iewi: autumn tree (autumn)
My school has wifi. Free wifi. Bad wifi. Can't even connect half the time wifi. Pretty typical wifi sadly enough. Well, you have to sign in to use the wifi (still don't have secured wifi, but you take what you can get, right? just don't go banking), but anyway it has a web authentication redirect page, because of the many, many IDs they have to keep track of. So far, so good, right? There is one minor annoyance: the web authentication redirect page redirects you to the college's home page once you're done signing in instead of whatever page you were going to. Still, it's pretty ok so far.

I'm coding an android app that requires a web connection to work. As part of making sure it's robust in the exceptions it handles, I'm testing it without any network connection, pointing it to the wrong url, etc. I get this brilliant idea: I'll test it on my college's wifi to see if it can handle a web authentication redirect. I still think it's a brilliant idea, even if it's caused me a lot of headaches recently.

I get the normal exceptions at first, and I handle those. Just pop up a dialog saying "check your network connection" or whatever. Then I start getting weird ones. Null pointer exceptions. XML parser exceptions. I look at my code and 'fix' the null pointer exceptions (hey, it looked fixed at the time). But I'm still getting XML parser exceptions, and I'm confused now. I know the XML is fine; I've tested it before. Web services don't generally just start delivering malformed XML out of the blue. I think, what the hell's wrong here?

I track the flow of control in my program, and I discover that the web authentication page is giving me an HTTP status code 200 OK. This is not cool. It's not cool because a 200 OK means that the request you sent executed like you thought it would and nothing went wrong and you are where you want to be. It doesn't mean that the server served up the code without issue. It means the code served up is the code you want.

So, for example, the New York Times has more than one domain. Let's take for example. redirects you to the home page of the New York Times, It gives you a 200 OK, but that's fine. Why? Because if you're going to, you probably want the New York Times. So the server is returning the code you want, so it can give you a 200 OK if everything else works out.

Let's take a different example. Earlier on in the election cycle, back when Jeb Bush was still in the race, someone redirected to Donald Trump's campaign website. In that case, they should give you a HTTP status code in the 300s, because those are the redirects. If you go to, you probably don't expect to get Donald Trump's website, so they shouldn't give you a 200 OK, because you might not have expected that.

The web authentication redirect page at my school should probably have given a 407 Proxy Authentication Required, or maybe something from the 300s. Definitely not a 200 OK. Because my problem ended up being I was expecting XML, but receiving HTML.

And I had even tried to account for that, by having an if statement that checked the response code to see if it was 200 OK, and threw an exception if it wasn't. But my school not sticking with web standards screwed me. Now I check to see if the URL is what I expect it to be.

protected void grabData() { try { HttpURLConnection cnx = (HttpURLConnection) here.openConnection(); cnx.connect();
if (cnx.getResponseCode() == 200 && cnx.getURL().toString().contains("")) in = cnx.getInputStream(); else { throw new IOException("Connection bad: " + cnx.getResponseCode()); } } catch (MalformedURLException e) { networkError = true; e.printStackTrace(); } catch (UnknownHostException e) { networkError = true; e.printStackTrace(); } catch (IOException e) { // you can assume that if the above block of
// code throws an exception, it's a network-
// related one
networkError = true; e.printStackTrace(); } }

iewi: models in a store window (model)
Icairi: 1: no. An phublyaț, pholyațakånasț apeyån år staițmaț foțațe tua tupholyațakån. 2: no. Phaipålasț. Wuțogħi apeyån.
Ichairi: 1: noun. A public, political opinion or statement held by a politician. 2: noun. Popular. Any opinion.

It was that time of the nine-year cycle again. Half the news pieces on Ada Collier were political. Marai had never been one for politics. If voting hadn't been compulsory, she wouldn't have done it. So she was surprised when her boss told her to talk to some reporters about the galactic mapping and exploration they were doing at Lockwood and Al-Hajj.

The reporters—both female, and whose names were of the popular style 25 years ago—came the next day at ten to interview her. They all sat down in a conference room and started. Marai was prepared, in part due to a quick study session sandwiched between a date and sleep last night. The interview went well. Marai didn't embarass herself or the company, which she counted as full success.


