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In a hole in the ground there lived...



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Don’t Follow the Pixels

Posted by Tolkien , in Life, Bionicle, Art, BZPower Mar 17 2014 · 244 views

If you’re someone who remembers BZPower back before the archive deletion and downtimes (I confess, I’m getting murky) and roughly prior to '08-'09, you might know me as a different person. I mostly lurked 'round this little forum called Artwork II, which was the place where all the shops and "sprite kits" were safely hidden from the world. Back then, most of my contribution to BZP came in the form of pixel art. Yeah, it was a different time.
 
Well, I haven’t done any pixel art for quite a while—nothing worth posting, at least. Even so, I get the hankering every now and then. And in fact, for a long time I’ve been wanting to start something long-term: a project to fiddle with in my spare time. Pixel art is quite cathartic, I find, and it’s actually a great stress-reliever. Go figure.
 
Unfortunately I haven’t really had that much spare time lately. That is, until last week. It was spring break...for students, at least. =P Even so, in between the grading, I did find a few moments to get creative:
 
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The project is a roughly to-scale isometric map of the island of Mata Nui; 1 pixel = ~.25 kio (these images are at about x3 magnification). I find landscapes to be very enjoyable to do, and isometric pixeling suits that pretty well. The images above should be kinda familiar: the Mangai Volcano and the southern tip of the island coast. This is only a few hours’ work, so it’s absurdly rough, but you should get the general idea.
 
So yeah, the plan is to keep messing around with it, and maybe post some updates as things progress. I confess, even now I’m still pretty much an amateur at this, but I hope I can do it justice. =P
 
JRRT


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That was special

Posted by Tolkien , in Life, LEGO Feb 24 2014 · 150 views

I just got back from seeing The Lego Movie and...Oh childhood, I've missed you. sniff


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Dear all

Posted by Tolkien , in Matoran Language, Life, Blog-related, BZPower Nov 25 2013 · 342 views

You people have brought many a smile to my face the past few days. After the time invested in the Matoran Dictionary project over the last several years, the sudden boost in exposure and overall positive response—both on BZP (thx news!) and off—means a lot. I’m glad to see so many people delving into it and having fun. In the end, that was the impetus for this project: my own personal enjoyment and enjoyment for other members of the Bionicle fandom. It’s all very satisfying. Heartfelt thanks.
 
JRRT


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It is finished

Posted by Tolkien , in BZPower, linguistics, Long Entries, Life, Matoran Language, Language and Etymology Jul 27 2013 · 360 views

Changes are coming for me. They are almost upon me...What are these changes? They are real life changes. Mostly the fact that, as of next week, I'll be starting training for a new teaching job at my university. Also, as of the end of August, I'll be starting the first semester of my Ph.D. These are big changes. I'm excited.
 
Unfortunately, these changes also mean that I will no longer have this thing so ironically termed "free time". I generally think "I'm leaving BZP" announcements are silly, so let me be clear that I'm not leaving BZP, silly. I expect I'll be around till the bitter end, be it by fire, or water, or gigantic aquatic moons to the cranium, or the slow dwindling of age. I'll be around, but for the foreseeable future, I'll be entering a deeper level of lurk than usual (if that's possible?), so that's one thing that will change.
 
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But enough of that. You might notice the title of this entry. It has nothing at all to do with my online activity. Actually, it refers to the status of what is perhaps the biggest project I've ever undertaken on BZP: A Matoran Dictionary. It's finished. Or, at least, it's as finished as it'll ever be, which is pretty darned close to finished, if I do say so.
 
What does that mean? It means that, as of now, the Matoran Dictionary contains an entry and an etymology (sometimes multiple etymologies) for every Bionicle name/term that can reliably be considered Matoran in origin. By my estimate, that's close to 85-90% of all Bionicle names/terms in existence. This includes every official "canon" name/term (Tahu, Kopaka, etc...all the way down to the awfulness of Vultraz), as well as technically non-canon names from various media (including the numerous Matoran names scattered throughout MNOG and MNOGII).
 
