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In which I get sucked down the black hole of the internet by a random comment - Tactical Ninja

Jan. 16th, 2013

09:16 am - In which I get sucked down the black hole of the internet by a random comment

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"Dear Tats, Your application to graduate on 15 May 2013 with your Bachelor of Arts has been approved."

To which I go "Yay!" and on Twitter, also #throwupyergoats! To which someone responded wondering which type of goat would squeal the least on being thrown up.

I needed to find out.


The first thing I found was this, a piece of New Zealand 'art', which, um.. if you can interpret what this is about I'll be impressed:



Last time I posted something with folks talking Kiwi, lots of people said they couldn't understand a word of it. I understand the words in that all right, but I'm still not sure what's actually going on.. it does remind me of Bruce though, with the merkabah and all.

But anyway, there's also this - the Urban Dictionary definition: "Bro, they're about to play Ride The Lightning man, awesome dude, throw your goats up so they know we're hardcore, blood, death, satan, yeah!!!!!">

*cough*

Which led to this - a beatboxing goat:



Well, at least, a goat that dances to beatboxing..

Which in turn led to this, and no I have no idea what it is either:



It's supposed to be The Dog and Pony Show's take on the human-faced lamb from a while back (warning, gross).

*ahem*

And then there was this - know your goat parts:



I learned something. I had never heard of an escutcheon before. Turns out it is actually named that because it's shaped like a shield. I totally blame the French for that. Speaking of weird military stuff - girding your loins. I occasionally see this term used and it always makes me think of the historical meaning, which is mostly about getting one's robes (and one's genitals) out of the way before battle. Apparently dangly bits could get caught between bits of hard plate, so knight type people would strap 'em up to keep them from getting .. er, clanged together. Yep. Modern day equivalent would be ballet dancers putting on a dance belt. Few other folks would have cause to gird their loins these days, just saying.

Meanwhile, back with the goats, Have some buzkashi. It's an Afghan sport in which people on horses battle over a headless dead goat, the aim of which is to procure said goat and throw it into a marked circle, kind of like a macabre horseback Capture The Flag. Apparently they've started using calves instead of goats these days, because 'a calf is less likely to disintegrate during the game'. O.o

Moving right along.. finally, in the same part of the world, there was this:



No, that's not a mutant, it's a Damascene goat. It won the "Most Beautiful Goat" competition in Riyadh in 2008.

I kid you not. Kid? See what I did there? Oh never mind..

Oh wait, there's more! If you think the Damascene goat is weird looking, have a Western one:



The Rocky Mountain Goat, which isn't really a goat at all, and is actually the only member of the genus Oreamnos, unique to North America, and IMO equally as weird-looking as the Damascene. It looks like a cross between and antelope, a polar bear and a horse.

So um, next time I use a phrase like "throw up your goats" I will know a whole lot more about what I'm throwing up. Yes I did find youtube videos of goats being thrown up too, but mostly by snakes and I decided to spare you that. You're welcome.


Today, I'm having a day off. Not from work, but from training. Yesterday, DoomBoy had me doing a bunch of hanging leg raises and L-sit type things, and while I know that doing them will help make me stronger, I find them really hard and I can't do an L-sit at all (yet, damnit!). Thus, I came away feeling both exhausted and pathetic. The patheticness I'll get over, but the exhaustion is a sure sign I need rest. Combine that with stuffing my face with All The Protein Ever as soon as I got home, and that's my warning bell for going too hard and Hey Tats Take A Bloody Day Off Already.

Mentally it's a battle. I have an irrational fear that if I take a day off training, I'll wake up the next day and all my progress will be gone. I know this isn't true, but the niggling voice that says "Train, you!" is also what got me this far, you know? So ignoring it goes against the grain. I am ignoring it though. Take that, brain! I run this show, not you. Oh wait.. crap.

I'm going to take the opportunity to run errands at lunchtime, including buying a leather thong for this:



It's my pounamu. There's a lot of lore around pounamu, and one part is that it 'doesn't like' metal. I kind of get that vibe from it too. This one was a gift from pombagira (another story about pounamu is that you should never buy it for yourself, it should always be gifted), and IMO because she's extra-witchy that makes it extra-special. I want to be able to wear it more often but it doesn't like the chain it's on, so I'm off to find a leather thong to suspend it from.

You know, there are very few kiwis I know who don't have a piece of pounamu, even if they don't all wear them. Interesting...

Comments:

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From:c_maxx
Date:January 15th, 2013 08:42 pm (UTC)
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Congradulations!! So now we are both Bachelors!

