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Puppy training

This day in history—753 bc!

John Manders' Blog

Just some sketches. Something softer and more idyllic than my take on the Etruscan statue in the last post. I’m imagining Lupa Capitolina teaching the boys how to become wolves.

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The Odyssey in one sentence

Odysseus had himself tied to the mast so he could listen to the Sirens without jumping overboard (of course there’s a link to the song below).

If you read The Iliad, you may remember Odysseus, one of the Greek commanders in the Trojan War. That was 20 years before this story, The Odyssey, which is about Odysseus trying to get back home to Ithaca where he left his wife and son. Homer, the blind poet who wrote it, starts the story in the middle—or, say it with me, in medias res (you need to know this or they won’t let you graduate from college).  Okay, here we go—

Polyphemus the cyclops

We join our hero Odysseus wasting time on the island Ogygia with the demigoddess Calypso who is a real cutie while his wife and kid patiently wait for Odysseus to come home where a bunch of guys hang around Penelope (his wife) hoping she’ll marry one of them she tells them to get lost but they won’t go away and every night they throw loud parties at Odysseus’ house and eat all the food the goddess Athena says this is not good so she sends the messenger-god Hermes to tell Odysseus to quit stepping out on Mrs Odysseus and go home Athena gives Telemachus (Odysseus’ son) courage to stand up to the creeps pestering Penelope so they start thinking about how to murder him Odysseus finally waves goodbye to Calypso and sails until he lands at Phaeacia and falls asleep on the beach Princess Nausicaa finds Odysseus who looks like a beach bum she introduces him to mom and dad Odysseus tells them about his adventures like how the Cicones punished Odysseus’ men for being greedy and how the Lotus Eaters got everybody high on flowers and how Odysseus blinded the one-eyed Cyclops Polyphemus which wasn’t such a hot idea because Polyphemus’ dad is the sea-god Poseidon Odysseus tells them about that old bag of wind Aeolus and the Laestrygonians who eat people and the witch Circe who turned his men into pigs and the irresistible Sirens who sing to sailors until their ships crash and the monsters Scylla and Charybdis and how finally Odysseus and his crew landed on the Island of the Sun the crew were really hungry so they barbecued the Sun-god’s cows which cheesed off Zeus who killed every man except Odysseus with a bolt of lightning so Odysseus floated on a raft to Calypso’s island and stayed put for seven years Odysseus finally wraps up his story and the king gives him a ship so Odysseus sails home to Ithaca he dresses like a beggar so nobody will recognize him and meets up with Telemachus and a pig-farmer they all go to Odysseus’ house to beat up the creeps Odysseus’ old dog Argos recognizes him so does his old nurse but not Penelope the creeps give Odysseus some flack because they think he’s just some beggar now after 20 years Penelope figures Odysseus ain’t coming back so I’ll marry one of these idiots whoever can win an archery contest but you have to use my husband’s bow and shoot an arrow through a row of axes that have holes in them none of the creeps can even get a string on Odysseus’ bow so then the old beggar comes up strings the bow and shoots an arrow through the axes now everybody knows who he is Odysseus and Telemachus kill all the creeps Odysseus and Penelope are together again and everything in Ithaca is back to good ol’ normal.

Odysseus disguised as a beggar

Thanks to LitCharts
The irresistible Annette Hanshaw—

Back to the beginning of The Western Civ User’s Guide to Reading & Writing.

Thanks, you guys!

This blog surpassed 200 followers yesterday. I am grateful for every one of you!

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Today is Holocaust Memorial Day. I’m going to pause retelling the story of Babylonian exile until tomorrow. 

“The international day remembers the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi persecution.

The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah – which means “destruction” in Hebrew – took place between 1941 and 1945.”

In case you hadn’t remember’d—

John Manders' Blog

(Originally posted Oct 25, 2013)

Happy St Crispin’s Day!

But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.Spoken by Henry; from William Shakespeare’s Henry V, Act IV Scene 3

Gang, this beautiful language is our inheritance—a gift to us from people long gone. Here is the entire scene. More info here. If you saw the Queen Elizabeth movie that came out a few years ago, you’ll remember Cate Blanchett in armor giving a speech to her troops just before they battle the Spanish. I assumed the screenwriters had…

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Mercator and Max and Spiderman

Max Calò is an illustrator pal I met on the internet. He saw my post about Gerard Mercator’s projection of the Earth and told me how he confronted a similar challenge when he was awarded the job of putting 2-dimensional characters on round toy balls. Here’s another view. They’re containers.

He sent me some images to show how he worked out the problem. I believe he used a system like the one Mercator used. I’m completely lost when it comes to digital art, so I’ll just put Max’ images here with his comments.

Here’s four visuals of that globe-printing job. I did quite a few of those, here’s one that shows the distortion well, it’s Spiderman’s head. One is the texture that wrapped around cylindrically, lots of trial and error to get there, then there are screenshots of the sphere to show how the texture applies. And then two renders, one from top and one from bottom, the part that is shown as whitened up is the bleed so a portion of that’s below the equator. The renders were my final products that were then used in the manufacturing.

I did a few: two different world maps, Moshi Monsters, a Dalek, a Dinosaur’s eye, Marvel heroes with Iron Man, Hulk and others…but Spiderman came out best.

In the first screengrab you can see it flattened and it’s the bottom plus one ring of polygons above the equator to provide the bleed and you can see that I changed the sizes of the rings to counter the distortion of the manufacturing. I remember I sent them one test sphere with just a solid color for each ring to calculate the distortion.

Here it is with the UVs unwrapped. Are you familiar with UV’s? If you’re not, it’s the coordinates of the 2d unwrapping of a 3d surface. They’re called UV because XYZ are already taken for the 3d space. Here’s the texture on the UVs.


Thanks, Max!

Spiderman is part of the Marvel Universe and all images are copyrighted by Max or Marvel or Stan Lee—I hope that covers it.

Back to the beginning of The Western Civ User’s Guide to Time & Space


While we’re rushing around…

Gang, I’m up to my earlobes in deadlines, but since it’s the Advent season for Christians, I thought I’d re-post this one from earlier in the year.

I’ll be back soon. I have lots more fun stuff to share with you.

An even more horrible azimuth gag





Puppy training

Just some sketches. Something softer and more idyllic than my take on the Etruscan statue in the last post. I’m imagining Lupa Capitolina teaching the boys how to become wolves.