Princess Pricklepants, Astrophysicist


Dear reader,

We have happy news!  We wrote a children’s book which we weren’t enthralled with so we set it aside and wrote a couple more children’s books until we found a story we really liked.  We’re in the (long, not very easy) process of illustrating it now.

This little story was mostly just created to force ourself to practice at illustrating (still working at it).  Hence there are no photos, though there are still many pictures with words under them.

The book itself will be a long slow slog since we’re going to be submitting to publishers and all that business.  If anyone has any helpful advice on that front, we’d be delighted to hear it.

And now we begin with our first nicely illustrated picture with words under it.

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Princess Pricklepants was sitting at the table with a nice cup of tea on a quiet day, thinking about things, which was her favorite thing to do.  After a bit of reflection she was overcome with an unusually strong feeling that she should do something good for the world, something big. Really big.

She ran into Sam, a trusted old friend who’d always been there, and had been in many adventures, despite what some pedantic nerds might say about it. “Hi Sam, I’m working on something big!”

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After fourteen seconds, Sam the sloth had finished asking, “aren’t you already big enough?”

Her Highness made a note to schedule another manners lesson with Sam.

“We need to have a talk about manners.  Soon.  But not yet, as I’m working on something big.”

After a long silence that implied quiet agreement, Her Highness wandered off to the study.

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Approximately ten seconds after she had left, Sam had finally finished saying, “no, but I didn’t mean you were big like that.” Alas, he saw Her Highness was already gone.  Sam hoped that was the end of the excitement for the day and decided it was time to slow things down a bit.

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Her Highness decided to develop a theory of astrophysics that explained dark matter more satisfactorily than current models. That seemed big in every sense.

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As she worked, it felt like she was in some kind of wonderful montage with a cool, kind of edgy pop soundtrack driving her quickly towards a discovery that would take far too long to describe in a narrative story format.

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She developed her hypothesis:

Dark matter is actually the interstellar dispersal of lost pens and socks!

So elegant!  It explained dark matter.  It explained the mysteries of pens disappearing all the time.  It explained singleton socks.  It fit the evidence – socks and pens both had mass. This was science and this was big.

She performed an experiment to test her hypothesis.  She took a nice pen out to a patisserie where she bought some nice macarons (mmm).

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When she returned, the pen was gone.  She then looked everywhere for it and even got helpers to look.  It was nowhere to be found, thus proving it was nowhere on Earth and must have drifted off into space.  Eureka!  Science!

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She brought her paradigm shifting work to the Forest Science Council to explain, but the idea that dark matter is actually the interstellar dispersal of lost pens and socks was received surprisingly poorly.  Mr. Badger went so far as to call the idea “tosh,” which seemed rather extreme. After a disappointing meeting, she returned home to have a cup of tea and work out a better plan for sharing her amazing new scientific paradigm.

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As luck would have it, that very evening the James Webb Space Telescope was brought online, and discovered remarkably unusual and unexpected forms in dark matter which the surprised space scientists described as “like a bunch of pens and socks.”

Princess Pricklepants was delighted to hear this news!  With this evidence, her science was even more science-y!

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She returned to the Forest Science Council to present her case with this new data, knowing there would be much less risk of having her theory labeled “tosh.”

Unfortunately, despite unimpeachable empirical evidence backing her case, the theory was still not well received.  Ms. Bluejay was still concerned.  Thus far the council had only seen a few articles on Facebook, but no serious academic work, and the Forest Science Council had just issued another advisory to not trust science journalism posted in exuberant articles on social media until one had reviewed the original research.

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Her Highness briefly considered renting a skywriter to send the message “Dark Matter: Really Lost Pens And Socks!” but deemed it impolite to write on the sky.  Also, skywriting wasn’t exactly scientific…  Still, it was fun to imagine.

She realized that she would have to write a paper including the notes and research from the James Webb Space Telescope space scientist people along with her own significant parts.

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Happily, once the Forest Council reviewed the work, they agreed that her work in the sciences was indeed valuable and significant, and the paper was published in their newsletter.

While it felt strange to have a story wrap up with so few twists, fairly minor conflicts, and personal stakes that really weren’t very high, she was pleased enough with the illustrations, and was honestly pretty relieved to know what had happened to all those socks and pens.

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“Sam, in my heart I’ve missed spending time on art history, manners, and related things, even if they aren’t big.  I suppose being small is still fine.”

“Silly Princess, your work on art and manners and that other stuff amuses, delights, and brings a bit of wonder to the world.  That’s no small thing.”

“Well thank you, Sam,” said Princess Pricklepants politely.

