nyarlathotep: (Default)
[personal profile] nyarlathotep

Item appears to be bronzed coconut tempurung half, measuring 8 centimeters in diameter. I say “appears”, because the item seems to be made completely out of bronze, but with the thickness of a real coconut shell. No other decoration or design anywhere else, apart from what you normally expect from a real coconut shell.

UPDATE: Microscopic analysis results have come back: turns out that the coconut shell resembles a coconut shell, even down to the microscopic level — we’re seeing remnants of cell wall formation on at least part of the coconut shell, which either means that the bronzing process goes down to the cellular level, or there’s a species of bronze-based life form out there. Alloy composition is around 88% copper and just under 12% tin, with less than %1 being a material that should be tin, but doesn’t seem to give the same kind of spectral readings.

An interesting effect occurs when you place the coconut shell, rim-side down on any flat surface — within 20 seconds, the sound of a frog croaking can be heard. Our resident creepy-crawly nerd identifies the call as belonging to a Polypedates leucomystax, or a Malaysian common tree frog.

Removing the coconut shell reveals… well, nothing. No frog. Frog calls immediately terminate upon removal of shell from the flat surface. Even tipping the shell to take a peek reveals no frog, and terminates the sounds.

UPDATE: We’ve finally managed to take a good luck at the frog itself by the simple expedient of placing the shell on a glass table. Well, it’s a common tree frog, all right.

That’s it. Well, that was exciting.

nyarlathotep: (Default)
[personal profile] nyarlathotep
The prompts )

[Full OOC]: What to do to participate:

So we've got a list of stuff here, generated by me, [personal profile] jhameia and [personal profile] frangipani. Now, the rules are simple:

  1. Prompts to be picked up by members only. If you're interested in contributing, please apply for membership, and the usual membership process applies.
  2. Pick an unclaimed item that you find interesting.
  3. State that your preference in the comments. You can either do it full-OOC (I want to claim this item!) or lazily-IC (Ha ha, I laugh at your misfortune, you wouldn't catch me researching item #!). I will either cheerfully (fully-OOC) or angrily (lazily-IC) assign you the task of researching that item. Either way, you get a slot, which will be updated on the original list. First come, first serve; if you don't get it, you're next in line in case the person who beat you couldn't finish the deadline.
  4. Once you do that, you have a week from your assignment to complete your post; the usual minimum-word restriction applies, and the processes are the same.
    • Please don't over-extend yourself in in the number of items you select to write about. You'll only frustrate yourself and disappoint others.
  5. If you can't finish it by the end of the deadline, we'll release the entry and the person next in line can take the entry, or someone else can claim it.
    • Same goes if you say that you cannot finish it before the deadline. We'd prefer it if you could tell us as soon as you you cannot, please. We'd prefer earlier notifications, and people in line waiting for that cool item to write up can step up to the bat.
    • For items with a queue behind it, we'll ask the next person in line if they want it. If they don't, we ask the next person, and so on until we reach the end of the line. If no one takes it the item goes back to being open.
    • People taking up entries from other people: please let us know if you need an extension. If you do, you'll get a week from our confirmation to finish up, and that's it.
  6. Once you're done, post your entry link to the thread where you were assigned. We'll update the post to reflect your contribution.

I'll let this sit until the weekend before picking which prompts to take, so go wild! :D

jolantru: (steampunk)
[personal profile] jolantru
The two wing bones are found in Storage, almost tucked away in a corner. Ivory-yellow, in surprisingly immaculate condition. Treated with a sort of varnish, to keep items from breaking down. The bones are specifically Quetzalcoatlus northropi.

Length: 10m
Weight: 7-8kg.
Width: 7cm (?)
Origin: unknown (?)

The wingspan of this creature must be massive, enough to support a rider, though my esteemed colleagues would deem this theory ridiculous. I can't imagine how big the creature is. One of those winged contraptions the Wright clan is designing? Or the gliders in the Spring-Autumn period? The possibilities.

PS: How fares the research for the silver broach?
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
Item is a figurine with a porcelain surface, and extremely delicate clockwork pieces inside. These pieces, however, are variously made of wood and metal, instead of the expected all metal inside. The woods are cured, well-preserved hardwood (impossible to tell what species), and the metals are variously brass, iron and bronze. It is uncertain why the inventor chose such a diverse range of metals for a single piece.

This item was found in an ivory box, lined with sheepskin, likely to cushion the figurine. On the cover are Chinese characters, and it took a while to translate these - pinyin transliteration is: "Tok Tok Rén"*

Box: Width: 20cm; Length: 30cm; Depth: 10cm
Figurine: Length: 25cm; Width: 10cm; Breadth: 5cm

The figurine appears to have had a face, but the paint has faded. The porcelain also appears to be stained; with what, we're not sure. There is a little notch on the back, presumably for a windup key. As yet, we are unsure of the function of this piece.

* Perhaps this is an onomatopeia, in reference to the kind of sound it makes when active. I would appreciate it if my Chinese colleagues could verify this for me. If there's tok tok meen, then surely there can be tok tok men. Of course, tok tok meen is colloquial Malaysian-Hokkien, isn't it? Are there equivalents in the Chinese provinces? If the former, then perhaps this piece is Malayan in origin. I confess my lack of knowledge of the Middle Kingdom fails me here.
frangipani: old map of Southeast Asia (Nusantara)
[personal profile] frangipani
Object is a shallow bowl with a heavy bottom, made of pewter. Embossed stylised leaves in the familiar awan larut motif are worked into the bottom of the bowl, circling two small quartz cabochons set at the centre. The surface shows some oxidisation and a substantial amount of scratches and acid damage.

Weight: 517g
Diameter: 18cm
Height: 5cm
Origin: Unknown, possibly the northern east coast of Peninsular Malaysia

Close examination of the object reveals a minute seam along the rim of the bowl and two pan-headed bolts screwed into the base of the bowl. Digital radiography tests discovered a compact, circular clockwork-like mechanism under the bottom of the bowl, sandwiched in a hollow space between the two layers of pewter.

The function of the bowl was discovered by accident six months before the date of entry of this abstract. Liquid poured into the bowl activates the machinery, culminating in the arrival of all Felis silvestris catus (also known as housecats) within a 1km radius.

The exact workings of the bowl are as yet unknown.
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