Majora’s Mask Asks

I came across a Majora’s Mask-themed questionnaire on Tumblr, and since it’s one of my favorite games, I thought I’d go through and answer the questions.

Deku Mask Who is a historical monarch you find interesting?
Agathocles, Tyrant of Syracuse, is definitely one of my favorites.  He was born the son of a potter and became hegemon of most of Sicily after warring with Carthage.  He even left Syracuse with an army to Carthage while Carthage was besieging Syracuse itself, later inspiring Scipio to attack Carthage directly, as well.

Goron Mask Do you have a favorite gemstone?
Not especially.  Tanzanite is pretty, but I like them all.  The gems area of natural science museums is usually one of my favorites.

Zora Mask What’s your favorite piece of music?
, by Holst.  It’s the most beautiful piece.

Fierce Deity’s Mask What’s your greatest strength?
Intelligence.  It probably doesn’t show much here, though…

Great Fairy’s Mask Do you believe in the supernatural?
Nope.  I used to be really into paranormal and supernatural stuff, especially in middle and high school, but I’m pretty materialist now.  I don’t believe there’s anything out there unexplainable by science. Continue reading

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Dia de Muertos

“Mama, do I have to go?”

“Ay, vida, what’s wrong?  I thought you liked Dia de los Inocentes.”

“It’s boring.  It’s just the same stuff every year.  I’d rather stay here.”

“Oh, but you get to see everyone.  And there are all the beautiful orchids and ofrendas.  Your sister worked so hard on it.  Please go, mijo, for me.”

“Alright, mom.  I’ll go.  But what about you?”

“Don’t worry about me.  I’ll visit tomorrow.  I can’t wait to see your little sister again.  Her grandkids are just so precious.  It really is sweet of her to still think of us.”

Thanks for reading!  If you enjoyed it, you can find more of my stories here!

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Happy International Orangutan Day!

Happy International Orangutan Day!

John Kutensky

Happy International Orangutan Day!  As is probably obvious, orangutans are my favorite animal, so I’m glad that they get their own day.

I’m not entirely certain why I’m so drawn to orangutans.  I think part of it is because, out of all the non-human great apes, I see more of myself in them than in any other.  I think of them as intelligent and introverted (especially the adult males).  They’re patient and good at problem-solving.  They’re usually the hardest animal to keep enclosed at a zoo, with their strength, dexterity, and intelligence being enough to break out of all but the best-designed enclosures.

They’re just such marvelous beings.  I really hope that humanity can preserve them for the future.  It would be such a loss if this species went extinct.

IMG_0705Satu the Orangutan Eating at the San Diego ZooSatu the Orangutan at the San Diego Zoo 2Satu the Orangutan at the San Diego Zoo 3

Here are some resources for learning more about and helping orangutans.

Reflections of Eden, by Birute Galdikas, is…

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The World’s Wisest Man – Audio Version

The Saturday Storytellers have made an audio version of my story The World’s Wisest Man and put it on Youtube.  You can check it out below, or here.

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Metroid Fanart

Happy 30th Birthday, Samus Aran!

John Kutensky

I just downloaded the Metroid Prime Trilogy, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite Metroid fanart from around the web.  Click on the images to go to the source.

This first image is by Alvin Lee, for whom I unfortunately couldn’t find a website.  She’s a bit poutier than I’d like, but I think she has a pretty serious, grim look to her that I like in my Samus art.  I personally dislike cutesy Samus.  There are times for it, like when she’s relaxing after a mission, but she’s a warrior, not a model.

Samus by Alvin Lee

Another good warrior image.  She looks like she just got out of a fight.

Warrior by SpaceCoyote

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Sostratos of Aegina Notes

When I was first reading Herodotus, buried in Book 4, I came across a passage that wouldn’t have stood out if not for its footnote.  The section, 4.152, reads:

But after they had been away for longer than the agreed time, and Corobius had no provisions left, a Samian ship sailing for Egypt, whose captain was Colaeus, was driven off her course to Platea, where the Samians heard the whole story from Corobius and left him provisions for a year; they then put out to sea from the island and would have sailed to Egypt, but an easterly wind drove them from their course, and did not abate until they had passed through the Pillars of Heracles and came providentially to Tartessus. Now this was at that time an untapped market; hence, the Samians, of all the Greeks whom we know with certainty, brought back from it the greatest profit on their wares except Sostratus of Aegina, son of Laodamas; no one could compete with him.The Samians took six talents, a tenth of their profit, and made a bronze vessel with it, like an Argolic cauldron, with griffins’ heads projecting from the rim all around; they set this up in their temple of Hera, supporting it with three colossal kneeling figures of bronze, each twelve feet high. What the Samians had done was the beginning of a close friendship between them and the men of Cyrene and Thera.

I’ve emboldened the relevant part.  On its own, it’s not especially amazing.  I mean, someone has to be the best, right?  But the footnote indicated that this is the only mention of Sostratos of Aegina.  Ever.  In anything.  No other extant author mentions him, and Herodotus never mentions him against.  All we know is that he was the most profitable Greek trader of all time, who made an amount significant greater than sixty talents, and that’s it.

Ever since, I’ve found his story intriguing.  Who was he?  What did he trade?  Where did he go?  The Samians who came in second got blown off course into the Atlantic Ocean to Tartessus, a market no other Greek had been to, and Sostratos still crushed them in profits.  I just can’t imagine what Sostratos did that no one else could do.  Isn’t it mysterious?

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Sostratos of Aegina

O Sostratos of Aegina, who were you?  You, whose profit was so renowned that no explanation was necessary, and that no one else’s could be even compared, are now a hapax legomenon, mentioned once and forgotten.  What did you trade?  Where you did you go?  To what far off lands did you travel, that you were able to best the Samians who were blown into the Atlantic to Tartessos?  Is that your anchor at Gravisca?  Are those your amphorae scattered throughout Etruria?  Or did you leave behind no such evidence?

Will we ever know you, or are you destined to remain unknown aside from a name, a homeland, a father, and a deed, you, who were once so famous, who were once a byword for gain?  Will you ever emerge from the gloomy lacunae of history?  Or will we forever wonder?

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