From the Author:2023/Mid-February rundown

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Originally published on: 2023-02-16, 23:34
Updated: 2023-02-26, 04:07
Shortcut: FTA:20230216

Welcome back, folks—from a fixed-up FTA post form whose current Edittools equivalent's <includeonly></includeonly> has been phased out because of recent coding conflicts in the Page Forms infrastructure—and happy belated Valentine's Day, lovers. (Which occurred two days before this ultimately went to press.)

And yes, I'm a bit lousy with titles; this edition is no different.

In other news: You've got competition again, Daily Mail.

First thing's first: Two and a half months later, say hello to an all-new Bulwark of the Atlantic.

By Reginald Routhwick, 16/2/2023; CC0/Kopimi
By Reginald Routhwick, 16/2/2023; CC0/Kopimi

That's right—I'm talking about Rogatia, the fictional North Atlantic island nation whose newly revived terrain on QGIS and Wilbur was basically a wrap in its 450 m form at 10:57 on Tuesday night.[1] Tuesday's long, long session involved the geological breakdown of the Bulwark by era and {{Period color}}; I spent almost the entire afternoon + early evening figuring out the right GDAL raster-calculation formulas. And yes, the first two are as complex as things do get Numpy-wise. No wonder I've recently wanted to give this a brief rest, planning to resume sometime this Friday with new settlement, highway, airport, and admin-boundary shapefiles (in that order). This also calls for a backstory article on the island nation's topography service, Rocarta (short for "Rogatian cartographic agency")—complete with official sheet breakdown and hypsometric tints.

Not to mention this basic map is possibly the first anywhere on Miraheze to take serious advantage of the SpriteSheet extension, with inspiration from this Community noticeboard comment by Borderman (re: Ordnance Survey material).[2] (Google search indicates it's featured in at least two others, mh:tna [the Official Tri Nebula Alliance Wiki] and C.Sydes, but no working examples have been located on the network—and this is where our efforts come into the picture.)

Like I said before, whatever it takes to end 14 (now 15) years of protracted R&D...

P.S. Minutes after this was introduced, another map appeared on Special:GlobalNewFiles (concerning the fictional divided island of Metroworld and Brokenhall)—lucky us.

The island of Saint Vincent, at 1:50,000 scale (1967).
Saint Vincent (1:50,000) (D.O.S. 417 [Series E703], Second Edition, 1967)

And like I said last season, leave it up to me to fill in a few longstanding gaps in the Commons coverage of the Directorate of Overseas Surveys. Behold the long-promised 1967 specimen of Saint Vincent on the right; stay tuned for more highlights in the coming weeks, including the rest of Jamaica at 1:50,000 scale.

Remember, folks, this was the very overseas mapping agency whose work I gushed over as a Dominica youth—and whose style I aim to emulate with my Bulwark et al. efforts. (How many other amateurs on the Cartographers' Guild or at r/mapmaking can even claim such a boast?)

Meanwhile, Tovasala's dictionary entries are affected by a security change to the {{#dplreplace:}} function (substituting RegexFunctions since last April), causing much of their functionality/display to break. Details at phab:T10500 (filed by yours truly two nights ago); I'll update here as feedback comes in.

As for Unspooled: A one-shot experiment featuring Sam and friends surfaced on Sunday the 12th on the Wattpad feed of "Kalibean06", our first official collaborator—not to mention I had to sign up for Cash App through its native GPlay app just to pay him the US$7.00 for his services over an 881-word stretch.[3] Tune in tomorrow evening when "Samson Has a Nice Day" debuts on the story portal for the Dixwell tales. (About time!)

Meanwhile, waiting on "lilaclies_310"; otherwise, I'll virtually tap her on the shoulder this Friday to remind her.

And speaking of procyonines, "TotallyAwesomeRacoon" (note the common misspelling) offered this fursona request pitch at r/ICanDrawThatFurry the day before Valentine's:

"He is a raccoon that wears a black t shirt & an unbuttoned flannel shirt over it (preferably black & blue or black & red). He also wears a beanie with a trans pride pin & bi pride pin. For pants, he wears cargo shorts

"He skateboards & plays electric guitar.

"I hope this is descriptive enough. If not, please let me know"

I'll reiterate part of my reply here: You may as well have asked the right guy—but you might have to wait a couple more weeks or three. (That's part of what this wiki's "Tutorial" namespace is for, and I'll upload step-by-step frames while working on it.)