Double, triple congrats! Throw up your goats!

Tho those Rockies run up to 80 kg and up when mature; may go for some of your little ones. Wiki says there has been at least one human fatality from Rocky Mtn Goats, "take that, you human!" "try to throw up my children, will you?"

W says female Rockies will even try to dominate Big Horn sheep (very bone-headed animules, i would think) [takes one to know one!], make them part of the herd, if i got that right.

They are somewhat iconic here so don't look so wierd to me. But if I knew from goats, I might think so. Unless that is two people in a costume??
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From:tatjna
Date:January 15th, 2013 09:50 pm (UTC)
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I have always wanted to be a Bachelor. Actually, I'm lying. I don't give a rat's arse, although it'll be nice to be a Doctor, if only so I can say "Not that kind of doctor." It is nice to have validation for all that work, though.

I'm pretty sure all Rocky Mountain goats are two people in a costume, really.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 15th, 2013 09:42 pm (UTC)
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It's the upward pelvis rotation we're going for, and because I'm basically a noodle through the core, it's mostly legs-bent, with the aim of touching knees to chin. And to make it more fun, I'm also doing the reverse of shrugs while hanging, at the same time. And after that, some L-sit attempts on the gym's parallette frame thing, first unsupported behind, then supported. And then some crying and collapsing.

The saddest part about the hanging is that it's my forearms that give up first.

But in better news, I looked down yesterday morning in bed to discover that I have an ab. Just one, but it's the first time I've ever been able to see them.

[edit] I need a demo on forward and back and what they mean in relation to pelvic tilting. I only just got the hang of flexing vs pointing and which one I'm supposed to do, never mind dish vs arch. So, diagrams would be good.

Edited at 2013-01-15 09:47 pm (UTC)
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From:pombagira
Date:January 15th, 2013 09:19 pm (UTC)
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From:rivet
Date:January 15th, 2013 09:43 pm (UTC)
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They have some intriguing ideas about beauty...
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From:tatjna
Date:January 15th, 2013 09:54 pm (UTC)
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Breed standards are weird. Apparently this is also beautiful:



Edited at 2013-01-15 09:54 pm (UTC)
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From:anna_en_route
Date:January 15th, 2013 09:57 pm (UTC)
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My friend who grew up on a goat farm had a goat who used to be able to start the quad bike (not quite sure how it managed that but talented goat nonetheless)
#weirdgoatfacts
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From:tatjna
Date:January 15th, 2013 10:39 pm (UTC)
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If it was one of those push button starters, I reckon it could work. More impressive would be if the goat could drive the quad through gates for you - or better still, open the gates while you drive.
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From:anna_en_route
Date:January 15th, 2013 11:44 pm (UTC)
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From what she said it would ride for a little while and then jump off...

P.s. congrats on the graduation =)
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From:Will Marshall
Date:January 15th, 2013 10:30 pm (UTC)
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Girding loins as a concept dates back to hoplites at least - it crops up in Homer repeatedly. Hoplites fought nude, wearing greaves, a helm and a fucking huge shield.

So no real danger of testicular damage from plate armour, but I do suppose that if you're going to be fighting naked a dancer's belt is necessary.

(Also, I never had a piece when I lived in NZ, but I do own various bits of jade that I've bought in other countries. Because I'm bloody-minded like that.)

Edited at 2013-01-15 10:33 pm (UTC)
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From:tatjna
Date:January 15th, 2013 10:37 pm (UTC)
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Depite my complete lack of tender appendages in the nether regions, I would definitely want some kind of pants to protect myself if fighting in that way.

Also, I guess if it were warm enough and you were old enough, you might be in some danger from greaves.. um..

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From:tatjna
Date:January 15th, 2013 11:27 pm (UTC)
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My Dad used to work at what he called 'the mustard gas camp' - the one in West Cottingwith I believe (although it may have been the one in Escrick). Apparently the UK made shitloads of it in the second world war, but didn't use much of it. He talked a little bit about some of the accidents that happened there, and was in full agreement with the banning of chemical weapons. But apparently the UK is still trying to clean up the mess left behind.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 16th, 2013 01:22 am (UTC)
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I'm guessing that's the one. I've also seen it referred to as Thorganby, but given all three villages are a short bike ride apart, I figure it means the same place.

