September 5th, 2009



  • 14:34 Photo: samuraifrog: #
  • 16:44 @colleenanne That might not be a good idea. They both have so many kids that some are BOUND to survive and reproduce. #
  • 17:08 Has our society given up hope for the future? #
  • 17:19 O'Reilly's "No Spin Zone" was a mistake. He had intended to call it the "No SKIN Zone," based on how he liked his chicken. #
  • 19:45 Now Obama wants to <gasp> TALK TO SCHOOLCHILDREN? What devious scheme will that bastard come up with next? #
  • 19:46 Knowing Obama, he'll probably end up not making the speech. #
  • 19:46 Or maybe he'll make it, but it will be sponsored by Pfizer, Blue Cross, Exxon Mobil, and Focus on the Family. #
  • 20:03 Photo: Fine print at the bottom of this sign: “…if you happen to be an executive, a lawyer, or a corrupt... #
  • 21:32 @JaredofMo Yeah, I've seen that, and it's accurate as far as it goes, but I don't know who wrote it. #
  • 21:33 I got new sneakers today. #
  • 21:40 @NowIsStrange keeps mistaking Todd McFarlane for Hal Sparks. If only she were right... #
  • 22:21
    A stroke cures a guy's vision, but he can no longer speak French. #
  • 22:46 Photo: Okay, I’m a guy, so maybe I’m not qualified to speak on the issue, but I have to say that considering... #
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Washers and Dryads

Today, we get into Nymphs. And, according to some sources, getting into a Nymph isn't such a difficult thing to do, as they have a reputation for being sex addicts. To regard them as simply the prostitutes of the mythological world isn't entirely fair, however, as their primary duty is to care for various natural features. The best-known subset of Nymphs is probably the Dryads, who are the caretakers of trees. Other sorts of Nymphs are Oreads for mountains, Epimeliads for sheep and pastures, Napaea for valleys, Naiads for fresh water, Nereids for salt water, and Oceanids for the ocean. Also often included in such lists are the Pleiades who were turned into stars, the Hesperides who guard the golden apple tree that Hercules once had to raid, and the frenzied Maenads who accompany Dionysus.

Nymphs tend to be linked to the physical features of the world that they protect, with some of them dying when these features die, but others being regarded as immortal. Their origins aren't always clear. It's tempting to think that they spring into existence with their natural features (as is the case with Necile in L. Frank Baum's The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus), but some Nymphs are regarded as the children of specific gods, like how the Pleiades and Hesperides are daughters of Atlas, and the Oceanids the offspring of Oceanus and Tethys. I've also seen mention of women who die in the water sometimes being turned into water nymphs themselves.

While some stories of Nymphs involve their sexuality, or others' attraction to them. Hylas was carried off by Nymphs who admired his beauty, Calypso fell in love with Odysseus and offered to make him immortal if he remained with her, and Daphne was relentlessly pursued by Apollo until she turned herself into a laurel tree. But other myths make them caretakers, with Zeus himself having been raised by Nymphs until he was old enough to take on his baby-devouring father, Thetis (the mother of Achilles) cared for Hephaestus, and Egeria cared for both Theseus' son and the second King of Rome. And Baum seems to have latched on to this latter tradition when he made Necile the foster mother of the young Santa Claus.

And, since I feel I would be remiss in my duties if I didn't use this topic as an excuse to post pictures of naked women, Collapse )

Pray for inspiration from guiding lights, and name a new planet each day

In the year 2006, astronomers made two significant chances in the nomenclature of our solar system. Pluto was downgraded to a dwarf planet (I'm still not over that, mind you), and a slightly larger Kuiper Belt object that was previously known as "Xena" was given the official name Eris. But does this name really fit the usual naming rules for planets and planetoids? The names we use for the six planets visible with the naked eye come from the Romans. They're all named after gods, and while the fact that the Romans appropriated much of Greek mythology means that all of these gods had their Greek counterparts (Hermes for Mercury, Aphrodite for Venus, Ares for Mars, etc.), it was the Latin names that became the standard ones for our Sun-orbiting neighbors. When William Herschel discovered Uranus in 1781, he called it "Georgium Sidus" after the King of England, but its current name became the most commonly used one in the following century. While I'm not entirely sure of this, I've seen it suggested that the reasoning behind the name Uranus is that, in Greco-Roman mythology, Jupiter is the father of Mars and Saturn of Jupiter, so it only made sense to name the next planet after Saturn's own father. The odd thing about that, however, is that the Latin name for the primordial Greek sky deity was Caelus, with "Uranus" simply being a Latinized version of the Greek name Ouranos. Similarly, Eris is also a Greek name, with her Latin equivalent being Discordia. I believe the only rule for planet-naming is that they have to have the names of Greco-Roman gods, so these don't technically break that rule, but it seems like giving them the Latin names would have made things somewhat neater. The names of other planet-like objects have a mixture of mythological names and others, and I have to say it's a little unfair that significant deities like Juno and Minerva get no more than asteroids. Incidentally, both Vulcan (okay, actually "Vulcano") and Romulus, which were used for planets in other star systems in the Star Trek universe, are also both asteroid names.

Incidentally, according to the International Astronomical Union, stars don't officially have names, just catalog numbers. These are mostly determined based on constellations, which is a rather geocentric method, but I'm sure any other would be too insanely complicated. Traditional names are still in use for the brighter stars, however, many coming from Arabic, but others from Latin,Babylonian, and Chinese. There are also companies that name stars after people for money, but these are in no way official.