LAST EDITED ON Jun-05-14 AT 03:50 PM (EDT)
Annotations by Gryphon
Annotations by Phil
Annotations by Anne
 Familiar Spirits - This title is doubly-loaded - one for finding people of a similar spirit, and the other for family spirit, the relationships that go into making such a dynamic.
(It's also the expansion of the traditional shorthand use of "familiar" as a noun, as in a witch's familiar.)
 a buzzcut, intense young man - This is none other than Mr. Tezuo Nishimura, last seen performing similar miracles of shop setup for Ben Stark over in Bubblegum Crisis: The Iron Age. (Well, he's not the same one, but... you know.)
 SCM logotype -
First adopted in 203 ASC/SY 2322, with the introduction of the Galactic Standard language in Dìqiú.
 RFQ - Request for Quotation, the document soliciting bids for a project.
 old-fashioned glass doorknob - This is absolutely not a Marvel Cinematic Universe Arc Reactor, and Tony Stark had absolutely nothing to do with helping Skuld build it.
(Actually, it was Don Griffin)
Here at Eyrie Productions, we believe in recycling. That's the same prop as from the arc reactor activation scene in BGC: The Iron Age. :)
 silvery-white face of her Lens - The circumstances of Korra's lensing(s) will be covered elsewhere, someday Soon™.
 "What would Aang do?" - Also a line of popular tee-shirts in the more holistically-oriented youth culture in the United Republic. ("What Would Korra Do?" shirts are more for the extreme-sports set.)
 Fire Lord Zuko - This would be Zuko as he appears in the "Old Friends" poster from San Diego ComicCon.
(TLOK Book 1 artbook, page 143.)
 Aye-Aye and me - Aye-Aye is an aye-aye spirit, one of the many denizens of the Spirit Wilds of the pre-Avatar era, and became a close friend of the first Avatar, Wan, ten thousand years ago. Since spirits are immortal within the Spirit World, he is still around in the present day.
 We have tea in his tea house - As seen in The Legend of Korra Book 2, Chapter 10 ("A New Spiritual Age")
 a departed soul - General Iroh (35-130 ASC, 2154-2249), firstborn son of Fire Lord Azulon, had a long and storied life, including liberating Ba Sing Se from the Fire Nation occupation in 100 ASC - though he rated his greatest accomplishment as helping to guide his nephew Zuko (later Fire Lord) to become the man he truly could become. A deeply spiritual man (at least after the failed siege of Ba Sing Se), on his deathbed he decided to send his spirit-soul to the Spirit World (instead of Valhalla, which he didn't know existed), in order to aid others who might travel there (and to set up his own tea shop for the spirits). It was only later that he learned of Asgard and the other afterlife Realms there.
 afterlives - The astral planes are sort of an adjunct to the known afterlives, filling in the gaps between Midgard and the other Realms. People from the various Realms can project into the local astral planes, but cannot usually affect things there or use them for true travel -- only in rare cases, like the Spirit Portals of Diqiu, can people enter the astral plane and manipulate it more directly. Over the millennia of spirit residence in the Spirit World, it has become more like a faerie realm, where the native's emotions, and that of visitors, can end up shaping their 'reality'.
 Cirrus J-5 - The standard-issue jetpack used by the New Avalon Police Department's Aerial Enforcement Division, also known as the rocket cops. An updated version of the Hughes Cirrus X-1, as seen in the 1991 Rocketeer movie.
 OK, you asked for it - As seen in Le Droit du Dragon.
 Always a pleasure! - Hitomi's surname and Kuo's catchphrase are a composite reference to the way Dr. Yukio Hattori was always characterized in the cheesy Food Network dubs of the original Iron Chef.
 Moverdisc - Hey, remember SelectaVision? Nobody else does either, but they had something kind of like it in Dìqiú once.
