historical region

anonymous asked:

I've been trying to write the plot for characters I've developed for months and I can never come up with a good enough conflict. I can develop characters for days but once it comes to writing conflict I'm at a complete loss. Nothing ever seems good enough or interesting enough. The story is supposed to have a dark undertone and takes place near the sea in the 20's. I'm at a loss after that...

Characters Without Conflict

Before we talk about conflicts, make sure that you’re judging what’s good enough and interest enough on the right scale. Your scale. You might be afraid that no one will like it because it’s been done, or because no one is reading stuff like this, or because it doesn’t feel like enough action. But whether or not something is good enough starts with you

The first thing you need to do is gain some confidence. Take a look @maxkirin‘s story idea test. Once you accept the truth of this post, you’ll feel a lot better. But now, onto adding conflict when all you’ve got is characters.

1) Character Drama

Examine the relationships between your characters and find things for them to fight about. The way they’re each living their lives, or a crucial decision that needs to be made, an unforgivable act that one of them committed, a secret that was kept. Find sources of drama between the two of them. It may be that whatever you come up with is enough to drive an entire story. 

2) The Dead Body Trick

This is going to sound cliche, but the dead body trick works well. Have your characters stumble onto a body or witness something being murdered. Then imagine the possibilities of what comes after. Do they become suspects in the murder when they discover the body? Are they threatened by the murderer when their presence is discovered? Are they more tied to the murder than it seems on the surface? 

The dead body trick need not apply only to strangers either. Have one of your characters going through a recent loss of someone, and write how the person died to help inspire you to tell the story. 

You can also apply this trick to one of your existing characters. Choose someone from your cast and say “This person is going to die at the end of the story.” Now you work backwards to determine why and how that’s going to happen. You’re forced to develop a conflict that results in this outcome. 

3) Use Your Setting

In the case of this anon, setting can help you develop conflict. If the story takes place in a specific time period and location, there will likely be historical and regional events that can create conflict surrounding your characters. If we’re talking the 1920s in America, you’ve got prohibition that immediately creates conflict as people choose sides. If the story takes place near waterways, you’ve got potential issues of storms, tourism, merchant and commercial importing/exporting, fishermen trade and their agreements with local restaurants and seafood shops. Look at the issues facing the people in your time period/setting and see how your characters fit into those issues. What roles do they play? What problems will they face in these roles?

4) Start With Just One Problem

Don’t try to overwhelm yourself by thinking of a half a dozen plot arcs to keep the story moving. Start with just one, and follow it through to conclusion. When you’ve identified one problem, keep asking yourself A) How can it get worse and B) What will my character do about it? Both of these questions will help you move to the next part of the story. When you have a complete narrative arc surrounding one problem, it’ll be easier to think about things like subplots and how to add complexity to the story overall. 

These are just some ideas to get you going. Keep brainstorming and thinking. Be patient with yourself through this process. It can take months before you find that magical “Aha!” revelation where everything in your story just falls into place. 


how to tell if a history post is legit

Tumblr is full of bad lgbt history posts. Here are some ways you can avoid being bamboozled.

  • Look carefully at sources. Be on the lookout for websites that are satirical or right wing, or are pushing something else, like alternative medicine.
  • If a post doesn’t have a source, Google it, and then follow the above. If there are no sources on the internet, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not true, but you should be cautious. If you ask the OP and they won’t tell you, be skeptical. 
  • Sometimes posts will have a mix of truth and fiction. Sometimes photos will be put together with unrelated text. 
  • Also look at the original tumblr poster’s blog, and consider if they appear to have a specific ideology they want to spread. 
  • Events from the distant past often have murky facts. There are also modern nationalist movements that make up, falsify, or exaggerate the truth about certain historical regions/ethnic groups, so be extra careful when checking sources. 
  • Not all scientific studies are accurate. Some have been discredited, but a larger issue is frequently a low number of participants (small sample size). Even if the whole article isn’t free to read, the abstract usually is. 
  • Not all books are accurate, either. If you’ve come across a bad lgbt history book (or a good one!)…consider submitting it to our blog