The long wait is due to a lot of comeback mapwork—and babysitting duties partially offline—recently taking up a lot of my time among other things. (Please bear with me on this one.) I'll remind you when I'm ready!

And speaking of anthros—and childhood—ever wondered how perennial Nicktoon Rugrats would turn out in all-animal form? (Piece in question, "Dumb Baby!" [26/9/2019], by FA's "tato" [for IB's "tugscarebear ]".)

And speaking of my own OCs, presenting the return of Cheer Bun—thanks to Mexican newcomer "luvo_pop". If you want an encore performance from her cousin, tune in next season; this request was part of her commission practice, so you'll have to wait. (Relaying to IB and FA this weekend—and after that, we're graduating to PostyBirb.)

By "luvo_pop", 16/2/2023; CC0/Kopimi
By "luvo_pop", 16/2/2023; CC0/Kopimi

And now, four recent highlights from Wikimedia Commons, compelete with commentary by yours truly.

From the latest headlines...

There's a reason the President and Prime Minister of Rogatia have officially relegated him to their ongoing "no-invite" list at all costs—to the point where only the country's Consolidated Libraries are willing to make his latest book (The Courage to Be Free) exclusive to their reading rooms.
Is it any wonder the Bulwark has all but become apolitical compared to its nearby West Indian brethren?

Too bad hours of Rogatia-related research + a good deal of got to my sleep patterns yesterday—enough for the younger sister to take $5.00 off this week's paycheck. (For reference, I receive $20 in standard babysitting remittances.) Still, I have enough elsewhere to make up for it—as we mull over a 64 GB replacement Galaxy Tab A for northern spring. (Because 1) what I now have, a 16 GB model since summer 2018, is getting inadequate capacity-wise; and 2) if fate and ticket money permit, we're heading back to the Nature Island as a family in the next few months to meet my grandmother.)

  • Which reminds me: In a few days, we'll finally do something about the Google+ Takeout archive that has long sat in my device storage since April 2019—all 500+ MB of it. (En route to our first several excerpts from the #WhatLiesAground years, any week from now.) Too bad Android Chrome didn't have a download-destination option for SDs until some time afterward; that would have saved me (and that device) some pain, space, and hassle.

I was planning to add some daring-do involving Miraheze stats/personnel/local-namespace maintenance in a future printing (through traditional editing)—but decided to hold it off until next edition instead.

Since we're already packed to the brim with topics (as much as my Edge install was with tabs while preparing this during the transition to Wednesday overnight, and again during this Thursday evening's rush to beat midnight UTC), the substantials end until next time with this "404 Files" episode.

  • Hardly anyone remembers the term knol these days—not even parent firm Google. Knol, defined by its team as "a unit of knowledge", was also a 2007-2012 portal launched as Google's answer to Wikipedia. When it came to attribution, articles were credited on-page to the contributors; wiki sites still do without the likes of those to this day.
One would never believe Knol even allowed users to embed New Yorker cartoons! (Back in 2008, ReadWrite hinted this was a test for future content-licensing partnerships, which apparently never progressed any further.) Perhaps because of that deal with the venerable Big Apple magazine institution, this was the site where co-founder Udi Manber promised to outdo WP re: Peter Arno. Nonetheless, Udi's article never surfaced (despite claims it was already finished).
Still, like many Mountain View ventures outside search and Gmail, Knol was relegated to the Google Graveyard with not much fanfare—but not before a WordPress-based substitute, Annotum, took its place. Annotum ran out of steam by late 2016, but their official site and GitHub remain as a de facto archive.

Nothing signifies FTA quite like the Shimajiro recap (and a couple more tweets on the side); to start things off, screencaps from the latest episode at this writing. (With Amelia the Wheelchair Lion in her next guest appearance.) Reminds me I'll have to get our first Paradise queue of the year going—only after we complete the next phase of the Bulwark. (That, and breaking the Gamut from a weeks-long, mapping-induced lull—complete with companion template for marathon picks.)

Another monochrome manga, featuring the classic tiger and bunny...

...along with the tiger and kitty in winter.

If you've come across puffy fan art of Flappy (a.k.a. Torippi) across Pixiv and Inkbunny since late September...