 Agni VI - Built in 202 ASC for Minami's great-great-grandmother Asami, the Agni VI's name commemorates the Agni V, the spacecraft which took the Phoenix Flight crew to Yue.
 a trimaran configuration - The Mirai is visually inspired by the US Navy's USS Independence (LCS-2), the lead vessel of a class of littoral combat ships.
This follows naturally from the designs of ships of the Legend of Korra" era, including the United Republic and Water Tribe catamaran-hull battleships and shipping magnate Varrick's outrigger-equipped yacht.
 Mirai - Perhaps unsurprisingly for both a significant product of Future Industries and a member of the Sato dynasty, the name is Japanese/Kokugo for "future". (In the Fire Nation, the company itself is called Mirai Jūkōgyō Kabushiki-gaisha, "Future Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.")
 like shipping containers - They are shipping containers. The modular freight system in common use in Dìqiú has different standards for container dimensions.
 jennamite mine owner - Jennamite is a naturally-occurring crystal found in the Earth Kingdom, generally around Omashu (though deposits can be found elsewhere). It combines properties of a mineral and sugar rock candy, both valuable and edible, and has the unique property of growing when exposed to a living being's bioelectric field. Nobody is quite sure how it does this. Due to the difficulties incurred by mining by hand, a productive mine can be a very lucrative operation if managed correctly. This mine owner, therefore, combines the properties of a diamond mine owner AND a sugar plantation owner!
 navigation instruments - The skills and equipment required for celestial navigation have not been front-line stuff for mariners in Dìqiú since the Ri Wu era, but Mr. Zhi is an old-school sailor and has mastered them anyway.
 like many of her illustrious ancestors - Starting, of course, with the great Professor Asami Sato, who could toss an Equalist gimp over her shoulder without missing more than one sentence out of the editorial in the Xinqiliu Review.
 standard time signal - "At the sound of the third chime, the official time in Ba Sing Se will be exactly one-thirty." Ping. Ping. Pinnnng.
There is also something like the Shipping Forecast in Dìqiú, but it doesn't air on the same frequency as the EKR evening mellow jazz programme.
 usually that means something really bad is happening - Really, this is true. If Korra loses her ponytail, $#!T's going down. If she loses her ponytail and sidelocks? If it's not the end of the world yet, it has the potential to become so if things don't resolve quickly.
 peculiarly well-equipped - "Oh dear, again?"
 the Chameleon Bay Company - Founded as a trading company to link the far eastern hinterlands of the Earth Kingdom by sea to the more populous regions of the south and southwest, in the days before efficient overland travel through the desert heartland of the country; nowadays better-known as a chain of department stores, but they still have a sizeable merchant marine.
 Water Tribe winter gear - Elaborated from both canonical Water Tribe clothes and those of the real-life people who inspired much of the look and feel of the Water Tribes, the Inuit of the Canadian Arctic. The amautik (with its uniquely maternal configuration) is drawn directly from the latter, and Corwin's "hunter's parka" is much more like the utilitarian real-life version than the stylishly fitted "fighting parka" Korra sports on TV (and Utena also has here). Technically, the shorter style is an anorak (and is referred to as such later in the story), but in this scene people would probably have assumed I was calling them trainspotters. :)
For examples of the amautik: http://amautibaby.com/mombaby/
(And boy do I wish I'd known about these when my kid was young enough to fit in one!)
 not the 'point of order' thing again - "Republic" pai sho is roughly akin to mao, the horribly annoying, largely unplayable card game that was trendy for a while at WPI in the early '90s, and which essentially seemed to be a cross between gin rummy, fizzbin, and a drunken brawl in the Taiwanese national legislature.
 Pangniqtuuq - Except for Senna (named after Korra's canonical mother - whose name might be a reference to Sedna, the Inuit sea goddess, but that is mere speculation on my part), all the South Pole place names mentioned here are actual place names from the Canadian Arctic, though no similarity between the actual settlements and their fictional namesakes is intended; the real Nanisivik is no longer even inhabited, much less the capital of anything.