Traditional costumes of Sorbs (also known as Wends, Lusatians, Lusatian Sorbs or Lusatian Serbs) - Western Slavic minority in the territory of Germany. They live predominantly in the historical region of Lusatia - in the modern states of Brandenburg and Saxony. They speak Sorbian languages (Wendish, Lusatian) - closely related to Polish and Czech, divided into two main groups: Upper Sorbian and Lower Sorbian. Collection of archival photographs from vintage postcards.

anonymous asked:

Do you have any images of the henna designs used and how they vary across different ethnic groups? I'm familiar with henna and my Indian neighbour taught me her traditions around it and applied some designs to me when I was a curious child and she was getting ready for a wedding, but I would assume designs very considerably between cultures as well as the context in which they are used. Would you be able to direct me to info on this? Thanks :)

You’re absolutely right — henna designs vary considerably from region to region… I often post pictures about it if you look through my henna tag. Here are some examples of different styles:

This is the style traditionally done in much of Morocco, known today simply as “bildi” (’rustic’ or ‘old-fashioned’)… Commonly associated with the “Imperial Cities” of Fes, Meknes, and Marrakech, it shares many similarities with the traditional embroidery (terz) of that region — note the division of space into diamonds and triangles, the use of parallel lines, and the toothed edging. Photo taken by me in Fes, 2014:

This is another style seen in Morocco, in the southern regions and Sahara. This “Sahrawi” style shares some elements with the henna of central and northern Morocco, but is similar in layout to the henna done in Mauritania. Photo from Flickr:

The henna of Mauritania is breathtakingly unique and immediately recognizable. In my opinion the henna artists of Mauritania are among the most talented and technically accomplished in the world; designs were traditionally done in reverse with a tape resist, and today they are also drawn (there’s actually a whole book about it!). Photo from Flickr:

And West Africa has its own style as well, commonly seen in Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, and other places in the region — done in reverse with tape, like in Mauritania, but with longer lines and different layouts. Photo by Casey McMenemy, from my article on henna in West Africa:

There is also a unique and recognizable style in East Africa, on the Swahili Coast (Kenya, Tanzania, etc.). Unfortunately today they often use the dangerous “black henna” chemical dye, but as you can see it can be easily replicated with natural henna (from this article on henna on the Swahili Coast):

The countries of the Arabian Peninsula have their own set of styles too, known as khaleeji (“Gulf”), which are today immensely popular around the world (even in places like Morocco and India which have their own longstanding traditions of henna design). In the Khaleej itself there are many henna salons with local and international artists, and so the designs are constantly evolving; the constant, for me, is the open layout and the contrast between thick and thin. Here’s an example of some contemporary khaleeji-style work (from Instagram):

Of course, Persia was once the heartland of henna, and in the Safavid period we have many depictions of beautiful, elaborate henna patterns in illustrated manuscripts. While the tradition died out during the Qajar period under the influence of Western fashion, it is clear that there was once a “Persian style” of henna, which some artists have attempted to continue or revive. This is a (very zoomed-in) detail from Mir Sayyid Ali’s 1540 masterpiece “A Nomadic Encampment” (and for more on Persian henna, see this article):

And while India came rather late to the henna-pattern game, developing traditions of henna art only in the 18th-19th century, by the 20th century South Asia had become one of the centres of henna art worldwide, and the henna styles from the region are probably the most common and recognizable today. That’s not to say that they were always what we think of today as “Indian-style” henna — here’s an example of Rajasthani designs from the 1950s recorded by Jogendra Saksena, which are quite different than the style of henna common in India today:

Not to mention the fact that within the Indian subcontinent, there are (or have been, historically) distinct regional styles: Pakistani, Marwari, Rajasthani, and more… And of course, henna designs are constantly changing! What was popular and stylish twenty years ago is not the same as what was popular ten years ago, or what is popular now. Especially with the interconnectedness of the internet, artists around the world are able to learn from each other, spread innovations, and merge styles in new and exciting ways.

