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Interests and icons meme

If you want me to ask you about your interests and icons, comment here and I will. Also, feel free to ask me about any of mine.

yiskah asks about:


Molvanîa is a fictional eastern European country introduced to me by my former boss, via the book and the website. I blogged it here and here, and even Ken MacLeod got in on the act. Choice extracts:
The Vzintga Gorge was cut between precipitous cliffs by the powerful River Vzintga, which flows down numerous pools and waterfalls. There is a marked trail to the top of the gorge where the views are quite outstanding. Sadly, the spectacular cable-car that once carried visitors across the gorge no longer operates, but you can still see the old pylons and engine-house as well as view a memorial plaque dedicated to the service's last 20 passengers.

The unofficial capital of the Great Central Valley region, Jzerbo may not look all that inviting to the first-time visitor, with its jumble of grim Soviet-era housing and concentration of heavy industry. But thanks to frequent, heavy smog, many of these visual eye-sores remain hidden from the average visitor.

Ted Chiang is a great but not very prolific science fiction writer, the youngest person to have won a Nebula award in one sense, and the second youngest to have won either a Hugo or a Nebula in another sense. His brilliant novelette "Tower of Babylon", in which the builders of the tower succeed in breaking into the vault of heaven, was published in Omni when he was only 23 and won a Nebula. (The next youngest winner, Samuel R.Delany, published his novel Babel-17 when he was 24.) Chiang now has two more Nebulas and a Hugo, and (like me) was born in 1967; only one person born after either of us, Kelly Link (1969), has won either award (like Chiang she has three Nebulas and a Hugo). I have written up Chiang's short story, "Hell Is The Absence of God", which won both Hugo and nebula, here.

Roger Zelazny was very much my favourite sf writer as a teenager, and I retain a strong degree of affection for him. I did a brief piece on him here, and retain the ambition of doing something more substantive at some point. I particularly loved his earlier works, where his meditations on mythology and his gift for descriptive writing merged very effectively; I strongly recommend Lord of Light and This Immortal. I'm also a fan of some of his mid-period books, like Doorways in the Sand, whose eternal student hero has to deal with the theft of an alien artifact, and the late but effective pastiche A Night in the Lonesome October. Even the second set of Amber books were not as bad as I remembered when I reread them a few years back. (And the first five remain pretty good.) I have gone to the lengths of reading three books about Zelazny, more than for any other sf author bar Tolkien.


Keyword: Bodypaint

This is of course a cut down version of the famous Pink Floyd poster advertising the six best-known albums (variously referred to as the "Pink Floyd girls" or the "back catalogue"). Left to right: Atom Heart Mother, Relics, The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You were Here, The Wall, and Animals. I'm a man of unexciting musical tastes, so the three covers in my icon are the three albums I like most (ie The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You were Here, and The Wall).

I find the image very sexy, and use it to illustrate my occasional entries on topics relating to sex and sexuality. I would love to know more about its origins, though recent investigations have yet to bear fruit.

Keyword: Khinkali

These are a delicacy from the former Soviet republic of Georgia, whose cuisine I have come to love over the last few years while I was professionally engaged there. No longer as much involved professionally, but still very very interested in the cooking.

Khinkali are a sort of stuffed dumpling, mince (or, for non-carnivores, cheese) inside a pastry package, lightly boiled and served with ground pepper. Yummy.

Keyword: Lincoln

This is of the Gettysburg Address as reproduced in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, and the words highlighted are from the last sentence:
"that we here highly resolve that
these dead shall not have died in
vain, that this nation under God
shall have a new birth of freedom,
and that government of the people,
by the people, for the people shall
not perish from the earth. "
Lincoln is a great political figure, and the Gettysburg Address one of the great speeches of all time, and the Lincoln Memorial one of the great monuments of the world. However, I haven't yet thought of a good use for the icon.

Also this was one of the first pictures I took and uploaded with my then new digital camera two years ago. Now the camera is dying on me, but I still have the pictures.

So I hope you feel better informed now.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 23rd, 2007 08:32 pm (UTC)
Why Gerald Ford?

Also, feel free to ask about interests/pics.
Apr. 28th, 2007 08:24 pm (UTC)

And please do explain your Kinetix icon!
Apr. 29th, 2007 02:55 am (UTC)
Heroclix is a minatures game using characters licensed from DC and Marvel comics. (I only play the DC characters because I am a snob like that.) I don't play it much any more, but when I do, I mostly do things like fielding only my favorite characters or 'traditional' comic book teams like the Giffen/DeMattheis era Justice League or only Legion of Superheroes characters.