"...asaț fåme fåicairi ve va axtlåraihån wekånțeyuț..." Marai Shaus, 18/5/2804.
"'s my ichairi that the exploration will continue..." Marai Shaus, 18/5/2804.
Marai was proved wrong the next day. When she got into work, the first thing she always did was check her email. She normally only had one or two emails, often departmental ones, or ones from coworkers asking a question. This morning, she had nine. One departmental one, and the rest from email addresses she didn't know, with subject lines either relating to her interview yesterday, or the word ichairi, or had a wording like "Bad Eglyash", "Grammatical Error", etc.

The departmental one was easy to read and acknowledge. It was just a request to tweak the formatting of the .gnmap files a little. The rest she was a little apprehensive to read. She had prided herself on her excellent Eglyash throughout secondary school, and while that wasn't how she identified herself now, it would still sting to learn she had made a mistake.

The first one, from an Amabilis Deyålsu, entitled "Your interview":
Dear Ms. Shaus,
I watched your interview with Ms. Shosu and Ms. Țolmåhur, and found you very eloquent until the end where you said, and I quote "It's my ichairi that the exploration will continue". I have to say, I was very disappointed that such a seemingly well-educated woman as yourself could fall prey to a dullard's error.
You see, an ichairi has a three-point definition: it is public, it is political, and it is held by a politician. One such as yourself cannot have an ichairi because you are not in the political realm.
You should be ashamed of yourself.
Amabilis Deyålsu, esq.
And another, this time from a Flora Qoța, entitled "Ichairi does not mean opinion!":
Ms. Shaus, I am disappointed in you and whatever schools you went to, because they certainly did not teach you proper Eglyash! Ichairi does not now, and never has meant opinion! You cannot have an ichairi because you are not a politician! It is people like you who are ruining the Eglyash language and making it merely a shade of its former self! If you take as much care for your work as you do for you language, I expect to hear of starships being lost because of your shoddy work!
Flora Qoța

Marai wasn't sure what to do about this. She told herself that it wasn't that imporant; she was an astronomer, not a writer. Ships wouldn't be lost because she misused the word "ichairi". It still stung though. For a girl who had gotten the highest marks possible in pre-modern Eglyash, any accusation of misusing the Eglyash language hurt.

"Ve yus sicairi tumai apeyån asaț es auld es ve yus sicairi tumai foț pholyațakånasț. Asaț we țe newåmädmi fåve fångoxi sgrema, baikus af deda vair fåfoțas, wai shotsețus ngiau spaica fåPhrauțou-Wuld." Ursula Shaus, ngia ngiblog, 5/2/2804.
"The use of ichairi to mean opinion is as old as the use of ichairi to mean political stance. That's why I ignore the grammar nazis, because if they had their way, we would be sitting at home speaking Proto-World." Ursula Shaus, on her blog, 5/2/2804.

Marai had some coworkers who poked fun at her misuse of "ichairi". Some of them were self-professed grammar nazis. Her boss had told her that she received some recommendations to fire Marai because of what was now referred to variously as "the incident" or "how Marai doesn't know how to use 'ichairi' right".

Marai never could have guessed how much vitriol such a simple mistake could bring. At first, she had felt ashamed, like she had failed the Eglyash language somehow. But the tone of the continued responses made her pause. Why would anyone think it would be okay to fire someone because they said something grammatically incorrect?

Her brother-in-law translated documents from a couple dialects of pre-modern Eglyash into modern Eglyash. Whenever she worried about making some grammatical error, he always said "Don't worry about it. Eventually, everyone will die and that grammatical error will be a standard part of Eglyash." He said that he translated part of a grammar guide from the 22nd century in university, and that half the grammatical corrections it proposed were obsolete the next century.

Marai on her part ignored the criticisms of her language that continued. They rehashed the same message over and over again. She decided not to be bothered by such a trivial mistake. If her brother-in-law was right, it wasn't even a mistake. It was progress.

"Ve leqash asȚeglyash yusțuqogħațe tu-'English', ed baho tuveț tu-'Ænglisc'. Baho tuveț, hånț asaț fål fåleqash. Aulyi asaț fån fåäpohaas. Sau spaicu o lețu, baikus leqashas ågħais shaishaț" Ursula Shaus, ngia ngiblog, 20/5/2804.
"The Eglyash language used to be called 'English', and before that 'Ænglisc'. Before that, it isn't a language. It's only a hypothesis. So, speak how you like, because languages always change." Ursula Shaus, on her blog, 20/5/2804.
iewi: trees on sky (ghosty)
I've been working on creating descendants from my conlang Jumban, so that the linguistics of my con-culture will be more realistic, as Jumban has been spoken for over 6500 years. So far, I've made two: Sayattani and Lemmeyi. They also happen to be the most divergent. Here's a sample text in all three languages (plus English!), namely the first sentence of the first article of the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.

