Need I Say More?

I am different. You are different. This started differently and progressed without intention. Long evenings without harmless untruths. It was quixotic and confidential.  Trials were made and times got hard.  Everything always got better, but time ways always too short.  

We're silly and horrible people, but you are awesome and  I am awesome. We're not alone but certainly in our own world. We don't always agree, but we can compromise and most importantly you put up with my quirks

Thank you for being different.  Need I say more?


“N’Gasta! Kvata! Kvakis!” I found Esperanto in Skyrim!

N'Gasta! Kvata! Kvakis!

I found this interesting bit in Skyrim and it gave me a neat project to play with.  I’m sure most of you are already aware that I’m somewhat of an Esperanto-phile and I’m always on the watch for neat usages of Esperanto in popular media.

So I was just chilling at the Bard’s College, looking around what what I could loot and sell when I came across a book with an unusual title: “N’Gasta! Kvata! Kvakis!

I don’t come across many languages that have “kv” starting a word except for esperanto.  The numbers 4 and 5 are “Kvar” and “Kvin” and so I loaded up to see if I could come up with a translation for Kvati or Kvaki.  Sure enough, Kvaki came up with a hit. 


“SCORE!” I thought to myself as I opened up the book to get more of it’s contents.  I was hoping to discover some more Esperanto in there.  

Book 2

It didn’t look entirely esperanto, but there were definitely some esperanto-ish things in there.  If you can’t read the text from the picture here it is:

An obscure text written in the language of the Sload by a necromancer

“N’Gasta! Kvata! Kvakis! ahkstas so novajxletero (oix jhemile) so Ranetauw. Ricevas gxin pagintaj membrauw kaj aliaj individuauw, kiujn iamaniere tusxas so raneta aktivado. En gxi aperas informauw unuavice pri so lokauw so cxiumonataj kunvenauw, sed nature ankoix pri aliaj aktuasoj aktivecauw so societo. Ne malofte enahkstas krome plej diversaspekta materialo eduka oix distra.

So interreta Kvako (retletera kaj verjheauw) ahkstas unufsonke alternativaj kanasouw por distribui so enhavon so papera Kva! Kvak!. Sed alifsonke so enhavauw so diversaj verjheauw antoixvible ne povas kaj ecx ne vus cxiam ahksti centprocente so sama. En malvaste cirkusonta paperfolio ekzemple ebsos publikigi ilustrajxauwn, kiuj pro kopirajtaj kiasouw ne ahkstas uzebsoj en so interreto. Alifsonke so masoltaj kostauw reta distribuo forigas so spacajn limigauwn kaj permahksas pli ampleksan enhavon, por ne paroli pri gxishora aktualeco.

Tiuj cirkonstancauw rahkspeguligxos en so aspekto so Kvakoa, kiu ja cetere servos ankoix kiel gxeneraso retejo so ranetauw.”

There were only a few things that didn’t make sense to me, so I decided to change a few things I didn’t recall ever seeing in Esperanto.  I found multiple words that looked sort of like the Esperanto verb for “to be” but there were letters that were wrong.  The words “ahkstas” and “ahksti” led me to believe these were intended to be “esti” instead and I changed all of the instances of ahk to e. 

The next thing that looked familiar was “ankoix” – I’d never seen the oix used and determined that they might be using X-notionation here instead of doing the cirumflexes.  I decided that this word must be the Esperanto word for “also or as well” – ankaŭ or with X-notation it’d be ankaux.  So I replaced every instance of “oix” with “aux” and made a couple more words make sense.

I found at least three more things that needed replacing before I finally came up with real Esperanto:

N’Gasta! Kvata! Kvakis! estas la novajxletero (aux simile) la Ranetoj. Ricevas gxin pagintaj membroj kaj aliaj individuoj, kiujn iamaniere tusxas la raneta aktivado. En gxi aperas informoj unuavice pri la lokoj la cxiumonataj kunvenoj, sed nature ankaux pri aliaj aktuasoj aktivecoj la societo. Ne malofte enestas krome plej diversaspekta materialo eduka aux distra.