The End

 

 

 

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Princess Pricklepants and the Never Ending Story of Hedgehog Art Through the Ages


(previously)

Dear everyone,

We regret we’ve been remiss in reporting our wonderful journey into the world of hedgehog art history.  The good news is we’re working on a children’s book that should be something delightful and quirky assuming everything works out well.

We’ve discovered quite a number of works since the book was published.  In case you’ve forgotten to buy the book, you can find it here.  Well worth buying.  And if you already have a copy, you’ll find a second copy incredibly useful as you can read it in stereo.

While the book covered the period from the Renaissance forward, here we present works from the prehistoric to the Modern era.  We’re so excited to share these, we’ll skip a wordy introduction and present our first picture with words under it.

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We begin with a truly thrilling discovery. Further archaeological research of the El Castillo cave paintings discovered in Cantabria, Spain, has discovered this, the earliest hedgehog art yet discovered. The work, from c. 39,000 BCE, used stencils and ochre to create this simple but charming and historic painting.

 

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This is a doubly exciting find. First we present a recent discovery of an ancient papyrus (apparently inadvertently misplaced by E. A. Wallis Budge in a nook in the British Museum) presents a fascinating view of what scholars believe is a hedgehog goddess judging the souls of the deceased. Equally fascinating is that the transliteration of the hedgehog goddess’ name in Egyptian is ‘eid-zil-la’ – it appears that we have discovered the most ancient reference yet know in art history to Hedgezilla!

 

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Here we present a truly remarkable Assyrian bas relief of the Assyrian Hedgehog warrior goddess, Kwillamash, aiding soldiers in a siege. This piece is a detail from the North Palace at Nineveh belonging to Ashurbanipal (668-631 B.C.E.). This piece was only recently discovered in 1985, though was lost in Mosul in 2003, and is now only preserved in photos. It’s believed that Kwillamash was represented by a hedgehog due to their legendary ferocity and deadly quills.

 

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This Greek red figure vase from the early 5th c. presents many mysteries to the hedgehog art historian. It’s possible that the figures depict the tale of Aleterix answering the riddle of the Sphinx (in an unusual Lydian hedgehog form), or alternately this might a tale of Croesis where the figures were replaced with hedgehogs, or one of several dozen other accounts because hedgehog art historians with time on their hands can fill in blanks is all sorts of ways. Regardless, so far as as ancient hedgehog art goes, this is a wondrous masterpiece worthy of a long discussion we will spare you, dear reader, out of the kindness of our hearts.

 

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Here we present a charming Medieval manuscript depicting a hedgehog battling an owl. 15th c., from the Hatton Manuscript. This margin drawing depicts a hedgehog armed with sword and shield fighting an owl. Monks of the era must surely have known about the owl’s cruel habits and enjoyed drawing the underdog getting the upper hand.

 

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Sacred Hedgehog of Mary, Stained Glass, Cathedral of Trier (1430s). This is a very… odd work. Originally commissioned for the cathedral by Otto von Ziegenhain, Bishop of Trier. At the time due to an outbreak of lead poisoning there was a dire shortage of stained glass artists. A mysterious artisan named Egelkopf appeared and offered his assistance. While he was quite skilled in glasswork, he was quite poor at following instructions, and oddly obsessed with hedgehogs. While Bishop Ziegenhain was displeased at the results, and the piece created some controversy, it was eventually accepted. At some point later the phrase “NESCIMUS QUID SIT ERICIUS IN FENESTRA” (we don’t know why there’s a hedgehog there) was inscribed below so people would stop asking.

Egelkopf has been found listed in the mysterious manuscript from the 1500s, “Annales sermonum sublimis inter homines circa erinacei” (Annals of acts of greatness by humans to hedgehogs), a document deserving greater scholarly attention.

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Recently discovered, Da Vinci’s L’Ultima Cena Ma Con Ricci (The Last Supper, But With Hedgehogs) is difficult to explain, but clearly means something, and something big.  We’ve spent many long hours examining this work and seeking the secret meanings, and believe we’re onto something very, very big.  We’ve reached out to Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown about the many new layers of mysterious and conspiratorial meaning this adds to everything, though so far he hasn’t been very polite.

 

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One Da Vinci isn’t really enough, so here we share this, a likely second.  Vitruvian Hedgehog (c. 1490). Experts remain unsure whether the work is an original by Da Vinci, or a student’s sketch, but we think those experts are just afraid to admit the truth partially revealed in The Last Supper, But With Hedgehogs which prove this is also a Da Vinci.  Regardless of origin, or experts being picky about things, the work illustrates the perfection of proportions, and remarkable mathematical harmonies found in the hedgehog form.

Sorry to double-up on artists, this is the last time we’ll do that.

