Tiffany in Gilead

For years now there’s been a post rattling around in my head on the subject of how both literalist American fundamentalists and angry American atheists suffer from a complete misunderstanding of what the Bible actually is, but I can never seem to find the time to write it up. It’s very interesting and includes unicorns, so keep an eye out for it. In the meantime though I’ve been thinking about the particular instance of the Tiffany Problem as found in the historical books of the Old Testament.

(You don’t know about the Tiffany Problem? Put briefly it’s that there are things that are actually really, really old, but which seem so modern that if you include them in a historical work it looks like a mistake. Like the name “Tiffany” which dates from the 12th century, but would completely freak people out if used in a film about, say, Henry VIII.)

Western society (for better or worse) has been massively influenced by the Bible, and as a result a lot of names we assume are perfectly ordinary, modern names are actually taken from it. This means that if you’re reading one of the Old Testament history books (which you should – they’re filled with enough bizarre events, weird claims and insane, gory violence to put Game of Thrones to shame) you get this exhilarating mental whiplash effect…

…And so KING GABILGATHOL did marry the eldest daughter of JERABOSOPHAT, “abigail”, and she bore unto him a son he named IGLISHAMEK for he was like unto the thunder of the mountains, and IGLISHAMEK was blessed by the HIGH PRIEST ZIRAK-ZIGIL and the Prophet “nathan”

Seriously, there’s a prophet named “Nathan” in there, which is the kind of name you’d usually associate with a guy who spends all his spare time playing darts down the pub.

Anyway, that’s all I had to say.

Warhammer 40,000 Map Icons v6.0

Being the tragic geek that I am, I spent several months last year coding up an interactive map of the Warhammer 40,000 galaxy. What I came up with worked beautifully in Firefox on my fairly grunty, fairly new computer, but like an absolute dog with any other setup, so I’ve had no choice but to go back and start over from scratch – a prospect so disheartening that it will be many, many months before I can bring myself to look at it again, if ever.

The upside of this failed project however is that I ended up doing a complete revision of my Warhammer 40,000 map icons. And when I say complete revision I mean a radical change in the way they’re organised. So radical in fact that I’ve decided to leave version 5.0 available in this post for those who might prefer them, while making the new version available here.

The major changes in version 6.0 include…

Separation of Environment, Class and Affiliation: There are now separate sets of icons for the environment of a planet, how it’s categorised by the Imperium (ie: what ‘Class’ it is), and who controls it.

Consistent Colours: Each major faction now has a consistent colour scheme rather than the previous hodge-podge, so it’s easier to see who controls what at a glance.

Consistent Shapes: The sizes and shapes of icons are standardised rather than being all over the place with bits sticking out the sides.

Meaningful Shapes: Five different icons shapes are provided to represent planets/moons, space stations, dwarf planets/asteroids, fields/swarms and fleets/ships.

I’ve also added sub-faction specific icons so you can differentiate between (for example) Biel-Tan Eldar and Iyanden Eldar, or Mephrit Necrons and Sekemtar Necrons, should that be your idea of a morally acceptable good time.

I present the icons here in three formats

SVG Version  This is the version to use if you know what you’re doing with Vector graphics. If you’re making your map in a vector editor such as Illustrator or Inkscape this is the superior option. If you’re not, then one of the PNG versions will probably be more convenient.

White PNG – An export of the Icons on a flat white background.

Black PNG – An export of the Icons on a flat black background with a white glow effect.

I should probably add a transparent PNG version, shouldn’t I? Maybe tonight…

Anyway, share and enjoy!

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