La interreta Kvako (retletera kaj versioj) estas unuflanke alternativaj kanaloj por distribui so enhavon la papera Kva! Kvak!. Sed aliflanke la enhavoj la diversaj versioj antauxvible ne povas kaj ecx ne vus cxiam esti centprocente la sama. En malvaste cirkulanta paperfolio ekzemple eblas publikigi ilustrajxojn, kiuj pro kopirajtaj kialoj ne estas uzeblaj en la interreto. Aliflanke la malaltaj kostoj reta distribuo forigas la spacajn limigojn kaj permesas pli ampleksan enhavon, por ne paroli pri gxishora aktualeco.

Tiuj cirkonstancoj respeguligxos en la aspekto la Kvakoa, kiu ja cetere servos ankaux kiel gxenerala retejo la ranetoj.

Here is a translation

The Croak is the newsletter (or something similar) of the small frogs. It is send to paying members and other individuals who, in some way, are involved in the small frogs activities. In it there firstly is information about the locations of the monthly meetings, but of course also concerning the latest activities of the club. Sometimes it also includes other educating or entertaining material.

The internet-based Croak (e-mail and web versions) are on the one hand another distribution channel for the contents of the paper version. But on the other hand, not surprisingly, the contents of the different versions can’t and even must not always be 100 percent the same. For instance, in little circulating paper versions you can publish illustrations that for copyright reasons can’t be used on the internet. Yet on the other hand the low costs oft the internet version lift the space limits and allow more content, not to mention being always to date.

These circumstances influence the web-based Croak, which will also serve as the general homepage of the small frogs.

Get the f– out of here, really?

So I was browsing reddit and I saw this BoingBoing article 

and I was quite confused.  First I thought it was a kid’s book with an unfortunate title, then I realized it was a book intentionally created that way and now it’s apparently up on’s top seller’s list.  


What craziness is this!?  The book hasn’t even been published yet and this writer has to deal with overwhelming demand and attention because of piracy.  


Below is a full text article from The Bay Citizen about Bay Area writer Adam Mansbach’s unusual success heralds new headaches and opportunities for publishers:

Loving your geeky beau

I asked earlier today on Twitter, "You've got a geeky male love interest, how would you sweeten his day?" I was surprised by the responses, not the suggestions but more of the people who reached out to me privately saying, "Let me know what people say, I'm curious!" With stories of their geeky beau they want to make happy.

Without getting into the multitudes of types of geeky men, I can break this down in one answer: Show interest and curiosity in what he does. 

If you're beau is a programmer, you don't need to know how cache invalidation works, Big O notation or the finer points of functional programming, you just need to listen.  You're not going to understand everything, but I promise if you take a moment to ask him about his work he'll tell you.  If you have a programmer love interest, try asking them if they've "solved any cool problems this week," in regards to their job.  Chances are, you'll have them asking you if you seriously care (and do show interest) and then going on to tell you what they did. Perhaps they work at a webby startup and has been fighting some bug all week and after finally vanquishing it, discovered that they were able to speed up request times on the site they work for by a couple of milliseconds.  

It's not hard to talk to a programmer, even if you don't think you're not smart enough to hold a conversation with them.  I've only had good experiences talking with programmers, most of the ones I know are very opinionated and passionate about their specialties. Communication isn't a one way thing.  
I've known many a geeky male to be more than happy to sit back and let me talk about myself, my interests and my work.  That's not a conversation though, don't let them get away with being listeners.  You also don't have to pretend to understand what they are talking about to get them to converse and potentially respect you.  

Which brings me to my next point, there is no shame in telling some one "I don't know." Repeat that phrase, learn it and embrace it.  You'll gain far more appreciation and respect if you own up to things you don't know and seem willing to learn.  Learning doesn't mean being a master of something, it just means knowing more about a subject than you knew five minutes prior.

The above suggestions can go for whatever genre of geekery your interest is into, be it video games, physics, medicine, programming or math (and all the other genres of geekery).  It really doesn't matter, just show interest.  Nine times out of ten, you'll not only get an explanation of what your interest did at work, but they will also try their best to explain what it means to you in laymen terms so that you can better follow the conversation.

