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runcibility: callmebliss: ohjoyspacecowboy: Can you imagine...

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Can you imagine being fuckin being lost in the desert for a couple days and out of nowhere hearing Africa by Toto?? I would lose my fuckin shit that would be the moment id be like damn im actually losing it and gonna die out here, what a banger tho.

it is solar powered
does that mean it stops when it rains

I guess

Me, dying in the desert, as the clouds cut off the sunlight and the mp3 player stops: Oh, bless the rains here in Africa.
The wild dogs: *cry out in the night*

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29 days ago
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ekjohnston: kyraneko: kittyknowsthings: wodneswynn: recklessravager: esser-z: sainatsukino: lin...

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Legolas pretty quickly gets in the habit of venting about his travelling companions in Elvish, so long as Gandalf & Aragorn aren’t in earshot they’ll never know right?

Then about a week into their journey like

Legolas: *in Elvish, for approximately the 20th time* ugh fucking hobbits, so annoying

Frodo: *also in Elvish, deadpan* yeah we’re the worst



Legolas: ugh fucking hobbits

Merry: Frodo what’d he say

Frodo: I’m not sure he speaks a weird dialect but I think he’s insulting us. I should tell him I can understand Elvish

Merry: I mean you could do that but consider

Merry: you can only tell him ONCE

Frodo: Merry. You’re absolutely right. I’ll wait.

#legolas’ hick accent vs #frodo’s ‘i learned it out of a book’ accent #FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT

Legolas: umm well your accent is horrible


Frodo: :)

Frodo: Hello. My name is Frodo. I am a Hobbit. How are you?

Legolas: y’alld’ve’ff’ve

Frodo, crying: please I can’t understand what you’r saying

Ok, but Frodo didn’t just learn out of a book. He learned like… Chaucerian Elvish. So actually:

Frodo: Good morrow to thee, frend. I hope we twain shalle bee moste excellente companions.

Legolas: Wots that mate? ‘Ere, you avin’ a giggle? Fookin’ ‘obbits, I sware.

Aragorn: *laughing too hard to walk*



i mean, honestly it’s amazing the Elves had as many languages and dialects as they did, considering Galadriel (for example) is over seven thousand years old.

english would probably have changed less since Chaucer’s time, if a lot of our cultural leaders from the thirteenth century were still alive and running things.

they’ve had like. seven generations since the sun happened, max. frodo’s books are old to him, but outside any very old poetry copied down exactly, the dialect represented in them isn’t likely to be older than the Second Age, wherein Aragorn’s foster-father Elrond started out as a very young adult and grew into himself, and Legolas’ father was born.

so like, three to six thousand years old, maybe, which is probably a drop in the bucket of Elvish history judging by all the ethnic differentiation that had time to develop before Ungoliant came along, even if we can’t really tell because there weren’t years to count, before the Trees were destroyed.

plus a lot of Bilbo’s materials were probably directly from Elrond, whose library dates largely from the Third Age, probably, because he didn’t establish Imladris until after the Last Alliance. and Elrond isn’t the type to intentionally help Bilbo learn the wrong dialect and sound sillier than can be helped, even if everyone was humoring him more than a little.

so Frodo might sound hilariously formal for conversational use (though considering how most Elves use Westron he’s probably safe there) and kind of old-fashioned, but he’s not in any danger of being incomprehensible, because elves live on such a ridiculous timescale.

to over-analyse this awesome and hilarious post even more, legolas’ grandfather was from linguistically stubborn Doriath and their family is actually from a somewhat different, higher-status ethnic background than their subjects.

so depending on how much of a role Thranduil took in his upbringing (and Oropher in his), Legolas may have some weird stilted old-fashioned speaking tics in his Sindarin that reflect a more purely Doriathrin dialect rather than the Doriathrin-influenced Western Sindarin that became the most widely spoken Sindarin long before he was born, or he might have a School Voice from having been taught how to Speak Proper and then lapse into really obscure colloquial Avari dialect when he’s being casual. or both!

considering legolas’ moderately complicated political position, i expect he can code-switch.

