Saturday, July 31, 2010

Rook: The Chariot of Chess

Often referred to as “castle” by the new players, the rook in chess is one of the two pieces whose name is not immediately obvious. It is easy to figure out what a queen, king, knight and bishop are, especially in terms of a medieval battle. But what about pawns and rooks? I start with the rook but it is the most elusive.

While it appears that the rook must be some sort of castle or fortress, the word actually originates from Persian chariots (or “rukhs”). These real-life warrior carts were designed to look like moving castles wrecking havoc on the battlefield.

Rooks owe their appearance to these Persian chariots, but they have also been named after actual towers. When the game of chess was brought to Italy, the Italians called them by the word “rocca,” meaning fortress.
I still like to call them castles, but that's mostly because I'm a newb.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dr. Love, who do you love?

Polyamorous is actually a much more recently coined term than you might think. Originating in the '90's the word is also a hybrid mix of Greek and Latin. Poly - meaning many or multiple partners or lovers and amore - meaning love. The definition of the word is definitely hard to pin down, though, and this is especially true because polyamorous relationships are confusing.

Perhaps one of the most straightforward of possible polyamorous configurations is the open marriage, wherein a husband and wife pursue secondary relationships outside of their marraige. At the opposite end of the spectrum is group marriage, which takes on the feeling of a commune.

In between these two extremes are a variety of shapes that polyamorists call "polygeometry." Some of these configurations are triads or quads, wherein three or four people are relationally involved with each other.  Although many polyamorists are bisexual, there are also heterosexual and homosexual variations. For example, one woman might date two men but those two men do not date each other. Or a gay man may have several consenting partners. Although threesomes and orgiastic type experiences may be including in polyamory, there are no hard and fast rules about how sexual relations are conducted.

Allow me to pause and say that I feel like my writing is excessively verbose and technical for the subject matter I am dealing with. I must be uncomfortable. Basically polyamory is just people who want to love more than one person. Is it really that complicated? Does it have to be?

I will admit that the idea of group marriage scares me a little. Talk about jealousy issues! But the idea of being intimate with more than one person? I suppose I'm open to that idea, but I don't know if it would work in my life. As my best friend would say - "Don't forget you're married!" And that, too, is true.