I'm sure you probably were thinking I'd have a list of things you could buy your geek instead of something as simple as "listen." So, I've put together a list of nice things that I know some geeks appreciate:

  • Composition Book - This is half line paper and half graph paper, if you have yourself a programmer or an electronics aficionado this composition book is great for mathematical proofs and circuit diagrams with notation.
  • World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War –  Check to see if they don't own this already!  Not only is this book a great read, it's about zombies too!
  • IM Me Device – If it's a hardware hacker you've got on your hands, this little device is a really great way to have a hackable radio on the cheap. 
  • Cling-on whiteboard sheets – Whiteboards are the vitae of many a geek's life.  These are static cling on whiteboard sheets that one can plop up on their wall for some giant sized whiteboard awesomeness.
  • Dr. Who USB Hub – There is never enough USB ports for all of your devices, why not let him celebrate it with geekery.
  • Battlestar Galactica, the boardgame – YES It exists, surprise your geek with it and enjoy this "semi-cooperative" game with them.
  • Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers – Chances are, if they are a boardgame geek they already have the original Carcassonne.  Do they have this version yet?  Also, why aren't you playing Carcassonne with your boardgame geek yet?
  • Cowboy Bebop CD Box Set – I've yet to meet an anime geek who didn't absolutely love the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack and cheaper than the entire DVD set.
  • The Black Mages: Final Fantasy – If you have a gamer geek on your hands, they might appreciate this collection of final fantasy music. 

If you have any suggestions or additions leave me a comment or tweet me to: @tia_marie

My friend will be Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro for Charity

Clipped from: by

My friend Mitu and her sister, have started a charitable organization they call Arohon. They hope to raise £5000 in sponsorship for their Mt. Kilimanjaro climb to improve the resources of Nikrail Gonokendra Pathagar in Bangladesh.  

I've been friends with Mitu for well over a year now and she has never ceased to amaze me.  She's an incredibly kind, caring and strong woman who always goes through with what she puts her mind to.  

That's why I'm asking you to consider giving them some of your support in the form of a donation for their climb. If you can't support financially then please tell your friends, share this clip ( through your blog, email, facebook, twitter or posterous account to help spread the word about Mitu's cause!  If my words are convincing enough, then perhaps it might be more enticing to know Mitu is a PhD candidate for video game research (how cool is that?)

Check out their mission below, they speak better than I about their goals and what they are doing!

Our aim is to empower poor people by providing them with the basic resources needed to climb out of poverty. We believe that by implementing improved sanitation, housing, healthcare and education, the world’s most vulnerable people can finally lift themselves out of poverty. Indeed, our name, ‘Arohon’, is the Bengali word for ‘climb’.

Primarily we shall be working to combat poverty in Bangladesh, where, after visiting the area where our dad grew up, we found many people struggling to access basic necessities, including safe drinking water. Bangladesh is fighting to become a middle income country, but with such a fast growing population and limited resources, millions of Bangladeshis remain trapped in poverty. With the help of Arohon, we want to open up opportunities for these people to build better lives for themselves.

Of course, as a new charitable organisation, we aim to tackle these issues one step at a time, with our first target areas being education and women’s empowerment.  Though Bangladesh has achieved gender parity in primary school enrolment, far fewer girls complete their education in comparison to their male counterparts. Of the 67 million adults that are illiterate in Bangladesh, 42 million are women (Source: DFID) – our aim is to break down the barriers to girls’ education. Our vision is to shift gender perceptions in Bangladesh so women are openly offered the same education and career opportunities as men. Arohon will be opening a women’s education centre teaching basic numeracy and literacy skills; we believe this is one of the first steps to help local women realise their full potential.

As a result of poverty around three million children (half of which are girls), miss out on state primary education (Source: UNGEI).  Arohon will also be supporting the extension of a currently struggling public library, so that local citizens have free educational resources available to them.

From via


A few reading recommendations

Recently I bought a Kindle from a friend and since then I've been reading up a storm.  I've been tweeting a lot about my enjoyment of "World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War" and it inspired me to put together a list of my all time favourite books as reading recommendations with a small summary.  This list is in no particular order.

