Horses in middle earth

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Post by Eldorion on Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:33 am

Yeah, phonetically skuggfaks sounds pretty dumb to English speakers.  No sense of majesty or power or ancientness or anything else that would be associated with the "lord of horses".  Not that the word Shadowfax would automatically bring those things to mind, but it doesn't have any opposite connotations.
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Post by Norc on Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:39 am

lool .. well, i think it's the reason that we know what "skugg" means and can pronounce it right. and the x looks ridiculous in norwegian words Shrugging i wonder what he's called in the nynorsk-one scratch
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Post by Norc on Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:40 am

Orwell wrote:
Amarië wrote:Skuggfaks is a lovely name, why do you assume a Norwegian word should have a English pronunciation? It's not "Skagg".
Skuggfaks. Skagg. Shagrat. Noweigan. Norc. Norcish. Orcish. My gawwwwwd! Shocked
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Post by Eldorion on Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:11 am

Norc wrote:lool .. well, i think it's the reason that we know what "skugg" means and can pronounce it right. and the x looks ridiculous in norwegian words Shrugging i wonder what he's called in the nynorsk-one scratch
I know next to nothing about Norwegian, so I'll take your guys' word that skuggfaks is a sensible translation of the name and fits the Norwegian language well. Nod
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Post by azriel on Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:42 am

I heard the pronunciation on Google Translate, but as Norc, I think ? said GT doesnt always get it right ? I personally like the word shadowfax. But, its what your used to in your own language ! Smile 

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Post by Amarië on Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:07 am

Eldorion wrote:Yeah, phonetically skuggfaks sounds pretty dumb to English speakers.  No sense of majesty or power or ancientness or anything else that would be associated with the "lord of horses".  Not that the word Shadowfax would automatically bring those things to mind, but it doesn't have any opposite connotations.
Yeah, Eldorion, we wouldn't want to confuse the English readers would we? Rolling Eyes 

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Post by Eldorion on Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:09 am

Neigh.
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Post by Amarië on Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:15 am

I love you! I laughed far to loud at that. Razz 

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Post by Eldorion on Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:18 am

I was rather pleased with myself for that one. Very Happy
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Post by chris63 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:42 pm

Horses in middle earth - Page 4 Tumblr_mjt03se7NR1s3oe2qo1_500


Last edited by chris63 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:44 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by halfwise on Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:25 pm

David H wrote:
halfwise wrote:
That would only work if you have a monotonic population growth, whereas the abstract says the population size fluctuated several times.  Yeah, worth digging up that paper if only to figure out how they got that.
The title of the article, Recalibrating Equus evolution using the genome sequence of an early Middle Pleistocene horse, seems to imply that there's  an existing evolutionary model that's being recalibrated, as opposed to creating a new model from the 9 individuals listed,  so presumably there's a pile of genetic and paleontological data we're not aware of.  I wish we could download that Nature article without paying and see what's really going on.....bounce 
Okay Dave, I went to the university where I can download this stuff for free.  I downloaded it, and came home.  Then I found it only refers to another article.  But let me quote:

Nature wrote: we reconstructed horse population demography over the last 2 Myr. The pairwise sequential Markovian coalescent (PSMC) approach (21) shows that horses experienced a population minimum approximately 125 kyr bp, corresponding to the last interglacial when environmental conditions were similar to now throughout their range. The population expanded during the cold stages of marine isotope stage (MIS) 4 and 3 as grasslands expanded. A peak was reached 25–50 kyr bp and was followed by an approximately 100-fold collapse, probably resulting from major climatic changes and related grassland contraction after the Last Glacial Maximum(22) (Fig. 4 and Supplementary Figs 9.4–9.5). A similar demographic history was inferred from Bayesian skyline reconstructions using 23 newly characterized ancient mitochondrial genomes (Supplementary Fig. 9.6). These results support suggestions (22) that climatic changes are major demographic drivers for horse populations. PSMC analyses also revealed two earlier demographic phases (Fig. 4b and Supplementary Figs 9.4–9.5), with population sizes peaking 190–260 kyr bp and 1.2–1.6 Myr bp, respectively, followed by 1.7-fold and 8.1-fold collapses. Extremely low population sizes were inferred approximately 500–800 kyr bp, a time period that covers the divergence time of the Thistle Creek and contemporary horse populations. This result may relate to population fragmentation when horses colonized Eurasia from America, in agreement with the earliest presence of horses in Eurasia 750 kyr bp4.
So we need to go at least to reference 21.  But since I had already come home I couldn't look up reference 21. Banghead   In case you make it to the library before I do (dubious, I live 2 blocks away) here's the reference:

Li, H. & Durbin, R. Inference of human population history from individual whole-genome sequences. Nature 475, 493–496 (2011)

No doubt it will reference yet another article and we'll end up earning an extra degree before we figure this out.

Unless you just happen to know off the top of your head what the Pairwise Sequential Markovian Coalescent technique might be?  Maybe you are familiar with Bayesian skyline reconstructions? bounce

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Post by David H on Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:06 am

I know (or used to know) Bayes' Theorem and Markov chains, which both make sense in this context. I'll have to google the rest, maybe later tonight.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:38 am

You see now Azriel what you have done by casually mentioning horse colours in Forumshire? Evil or Very Mad I hope youve at least learned your lesson!