Compare this old-fashioned, recognizably Pakistani-style design (from Flickr):

To the contemporary work of Pakistani-American artist (and dear friend of mine) Sabreena Haque, who combines motifs and layouts from Indian, Pakistani, Gulf, and Moroccan patterns, along with inspiration from many other areas of art and nature (from her Instagram):

And there’s so much more to explore! There seems to be a unique style of henna patterns in the Balkans, similar to their tattooing and embroidery. What were henna designs like in medieval Spain? Yemenite Jews had their own unique patterns and techniques as well, which still need more research. And there’s more to say about the evolution of henna designs in Morocco too!

I could go on and on, but perhaps that’s enough for now. Let me know if I can answer any other questions!


“In the spring of 1915, some months after Russia’s declaration of war against Turkey, a band of twelfth-century Crusaders, covered from head to foot in rusty chain armour and carrying shields and broad-swords came riding on horseback down the main avenue of Tiflis [Tbilisi]. People’s eyes almost popped out of their heads. Obviously this was no cinema company going on location. These were Crusaders – or their ghosts.“

The incredible troop clanked up to the governor’s palace. ‘Where’s the war?’ They asked. ‘We hear there’s a war’.

They had heard in April 1915 that there was a war. It had been declared in September 1914. The news took seven months to reach the last of the Crusaders.

The warriors were Khevsurs from the historical Khevsureti region (Georgian: ხევსურეთი) of north east Georgia. Legend tells that they are descended from Crusaders who left France 800 years ago and became detached from the main army, marched through Turkey and Armenia and settled in the Greater Caucasus mountains in Georgia.

Though the legend is not supported by some historians it is curious that Khevsur chain armor is in the french style and the letters A.M.D. – Ave Mater Dei, the motto of the Crusaders – is carved on their shields, and Crusader crosses adorn the handles of their broadswords and are embroidered on their garments.

The pure European origin of Khevsurs is not supported by most modern scholars. However, Crusaders are mentioned in several manuscripts of the time as participants of several battles against the Muslims in Georgia (100 “Frankish” Crusaders participated in King David’s army in the Battle of Didgori), and some did pass through Georgia after the fall of the Holy Land.

The origin of the Khevsurs remains one of the most curious legends of the Caucasus and it is perhaps more romantic to believe that the warriors who rode in full armor down the main avenue in Tbilisi in 1915 really were the ‘last of the crusaders’.”

From Richard Halliburton’s “Seven League Boots”, 1935

The Natural Regions of Germany (4): The Upper Rhine Valley

The Upper Rhine Valley is a rift valley of the European continental plate, which broke open as a result of geological forces. Its accompanying mountain ridges are the Vosges Mountains (France) and the Black Forest. The valley itself is filled with sediments, giving it a very flat surface.

The Upper Rhine Valley with its sedimental soils and warm climate is intensely used for growing demanding agricultural products such as vegetables, sugarbeet and wine. Farmers there have on average one more harvest than in the rest of Germany.

The Upper Rhine Valley is also one of the most intensely used transit routes for goods transportation by train and road since ancient times. A chain of cities is lined up there, forming part of Germany’s economic powerhouse. It is part of the so-called Blue Banana, an economically particularly active strip and megalopolis extending from the British Islands to Northern Italy.

The old trade city of Frankfurt am Main is now home to Germany’s most active air transportation hub, and is Germany’s banking and financial center. It is the only city in Germany with an American-style skyline, but also features a reconstructed historic city center. The Rhine-Main region also encompasses Mainz (capital of Rhineland-Palatinate), Wiesbaden (capital of Hesse), Darmstadt (home of a traditional university), Rüsselsheim (headquarters of carmaker Opel), Hanau (center of high-tech industry), and Aschaffenburg (center of the Bavarian North Main region).

The metropolitan region of Mannheim - Ludwigshafen - Heidelberg is another historical region and industrial center. Heidelberg is known for its university and castle. The former residence of Mannheim is known for its planned city architecture in a checkerboard layout. It was here that Carl Benz developed the first car. Ludwigshafen is an industrial city, home of the chemical company BASF, which operates the world’s largest chemical factory here.

