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gwalla
24 January 2014 @ 09:15 pm


Yoshi's got the moves.
 
 
gwalla
24 May 2013 @ 10:07 pm
WTF? Why can't I go back more than 20 entries anymore?

Anybody else seeing this?
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Current Mood: confusedconfused
Current Music: Koenjihyakkei - Graddinoba Revoss
 
 
gwalla
16 January 2013 @ 10:37 pm
One of my New Years resolutions this year is to knuckle down and get Ilion, my most active project, to a usable state. So of course since then I've ended up giving more thought to Ekmar-Tenkar, which doesn't even share a setting with Ilion. I blame Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets of the Conlang Mailing List, who linked to his blogpost on surdéclinaison and his conlang Moten*. That got me thinking about my own case-happy conlang.

Ekmar-Tenkar is, to some extent, an exercise in maximally free word order, accomplishing it by means of suffixaufnahme (another project, Kulaqil, approaches the same problem from the other direction: by extensive head-marking on verbs). Now I'm considering using both suffixaufnahme and surdéclinaison in this project.

Suffixaufnahme and surdéclinaison are two different phenomena that can result in nouns appearing with multiple case inflections attached. Suffixaufnahme (which means "suffix absorption" in German) is when nouns in cases that modify other nouns (like the genitive case) are inflected to agree with the nouns they modify, so e.g. for "The rabbit ate the farmer's carrots", "carrots" would be in the accusative case, while "the farmer" would be in the genitive and also have an affix agreeing with "carrots" in the accusative case (and possibly gender and number, or whatever categories nouns show in our hypothetical lang). Surdéclinaison (which means "super-declension" or "over-inflection") is when an already fully inflected word form can be treated as a stem and inflected for case again. So e.g. in a lang with only one case for noun adjuncts, if you wanted to specify "the carrots in the garden", you'd inflect "garden" for a locative case, but since locatives are a type of verb modifier here, you'd add a genitive case inflection as well to show that it's actually modifying a verb. Or, going the other way around, in "She's at John's", you'd put "John" in the genitive and then add the locative to show that it is the thing owned by John that is the location.

Suffixaufnahme isn't terribly rare: it's found in languages of the Caucasus, Australia, and the Middle East. Surdéclinaison, on the other hand, is attested only in Basque (though the second example I used of its use shows that we can do something similar in English, just not with case marking exactly). They're not known to appear together in any language, but since the sample size for the latter is so small I don't think that necessarily suggests that they're incompatible.

Obscure linguistic terminology lesson over. Now to talk about me Ekmar-Tenkar. Ekmar-Tenkar is my kitchen sink case system conlang. It has several cases that can be used as noun adjuncts, including the local cases (locative/perlative, ablative, and allative), so the "carrots in the garden" situation isn't really relevant. But the "John's" situation is, particularly since Ekmar-Tenkar is like Japanese in that speakers will happily drop anything from the sentence that can be inferred from context.

I've decided that Ekmar-Tenkar will have a noun class system, with 5 classes: title, sapient, animate, inanimate, and intangible. These are inherent to noun roots, and mostly break down semantically, though there are some potential gotchas (for example, "fire" and "wind" are both animate, but "air" is intangible). The "title" class is an oddity: it's the class for personal pronouns, but also some honorific titles. In some cases there may be closely related words with homophonous stems but in different classes, but these are still considered separate words. Noun classes are declension categories, so they determine the forms of case/number affixes. This means that re-declining a genitive (the "John's" example) also assigns a class depending on the choice of affix. So if we take the fully declined word meaning "John's" John.SAP-GEN.SG and re-decline it, we can refer to various things owned or controlled by John: John's [person] (sapient), John's [animal, such as a pet] (animate), John's [object, concrete place**] (inanimate), John's [abstract place, action, or concept] (intangible). By re-declining a case form other than the genitive, we can also refer to things with other connections to John. Let's go back to the "She's at John's" example. If the word form we're re-declining is the genitive John.SAP-GEN.SG, that would refer to a place owned or controlled by John, but if it's associative ("with John") John.SAP-ASSOC.SG, it'd be a place that he is associated with (e.g. a place he frequents), or if it is itself locative John.SAP-LOC.SG, it'd be a place where he currently is at. If it's ablative, it'd be the place he came from, allative the place he's going to, and so on.

