?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Dragon sighting - Baxil [bakh-HEEL'], n. My Sites [Tomorrowlands] [The TTU Wiki] [Photos]
View My LJ [By Tag]


January 29th, 2008
08:06 pm
[User Picture]

[Link]

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Dragon sighting
[Dragon-shaped cloud over a rock arch]

2nd place, 2007 National Natural Landmarks Photo Contest
Monument Rocks Natural Area, Kansas
Photo by Rob Graham of Great Bend, KS

Link has the wallpaper-sized original, along with all the other contest winners.

(Previously: The fire dragon)

--
* This reminds me of a decades-old book I read in high school purporting to be a guide to modern dragonology; its conceit was that dragons had once existed on earth, but due to human encroachment had disappeared into the ecosystem. It had some marvelous photos of dragon-shaped sand dunes, clouds, etc., and classified them into species based on habitat. Anyone else ever heard of this?**
** EDITED TO ADD: Found (and kinda misremembered). "Dragons: A Modern Infestation."

Current Location: ~/spiral
Current Mood: impressedimpressed
Current Music: "Teakbois," Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe
Tags: ,

(24 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
[User Picture]
From:tronpublic
Date:January 30th, 2008 05:05 am (UTC)
(Link)
That's some obscure Yes you're listening to.
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:January 30th, 2008 08:25 am (UTC)
(Link)
A little trivia, for bonus points: That was by a substantial margin my first Yes album. I didn't even know who the four people were until after I heard the Dead Milkmen song "Anderson, Walkman Buttholes and How!" and tried to dig up that cultural reference.
[User Picture]
From:heron61
Date:January 30th, 2008 05:09 am (UTC)
(Link)
The fire dragon doesn't look very draconic to me, but dear gods that cloud dragon is truly marvelous and impressive.
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:January 30th, 2008 08:27 am (UTC)
(Link)
The fire dragon's heavily anthropomorphic. But, yeah: this one's impressive.
[User Picture]
From:talakestreal
Date:January 30th, 2008 05:59 am (UTC)
(Link)
Makes me think of something...

Someone once said to me (can't remember who) that dragons never really left...but they exist beside our realm, and what we see when we see their shapes, is actually their shadows. That being said that what we see is like...an illusion, a mirage, something that appears in smoke or elements like clouds, rain, fire, etc, but isn't really there in our reality.We see what little part of them *can* manifest in our reality, in those elemental ways.

I know that sometimes, we see what we want to see, but dang if that does't look like a dragon, lol.
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:January 30th, 2008 08:38 am (UTC)
(Link)
Well, sometimes we're just seeing familiar shapes, because we're pattern-finding monkeys. ... And sometimes, the clouds are sending us a message.

If clouds can spell out legible English words, then maybe sometimes they can take other shapes meant to be seen, too.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:January 30th, 2008 09:26 am (UTC)
(Link)
I understand what you say, but I'm not quite certain I see your point. Are you saying cloud language is easier than cloud symbolism?

If anything, it's the other way around. If the clouds in my example had formed a pictoral symbol to represent the idea of "cold," I probably would have said something like, "Hunh, that cloud looks like a snowflake." and dismissed it. But letters forming the word 'cold' (in isolation, mind you; not as part of a larger structure or surrounded by unused cloudlets) not only communicated the idea, it also communicated the idea in such a fashion as to be extremely resistant to chance formation.

In conclusion, it was some spooky shit.
From:premchai21
Date:January 30th, 2008 01:03 pm (UTC)
(Link)

Unrelatedly, I find your note about the ambiguity of symbols to be amusing when juxtaposed with the fact that you used a U+2022 BULLET symbol as a multiplication operator ("1•10^3") rather than a U+00D7 MULTIPLICATION SIGN ("1×10^3") or a U+22C5 DOT OPERATOR ("1⋅10^3").

(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:January 31st, 2008 04:14 am (UTC)
(Link)
Threads like this are why I love my friends.
From:premchai21
Date:January 31st, 2008 04:54 am (UTC)
(Link)

My ridiculously half-baked point, if there ever was one, was that symbols and language are directly connected, and nonword symbols in this sense do have specific meanings that are different even when they look kind of similar to each other. Should I start mixing up the lowercase L and capital I? Some fonts make them identical, after all…

Also, who needs to have the codepoints memorized when you can have the entire Unicode data sheet in text format? I have it bookmarked in my Emacs, and plus I have the “unicode” command-line tool. Though I will admit I have the ones that I commonly use memorized in hexadecimal just as a matter of course (pretty much those in the set {׫»‹›‘’“”–—…♪}, I think).

Also, yes, “*” (or even “x”, given its similar history as a substitute for a multiplication symbol when using ASCII) would be more semantically appropriate than “•” in this context. I had to do a double-take, as I initially parsed the expression as the nonsensical “list of 1 followed by 10^3” with the bullet as a separator, and I still tend to parse it that way if I'm not quite paying enough attention.