Meanwhile, Dad also used to tell of pilots returning from raids in WW2 who could not land their planes with live incendiary bombs still on board, so they used to drop them in Elvington Lake on the way in to the airfield. Years later, Dad and his buddy found them when testing out the (then) new SCUBA equipment. Trying to find stuff about this online, I found this. I've sent them an email saying I think it might have been my Dad with the bucket on his head, and I'm pretty sure I've seen both of the men in the first photo before as well.

My Dad was pretty cool.
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From:empresskylon
Date:January 16th, 2013 12:12 am (UTC)
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I got my first peice of pounamu just before Christmas from a parent at work. Super stoked as I never felt like a kiwi without a peice.

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From:kehleyr
Date:January 16th, 2013 01:01 am (UTC)
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LOL!

Love your pendant!!
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From:blue_eye
Date:January 16th, 2013 03:42 am (UTC)

Ok, so this is baaaaaad!

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A "goaty" pic...my husband back in November. This picture cracks me up!

530591_442417349149189_1300517896_n
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From:tatjna
Date:January 16th, 2013 03:46 am (UTC)

Re: Ok, so this is baaaaaad!

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Those kids look thoroughly unimpressed by his beard! In fact, I think the one on the right is about to pull out the laser eyes..
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From:ms_hecubus
Date:January 16th, 2013 04:03 am (UTC)
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Congratulations!

I love your pounamu. I've never seen it before, although I am a bit of a rock hound. Now I have more thing to learn about. Intriguing!
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From:tatjna
Date:January 16th, 2013 04:11 am (UTC)
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It's just a form of nephrite jade, but because it's unique to NZ and reflects the colour of a lot of the bush here, it's developed a great deal of cultural importance - most definitely for Maori, and more recently, dare I say it, for all New Zealanders.
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From:Will Marshall
Date:January 16th, 2013 04:33 am (UTC)
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Not all New Zealanders! No one in my family could give a fuck and we're all citizens.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 16th, 2013 04:44 am (UTC)
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OK, because it's important to you, I will qualify:

For quite a lot (possibly most) of New Zealanders, many of whom are not Maori and have no historical claim to feel that pounamu has any cultural importance. Some of whom are even immigrants themselves who were not born here. However, there are others who couldn't give a fuck, and it's important that we recognise them when generalising about Kiwi culture to people from other countries.

Better?
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From:Will Marshall
Date:January 16th, 2013 05:13 am (UTC)
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I have found that NZ is a bit obsessed with conformance to particular "shared" cultural markers (rugby, L&P, pounamu, stubbies, etc). A lot of what I guess you'd describe as Kiwi culture feels quite forced, quite white and quite uncomfortable to me.

It doesn't matter to me (except on principle), but for example to my aunts (who are respectively Congolese and Sri Lankan, but both NZers) this particular model of being "Kiwi" is totally nonsensical and I think a touch insulting.

Discuss!
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From:tatjna
Date:January 16th, 2013 08:38 am (UTC)
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Not all of NZ! No one in my family could give a fuck about conformance to 'shared' cultural markers, and we're all citizens.

I can see the point regarding expectations of meeting certain expressions of culture, because it implies that a person not meeting them is 'not of this culture'. This happened to me a lot as a kid.

However, if those 'shared' markers didn't exist, there'd be no differences between cultures at all. Whether that'd be a good thing or not is up for debate, I guess.

Meanwhile, of the ones you mention, the only one I give a crap about is pounamu, and that's only because it's something I personally find fascinating that also happens to be unique to NZ by virtue of its historical significance. I don't give a crap about rugby and don't feel less of a kiwi because of this. I also am not particularly concerned that it's considered a Thing Kiwis Are Supposed To Like - my identity isn't threatened by my lack of Kiwi Rugby Love, and I can acknowledge that it's the national sport and has a huge following here - I see where the idea comes from, you know?

Someone I was talking to about this mentioned that it's likely that the things that we could rattle off as 'kiwi culture' would not ever be completely agreed on, in fact it's likely that if there were a definitive list, most people would identify with less than 80% of them, and the communal crossover would probably be small but statistically significant.

Most of the things I identify as kiwi culture feel quite natural to me, and I often don't notice them until I find myself comparing and contrasting with other cultures, or trying to explain something to someone who's not from here. And then, the 'not all kiwis are like this but in general, it's likely that' assumptions tend to get made. I don't think that's particularly insulting, because for the most part we choose which ones we conform to and which we don't.
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From:pundigrion
Date:January 17th, 2013 03:57 pm (UTC)
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Canada seems to have similar issues. I ponder if this is because not just is it an immigrant heavy country, it is also often overshadowed by a much larger neighbor that it often struggles to distinguish itself from. Several Canadian humourists have pointed out that half of the time when people are saying things about Canadian Pride, they are really saying things about being Not-USAians.

