25 June 2014

"The White Council" on QGN!

If you've ever wondered how The Lord of the Rings Online stacks up to Tolkien's lore, wonder no more! "The White Council", a new YouTube series from the folks at The Quest Gaming Network, aims to use the popular MMO as a means of teaching others about the deeper meanings behind The Lord of the Rings and some of Tolkien's other writings. 
Credit: Twitter
I'm pleased to announce that I (rather, my Champion) will be among the series' rotating hosts as my schedule allows. The show will release on Mondays and Fridays at noon EST with the first episode scheduled for Monday, June 30; in the meantime, you can follow The White Council and Quest Gaming Network on Twitter and 'like' the network on Facebook!

10 June 2014

The Long-Expected Party (Photospam!)

After nearly three years on the Middle-earth News team, I finally had the opportunity to meet the other US team members. About three weeks ago, we all met up in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania for what we lovingly called "The Long-expected Party".

At Loxley's Restaurant

Scrimshaw Art by Darrel Morris

Darrel Morris is a cigar and scrimshaw artist who has recently been working on some Tolkien-related designs, including Tolkien's monogram, the White Tree of Gondor, and – my personal favourite – the Shield of Gil-galad. Each pendant is hand carved by Darrel and most of these designs are available for purchase via his website
Photo: Darrel Morris

08 June 2014

Newly Discovered Crocodile Species Named After Tolkien’s Balrog

A. balrogus with the Titanoba; Credit: University of Florida
The 16-foot, 900-lb. dyrosaur, a type of crocodilian which roamed the rainforest several millions of years after the dinosaurs died, now has a scientific name.

Named after Tolkien’s Balrog, which lived deep within the Mines of Moria, Anthracosuchus balrogus was from deep within a mine after 60 million years trapped within the rocks of tropical South America,” according to researcher Jonathan Bloch, associate curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

A. balrogus is the third new species of crocodile found in the Cerrejon mines of Colombia, which also housed the remains of the 58-ft long Titanoboa snake and turtles with super-thick shells. A. balrogus is thought to have originated in Africa before swimming across the Atlantic Ocean to South America some 75 million years ago. They even managed to survive the mass extinction event, which came 10 million years later and killed off the dinosaurs.