Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holiday Polyhedron #3: Unadorned Stellated Dodecahedron

Some lilies don't need gilding. :)

Net here.

This one's tricky: it's got 60 faces!

And it goes both concave and convex. But it's perfect for the Christmas tree: its profiles show off both a pentacle:

... and a Star of David:

Merry Christmas to one and all!

Friday, December 24, 2010

How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse During the Holidays

I know the zombie trope is *so overused*, but I ain't sick of it yet!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holiday Polyhedron #2: Tarot Pentagonal Icositetrahedron

Hot on the heels of the non-denominational rhombic dodecahedron, here's another Christmas bauble to knock your wooly stockings off!

Behold the pentagonal icositetrahedron (if you're keeping up with your Greek prefixes, this means it has 24 pentagonal faces; another Catalan solid), adorned with all 22 trumps from the Major Arcana of the Tarot deck, drawn from Rider-Waite pack, the most commonly used Tarot deck in Anglophone countries.

Start off by printing out the net via Paper Models of Polyhedra. I used red card, and paid no heed to the gratuitous misspelling.

Then cut that bugger up.

I'm using the scissors to score the edges before folding. Makes for cleaner creases, not that mine are terribly clean when you come right down to it.

See how it all fits together? This is going along so nicely.

Now, for the decoupage. I was kinda obsessed with the occult as a teenager, and though I've since become skeptical of Tarot readings (anyway, why are we us Generation X-ers so hung up with this European divination form? We're in Asia; we oughta be using yarrow sticks and the I Ching), I still love the iconography of the Tarot.

It's super-easy to swipe images of the full house off the Net. One jpg to rule them all.

As you can see, I've also added in images of the occultist Arthur Edward Waite and the illustrator Pamela Colman Smith to the 22 trumps to make a total of 24 faces.

Snip snip done! Click to see the above in higher res.

The paper clip and ribbon in the picture are what I use to create the loop for the bauble. Figure out where you're gonna put this before you do any d├ęcoupaging, so you know what's top and bottom in your figure.

Oh, and if at any point in your craftwork your cat comes to sit in your lap...

Do not push her off, but try to annoy her with the camera...

...moving in closer...

... and closer.

I'm fully aware of the apparent wrongness of introducing pagan and occult symbols into Christmas. Sure, I can console myself that the whole principle of Winter Solstice Festivals with erect evergreen trees and wise men following stars to indicate the newest avatar of the godhead is pretty damn pagan and occult in itself...

... but when I've got the Wheel of Fortune, the Day of Judgment, the Devil, the Hanged Man and Death on my bauble, maybe I'm actually more hardcore than is comfortable for me.

Never mind; we can turn that side inwards when we hang it. And there's an angel for Temperance. That's Christmassy.

One last look!

And there we go! All glued up and strung up: your personal Tarot Pentagonal Icositetrahedron, useful for either decoration or divination. (Kids! Freak out your parents by loading the die so it consistently lands on Death!)

Pictured, clockwise from top: illustrator Pamela Colman Smith, the Hierophant, the Emperor, the Empress, the Magician, and if I'm not mistaken a teensy bit of the Fool.

Also useful for annoying your familiar with. She actually knocked it about with her paw.

Avaunt, polyhedron! And a Very Merry Iconoclastic Christmas to you too!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Holiday Polyhedron #1: Non-Denominational Rhombic Dodecahedron!

Sorry I haven't been posting for a while - I went to Jakarta/Bandung/Yogyakarta for a week, and the packing/finishing work before that and the recuperating/welcoming prodigal siblings afterwards have kept me a little distracted.

But now I'm finally finding distractions to distract me from the distractions! Such as the creation of cute little Christmas baubles! Like the following:

It's a Non-Denominational Rhombic Dodecahedron! Here, I'll show you how to make 'em.

First, you need a "net", or the 2D surface layout of the polygons in your 3D shape. I got mine off Wikipedia, but later I discovered a better resource here.

The site's called Paper Models of Polyhedra, and it's awesome. Me and my sis used to trace these shapes out of our Childcraft encyclopedia: all the Platonic solids, tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, icosahedron. Then I found a Chinese papercraft book and used a protractor to make prisms and pyramids and Archimedean solids, which are often just Platonic solids with their corners cut off: cuboctahedron, truncated tetrahedron, truncated cube... ah, never got very far with those, actually.

The rhombic dodecahedron is a Catalan solid. These were only discovered in 1836, and I'm fuzzy on the math. But the cool thing about them is that although they're made up of identical faces, these faces are irregular polygons.

Easy-peasy to print onto stiff card and snip it out. Now for some ideological aesthetics.

My family observes Christmas, because we like the decor, but we're actually freethinking Mahayana Buddhists with loads of Taoism and Confucianism and skepticism thrown in. So it makes very little sense for me to decorate the polyhedron with angels and shepherds and drummer-boys and wisemen and stars. Yet we don't want to write out the spiritual aspect of Christmas and replace it with Santa Claus and reindeer.

Luckily, I have a colour printer. And Google Images.

Save, paste into Word, print, cut with scissors, and paste with glue....

