Thursday, July 28, 2016

In Which the Internet Is a Boon to Culture and the Arts

The narrator in H. P. Lovecraft's novella At the Mountains of Madness continually references the paintings of Nicholas Roerich in his attempts to convey the unutterable horrors of the city of the Old Ones in their mountain fastness deep in the antarctic.

Were I reading this in paperback, it is likely I would finish the story and forget the name Roerich and never see his work.  Even if I remembered and wanted to see his work, without the internet that would involve at minimum a trip to a library, a search through their catalog, and probably one or two pictures in an anthology.  Possibly, if I lived in the right city, a museum might have a few of his works on display (and then I would need the time and resources to get there). 

But I am reading H.P. Lovecraft on the internet, courtesy of DagonBytes, and I paused to google Nicholas Roerich, expecting perhaps one or two uploads of photos of his work and a wikipedia summary.  Instead, courtesy of the Nicholas Roerich Museum, I found a wonderfully magnanimous upload of full-color, high-quality pictures of Roerich's work, organized into slideshows by topic, freely available to anyone with internet. 

This is a tiny but wonderful example of how free access to information immeasurably enriches our lives.   

Turns out I really enjoy Roerich's works (although not enough to want to hang reproductions on my walls): 
Karakoram.  From the Nicholas Roerich Museum.
 From Lovecraft's prose I was expecting something like "Edvard Munch and M.C. Escher go on an LSD trip together", but Roerich's mountains do not go beyond the stark, breathtaking vastness and barrenness of the photos of Central Asia that I've seen while paging through books in the university library.  Lovecraft's gift and craft, though, was to find madness in everything. 

If I were going to use a Roerich painting as the basis for a horror story, I'd use this one:
The Treasure of the Angels.  From the Nicholas Roerich Museum.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Events, Organization, and Facebook: A Rant

Those who organize events, if they choose to disseminate information about the event via facebook, should ensure that everyone participating in the event is on facebook, and knows about and has access to the place in facebook where event organization information lives.

I have now participated, sometimes with responsibilities, in several events in which I found out only after the fact that I was supposed to find information in facebook groups that no one invited me to or told me about. It's frustrating.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

In Connecticut. In a Cemetery

I like cemeteries, particularly those filled with trees and flowers. 

Thunderbolt Fantasy: Costuming Dreamland

As the mad-person-who-stitches, I'm still not done recording my efforts for Yuna of Final Fantasy X, translated for aerials.  But I'm going to take this week to rhapsodize over the puppets in a new Japanese-Taiwanese television series called Thunderbolt Fantasy.  Because these puppets are gorgeous.  I am hanging on every episode as they come out, oscillating between admiration for the beauty of the costumes and sets, amusement when I spot cheap hacks (or clever work-arounds, depending on your point of view) in the costume construction, and severe criticism of how fake the weapons look. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

In Connecticut. With Ducks.

We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like ducks. 
~Rumi (almost) 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Caturday Post: Tamerlane the World-Conquering Sword Falls in Love With Algorithms

Gentle readers, I did not manage a mid-week post this week.  By way of apology, here is a quintuple-length caturday post:

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Fear of Things That Look Like Spiders

Improbably large spiders make good computer game monsters.  They're not at the top of the list of horrifying monsters I've seen (star-nosed moles probably get that honor), but they've definitely made me yelp coming on them unexpectedly during gaming (to the great disgust of any cat sitting on my lap at the time).  I've started collecting examples of virtual spider-type monsters: