kengr: (gender discrimination)
I've got an idea for a meta-fiction set in T-America.

I don't think I'm up to writing the actual booklets for the badges, but a history and overview sounds about right.

Not sure what the *actual* names would be, but I expect that many would refer to them as "Girl 101" and "Boy 101".

Girl 101 started out as a couple of seperate ideas. First, a lot of T-girls needed/wanted to pick up "normal" girl mannerisms, behaviors and experiences.

Second, some dedicated tomboys realized as they got older that some of the girly stuff they'd rejected might come in handy on occasion.

The folks puttering around with both ideas eventually got connected and realized that it'd make sense to combine them into a single badge.

The Boy 101 badge probably had a somewhat different history, or it may have gotten sparked by the Girl 101 project.

Both badges have had complaints that they reinforce gender stereotypes. The usual answers are that some people want to follow the stereotypes and that isn't wrong, or that knowing the stereotype and *consciously* learning about it makes you better able to pick and chose which bits you want and which bits to reject.

Some folks have deliberately exaggerated various behaviors. Sometime to make a point, sometimes as parody. But for most, it's a matter of knowing what the expected behaviors *are* lets you chose whether or not to follow expectations or deliberately (as opposed to accidentally) break them.

Some aspects of Girl 101 have been likened to old-style finishing schools. Deportment, grace, etiquette, fashion, etc.

Some aspects of Boy 101 have been likened to boot camp, though that's a much bigger stretch.

But both deal with "proper" behavior *and* improper/informal behavior. After all, the goal is to be able to "fit in" (if they choose to) in all sorts of activities.

It was discovered early on that having the Scouts interact with younger children of their chosen gender was a useful tool. The younger kids tend to be more accepting and while they'd point out differences from the "expected" behavior, they weren't malicious about it.

It also gave experience with games and other activities the the Scouts had missed out on when they were growing up.

(I'm gonna stop here for now and await comments)
kengr: (Default)
Poetry Fishbowl on the theme of "gender, orientation, and identity" Go leave prompts, get poems!
kengr: (Pinky)
I'm reading a short story titled "Prep School", only when I glanced up at the open tabs after checking something else I misread it as "Perp School". Now *there'd* be an unusual story.

Which reminds me of an idea that came out of an IM conversation a few years back. I forget what exactly sparked the train of thought, but it may have been a combo of talking about alternate realities that had more reasonable attitudes about sex and other things, and some item about sex ed classes.

Anyway, what came out of it was the idea of a world where "sex worker" was not only legal, but there was a Voc Tech track for it in school. Sort of like shop and Home Ec.

Which lead to "How did you manage to get an F in Intro to Sex??!!"

Whether it's a parent or a fellow student that definitely is going to lead to some *odd* questions and discussions. :-)

And just think of the classes for that track. As well as just what might be *in* those classes. And then there are the electives...
kengr: (hyperdice)
This is one I've had in the back of my head for years.

Working title is "Room".

He got off the bus and headed for the store. Then he walked around the building to get to the back. From there he pushed through some bushes and started up the faint trail that made a diagonal up the face of the ridge.

Soon he was on the wide shelf partway up the hill. It was a good hundred feet wide and ran half a mile or so. He enjoyed walking among the bushes and small trees. Soon enough he arrived at the back of the old abandoned building.

There was cyclone fencing around it, but other people had made holes here in the back where it couldn't be seen from the street. He crawled through one of the holes, dusted himself off and went to a doorway that had been boarded up. Someone had pulled the boards though.

It was a bit dim inside, but not too bad because the windows on the front side of the building weren't boarded up. After all on that side this was the third floor!

He'd been poking around for a bit when he heard a noise. He looked out a window and saw someone guys standing near the front of the building.

Uh oh. He recognized them from school. He did not want to run into them. He'd had enough trouble with them at school.
Read more... )
Not remotely finished, but it seemed like a good stopping point

ETA:I'm looking for some feedback. And I'm curious as to your thoughts about what's going on or might be going on. *I* know, but I'm both wondering how it comes across to the reader, and what others think about the "situation".
kengr: (Default)
A few (sort of) D&D related things.

Long ago, the Sticks & Stones microgame gave me the idea of "Stone Age" D&D. Neolithic would be interesting, though Paleolithic might be workable.

Obviously the classes would be a bit different. Of the basic four (fighter, cleric, mage, thief) fighters wouldn't change a lot. Mostly a matter of fewer armor and weapon choices.

Clerics would pretty much be limited to some sort of shaman. And their spells would likely be more limited

Mages are a trickier fit, and they'd *definitely have their spells more limited.

Thieves would be *way* different, probably more scouts and hunters to keep the "sneak around" skills.

Monsters would still exist, though a lot of them would be more limited just due to the lower populations.

Dwarves require some thought, but other than tech limits, shouldn't be too much of a problem. Halflings aren't a problem. :-)

For the "evil" races, orcs & goblins aren't a big problem. Kobolds probably aren't either.

Elves of all sorts are a problem. Their long lives might be a problem on several levels, and just how much of advantage they'd have both magically and technologically is gong to greatly affect things.

Another fun thought is if you are running several "independent" campaigns, the results of the stone age campaign might show up in the more "usual" period games as myths and legends. :-)

And now for something completely different.

I'm wondering what sort of "properties" a certain infamous puzzle box would have in D&D. What sort of magic folks think it should detect as, whether it detects of evil, as cursed, etc.

I'm thinking specifically of the "Lament Configuration" box from Hellraiser.

What do you folks think?
kengr: (Default)
Since there are some new people reading this, I thought I'd bring up a question I've had before.

I'm looking for a plausible reason why the Pacific Northwest on an alternate Earth would still have the Native tribes in the 20th century. No real European or Asian influences.

Or at least no more than the area had pre-1500 AD.
kengr: (Default)
While reading yet more of [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith's Polychrome Heroicsstuff I glanced at my default icon and had the thought of what she might be like in T-America.

The antennae suggest insect related abilities. And since I'd just been discussing UV vision, we can throw that in. Likely polarized light detection too. But let's keep the eyes fairly normal looking.

The vision will be from birth. Have the antennae grow in later.

So the first sign that something is different will be when she starts to talk and and argues with her parents about colors. Like talking about the spots one white flowers (some have UV reflective spots on them to attract bees, for example)

I'm assuming some clueful parents, so she'll eventually get some specialized eye exams that'll figure out at least part of it.

One silly thought I had is at a later follow up, they happen to have a couple of *labeled* cards for UV ranges. Say, UVA and UVB. Which with her minimal reading skills she reads as "uv-uh" and "uvb". So she starts using those for color names.

She can probably see several colors in each range, but given the way many cultures with fewer/different color words work (for example, they consider everything from blue to green one color and all the reds, oranges and violets another) she may well lump them all into just the two categories.

Not sure when the antennae will start to grow in, and what they'll be good for. Probably scent and some other things.

Oh yeah, she's gonna go with "Buglet" because that's what her dad called her. "How's my little buglet today?"

Lots of stuff to fill in and thinking to do about stuff like her in kindergarten and the early grades.

Silly idea

May. 4th, 2017 07:01 pm
kengr: (Default)
A super/mutant/metahuman or whatever the particular universe calls those people.

He got the superspeed package. Just one *teeny*, tiny problem...

He still got the exercise-induced asthma he's had since he was a kid.
kengr: (Default)
Got Yet Another Idea, and I want to check if it's workable.

Basically, want someone or ones to find some rocks in a stream. And get surprising results when they run tests (need reasons for them to run the tests, too).

Crystal quartz, rutile, periclase, sapphire, hematite, and some others (need to look up names for other minerals that will be involved, all metal oxides). All of similar size and "well polished".

The surprising results are that the rocks are pure. That is the quartz is SiO2 with nothing else, rutile is TiO2, sapphire is Al2O3, etc. No contaminants, no inclusions, perfect crystal structures.

If they go for *really* fancy testing, there will be more oddities.

Once they get suspicious I'm assuming the same trick used for finding gold deposits will work. That is, keep sampling as you go upstream and hopefulluy the concentration gets higher as you approach the source. And it you suddenly quit finding it, you start check up tributaries or side canyons, right?
kengr: (Default)
Dunno if I'd actually, use this in a story, but I figure that it's an interesting question in its own right.

What affect would being on another planet have on pagan/wiccan practices?

Both other places in the solar system, Mars, the moons of Jupiter and Saturn , etc and colonies on earth-like worlds around other stars.

Lack of the moon, *being* a moon, and in the casae of extra-solar colonies, the very constellations being different would be the merest beginning.

so, anybody have ideas?

story seed

Sep. 16th, 2016 04:55 am
kengr: (antenna girl)
This just came to me the other day. May or may not do anything with it.

The second female President of the US was a bit worried. She'd had a few of these ultra top secret briefings since she'd taken office, but something seemed off about this one. They'd seemed rather nervous when setting it up.

Well, she'd know what it was about soon enough.

"Ms. President, you may have heard rumors about Roswell, area 51, and even the conspiracy theories about 'Majestic'. Today you will be learning the truth behind those those."

"Excuse me, you mean all those alien conspiracy niuts are right?!"

"No, ma'am.. They are actually very wrong. But the truth is a lot stranger than the wild talk. What crashed at Roswell wasn't a flying saucer. Nor was it crewed by aliens."

"Roswell was *real*?"

"Yes, and no. It's rather hard to explain. We still aren't sure what to call the craft, but the consensus is that the crew were what our distant ancestors referred to as the 'Fair Folk'. Keep in mind that they didn't do that because these beings were 'fair' in any sense of the word. Instead they did so to avoid offending them if they happened to be listening. These aren't the elves of modern fantasy. these are the sort of beings that participated in the Wild Hunt."
kengr: (Default)
For a story idea, I need a girl's sport. One where it'd be "reasonable" for an accusation of steroid use or even being a male "ringer".

I'm thinking high-school, not junior high, but either is possible. Doesn't have to be a "team" sport.
kengr: (Default)
Working on a story idea. It's mostly set in a large "household" Somewhere between late medieval and Victorian. Not our history, but should have a fair bit in common.

The "master" is either a really low ranking noble, or just an important merchant or some such. Even a doctor/lawyer/other "profession".

Lots of staff, etc.

What do you call the person in charge of keeping the household running? I'm thinking more of the female staff and "housekeeping type stuff. For now I'm just call her "the Housekeeper".

Important character is a young girl, not a servant, but not exactly family either. Supposedly she's an orphan, and the Master of the house owed her family a great debt (of honor) or some such. Not sure what to call her? "Fosterling " comes to mind, but I think that's more early medieval.

I have reasons for not wanting her to be adopted. At the same time, I see her spending at least some time helping out around the household as directed by the Housekeeper.

But she is also spending time with the Master's wife. And being sent out for some schooling.

So any ideas on what I should refer to her as?
kengr: (Default)
I re-encountered this strip today.

While silly, it makes an important point. For magickal uses, you *don't* go by clock time, nor by the calendar. You go by the sun, the moon and the stars.

If something is supposed to be done at midnight, that means the point halfway between sunrise and sunset *not* midnight by the clock. Note that the difference depends on your longitude (time zone times are only "correct" for a particular line of longitude somewhere in (or near) the zone) and the time of year..

Likewise "noon" is the local solar noon (point when the sun is highest in the sky. This too varies from "noon" by the clock depending on longitude and time of year.

Phases of the moon are more obvious, and hopefully, if your calendar lists moon phases, it gets them right. Still it pays to check as the exact time may place it a day ahead or behind the calendar due to your location.

Yes, the full moon is at the same "time" (UTC) for the entire Earth. But which day that is depends on where you are. There are a number of websites that list the phase of the moon over quite a period.

The equinoxes and solstices are "fixed" (they are when the earth hits particular points in its orbit), but they aren't always the same date on the calendar (that's because the year is not exactly 365 days long, but 365.242... days long). The cross quarter days are the points halfway between them. All 8 are easy to determine with something as simple as a set of sticks or stones placed to line up with sunrise (or sunset) on those particular days. You only need 5 markers because the markers for equinoxes and the cross-quarter days on either side of them get used twice each year.

The actual dates for the cross quarter days tend to be several days off from the dates many pagans celebrate them.

http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/ has a nice display of them. Note that all dates are for the *next* occurrence.

Note that (for example) Samhain is actually on N0vember 7th (GMT) this year, *not* Oct 31st!

Some grimoires specify things by the rising, setting or meridian crossing of specific stars. Always double check to make sure that the star mentioned has been properly translated. There are some star names that apply to *multiple* stars at quite different places in the sky.

For writers, this means that details aren't what you'd assume. Also, it offers lots of room for "fluffy bunny" pagans to make major mistakes in rituals. :-)

Another pitfall for writers is that the calendar has changed a number of times over the centuries. First when Julius Caesar fixed the months and set the "leap year every 4th year" rule (Julian calendar), and then later when the current leap year rules were setup by Pope Gregory (Gregorian calendar). There have been other changes, but those are the biggy for the calendar we are most familiar with.

Note that due to the Reformation not everyone accepted the Gregorian calendar at the same time. since part of the switchover involved subtracting 11 days (to get the solstices and equinoxes back on the "right" date, this meant that crossing a border could change the date by 10 days!

That was in 1600. in 1700 it became 11 days. In 1800 it became 12 days. And in 1900 it became 13 days.

And some nations did really weird stuff when they changed over. Check the Calendar FAQ for *some* of the gory details.

Britain and its possessions changed over in 1752.   2 Sep 1752 was followed by 14 Sep 1752. And I'll just let you check the FAQ for the really convoluted way *they* changed back and forth. I'll just mention that February 30th 1712 was a real date there.

Be very aware of this and other things if you are using astronomical data for the past. It'll be in *Gregorian* calendar form. And sometimes have things like year 0 and negative year numbers (note that -1 is *not* 1 BC)

Oh yeah, the year didn't always change on Jan 1. For example in England it used to change on March 25th. So March 21 would be in one year, but a week later on Mar 28, it'd be the "next" year.

Some of this can be ignored, some can be used for local color.

