floor sensors

And Four To Go...

Adlock, set during ‘The Final Problem’

Four people sat in the living room of 221B Baker Street, like pieces on each corner of a chessboard. 

Sherlock Holmes was in his usual chair, fingers steepled under his chin as they were whenever he was deep in thought. John Watson sat across from him, in his old chair, but there was in his stance, a certain discomfit – as if the seat he was filling had somehow outgrown him, or perhaps he had outgrown it – and yet, still, he remained there.

In the client’s chair, the unwilling participant, Mycroft Holmes found himself in a position he rarely, and in fact, had never occupied – that of victim and supplicant. Supplication was for lesser mortals, not gods in marble halls such as him – and yet, here he was, his hands empty save for his weapon that he clung to needlessly like a child clutching a security object. 

His vulnerability, his inferiority thrown in his face like a wet rag.

It seemed fitting that the person who sat across from him be another who had conquered him and had nearly destroyed him and his brother. Yet another example of his inadequacy. 

The Woman sat in a chair in front of the fireplace between the detective and the doctor.

Of course. Trust Irene Adler to choose the position in which she could be at the head of the room, across from Mycroft so that she could see his shame and vulnerability straight in the face. 

As undeniably grave as their situation was, he knew she had to be enjoying her triumph over him immensely. Five years, and yet here she was across from him, still the dark queen in black silk and Louboutins, instead of the hostage in the hijab that he had seen in the video of her “execution”.

Irene Adler, alive. And his own brother, a traitor – not just to the country for knowingly aiding and abetting a known terrorist, but to Mycroft himself.

But then again, neither he nor his brother were the honest type, were they?

He really should have known.

“Why is she here?” Mycroft turned to his brother, his tone lofty, an annoyed drawl that only thinly concealed his shock and fury. He twirled his umbrella in his hand even as he itched to draw the gun from it, trying to decide which of them he wanted to shoot more — The Woman or his fool of a brother.

“She is here at my request,” Sherlock murmured, looking at neither of them. It didn’t fool Mycroft. The slight tension in his facial muscles, the way he responded, minutely and seemingly unconsiously, to the Woman’s every shift in posture. Sherlock and his damned sentiment… “And she’s here as a favor to me — well, actually to you, since this was your fault to begin with — so do shut up, Mycroft.”

"This is family!” Mycroft had hissed at him in an attempt to exclude not only The Woman, but also John Watson. He had worked too long and too hard all these years to ensure, not only the safety of the country but that of his family, to trumpet their secrets to two outsiders — least of all to Irene Adler, for God’s sakes, who had dealt with secrets and blackmail for a living when she was living. Or legally living.

“THAT’S WHY SHE STAYS!” Sherlock had turned on him with such ferocity that Mycroft actually drew back for fear of a physical attack. “That’s why they both stay!”

He, Mycroft, had no choice but to acquiesce. 

… And so, the story unfolded itself from his lips.

“Heaven may be a fantasy for the credulous and the afraid,” Mycroft mused as he neared the end of his story – his confession – his tone chilling and sober as a wry, grim smile crossed his face. “But I can give you a map reference to Hell.”

He let the words sink in for the other three people in the room. 

“That’s where our sister has been since early childhood. She hasn’t left, not for a single day.” Mycroft continued, addressing both his brother and John Watson. His tone turned wry and dismissive. “Whoever you both met… it can’t have been her.”

Both men were shocked and silent, but surprisingly, it was the Woman who interrupted him.  She had a phone in her lap, similar to the one that had given Mycroft and everyone else so much trouble, except he knew Sherlock had kept that one. This was a newer model, and she kept it close, even as her cold eyes bore into Mycroft’s, as though trying to see the lie in his.

“I met her.”

Sherlock’s head snapped toward her and his voice was low and dangerous when he spoke. “What?”

If she picked up on the change in his tone, she didn’t show it, instead she directed her answer to Mycroft. “Three days ago. At Eaton Square. I passed her on the street. I… dropped something, and she picked it up. I didn’t think anything of it, but as she was handing it to me, she leaned close and said, ‘I’d be careful if I were you. The East Wind is here’.

