(urth) Inhumi eyes and names

David Stockhoff dstockhoff at verizon.net
Fri Sep 28 10:42:14 PDT 2012

Another angle would be that since Krait is lying about flying through 
space (assuming he is lying), he is lying about the super-vision that 
goes along with it. It also lets Wolfe have some fun.

On 9/28/2012 1:38 PM, António Pedro Marques wrote:
> Vision:
> - I think this is one case where Wolfe just chose to go with a cool 
> idea, not worrying very much whether it can be scientifically 
> explained or not.
> - At first sight, the inhumi would be able to filter out the 
> refraction of light, but I don't think that's feasible (unless they 
> don't see light, of course).
> David Stockhoff wrote (28-09-2012 18:22):
>> Regarding the vision thing:
>> I've struggled with this question for years. I can think of only two
>> possibilities. Either
>> (1) Krait's vision sees all wavelengths but modulates its reception 
>> of light
>> that is strong enough to overwhelm its reception of other light and is
>> therefore incredibly /sensitive /to what we call visible light, or
>> (2) it does not see light at all in the visible spectrum. As you say,
>> infrared vision. This assumes the sun does not emit evenly across the 
>> board
>> but rather more light than heat. That is easily checked, but you'd 
>> need to
>> try wearing night vision goggles during the day to actually test it. 
>> Would
>> you see the stars at day? I doubt it. The photons are there but just too
>> weak, and probably especially in the infrared range.
>> I suppose therefore a third possibility exists that incorporates both.
>> On 9/28/2012 1:07 PM, Lee Berman wrote:
>>> I just read a passage where Krait is discussing his vision and the 
>>> vision
>>> of all
>>> inhumi. He says he can see clearly in fog and that the sky always looks
>>> black to
>>> him and the stars are always there.
>>> The fog and black sky elements seem to suggest infrared vision to me.
>>> Makes sense
>>> for a predator of warm blooded creatures. But could infrared be so
>>> sensitive as to
>>> detect heat differences between empty sky and stars? Or does he just 
>>> mean he
>>> can detect infrared radiation from stars in the daylight without it 
>>> being
>>> masked by the sun's output?
>>> Anyone remember anything else in Short Sun addressing this issue?
>>> Also, from the recent discussion of Quetzal's name I got curious 
>>> about the
>>> other inhumu
>>> names we are given.  I knew a krait was a cobra relative. I just 
>>> learned
>>> that juganu is
>>> Hindi for firefly or glow worm. The Hindi connection to krait is
>>> interesting. Fava is of
>>> course a plant/bean name. Used in India but not particularly associated
>>> with it or Hindi.
>>> Then there is Jahlee. I can't find a plant named this or any 
>>> variation of
>>> the spelling as
>>> I expected. I can't find an animal either.
>>> I am more than convinced the name Jahlee was meant to invoke Jahi, the
>>> vampiric demoness
>>> from Dr. Talos' play. This is a character played by Jolenta, who, like
>>> Jahlee, is a red-
>>> haired, busty sex goddess. The connections match up nicely.
>>> But I still wonder why Jahlee's name seems to defy the Vironese naming
>>> convention, unlike
>>> all the other inhumu. Are there any other named inhumu which could help
>>> shed light on this
>>> mystery?
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