20 of my favorite Mythical Creatures

To the best of my knowledge, none of the animals listed below is real, so please don’t get taken in by a huckster who wants to sell you one.

1 Dragon
this legendary monster was thought to be a giant, winged, fire-breathing snake or lizard. Oddly most ancient cultures that believe in dragons didn’t know about dinosaurs.

2 Griffin
Originating in the Middle East around 2000 BC, the Griffin was said to have the body of a lion and the head of a bird, most often an eagle.

3 Phoenix
This ancient Egyptian bird was believed to live for 500 years or more before setting itself on fire. A new Phoenix was supposed to have been born from the ashes of the previous bird.

4 Chupacabra
This vampiric creature, whose name means goat-sucker, has allegedly been spotted in the Americas from Maine to Chile. it has been described as a panther, dog, spined lizard, or large rodent that walks upright and smells ghastly.

5. Yeti Bigfoot Sasquatch
if these creatures existed, they would likely be the same animal, as they are all bear-like or eight like hominids that live in remote mountainous areas. The yeti has been reported in the Tibetan Himalayas, while Bigfoot and Sasquatch are rumored to live in the Northwestern United States and Canada.

6 Skunk Ape
This hairy 7-foot Critter weighs in at 300 pounds, smells like a garbage covered skunk, inhabits the Florida Everglades, and is rumored to be a relative of Bigfoot.

7 Vegetable Lamb of Tartary
Mythical animal or vegetable? 11th century Travelers told Tales of a middle eastern plant that grew sheep as fruit. although the Tails were false, the plant is real. It’s the fern Cibotium barometz, which produces a tuft of wooly fiber.

8 Rukh Roc
Marco Polo return from Madagascar claiming to have seen this enormous, bird of prey carry off elephants and other large creatures.

9 Jackalope
sometimes called a warrior rabbit, the Jackalope is a legendary Critter of the American West. Described as an aggressive, antlered rabbit, it appears to be related to the German wolperdinger and Swedish skvader.

10 Adjule
It’s reported to be a ghostly North African wolf dog, what is likely just a cape hunting dog, horned Jackal, or ordinary wild dog.

11 Andean wolf Hagenbeck’s wolf
In 1927, a traveler to Buenos Aires bought a pelt belonging to what he was told was a mysterious wild dog from the Andes. this tale encouraged other crypto enthusiasts to purchase skulls and pelts from the same and Market until DNA testing in 1995 revealed that the original sample came from a domestic dog.

12 Fur bearing trout or Beaver trout
The rumor of a fur covered fish dates back to Scottish visitors to the new world who regaled their countrymen with tales of “furried animals and fish” and photographs of pelt wrapped trout. Occasional sightings of fish with saprolegnia ( a fungal infection that causes a white, woolly growth) serve to perpetuate the tall tales.

13 Gilled Antelope or Gilled Deer
This Cambodian deer or Antelope is rumored to have gills on its neck or muzzle that enable it to breathe underwater. In reality, it is the rare Saola or Vu Quang ox, whose distinctive white facial markings only look like gills.

14 Hodag
In Lumberjack circles, the Hodag was believed to be a fetid smelling, fanged, hairy lizard that rose from the ashes of cremated lumber oxen. In 1893, a prankster from Rhinelander, Wisconsin, led a successful “hunt” for the fearsome beast, which resulted in its capture and subsequent display at the county fair. It was later revealed that the Hodag was actually a wooden statue covered in ox-hide, but by then it had earned its place in Rhinelander lore.

15 Sea Monk or Sea Bishop
Reports and illustrations of strange fish that looked like clergyman were common from the 10th through 16th centuries, likely due to socio-religious struggles and the idea that all land creatures had a nautical counterpart. Sea monks were likely angel sharks, often called monkfish.

16 Unicorn
The unicorn’s appearance varies by culture. In some, it’s a pure white horse and in others it’s a bull or an ox-tail deer. But the single horn in the middle of the forehead remains a constant. Unicorns have reportedly been seen by such luminaries as Genghis Khan and Julius Caesar, but it’s likely that such reports were based on sightings of rhinoceroses, types of antelopes, or discarded narwhal horns.