Sherlock narrowed his eyes at her. “Why didn’t you tell me this before?”

One perfectly shaped eyebrow rose as she returned his glare. “Why do you think I came here?”

John’s gaze flicked between the two, but it was Mycroft who cut them off. “How can you be sure it was her? You don’t even know what she looks like, that could have been anybody.”

“It was her.”

John’s brow furrowed in confusion. “Yeah, but how could you possibly know that?”

Instead of explaining herself, the Woman turned to Sherlock, her gaze unreadable. They stared at each other for several seconds, as if they could read the other’s thoughts. Mycroft tried to deduce anything he could from whatever internal conversation they were having, but couldn’t and he was just about to interrupt out of frustration when Sherlock seemed to interpret something in the Woman’s gaze, and his face darkened considerably. 

His fingers gripped the arms of his chair so tight, his knuckles whitened.

“Because she wasn’t talking to you.”

Keep reading

Advanced Flooring Turns Whole Rooms Into Touchscreens For Monitoring Movement

by Michael Keller

Growing older comes with a few nice things. Knowledge evolves into wisdom. Context informs perspective. A long life’s ups and downs are woven into a rich tapestry of memories.

But it also comes with a number of consequences that almost everyone would just as soon avoid. Footing becomes unsure. Bones grow fragile. A task as simple as rising from bed or navigating a room becomes fraught with danger when a fall could mean a broken hip or being unable to get up again.

Such a fall is among the great fears of caretakers, whether it’s a relative or a nursing home. What if no one is home when the accident happens? How will a nurse know if the injured person has tumbled to the ground on the far side of the bed?

A German startup is offering a high-tech monitoring system for this problem, which is set to grow more urgent as the developed world begins dealing with a spike in senior citizens. The company has developed an advanced, conductive textile floor covering they call SensFloor that detects when people are walking or lying on it. The innovation is already alerting European nursing homes when a senior has fallen.

“The floor is the best place to discover what a person is doing,” says Axel Steinhage, research and development director of Future-Shape. “Except when you’re sleeping, you’re always in contact with this surface called the floor. I feel it’s strange that people don’t use this surface for more sensor information input.”

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Caught at Lord and Taylor!

Omg! Bitches I got caught!! Wtf!! Okay so me and my lifting buddy were at Lord and Taylor, we go to two locations near us all the time and never ever have a problem there. It’s so easy for us at the locations we normally go to, but today we went to a diff one and just fucking assumed it’d be easy. Nope wrong. I grabbed a Fitbit that I’ve been wanting for so long, detagged on the floor and slipped the sensor into some jeans I was holding once I got in the dressing room. I thought I was being totally stealthy and shit I didn’t see any cameras, I wasn’t being dumb or anything and I know that there was nobody around who saw me. So anyways I keep on shopping with my friend, she also had a Fitbit in her bag and I detagged it for her at the same time I did mine. But we were looking around because she needed some jeans and I wanted a pair too and these two guys walked up to us and they weren’t in uniform and they seemed relatively young so I thought they were just dudes trying to talk to two girls. The taller one came up to me with a big smile on his face and said “hey ladies how’s it going?” And I kinda shrug smiled back like uh wtf I’m fine? And then his smile just totally disappears and he says “okay show me where you put the Fitbit.” And I’m not stupid I wasn’t tryna play no games w this dude he was big and scary as fuck so I just pulled it out and started crying saying “I’m so sorry I’ve never done anything like this before it was just untagged and I really wanted it I’m so sorry I’m so stupid I can’t believe I did that” and he wasn’t having any of my shit he just said “do u have anything else in ur bag” and thank fuck I didn’t because if I did I probably would’ve taken it out because I was scared out of my mind but I said no and he just replied with “okay why don’t you two get out of here. Like now. Right now.” So we left and got out and walked sooo far away before sitting down and taking a breath. Scariest 30 seconds of my life Jesus fuck. I’m just glad they were really nice about it and didn’t take me back or search my bags or call my parents. They didn’t even ask for my name or anything. Moral of the story, DONT ASSUME EVERY LOCATION IS GOING TO HAVE THE SAME POLICIES / IS GOING TO BE EASY BECAUSE DIFFERENT LOCATIONS WILL HAVE A DIFFERENT GAME PLAN DEPENDING ON WHERE THEY ARE DONT FUCK UP BITCHES.