As for the Kinetix icon, I made it from an LSH 'doll' site I found a few years back. I keep meaning to replace it with an image I scanned from a sticker sheet that DC produced as a promotional item in 1997, but never quite get around to it. As to why I have her in my userpic roster, I really do like the character. As a Jewish archeologist, I was tickled pink by her background and took the chance to play her on LegionMUSH back in the late 90s. (My IM names date back to this time and are a character reference.) She was fun to portray and is definitely a character I miss seeing.
Apr. 23rd, 2007 08:49 pm (UTC)
Ask away!

I've a couple of questions about yours: 1915? And mediaeval or medieval history?
Apr. 23rd, 2007 08:54 pm (UTC)
Ask away.
Apr. 28th, 2007 06:12 am (UTC)
OK, tell me about your interest in marine conservation, and explain your poi icon!
Apr. 23rd, 2007 08:54 pm (UTC)
Reposti=+ with corrected HTML:
Reposting with corrected HTML:

My dodgy metal past allows me to help you with your Pink Floyd image. It came out of the Hipgnosis studio, which created a lot of famous R'n'R album covers in the 70s (Led Zep, Yes, etc. as well as Pink Floyd). Storm Thorgerson, probably the main creative drive, seems still to be working, and has his own website here.

I should love you to ask me about my icons and interests - though will probably not be able to post my answers until Wednesday evening due to work I am supposed to be doing right now!
Apr. 23rd, 2007 08:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Reposti=+ with corrected HTML:
Damn - even that attempt accidentally got posted too early! But I'll leave it now, and just accept that I'm incompetent..
Apr. 28th, 2007 06:14 am (UTC)
Re: Reposti=+ with corrected HTML:
OK, explain to me your interest in funky girl pop, and tell me about your Pandora Peroxide icon!
Apr. 23rd, 2007 09:06 pm (UTC)
I've been thinking about writing about Ted Chiang for a while so thanks for linking to your article and its subsequent links.

So go on, ask me anything.
Apr. 28th, 2007 06:15 am (UTC)
OK, explain to me about chick graning, and tell me about your cremaster icon.
Apr. 24th, 2007 12:15 am (UTC)
I've seen you use that icon so many times, and never tied in that it was Floyd, don't think I've ever seen the full picture. Which given my 18th birthday present was the Shine On boxed set is a little remiss of me.

I'm always torn between Meddle and Wish You Were Here as my thrid favourite, with oyu on the other two though, naturally.
Apr. 24th, 2007 12:40 am (UTC)
What was your major in college? And how early on did you know you wanted to work in the international arena? Also, how the hell do you read so quickly?

Oh, before I forget, two more

1) Your opinions on election monitoring.
2) 2nd favorite TV show (If my assumptions are in the right, then Doctor Who safely occupies the throne of 1st place.)
Apr. 24th, 2007 05:01 am (UTC)
your T-Shirt
Hi Nick,
I've been trying to work out what is on the T-Shirt in your avatar. God, I'm shallow.

Apr. 24th, 2007 04:47 pm (UTC)
Pink Floyd poster
If you click through from http://www.stormthorgerson.com/ -> Enter Site -> Work -> Non moving, scroll it right -> Posters -> Back Catalogue icon,

((graphic designers -vs- website usability!!))

and hover over the "eye" at the bottom right hand corner, then in addition to:

Pink Floyd
Back Catalogue (poster)
1997 EMI

it displays this message:

Location: An interior private pool in Putney, London
Technical: Tungsten lighting. Hasselblad 500C 50 mm lens ektachrome transparency
Photo: Tony May

Designed with Finlay Cowan and involving six wonderful models.
Body painting by Phyllis Cohen.

-- JH.

Apr. 24th, 2007 05:04 pm (UTC)
Re: Pink Floyd poster
There are also a couple of quotes on the net from Storm Thorgerson's book, "Mind over matter":

(5th comment down)


Apr. 25th, 2007 05:14 am (UTC)
Re: Pink Floyd poster
Hey James, get yourself a proper livejournal account, then you can see the other entries I post!

And thanks for the links.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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