17 Cameleopard
13th century Romans described the camel-leopard as the offspring of a camel and a leopard, with the leopard’s spots and horns on top of its head. The legendary creature in question was actually a giraffe, whose modern name stems from the Arabic for “tallest” or “creature of grace.”

18 Basilisk or Cockatrice
Pliny the Elder described this fearsome snake as having a golden crown, though others described it as having the head of a human or fowl. In fact, no one would have been able to describe it at all, because it was believed to be so terrifying that a glimpse would kill the viewer instantly.

19 Mokele-mbembe
Since 1776 the Congo rainforest, there have been reports of this elephant sized creature with a long tail and a muscular neck. Its name translates as “ one that stops the flow of rivers.” Believers, who point out that the Okapi was also thought to be mythical until the early 1900s, suggest that it may be a surviving sauropod dinosaur.

20 Lake Ainslie monster
Lake Ainslie in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, is frequently said to be home to a sea monster. it is usually described as having a snake-like head and long neck, similar in appearance to the Loch Ness Monster. Recently, these sightings have been attributed to “eel balls,” a large group of eels that knot themselves together in clumps as large as six feet in diameter.

 

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Where is the World’s Saltiest Lake? Lake Assal Djibouti (Not the Dead Sea of Israel-Jordan)

When tourists float in the curative waters of the Dead Sea, they likely believe they are relaxing in the world’s saltiest body of water. This is understandable, because just about every travel guide book makes this claim, erroneously.

Are you determined to soak in the world’s saltiest lake? If so you should skip the Dead Sea and head to Lake Assal in the tiny east African country of Djibouti. Lake Assal salinity measures 400 grams per liter, more than the Dead Sea’s 340 grams per liter.

Why is like Assal so salty? Salt lakes form in locations where water cannot flow away to the sea and is lost only through evaporation. Lake Assal was formed somewhere between 1 million and 4 million years ago, likely the result of volcanic activity and the resulting shift of Earth’s surface. A crater lake 500 ft below sea level, Assal is fed only by underwater springs and is depleted only by evaporation. Consequently, the mineral salts have nowhere to go. Saline levels are so high that crusts of salt up to 13 in thick accumulate at the lake’s edge and are strong enough to withstand the weight of a car. There is no plant or animal life in the lake, nor on the land surrounding it.

Lake Assal is not only extraordinarily salty but has the added distinction of being one of the least hospitable places on the planet. While the Dead Sea’s buoyant, mineral rich waters attract thousands of visitors annually, it is unlikely that Lake Assal will ever be a tourist destination. The temperatures there are said to be unbearable and the glare from the salt blinding, and the lake itself emits a sulfurous stench. If you still want to take a plunge, do so with your shoes on, because the salt crystal crust can rip bare feet to shreds. What’s more, you’ll come out of the water coated in a thick, salty film. Lake Assal is surrounded by a salt pan that is mined, and the salt is exported by caravan to Ethiopia.

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The Earl of Sandwich’s favorite snack,Who Invented the Sandwich?

The famed English Statesman John Montagu named, but did not invent, the sandwich.

Legends hold that Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, invented the tasty food stuff that is his namesake. Montague was a popular member of England’s peerage in the 18th century, and it seems he had a knack for converting nouns into homage to his rank. The Hawaiian Islands were once known as The Sandwich Islands, thanks to explorer James Cook’s admiration for the Earl, who was the acting first Lord of Admiralty at the time. Although it does seem likely that Montague is responsible for dubbing the popular food item a sandwich, he certainly was not the first to squash some grub between slices of bread.

It seems likely that sandwiches of one sort or another were eaten whenever and wherever bread was made. When utensils weren’t available, bread was often used to scoop up other foods. Arabs stuffed pita bread with meats, and medieval European peasants lunched on bread and cheese while working in the fields. The first officially recorded sandwich inventor was Rabbi Hillel the Elder of the first century BC. The rabbi sandwiched chopped nuts, apples, spices, and wine between two pieces of matzoh, creating the popular Passover food known as Charoset.

