Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Airy Monday, October 12

A biographer captures the tale of D&D creator Gay Gygax's life. A mythology-themed strategy game gets a new, Asian-themed expansion. And one writer considers the difference between blackface and cosplay. It's Airy Monday, our weekly take on magic and religion in pop culture. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Few things have had as big of an impact on popular culture as Dungeons & Dragons, the tabletop roleplaying game that debuted in 1974. And Gary Gygax was one of the key minds behind its success. Sci-fi and fantasy website io9 shares an excerpt from a new biography of Gygax's life, detailing in part the breakdown of his partnership with Dave Arneson.

Age of Mythology may not be as well-known as its sibling series Age of Empires, but that doesn't mean it's been entirely left in the dust. A new expansion, Tale of the Dragon, will debut soon, adding the gods of China to the mythology-themed RTS. Kotaku has more details.

Those watching Marvel's media empire may have noticed a new name recently: "Inhumans," the Marvel universe's ancient race of alien-enhanced humans from the ancient past. Those paying attention may also have noticed the way Inhumans are being billed as a replacement for Marvel's "mutants" (aka the X-Men) as a metaphor for the oppressed. But do the Inhumans really fit the bill? Andrew Wheeler argues they do not.

Everyone needs a pick-me up now and then, even Sailor Jupiter. The new (English) voice actress for Sailor Jupiter shares her birthday wish to help those suffering from depression, detailing her past struggles with the disease and a past suicide attempt. The Mary Sue has more details, along with information on a suicide hotline.

Is dressing as a black character if you're white blackface? If not, what's the difference? Writer Matthew Lewis offers his thoughts on the subject and what determines whether or not a race-crossing costume is offensive or not.

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.

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