…it’s also fairly likely considering the linguistic politics involved that Legolas is reasonably articulate in Sindarin, though with some level of accent, but knows approximately zero Quenya outside of loanwords into Sindarin, and even those he mostly didn’t learn as a kid.

which would be extra hilarious when he and gimli fetch up in Valinor in his little homemade skiff, if the first elves he meets have never been to Middle Earth and they’re just standing there on the beach reduced to miming about what is the short beard person, and who are you, and why.

this is elvish dialects and tolkien, okay. there’s a lot of canon material! he actually initially developed the history of middle-earth specifically to ground the linguistic development of the various Elvish languages!

Legolas: Alas, verily would I have dispatched thine enemy posthaste, but y’all’d’ve pitched a feckin’ fit.

Aragorn: *eyelid twitching*

Frodo: *frantically scribbling* Hang on which language are you even speaking right now

Pippin, confused: Is he not speaking Elvish?

Frodo, sarcastically: I dunno, are you speaking Hobbit?

Boromir, who has been lowkey pissed-off at the Hobbits’ weird dialect this whole time: That’s what it sounds like to me.

Merry, who actually knows some shit about Hobbit background: We are actually speaking multiple variants of the Shire dialect of Westron, you ignorant fuck.

Sam, a mere working-class country boy: Honestly y'all could be talkin Dwarvish half the time for all I know.

Pippin, entering Gondor and speaking to the castle steward: hey yo my man

Boromir, from beyond the grave: j e s u s

Tolkien would be SO PROUD of this post


If I remember correctly, in the “tree of tongues” material from The Lost Road, Tolkien goes into some detail about how the reason elves have so many dialects is that elves view language as a form of collaborative art, which they delight in, so a newly-coined word or grammatical construct gets spread around just like a new song would.

Elves may be immortal, but they’re also immortal nerd OCs and we must never forget this

Thank you for this addition which is both lovely and educational

So what you’re saying is, they’re us. They’re the internet. Sending “yeet” and “smol” and “I lik the bred” all over creation until two elves who’ve never met in their lives and be like “beans, amirite?” and “yeah I love kitter feets too.”


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29 days ago
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noknightinarmor: goys2men: awhiffofcavendish: biggest-gaudiest...

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Costume. Chitons.

Marjorie & C. H. B.Quennell, Everyday Things in Archaic Greece (London: B. T. Batsford, 1931).

Wait, wait…. Is that seriously it? How their clothes go?

that genuinely is it

yeah hey whats up bout to put some fucking giant sheets on my body

lets bring back sheetwares

also chlamys:

and exomis:

trust the ancients to make a fashion statement out of straight cloth and nothing but pins

Wrap Yourself In Blankets, Call It a Day

Wear blanket. Conquer world.

That last one looks dope

the chlamys is more of a dick-almost-out look

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39 days ago
So like the columns and architectural orders, there is Dorian and Ionian. Is there a Corinthian chitin as well?
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Eowyn Kills the Witch King

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Description: The Witch King, from Lord of the Rings, in the battle of pelennor fields.

Witch King: \
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50 days ago
Why can't both be true?
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1 public comment
50 days ago
Quoting from memory a snarky conversation about this on rec.arts.sf.written lo these many years ago:

WITCH-KING: No man can kill me.
EOWYN: I am no man!
WITCH-KING: Bah, this Westron is so imprecise. I did not mean _vir_, I meant _homo_.
EOWYN: In that case, permit me to point out that Meriadoc, who is not _homo_ but _pygmaeus_, has just introduced a blade of Gondolin to your knee.
Pittsburgh, PA
42 days ago
Is it this one? https://groups.google.com/d/msg/rec.arts.sf.written/QPMaNxBZ_RQ/j8mRbQ3jxvEJ
42 days ago
I think you may be right. It's dated later than I would have guessed -- I stopped reading Usenet circa 2002 -- but it's a close textual match and it makes sense that it's Dorothy Heydt posting.

