Friday, 28 October 2016

ovum anguinum

There is also a sort of egg, famous in the provinces of Gaul, but ignored by the Greeks. Innumerable snakes coil themselves into a ball in the summertime. Thus they make it so that it is held together by a bodily secretion and by their saliva. It is called an anguinum. The Druids say that [the snakes] hiss and cast it upwards, and that it is to be caught in a cloak so that it not touch the ground. One must immediately ride off on a horse with it, for the snakes will continue to pursue until the course of a stream blocks their way. If one tests it, the anguinum will float against the current of a river even when covered in gold. And, as the magi will throw a cloak of deception over their trickery, they make out as though the eggs are to be taken only on a particular point in the lunar cycle, as though it was up to human beings to determine the snakes’ role in this procedure. Nonetheless, I have seen one of these eggs myself. It was round the size of a small apple. The shell was cartilaginous, and mottled with cups like the tentacles of a squid. The Druids value it highly: it is praised as insuring success in litigation and in going to audiences with kings. However, this is nonsense; for once a man (a Roman knight and a tribesman of the Vocontii) held one of these eggs against his body during a trial, and was condemned to death by the Emperor Claudius, for that reason alone so far as I can tell.,+fairy+loaves+and+thunderstones:+the+mythology+of+fossil+echinoids+in+England&source=bl&ots=vOaKkqEfKL&sig=KgjEwynw9hh9u6PilNtvGn7tzPg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAmoVChMIu_6DvM-DxgIVg0bbCh26kACs#v=onepage&q&f=false

Llhuyd informs us that "the Cornish retain a variety of charms, and have still towards the Land's-End, the amulets of Maen-Magal and Glain-neider, which latter they call Melprer, and have a charm for the snake to make it, when they find one asleep, and stick a hazel wand in the centre of her spirae," or coils. The rings thus generated are called Gleiner-nadroeth, or snake-stones.   

Where is Sisyphus now? Using the analog sticks on the game controller, you move a little character who rolls a ball called a Katamari. The game is called Katamari Damacy.* The name translates roughly as ‘clump spirit’, which might in turn translate as ‘analog’. As the Katamari ball rolls, things stick to it. At first it is small things that stick, household items picked up off the living room floor. The ball gets bigger as things stick, and so it can pick up bigger things. Once your ball is big enough, you move out of the house and into the world. To move the ball, you twizzle the little analog joysticks. Push the sticks forward, and the character rolls the ball forward. Pull the sticks back and the character rolls the ball back. Turn left, turn right — it feels as though the variable pressure on the sticks translates into variable movements. This is analog — a relation of continuous variation. Only it isn’t really. It is a digital game. The game converts the continuous movement of your thumbs on the sticks into a digital code. It turns movements into decisions — back/forwards, left/right, stop/start. An algorithm calculates the outcome of each movement. If you roll your ball over a small object, you pick it up. If you roll your ball over one that is too big, you collide with it, throwing off a few things you have already gathered. Analog spirit becomes digital code (see Fig. D).But in Katamari Damacy, things are different. Rather than the rolling of the ball being entirely useless, now it is entirely purposeful. Time, like space, no longer harbors indifference. Brenda Laurel:”…even the smallest fragments of your idle time have been colonized…”. As you roll your ball around, making it bigger and bigger, an icon in the corner of the screen shows your progress. The icon shows your ball as a circle inside a larger one, which is the size it must grow to if you are to win this level. It grows, gradually, incrementally, but at some point — a decision. Big enough! An analog progression stops at the digital threshold.*katamari


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