Tag Archives: lord of the rings

Company Selling Pre-Fab Hobbit Hole Homes That Can Be Assembled In Three Days

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Green Magic Homes is a company that manufactures per-fabricated shells that can be used to build Hobbit-hole style homes. The shells can be assembled by as few as three people in in three days, making them the perfect choice for a person who needs a new home RIGHT NOW. Plus the Hobbit-holes are eco-friendly and super customizable for those of you who need OPTIONS. Me? I just need enough space to lay my head at night. Okay, and a man-cave with a nice entertainment center. And, shit, can I get a chef’s kitchen? Also I’ve always dreamed of building a bathroom big enough to have an echo so I can talk to my make-believe far-away self while I’m on the potty. I can’t help it, I know how to have fun. “Your brain is mush.” That too I’m sure.

Keep going for several more shots of the possibilities.

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Thanks to Sam The Slammer, who wants to live in that rabbit hole that Alice went down. Heck yeah, bring me one of those shrinking potions.

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Orcs of New York

Orcs of New York Will Restore Your Faith in Orc-Kind

Harry Aspinwall, a Scottish actor living in Brooklyn, decided that he was tired of Human of New York’s human-centrism. So he created a Facebook page to celebrate an oft-derided subculture: Orcs of New York!

Aspinwall throws down a gauntlet on his page.

This project has been a labour of love, and it means the world to me that so many people have taken an interest and want to help raise awareness about a people so often maligned and misunderstood. For many years I’ve felt that orcish culture has a beauty that goes unappreciated and underrepresented in the mainstream media, even while orcish people make up an ever growing proportion of our city. It’s time they stood in the spotlight.

Aspinwall, like Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York, seems to have a knack for finding orcs who have their knobby claws on the pulse of life in the Big Apple. Or could it be that truly all orcs have complex universes within them, and they’re just waiting for a kind human with a camera to listen to their stories? Either way, he’s spotlighted one orc that needed to vent about a perennial topic: the gulf between children and their elders, who remember when times were harder:

Orcs of New York by Harry Aspinwall

This second-generation orc, like many children of immigrants, struggles with wanting a connection to his culture, and wanting to assimilate fully into a life in the United States.

Orcs of New York by Harry Aspinwall

And this orc actor thinks its time film and television looked beyond humans for their casting needs. After all, how will the next generation of orcs know that they can be anything they want to be, unless they have some good role models?

Orcs of New York by Harry Aspinwall

Pretty inspirational, right? But since we want to end on a really happy note, we love this orc who isn’t going to let the stressful pace of New York get him down!

Orcs of New York by Harry Aspinwall

 

You can find more information on Aspinwall’s project at Hypable, and be sure to check out more of Orcs of New York over on Facebook!

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Brilliant handcrafted sets from popular films (24 Photos)

Brilliant handcrafted sets from popular films (24 Photos)

OCTOBER 14, 2013

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The Battle Of Helm’s Deep using 150,000 LEGO Blocks

Duo Recreates The Battle Of Helm’s Deep using 150,000 LEGO Blocks

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This mind-blowingly huge and incredibly detailed recreation of the battle of Helm’s Deep was made in about 4 months by Rich-K & Big J using 150,000 LEGO blocks and 1,700 mini-figs. The whole thing weighs about 160 pounds and is the size of a ping-pong table.

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Great Character Descriptions from Science Fiction and Fantasy Books

As an author I found this very helpful.  I was pleased to see that I have read most of the books as well.  Putting good reading into your head helps get good writing out of it.  These descriptions are far from the police version – 6 foot, medium build, 30s, caucasion male.  I think all of us can learn to think a bit outside the box in creating our descriptions.

Reposted from StumbleUpon, from I09, written by CHARLIE JANE ANDERS AND MANDY CURTIS.

Great Character Descriptions from Science Fiction and Fantasy Books

The best science fiction and fantasy books aren’t just about amazing ideas, or huge vistas — they’re about people. So part of the key to a really successful SF/fantasy book is to describe people in a memorable, cool fashion.

A good description of a character goes a long way to letting you get to know that person — but it’s a tricky business. The best way to learn this challenging skill is by studying how others have pulled it off in the past. So here are some examples of our favorite character descriptions from science fiction and fantasy books.

