Darrell J. Pursiful

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The Language of Birds?

Silbo Gomero is a method of transposing the sounds of spoken Spanish into whistles. Arika Okrent at mental_floss explains:

The human voice can only carry so far, but a whistle can travel for miles. In the mountains and ravines of La Gomera, in the Canary Islands, a language of whistles has been used for centuries to transmit long distance messages with amazing accuracy.

The article goes on to explain that there are other whistle-languages known in other parts of the world.

In Ghanaian folklore, the mmoatia communicate by means of a whistling language, and whistling in the forest is a sure way to get their attention.

In the world of Taylor Smart, many fae are familiar with the language of birds—a detail I added in honor of The Hobbit, although Tolkien no doubt was inspired by Germanic mythology, where this ability comes up from time to time.

It would definitely be a handy skill to have, especially since you can rarely get a cell phone signal in faery-land.


Cutting The Hobbit Down to Size

It was only a matter of time. Someone has created a fan-edit of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy that slices the runtime roughly in half. As Rob Bricken suggests, this is a good first step in getting the material down to the length of a single movie!

Tolkien Geek’s Review of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Heading into the theater I was a little disconcerted by the mixed reviews of this last installment in the Hobbit series from both critics and fans alike. I suppose a lot of one’s appreciation for (or lack thereof) this grandiose cinematic interpretation of such a small but beloved book depends primarily on the expectations that are brought to it. Personally, from the outset I’ve been very happy with what Peter Jackson and company have presented. And I know that I’m probably considered very much to be a Jackson homer/fanboy, blind to the mistakes, imperfections and downright presumptive liberties taken in the execution of turning “The Hobbit” from written word to visual media.

Annalee Newitz’s Review of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Here’s how it starts:

Remember when Peter Jackson announced he was splitting J.R.R. Tolkien’s slim volume The Hobbit into three movies? Even with Jackson’s OCD attention to detail, that seemed too much — and the entire internet worried that it would be all bloat and no heart. Well, the internet was right, at least about the third movie.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has none of the character-building moments, nor the sense of grim forboding, that made The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug the best of this trilogy. Like The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, it’s incredibly uneven, often pointless, and full of fight scenes that lack any sense of gravitas because they are so emotionally decontextualized. Ultimately the problem here isn’t the acting or directing. It’s quite simply one of the most clearcut cases I’ve ever seen of a trilogy that failed because it should have been a single movie.

Personally, I’m holding out for a fan-edit that pares the whole thing down to the single movie it should have been from the beginning.

Booking My Flight to Gondor

This is, indeed, the most epic airline safety video in the history of ever.

The Hobbit in 72 Seconds

It’s epic, even though especially since it leaves out all the fluff Peter Jackson added in.

(H/T: io9)

Steff Humm’s Desolation of Smaug Review

Steff Humm at Fantasy Faction has offered a thoughtful review of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Tolkien Geek’s Review of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Gary, the Tolkien Geek, gives the latest installment of Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of The Hobbit a very positive review.