In medieval times, food piled on bread was the norm. Prior to the fork, it was common to scoop meat and other food on two pieces of bread and spread it around with a knife. The leftover pieces of bread, called trenchers, were often fed to pets when the meal was complete. Primary sources from the 16th and 17th centuries refer to handheld snacks as “bread and meat” or “bread and cheese.” People often ate sandwiches, they simply didn’t call them that.

Regardless of the sandwich-like foods that were eaten prior to the 18th century, it appears that the 4th Earl of Sandwich is responsible for the emergence of the sandwich as a distinct food category. But how this happened is unclear. The most popular story relates to Montague’s fondness for eating salted beef between pieces of toasted bread. Montague was also known for his gambling habit and would apparently eat this proto sandwich one-handed during his endless hours at a famous London gambling club. His comrades began to request “the same as Sandwich” and eventually the snack acquired its name.

The source that supports this story is Tour to London, a travel book that was popular at the time among the upper echelons of society. In one passage, the author of the book, Pierre Jean Grosley, claimed that in 1765, ”a minister of State passed Four and Twenty hours at a public gaming table, so absorpt in play that, during the whole time, he had no subsistence but a bit of beef between two slices of toasted bread. This new dish grew highly in vogue… it was called by the name of the minister who invented it.” According to this scenario,” sandwich” initially referred to Montagu’s preferred beef and bread meal and was subsequently used as an umbrella phrase for a variety of sandwich types.

John Montagu’s biographer, N.A.M.Rodger, offers an alternative explanation for the rise of the sandwich. He argues that during the 1760s, when the sandwich was first called a sandwich, the Earl was actually busy with government responsibilities and didn’t have time to gamble much. He did, however, spend many nights working at his desk, during which time he liked to munch on beef and bread. It is possible, Rodger argues, that the sandwich came to be a reference to the Earl’s tireless work ethic and general fondness for late-night snacking.

 

Origin of the Sandwich

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10 Poems (Audio Read Aloud) about Flying, Airplanes, Space Ships and Flight

 

The Airplane
by Rowena Bastin Bennett
An airplane has gigantic wings
But not a feather on her breast;
She only mutters when she sings
And builds a hangar for a nest.
I love to see her stop and start;
She has a little motor heart
That beats and throbs and then is still.
She wears a fan upon her bill.

No eagle flies through sun and rain
So swiftly as an airplane.
I wish she would come swooping down
Between the steeples of the town
And lift me right up off my feet
And take me high above the street,
That all the other boys might see
The little speck that would be me.

 

The Dirigible
by Ralph Wilhelm Bergengren
The only real airship
That I’ve ever seen
Looked more like a fish
Than a flying machine.

It made me feel funny,
And just as if we
Were all of us down
On the floor of the sea.

A big whale above us
Was taking a swim,
And we little fishes
Were staring at him.


I’ve seen one flying saucer. Only when
by David McCord
I’ve seen one flying saucer. Only when
It flew across our sight in 1910
We little thought about the little men.

But let’s suppose the little men were there
To cozy such a disk through foreign air:
Connecticut was dark, but didn’t scare.

I wonder what they thought of us, and why
They chose the lesser part of Halley’s sky,
And went away and let the years go by

Without return? Or did they not get back
To Mars or Venus through the cosmic flak?
At least they vanished, every spaceman Jack.


Silver Ships
by Mildred Plew Meigs
There are trails that a lad may follow
when the years of his boyhood slip,
but I shall soar like a swallow
on the wings of a Sliver ship,
Guiding my bird of metal
One with her throbbing frame
Floating down like a pedal,
roaring up like a flame

Winding the wind that scatters
Smoke from the chimney’s lip,
tearing the clouds to tatters
with the wings of my Silver Ship

Grazing the broad blue-sky light
up where the falcon’s fare,
riding the realms of twilight
brushed by a comet’s hair.