...then you know whom to thank/blame. (Father and son are listed in that order below.)[4]

Also from this Canadian arist, a tribute to a Nikki look-alike (from an unrelated South Korean show, Miniforce)...

and a guest turn with Korasho the bag bunny (also from Benesse).[4]

Speaking of Kodomo Challenge contemporaries, how did this portrait of "Wilson the Word Wolf"[5] from last season completely pass by my radar?[4]

To cap it off this Throwback Thursday,[6] a sampler of Challenge Island nostalgia. #1, the classic and Hesoka puppets; #2, the Hesoka gang as raindrops; #3, the WOW! team as balloons; #4, you-know-whom on a tie-in bag for restaurant chain Royal Host; and #5, on a classic-era album...

...and last but not least, Shima-kun was here.

As an added bonus: "Welcome to another exciting edition of Furry Confusion—with your host, Shimajiro!" (No points for guessing which of these six species behind the tiger mascot is the Shimanos' ancestor.)

In other news from the Bulwark: The Heroland/Perlimps double feature is finally happening on April 21 (just in time for the Rogation Holiday) through WildBrain—and Sony. You heard right: Sony, who holds some of the foreign rights to the latter (Brazilian animation artisan Alê Abreu's sophomore feature), is handling Caribbean co-distribution on the drive-in circuit, home media/streaming (by late 2023), and television (sometime in early 2025). Until then, here's part one of the Shimajiro adventure's English dub—and the subtitled preview of its feature-length companion (from Abreu's own account).

Not only that: Said double feature will be preceded by episode one of Nippon Animation's latest series, Ao no Orchestra (also subbed),[7] through the long-term deal with that outfit WildBrain (and by proxy, its Watashi division) inherited from Skouras. Ao premieres on the Troadal service this September, and on now-cable-only Shogun in February 2024. (Making a post-haste exception to the "official uploads only" rule with this unsubbed preview from a fan account until such time as we receive a replacement from NHK.)

As we wrap things up: This month's officially sanctioned cover for the Australian version of a now-digital-only fashion magazine (as seen on r/bluey lately; after 1937's "Sunbaker" by Max Dupain). Helps that it's actually summer in the Southern Hemisphere.

1937 original by Max Dupain; PD-AU

Not to mention two fan-art bonuses from r/furry (by "yurisek008" and "Reaperuu".)

And that wraps it up right here, folks; be there soon as I take care of the agenda and the maps, see about my side of an art trade, and try to get my PayPal credentials going—if only to cut as many ties with them as I can per my superior's insistence. Until next we meet, take care, stay safe/connected, keep exploring, tapal, see you in the bestsellers, we'll meet you back home...and watch your tails.

P.S. I'm finally getting my shots soon—a year late. See you after my mandatory rest.

Remembering Elizabeth II, Christine McVie, Kirstie Alley, Pele, Barbara Walters, Raquel Welch, and former Pope Benedict XVI; in solidarity with those affected by Ian and Nicole.

Until our next ten years...

Routhwick (talk)


Characters (c) Benesse Corporation/Shimajiro; English version licensed by WildBrain.

(c) 1976, 2023 Sanrio Co. Ltd.

Miniforce (c) SAMG Entertainment.

Ao no Orchestra (c) Makoto Akui/Shogakukan/NHK/NEP/Nippon Animation.

Bluey (c) Ludo Studio. Distributed by BBC Studios.

InStyle wordmark TM Dotdash Meredith (under license to True North Media).


  1. ^ The approximate resolution of the DEM, at least along longitude lines; varies widely by latitude.
  2. ^ At least in raster (PNG) form; testing out on the original vector went nowhere when I gave it a go nearly 1½ hours after original press time.
  3. ^ Both of our "$Cashtags" are the same as our RDT usernames.
  4. ^ a b c Via Buhitter.
  5. ^ Unofficial name suggested by this contributor.
  6. ^ I initially typed this edition until 3:18 a.m. on the 15th en route to a planned Wednesday-overnight launch, but decided to hold it back by a day to make the reference more timely.
  7. ^ Ao is Japanese for both "blue" and "green".
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Tags: Page FormsValentine's DayCartographyGeofictionRogatiaDirectorate of Overseas SurveysSaint VincentTovasalaUnspooledRaccoonsRedditFurry artRabbitsCheerleadingRugratsHardy BoysEarthquakesTurkeySyriaFloridaRon DeSantisAustin PowersBurt BacharachMinesweeperBabysittingTechnologyGoogleKnolShimajiroPerlimpsNippon AnimationBluey