English: All human beings form one family whose members are united by their subordination to Allah and descent from Adam.

Jumban: Ṅàpà dìnyàhé yearhé isboazyó nabó drax há sraxahé há vùa nghó isnabirí srì ṅaxpanyoṡe Allahṡe wò adle da sláumṡe Adamṡe srì.

Lemmeyi: Ṅạfạ zhinââ uweyâlạ́ạ́ isạ́bowazấ nạbó dạ́lạ hạ́ sạ́lạạ hạ́ wo kóṁ isạ́nạbierí sạ́rri ṅạạfạnẹṡe Ạnạạṡe wo ạdạ́ne dạ sạ́nọṁṡạ Ạdạṁṡe sạ́rri.

Sayattani: Npa deñ6é eerré ezbožó nbó drạ 6ạ́ sra6é 6ạ́ vuo qó eznbiré zre nbbxạ6e Laše wo dľe dạ slša Daše zre.

If that didn't display for you (which is highly likely), here's a picture of it.
a picture of the previous text

First, please note that I haven't done any grammar work on these languages yet, so these are by no means the final texts. They only serve to show the similarities and differences between each language, with respect to sound changes. So, every word is cognate with the word in the same position of either of the other two texts.
Secondly, the orthographies are consistent throughout the texts (disregarding English), but Jumban ‹e o› correspond to /ɛ ɔ/, whereas Lemmeyi and Sayattani ‹e o ẹ ọ› correspond to, respectively /e o ɛ ɔ/. Also, double consonants and vowels usually stand for the geminated versions of these phonemes, but Lemmeyi ‹rr› stands for /r/ as opposed to ‹r›, which is Lemmeyi /ɾ/ and Sayattani /ʁ/.
Other letter-sound correspondances that might not be obvious: ‹6› /ħ/, ‹3› /ʕ/, ‹ạ› /ə/, ‹ṅ› /ɳ/, ‹ṡ› /ʂ/, ‹ľ› /ʎ/, ‹ngh› /ŋ̊/, ‹x› /ʔ/, ‹â› /æ/, Lemmeyi ‹a› /ɒ/, ‹zh› /zʱ/, ‹bx› /ɓ/, and ‹ṁ› which marks the nasalization of the previous vowel. And the accent/grave marks refer to tone.
iewi: models in a store window (ladies)

So I'm making a superhero-kinda story and it's set in a fake African country called Kambike. I kinda wrote something about the history last night, so I'll post it here. Enjoy the half-edited semi-incoherent writing.

I sit by the window overlooking Kimbuntema, which used to be called Victoria. I know this through the stories of my grandparents, who were alive during the Falling Apart and the First Gathering Together. My father's parents had chosen to flee Ng'oma across the lakes to Mbuaga, while my mother's parents lived in what was then known as Victoria, so close to freedom, and yet prevented from reaching it.

I live in Victoria, though it is now called Kimbuntema, through the rampant nationalism of Kondo Bo Mombutama, who is now known by what those closest to him had always called him: Patrick Mombutama. I was thankfully born after his terrible regime, and I was born into a new country that was ready to start again after a century nearly of false starts and regressions.

My country, Kambike, is not a perfect country. Many would claim it is one of the worst countries to live in on the planet. I will tell you that for many here, it is. I have the opportunity to leave, and I know that if I take it, I will always nostalgically remember Kambike, my mother.

Many agree with me. There are many Kambikeans who live in other countries, like Sanyatia, America, and so many more. They say that at least eight million Kambikeans tried to leave the Two Kambikes during Mombutama's regime, but that of those, at least one out of every twenty was killed.

My family was not one of the ones that left. My father's parents came back from Mbuaga to the Second Kambike: what used to be known as the Kondo-Yale Free State. There, at least, it wasn't so horrible as what was happening here.

Mombutama was a born executioner, my grandfather tells me, and a sociopath as well. My grandmother tells me she watched carefully every soldier and every policeman who walked down the street, fearing they would rape her, or arrest her, or kidnap her children, or kill her.

Mombutama's regime would most accurately be called an nepotism, or an oligarchy. I can't remember which. In it, there was so much blood shed. For diamonds, for gold, for uranium. In the name of wiping the face of the Whites from our country, in the name of patriotism. It was, in reality, senseless violence. Mombutama's men hurt and killed whomever they chose.