Sound familiar?
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From:tatjna
Date:January 17th, 2013 09:19 pm (UTC)
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It does - although I get the impression Australia has a bit more awareness of the fact that NZ is a distinct culture than the US does with Canada. Possibly because we don't share a land border?

But yeah, being Not-Australia is definitely in there. And we did invent pavlova, despite what the Aussies will tell you. Yep.
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From:pundigrion
Date:January 17th, 2013 09:36 pm (UTC)
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Or maybe the Aussies are just...not jerks. Jerks with dreams of Manifest Destiny and Continentalism. Seriously, just look at the quotes in the first paragraph on the wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manifest_destiny Separation of church and state my right ass cheek!

Not only was that the justification for westward expansion (Go West young man! and the Oregon Trail and all) that was also a big reason for trying to invade both Canada and Mexico.

Also did you know the US has never fully pulled out of *any* country they have sent troops to?

It looks like this former 'Merican has her rantypants on again. Really though, a lot of Americans do seem to be under the impression Canada is just their 51st state. I've a friend who lives in a border town with Alaska and has loads of stories about people getting mad that shops won't take their US money...or getting mad because they got Canadian money back in change.

Hmmmm maybe it would be more like if Australia decided they really wanted *all* of Australasia. Though I suppose already having their own very distinct landmass probably quells that. None of those silly invisible land borders...
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From:tatjna
Date:January 17th, 2013 09:41 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, Australians in general are pretty good value, and Australia as a nation is a pretty good neighbour. And the fact that it's a four hour plane ride between the two countries means that nobody's under the illusion that we're all the same (except the occasional geographically challenged person from somewhere on the other side of the world). Mostly the rivalry is pretty friendly.

The US is actually a bigger threat to our culture and way of life than Australia is. Don't even get me started on the TPP and what could happen to our internet, socialised healthcare and employment law if the US gets its way in that.
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From:pundigrion
Date:January 17th, 2013 09:59 pm (UTC)
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I have to admit, until New Zealand landed itself on our list of potential next places to move to, I hadn't realized a) just how far south it is exactly and b) the distance not only between New Zealand and Australia but even between the major cities!

From my *cough* limited exposure, many Aussies seem to be more laid back than Americans when traveling. Americans in forgeign countries are often rather...loud and whiny. I've seen that with Brits too. I pretty surprised how orderly most Canadians abroad have been, you'd think they would be just as tainted by colonialism. Canada doesn't seem to have been as aggressive about it so far in my history learning though. Didn't need to be, but the time they became their own country the Brits had done it all for them other than Newfoundland...and that wasn't an invasion xD

Man, is there anywhere to move to that the US does not fuck with?! Ah sheesh, hadn't been following that in the news. I know Canada gets impacted by every little blip in the US economy because they are the world's largest trading partners and there are definitely quite a number of privacy concerns as well. One of the bigger issues that would be of more interest to you is drug legalization. The US threatens sanctions against Canada if pot ever gets legalized and even more border scrutiny.

Most of the pages are expired now, but here is a little tidbit from 2003: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2003/05/02/us_pot_rxn030502.html Currently there is a Conservative government, which is more in line with US models of OMGdrugs! and hardline prison expansion, cuts to healthcare, cuts to education, and of course my biggest beef at the moment...lots of fuckwittery in the immigration department....which includes citizenship.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 17th, 2013 10:16 pm (UTC)
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Oh god that article! "looser drug laws go hand-in-hand with an increase in crime and drug addiction among youth". Er, no they don't.

I wonder if the US would say the same thing now, given the Colorado legalisation and the evidence that decriminalisation actually reduces crime and addiction problems?

Apparently kiwis have an internation reputation when travelling for being friendly, a bit naive (especially about animals that could eat you and street safety) and hard to understand because we talk really fast and run all our words together.
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From:pundigrion
Date:January 17th, 2013 10:22 pm (UTC)
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Oh, I think a whole encyclopedia set's worth of books could be written on The War on Drugs. (Ponders if encyclopedias are still a thing in their internet age...I mean I'm sure they make them still, but do school kids still use them for class...)