The Higher States of Bromine

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Chemists have a familiarity with many elements and many compounds, from having worked with them or studied them in the literature. You get a feel for what’s “normal” and for what’s unusual, and there are quite a few degrees of the latter. Take compounds of bromine, for example. Most any working chemist will immediately recognize bromine (there are exceptions) because we don’t commonly encounter too many opaque red liquids with a fog of corrosive orange fumes above them in the container. Which is good. That’s bromine in oxidation state zero, elemental, and then you have bromide (oxidation state -1), one of the most common anions around. “Chlorides are rabble”, said Primo Levi in one of my favorite lines from The Periodic Table, and he was right about that, but bromides are not of much higher social standing. Every cation has a bromide salt, and it’s usually one of the cheaper ones in the catalog.

So far, so good. But bromine can also go up to +3 and +5 oxidation states, and there things start to get interesting. You can have various mixed-halogen things, all of which are reactive and toxic and are distinguished by their various degrees of vileness. And you can get all sorts of bromine-oxygen species, ranging from the pretty well-known ones like bromate ion (BrO3) all the way up to. . .well, to the stuff described in this new paper., from Konrad Seppelt at the Freie Universität Berlin. It contains a whole list of new compounds that send my chemical intuition completely off the rails.

I have no “feel” for them whatsoever except a strong desire never to prepare any of them. Prepare any of them? I don’t even want to make the starting material. You know you’re in for a bumpy ride when your work needs something like bromine fluorine dioxide (bromyl fluoride, BrO2F); no one can claim that they weren’t warned. There hasn’t even been a reliable synthesis of that stuff until now – Seppelt describes a new one, from the aforementioned sodium bromate, which is fine, and bromine pentafluoride, which is not fine, because it’s a hideous oxidizing and fluorinating agent fit to fluorinate you right into the afterlife and whose attempted use in liquid rocket propellent mixtures was abandoned because it was too foul to work with, and, oh yeah, redistilled pure hydrogen fluoride, which is also about as far from “fine” as you can get. The SI of the paper casually mentions that you can use double vacuum distillation in a metal line to get your HF sufficiently anhydrous for the reaction, and you can go ahead and get cranking on that without waiting for me to show up.

You condense the latter two reagents onto a solid charge of the bromate at liquid nitrogen temperatures, and then let it warm all the way up to -78C, at which point a “vigorous” reaction sets in. Imagine running these things for the first time, waiting for said reaction and wondering if it’s going to stay inside your apparatus or invigorate itself all over the ceiling. Once you have made your bromyl fluoride, you raise the temperature a bit more to -40 and pump off the excess HF and pentafluoride, and you will want an extremely capable trap on the other end of that process, which according to the paper can take several hours, and probably had better. Finally, you sublime off the product from the solid residue in the tropical warmth of -10 or so and seal off that part of the tube.

You have now prepared the colorless solid bromine fluorine dioxide. What to do with it? Well, what you don’t do is let it warm up too far past +10C, because it’s almost certainly going to explode. Keep that phrase in mind, it’s going to come in handy in this sort of work. Prof. Seppelt, as the first person with a reliable supply of the pure stuff, set forth to react it with a whole list of things and has produced a whole string of weird compounds with brow-furrowing crystal structures. I don’t even know what to call these beasts: how, for example, do you refer to the cation in Br3O6+ triflate? What’s the name for the compound shown at right? Very few of us will have the need to name it, though – you make that one by condensing trifluoroacetic anhydride onto the bromyl fluoride at -196C, then warming and recrystallizing the solid from liquified freon to give yellow crystals. Those melt at -12C, and according to the paper and its SI, “The molten red liquid starts to gas slowly” and “inevitably explodes upon further warming“. Further experimentation runs a risk of exposure to further inevitabilities, and I’m glad that Prof. Seppelt’s expertise in the lab got him through all this.

The SI strongly warns readers that the preparations therein must not under any circumstances be scaled up, and that is clearly the advice of someone who has has your best interests at heart. Even at the amounts described, you will want an excellent and well-maintained vacuum line, access to noncommon nonhousehold reagents like the aforementioned bromine pentafluoride, a willingness to do things like redistill anhydrous HF, and you will at all times want to be suited up like you’re going to going to spay a velociraptor. Ah, the halogen chemist’s life for me, me hearties, yo-ho-ho and a barrel of. . .well, we still don’t know what to name it. Dang.