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Post by azriel on Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:59 pm

Eh ? what ? What did I say ?... do ?....mention ? Oh yes, now I remember ! God, its been so long ago ! I said about the Rohirrim horses, I dont think I mentioned shadowfax ? sadly but also mildly amusing, Im one of those ejits that never learn their lesson ! I just fook up time & time again ! Very Happy 

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Post by halfwise on Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:38 pm

chris63 wrote:Horses in middle earth - Page 4 Tumblr_mjt03se7NR1s3oe2qo1_500
How'd I miss this?! I want one!!! I want THAT one!

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Post by Eldorion on Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:54 pm

I wish I could groove half as hard as that horse (pony?). Thumbs Up
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Post by David H on Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:36 am

halfwise wrote:

Nature wrote: we reconstructed horse population demography over the last 2 Myr. The pairwise sequential Markovian coalescent (PSMC) approach (21) shows that horses experienced a population minimum approximately 125 kyr bp, corresponding to the last interglacial when environmental conditions were similar to now throughout their range. The population expanded during the cold stages of marine isotope stage (MIS) 4 and 3 as grasslands expanded. A peak was reached 25–50 kyr bp and was followed by an approximately 100-fold collapse, probably resulting from major climatic changes and related grassland contraction after the Last Glacial Maximum(22) (Fig. 4 and Supplementary Figs 9.4–9.5). A similar demographic history was inferred from Bayesian skyline reconstructions using 23 newly characterized ancient mitochondrial genomes (Supplementary Fig. 9.6). These results support suggestions (22) that climatic changes are major demographic drivers for horse populations. PSMC analyses also revealed two earlier demographic phases (Fig. 4b and Supplementary Figs 9.4–9.5), with population sizes peaking 190–260 kyr bp and 1.2–1.6 Myr bp, respectively, followed by 1.7-fold and 8.1-fold collapses. Extremely low population sizes were inferred approximately 500–800 kyr bp, a time period that covers the divergence time of the Thistle Creek and contemporary horse populations. This result may relate to population fragmentation when horses colonized Eurasia from America, in agreement with the earliest presence of horses in Eurasia 750 kyr bp4.
So we need to go at least to reference 21.  But since I had already come home I couldn't look up reference 21. Banghead   In case you make it to the library before I do (dubious, I live 2 blocks away) here's the reference:

Li, H. & Durbin, R. Inference of human population history from individual whole-genome sequences. Nature 475, 493–496 (2011)

No doubt it will reference yet another article and we'll end up earning an extra degree before we figure this out.

Unless you just happen to know off the top of your head what the Pairwise Sequential Markovian Coalescent technique might be?  Maybe you are familiar with Bayesian skyline reconstructions? bounce
I found the Li/Durbin article online. It's pretty cool, though I'd need to talk to a geneticist to really follow it.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3154645/

Here's a bit:
In this paper we have introduced a novel method to infer the history of effective population size from genome wide diploid sequence data. It is relatively straightforward to apply, with less potential ascertainment bias in comparison to existing methods that use selective genotyping data or the resequencing data from a few loci. Furthermore, our method is computationally tractable and typically uses much more primary sequence data than the existing methods, which allows us to estimate population size at each time going back in history, rather than assume a parametric structure of times, divergences and size changes. The results described above concerning the timing and depth of the out-of-Africa bottleneck are broadly consistent with previous studies though our results are more detailed
It seems that by using the full diploid genome and allowing for rates of divergence,  they were able to generate something equivalent to tree rings from a single individual that indicated a sequence of population stress points. They then scaled this chronology to the timelines of existing geological and archaeological models, just like you'd do with tree rings.  [My words, not theirs. So please take it with a grain of salt...] (No Norc! Not like THAT!!! Mad )
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Post by halfwise on Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:44 am

Cool, you found a unrestricted access version. Can't see it from what you said, let me try reading it, which may be difficult since I've been working on finishing off a half bottle of wine so it won't be wasted when I take off for the long weekend tomorrow.

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Post by halfwise on Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:04 am

Crap. It is as I feared: they refer to yet another paper. If I could follow the lingo in figure 1a I might be able to figure it out, but I seem to be in the same situation you are in.

But my twin brother is a chemical engineer working in biochemistry, and my sister seems to have some relationship to this. I'll run it by them.

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Post by Ringdrotten on Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:43 pm

I may be flogging a dead horse here (hurr hurr Hurr durr ), but I'm nearing the end of ROTK (again) and remembering this discussion I thought I'd revive it when I read this in the chapter "Homeward Bound": After the hobbits and Gandalf have ridden into Bree, the following description of Shadowfax and Gandalf is given (I skimmed through this thread quickly to see if this description was already mentioned, but I couldn't find it. My apologies if I missed it!):

"And Gandalf, too, was now riding on his tall grey horse, all clad in white with a great mantle of blue and silver over all, and the long sword Glamdring at his side."


So Shadowfax is white/silver during daytime and grey when it's dark? Smile



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Post by halfwise on Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:03 pm

Sofa 

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Post by Eldorion on Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:19 pm

What have you done
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Post by Mrs Figg on Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:47 pm

Sofa  help!

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Post by Elthir on Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:37 pm

Ringdrotten wrote: So Shadowfax is white/silver during daytime and grey when it's dark? Smile
Why when it's dark? Tolkien explained the name Shadowfax [sc = sh]: Sceadu-faex 'having shadow-grey mane (and coat)'.

But thanks for asking, as I didn't get any presents on my birthday Very Happy 
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Post by Ringdrotten on Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:28 pm

No problem Very Happy Case closed then (again) Laughing

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