Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Rejected Princesses

If you haven't heard of Rejected Princesses, it's an amazing project. The breadth of information and the author's storytelling ability (not to mention his art skills!) are fantastic. He tells the tales of women in history or folklore who aren't as well known as they should be, or whose entire stories don't often get told. Usually they're admirable sorts, but he also has rapscallions and villians.
He's covered two Iranian steppe nomads: Tirgatao and Tomyris. Tirgatao is a web entry, so she gets a graphic short story. Tomyris is one of the book entries, so she has a short write-up and a single image.
I highly recommend buying the book. He has it set up in a way that makes it easy to pick which stories to tell any kids you may read them to. Much like movies, he has a ranking system for how mature the stories are, as well as which mature themes are in them.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Of Ph.D.s, scrolls, and cats

The big hurdle that made me stop updating the blog is over. I got my Ph.D. in December. But I'm not over research burnout (I've had it for a few years now...), and there's no immediate need for me to continue making myself miserable pushing it, so it's going to be a good while before I start making regular or in-depth posts here again. And career research is going to take priority over fun research when I'm able to do research again until I have at least one paper accepted. But I've amassed a few books in the meantime that I'm going to scour for topics and information, and also still have travelogues from my trip to Inner Mongolia to post.

I've been making little forays into getting active in the SCA again. I've been to a few events and local group meetings. I've attended a couple kingdom heraldry meetings and occasionally commented on KLOIs on OSCAR. At some point I'd like to take on vacant and will-be-vacant heraldry and A&S officer positions in my barony and canton, but I'm having to be very, very mindful of how much responsibility I shoulder. Now that the dissertation's done, I can actually work on healing from all the burnout, anxiety, and depression it caused. I agreed to be a local officer in my union because it was needed (and this is a bargaining year...), but that meant delaying being an SCA officer again. Which is fine. It will happen. All the self care I'm doing is paying off and I'm much happier than I was in December, though I still have a ways to go before I can operate at near-full capacity again.

I took on a scroll assignment (Caid does all scrolls by request; very different from Calontir's AoAs-as-preprints system). I found a calligraphic hand from the right time and place for the person, taught myself to make it, then made the scroll from start to finish....then my cat stepped on it while the ink was still wet.
Stupid cat...

And it isn't even obvious pawprints, so I can't just shrug and say "it's period!" (even though it is). It just looks like I've smudged it. It's on bristol board so I don't think I can scrape it well (and it turns out I made a typo in the final draft that wasn't in the rough drafts anyway, so bleh). It was frustrating and I was still in the midst of dissertation frustration with some upsetting parallels, so I put it down for a while. When I finally felt like picking it back up...I finished the calligraphy and the cat immediately hopped up on the table and it. *headdesk* But I'm bound and determined to get it done in time for summer coronation. I think I may lock the cat away while I'm working and before the ink dries this time.

"Scythian" (sensu lato) population genetics

Here's a paper that's hot off the press (it came out in Nature Communications yesterday). The tl;dr is that Eurasian steppe nomads were highly mobile in the Iron Age to the point that there was a lot of genetic exchange between East and West.