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The Best of The Week

There are aspects of Middle Earth that are unsettling for being omitted.

To start with, Middle Earth outside of the Shire is a wretchedly empty and open place. The forests and woodlands seem to be few and far between, and yet, they are not filled by farms nor by pastureland. It's mostly bare plains and marshes in the places that Tolkien describes.

I find this curious, because I am from New England, and I am used to wilderness being forested. Lands abandonded by farms have not lain bare under the cold northern wind. The forest has come back. Trees have shot up around the old stone walls. Remains of brick chimneys stand amidst the wet leaves. Where a winter afternoon two hundred years ago might have been a vast white field laying open beneath the deepening blue sky, now it is deepening blue shadows stretching between the trunks, below branches that crowd over a traveller yet offer no shelter.

And yet, here is Eriador, said by Treebeard himself to have been covered in a…

There was a faint pop as a gaudy sphere flared into existence and rolled down to meet a basket of other sparkling spheres. The shopkeeper made a mental note of it without turning or pausing his conversation.

"Now this promise is especially exquisite. Large, smooth, simple. You don't see many of these. See how rich the pink centre is? This promise came straight from the heart, with…

Toshiko Takaezu was born in Hawaii of Japanese descent. She lived June 17, 1922 to March 9, 2011. Toshiko studied ceramic art, traveling to Japan in 1955 to study traditional, functional wheel thrown pottery techniques as well as Zen Buddhism. She quickly rose to fame, teaching at several universities, most notably the Cleveland Institute of Art and Princeton University (1967-1992).

Her later and ultimately signature style of closed ceramic forms of varying sizes and…

News for Noders

November 1 - The IRON NODER CHALLENGE starts today and runs through December 1. It's never too late to sign up, and all writeups get rewards. /msg mauler if you'd like to participate!

November 1 - Happy Birthday Zephronias!

November 5 - Bonfire Night in the UK.

November 11 - Veterans Day in the US.

November 26 - Thanksgiving in the US.

November 27 - Happy Birthday Estelore!

If you have an item for this calendar, /msg Tem42.

October 1: This is the month of We All Float Down Here: The 2017 Halloween Horrorquest.

October 12: Rest in Peace, sarabandegreen.

October 17: Happy Birthday gnarl!

October 31: Something spooky will probably happen today. It usually does.

Get ready for IRON NODER X: XTREME XCELLENCE, coming November 1st!

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September 16 Feliz cumpleaños Ancientsnow!

September 18 Happy birthday Stuart!

September 18 Stanislav Petrov has died.

September 19 Talk like a pirate day. Arrh!

September 27 Happy birthday Uberbanana!

Get ready for the Halloween Horrorquest, coming next month!

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August 4 Happy birthday avalyn!

August 6 広島

August 27 Happy birthday Bitriot

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July 1: Brevity Quest 2017 begins!

July 4: Alice’s Day (AKA Alice in Wonderland Day); also Independence day in the US.

July 19-24: Hemingway Days; party central is Key West, Florida.

July 31: Harry Potter's Birthday.

If you have anything to add to this calendar, let Tem42 know.