also historical meta

Should you fight them: Russian leaders from 1855 onwards edition

Tsar Alexander II: leave alexander II alone. he just wants to free serfs and liberalize the legal system without having his authority threatened by the nobility. If you fight him you will definitely win, but, you’d be a bad person.

Tsar Alexander III: PLS FITE HIM. I mean, he’s big and burly and stoic and conservative and everything a Russian tsar is “supposed” to be so you will probably get all your limbs broken, but he is a dick, so fight him anyway.

Tsar Nicholas II: Fight him. You will undoubtedly win. He will run all the way to your duel by foot, by means of an extremely dumb and unnecessarily long route, (accidentally fighting the wrong person along the way) and be already totally wiped by the time he arrives. Even when it’s clear it’s a losing battle, and everyone he knows is telling him to just back out of the fight already, he will refuse, consequently pissing off everyone on his side and driving them to beat him up FOR you.

Vladimir Lenin: Don’t fight Lenin. He’s probably been planning his fight strategy for a decade. Bad idea.

Joseph Stalin: Um. Yeah. Don’t fight him. I dont think i need to explain myself, y’all already know the gory deets. Just, yikes, as much as fighting him would be amazing, pls stay far far away. 

~~fast forward~~

Nikita Khrushchev: If you fought him you would winbut he’d probably just read you an angry speech, throw a shoe at you, and then run away to watch star trek.

Leonid Brezhnev: Don’t fight him. He’s got a whole squad of underlings forced to come to his defense and fight you against their will, so, yeah. Don’t.

~~fast forward~~

Mikhail Gorbachev: You could definitely fight him, but you should probably just leave him be. He’ll probably just end up accidentally beating himself up, you wont even have to lift a finger. Anyway, he has a grammy and you don’t, so he’s won in the game of life. 

~~fast forward~~

Putin: i would say fight him but if he caught wind of your plans you would disappear off the face of the earth before you even got a chance.

The Drake-Fisher Residence, New Awlins Edition

There are lot of cool photos and meta regarding the house that Nate and Elena live in at the end of the game, but what about unnecessary information about their residence in New Orleans?

We don’t know much about the way that Nate and Elena interact with the environment in which they live, in the sense that we’re not getting flashbacks to walking down Bourbon Street and immediately regretting walking down Bourbon Street, no one should ever walk down Bourbon Street or anything, but we do have context both in the environment of Nate’s workplace at Jameson Marine down by the Mississippi River warehouses, and in the buildings surrounding the Drake-Fisher residence in New Orleans proper.  I return from my last architectural analysis of the orphanage/Boston setting to talk to you about bridges, preservation ordinance, and THE SHOTGUN HOUSE.

(This is about to get really image-heavy.)

I’ll preface all this by saying that nowhere in New Orleans is there a truss bridge that looks like something between a Parker truss, a Pratt truss, and a Camelback truss, but fine, Naughty Dog, I’ll accept your bridge discrepancies. (I have outlined the truss shape in little red lines so it’s easier to discern. For you bridge-lovers. I KNOW YOU’RE OUT THERE.)

The layout of Nate and Elena’s house is pretty simple: a rectangle, with smaller rectangles inside of it. It’s small but comfortable, with an insulated attic space originally intended for storage and relatively tall ceilings. The latter is a hallmark of many Southern houses built before the advent of air conditioning, because heat rises and you can’t sit around sweating all damn day. Seriously. These ceilings are tall.

For convenience I’ve provided a basic plan layout I mocked up in AutoCAD, aka Satan’s Architecture Program, of the first, second, and attic floors, respectively. For those unfamiliar with reading floor plans, thinner lines at the border walls represent window openings, of which there are very few. This is not uncommon for shotgun houses, which I will talk about…now.

The shotgun house is awesome. It’s a piece of Southern vernacular architecture that has become synonymous with Creole culture the closer you get to the Equator while wandering away from the Mason-Dixon line, and was the most popular style of housing from the end of the American Civil War through the 1920s. Traditionally, the shotgun house is a narrow residence that is basically one long, skinny rectangle, with rooms arranged one after the other in a line. The only hallway, which provides access to each room, starts at the front door and runs all the way out the back door.

Here are a couple great examples!

There are some academic arguments about the origins of the name: I always heard it was called a “shotgun” because you could feasibly shoot through one door and out the other without hitting anything because there are no doors between the other rooms. Other scholars have suggested that “shotgun” is actually an Anglicized interpretation of “to-gun,” a Dahomey Fon term meaning “place of assembly,” thereby tying its roots to the housing of Afro-Haitian peoples. Blacks have historically outnumbered whites in New Orleans and it is entirely possible that they brought their housing arrangement traditions with them.

Shotgun houses can also come in two-story versions, or “camelback” versions, the latter of which basically adds a second story to the rear of the house, thus giving it a “hump.”

Anyway. ONTO THE ACTUAL GAME SCREENCAPS. Let’s start at the top, and work our way down!

The A-Frame gable (that triangle shape) of the attic space is pretty typical of two-story shotguns, as well as the window set into the gable, an element which can be seen in every shotgun gable photograph prior to this section. The window in their house is an oculus, or “eye” window, pretty popular during the Victorian period of building. The window is partly decoration, because a flat facade is incredibly boring visually, and partly for ventilation, though less so with air conditioning. Based on the insulation tacked between the ceiling joists and around the oculus (but the lack of visible ventilation duct work), this space is at least mildly cooler than the outside, which honestly isn’t saying much if you’ve ever been to New Orleans in the summer. I don’t know how Nate is wearing long sleeves up here and not sweating bullets.

Down on the official second floor, we get a good look at the fenestration arrangements (window shapes, sizes) and also the outside! Which gives us really great environmental context.

Behold! A classic New Orleans gallery house, complete with side-door, flanking lanterns, narrow columns and chimney, and those tall-ass windows. But how do you access the second-floor porch? The tall-ass window is your door! It’s also used to circulate air by pushing the lower sash up to the middle, and the upper sash down to the middle, letting the hot air out and the cool air in.

You’ll notice that the difference between the two-story shotgun and the gallery house is that even if the two-story shotgun has a second floor porch - which they often do not - columns do not run from floor to ceiling on the second level.

Outside the Drake-Fisher master bedroom window, you can pick up elements of New Orleans vernacular styles on the other buildings in the neighborhood.

The windows in their house on the second floor on the front and rear of the house are probably not original to the building, probably replaced before or during the rehab process, because they are of a style not indicative of the area: a wide central pane of glass flanked by two smaller, movable sashes. This style looks a lot like the windows of the Chicago style school of architecture, popularized in the early 1900s (below).

Based on the views available from every conceivable angle in both the master bedroom at the rear of the house, and Elena’s office at the front of the house, they live at the corner of two streets in a historic neighborhood.

Now to the first floor door! A great Central Door Look ™ is the kind that incorporates sidelights (those little stacked windows flanking either side of the door) with a strong Classical lintel over the door itself. Crown molding on the ceiling. Hardwood floors. Nice. Doors in most shotguns typically do not have sidelights (as they take up space) unless the door itself is centered.

Also literally no one but me cares about this but they have an antique door knob fixture and that’s cute! Older knobs were much smaller with slim, narrow plates. 

Based on the central placement of their door and its door surround/sidelights, as well as the placement of the stair on one side of the house, it’s a pretty safe assumption to make that they live in a shotgun. BUT ALEX, you cry, WHERE’S THAT ONE LONG HALLWAY AND THOSE SUBSEQUENT ROOMS? I’m super glad you asked, because it’s also not at all uncommon for shotgun houses to have their interiors gutted and rehabilitated to better suit modern needs! This is especially prevalent in New Orleans, where the majority of their historic preservation ordinances apply to the exterior of a building, rather than the interior!

This ordinance is most heavily used in the French Quarter, where you can subdivide and alter the interior of historic building to your hearts content, provided you maintain the exterior’s character-defining features (trim, paint color, cast-iron balconies, et cetera), but is also often applied to the houses in New Orleans’ other historic neighborhoods.

I hope this was edifying and/or interesting for anyone who is not historic preservation-inclined, but as a preservation specialist I was really delighted to see the amount of detail put into a space so small!!!

"Pilot Out of Alignment"

I’ve been thinking about the G. Danger test drift’s context and content, and there was something subtly bothering me but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

The film has a slight problem with internal consistency as pertaining to terminology. We’re introduced to terms like the drift, neural handshake, neural bridge, and at points in the film they’re treated like they’re interchangeable and synonymous.

Except…. they’re really really not.

I don’t own the supplemental media, and for all I know this may have been addressed elsewhere, but if so someone would have mentioned it by now.

As established by the official site and the film’s deployment sequences, the drift between pilots is created nearly simultaneously, but definitely sequentially, with the neural handshake that links them to the Jaeger. The pilots are linked by a sophisticated peer-to-peer brain-sharing interface, and it’s the gestalt of the two (or three) formed by the drift that drives the Jaeger.

So what does this mean when a pilot’s out of alignment?

We know from the battle scenes that pilots can disengage their movements from those of the the Jaeger in order to manually activate items on the console or perform other actions, presumably via mental toggling back and forth.

When Raleigh has his post-traumatic flashback after they finish G. Danger’s calibration, both he and Mako go out of alignment.

Tendo: They’re both out of alignment.
: Both of them?
Tendo: Both of them.

Tendo: Gipsy, Gipsy, you’re out of alignment, you are both out of alignment!
Raleigh: I’m okay, just let me control it.
Tendo: You’re stabilizing, but Mako is way out! She’s starting to chase the R.A.B.I.T.!

Question: Why would it important that both of them are out of alignment?

Answer: Pilot alignment can only mean lining up and synching with the Jaeger, not one’s copilot. Raleigh moves back into G. Danger’s last position when he recovers, whereas Mako is bolt-upright, frozen and lost in her own memory, way out of alignment.

They lose alignment to the Jaeger, not each other: they’re still drifting, still linked, because when Mako chases the R.A.B.I.T., Raleigh traces her back in and chases it with her.

Let’s take a moment to consider that Raleigh, who wasn’t the natural like his brother was, who doesn’t consider himself to be particularly gifted in any way, dives straight into Mako’s memories without looking back, and still keeps enough of a foothold in reality and himself not to drown in the moment like Mako does. To phrase it slightly differently, Raleigh throws himself into the memories of a person he’s known less than a day, someone with whom he shares very few reference points, and manages to find her anyway. He might as well have run into a burning building full of mannequins looking for Mako, because it would have been easier and at least the exits would have been marked.

Let’s also take a moment to reflect on how, in the grips of the most traumatizing flashback possible, Mako still manages unconsciously to realign her connection to G. Danger and activate the plasma canon on Raleigh’s side, and even though he has experience and a fairly ironclad will he can’t override her. What others do by training and probably a hell of a lot of cognitive adjustment, Mako does easily as thought, more easily even, because she does it without thinking.

Later, when Raleigh tells Mako “[their] drift was strong,” he’s really not kidding.

1192ibelin  asked:

So, if Sansa is Elizabeth of York and Aegon VI is Henry Tudor VII, then does that make Daenerys Maragrite of Anjou? Or Cersei?

Thanks for the question, 1192ibelin.

ASOIAF is not a 1-1 with anyone in the historical spectrum; if it were, the story would be a silly attempt at historical fiction, with a little magic thrown in, without the genius of characterization that makes the series so enjoyable. Aegon is Henry VII, but he’s also Perkin Warbeck - the false pretender who claimed to be the younger son of Edward IV, gained foreign support, and attempted (but failed) to invade England and overthrow the “usurping” Tudor dynasty. Sansa is Elizabeth of York, but she’s also Anne Neville, daughter of the powerful “Kingmaker” Earl of Warwick (effective Hand, for a time, to the Robert-lke Edward IV), who was first betrothed to the Lancastrian heir to the throne, Edward of Westminster (a boy, like Joffrey, with a violent personality and an ambitious mother) before being married to the “twisted” but intelligent Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III). 

Similarly, Margaret of Anjou can be found a little in Margarey and a good deal in Cersei. Like Margaery, Margaret was a 15 year old young woman when she wed the Lancastrian king, Henry VI; her marriage was designed to seal a treaty of peace between England and France, at war under the reign of Henry’s father Henry V. Margaret’s paternal grandmother Yolande, like the Queen of Thorns, was a formidable woman who schooled her granddaughter in her future role as a powerful royal spouse. As for the parallels with Cersei, @gameofthroneshistory gave a nice breakdown, so go ahead and check that out. 

The Queen Regent (NFriel)