I wrote my My Favorite Martian post a few days ago and then forgot to post it! Alex Cavanaugh reminded me and I squawked and had to go find it! Thanks Alex!
So I don't really have just one favorite alien! There are too many to love. I decided to focus on an old favorite of mine that most people may not remember. It came from my favorite episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation in season 5. I believe the episode was just called "Darmok." In the episode, the alien captain of another ship named Dathon kidnaps Picard in order to try and communicate with him. Because of his universal translater, Picard hear's Dathon's words in English, but not in the way we speak it. Dathon's people speak only in metaphor and allusion to historical events in his people's history. Picard has to figure out what these references mean (including one used over and over again, "Darmok and Jalad at Tenagra") in order to communicate with the alien captain and create peace between the two peoples. (Of course, there's also an evil monster on the planet they have to deal with, which makes for all kinds of stressed-out fun!)
I loved this episode and this alien because he seems like such a gentle giant, and he ends up giving his life so there can be peace between their two peoples. This episode was all about communication and empathy. What can I say?
Blog Tour stops for today are:1) A review at Heather's Book Chatter
2) A guest post on My Journey to Publication at Here's the Story
3) A review at Downright Dystopian
Historical TidbitOkay, **CONFESSION TIME!!!** This is a re-post. I first posted the following last May 23rd, so about 8 months ago. I had only been blogging for about 3 weeks at the time, so I was very new with very few followers. I think I only got 10-15 hits the first week I put it up. I didn't think much of it; just wrote it off as the semi-okay post of a newbie blogger.
Not until months later when I was going through all my early post did I realize how well this post actually did. Since it's original posting, it's gotten over 1600 hits! I think I did something right, no?
So, I'm re-posting today. (I may do this a few more times while I continue my blog tour of Persistence of Vision. Just giving you fair warning. ;D)
Did you know...
That the legend of Atlantis was born from a detailed account of the Minoan civilization, and a mistranslation of the Old Testament?
In the book of Numbers, many numbers are given. (Stating the obvious, I know.) This is where the Children of Israel were essentially counted. However, scholars have debated for centuries the truth of the numbers we are given. It seems that they are entirely too large; how could the Children of Israel have grown so exponentially in so few generations?
The answer lies in the simple fact that the bible used to be written in shorthand. Rather than copy it word for word, it was a common technique--long before Gutenberg--to write the words in the bible without their vowels. This can be a very effective system, but in Hebrew, it sometimes poses a few problems.
For example, the word for 'professional soldier' is alluph, while the word for 'a thousand' iseleph. Without their vowels, these words are identical. So, in the bible, when it says something about twelve thousand men laying in wait to spy on the enemy army, it's probably a mistranslation and really means twelve professional soldiers were sent to spy on the enemy army.
So, what's this got to do with Atlantis? Hold your horses! I'm gettin there.
Plato obtained what has now been identified as a detailed record of the Minoan civilization and it's downfall. However, it was translated from shorthand. Because of the errors of translation, all figures in the account were multiplied by ten. Plato, being the Bill Gates of his time, knew that the Mediterranean was too small to hold such a vast civilization, so he wrongly decided that the location was the error, rather than the numbers. He changed the location to the only place he believed could have held such a civilization, and still be in line with the historical account: the Atlantic. Since no society in recent times matched the account, he pushed the date back to antiquity.
Hence, the legend of the lost empire of Atlantis was born.
Remember, knowledge of the past is our inheritance; what we do with that knowledge will shape our destinies.
What do you think? Do you think this is how the legend was born, or do you have another theory?