 Quruuin - Kejna developed the habit of converting Corwin's name into Tukisi phonemes as a kind of pet name when he was a toddler, because for some reason it amused him immensely.
 not the South Pole's biggest fan - Last year's National Geographic Society holiday catalog had a photograph of a snow- encrusted red panda as its cover illustration. The poor guy looks so utterly unimpressed by the whole affair... well, see for yourself.
 a big, hearty man with a rich, booming voice - Brian Blessed circa 1980, basically. Or Brian Blessed now, come to that, it's not like he seems to age.
 in the first year of the Chun Tai era - Or the last year of the Ri Wu era. It's all relative when you're the person who caused the change of era.
 Space Sword - Sokka's Meteor Sword was lost in a way that implied it would be virtually impossible to find again at the end of the Avatar TV series, but I figure, since when did various members of that cast care that a project was virtually impossible?
 no such thing as an orphan - These matters are extrapolated, as with certain notes about Water Tribe matrimonial standards last time, from the way things were done among the Inuit before European contact.
 column of light - This is the light from the Southern Spirit Portal, which Korra unsealed in 171 ASC (2290). The spirit energy that escapes from the portal excites the upper atmosphere and produces even-more-stunning than normal aurorae.
 Nanuq - Also romanized Nanook (a spelling that's probably more familiar outside the Arctic), the paragon of polar bears is another figure of great mythic significance to the Inuit.
 parageneticists... have theories - For instance, it's pretty obvious that Nanuq and the Labrador Retriever Spirit have a thing.
The other leading theory is that the spirits of various animals made it a hobby of possessing other different 'normal' animals in the Material World during the era of the Lion Turtles (a creature possessed by a spirit will take on aspects of that spirit, and if done too long become permanent or even fatal), and that matching viable hybrids produced from these activities reproduced and became common, driving out the other species. Why the spirits engaged in this behavior in the distant past is something nobody's really willing to ask of them, and the spirits in question seem to want to forget the whole thing happened in the first place.
 the ancient movie - Robert J. Flaherty's 1922 silent film Nanook of the North: A Story of Life and Love in the Actual Arctic, a flawed but important early documentary. (The title character is a person, not the Great Bear Spirit, but that wasn't his real name anyway - one of the flaws I mentioned.)
 they rushed toward the common - This is a collective personality trait also shown by the people of Tomodachi, who tend to form orderly spectator formations at the appearance of battling daikaiju rather than flee in terrified mobs.
 Tenzin International - Formally Tenzin Republic City International Airport (IATA: TRC), the largest and busiest of the three airports which serve the greater Republic City area.
 the Falling Dark Festival - Inspired in part by the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival and similar harvest festivals around the world, although in most of the South Pole there's not really a lot of "harvesting" happening at this or any other time, so they have a somewhat different reason for holding it.
 cider beverage - South Pole cider is made from the juice of the earthapple, also known as the appletato, which is hardy enough to be grown in a few coastal parts of the country.
 semi-abstract smiley-face icon - As seen adorning a pro-bending fan on page 80 of the Legend of Korra: Book 1 artbook:
 the sculpture depicted Korra - The pose for Korra and Naga in Karana's sculpture is based on an illustration from a Legend of Korra San Diego Comic-Con banner:
(Also, this picture contains a good view of her fightin' anorak. Which sounds like it could also be the mascot for some arctic college's sports teams.)
 arctic hen with hot sauce - The sauce is very similar to sriracha.
 "Stardust" - Probably the 1938 Benny Goodman Carnegie Hall version.
 "To Zanarkand" - I was listening to this track when this scene was being proposed and written (and, in fact, as I write this note!). It is the main theme of Final Fantasy X, though the version played is the full orchestral one from the Distant Worlds: Music From Final Fantasy tour. Zanarkand is a city of dreams in the middle of the sea, a setting you would not be surprised to find in the Spirit World.