Fun, huh?

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*Technically, he linked this post, where he talks about surdéclinaison and verbs, but it linked to the post on nouns as essential background, and that's what got me going.

**In Ekmar-Tenkar, places that correspond to a physically defined object, such as a house, are typically considered inanimates, while places that are defined politically or socially or that do not have well-defined or clearly visible borders are considered intangibles.

***The name actually predates the project: "Ekmartenkar" was the name of an earlier, otherwise unrelated conlang sketch that I abandoned, but I recycled the name because I liked the sound of it.

****And don't say "It's intangible!" :P
 
 
Current Mood: creativecreative
 
 
gwalla
04 September 2012 @ 01:50 pm
Because of the oddball ingredients, it's likely that I'll never make this again after I run out of one of them. But I wanted to save it for posterity, because it actually turned out pretty good.

1 shot St. George Terroir gin
1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
1/2 oz. Becherovka
1/2 oz. Vim & Vigor
1 heaping spoonful of pineapple sundae topping

Shaken with ice. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and some of the pineapple pulp left in the shaker.

The sweetness of the pineapple topping (which is mostly corn syrup) is balanced out by the three mixers, each in a different way: the Grand Marnier is citrus, the Becherovka adds bitterness, and the Vim & Vigor adds sourness from vinegar. It's a weird combination but it all works together.

The St. George Terroir gin is a gin flavored with botanicals from Mt. Tam, notably including Douglas Fir, which gives it a distinctly piney taste. A normal dry gin could probably subsitute, but it may lose something. Vim & Vigor is an herbal infusion in apple cider vinegar that I bought from the Vermont Country Store to use in drink experiments. It's supposed to aid health in some nonspecific way: snake oil, basically. But there's a fine tradition of alcoholic drinks with dubious health claims (nearly all of the old herbal liqueurs like Benedictine and Chartreuse were originally made for supposed medicinal purposes), and I wanted to play around with vinegar as a way of counteracting sweetness as opposed to the usual method of adding bitters. Plain cider vinegar may work as a substitute; I'm not sure how big a difference the herbal flavors make. Finally, the pineapple sundae topping was originally purchased for banana splits, but we don't have those too often and I put this drink together partly to help use that stuff up (I'd have to drink a lot of these to put much of a dent in the jar though). Canned crushed pineapple may substitute, but it'd have to be sweetened with some Agave syrup or something.
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gwalla
12 January 2012 @ 11:08 pm
Just 'cause.

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gwalla
24 December 2011 @ 12:01 am
Because nobody demanded it, here's my Christmas playlist* on iTunes. Album titles are in italics, individual tracks are in artist - title format. Album tracks are not listed except for various artists compilations. Comments are in brackets:
  • Abney Park - Carol of the Bells
  • Béla Fleck & the Flecktones Jingle All the Way
  • Bob Rivers - Walkin' 'Round in Women's Underwear
  • Bob Rivers - Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire
  • The Bomboras - Lil' Drummer Boy
  • California Guitar Trio Christmas Album [The CGT are disciples of King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp, playing surf-inspired guitar instrumental versions of mostly classical but some pop tunes]
  • Carla Bley Carla's Christmas Carols [Bley is an avant-garde jazz pianist and bandleader; this album is amazing]
  • Clockhammer - Here Comes Santa Claus
  • Commodore 64 - A Commodore Kind of Christmas [Christmas nerdcore rap]
  • Dale North, Mustin, Nate Cloud, The OneUps - Super Mario World Super Mario's Sleigh Ride OC ReMix
  • Danny Elfman - Scrooged: Main Titles - Show Time at IBC - Elliot Gives Blood - Walter Ablaze - Wild Cab Ride - Luncheonette - Asylum - Crematorium
  • Dave Brubeck A Dave Brubeck Christmas
  • Esquivel Merry Christmas from the Space-Age Bachelor Pad [hi-fi lounge]
  • The Flaming Lips - Christmas at the Zoo
  • Joe Meek Vampires, Cowboys, Spacemen & Spooks

