JSHint »

A fork of JSLint “that does not tyrannize your code. It is designed to detect errors that actually break your code while skipping things that, according to [Douglas] Crockford, ‘are known to contribute mistakes in projects.’ In other words, JSHint is a fork of JSLint for the real world where people use different styles and conventions.”

Magic vs. Technology – Mordor’s Point of View

Because Gandalf refers to Mordor as the “Evil Empire” and is accused of crafting a “Final Solution to the Mordorian problem” by rival wizard Saruman, he obviously serves as an avatar for Russia’s 20th-century foes. But the juxtaposition of the willfully feudal and backward “West,” happy with “picking lice in its log ‘castles'” while Mordor cultivates learning and embraces change, also recalls the clash between Europe in the early Middle Ages and the more sophisticated and learned Muslim empires to the east and south. Sauron passes a “universal literacy law,” while the shield maiden Eowyn has been raised illiterate, “like most of Rohan’s elite” — good guys Tolkien based on his beloved Anglo-Saxons.

Laura Miller – Middle-earth according to Mordor

Kirill Eskov, a Russian paleontologist, biologist and writer, tells the tale of the largest battle in Middle-Earth from the opposite point of view. Though the book was written in 1999, until recently there weren’t any good English translations of Mr. Eskov’s work – enter Yisroel Markov, who stepped up and translated it for us, providing a free translation under a non-commercial license.

My reading list has just grown by one.

If you’re the least bit interested in Lord of the Rings, (real) history or even the gray areas of copyright, check out Laura Miller’s piece on the story and its translation Middle-earth according to Mordor, which provides some interesting insight beyond the story itself.

Hat tip to @myerman, my kilted cohort for the link.

If we don’t, remember me. »

A stunning use of film. In some cases the scene smashes you over the head, in others it is so subtle as to almost go unnoticed until it lightly tickles the back of your brain.

Kilts, Tartans, Wales and Texas

As my dad’s side of the family originates from Wales, I have some kilt-wearing blood flowing through my veins, but unlike the Scots, the Welsh don’t have a history of using tartans to recognize families or clans. In fact, there’s some argument as to how long the Welsh have worn kilts. I don’t care about the latter, but I did want to see what might be available for a Jones boy in Texas.

The Jones Tartan from the  title=

The Jones Tartan

Luckily, I have at least two options, one for my last name and one for my home state. The first is the Jones Tartan, created in the late 1990’s (again, no history of tartans), though it is included in The Scottish Registrar of Tartans. The tartan’s designers, Rosalind Jones with input from Peter MacDonald, did an amazing job, and their explanation shows the thought put into the creation:

The design symbolises Jones roots in Wales and the name’s global spread. The heart of the sett reflects the green and white of the Welsh flag with its red dragon. From Wales people with the name of Jones moved to England, represented by pale green together with the red and white cross of St. George. Many Scots bear the name of Jones, and Scotland is represented by the blue and white perimeter. When viewed diagonally this creates the cross of St. Andrew, the Scottish saltire The black band represents the ocean deeps that separate all the people named Jones who now live far from Britain but whose roots remain here.

A photo of the Texas Blue Bonnet Tartan

The Texas Blue Bonnet Tartan

The second option is the official tartan of the state of Texas, created by June Prescott McRoberts of Salado to celebrate the Sesquicentennial (celebrating independence from Mexico 150 years earlier). It’s based on the Bluebonnet, our state flower, and thus uses a base of blue with a touch of red and green.

While I don’t expect to drop $500+ on a full, official kilt soon, it’s great to know that I have two great options.

I just picked up a modern kilt created by Nation Kilt, in a solid olive cloth, which I am very excited to own and plan to wear throughout South by Southwest Interactive as a part of the Five Kilts crew. There will be many photos posted.

Tartan images from The Scottish Registrar of Tartans