July 18th, 2011

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Questioning the Inca Paradox

I was intrigued by this article about linguistics and history.


Questioning the Inca Paradox
Did the civilization behind Machu Picchu really fail to develop a written language?
By Mark Adams
Slate
July 12, 2011

When the Yale University history lecturer Hiram Bingham III encountered the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru 100 years ago, on July 24, 1911, archaeologists and explorers around the world (including Bingham himself) were stunned, having never come across a written reference to the imperial stone city. Of course, the absence of such historical records was in itself no great surprise. The Inca, a technologically sophisticated culture that assembled the largest empire in the Western Hemisphere, have long been considered the only major Bronze Age civilization that failed to develop a system of writing - a puzzling shortcoming that nowadays is called the "Inca Paradox."
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Monday Update 7-18-11

These are some posts from the later part of last week, in case you missed them:

Sunday Fic Meme: "Beached Fish"
Books by Character Genres (rude)
Poem: "Colorless"
Torn World Muse Fusion is open!
Torn Tongue: Verbs Beginning with "K"
Poem: "A Night More Full" (from Path of the Paladins)
"Shine On" sketch will be revised!


This week's cool news is that crowdfunding is featured in LiveJournal Spotlight. We have lined up a batch of interesting posts about different crowdfunding topics to entertain visitors coming to us from the LJ Home page. If you're interested in connecting creative people with their audience online, now is a good time to drop by and see what we're doing. So far, we have "Welcome, Spotlight Visitors!" from me, "On patronage" by the_vulture, and "Sharing a World for Fun ... and Profit" by ellenmillion.

Torn World writing update:
Approved as canon: "Squiggles: Excerpts from Nleimen's Journal," "On the Rocks," (fiction) "Rhubarb Song," (poetry).  Back to me for edits: "Cutting Time," "Scars of Stone" "Catch and Release," "Swept Away" (fiction), "Seafoam Fashions" (poetry).  Currently in front of the canon board:  nothing! Drafted: "Cutting Cords and Clasping Hands," "Like Ash Before the Wind," "Breaking the Ice," "From Dark to Bright," "Beached Fish," (fiction) and "The Hearsay Cafe," "The Colors of the Rainbow, "Colorless," "Red Glass, Green Glass," "Hide Away," "The Ibabesh Bridge," (poetry).  In revision at home: "Water Dance," "The Green Speech," "When the Wind's Teeth Sing," (fiction).  Currently writing: "Raining Kittens," "Catch of the Day," "Reaching for the Moons" (fiction)

Greenhaven: A Pagan Tradition website updates:
* Added article "Guides for the Urban Pagan."
* Revised the topic page for "Cooking Feasts" and the "Activities" section
* Moved How to Host a Potluck Feast" to its own subpage.
* Posted a brief summary of the July esbat in the Havenspeak blog.

There are four epic poems in microfunding: "Fiorenza and the Witch-Son" features Fiorenza the Italian herbalist musing about social roles and gender dynamics, at a time when there is NOT a major preternatural crisis going on. "Enki's Messengers" is essentially a sidebar to the Sumerian myth "The Descent of Inanna," focusing on the kurgarra and the galatur  created by Enki. "Igor's Creature" is a mix of horror and science fiction with a large helping of sociology and a wry twist of humor.  The epic poem "A Periodic Table of Elementals" is ahead of production.

The heatwave has kept me from doing much yardwork recently.  I did manage to trim and mulch around the white garden, and trim around the wagonwheel garden, and a few other things.  The first wave of blackberries is done, the second wave not quite ripe yet but showing color.  The morning glories in the barrel garden are blooming, although they're usually closed when I wake up.
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Crowdfunded Illustration: Update of "Shine On" Sketch

meeksp has posted an update of her sketch inspired by my poem "Shine On."  View the revised sketch on LiveJournal or on Dreamwidth.  The foliage is more refined, lines at the very center with Shahana and Ari are now crisp, and a couple of critters have materialized from vaguely suggestive shapes.  Notice how the black and white portions of the sketch define the space and the lighting, and how the focus shifts from fuzzy at the edges to sharp in the center.  It's a very cinematic effect.

Then too, this forest reminds me of somewhere I have been.  Compare it to the Hoh Rainforest.  Tall trees with corrugated bark, massive arching ferns, lushly textured undergrowth.  I once stood underneath a foxglove plant that arched clear over my head.  So now I can draw on that experience, and this sketch, to enrich the setting.  Dense, wild, shadowy forest ... gone a bit awry  due to the wrangling in the world.  The potential just hummmms.

Comments and tips on the artist's site are greatly appreciated.


Various related tidbits:

Read the latest poem in the Path of the Paladins series, "A Night More Full."  Shahana the world-weary paladin muses about her past and her relationship with her goddess.

Read a post by meeksp about crowdfunding and inspiration loops, using examples from "Shine On" and another sketch, "Diapering Dragons."

Click my author link to see other sketches of my writing by meeksp.
Fiorenza

Read "Don Candido muses..." by the-vulture

the_vulture has written an insightful piece of fanfic poetry for the series Fiorenza, the Italian Herbalist.  Read "Don Candido muses..." for a glimpse into the perspective of the village priest.  What happens when two strong-willed people, each with their own baggage and their own role, try to work with and around each other?  They spend a lot of time mulling it over.  So much of modern literature is either about loners, or romantic couples.  But it didn't used to be that way: life used to be a dense mesh of relationships woven throughout a small town or village.  What we see in the Fiorenza series is how thoughts and paths cross and recross over time, as people go about their business and nudge each other in passing.

You can find the rest of the series on the "Serial Poetry" page of my website.  "Fiorenza and the Witch-Son" (still in microfunding) was the most proximate inspiration for "Don Candido muses..."