Archive for March, 2010

I’m posting this tonight instead of tomorrow, so no one thinks it’s an April Fool’s gag.  🙂

I’m going to try to blog every day in April.

I’ve been trying to blog more often, but I don’t think to.  It helps if I’m already blogging, because then I think of more things I could blog about.  Same with the creative writing.  Just Do It, right?

NaBloPoMo‘s theme for April is “big”, so we’ll see what I can do with that…


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Kent sent me a site last night that had a map someone had made, overlaying the map of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth on a map of Europe as it was supposed to be 6000 years ago.  I find it interesting, since I like the books and have tried to guess what people groups Tolkien’s different races corresponded to.  I’m sure, as all writers do, that Tolkien took artistic license when he made his map, but it’s still interesting!

“Created by Tolkien somewhere in the 1930s, the map shows the ‘mortal lands’ of Middle-earth, which according to Tolkien himself is part of our own Earth, but in a previous, mythical era. At the time of the events described in ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’, Middle-earth is moving towards the end of its Third Age, about 6.000 years ago.

Tolkien didn’t create Middle-earth ex nihilo: ancient Germanic myths divide the Universe in nine worlds, inhabited by elves, dwarves, giants, etc. The world of men is the one in the middle, called Midgard, Middenheim or Middle-earth. That term doesn’t thus describe the entirety of the world Tolkien thought up. The correct term for the total world is Arda – probably derived from German Erde (‘Earth’) and only first mentioned posthumously in the Silmarillion (1977); and Eä (for the whole Universe).

The Hobbits are described as inhabiting ‘the North-West of the Old World, east of the Sea’, and therefore it’s tempting to associate their home with Tolkien’s own, England. Yet, Tolkien himself wrote that ‘as for the shape of the world of the Third Age, I am afraid that was devised ‘dramatically’, rather than geologically, or paleontologically.” Elsewhere, Tolkien does admit “The ‘Shire’ is based on rural England, and not any other country in the world.”

Tolkien at least compares his ‘Old World’ with Europe: “The action of the story takes place in the North-West of ‘Middle-earth’, equivalent in latitude to the coastlands of Europe and the north shores of the Mediterranean (…) If Hobbiton and Rivendell are taken (as intended) to be about the latitude of Oxford, then Minas Tirith, 600 miles south, is at about the latitude of Florence. The Mouths of Anduin and the ancient city of Pelargir are at about the latitude of ancient Troy.”

But, as Tolkien states in the prologue to ‘The Lord of the Rings’, it would be fruitless to look for geographical correspondences, as “Those days, the Third Age of Middle-earth, are now long past, and the shape of all lands has been changed…” And yet, that’s exactly what Peter Bird attempts with the map here shown. Bird, a professor of Geophysics and Geology at UCLA, has overlapped the map of Middle-earth with one of Europe, which leads to following locations:

• The Shire is in the South-West of England, which further north is also home to the Old Forest (Yorkshire?), the Barrow Downs (north of England), the city of Bree (at or near Newcastle-upon-Tyne) and Amon Sul (Scottish Highlands).
• The Grey Havens are situated in Ireland.
• Eriador corresponds with Brittany.
• Helm’s Deep is near the Franco-German-Swiss border tripoint, close to the city of Basel.
• The mountain chain of Ered Nimrais is the Alps.
• Gondor corresponds with the northern Italian plains, extended towards the unsubmerged Adriatic Sea.
• Mordor is situated in Transylvania, with Mount Doom in Romania (probably), Minas Morgul in Hungary (approximately) and Minas Tirith in Austria (sort of).
• Rohan is in southern Germany, with Edoras at the foot of the Bavarian Alps. Also in Germany, but to the north, near present-day Hamburg, is Isengard. Close by is the forest of Fangorn.
• To the north is Mirkwood, further east are Rhovanion and the wastes of Rhûn, close to the Ural mountains.
• The Sea of Rhûn corresponds to the Black Sea.
• Khand is Turkey
• Haradwaith is the eastern part of North Africa, Umbar corresponds with the Maghreb, the western part of North Africa.
• The Bay of Belfalas is the western part of the Mediterranean.”

All information taken from the StrangeMaps blog.

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Happy Pi Day!

Pumpkin Pi

Since it is March 14 (3-14), it is officially Pi Day, the day nerds, geeks, and dorks (like me, right, Patience?) celebrate the awesomeness of Pi:

1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 5028841971 6939937510
5820974944 5923078164 0628620899 8628034825 3421170679
8214808651 3282306647 0938446095 5058223172 5359408128
4811174502 8410270193 8521105559 6446229489 5493038196
4428810975 6659334461 2847564823 3786783165 2712019091
4564856692 3460348610 4543266482 1339360726 0249141273
7245870066 0631558817 4881520920 9628292540 9171536436
7892590360 0113305305 4882046652 1384146951 9415116094
3305727036 5759591953 0921861173 8193261179 3105118548
0744623799 6274956735 1885752724 8912279381 8301194912
9833673362 4406566430 8602139494 6395224737 1907021798
6094370277 0539217176 2931767523 8467481846 7669405132
0005681271 4526356082 7785771342 7577896091 7363717872
1468440901 2249534301 4654958537 1050792279 6892589235
4201995611 2129021960 8640344181 5981362977 4771309960
5187072113 4999999837 2978049951 0597317328 1609631859
5024459455 3469083026 4252230825 3344685035 2619311881
7101000313 7838752886 5875332083 8142061717 7669147303
5982534904 2875546873 1159562863 8823537875 9375195778
1857780532 1712268066 1300192787 6611195909 2164201989

Pi to 1000 decimal places, courtesy of the University of Exeter School of Physics.  (Yes, they had it to more than that, but did you really read it or just look at how long it was?)

I’m sure my friend Katherine will tell me what exactly you cannot do without pi, but I do know that I will make a pie this afternoon/evening to celebrate!

Just to pick the flavor now…

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Here’s another one of my collections of words and phrases from our camping trip with friends this weekend.  We drove up a little north of Duluth on Sabbath, hiked around at Gooseberry and Split Rock, went on a candlelight walk at Split Rock, and then went to a new section of the Superior Hiking Trail to spend the night at Silver Creek.  We hiked out in the morning and went to breakfast at the New London Cafe in Duluth.  A great trip, if a little chilly — all of us agreed that we’d do it again, once we got the right gear!

So, in no particular order:

cold flaming toes


“stoned moose”

deer magnet

winter blowtorch

hot cold beans

lots of tea!

candlelight up the hill

pink beach (Iona)

waves rushing around the corner

biting the rock

hot chocolate and cookies

pileated woodpecker and wolf

“It’s Costco cheese?”

tsunami warning

moon over the water — sunset and night

Werewolves of London

river walking



“walk this way” — devil’s signpost

frozen waterfall

“that’s a feat”

2 AM wakeup call

flat camp pad or 3/4 camp pad?

how many layers?

“Oh, Becky, that greasy of a greasy spoon?”

sticks in the hair

SFS, SSBS, etc. 😉

wolf tracks??

fiber intake



boom on the jetty

throwing rocks at the ice

ice shaped like a butt

camera timer: 1-2-3…Wait!

cold batteries

keep your hat on

sleeping on jackets


How do you set this tent up?  Push, push!”


firewood baby

I have no doubt others’ lists would be different, but this was what Kent and I came up with.  We had a great time, and even though I only got to sleep for a couple hours, I loved it and I’m really glad we went!!

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