it too been intelligent enough to have to published. It was a cutting edge novel that would have sent people to the shrinks in droves. The novel would have boosted the global economy like a ripe progesterone inflated hen sitting on a small New Zealand geyser - and we would not have had the stockmarket crashes of 1987, 1991 and 2006.
But all jokes aside, writing that book for me was either cauterizing, cathartic or cathetizing - depending on your viewpoint.
But one thing the book was most defintely not - was a 'coif'.
Now 'coif' is an interesting word.
"Coif' may sound familiar because it sounds like "coiffer' - like in hairdresser - partic. usage: "to be coiffed" per example: "I was coiffed nicely at the ball by Roger de Vanderbongl".
As you can see it's sort of French, and oddly enough is the thing that circa 1066 the Norman's put on their heads before doing their 'thing' at the Battle of Hastings. Consequently it was usually made of chain mail. Along with their hauberk and chausses, the coif was 'de rigger' in medieval combat.
But how does that fit in with my novel?
Well it fits in in all three ways!
Obviously a coif in itself, being a prophylactic device ( prophylactic def: acting to defend against or prevent something) was a type of anti-cauterising object - in that it negated the need to be cauterised because if you were lucky you didn't get any head cuts.
Also in it's way it was cathartic, because it helped heal old emotional wounds, expecially if you were the Duke William of Normandy whose feelings had been hurt by the nasty English who didn't want to give him their throne.
As for 'catheterizing"? (def: to introduce a catheter into a body cavity.) For that we must turn to the English side. So in King Harold's (the English King's) case, you can say he was cathetrized orbitally with a Norman arrow. The Normans were the 'catheterizes", King Harold was the 'catheteree" and, finally, the arrow was the 'cathetererer". And in a way Harold was also cauterized.
Consequently, it all fits together. Catheter, cauterise and catharsis - especially if you know anything about the Battle of Hastings.
If you know nothing about it, well you probably think I am raving on.
Now, while we are on the subject, another thing a 'coif' is not is a 'sweater."
So, though the Illustration Friday prompt this week is "Sweater' and though these dwarves appear to be knitting sweaters, they should in fact be disqualified because they are merely knitting 'coifs".
I guess the caption is something like:
"It was a bad night, the night of the fifteenth, when Gerald Drawblehood, Captain of the Dwarven Knitting Association (Men's Division) announced to his half brother Cedric, that they were down to their last ball of red wool."
Thank you for looking. I will come visiting tomorrow promise. As soon as I have seen my shrink. :_
Happy Tuesday. Err I mean Wednesday. And I apologise to all those people who have visited to see this post already, to find it vanished. :(
Oh and check this site out! http://martavicente-dibujos-pinturas-objetos.blogspot.com/
Which I found through Don Roberto's blog.
Feb 14, 2011
According to the twelfth century Belarusian Book of Martyrology (known to acolytes as the Кніга пакутнікаў) hidden in the vaults of the Medieval History Department of Cambridge there have been an amazing number of Martyrs who have gone by the name of St. Valentine.
To be exact, history records a whopping twenty four Saint Valentine Martyrs. And oddly enough, The Book of Martyrs records that the big common denominator of all these martyrs (apart from them all being dead) is that they all met their maker (passed on, dropped off, keeled over, kicked the bucket, cashed in, bit the dust, gave up their ghosts, croaked, bought the farm, turned up their toes) on or around the 14th of February.
Hence we have St Valentine's day on that day.
Feb 6, 2011
Of course I, like most people, jumped on the concept of CFFF (the standard abbreviation for Critical Flicker Fusion Frequency) to illustrate "Reversal" because CFFF is one of the adaptations that humans have developed to help us survive in the wild.
More specifically, CFFF not only helps us catch things like rabbits and worms - it stops us being eaten.
But how does it do that? (You see, even though I don't have a spell checker and can't type for chips, I try to end each paragraph with a question to encourage you to keep reading).
You see, CFFF, like lots of other seemingly boring concepts, has more than one use.
For example: in the middle of your next dinner party when there is one of those embaressing lulls in the conversation where every one suddenly stops talking at the same time, and then stares vacuously into the billowing convection current depths of their Salmon Soup waiting for someone else to take up the metaphorical conversational ball .... well with the concept of Critical Flicker Fusion Frequency firmly under your belt, that person who takes up the ball can be you.
No questions asked.
So it doesn't matter which one of your dinner guests has been discovered having an affair with another dinner guest's wife, daughter, mother-in-law etc, you'll soon have them transfixed with spondules of giggleing joyful gaggling laughter once you introduce them to the miraculous concept of CFFF.
But why is CFFF so interesting, and how, exactly, does it stop you getting eaten?
CFFF is all about the human eye, which is why it's so important for artists, hunters and human beings in general. (Next week I'll give you Mach bands and the concept of temporal and spatial summation to jolly your guests with.)
So if your mind has already started to wander, it's now time to pay attention.
You see, in the human eye there are basically two types of photoreceptors - rods and cones. Though rods are great for vison in low light, you can't see colour with them and they have lower resolution than the cones.
Cones are great for detail. You use the cones of your eye in the centre of your vision so you can read, watch television, or spy on your neighbours' teenage pot smoking children.
On the other hand you use the rods for your periphereal vision.
And that's where CFFF comes in.
Basically Critical Flicker Fusion Frequency is (from Wiki) : "the frequency at which an intermittent light stimulus appears to be completely steady to the observer. Flicker fusion threshold is related to persistence of vision."
So.... have you ever noticed that a flourescent light will flicker in the corner of your eye and drive you nuts? Or the same with old fashioned Televisions?
But when you look at it directly, there is no flicker at all?
Well that's because of the CFFF! How exciting is that eh?
Well, it even gets better.
The reason you see the flicker in the corner of your eye and not in the centre is because the CFFF in your peripheral vision is lower than your central vision. That means you need a higher frame rate (flicker rate) for the light to be seen as non flickering in your peripheral vision.
So although the rods in this area are low resolution, they make up for this by being able to see movement much better than the central of your vision. They will pick up a quick movement in your side vison because of their higher CFFF (or was it their lower CFFF?).
Now isn't that wonderful? Can you picture in your minds eye your otherwise moribund dinner guests wriggling with excitement over their lime sorbets as you regail them with this titbit of data!
But wait. There's more!