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Monet’s “Hedgehog with a Parasol” (1874). This masterpiece of hedgehog impressionism is so well known it needs no description other than simple words like “painting,” “pretty,” “awesome,” and perhaps a few other descriptive terms you can come up with yourself.

 

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Okay, this one was in the book.  But we’re throwing it out there, since it’s a Van Gogh, and we haven’t blogged about it, and it’s truly delightful to behold repeatedly. “The Starry Hedgehog Night” was a view painted from the east-facing window of his asylum room in 1888. The nurses noticed the various hedgehogs hidden in the painting and were concerned, so Vincent repainted the more well known version of the painting.

Much could be said, though it’s better to just look at it.

 

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Remember when we said we wouldn’t double up on artists?  We don’t either.  Here we present Vincent Van Gogh’s 1889 self-portrait, painted in the sanitarium at a point when he mistakenly believed he was a hedgehog.  This work presents a fascinating view of the post-impressionist hedgehog art master.

 

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Every collection of hedgehog is better if there’s an Alphonse Mucha work involved.  Here we present a print entitled, “Hungry, Hungry Hedgehog.”

 

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Finally, we present “Drawing Hedgehogs,” a lithograph by the Dutch artist M. C. Escher first printed in January 1948.  While there are copious words that could be expended on this work, we’re already well past the arbitrary 1000 word limit we set for blog posts, so we’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to come up with a proper description.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy these magnificent works as much as we do, and until next time, adieu.

Princess Pricklepants, Kaiju, Savior of Tokyo


Dear readers,

We have a secret to share. You see, all these years, we’re sure you’ve been hearing about Hedgezilla, famed savior of Tokyo and all around amazing gargantuan hedgehog.  What you did not know is that this is our secret identity. Thanks to a leak by Hedgehog World News our secret is public, so we wanted to share a few notable moments from our story.

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Long ago, when we were young, there was baby Hedgezilla, still learning to save major metropolitan areas and bring wonder and delight to concerned citizens by smashing things.

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Soon we learned valuable skills like radiation-breath that kept King Ghidorah at bay.

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Though sometimes we just had to manage things the old fashioned way.

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Super-quill powers activated, failure was not an option in our mission to protect the world from King Ghidorah.

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We also saved the world from Anguirus, a somewhat hedgehog-like kaiju.

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Mothra was very uncomfortable when we visited, since Mothra larva look very delicious.

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Eventually we became friends, though, playing radiation-breath games together.

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At times we faced our arch-nemesis Mecha-Hedgezilla with grace and aplomb and a few other fitting adjectives.

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These were notable enough that there was a movie about it you probably remember.

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In addition to Tokyo, we also protected Kyoto.

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Unfortunately our efforts to protect San Francisco went more poorly.

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Sometimes protecting Tokyo also went poorly.

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Frolicking on Monster Island was always delightful.

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And while initially we didn’t get along well with King Kong…

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Eventually we grew close, thanks to the power of good manners, grace, and politeness.

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While by day we are a mild-mannered hedgehog art historian, world explorer, pirate, and entrepreneur, by day we also sometimes transform into a world-saving super force.

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So now you know.

Princess Pricklepants and the Quilly Quest – Episode IV: A Bleak Hope


Dear Readers,

Today we bring you the fruits of our labor that we’ve spent many hours working on while also not creating blog posts.  In terms of hedgehog film criticism, this work is notable as being by far the most technically advanced of the Pricklepants film oeuvre, lovely in its synchronization with Camille Saint-Saëns’s Danse Macabre, and is quite charming as an animated musical comedy.  We bring you:

The Quilly Quest – Episode IV: A Bleak Hope

We hope you enjoy this fine and fascinating venture into hedgehog film criticism.

If you like our aesthetic and would like a delightful shirt featuring our art such as The Little Princess below, visit that Amazon link, and click ‘Urchin Wear’ to see the collection.

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Princess Pricklepants and the Recent Animated Shorts


 

 

Her Highness has been busy directing a few new films recently.

First, there’s Hedgehog Earth Defense:

This was inspired by the Hedgehog Space Agency’s noble scientific work:

Second, we present The Duel (also known as The Hedgehog’s Revenge, though that seemed a bit too stark a title).

This was inspired by this 15th century marginal hedgehog art (which was inspired by a 15th century English Eng. manuscript in the Bodleian Library improved by adding a hedgehog).hh-owl-med.jpg

Hope you enjoy!

Princess Pricklepants, Semi-Famous Blogger, Musicologist, etc.