    • The Fabulous Flee-Rekkers - Green Jeans
    • Roger LaVern & The Microns - Reindeer Ride
    • Roger LaVern & The Microns - Christmas Stocking

  • John Fahey - Christmas Medley: O Tannenbaum/Angels We Have Heard On High/Jingle Bells
  • Joseph Spance - Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
  • Kick the Can Crew - Christmas Eve Rap [Japanese Christmas rapping!]
  • Los Straitjackets 'Tis the Season for Los Straitjackets [Christmas surf guitar]
  • Loudon Wainwright III - Suddenly It's Christmas
  • Moon Duo - Silver Bells
  • Pac-Man The Pac-Man Christmas Album [yes, you read that right]
  • The Ramones - Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)
  • Red Peters - Holy Shit, It's Christmas
  • Rev Run - Santa Baby (feat. Mase, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Salt 'N Pepa, Onyx, Keith Murray)
  • Smashing Pumpkins & Radiohead - If There Is A God (Acoustic Christmas '98)
  • Squirrel Nut Zippers Christmas Caravan
  • Stan Kenton - What Is A Santa Claus
  • Sufjan Stevens - Christmas In The Room
  • Sufjan Stevens - O Holy Night
  • Sufjan Stevens - That was the Worst Christmas Ever!
  • Sufjan Stevens - It's Christmas! Let's Be Glad
  • Sufjan Stevens - Hey Guys! It's Christmas Time
  • Sufjan Stevens - Get Behind Me, Santa
  • Sy Mann Switched On Santa! [Christmoog]
  • The Vandals - Christmas Time For My Penis
  • The Vandals - A Gun For Christmas
  • The Vandals - My First Christmas (As A Woman)
  • Various Artists The American Song-Poem Christmas: Daddy, Is Santa Really Six Foot Four?Collapse )
  • Various Artists A Jazz ChristmasCollapse )
  • Various Artists Thunderdome: The Xmas EditionCollapse )
  • Various Artists A Very Indie XmasCollapse )
  • Vince Guaraldi Trio A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • Wesley Willis - Kris Kringle Was a Car Thief [technically not a Christmas song at all, but c'mon]
  • Wonderful World of Joey - What Sweet Child O' Mine Is this?
  • Wooden Shjips - O Tannenbaum
  • Various Artists The Edge of ChristmasCollapse )
  • Various Artists The Original Soul ChristmasCollapse )
  • Various Artists We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year!Collapse )

    *I should point out that I don't listen to this playlist straight through. Instead, I have smart playlists that select rotating sections of it to mix in with other stuff.
 
 
Current Mood: crazycrazy
 
 
gwalla
16 December 2011 @ 09:52 am

What is your must-see holiday movie?

One random answer will win a $50 Amazon gift card. [Details here]

View 1726 Answers



A Christmas Story, obviously.
 
 
gwalla
13 December 2011 @ 10:18 pm
Another quickie movie review:

OH MY GOD YOU GUYS GO SEE "THE ARTIST"

SERIOUSLY

YOU GUYS
 
 
Current Mood: enthralledenthralled
 
 
gwalla
04 December 2011 @ 09:57 pm
Another quickie movie review! This is the latest by Aardman Animation, the people who brought you Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run, though this one is CGI and not stop motion. Santa Claus is a hereditary position, passed down from father to son since the days of St. Nicholas himself. Everybody at the North Pole expects the current Santa (voiced by Jim Broadbent) to retire soon, especially the heir apparent, his overachieving son Steve (Hugh Laurie), who is already basically in charge of gift-giving operations and has organized it into an incredibly efficient system. Santa's other son Arthur (Jim McEvoy), on the other hand, has been relegated to a small office where he answers letters children have written to Santa. He's clumsy, a bit obtuse, and afraid of heights and speed, but good-hearted and upbeat. When it turns out after "Christmas Accomplished" has been declared that a child has been overlooked and her gift was never delivered, Steve attempts to sweep the news under the rug while insisting that it's too late to go back, and what does one child out of millions matter? Arthur, though, informs crotchety old Grandsanta (Bill Nighy), who pulls him along to deliver the package with the aid of his old sleigh and the reindeer ("Dasher and Dancer and...Bambi and John...and you and you and you and you") and, yes, save Christmas. But it's been a while since Grandsanta has delivered any gifts, and the old sleigh doesn't have the radar blocking and cloaking features of Steve's high-tech S-1 aircraft...

