Archive for the ‘WEIRD’ Category


Posted: December 18, 2011 in Art Book, Greek Mythology, WEIRD

In Greek mythology Medusa (Greek: Μέδουσα (Médousa), ” guardian, protectress”) was a Gorgon, a chthonic monster, and a daughter of Phorcys and Ceto. The author Hyginus, (Fabulae, 151) interposes a generation and gives Medusa another chthonic pair as parents. Gazing directly upon her would turn onlookers to stone. She was beheaded by the hero Perseus, who thereafter used her head as a weapon until he gave it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield. In classical antiquity the image of the head of Medusa appeared in the evil-averting device known as the Gorgoneion.

The three Gorgon sisters—Medusa, Stheno, and Euryale—were all children of the ancient marine deities Phorcys (or Phorkys) and his sister Ceto (or Keto), chthonic monsters from an archaic world. Their genealogy is shared with other sisters, the Graeae, as in Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound, which places both trinities of sisters far off “on Kisthene’s dreadful plain”:

Near them their sisters three, the Gorgons, winged
With snakes for hair— hated of mortal man—

While ancient Greek vase-painters and relief carvers imagined Medusa and her sisters as beings born of monstrous form, sculptors and vase-painters of the fifth century began to envisage her as being beautiful as well as terrifying. In an ode written in 490 BC Pindar already speaks of “fair-cheeked Medusa”.

In a late version of the Medusa myth, related by the Roman poet Ovid (Metamorphoses 4.770), Medusa was originally a ravishingly beautiful maiden, “the jealous aspiration of many suitors,” priestess in Athena’s temple, but when she and the “Lord of the Sea” Poseidon were caught together by Athena’s temple, the enraged Athena transformed Medusa’s beautiful hair to serpents and made her face so terrible to behold that the mere sight of it would turn onlookers to stone. In Ovid’s telling, Perseus describes Medusa’s punishment by Minerva (Athena) as just and well earned.

In African mythology (prior to Greece’s adaptation of Medusa), Medusa was a Libyan goddess.{Walker, Barbara G., The Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths & Secrets} She was a serpent goddess of female wisdom.{Walker, Barbara G., The Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths & Secrets} Female wisdom, healing, birth, rebirth, and other positive traits of nature have long been associated with serpents.

In Case of Cyberman Apocalypse !

Posted: December 8, 2011 in Future, Robot, WEIRD

Weird ?

Posted: December 5, 2011 in Fact, Human, Life, WEIRD

The TV Typewriter was a video terminal that could display 2 pages of 16 lines of 32 upper case characters on a standard television set. The Don Lancaster design appeared on the cover of Radio-Electronics magazine in September 1973. The magazine included a 6 page description of the design but readers could send off for a 16 page package of construction details. Radio-Electronics sold thousands of copies for $2.00 each. The TV Typewriter is considered a milestone in the home computer revolution along with the Mark-8 and Altair 8800 computers.

Don Lancaster was an engineer at Goodyear Aerospace designing a high resolution video display for the military. Don was also a prolific author of hobbyist projects for Popular Electronics and Radio-Electronics magazines. The video project gave Don the inspiration for his most influential project, a low cost video terminal known as the TV Typewriter. The design used TTL digital logic and shift register memory. (Microprocessors and RAM were new and very expensive.) With professional terminals costing over $1000 this $120 kit looked like a bargain. Southwest Technical Products sold the set of bare circuit boards for $27 and the eight major integrated circuits for $49.50. The hobbyist had to acquire the rest of the components on their own.

In the November issue, the editors apologized for the delays in shipping the TV Typewriter booklets to the thousands of readers that ordered them. They also listed electronics parts sources for the difficult to find components. Don Lancaster also answered a series of reader questions and gave ideas for additional functions and uses for the TV Typewriter. The December issue had a page of corrections for the TV Typewriter booklet. Both of the notices were included in later printings of the booklet.

The compact design and complex circuitry made the TV Typewriter a challenging project for hobbyists. But many finished the project and some even connected it to their Intel 8008 based computers. The April 1975 issue of the Micro-8 Newsletter has 6 pages of user modifications and interface designs to connect the TV Typewriter to Mark-8 or SCELBI computers. The original TV Typewriter design did not include a serial interface, modem connection, or offline data storage on cassette tape. Don Lancaster wrote about these in the September 1975 issue of BYTE magazine and his TV Typewriter Cookbook. A serial interface board designed by Roger Smith was published in January 1975 issue of Radio Electronics.