On the left-hand side: The Virgin of Guadalupe (Christianity), the Kaaba (Islam) and Tuapehkong (Taoism).
In the centre, from top to bottom: Michelangelo's Moses (Judaism), the Shrine of the Bab (Bahai), Mahavira (Jainism), Lakshmi (Hinduism), Zarathustra (Zoroastrianism), Amaterasu-o-mi-kami (Shintoism).
On the right-hand side: the Golden Temple of Amritsar (Sikkism), Bodhisattva Kuan Yin (Buddhism) and an Orthodox Jesus (Christianity).

Click the image above for a closer-up view.

Originally I wanted a Virtruvian man as well for the atheist humanists (like my sister, my boyfriend, and my sister's boyfriend), but I couldn't kick out any of the others, not even the double count for Christianity, because honestly, both those icons are gorgeous. Wanted Guru Nanak Dev as well for Sikkism, but decided to make a balance between male figures, female figures and architecture.

Gluing the whole thing together was trickier than I expected. I got gum all over the gods and prophets and I had to mop it up with tissue.

Nearly done. And there we go! Innit lovely?

Stick it on the tree, why don't you?

There we go. Sorry my photography's so bad. But I hope I'll have time to demonstrate another happy holiday bauble before Christmas. Selamat Hari Natal ke semua orang!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Abjad Binatang-Binatang

Done! Q and X are lost causes, right? So I won't stress.

AKUSUKA = goose/swan
ANJING = dog
AYAM = chicken
BABI = pig
BADAK = rhino
BELALANG = grasshopper
BEO = mynah
BERUANG = bear
BERUANG KUTUB = polar bear
BIAWAK KOMODO = Komodo dragon
BUAYA = crocodile
BULBUL = bulbul
BULU BABI = sea urchin
BURUNG BEKAKAK = kingfisher
BURUNG BELATUK = woodpecker
CACING = worm
CICAK = lizard
CIMPANZI = chimpanzee
DOMBA = sheep
DUBUK = hyena
ENGGANG = hornbill
FALKO = falcon (burung falko, really)
GAJAH = elephant
GORILA = gorilla
HARIMAU = tiger
HUDHUD = hoopoe
IKAN = fish
IKAN PAUS = whale
ITIK = duck
JAGUAR = jaguar
JANGKRIK = cricket
KACUAK = roach
KALA JENGKING = scorpion
KAMBING = goat
KANCIL = mousedeer
KANGGARU = kangaroo
KATAK = frog
KERA HANTU = tarsier
KERAM = clam
KERBAU = bison
KETAM = crab
KUCING = cat
KUDA = horse
KUDA NIL = hippo
KUMBANG = beetle
KUTU = flea
LABAH-LABAH = spider
LALAT = housefly
LEBAH = bee
LEMBU = cattle
MACAN TUTUL = leopard
MARMOT = guinea pig
MERAK = peacock
MONYET = monkey
MUSANG = civet
NURI = parrot
NYAMUK = mosquito
ORANG = human
ORANGUTAN = orang-utan
PANDA = panda
PENYU = sea turtle
RAMA-RAMA = butterfly
REMIS = mussel
RUBAH = fox
RUSA = deer
SEMUT = ant
SIAMANG = gibbon
SINGA = lion
SIPUT = snail
SOTONG = cuttlefish
TAPIR = tapir
TERITIP = barnacle
TIKUS = mouse
TIRAM = oyster
TUPAI = squirrel
UDANG = prawn
UDANG KARANG = lobster
UBUR-UBUR = jellyfish
ULAR = snake
UNDUK-UNDUK = seahorse
VAMPIR KELAWAR = vampire bat
WALET SAPI = glossy swiftlet
YAKIS = baboon
YU = shark
ZIRAFAH = giraffe

Abjad Sayur-Sayuran dan Buah-Buahan

So my Malay homework involves making a list of vegetables, fruits and animals beginning with each letter of the alphabet. This is, of course, impossible.

Still, I'm surprised that I can't even find any vegetables beginning with, G, M, N, O or R. Help, anyone? (UPDATE: Okay, if I accept nuts and spices I've got "macadamia" and "mete" and "mustar", and "nori" is a stretch, of course. But any port in a storm. "Rebung" is fine though. Ooh! "Oregano" and "ginseng"! Just F, I, Q, X, Y left then... So does "yerba mate" count? It's in the Malay Wikipedia)

