Barrayaran Emperor Penguin

Barrayaran Emperor Penguin

Barrayaran Emperor Penguin Chick 1 Barrayaran Emperor Penguin Chick 2

The Barrayaran Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes vortaldsi) was originally discovered by noted spheniscologist Nilus Vortalds. Mad Emperor Yuri Vorbarra ordered the species exterminated, claiming that they were “up to something”, and for many years they were believed to be extinct. There were occasional unverified reports of sightings on Kyril Island, but the observers were considered unreliable. Only recently have small colonies of the birds been photographed. Very little is yet known about the social and mating habits of these shy creatures.

More (and larger) pictures can be found here.

Another plush toy based on the Linux penguin “Tux”. This one is also based on the red-and-blue uniform of the Barrayaran Imperial Armsmen and of the Emperor himself, as described in Lois McMaster Bujold’s stories and novels about Miles Vorkosigan and Barrayar, and as depicted on the cover of the novel A Civil Campaign.

The toy was modified slightly from the original pattern (at The colours are different, of course. The part of the side piece which the feet are attached to was cut separately, from the bluish fabric used for the “tummy” and bottom. A thin strip of yellow fabric was added between the red parts and the blue, from the bottom of the beak to the tail. The “chicks” are done with the same pattern, scaled down by 50%.

Since native Barrayaran vegetation is (generally) red rather than green, pictures which showed plants had to be retouched. After I spent several frustrating hours with standard image-processing software, trying to get it to select all the greenish bits and then alter them appropriately, I gave up and wrote my own little program to handle the problem. Basically, for each pixel in an image which has a green level higher than both of the red and blue levels, it swaps the red and green values. Greens becomes reds; yellowish-greens become orange, bluish-greens become purple. It’s not perfect - in particular, some yellowed plant bits still look greenish-yellow - but it’s not too bad.

See also: Txulhu, Centauri Emperor Penguin, Bert Worcester, Pi Cop, Open Source B**b Project, Tuxbert, Broomball Wizard.

Copyright (C) 2006 by Joel Polowin. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce this material in any non-profit medium provided that its content is not altered and that this notice is appended. I would appreciate receiving a copy of any publication in which it appears: Joel Polowin / 18 Norice St. / Nepean, Ont. / CANADA / K2G 2X5 but remove the XYZZY - it’s a little magic to baffle the spambots.

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