Snug in my coat of leather,
watching the skyline swing,
shedding the world like a feather
from the tip of a tilted wing.

There are trails that a lad may travel
when the years of his boyhood wane,
but I’ll let a rainbow ravel
through the wings of my silver plane.


Riding in an Airplane
by Dorothy Walter Baruch
Azzoomm, azzoomm loud and strong —
Azzoomm, azzoomm a steady song —
And UP I went
UP and UP
For a ride
In an airplane.

The machinery roarrrred
And whirrred
And jiggled my ears
Yet I
Just sat right
On a chair
Inside that airplane
And made myself
Stare
Out of a window.

There
Way down below
I saw autos
Scuttling along.
They looked to me
Like fast little lady bugs —
So small!
And I saw houses
That seemed to be
Only as big as match boxes —
That’s all!

But the strangest sight
Was when
We came to some clouds!
We stared down
Instead of up
To see them,
And they looked
Like puffs of smoke
From giant cigarettes.


Cockpit in the Clouds
by Dick Dorrance
Two thousand feet beneath our wheels
The city sprawls across the land
Like heaps of children’s blocks outflung,
In tantrums, by a giant hand.
To east a silver spire soars
And seeks to pierce our lower wing.
Above its grasp we drift along,
A tiny, droning, shiny thing.

The noon crowds pack the narrow streets.
The el trains[1] move so slow, so slow.
Amidst their traffic, chaos, life,
The city’s busy millions go.
Up here, aloof, we watch them crawl.
In crystal air we seem to poise
Behind our motor’s throaty roar-
Down there, we’re just another noise.


Night Plane
by Frances Frost
The midnight plane with its flying lights
looks like an unloosed star
wandering west through blue-black night
to where the mountains are,
a star that’s come so close to earth
to tell each quiet farm and little town,
‘Put out your lights, children of earth. Sleep warm.’


Prayer for a Pilot
by Cecil Edric Mornington Roberts
Lord of Sea and Earth and Air,
Listen to the Pilot’s prayer—
Send him wind that’s steady and strong,
Grant that his engine sings the song
Of flawless tone, by which he knows
It shall not fail him where he goes;
Landing, gliding, in curve, half-roll—
Grant him, O Lord, a full control,
That he may learn in heights of Heaven
The rapture altitude has given,
That he shall know the joy they feel
Who ride Thy realms on Birds of Steel.

 

Flight
by Harold Vinal
They are immortal, voyagers like these,
Bound for supreme and royal latitudes;
They soar beyond the eagle, where it broods,
With Venus and the evening Pleiades;
For in the pale blue Indies of the sky,
They plough, gold-prowed, the Arteries of Air,
Finding an unexplored dimension there—
They leave us Star Maps we may voyage by.

Not Galileo, with his dreaming power,
Not great Columbus, master of the gale,
Chartered for Time such harbors for man’s flight.
Lured by another Odyssey, a Grail,
They climbed the heavens. Byrd in his white hour,
Lindbergh, an eagle sweeping through the night.

 

High Flight
a sonnet by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds -and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of -wheeled and soared and swung
high in the sunlit silence. Hovering there
I’ve chased the shouting wind along and flung
my eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
where never lark, or even eagle, flew;

and, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
put out my hand and touched the face of God.

 