The total number of entries, you ask? By my count, about 832. Of those 832 entries, roughly 48% are full Bionicle names/terms (e.g., tahu, kopaka, etc.) while another 45% are authentic subcomponents of those names/terms (e.g., ta "elemental fire", huw "activity"; ko "elemental ice", paka "strength", etc.). The remaining ~7% are "new" terms that I have fabricated out of those subcomponents (e.g., gamadu "jungle tree", from ga "elemental water" and madu "tree"). In total,the dictionary has expanded to three volumes, which I will be posting in succession relatively soon. Yay.
 
This has been a massive undertaking, and I've probably spent more brainpower on it than is healthy over the past seven or eight years, but even so, it's nice to be able to sit back and say "There. It's done. Whew." For those of you who have been interested, thank you for your interest. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

 
JRRT


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Always Remember

Posted by Tolkien , in Life Sep 11 2012 · 124 views

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JRRT




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It's New

Posted by Tolkien , in Writing??, Life, BZPower, Bionicle Jun 02 2012 · 239 views
once whole, short story
Hi. Remember that story I mentioned in the last entry?

There it is. Title: "Once Whole."

Any and all comments/critiques are welcome.

Regarding the Flash Fiction Marathon (which is still ongoing, btw--enter here or vote here), I'm excited to see such a large influx of entries for this contest. Over 20 in just the first round! Go BZP library-folks.

Also, 'tis (edit: 'twas) my birthday. Thanks for the well-wishings people.

JRRT


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What's This?

Posted by Tolkien , in linguistics, Life, BZPower May 20 2012 · 263 views
return, life recap
Hi. It's been while since I've been 'around'. Too long, I say (although I'd bet money you didn't even notice). Well now, I'm around again, whatever that means.

The reasons for why I was 'gone' include (first and foremost) an interstate move; before that, a major increase in college work (finishing a thesis is harrrd; also, presenting papers at an international linguistics conference is both fun and terrifying), ultimately leading up to (dun dun dun!) graduating with my Master of Arts in Linguistics. You may now address me as Master.


(kidding)

Now, on to the PhD!

But wait, no. I forgot--I'm taking a break from school for a year. Wow, this is different. Free time...at least until I find another decent job. Whew...

Yeah, so that's what's going on with me. I's back.

JRRT


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Vitamin String Quartet

Posted by Tolkien , in Music, Life Jan 08 2012 · 110 views
music?!
Mmm...wow. They've put out some really great stuff. I don't usually listen to much..uh..."current" or "popular" music. (See? I don't even pay attention to the genres >< ). But I've gotta say, being able to listen to just the music, reproduced in a psuedo-classical manner...I am definitely enjoying this. Check it out.

JRRT


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Thesis

Posted by Tolkien , in Life Dec 29 2011 · 78 views
weariness
I haven't mentioned much related to school or anything for a while. Hm, I guess it's about due.

There's always a point in the data gathering stage of a project where you feel like you're slogging through a swamp of figures and numbers and words. And it all seems so meaningless.

That's about where I'm at with my Thesis. It's a corpus analysis of Old English syntax, meaning that I have a corpus (basically a massive computerized collection of texts) which I must search and parse out using an incredibly (and I say again--incredibly) clunky querying interface, looking for specific syntactic structures to support one theoretical model or another. Do you feel my pain yet?

And this is just for the base figures, for crying out loud (not that I have...)! Haven't even gotten to the interesting stuff. That'll come once the groundwork's done, and I can actually start looking for what I want to look at.

But until then, that's the status of my Christmas break. No, not really. I'm making it look worse than it is. But I'll stop now regardless. I need to get away from this computer-thing on my desk for a while...It's starting to look at me funny.

JRRT


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Trailers

Posted by Tolkien , in Movies, Life Dec 20 2011 · 103 views
the hobbit, the dark knight rises and 1 more...
First The Dark Knight Rises, now The Hobbit...How on earth am I supposed to focus with these kinds of grand, awesome, tremendously epic distractions all over the place?

How, I ask you?

JRRT






Chapter I

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=ll=


"Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a blog-hole, and that means comfort."

=ll=

A Short Bio of the...Author?

=ll=

 

The author of this blog currently resides in the rather dry, bare, sandy climate of the southwest United States. He is a grad-student and teaching associate at his university, currently working toward a Ph.D. in rhetoric/composition and linguistics.
 

=ll=

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