Tuesday, 17 April 2012

A - Z Challenge: Q is for Quipu and also for Quasimodo

is for



        WHAT IS IT?

A quipu is a recording device which is made from thread and knotted in a significant way or place.  They come to us from South America and were developed by the Incans but, due to the Spanish invasion the practise eventually died out [1]


A few museums will have an exhibit of quipu but if you were striving for authenticity then you could probably save time and a considerable amount of legal fees by making one yourself.  It will do you no good to learn Incan however as the incredibly intelligent people [2]  who study these knots haven't yet found a link between the quipus and Quechua, which was the native language of the Peruvian Andes

If/When the alien hordes stop watching television and finally invade us then  there will certainly be some kind of resistance that quickly gets set up [3]   A quipu would be a cheap and incredibly secret way of sending messages.

If you keep homing pigeons then you might consider a quipu rather than a  tiny slip of paper.  You'll be able to encode alot more information onto the string and the pigeon will be able to use it in her nest afterwards.  Everyone wins!


Well I've already beaten you to it this time! [4]    I was looking at a method of writing to be used in Harts Change and the quipu was mentioned in an article of Egyptian Hieroglyphia.  Intrigued I started reading more about it and decided to steal the concept for the book.

So how might it be used?
  • Passing secret messages back and forth as noted above.  
  • As an alternative to paper. [5]
  • Perhaps authors are venerated in your writings.  Wearing your quipu might be a status symbol.
  • It may be that each person has secret knots which ensures that they are the only ones who know exactly what the book says.  What would happen if someone discovered the secret or developed the same knotting?
Another Q word that I came across while looking up quipu is QUED.  This is an old english word that means bad or evil.

It caught my attention because QUOD ERAT DEMOMSTANDUM is a Latin phrase meaning 'which was to be demonstrated' and, this is the important bit, as QED.  

Just thought I'd include it in todays posting because someone out there might be saying "Hey! I can do something with this" [6]



is also for


I'll admit it.  There may be plenty of Q authors out there but none that I have read enough to do a proper report on.

So for your pleasure you can watch one of the best scenes to come out of the animated wing of the House of Mouse in years.
Naturally the story was changed so as to be acceptable their target audience and I don't begrudge them this.  This still works as a powerful scene that shows off the tremendous strength [7] of the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

The other video is sort of an apropos of nothing one that I found while looking for Gilbert and Sullivan [8] 
Its actually Clive Barker singing and is my new favourite Dr Who thing.

  1. along with everything else that didn't go "Ole!" and steal your girlfriend.  Not that I'm bitter or anything
  2. "Do they follow this blog?" "No"  "Then how intelligent are they really?"
  3. We'll probably be forced to surrender on the third day because everyone will be rushing around creating resistance cells.
  4. Yes this is the plug for the book.  I promised there would be at least one 
  5. Which will please the green parties at least.
  6. which is, when you think about it, what I've been hoping that someone has been saying from the start of this whole thing.
  7. It also showcases his special breed of trained rope.
  8. Because I was in a light opera kind of mood.  You can't really appreciate heavy metal if you don't listen to the complete opposite in the musical spectrum <cleans monocle and looks smug>

The Queer Querulous Quail,
who smoked a Pipe of tobacco on the top of
a Tin Tea-kettle.


  1. I love the ideas for Quipu- I've thought it was like the woman knitting the code into her fabric in Tale of Two Cities. I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month. My alphabet is at myqualityday.blogspot.com

  2. I'm well behind on my Dickens but will give it a read. Good luck to reading all of the blogs in the challenge!

  3. Hmm, i'm talking not. I don't have time, looking at all these blogs! Do you do the illustrations? I like the quail.

    If you want to visit me, I'm leaving you my A-Z link as blogger always identifies me as my shared blog with other poets - my A-Z is this one: http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

  4. I wish I could take claim for the illustrations but that would be plagiarism which, as I am reliable informed, is wrong.
    The illustrations and the poems come from Edward Leer who did a great many nonsense poems.

    I included them at the end of each post simply because I've always liked them.
    You can get them at: http://www.nonsenselit.org/Lear/index.html

  5. Yay! Doctor Who stuff too! XD ;)

  6. I've got it set as my ringtone!