"World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War" – Max Brooks
The style of this book is the first of it's type that I have written.  The author has made the book to be a compilation of interviews of individuals around the world telling their tale of how they survived the massive Zombie outbreak.  The author does such a wonderful job of writing each section in a way that gives flavour and originality to each character.  Even though the individual stories from each survivor is short, you can get a clear separation of character with each account that is written.  It doesn't just feel like it's coming from the same rehashed character.

"Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right" – Al Franken
Many of you are probably more familiar with Al Franken's work from Saturday Night Live, but he also has a deeply political side to him.  In 2008, Franken ran in the US Senate election in Minnesota.   Franken's writing is not only hilarious, but his crack team of researchers (dubbed "TeamFranken" a group of 14 Harvard Graduate students) made this book a refreshing look at the major conservative players such as: Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and obviously George W. Bush.  This book highlighted several of the right wing media's talking points and some interesting research with some very wonderful comedy.

"Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot" – Al Franken
If you haven't noticed from my previous suggestion, I love Al Franken's writing.  This book in particular had me in stitches, especially in his chapter that he writes a scenario with many of the major conservative players as soldiers during the Vietnam War on patrol under the leadership of Ollie North

"Brave New World" – Aldous Huxley
This one in my opinion, is a classic.  I don't want to give out too many spoilers, but Huxley's brilliant portrayal of this Utopian World State had me enthralled.  Reading the book (without knowing much about the author before hand) gave me a clear insight on the author and who he was.  After researching Aldous Huxley, many of my gut feelings about his own life experiences where solidified.  I could easily see his inspiration for Soma within his pages.

"Memnoch the Devil" – Anne Rice
Anne Rice as an author has left me with mixed feelings. Her Vampire Chronicles in their infancy, were beautifully written.  Her characters were so rich with emotion, depth and development. However, I personally felt that the brilliance of the Vampire Chronicles started to die off following Memnoch the Devil.  I believe that it was the last good book in this series, but by far the most powerful and simply amazing books.  It touches a very controversial topic and brought a depth to her character Lestat that no other book managed to bring.   I remembered reading this book and sitting back in awe as I finished it, never before had a book moved, shocked and held me as spellbound as this one had.

"1984" – George Orwell
After listing "Brave New World", it is probably predictable that I'd be listing Orwell's classic dystopian novel.  I remember being forced to read this in high school, never truly appreciating it until I was an adult and reread it for giggles.  Even if you read this once, for school, I recommend rereading it as an adult.  It's just that good.

"Birdman"  – Mo Hayder
Now we step into the realm of the bizarre, if you're not into the psychological thriller genre or have a low thresh-hold for bizarre – go no further.  Accept this book won't be your style, because I can promise you that on the "messed up scale," this one pushes the edge. 

"Red Dragon" – Thomas Harris
Thomas Harris will live in my mind eternally as the author of the best series ever.  I remember watching "Silence of the Lambs" for the first time, not ever knowing it was inspired by a novel. Then, one day I did my research and came upon these books by Thomas Harris: Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal Rising. Of all of these novels, Red Dragon is my all time favourite.  The vivid imagery and depth of the killer, Francis Dolarhyde was what really won it for me. 

"The Jester" – James Patterson and Andrew Gross
James Patterson and Andrew Gross collaborate to bring this historic tale of an ordinary French villager during the times of the Crusades.  I fell in love with the main character in the book, and the subject matter made me want to researc
h again in full details of the Crusades. 

Alex Cross Series, James Patterson
To conclude my book recommendations, I make not one but 14.  I discovered James Patterson after seeing a copy of "Kiss the Girls" on paperback at Borders.  I read the book, fell in love with Alex Cross and have since then, immediately purchased and quickly devoured every novel that Patterson has ever written with Detective Cross in it.  With each book you see a real growth and development of the characters, as you get hooked on the series you learn to feel that same pang of anxiety at the mention of the Mastermind that Alex feels.  Never before have I ever gotten so attached to a literary character.  Each new release that Patterson adds to this collection of stories is received with joy and apprehension as I'm both overjoyed to have another book coming in the series, but also afraid for the day that Patterson writes his final chapter closing Alex's story.  That will be a sad day for me.

Well that finishes up my book recommendations, I hope that if you've read this, you pick up at least one of the many books that I have just recommended.  Drop me a comment about how you feel, I'd love to hear some one else's point of view.

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