And since I went into sun & moon based stuff above, one last note. The phase of the moon is due to the angle between the sun and the moon. New moon has the sun and moon at the same angle as observed from Earth. That's why we have solar eclipses then (we don't have one every new moon because the moons orbit i9s tilted.

Half moon has the moon 90 degrees ahead or behind the sun. And full moon is when the moon is 180 degrees from the sun.

Why is this important? Because it dictates what we see from Earth. I've seen cases where a well known author had a full moon high in the sky at sunset. Which is impossible. If the moon is full, it's on the opposite side of the Earth. so as the sun sets, it'd be rising (and vice versa). And the half moon will be highest in the sky at sunrise or sunset.

This stuff will *really* jar a reader if you get it wrong.
kengr: (Default)
While reading a story with yet another naturally talented hacker a bit of inspiration struck and gave me a different take on some ideas I'd been playing around with. Other than the first paragraph, the rest is subject to a lot of change

"Kid, where I come from, your computers wouldn't even be considered junk. they'd be classed as hazardous waste. a positive danger to anybody who tried to use them"
Read more... )
kengr: (antenna girl)
I'm looking for the specs on an old D&D spell. I was able to check my set of original D&D books, and it wasn't in any of those, so it's probably from AD&D first edition. But those books are pretty buried.

Anyway, it was a moderately high level spell, and let the caster summon(?) an extradimensional 10x10 room. I think he had to cast it on a doorway or other opening which became the door to the room.

At higher levels he got bigger rooms.

He could put stuff in it, and it'd be there when he opened a door to the room again.

Anyway, if it sounds familiar to anyone, I'd like the spell name and any other info you can dig up including verbal somatic and material components if any as well as the restrictions.

Thanks in advance.

It'll help with a story idea.
kengr: (Default)
I write fan-fics and some original fics on other sites.

Yesterday about 6 pm, I posted a short chapter for one of my original fics over on BigCloset Topshelf. Not my best work, but ok to get the story moving again.

At 2:30 pm today, it had 50 "kudos". In a bit over 20 hours it gt more kudos tnhan most stories get in *years*.

Like I said in the title. This is scary.
kengr: (antenna girl)
A few scenes that have featured in some of the daydreams about using Trek type tech now.

A drug deal is about to go down. Cue transporter effect and all the drugs, money and illegal weapons vanish.

A variant, leave the weapons until after they finish shooting at each other.

Terrorist group of your choice. Cue transporter effect. Weapons disappear. So do terrorists. The terrorists reappear in whatever place they'd least want to be. Holding cells, in front of families of victim (especially in cultures that go in for "personal" revenge), etc.
kengr: (Default)
I'm sure many of us have played around with what we (or one of the characters we write about) could do with tech on the level of Star Trek or other SF shows and books. Whicjh is prettuy much "magical tech (thus the "magi-tech" in the title)

I'd been thinking that the sort of sensor tech Trek (and others have) was really problematic.

It'd let you find all the nasty criminals, but at the cost of major league Big Brother or worse tactics.

Still it was fun to think about.

Then, one day, I recalled an old Asimov short story about gizmo that could view the past. Only it turned out to not have nearly the range claimed (centuries). The Powers That Be made a big deal of looking at the distant past, because that keppt people from asking "when does 'the past' begin?"

The answer, of course is "the tiniest frasction of a second ago". So the time viewr was better used as what Smith and others have called a "spy ray".

And that set me thinking on a new tangent.

If you set the right limits on your magitech, you can bypass a lot of the moral/ethical problems.

I decided to assume sensors that could get really good data for decades into the past. Questionable, but makes for such lovely possibilities.

Thus, rather than Big Brother watching everyone & and everything, you have a crimer or possible crime becoming known.

Our Heroes with their magical tech (from the far future, alien, and alternate timeline or whatever) can then look back at said incident and see what happened. And then follow the prepetrators back to their bosses, etc.

Thus any innocent people only get viewed/scanned incidentaly as the surviellance of the actual bad guys procceds thru the remote viewing/past viewing.

Our Heroes would still have to act outside the law to get info that can be turned over to the authorities, or act extra-legallyon their own. But at least they've dodged a major ethical hurdle.
kengr: (Default)
Apparently, I've dreamt about this character before. It's just this is the first time I rememberd the dream after waking up.

The main thing of interest about the character is that he can climb walls. My best guess is that he's got something like gecko skin.

But as I was waking up, I realized some implications of the way he was climbing. The one time he used the ability in this dream, he swarms up a 30 foot vertical wall about as fast as I could walk the same distance. And with no visible effort.

And he was only using his hands. Think about that for a moment.

He was only using his hands for "grip", and could swarm, up that wall with no real effort. What does that say about his arm, shoulder and back muscles. Especially since he doesn't *look* to be very muscular.

Read more... )

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