Mombutama authorized a law in 1976 that would become the base for almost all of these killings. It was called something along the lines of the Patriotism Act. It authorized the police to use deadly force when they thought it prudent. It took the right to a trial away from some. And the worst of all, it authorized, with a judge's approval, the use of capital punishment against those who weren't patriotic enough.

It was the last clause that was the most frightening, but it was the first clause that the majority of killings occurred under. They killed all who stood in their way. Journalists, terrorists, rioters. So much blood shed. And no justice.

It would take any person eons to recover from such injuries as those inflicted by colonialism, the short-lived but cruel Empire of the Biké, the Falling Apart, and the Two Kambikes. But we expect a country, a country made of millions of people, to be done with it as soon as the dictator is deposed. That's what I think is wrong with Kambike. We as a collective community suffer from PTSD.

But no matter what I think is wrong, life here is not what we hoped. The government, while not condoning random acts of violence, still is corrupt. A popular saying here is that it takes three bribes to get to school: one to the policeman who pulled you over, one to the driver who backed his car into yours, and one for the headmaster, for the privilege of going to school. It is audacious to those who are not from around here, but is close to the truth for those who are.

There are, of course, good people here. Not all headmasters require bribes, and some policemen refused to be bribed. But we are a poor country, and we are a country with problems.

iewi: trees on sky (ghosty)
Meg Teague is a 15-year-old girl in a tiny town in Western Maryland. The most defining characteristic about her for others is that she is biracial (white/black). She has frizzy hair that she keeps cut short-ish and is a classic pear-figured person, except for the fact that she runs all the time and is therefore kinda muscular.
Running is the main way she de-stresses, and there are plenty of stressors in her life. Her mother is gone for significant portions of time, she has the whole casual racism thing going on for her, and she has a bad tendency to drive friends away. She can be petty, and has a short temper.
She doesn't really like school, but she does quite well, mostly to her determination to not be her mother in any way. She mostly bikes to get around.
She lives with her grandmother, uncle, aunt, cousin, and sometimes mother. Her best friend is James McConkey.

iewi: feet (Default)
Something to consider when writing a fantasy where there are two sentient species that coexist is that for about 5000 years, Neanderthals coexisted with modern humans, and either went extinct or interbred themselves away as a separate species. Below are two separate hypothetical family trees for the genus Homo (yes, I know, ha-ha).

Chris Stringer's hypothesisReed et al.'s hypothesis
(The darker image is Chris Stringer's, the lighter with tan is Reed et al.'s. Neither endorse this bit piece I'm writing.)

Note how shortly (in evolutionary terms) after H. sapiens arrived, other species in the genus went extinct. This isn't the case for everything, even everything that interbreeds, but it certainly is something to consider.

iewi: feet (Default)
One thing I notice when I read graphic novels or watch television set as a fantasy (looking at you, Game of Thrones) is that the women are hairless. Completely hairless, except for the hair on their heads and maybe some unobtrusive hairs on their arms. When this happens in a pseudo-Western-European fantasy, it shows me that the author/adapter either didn't research whether or not women shaved in the era in which it was set (the answer is, for medieval Europe, no, no they did not), didn't care (or wanted the women to look "pretty" according to modern standards of beauty), or didn't think about this. These are all stupid reasons, and people should start thinking through this.
It makes little sense for women to shave because:
  • Women didn't, as a rule, go into battle, where hair gets pulled, and thus needs to be minimal
  • No one except for intimate partners and certain servants would actually see a woman's legs or armpits
  • Hair actually keeps you warmer in the winter, which is important in pre-central-heating Europe (of course, you have the Roman version of central heating, but no one really used that anymore. I don't know why.)
  • The only implements they would have had to shave with would be distinctly non-safety blades.
  • This is before knowledge of germs, so the above blade would probably be unsanitary, leading to possible infection and death every time you nicked yourself (And guess when you nick yourself the most often? Oh yeah, when you have to shave in an awkward, fatty place. Like the back of your legs (especially since the medieval standard of beauty included some fatty padding. See Renaissance/Medieval paintings of women))
  • If you were a common woman, you wouldn't have time to shave.
So, there would be no reason to shave, and plenty of reasons not to do so. This is an example of why you should think through like everything that you believe or do. Because then when you try to write a different culture, you fail.