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It’s been a long time since I’ve come on here, which is a bummer considering I’m an editor here, but to be honest I haven’t been very motivated to write stuff. It seems like every idea I’ve had already exists somewhere out there on the internet, done by people far more experienced than I am, and it sucks. Well, not anymore! Moping around not writing anything is stupid. Let’s talk about art for a minute.

~~~~~

I’ve been an artist for almost my whole life, and have gone through many phases of skill and technique– I’m still going through many phases even now. Usually I do either traditional sketch art with paper and pencil, or digital with drawing programs, but leaned more towards traditional simply because trying to draw digital art with a mouse and keyboard is the perfect concoction of rage-quits and possible mouse smashing because your lines look like a drunkard made them. Not that pencil sketches had their own troubles to contend with, but at least I could make my lines smooth. However, just recently I decided to finally buy a drawing tablet, more specifically the Huion H610 Pro v2 graphic drawing tablet— and let me tell you, it is SO much better to use this for digital art, full stop.

I had my mind on a drawing tablet for a while now, considering I always loved to draw digitally yet was so constrained by a dumpy little mouse and keyboard. My one friend had a drawing tablet that worked really well for him, but it was something completely out of my comfortable price range for a drawing tool– I needed something that was reasonably priced yet sturdily made for my first tablet. That’s when I found Huion’s line of products, and settled on the H610 Pro v2 simply because it was only $59.99 new (or $60, as common sense dictates)! It also came with a battery-free tablet pen, a connector, and extra pen nibs… and the instructions, of course. Another selling point was its compatibility with android devices (OS 6.0 and above), which made it a bit more flexible and I’m personally a fan of flexibility just in case I need it. Many people had reviewed this particular tablet positively online, which gave me the go-ahead to buy it and I haven’t regretted it so far.

I suppose this’ll be a pretty thorough review for the Huion H610 Pro v2, also known as the Inspiroy H610 Pro v2 amongst other Huion products, so I’ll divide it into three extensive sections: the physical tablet and pen functions, how the tablet works connected to regular computer functions, and how the tablet works connected to a few art/photoshop programs. If you don’t want to wade through the bulk of it though, I’ll have a tl;dr at the bottom for a quick summary and my overall opinion.

Tablet and Pen

As mentioned above, the tablet package comes with a tablet pen, a pen stand containing extra pen nibs, a mini-usb connector, and a few instruction booklets. The tablet itself is 9.5″ in width by 14″ in length. It has a drawing space of 6.5″ in width by 10″ in length, which is actually a rather large drawing space for my purposes. It also has 8 hard buttons on the side and 16 soft buttons lining the top of the drawing space. The pen is on average half an inch in diameter and is 6 and 7/16ths inches long including nib. The mini-usb connector is around 3 feet long (which is plenty of cord in case you need more room between computer and tablet) and comes with adapters in case the usb at the end doesn’t cut it– one micro-usb and one usb type c. The instruction booklets contain the quick start guide in 14 languages and how to connect the tablet to an android device booklet in 7 languages.

My desk space is a little cramped, so the only way I can comfortably fit the tablet on the desk is if the keyboard is moved up onto my computer box, but it doesn’t bother me in the slightest aside from a slightly unstable and noisy keyboard. As I’m right-handed, the hard buttons are arranged on the left side for me, but it can easily be configured for left-handed people through the tablet’s software settings. I use the hard buttons very often and they’re my zoom, undo, and other painting buttons, but I’ve turned the soft buttons off simply because I’m weary that I might accidentally set them off while drawing, and I’m rather prone to doing that if I’m not extremely careful. All of it is very intuitive for me, and makes my work very seamless. When it’s being used, there’s a green LED light that lights up in the corner (top left if right-handed, bottom right if left-handed), which is a good indicator of making sure everything’s working properly. The tablet is very light and easy to move around, but it’s also sturdy and stays in place with rubber feet when you need it to be steady.

The tablet pen is also very light and fits comfortably within my hand, aided by a rubber grip. It has two buttons that are mostly intuitive to use, but I prefer not to use them because as I draw I rotate the pen almost constantly and, again, would rather not accidentally press the buttons all the time on accident. The pen has an extensive tilt function which makes it very lifelike when drawing, which is a huge plus. Replacing the nib on the pen is very easy, just use the bottom of the pen holder to remove the old nib and then replace the new nib by sliding it back into the pen.