Top image by Tomasz Jendruszek.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (page 10):

“Ender did not see Peter as the beautiful ten-year-old boy that grown-ups saw, with dark, tousled hair and a face that could have belonged to Alexander the Great. Ender looked at Peter only to detect anger or boredom, the dangerous moods that almost always led to pain.” Nice construction, telling us how other people see Peter, but then juxtaposing it with the more visceral way that Ender sees him.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin (page 30):

“… Face like the moon, pale and somehow wavering. I could get the gist of his features, but none of it stuck in my mind beyond an impression of astonishing beauty. His long, long hair wafted around him like black smoke, its tendrils curling and moving of their own volition. His cloak — or perhaps that was his hair too — shifted as if in an unfelt wind. I could not recall him wearing a cloak before, on the balcony. The madness still lurked in his face, but it was a quieter madness now, not the rabid-animal savagery of before. Something else — I could not bring myself to call it humanity — stirred underneath the gleam.” This is full of lovely imagery, including the hair and the cloak moving like smoke — and it leaves you with a really sharp impression even as you don’t ever get a clear impression of him, because Yeine doesn’t either. It’s like a painting that sticks with you.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (page 11):
“He was not conspicuously tall, his features were striking but not conspicuously handsome. His hair was wiry and gingerish and brushed backward from the temples. His skin seemed to be pulled backward from the nose. There was something very slightly odd about him, but it was difficult to say what it was. Perhaps it was that his eyes didn’t seem to blink often enough and when you talked to him for any length of time your eyes began involuntarily to water on his behalf. Perhaps it was that he smiled slightly too broadly and gave people the unnerving impression that he was about to go for their neck.” This description of Ford Prefect is sparky and full of action, you can practically see him smiling unblinkingly at you.

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien (page 274):

“The face of Elrond was ageless, neither old nor young, though in it was written the memory of many things both glad and sorrowful. His hair was dark as the shadows of twilight, and upon it was set a circlet of silver; his eyes were grey as a clear evening, and in them was a light like the light of stars.” You can almost feel night gathering as you read that passage, from the gray of evening to the appearance of the night sky, and the overall impression is one of great age despite the claim of agelessness.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (page 98):

“She’s the twelve-year-old, the one who reminded me so of Prim in stature. Up close she looks about ten. She has bright, dark eyes and satiny brown skin and stands tilted up on her toes with arms slightly extended to her sides, as if ready to take wing at the slightest sound. It’s impossible not to think of a bird.” A lot of the best character descriptions have action or a element of movement to them, so you not only see the character, you see her in motion. (Doris Lessing has a good passage about this in one of her Martha Quest novels.) Here, we get Rue’s physical details, but we also have an indelible sense of how she moves.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (page 39):

“Black-haired and slender, wearing the huge new dust-filtering glasses, she approached his car, her hands deep in the pockets of her brightly striped long coat. She had, on her sharply defined small face, an expression of sullen distaste.” The body language, with the hands deep in the coat pockets, is super clear — you can practically see her hunching over. And you have to love the giant glasses and the “sharply defined small face.”

Great Character Descriptions from Science Fiction and Fantasy Books

Soulless by Gail Carriger (page 8):
“The fourth Earl of Woolsey was much larger than Professor Lyall and in possession of a near-permanent frown. Or at least he always seemed to be frowning when he was in the presence of Miss Alexia Tarabotti, ever since the hedgehog incident (which really, honestly, had not been her fault). He also had unreasonably pretty tawny eyes, mahogany-colored hair, and a particularly nice nose.” What’s great here is that you digress into backstory that gives you a tantalizing hint about this character’s bad temper, and then suddenly you’re snapped back into very concrete physical description — but the physical description seems sharper because you’ve gotten this impression of Lord Maccon as a person.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (page 2):

“These sharps were dressed in the heighth of fashion too, with purple and green and orange wigs on their gullivers. Each one not costing less than three or four weeks of those sharps’ wages, I should reckon, and make-up to match (rainbows round the glazzies, that is, and the rot painted very wide). Then they had long black very straight dresses, and on the groody part of them they had little badges of like silver with different malchick’s names on them-Joe and Mike and suchalike.” Describing the three devotchkas, Burgess gives us a crash course in dystopian future fashion.

Dune by Frank Herbert (page 459):

“Through the door came two Sardukar herding a girl-child who appeared to be about four years old. She wore a black aba, the hood thrown back to reveal the attachments of a stillsuit hanging free at her throat. Her eyes were Fremen blue, staring out of a soft, round face. She appeared completely unafraid and there was a look to her stare that made the Baron feel uneasy for no reason he could explain.” Your immediate impression of Alia is one of power and disturbing intensity. But there’s a lot of implied violence in the description too — the hood that’s “thrown back” and the emphasis on her bare throat. It’s immediately intense and gripping.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (page 8):

“If the motorcycle was huge, it was nothing to the man sitting astride it. He was twice as tall as a normal man and at least five times as wide. He looked simply too big to be allowed, and so wild — long tangles of bushy black hair and beard hid most of his face, he had hands the size of trash can lids, and his feet in their leather boots were like baby dolphins.” The idea that Hagrid is “simply too big to be allowed” is fantastic — it’s the Dursleys’ viewpoint seeping through, but also maximizes how big and unruly he seems. And his feet are like baby dolphins! It’s comical and totally lodges itself in your brain.