Also, for that matter, 103 with the sup tag might be better than using “^” if you're going to go to something fancier than equivalent-to-plain-ASCII anyway, but that's starting to nitpick, perhaps…

Darn it. You made me break out the curly quotes. Now someone's going to nitpick about my use of the straight apostrophe, too.

(Deleted comment)
From:premchai21
Date:January 31st, 2008 05:30 am (UTC)
(Link)

Actually, I recently realized that my Emacs default font is set to a font that makes ‘1’ and ‘l’ indistinguishable. Alas. I must change that at some point.

I was going to start squawking about the fact that your closed Apple symbol appears as an eth to me, but when I actually examined the character it turned out to be U+F8FF which is in the private use region, of which I approve distinctly, even though my system apparently mangles the rendering horribly.

This makes me all the more curious why you use --, FWIW. (I assume that's supposed to be an em dash, based on the usage. I just type those straight—as you can see in this contrived example sentence. There's also — if you like numeric HTML entities (when in an appropriate context), or — if you're willing to deal with occasional stupid browsers which will hate you forever and treat the directive as an invitation to flog their users with prejudice and then run screaming to their maker claiming that you made them do things that made them feel funny.)

(Deleted comment)
From:premchai21
Date:January 31st, 2008 06:19 am (UTC)
(Link)

(Did you really just write the tag nesting blockquote > i > li, and write a link with target="_blank"? Aiee!)

Droid Sans Mono looks vaguely acceptable, but both caveats are awkward for me for an Emacs default font, the styles mattering more than the zero (since my current default font's zero isn't slashed anyway). I use Terminus for my xterms, and I've considered using it for Emacs too. I'll add the Droid stuff to my list of candidates, though whether that has any effect remains to be seen.

From:premchai21
Date:January 31st, 2008 05:03 am (UTC)
(Link)

However, you do get bonus points for putting an “an” before the implied pronunciation “asterisk”. I am inclined to be hopeful that this means that you can actually pronounce “asterisk” correctly, which is welcome in this sort of illiterate world.

(Deleted comment)
From:premchai21
Date:January 31st, 2008 05:39 am (UTC)
(Link)

Oh god. Don't get me started on how many times I've thought of making a fighter/RPG game where you wield typographical characters as weapons, including the ultimate straight (diagonal) sword, the titular SOLIDUS. And then possibly your final boss has the only weapon that is known to be capable of matching the power of the SOLIDUS, even possibly annihilating it—the dreaded REVERSE SOLIDUS.

It also sounds like you'd be the sort of person to do the same thing I did with having professors squint oddly when I write “coöperate” and “reënter” and the like in research papers.

Literate people make me go ❤.

[User Picture]
From:kadyg
Date:January 30th, 2008 05:59 am (UTC)
(Link)
That spot is like 50 miles from my hometown.

I miss Kansas. *sigh*

Roadtrip?
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:January 30th, 2008 08:39 am (UTC)
(Link)
Definitely someday. Let's not be broke first.
[User Picture]
From:frameacloud
Date:January 30th, 2008 06:55 am (UTC)
(Link)
Uh... oh, how weird. I was going to leap up and name the book, but then I re-read the description, and it wasn't the one I was going to say. That's a dragon book that I'm not even remotely familiar with. It sounds like such a high degree of awesome that it would be worth tracking down an out-of-print copy.

Try find_a_book and some other book-identifying communities...

Edited at 2008-01-30 08:39 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:January 30th, 2008 09:18 am (UTC)
(Link)
Thanks for the tip - I posted there.

I remember not being particularly impressed. However, I was at the time an arrogant high school kid with a bug up my butt about draconity and a lot of self-interest in having dragons be more than glorified forces of nature. It would be interesting reading the book again and seeing how it holds up with a more mature perspective as a reader.
From:soreth
Date:January 30th, 2008 04:32 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Damn, I *know* that book, I read it back in high school too. All I can remember, though, is that I got it from the University of Washington... and some meaningless cover design details.
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:January 31st, 2008 04:15 am (UTC)
(Link)
(Just a poke that we found it and I've updated the post with details.)
From:soreth
Date:January 31st, 2008 04:56 am (UTC)
(Link)
Yes, that is completely and totally it. :)
[User Picture]
From:raptonx
Date:January 30th, 2008 09:19 am (UTC)
(Link)
Wow, that is cool.
[User Picture]
From:jolantru
Date:January 30th, 2008 10:36 am (UTC)
(Link)
Wow!
[User Picture]
From:baronlaw
Date:January 30th, 2008 05:13 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Ooo I like that picture. Puts me in mind of a heraldry dragon.
Tomorrowlands Powered by LiveJournal.com