From infusions and tinctures to oils and salves: The basics of herbal healing and the beginnings of any potion.
A decoction is needed to extract the deeper essence from harder substances such as barks, roots and stems. Place the raw materials in a pot and fill it with fresh water. Simmer uncovered until the water lever is reduced by 1/3. Strain the resulting liquid to remove particulates then drink or use as needed.
Pour freshly boiled water over the desired herb or planar matter, roughly 8 ounces of water per teaspoon of dried plant parts. When using fresh herbs roughly 3 times as much is required.
Place flowers, herbs or other plant parts in a sealed glass container. Fill the container with an organic oil (ex: Olive, sesame, etc…) until it is an inch above the material being used. Place the bottle somewhere warm for 2 weeks, next to a stove while cooking, on the mantle, a sunny window sill, etc. Upend the container daily to ensure the oil saturates the material.
Heat 2 cups of pure lard to frying temperature. Add 4 handfuls of crumbled dry herbs or 6 handfuls of chopped fresh herb to the lard. Stir to to blend and let simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat, cover and let sit over night. Reheat until liquid then mix in 4 tablespoons of an organic oil, this will prevent it hardening to much. Squeeze through a cheese clothe to remove solids and store in a crockery or glass container.
Mix 3 ounces of finely pulped plant parts, 7 ounces of lard and 1 ounce of beeswax. When thoroughly mixed simmer over low heat in active red pot for 1-2 hours. Remove from eat and allow to cool.
A tincture uses alcohol to extract the properties of a herb or plant. Loosely fill a glass container with fresh or dried herbs and add some sort of food grade spirit (ex: vodka), vinegar can also be used for certain ingredients. Cork or otherwise seal the container and leave somewhere warm for 2 or more weeks.
*Information from “Healing Teas - How to prepare and use read to maximize your health” by Marie Nadine Antol.
Responding to your post about twist endings and Rod Serling: Do you think that the "No, Luke, I am your father" reveal in Empire Strikes Back works as a powerful twist? It's hard to view it as anything but obligatory after almost 40 years of references but at one point it was truly shocking, I think. Still, I'm not sure if the themes that the reveal serves are actually important to the work or if they just match the reveal.
Comparing the “I am your father” ending to the Twilight
Zone/Scifi Proposition-Argument-Conclusion ending is like
comparing a dolphin to a torpedo; they look the same, but they work in very different ways.
I think it’s important to emphasize here that the
ending IS what your story is trying to say; the ending IS the story. If you
have a story about the hazards of love that cynically shows how bad
relationships can be…but the hero finds true love at the end, it’s an
optimistic story that says true love and happiness is possible and relationships are great. The ending is what your story is trying to say.
Now, that said, the reason that the Darth Vader reveal
has oomph can only be understood if you look at the Empire Strikes Back script
by Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote maybe one of my favorite Westerns, Silverado (I
love Westerns as much as scifi, but considering the nature of this blog, that
part of my personality doesn’t come up much). It’s worth noting that most scifi
writers have an understanding of the basics, something that transfers from
genre to genre; the fundamentals of storytelling are the same. Rod Serling won Emmys for drama long before Twilight Zone, for instance.
You can understand what Empire Strikes back is all
about from the title, which wasn’t carelessly chosen. It’s a story about how the Rebels are on the run; they are
running in the night, and the wolves are after them. It’s impossible to stand
and fight. The opening has the rebels in exile in a miserable icy location,
from which they are forced to flee.
As the story goes on, things get worse and worse. The heroes are betrayed and have no place to hide. Luke
does the impetuous yet loyal and courageous thing to help his friends before he’s
ready, which the wise Yoda raises the stakes for by saying that Luke will fail totally if he confronts Darth Vader. The scene on Dagobah
with Yoda and Obi-Wan fills us with dread for the meeting to come and raises
the stakes for the battle to come; that’s the purpose of the scene.
Are you getting it, now? The point of the story is to
have the Empire victorious, to show the sacrifice and loss a rebellion would
need. And when Luke goes to see Vader, he has his hand chopped off and his
lightsaber lost; he never stood a chance. And that, at the very conclusion of
the film, is when the biggest bombshell of all is dropped: Darth Vader is Luke’s
The Darth Vader reveal wouldn’t have worked if it came
in the middle of the film. It worked because
the entire film had been building to it, with loss after loss to the
Empire. It’s the ultimate thing to make a hero totally despair in a story that’s
all about losing (note that after learning this Luke has no option but to jump to his death). The twist isn’t just thrown in there out of nowhere; the
entire film had been building to it, and it’s the final “knockout punch.”
To have an ending like this, you have to identify what your story is about and what it’s trying to say, so you can convince the audience of it. As Brian McDonald says, “lots of young writers ask me if they are being too preachy. Not enough ask me if they are being sufficiently clear.”
anxiety before The Force Awakens:
I really hope this new Star Wars movie doesn't suck like the prequels.
anxiety before The Last Jedi:
What if Finn gets completely sidelined in the movie? What if Stormpilot is just another queerbait? They said they were doing all these reshoots and they said a LGBT character was gonna be in the new films...what if it's all bullshit? What if all the characters and storyline fall back into these regressive, stereotypical tropes? Is Luke going to die and leave Leia all alone with her shitty kid? How is Leia's storyline going to finish after Carrie Fisher's death? I'm genuinely scared of what Kylo Ren is going to do. Is Rey gonna get her hand chopped off? She better not get her hand chopped off.