ANDEWI = endive
ASAM JAWA = tamarind
ASPARAGUS = asparagus
BADAM = almond
BADAM HIJAU = pistachio
BAWANG = onion
BAWANG MERAH = shallot
BAYAM = spinach
BENDI = lady's finger/okra
BIJAN = sesame
BIT = beet
BROKOLI = broccoli
BUAH KENARI = walnut
BUAH KERAS = candlenut
BUNGA KANTAN = torch ginger
CENDAWAN = mushroom
CENGKIH = clove
CILI = chilli
DAUN BAWANG = scallion
DAUN SADERI = celery
ERCIS = pea (not sure if this is more Indonesian)
GINSENG = ginseng
HALBA = fenugreek
HALIA = ginger
JAGUNG = corn
JERING = jengkol (active ingredient in rendang)
JINTAN = fennel
KACANG KUDA = chickpea
KACANG PANJANG = long bean
KELAPA = coconut
KEMIRI = hazelnut
KAILAN = kailan
KANGKUNG = kangkong
KANJI UBI = tapioca
KAYU MANIS = cinnamon
KENTANG = potato
KETUMBAR = coriander
KLEDEK = sweet potato
KOL KEMBANG = cauliflower
KUBIS = cabbage
KUNDUR = gourd
LABU = pumpkin
LADA = pepper
LENGKUAS = galangal
LIDAH BUAYA = aloe vera
LOBAK = radish (or carrot)
MACADAMIA = macadamia
METE = cashew
MUSTAR = mustard
NORI = nori (might be just Indonesian?)
OREGANO = oregano
PAPRIKA = bell pepper
PELAGA = cardamom
PERIA = bittergourd
PETAI = petai bean
PETERSELI = parsley
REBUNG BULUH = bamboo shoot
SALAD = lettuce
SAWI = mustard greens
SENGKUANG = yam bean
SERAI = lemongrass
SOYA = soybean
TAUGE = beansprouts
TEBU = sugarcane
TERUNG = eggplant
TIMUN = cucumber
TOMATO = tomato
UBI KAYU = yam
ULAM RAJA = king's salad, literally
VANILA = vanilla
WASABI = wasabi
WORTEL = carrot (more Indonesian)
ZUKINI = zucchini (okay, this might be just Indonesia. In Malay I think it's timun Jepun)

On to the fruits now!

Surprising that there aren't any beginning with "H" or "U" (maybe "ugli"? It's a big stretch), but this was much easier than the veg assignment:

ABIU = abiu
ALPUKAT = avocado
ANGGUR = grape
APRIKOT = apricot
ARA = fig
BELIMBING = starfruit
BETIK = papaya
BUAH NAGA = dragonfruit
CEMPEDAK = cempedak
CERI = cherry
CIKU = chiku
CRANBERI = cranberry
DELIMA = pomegranate
DUKU LANGSAT = duku langsat
DURIAN = durian
EPAL = apple
FRAMBOS = raspberry
GUARANA = guarana
JAMBU AIR = rose apple
KISMIS = raisin
KIWI = kiwifruit
KUMKUAT = kumquat
KURMA = date
LAI = pear
LAICI = lychee
LIMAU = lime/orange
LIMAU BALI = pomelo
LIMAU KESTURI = calamansi
LIMAU MANDARIN = mandarin orange
LIMAU PURUT = Kaffir lime
LONGAN = longan
MANGGA = mango
MANGGIS = mangosteen
MARKISA = passionfruit
MELON = honeydew
MURBAI = mulberry
NANAS = pineapple
NANGKA = jackfruit
NEKTARIN = nectarine
NONA = custard apple
OREN = orange
PEAR = pear
PIC = peach
PISANG = banana
PLUM = plum
PULASAN = pulasan
RAMBUTAN = rambutan
SALAK = salak
SEMANGKA = watermelon (may be more Indonesian?)
STROBERI = strawberry
TEMBIKAI = watermelon
UGLI = ugli
WRESAH = (whatever this is in Indonesia)
YUZU = (well actually it's "limau yuzu" or "oren yuzu", but who cares?)
ZAITUN = olive

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Texts Nov 2010

+Djuna Barnes’s “The Book of Repulsive Women and Other Poems”
=Mika G. Yamaji’s “86 Benevolent Street”
+Teng Qian Xi’s “They hear salt crystallising"
+Grace Chua’s “The Stamp Collector’s Wife”
W. R. Groman’s “Oasis of the Sea: Sint Maarten Sonnets”

+Daniel Putkowski’s “An Island Away”
+Valerie O. Patterson’s “The Other Side of Blue”
+Amir Muhammad’s “Rojak”
+Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island”

+Natalie Hennedige’s “Nothing”
+A. Samad Said’s “T. Pinkie’s Floor”

+Rustom Bharucha’s “Rajasthan: An Oral History: Conversations with Komal Kothari”
+The Oral History Department’s “Vanishing Trades of Singapore”
+Mary Prince’s “The History of Mary Prince”
+Fredrik Haren’s “The Developing World”
+Robert and Melinda Blanchard’s “Live What You Love” and “A Trip to the Beach”

+Ryan Murphy’s “Eat, Pray, Love”
=Shakti Samanta’s “Singapore”
+ Amit Virmani’s “Cowboys in Paradise”
+Robert Schwenke’s “R.E.D.”

=The Reduced Shakespeare Company’s “The Complete History of America”
The Theatre Practice’s “Man to Man”
=LaSalle’s “The Maids”, “Starting Here, Starting Now”, “Journey to Nowhere” and “The Heidi Chronicles”
+Cake Theatre’s “The Scientist”, “OMDM”, “The Performance”
=“The LaMama Experience”

+Cake Theatre’s “The Art of Living in the In-Between”
+8Q SAM’s “Trans-Cool Tokyo”
=Chan Hampe Galleries’s “HIV: Show Me the Love”