This movie is a ton of fun. It's a roller coaster ride featuring the trademark Aardman wackiness, with a bit of modern satirical edge without descending into cynicism. There's something fun to see in just about every frame, and no filler. Also, the 3D is well done and well utilized. Highly recommended.

The only downside, though, is that to get to the movie you have to sit through a video of Justin Bieber massacring "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" (did that song really need the addition of the line "Shake it, shake it baby"?), which BTW I think marks the definitive end of the steampunk fad.

Trailers:
  • The Adventures of Tintin - Looks like it could be a lot of fun. The story seems to be mostly adapted from the two-parter The Secret of the Unicorn/Red Rackham's Treasure (though the treasure in those was gold & jewels, while in this it's described as "something that could have changed the course of history") with some parts pulled in from The Crab with the Golden Claws (the story that introduces Captain Haddock). There's also a scene where Snowy must recover a ring of keys from a sleeping guard but is distracted by a sandwich, which I swear is from another story but I can't remember which. A (very cool) image of a ship crashing through sand dunes that turn into waves may be a replacement for the "uncorking" dream from Crab. There's also a scene with a dam and a rocket launcher that appears to be original, and a chase scene where Tintin crashes a motorcycle and goes flying only to use the front part as an improvised zip-line pulley on an overhead wire, a superhuman feat that he was never shown as capable of in the comics. Oddly, the Thompson twins don't appear at all in the trailer despite playing important roles in all of the stories this draws from, which makes me wonder if they've been excised.
  • Journey 2: The Mysterious Island - This looks like a pile. Apparently a sequel to that dire 3D Journey to the Center of the Earth movie starring Brendan Fraser some years ago, this has a teenage boy and The Rock in search of the eponymous Mysterious Island of Verne's novel, which the boy believes his grandfather has found. To get there they hire a helicopter pilot played by Luis Guzman along with his cute teenage daughter, and of course they crash there. The island is a sort of lost world featuring dinosaurs, giant insects, and miniature pachyderms, all rendered in the fakest looking CG I've seen in years, and the boy's grandfather, played by Michael Caine, who must owe a lot of back taxes or something if he's taking parts in crap like this.
  • Pirates: Band of Misfits - The next Aardman stop-motion feature, with the voice of Hugh Grant as an incompetent pirate captain looking to win the Pirate of the Year award. Lots of madcap action and some great visual gags ("I'm here for your treasure!" "No treasure here, sir. This is a leper ship." *arm falls off* "See?" "Gah!"). Looking forward to this one.
 
 
Current Mood: amusedamused
 
 
gwalla
26 November 2011 @ 09:55 pm
Dance numbers, rampant silliness, Chris Cooper rapping, "This is taking too long. How about we pick up the rest via a montage?", Eighties Robot, musical puns, traveling by map, "Now you know how we've felt for the last 4o years! OH HO HO HO HO", muppet ninjutsu, snark with heart, and gratuitous Jack Black abuse. Two felt appendages up!

It's a big ol' slice of nostalgia. A lot of it you won't really get if you didn't grow up with the Muppet Show and the movies, but from the sound of it that didn't bother the kids in the audience, for whom the general mayhem was enough. As a bonus, you also get a fun new Toy Story short (if only Happy Meal toys were really that creative. I kinda want a DJ Blue J).

Trailers for Pixar's Brave (story seems a bit cliché, but the visuals look lovely) and Aardman Animation's next stop-motion feature, about pirates, which looks hilariously madcap.
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Current Mood: chipperchipper