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61 days ago
Another amusing entry in the series, Things I Won't Work With
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leftist-daily-reminders: blue-author: projectivepenteract: theuppitynegras: projectivepenteract: ...

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I’m about 90% sure the economy is never gonna “improve” 

this is capitalism in it’s final form

this is it honey 

except, you know, those companies that do a charitable thing for every thing they sell

that’s kinda new and interesting. benevolent capitalism


Pay attention, class: This is what it looks like when one is unwilling to consider new information.

It’s not new information, though. It’s misinformation.

First, it’s not that new.

Did you know that there was a time in U.S. history—which is by definition recent history—when a corporation was generally intended to have some sort of public interest that they served? I mean, that’s the whole point of allowing corporations to form. Corporations are recognized by the commonwealth or state, and this recognition is not a right but a privilege, in exchange for which the state (representing the people) is allowed to ask, “So what does this do for everyone else?”

The way the economy is now is a direct result of a shift away from this thinking and to one where a corporation is an entity unto itself whose first, last, and only concern is an ever-increasing stream of profits. What you’re calling “benevolent capitalism” isn’t benevolent at all. It’s a pure profit/loss calculation designed to distract from—not even paper over or stick a band-aid on—the problems capitalism creates. And the fact that you’re here championing it as “benevolent capitalism” is a sign of how ell it’s working.

Let’s take Toms, as one example. The shoe that’s a cause. Buy a pair of trendy shoes, and a pair of trendy shoes will be given away to someone somewhere in the world who can’t afford them.

That’s not genuine benevolence. That’s selling you, the consumer, on the idea that you can be benevolent by buying shoes, that the act of purchasing these shoes is an act of charity. The reality is that their model is an inefficient means of addressing the problems on the ground that shoelessness represents, and severely disrupts the local economies of the locations selected for benevolence.

(Imagine what it does to the local shoemakers, for instance.)

The supposed act of charity is just a value add to convince you to spend your money on these shoes instead of some other shoes. It’s no different than putting a prize in a box of cereal.

Heck, you want to see how malevolent this is?

Go ask a multinational corporation that makes shoes or other garments to double the wages of their workers. They’ll tell you they can’t afford it, that it’s not possible, that consumers won’t stand for it, that you’ll drive them out of business and then no one will have wages.

But the fact that a company can give away one item for every item sold shows you what a lie this is. A one-for-one giving model represents double the cost of labor and materials for each unit that is sold for revenue. Doubling wages would only double the labor.

So why are companies willing to give their products away (and throw them away, destroy unused industry with bleach and razors to render them unsalvageable, et cetera) but they’re not willing to pay their workers more?

Because capitalism is the opposite of benevolence.

“Charity” is by definition exemplary, above and beyond, extraordinary, extra. “Charity” is not something that people are entitled to. You give people a shirt or shoes or some food and call it charity, and you’re setting up an expectation that you can and will control the stream of largesse in the future, and anything and everything you give should be considered a boon from on high.

On the other hand, once you start paying your workers a higher wage, you’re creating an expectation. You’re admitting that their labor is more valuable to you than you were previously willing to admit, and it’s hard to walk that back.

Plus, when people have enough money for their basic needs, they’re smarter and stronger and warier and more comfortable with pushing back instead of being steamrolled over. They have time and money to pursue education. They can save money up and maybe move away. They can escape from the system that depends on a steady flow of forced or near-forced labor.

So companies will do charitable “buy one, give one” and marketing “buy one, get one” even though these things by definition double the overhead per unit, but they won’t do anything that makes a lasting difference in the standard of living for the people.

Capitalism has redefined the world so that the baseline of ethics is “How much money can we make?” and every little good deed over and above that is saintly.

But there’s nothing benevolent about throwing a scrap of bread to someone who’s starving in a ditch because you ran them out of their home in the first place.

This is one of the best anti-capitalist posts on the entire site.

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100 days ago
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