A/N: So like said before I wasn’t ever going to post this because this was orginally for Chloe who’s been a little ran down lately. So no judgements ! This is a Thomas fic WHO I’VE NEVER WRITTEN ABOUT EVER ! BE PROUD OF ME LOL ! I hope you all enjoy this as much as I know that Chloe did !
The dwarf druid that everyone hates just found an enchanted ring
Druid: “I use the ring”
DM: “The ring fires a small magic missile that homes in on the swordmaster”
DM: “Luckily you dodge out of the way and it goes into the cave wall”
It should probably be mentioned at this point that the group had chopped off the druid’s thumbs earlier to stop him from killing a commander of the army. He also lost his index fingers due to an incident with a mountain goat he pissed off.
Sm: “You know what, I’m chopping off his hands at this point!”
Druid: “NO, please! I promise I won’t do it again!”
After a load of discussions from the rest of the party and an exasperated DM, the final verdict was:
Sm: “I put the ring on his dick. He’ll have to use it from there”
Since my carpal’s tunnel syndrome at my right wrist got worse that it feels numb most of the time. I can hold a pen only for about five minutes… so in order to continue drawing, today I tried practicing my left hand.
Context: In a previous run of our Shadowrun campaign, our BnE expert, Xaren, had his hand chopped off as punishment after he cheated in an arena to save his teammate’s life. Today, the party was stumbling through a labyrinth and got separated from each other. This exchange occurred between an NPC and a member of the party, Olin, who absorbs metal through her skin for nourishment, can use it to regenerate wounds after rest and is deathly allergic to magic.
DM: You enter the next room, and you see an old witch tending a gigantic cauldron. She’s stirring it with a huge stick, there’s a broom in the corner, etc.
Rigger: What’s in the pot?
DM: You can’t see.
Olin: I start walking around the room.
Mage: Hello! Can you tell us where the exit is?
DM, as witch: Hello, dears. I’m afraid there is no exit.
Rigger: What’s in the pot?!
DM: You can’t see, the cauldron is like twelve feet tall. it’s too tall to look inside.
Olin: I poke the cauldron.
DM, as witch: Don’t touch that.
Olin: (slowly moves her finger forward)
DM, as witch: You really don’t want to touch that…
Olin: I’m going to roll Willpower to see if I resist touching it. (fails spectacularly) …Alright, I poke it and eat some of the metal.
DM: Alright, so there’s a hole in the cauldron now, and a liquid–
Rigger: What color is it?! I don’t know why I care so much about this, but I’m curious!
DM: …A boiling purple liquid starts pouring out of the cauldron. Olin, you feel incredible pain on your finger and as you pull away your hand, it’s covered with black scars that start spreading up your arm.
Mage: ..Ohhh, it’s magical alchemy. So that means..
DM, as witch: Well, it IS necrotic.
Olin: (Whips out a knife and chops her own arm off to stop the spreading)
Olin: (Grabs her severed arm and starts flailing it around) Look at me, I’m Xaren! :D
I’m a bit irritated by the fanon idea that Mace Windu didn’t actually beat Palpatine, and that it was a complete farce on Palpatine’s part to lure in Anakin. I mean, I can see him doing that because it’s a Palpatine thing to do, but every time someone brings it up I feel the almighty need to defend the implication that Mace wasn’t good enough, wasn’t able to defeat Palpatine, and that clearly Palpatine was just playing a con game.
The fact is that Palpatine and Mace were going at it for a while before Anakin arrived and Palpatine wasn’t able to kill Mace and it sure as hell looks to me like he was trying. Yes, Palpatine didn’t need to fry his own damn self with Force lightning, that seemed like a ploy to gain Anakin’s support, but he was backed into that corner by Mace and was trying to save his own ass by the time Anakin arrived. Mace was about to land a killing blow when Anakin chopped his hand off. This was a key moment for Anakin. I think it not only does a disservice to Mace to say he was dead meat either way, but also negates the gravity of Anakin’s choice in that moment, the very potent idea that he held the fate of the galaxy in his hands at that moment and that he chose wrong. Saying “Oh it didn’t matter anyway because Palpatine would have murdered them both” is… bad. It’s bad. It’s a Bad Star Wars Opinion.
All this is to say that I believe that Mace Windu, Jedi Master, was able to beat Palpatine’s pulpy ass. And if Anakin hadn’t stopped him, he would have killed Palpatine and everyone would be a lot better off.
Would it be a happily ever after? Unlikely, since the senate would be up in arms over the Jedi killing the Supreme Chancellor and taking control of the Republic, and the Separatist leaders would still be alive on Mustafar and might continue to agitate. But you’ll never convince me that Mace was wrong to decide Palpatine was too dangerous to leave alive after he had killed the other Jedi (R.I.P. Kit Fisto) and revealed himself to the be the Sith Lord who had been fucking everyone’s shit up for over a decade. And you know, a post RotS “Mace takes down Palpatine” fanfic that actually explores the ramifications of this would be pretty interesting.
Chopped All-Stars: If you don’t beat at least eleven other chefs, then you don’t deserve $50000 for your charity
Every other Food Network show: You literally didn’t make edible food and got voted out first round after giving one of the judges food poisoning, but your charity funding research into toenail cancer touched us so much that we’ll donate $5000