Word Count: 1175

Triggers: None

A/N guess who makes a surprise appearance!

Requested by Anonymous

You met Nate when he was still in the legal business. He was Mr. Ford back then. You hadn’t seen him in a while, not since you were eleven, but you couldn’t forget a man like that. He was always trying to do the right thing, no matter what. So when you grew up and moved to Boston to get away from your nagging father, it was fitting that you ran into the one and only Mr. Ford whom you had admired for all those years.

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The First Day

“Sergeant Barnes, are you okay?” The redhead tilted her head but kept her distance. Bucky liked that about Pepper Potts. Her posture belied that Tony had filled her in on the barest of the situation: that the brunette was an old friend of Steve’s, and was looking to stay with them and work out awhile. Nothing about the Winter Soldier had been mentioned, and she stood in the elevator as if Barnes couldn’t snap and throw her out the glass-walled sides. Or at least, if she had been told about him, the woman carried herself in a way that showed no fear. She knew the right title, anyway. 

“I’m fine,” Bucky lied through his teeth. He had a large duffel bag over his shoulder, the left arm tapping against the railing with a metallic tink tink tink. The brunette had been a nervous bundle of energy since they wrapped up their trip to the Triskelion, ending with a trip from SHIELD’S small airfield. The last time he had been on the tarmac, he was in heavy restraints and running for his life. Steve was with him every step of the way this time, though, a reassuring soul in the middle of the thunderstorm overhead. They exchanged a glance in the elevator, Bucky making sure his eyes never lingered for too long. Barnes wanted to be on the safe side. That was one of the things that annoyed the brunette: despite having a floor to themselves, they had to keep things silent. It was a minor annoyance, but he still didn’t like being put under restraints.

The static was ever-present in the back of his mind: instead of causing his thoughts to dissolve into chaos the noise was serving to boost his heightened senses. Forty-six, forty-seven, forty-eight. Each flash of the floor hid cameras, motion sensors, the works. Barnes knew what to look for. He made a mental note of the elevator system, the fire exits, whatever was on each floor. The lower levels were all Stark Industries, food courts and public spaces. They were speeding past the section that Ms. Potts had labeled “research and development.” If anything, the security around those floors tripled. 

Barnes shifted, tugging at the loose bun that held his wet hair back. Stark had promised a vehicle would come by to pick them up from the airport - Bucky still needed to avoid airport security with his arm - and two hours after the intended pickup time Pepper had driven out personally to pick them up. The SHIELD pilot hadn’t stayed for more than five minutes to make sure that everyone was breathing. Not that he really blamed him. The briefcase that held another adjusted prototype of his outfit sat against his foot, rocking slightly with each rock of his heel.

“All…right then,” Pepper didn’t seem convinced. Bucky liked her even more. “Steve, it’s only a few more floors til we get to yours. I think Tony put in another guest bedroom after you and Sam came by awhile ago.” She tapped a pen on a large tablet, jotting something down. “Will he - “ The redhead gestured at Bucky, seemingly lost in thought. “be needing temporary pass codes and all? I can have JARVIS do a bio-scan and we can use that, if it’s easier.” 

lecaptaindom  asked:

Okay, so I do wanna ask you because I've been following for awhile and I like your blog. So do you have any good resources or ideas on puzzles? My group doesn't use modules, our campaigns are custom built, and I'm trying to incorporate puzzles more.

So I hit up the G+ think tank about puzzles in D&D, and got some useful insights and perspectives. Many of which line up with my own. 

“Puzzles” is a very specific term, with very specific connotations. You say Puzzles, I think “Pushing crates, moon crest, sword key, tiger eye gems, V-Jolt, Resident Evil”. Or, to a similar degree, “Hookshot, Pegasus Boots, breakable floors, eye sensor, silver arrows, pressure plates, Zelda”. Those are all fun, but they’re primarily single person obstacles, which amount to little more than roadblocks.