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Hello dear reader,

We have wonderful and exciting news: We’ve been selected as one of Bel-Rea’s Top 25 Small Animal bloggers:

http://belrea.edu/blog/the-top-25-small-animal-bloggers/

The judges had very kind words for us:

In particular, I enjoy the silliness you bring to every blog post. The artwork you put your hedgies in makes me laugh every time, and I especially love the doll house the princess lives in! Many of our vet tech students end up working with exotic animals like your hedgehog, and so your blog is a great resource to them. Your post about what it’s like to have a hedgehog as a pet is especially informative.

Fear not, we probably won’t let it go to our heads too much.

In other news, Her Highness has been researching a new and fascinating branch of art: hedgehog album art.

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HISS – Hedgie Metal

 

 

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Hedge Zeppelin – The Quills Remain The Same

 

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Joy Division – Unknown Hedgehogs

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Duran Duran – Pokito

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Needlevana – Narglemind

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Meat Loaf – Hedgehog Out of Hell

 

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The Beatles – Hedgie Road

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Hedgehog Haunted Mansion

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Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean

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And finally, a secret hidden hedgehog recently discovered on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

In other news, this book should thrill and delight all:

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That’s all for now!

Darth Pricklepants


Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, Her Highness woke up feeling rather less beneficent, gentle, and kind than her usual self.  It was Apr. 1, so the news couldn’t be trusted, and everyone was trying to trick everyone else.  This was confounding to say the least.  And so began the turn.  To the Dark Side of The Force.*

* Note: All spelling and grammatical errors in this post are deliberate and intended to convey maximum suspenseful dramatic power.

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At first, things seemed to go well.  She imagined the cool (and rather nicely done) movie posters she’d be featured on as Darth Pricklepants, terror of the Galaxy:

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The work on the Deadly Planet of Quilly Despair (DPQD) was proceeding nicely, and soon they could dispense with the Galactic Senate and rule the galaxy with an iron paw.

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Unfortunately, she was soon awakened from her 14 hours of beauty sleep in her “meditation” chamber:

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“Your Highness, I’m afraid we have some fairly annoying news. The plans for your super-weapon, the Deadly Planet of Quilly Despair(DPQD), have been stolen and taken to the rebel squirrel base.”

“What!? How!?”

“It was the bear, you Highness.”

“That accursed bear is as clumsy as he is prone to inopportune napping! General, prepare your troops for a surface attack. How many Quill-fighters do we have available?”

“Two hundred and eighty seven, your Highness.”

“Round them up.”

“Three hundred, your Highness.”

Her Highness briefly considered giving the obtuse general a nice Force Choke, then did so.

“Do not make math jokes!  After you are done never making any math joke ever again, prepare the attack.”

Battle preparations ensued.

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As preparations were proceeding, she learned that two of the rebels had been captured. It was time for an… interview.

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She first interviewed the droid.  Her Highness impolitely shouted at the droid.  “Where are the plans!?”

The droid was unhelpful, as it only spoke beepish, a strange bleepy language nobody really understood, but whose sense was detected by a sympathetic audience.  Her Highness was not sympathetic.  Her Highness stormed off dramatically, and with great flair to interrogate the other prisoner.

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The saiga antelope was just as unhelpful, as it communicated primarily with snuffles, body language, and at times, a nasal roar.

Being a Sith was not as fun as she’d expected.  All that force-choking, and shouting orders, and people failing her for the last time.  She thought about nicer times, like the epic and very nicely produced fight scene with the Gorn.

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The general impolitely interrupted again, “Your Highness, the Gorn is actually from…. From Star Trek…”

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After a rather intricate but well executed segue, she boarded her Spike-fighter and set off to attack the Rebels.

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The battle scene was dramatic and stirring, and very nicely produced with top-notch special effects.

Unfortunately, and somewhat confusingly, the Empire fared poorly against the scrappy band of squirrel rebels, and thus began a slow downhill slide.

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Even the raid on the rebel base, which started out with very effective and nicely lit and very stirring light saber scene didn’t really go that well.  The stirring and beautifully choreographed light saber battle between Darth Pricklepants, Kylo Quill, and the Rebel Jedi squirrel Caff Nutwalker ended with the accursed Jedi escaping.

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The stolen plans were not secured.  Force Chokes were doled out all around.  The frustrated Dark Lord, Darth Pricklepants, decided that this was all too much.  Besides the Force Lightning, being a Sith Lord was really overrated. So she back to being the average and typical princess hedgehog, art historian, advice columnist, manners expert, and space traveler she wanted to be.  There was only one thing to miss about being a Sith Lord: Force Lightning.

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Note: While this story is a new work, it is based on sharing a set of things that emerged for April Fools Day. Unfortunately, there really was just no plausible way to work in this image:

To see the collection of things in their original context, see here.