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut (page 23):

“He was a funny-looking child who became a funny-looking youth — tall and weak, and shaped like a bottle of Coca-Cola.” I love the pithiness of Vonnegut, the quirky images that say a lot in a few words.

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest (page 22):

“Without the coat, her body had a lean look to it — as if she worked too long, and ate too little or too poorly. Her gloves and tall brown boots were caked with the filth of the plant, and she was wearing pants like a man. Her long, dark hair was piled up and back, but two shifts of labor had picked it apart and heavy strands had scattered, escaping the combs she’d used to hold it all aloft.” This is another description that gives you both the physical details but also a sense of who Briar is, and exactly how poverty and hard labor have affected her.

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (page 12):
“She was a bold-looking girl of about twenty-seven, with thick dark hair, a freckled face, and swift, athletic movements. A narrow scarlet sash, emblem of the Junior Anti-Sex League, was wound several times around her waist of her overalls, just tightly enough to bring out the shapeliness of her hips.” I love the irony of the anti-sex sash bringing out the shapeliness of Julia’s hips, but also the repeated suggestions that she’s bold and fast-moving.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (page 7):

“There are four simple ways for the observant to tell Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar apart: first, Mr. Vandemar is two and a half heads taller than Mr. Croup; second, Mr. Croup has eyes of a faded china blue, while Mr. Vandemar’s eyes are brown; third, while Mr. Vandemar fashioned the rings he wears on his right hand out of the skulls of four ravens, Mr. Croup has no obvious jewelry; fourth, Mr. Croup likes words, while Mr. Vandemar is always hungry. Also, they look nothing alike.” I love how the first sentence sets you up to believe the two characters are almost identical, and by the time the expectation is subverted, you’ve gotten a very clear impression of both of them because you’ve been paying extra-careful attention.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (page 4):

“He knew that when he returned to the firehouse, he might wink at himself, a minstrel man, burnt-corked, in the mirror. Later, going to sleep, he would feel the fiery smile still gripped by his face muscles, in the dark. It never went away, that smile, it never ever went away, as long as he remembered.” It’s not exactly a description, but it gives us a vivid impression of Guy Montag, his creepy smile and his burnt face.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (page 12):

“Lord Asriel was a tall man with powerful shoulders, a fierce dark face, and eyes that seemed to flash and glitter with savage laughter. It was a face to be dominated by, or to fight: never a face to patronize or pity. All his movements were large and perfectly balanced, like those of a wild animal, and when he appeared in a room like this, he seemed a wild animal held in a cage too small for it.” I love the idea that his movements can be both huge and completely controlled, and that his face tells you what the two proper responses to it are.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (page 4):

“Tall and rather thin but upright, the Director advanced into the room. He had a long chin and big rather prominent teeth, just covered, when he was not talking, by his full, floridly curved lips. Old, young? Thirty? Fifty? Fifty-five? It was hard to say.” It’s funny how a lot of descriptions leave some things unresolved, like the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning’s age — but you know that he’s someone who “advances” into a room rather than strolling in, and he’s always talking and displaying his giant teeth.

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (page 40):
“Fifteen years past, when they had ridden forth to win a throne, the Lord of Storm’s End had been clean-shaven, clear-eyed, and muscled like a maiden’s fantasy. Six and a half feet tall, he towered over lesser men, and when he donned the armor and the great antlered helmet of his house, he became a veritable giant. He’d had a giant’s strength too, his weapon of choice a spiked iron warhammer that Ned could scarcely lift. In those days, the smell of leather and blood had clung to him like perfume.

“Now it was perfume that clung to him like perfume, and he had a girth to match his height. Ned had last seen the king nine years before during Balon Greyjoy’s rebellion, when the stag and the direwolf had joined to end the pretensions of the self-proclaimed King of the Iron Islands. Since the night they had stood side by side in Greyjoy’s fallen stronghold, where Robert had accepted the rebel lord’s surrender and Ned had taken his son Theon as hostage and ward, the king had gained at least eight stone. A beard as course and black as iron covered his jaw to hide his double chin and the sag of his royal jowls, but nothing could hide his stomach or the dark circles under his eyes.” Instead of a contrast between how other people see a character and the POV character sees him, as in Ender’s Game, you have a lovely contrast between how Robert appeared in his prime and how he appears now — which serves to accentuate his present decrepitude far more than a simple description would.

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The Hobbit Bar

reposted from thechive.com

New Zealand opens a real-life Hobbit bar (12 Photos)

DECEMBER 14, 2012

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Read more at http://thechive.com/2012/12/14/new-zealand-opens-a-real-life-hobbit-bar-12-photos/#Trs6je5Gw0qCp37u.99

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Write Your Name In Elvish for The Hobbit Opening!