The Kiwis I have met have all been a very friendly bunch and super thrilled when you play guess the accent correctly! Haven't run into overt naivete, but I will admit to accent being a little hard for me due to the speed you mention. My own accent jumbles words together too but Canada has improved my diction noticeably...unless I lapse into Spanglish.
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From:ms_hecubus
Date:January 16th, 2013 03:22 pm (UTC)
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I love the history and lore behind gemstones. That's really how I got interested in rocks to begin with.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 16th, 2013 08:14 pm (UTC)
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Here is a pretty comprehensive rundown on the cultural and economic history of pounamu. Here is some interesting stuff focusing on the traditional tiki shape. My pendant is a koru, which is also a traditional shape.

The lore is a bit harder to find information about online. Stuff I have been told by various people, including a kuia I had a fair bit to do with as a teenager:

Pounamu should not be bought, it should only be gifted. This is partly because pounamu is considered to be part of the land and to contain its wairua, which is in turn part of all people.

Pounamu decides for itself whether it wants to be with you. I've heard stories of pieces 'returning home' through series of incidents, and ending up back where they came from. I also remember giving a piece to a person who I felt didn't deserve it (long story) and they wore it for a day before it disappeared.

Pounamu absorbs the mana of its wearer/user. This is why older pieces become so sacred - they contain little bits of the people they've resided with, which makes them spiritually important. It also affects the wairua of the stone as each wearer in turn adds a little bit of themselves.

Whether these things are objectively true or not is likely to never be confirmed - however, I've had enough weird dealings with pounamu that I'm not about to be all SCIENTIFIC MEASURABLE PROOF PLZ on my respect for the stuff.

I have another piece that was given to me by a woman who just said I should have it when I was working with 'at risk' young people. It's not carved, just a chunk cut in half. That and my pendant are among my most treasured possessions.
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From:ms_hecubus
Date:January 16th, 2013 11:24 pm (UTC)
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Thank you!

I have a rock collection (I know, NERD) and a lot of them were chosen because of folklore surrounding them. I'm kind of upset I missed the Michigan RenFest this year because one of the usual vendors is a lapidary dealer. Two years ago I bought a beautiful piece of azurite and malachite. I need to remember him and sock away some money for next fall.

Eric doesn't understand why I spend good money on rocks, but he's gotten used to it. I think when I dragged him to a gem and mineral museum during a vacation and lectured him like a tour guide he knew rocks were one more piece of my puzzle.
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From:brynhilda
Date:January 16th, 2013 10:10 am (UTC)
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That's a beautiful pendant. I've never heard of pounamu so far...it's a kind of jade, isn't it?
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From:tatjna
Date:January 16th, 2013 07:27 pm (UTC)
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Yeah - mostly nephrite jade, and it's found only in certain parts of the South Island. The English name is greenstone, but since Maori were the ones to discover and use it first (it had/has quite a lot of economic importance to them), their name for it is the one I choose to use. This is becoming more common in NZ, which I think it's neat.
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From:brynhilda
Date:January 16th, 2013 07:43 pm (UTC)
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Those stones are really beautiful. I think I've never seen them for sale overhere so far. I used to collect stones...many years ago. My favourites have always been malachites:).
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From:tatjna
Date:January 16th, 2013 08:21 pm (UTC)
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It's unlikely you'd find them for sale outside New Zealand much if at all. Governance of pounamu resides with Ngai Tahu these days, and I can't imagine them being big on exporting it for sale somehow. They do sell it here, but its rarity is part of its value I guess.

Malachite is lovely! I also quite like jadeite, but because of what I know about a) traditions around pounamu and b) the jade industry in general, I didn't buy any when I was in Hong Kong/China.

I also have a chrysoprase that I found when I was about five and my folks took me to Rotorua. A big geyser shot up and I was afraid to walk through the steam and lost my family for a while. I was wandering around in the steam cloud and looked down, and there it was. I picked it up and have had it ever since. It's my touchstone.
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From:goddessofchaos
Date:January 16th, 2013 08:02 pm (UTC)
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I am not sure I would have awarded a "most beautiful" award to the Damascene goat (which I had never previously heard of, so that was educational!), but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose...
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From:pundigrion
Date:January 17th, 2013 04:01 pm (UTC)
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Mountain goats look even funnier from behind. They are...disproportionate! And they really really like to turn their backs on you just as you take pictures...

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From:tatjna
Date:January 17th, 2013 09:17 pm (UTC)
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I love that people can post pictures of goat balls in my blog and it's in context! ;-)
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From:pundigrion
Date:January 17th, 2013 09:24 pm (UTC)
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Context is everything!
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