The setup uses a magnetic surface to translate the pen strokes into digital strokes, which does raise a bit of concern with me– being careless with other magnetic objects around it could potentially ruin the tablet’s field over time. However, it doesn’t seem to be a huge problem if you just carefully handle both the tablet and pen.

I connected the tablet to my android tablet once to test out its android compatibility, and it definitely worked, albeit with a fair amount of lag. It’s not the fault of the drawing tablet though, it’s the fact that my android tablet is rather old and crummy. If I want to fully use the tablet’s android functionality I’d have to buy a new android device for it to get it working properly, which is definitely not going to happen anytime soon. Alongside that, I don’t use the micro-usb and usb type c adapters, but they may have their use one day so I’m definitely keeping them (even if it’s just for other things, haha!).

Software Functionality

The quick start guide gives instructions on how to download the drivers necessary to work the H610 Pro v2, which are provided by Huion on their website. It’s a fairly simple process to download the file, unzip it, and install it. Once it’s installed you just have to plug in the tablet and you’re almost ready to go.

You’ll probably have to go into the tablet’s settings to configure all the buttons to your liking, as the defaults may or may not be what you’re used to– I had to change the undo function from “Ctrl+Shift+Z” to “Ctrl+Z”, I believe. You can also configure the buttons on the pen, and test its sensitivity and pressure levels. The tablet pen offers 8192 levels of pressure, which doesn’t mean much to me in the tech way but it roughly translates to more accuracy when doing various pen strokes. Finally you can change how the tablet’s drawing space is mapped to your computer, which is simple for me but I can see it being useful if you have a double monitor setup and only want it mapped to one of the monitors, or something similar.

To be perfectly honest, using the tablet and pen with regular window browsers and navigating the computer is a bit of a hassle for me, though it 100% is able to click on things, drag them around, double-click, right-button, etc. I didn’t buy the tablet for regular computer use, I bought it for its pen properties in art programs, so I can’t exactly tell you whether or not the pen is more useful for certain computer functions than others other than “it works just fine if you’re patient with it.”

Art Program Compatibility

Huion claims that the H610 Pro v2 is compatible with all mainstream digital art programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Gimp, Krita, Clip Studio, and more– which I don’t doubt in the slightest. In fact, it seems to me like any software that accepts tablet software/hardware would accept this, but don’t take that for fact since I haven’t tested that out in detail yet. I prefer Krita for my main artwork and Gimp for anything else, and the tablet works wonderfully on both. The pen movement is smooth and natural and has zero lag whatsoever, and all of the buttons work perfectly as intended with my own settings (after correcting the shortcuts in both Krita and Gimp, which you may have to do for your art program of choice as well). This ease of use allows me a lot more flexibility with what I want to do with my art, whether I’m coloring in a character or creating a detailed texture. It honestly feels a lot more professional using the H610 Pro v2, and I’m so glad I bought it. I’ll be updating my commissions page with pieces created using the tablet, and I’m sure you’ll notice the difference in quality and detail between the tablet-created ones and the ones created without it!

In one Amazon review (which was super, super helpful in deciding whether or not I should buy this tablet), the reviewer said that they considered its lack of multiple configurations for multiple softwares a con, albeit a very small con, but I personally have no qualms with it as I prefer simplicity. I can see how if I were to use the 16 soft buttons it would be a bummer, as it would be useful to set multiple functions to each button depending on the software you’re using, but I don’t use the soft buttons therefore I don’t care much. However, this may be a bigger detriment than I realize– I’m kind of an amateur/intermediate artist at the moment.

Summary/TL;DR

In short, I love the H610 Pro v2. It’s simple, intuitive, flexible between computer types, and fits well on my desk. I’ve had an absolute blast drawing and experimenting with it. If you’re looking to buy your first drawing/graphics tablet or something simple, definitely buy this! Only $59.99 for the v2, sometimes even cheaper. It’s a really good investment for only $60, especially since people apparently have many issues with other tablets such as the ones from Wacom. You can buy the H610 Pro v2 from the official Huion website and on Amazon. I don’t have a scoring system for these reviews, but if I had to give one, I’d say AT LEAST a 9/10 based on my needs as an artist. If you do get this tablet, let me know what you think! There may be tons of feedback out there on the web right now, but that doesn’t mean new feedback isn’t valued!

See you in the next post!

 

– Stella

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