Puzzles are problems with limited solutions, or sometimes, just one solution. You have a specially locked door, which requires a special key. Or maybe that door’s locking mechanism is tied to a nearby pressure plate: You can push the nearby statue onto it to make it open, you can just pile up a bunch of goblin corpses on it. Same problem, different but similar solutions. 

The thing is, I kinda don’t like puzzles in D&D. Specifically, puzzles with only one solution. 

These are things like: Riddles, logic puzzles, tile puzzles, special key doors, and the like. Because they only have one solution, and that solution isn’t immediately apparent, they slow down play. They lock off portions of your game behind something that will frustrate your players at best, and bore them at worst. 

But D&D is a freeform game. A game that, depending on how you play it, is ultimately about weird, abstract problem solving. 

Consider this Resident Evil puzzle: 

There’s a crest inside of locked cabinet, and a button in the centre of the room, along with two grates. You push the button, the cabinet unlocks and you can get the crest…BUT, poison gas comes out of the grates. You’ll die before you can leave the room with the crest. 

However, there’s also two big statues in the room. You can push them around. Solution: push the statues to cover the grates, push the button, get the crest now that the gas can’t flow out of the covered grates. 

That’s a pretty good puzzle. Nothing groundbreaking. 

But D&D offers the ability to solve it in other ways:

  • Smash the glass of the cabinet to get at the crest. 
  • Pick the lock of the cabinet. 
  • Use a spell or potion making you immune to poison gas. 
  • Don’t bother with the room at all…fake the later door mechanism with a false crest of your own invention. 

Puzzles in D&D end up being little more than gatekeeping devices. Don’t use them. 

Instead, think about Problem Solving

Give your players insurmountable problems. Creatures that are way too powerful to kill in head on confrontations. Trapped rooms designed to kill the players slowly. Gates barred by intimidating orcs or monsters. Creatures that can’t be damaged by ordinary means. Physics obstacles that involve weight, balance, and containers. Problems where you can think of one, maybe two solutions to them, but you’re fairly certain there may be other ways past it. 

Pull no punches, throw no soft pitches. Make your players understand that these problems can be solved by combat, but it’s almost suicidal to attempt. Let them use all the their tools, all their wits, and all their spells to carve out a solution…and understand that there might be many ways for them to make a solution. 

For example, consider this encounter and how it could have been solved, and then how it was actually solved. 

For new-school people: If you’re playing a version of the game with a Perception skill, or a Search skill, or any other mechanical roll that allows you to spot traps/solve problems by rolling dice, consider ditching it. Consider your players only being able to discern things about their environment, and act in that environment, by verbally describing what they do and how they react.

As a game master, you must be asked questions in order to give up information. Tell your players no more about a locked chest or secret door or trapped gem-eyed tiger head statue than what they’ve asked about. If they don’t ask about part of the thing, or do something with part of the thing, then they don’t get to know about that part of the thing. 

If you want to use Perception/Search/etc, have it only be able to be rolled once, and provide only a single clue.

This will encourage your players to interact more thoughtfully with the environment. They’ll look less to their character sheets, and more to you, the GM, for a solution. 

In addition: don’t discount how helpful your players’ inventories can be. Flasks of oil, pitons, rope, daggers, blocks of lard, animals, acid, dumb circumstantial magic items that you gave them over a dozen sessions ago that they still have but have never used.

Make ‘em use all of it. 

Have these items be destroyed or broken in the process. Rope frays, pitons bend, daggers snap, oil can fill a room with smoke when lit. Make your players burn through their items to solve a problem. 

So, uh…in conclusion, don’t use puzzles. They’re dumb. Give your players problems instead. 

Hopefully that helps a little. 

Originally posted by all-things-disney-gifs

U.S. PATENT #8,138,882:
Securing premises using surfaced-based computing technology

THINK OF IT AS…Wall-to-wall security. This flooring innovation uses sensors to identify the shape and weight of those who enter a building, or even a kitchen. Now we’ll know who stole the cookies from the cookie jar.

Another patent from our 21st year of record-breaking innovation.