Sorry for the rant.

iewi: frog (animal)
I always keep a notebook around to write ideas in, and I just used one up. It was an Anständig notebook from Ikea (for reference, the one pictured there is the larger of two sizes). They aren't sold anymore, which is so sad, because I rather liked them. I have found another notebook, but I found it on clearance at Walmart (I feel so guilty, but I'm poor, in a middle-class student sense), so I have no idea what type it is. The paper is lighter-weight than my previous notebook's, but it is quite serviceable so far.
What I need in a notebook, no compromise:
  • Spiralbound
  • Hard cover
  • 8.5x6" or so
  • And, you know, it's nice to have graph-ruled or non-ruled pages, but it doesn't matter terribly much to me.

¡Buenas tardes!
iewi: models in a store window (model)
This is very general, just me thinking out loud. If you see anything
factually incorrect, feel free to correct me.

Gabriel Andrews: né Gabriel Jordan Johnson
age: 19, going on 20 (born June 12, 1995)
sex/gender: male
place of birth: Louisville, Kentucky
current residence: just outside of Oxford, Maryland
He has black-brown hair and hazel eyes. Tall-ish (6'1"). His nose is kinda
He's *very* quiet and observant. He's oftentimes polite and loyal, but not
ambitious. He tends on the pessimistic side, and isn't terribly trusting.
He can be impulsive and curious, and is prone to mood swings (not to the
point of it being clinical, though), and is neither logical nor
self-controlled. He is *not* romantic, though sometimes he can be flirty.
He isn't terribly inclined to tell the truth, and doesn't sympathize with
other's misfortunes. He can, however, be altruistic and, to a certain
extent, nurturing. He's very easily startled and is sometimes aggressive
when provoked. His attention span is not good.
He is good at calligraphy (and likes it), but doesn't really like other
forms of art. He reads almost constantly, and likes spy novels and
westerns. He recently discovered he likes watching foreign films. He likes
history and opera. He crochets.
He has two sisters and a brother: Maya (16, 17 in Dec.), Daniel (12), and
Jane (8, 9 in Oct.) His father is in jail for child abuse. He and his
family moved to the Carrolls' house/estate when he was 11-ish. He has C-PTSD.

Researching child abuse and PTSD is nasty stuff. Also, I lost my earbuds.

Signing off,
iewi: feet (Default)
This post probably won't interest most people, since I'm going to write about my conlang, Mannish. Mannish is a conservative Germanic language with lots of Celtic influence. It's spoken on (a very fictitious version of) the Isle of Man.
Mannish and the preexisting, Celtic Manx language lived in relative harmony, with Mannish taking the place of higher prestige. However, in the 18th or 19th centuries, Manx went extinct because of the enroaching English language. Mannish currently is almost extinct, though it is going through a revival. It is mostly spoken in the mountainous south.

Today, I'll just talk some on the phonology. Mannish has 26 consonants, 15 vowels, and 6 diphthongs.

consonant inventory (in X-SAMPA)
Nasalmn JN 
Plosivep bt d  k g 
Affricate  ts_jcC  
Fricativef sS Cxh
Rhotic  4z`  
Lateral lKL  
Approximant   jW w 

vowel inventory (in X-SAMPA)
Highi i:} }:u u:
Near-HighI U
MidE e:@O o:
Lowa a:  

diphthongs are: oj, i@, u@, aj, aw, and @1

The voiceless plosives are aspirated, and the voiced plosives range from fully voiced to lenis and unvoiced.
z` cC C are rather rare, as are } }: .
w is often shifted to v\ , and W is often pharyngealized.
ts_j is just that, and it is never produced as tS, though it'll probably head that way.

The orthography was kinda based on Welsh, but I made some bad assumptions and so it turned out to not be like Welsh, but it still looks like Welsh. Oops. It turned out okay, just not as accurate as I'd like.

I'll show you the logo I made for the ATT or MLA, both of which stand for the Mannish Language Association. I will state that I intended for neither of these acronyms to come out as they did, but also that I am not unhappy about this development.

Translated, that says: "the Mannish Language Association: Nuturing and growing", so I'm not too creative with mottos. I will also say that the 'c' in 'tuallylyscôni' should be a 'g', according to the orthographical rules, but, whatever.

Also interesting to note is that traditional Mannish speakers are very antipathetic towards revitalization efforts due to the traditional taboo against writing the Mannish language down or even speaking it in front of a non-speaker.

Ciao, all


iewi: feet (Default)

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