This Is a Manly Fandom

Speaking in general, media fandom women do a fair number of crafts, as well as other fannish projects. In some fandoms, they do some really difficult art, and sometimes you see other projects from engineer-type women.

However, it’s guys who usually decide to build the Enterprise bridge replicas, or the full-sized mecha that light up and move. And the more guys in a fandom doing cool large scale projects, the more projects tend to arise. Guys inspire each other as well as being competitive.

The modern iteration of My Little Pony fandom is probably 75% guys, so they build videogames and snowhorse statues and elaborate orchestral compositions. They are a ridiculously active and productive fandom segment.

So when there’s a manly fan who does balloon animals as a hobby, they can’t just be balloon horses with some eyes put on in marker. Oh, no.

What he does is this.

As you’ll see, he has also done a balloon life-sized Dalek, a balloon Ash from Evil Dead, a balloon Alphonse from Full Metal Alchemist, and a giant stingray between two palm trees. Also costumes for people to cosplay in, and hats, and room decorations. 9 pages of balloon art.

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Christian Graffiti from Before 125 AD?

There’s a good explanation over at Larry Hurtado’s blog.

Basically, the graffiti says:

Equal Number Values:

Lord – Omega (the number value of the letters in Lord = 800 = the number value of the letter omega)
Faith – Omega (same thing)

Obviously I think this is cool, because “isopsephy” (the number values of Greek letters equaling the number values of Greek words) is a big thing in the Book of Revelation; that’s what the Number of the Beast is about. Fun! It’s a very similar thing to the ancient idea of a word’s etymology (historical or symbolic) having a lot to do with the inner meaning of the word. Not very scientific, but very poetic when the game is played correctly.

For example, a lot of early Christian commentaries are happy to show that Revelation has a lot of Good Guy here, and Bad Guy Imitating Good Guy there. So just like there’s Christ and the Anti-Christ, the Number of the Beast is opposed in the first chapter by the Number of the Dove.

That’s (Alpha = 1) + (Omega = 800) = 801, which is also the number value of P+E+R+I+S+T+E+R+A, the Greek word for dove.

Now, isn’t that pretty? The Son and the Holy Spirit, all together, just like the Son and the Seven Spirits (representing the one Holy Spirit) are together in the first chapter! It might not be the authorial intention, but then again, it could be; and either way, it’s pretty.

Of course, we moderns tend to turn it all into conspiracy theory, which is depressing. But some people did that back in ancient times, too.

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Ancient Roman Egyptian Socks

Check out those crazy colors!

Pretty good wool to hold up so long…

This is from Antinoopolis instead of Oxyrhynchus. :)

Here’s the British Museum sock info, where they spell it “Antinoupolis.”

They also say it’s definitely naalebinding and not knitting. (Always a hot topic in medieval recreation groups.) As you can see in the link above, it’s sort of like fingerknitting. Sort of. Not really. Anyway, you only need one needle, which is a plus. (Also includes info on why you might tear wool instead of cutting it, and how you can turn two pieces of yarn into one.)

I’ll tag Shredded Cheddar with this one, because she knits and crochets and stuff.

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Ancient Toilet Paper

Among the trash and treasures of the famous Oxyrhynchus, Egypt papyrus junkpiles, here is one that is simultaneously at the top and bottom.

A fragment of ancient scholia (annotations and explanations) about Homer’s Iliad. Used as toilet paper.

Don’t make assumptions and poo-poo it. P. Oxy. 67.4633 is real.

If you’re curious about which scholia (concerning which part of Homer) met this crappy fate, it was “Scholia Minora on Iliad 2, 277-318 (277-293, 307-318).” It’s over at the Sackler Library in Oxford. Click on the picture and PDF links to study it in detail!

And now that we know white gloves actually hurt papyrus and parchment, think of the joy of handling this piece of history, fece to fece! What a way to become well-letturd!

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More Medieval Greek Manuscripts Online at the British Library

Check it out. Now they’ve digitized all the ones they’ve got (medieval Greek ms stuff, that is).

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How to Pronounce Jesus’ Aramaic Psalm Quote

Obviously this is a best-deduction historical linguistics version, not a fieldworker recording Jesus; but it’s a pretty good thing.

Also includes an explanation of why Jesus’ Psalm verse is transliterated the way it is.

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Fr. Roderick of SQPN.com Goes Viral!

Aw, shucks, I knew him when he was just a podcaster. :)

Go see all the cool popular culture, science fiction, fantasy, and Catholic evangelism podcast stuff over at SQPN. There are more Catholic video things at trideo.com. Lots of great things for you to check out!

Secrets of Star Wars is his 22 episode sci fi analysis podcast, which also compares and contrasts Star Wars concepts to Catholic religious concepts. It can get pretty deep on both the science fiction and religious sides, but it’s also a lot of fun. He also has lots of similar analysis podcasts for other shows.

And now, a damage control moment.

Honestly, some people on the Internet get petty, pretty quick. It’s already been pointed out that unfortunately, Fr. Roderick has a couple moments in the viral video where he unconsciously says, “Oh my God.” Please bear in mind that English isn’t his native language, and that he obviously doesn’t mean to say anything worse than “Holy cow!” or “Oh my gosh!” It’s pretty obvious it just slips out when his monitoring brain is disengaged, probably because his language brain has heard too many of us native speakers of US English swearing at these emotional moments.

Anyway, he’s a reverent and busy priest who is deeply engaged in bringing people to Christ, so please cut him slack!

Buzzfeed has animated pics, always a good thing. Inquistr. ABC News (US) from Friday.

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