(no subject)

Well, I'm not dead.

I am in college, which is kind of the same thing. The program I'm taking was described as 'intensive' and that was a promise, not a threat. I'm pretty sure I will be crying over school at least once this semester, but I really, really want to finish what's supposed to be a one-year program in one year. I also do not currently have access to a scanner. The upshot is that I will have very little time for comics in the foreseeable future and couldn't scan them if I did.

I'm very sorry about all this and will notify you as soon as the situation changes, I promise.

Xenoanthropology Notes - 2013/08/08


Humans are an odd and interesting species. They are remarkably unspecialized, and stand outside the predator/prey dichotomy that drives so much of evolution. This unusual situation has given them a unique set of senses and skills. Human vision and hearing are mediocre, and their sense of smell may as well be nonexistant by most standards, but the other senses are extremely well-developed. Taste in particular: humans consider food an art form, and the care and effort they put into preparing complicated meals is astonishing. The sense of touch is hardly less remarkable. Humans have invented a textural alphabet, which they are able to read by running their fingers over it. Only one other known sapient can do this - the Thesh, who evolved on the night side of their planet and have only vestigial eyes.

Humans are best known, however, for their hands and their voices. The five-fingered human hand looks cumbersome and complicated, but is actually one of the most dextrous manipulating limbs of any Fruhling-group sapient. Only the facial tendrils of Mnerkal are really a match for the human hand in fine motor control. There is no other species who could have invented such a variety of musical instruments, or come up with origami - a uniquely human art form that involves making small figures of animals or people by means of careful creases in sheets of paper. The human vocal apparatus, too, has a huge range. Very few sapients speak a language humans cannot learn to imitate, and the phonologies of humans' own languages vary enormously.

When discussing the physical capabilities of humans, there is one final detail that will almost always be mentioned: humans have the surprising ability to eat a deadly toxin. Theobromine (C7H8N4O2) is a substance convergently evolved by plants on many Fruhling-group worlds as a defense mechanism: ingested it causes vomiting, diarrhea, and eventually death from internal hemorrhage. Yashuei can be fatally poisoned by a very small amount; Sierks stand a better chance of surviving a similar dose, but do become violently, miserably ill. Humans, however, consume theobromine in shocking quantities, on purpose, and claim they enjoy the taste.