Aw, chasing down ancient Mayan burial chambers isn't all that strange, is it?
a) Gregg shorthand. I've been intrigued by it for years and finally decided to buckle down and learn it this last January. It took me about 8 months to get the basics down and it will be much longer before I am any good at it. I wrote the first draft of Amazons and Orcs
with it and I used it to write the phrase "Show me time itself" as the glyph in The Glyph of Tarnos Krae
b) I'll have to think about this one.