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Thread: what are the "curious instruments"?

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    Default what are the "curious instruments"?

    On p.18. "In the middle of all the faded papers and curious instruments lay the "Book of Dark Spells".

    The previous paragraph only mentions "the faded manuscripts and vellum scrolls" with the Hest symbols on them, and then only "the old ink quills, pots, and magnifying glasses that the Malic Hest had used to try to interpret and change the "Book of Light Spells"...

    "Curious instruments" to me implies something else used by the Hest, besides the strange symbols, that Dar hasn't figured out a use for. Maybe these have something to do with the "decoder wheels" we're looking for?

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    Spriggan,

    That sounded odd to me too. I think there are more clues in the story here than last time as I have found many odd things. The other thing that sounded odd to me was the mention that his legs felt like Table legs. Who's legs feel like Table legs ? Then the whole other chapters on the Vege- Tables . Sounds like we need a Table of some kind .

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    Very interesting, the "stubby legs as if they were table legs" (p.16). Longitude/latitude? Those would be two legs, and there are tables that list them for locations worldwide. That made me want to look at Dar's legs. Remember how some commented in ATT that Rusful's long feet on stubby skinny legs were shaped like two L's for longitude and latitude? Well this could be a stretch but Dar also has the same skinny legs on long feet and they also look a little like L's to me. Also do you think that the shoelace on the left shoe is shaped like a compass/divider? It's similar to the pointy shape in the motif above the compass rose and other pages of the BOS.

    A table is also pictured on p.41 with a compass/divider on it and other tools. I looked for the word "table" in that chapter, but that word is left out, though it keeps mentioning the workbench.

    Also Dar's socks have 12 stripes on the left, 12 on the right. That makes me think of "timetable".

    Don't know if/how this will apply, but it was pointed out by rfshackleford that the compass in the BOS is a surveyor's compass (you've probably seen the discussions about surveying on the Compass page BOS and p.41). Surveyors use longitude/latitude. Also, sailors consulted longitude/latitude tables in celestial navigation. I really don't know how they did it, but I've read that they got their long./lat. bearings using a sextant, along with a compass and a chronometer. Didn't surveyors use something similar? Maybe these three things have something to do with the "curious instruments"?

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    Spriggan,

    I see the shoelace now . I agree . The piture you are talking about where zac is in the workshop , Notice how the whole story seems to be about Vege- TABLES. Alot of table talk here . Now look at the window where there's a T in the middle of it . Now go back to pg. 39. The first paragraph ... Zac was making a TEA ( T ) box . And it was midday 12:00
    North? Now look at the window again looks like a compass. The plumbbob is pointing at what on the Compass? Also Stew = west. That's all I have on this . The one thing I also think sounds strange is pg. 40 last Paragraph where Ana is watching Zac make a box. I can't grasp the meaning yet except maybe it's telling us somehow or just a little how the box should be . Carol

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    Thanks for the thought-provoking observations--I'll look at that.

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    Spiggan I caught that also. In that same sentence the various papers are referred to as just that "faded papers" However, in the previous paragraph it says the table is covered in faded manuscripts

    Why so many incongruities in this part of the story, perhaps they are a clue on how to use some portion of this text??

    I am thinking a very simple interchanging code, but what to interchange and why??

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    The caterpillar also says De Lec TABLE...

    And a table with two "legs"--maybe an X/Y graph? All tables, (i.e. spreadsheet types) have two 'legs'--the columns and rows.

    And remeber, a "times table" can also be a TIMETABLE--a set of times that trains, planes or others arrive and depart, or a plan for doing things in order...
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    Quote Originally Posted by spiggan
    Don't know if/how this will apply, but it was pointed out by rfshackleford that the compass in the BOS is a surveyor's compass (you've probably seen the discussions about surveying on the Compass page BOS and p.41).  Surveyors use longitude/latitude.  Also, sailors consulted longitude/latitude tables in celestial navigation.  I really don't know how they did it, but I've read that they got their long./lat. bearings using a sextant, along with a compass and a chronometer.  Didn't surveyors use something similar?  Maybe these three things have something to do with the "curious instruments"?
    Celestial navigation was accomplished in several ways. Sextants are used to this day--but until the sextant was invented, there had to be ways that people who could not read navigated by celestial objects.

    One of these ways was the sidereal compass--a 32-point wheel like the one pictured in the BOS. "specialis knowlege" is not "requyrt" for this: only a recognition of the stars that rise and set on the horizon. The ancient Polynesian navigators used the sidereal compass to sail from island to island in the Pacific--using no compass, sextant or any other instrument.

    Here's how it worked: 16 stars were noticed as rising or setting at the same place (roughly) every night. These 16 stars were memorized, and the sailor mentally placed them around a circle, starting with Polaris in the North, running clockwise and ending with Crux in the South. (Both Polaris and Crux are close enough to the poles.) This fills half the compass points. A mirror image of the stars were placed on the other half of the compass, and the sailor, then, only had to memorize 16 stars and their positions--each star then has a "reciprocal" star (directly across from it), which is not a new star, but one of the 16 he's already memorized.

    To navigate, the sailor would find a star, and point his craft toward it, with the reciprocal star to his back--keeping these in line would ensure the direction was not deviated from. And without having any written language, one could navigate anywhere using this method. Find the star for, say, the NNE point--put it in front of you, reciprocal star to your back, and you'll sail in the NNE direction until you want to change.

    Google for this--it's actually quite interesting.

    It might lead you to something even more interesting.

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