Write Your Name in Elvish in Ten Minutes

You want to write your name in Elvish, but every place you go seems to make it harder than it ought to be. Elvish writing looks beautiful and mysterious, but does it really have to be impossible to understand? Why doesn’t somebody just spell out the alphabet so you can simply substitute the letters and get straight to the result? That’s exactly what I’ve done here. Learn to write your name in Elvish in ten minutes. It’s not very hard.

Here’s the alphabet.

That’s it. (If you want details about where this all comes from, look at the bottom of this page.) You only need to know a few more things and you’re ready to go. The most important thing is that vowels go above (or below) the consonants. That’s what the gray arrows signify in the alphabet shown above. You can put the vowels above the letter they follow (Quenya style) or above the letter they precede (Sindarin style). Take your pick. I do the Quenya style. Look at this example.

1. Write the name: ROBERT.2. Shift the vowels up and to the left, so they are above the letters they follow.

3. Substitute the letters using the alphabet provided above. Notice there are two forms for the letter R. One is for the R sound as in RED. The other is for the R sound as in CAR. The name ROBERT starts with the R-as-in-RED sound and near its end it has the R-as-in-CAR sound.

4. Here’s the text notation. I find it useful to use a plain text representation of the characters when I’m explaining things via email. The underscores at the beginning and end show where the baseline is.

   O E
 _ R B R T _

5. All the examples on this page are use the Quenya style, but here’s the text notation for Sindarin (not shown in calligraphy) so you can see how the vowel positions shift to the right.

     O E
 _ R B R T _

Generally the vowels go above the consonants, but sometimes, in the case of Y and silent E, they go below. Here’s another example. This one includes a special symbol, a straight line underneath the consonant, that indicates a doubled consonant. Use this “doubling symbol” with any consonant.

1. Write the name: LYNNE.2. Shift the vowels down and to the left, so they are below the letters they follow.

3. Make letter combinations. Doubled consonants can be combined into one space.

4. Substitute the letters using the alphabet provided above. Use the bar underneath the N to signify it is doubled.

5. Here’s the text notation. Most of the action occurs below the baseline. I’m using square brackets to indicate letter combinations that result in a single letterform.

 _ L [NN] _
   Y  E

The straight line underneath is just one way to make one character do the work of two. There are a number of Elvish letters that stand for two letters of our alphabet. Think of this as a supplementary alphabet.

The line above a consonant means that a nasal N or M precedes the consonant in question. In the next example, we use the nasal modifier and we see what to do with vowels when there’s no consonant in the right place to put it above.

1. Write the name: ANDY.2. Shift the vowels. The Y goes down and to the left. Since the letter A has no consonant to slide above, it goes on a carrier, which is just a straight line that fills in for the job a consonant would normally do. Note that the carrier is just a graphical convention and has no bearing on pronunciation.

3. Make letter combinations using the supplementary letters: N + D = ND.

4. Substitute the letters. The vowel placeholder is a short straight line. The nasal N preceding D is denoted by a straight line above the D.

5. Here’s the text notation. I’m using the colon symbol : for the vowel carrier symbol.

   A
 _ : [ND] _
      Y

Here’s one last example with two different letter combinations.

1. Write the name: SHELDON.2. Shift the vowels.

3. Make letter combinations using the supplementary letters: S + H = SH. L + D = LD.

4. Substitute the letters.

5. Here’s the text notation.

     E    0
 _ [SH] [LD] N _

I am often asked how to handle double vowel situations. Remember to use the carrier as shown above in the ANDY example. Here are some examples that illustrate some of the situations that come up.

Name: ADRIAN
Text notation:

   A   I A
 _ : D R : N _
Name: EILEEN
Text notation:

   E I [EE]
 _ : :  L  N _

Comment: This is a dramatic example of doubled up vowels. The name starts with two vowels, leaving us no choice but to use two carriers in a row. We use a little artistic freedom with the double E at the end, since they fit nicely over the L. It would have been, however, perfectly reasonable to spell it like this.
Text notation:

   E I E E
 _ : : L : N _
Name: DIETRICH
Text notation:

   I E   I
 _ D : T R [CH] _
Name: AMELIE
Text notation:

   A E I
 _ : M L _
       E

Comment: Here again we’re using a little expressive freedom for compactness. The silent E at the end is placed under the L and assumed to follow the voiced I above the L. You can always spell it like this if you want to be absolutely clear.
Text notation:

   A E I E
 _ : M L : _

That’s all you need to get started. If you take a real interest in Elvish and want to learn more, there’s a lot of good information out there for you.

Please be aware that there are many ways to write English words in Elvish. This is just the one that I use. I have tried to keep it very simple here. There are dozens of sites that can lead you through the nitty-gritty details. The best one I have come across yet is Tolkien Script Publishing. You can learn about all details that I glossed over here.

Good luck!

Ned Gulley

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