Further centers are Karlsruhe (administrative center, seat of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany), Strasbourg (France), Freiburg im Breisgau, and the metropolitan region of Basel (Switzerland) - Saint-Louis (France) - Weil am Rhein (Germany).

Antique Roman remains can be frequently found. Historical places include Mainz, Worms, and Speyer, the latter with the largest preserved Romanesque church. Many other places testify from the rich cultural herigate of the region.

“Książę Szaranek” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Theoretically this is a Polish version of “Le Petit prince” (”The Little Prince”, “Mały książę”) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. But only theoretically because this book is translated into…

Wielkopolska (Great Poland) subdialect

Title: “Książę Szaranek” (litteraly “The Prince-Boy”)

A part of my family still live in Wielkopolska (Great Poland; a historical region of west-central Poland. Its chief city is Poznań). I wasn’t born in this region but thanks to my grandparents, aunts and mom I know a little of this subdialect. I’ve chosen a fragment about the sheep to show you how it looks like:

  • French:
    Le premier soir je me suis donc endormi sur le sable à mille milles de toute terre habitée. J'étais bien plus isolé qu'un naufragé sur un rideau au milieu de l'océan. Alors vous imaginez ma surprise, au levé du jour, quand une drôle de petite voix m'a réveillé. Elle disait:
    - S'il vous plaît… dessine-moi un mouton!
    - Hein!
    - Dessine-moi un mouton…
  • English
    The first night, then, I went to sleep on the sand, a thousand miles from any human habitation. I was more isolated than a shipwrecked sailor on a raft in the middle of the ocean. Thus you can imagine my amazement, at sunrise, when I was awakened by an odd little voice. It said:
    “If you please–draw me a sheep!”
    “Draw me a sheep!”
  • Polish:
    Pierwszego wieczoru zasnąłem na piasku, o tysiąc mil od terenów zamieszkałych. Byłem bardziej osamotniony, niż rozbitek na tratwie pośrodku oceanu. Toteż proszę sobie wyobrazić moje zdziwienie, gdy o świcie obudził mnie czyjś głosik. Posłyszałem:
    - Proszę cię, narysuj mi baranka.
    - Co takiego?
    - Narysuj mi baranka.
  • Wielkopolska (Great Poland) subdialect:
    Za ciemnego ćpiłym się nynać na piochu o tysiąc mil od jakiygoś bedejniek ludzkiego pomieszkanio. Czułym się barzy som niż rozbitek na tratwie po środyszku oceanu. Tej, ino se pomyślcie, jaki musiołym być ogupiały, kiedy już za jasnego ze śpiku mnie wyrwoł madaiczny głosik:
    - Tej, jo ciebie proszę… nagrygol mi baranka.
    - Co chciołeś?
    - Nagrygol mi baranka…

My mom and aunt are not so positive about the translation into Wielkopolska (Great Poland) subdialect. They would have used different endings of verbs or even change some words - probably because Great Poland is a big region and it is impossible to people to have the same version of the same subdialect. Here is their translation (only a little bit different but still they have changed it):

  • Wieczorym ćpiłbym sie spać na piochu ło tysiąc mil łod jakieguś bedejniek ludzkiygu pomieszczynio. Czułym sie barzy som niż rozbitek na tratwie po środyszku łoceanu. Tej, ino se pomyślcie, jaki musiołym być łogupiały, kiedy już we dnie ze śpiku mnie wyrwoł dziwoczny głosik
    - Tej, jo cie proszę… nagrygol mi baranka.
    - Co żeś chcioł?
    - Nagrygol mi baranka…

I’m gonna have so much fun with this book…


Today being the last day of classes before exams, I decided to go treat myself this afternoon. This involved going to the linguistics section of one of my university libraries and reading for an entire afternoon instead of studying for my finals. 

There was lots of cool stuff, though, so it was totally worth it.



Formed shortly after the Kalmar Union in protest against Durmstrang’s growing acceptance of the Dark Arts, the Scandinavian Academy for Sorcery Studies is situated in an undetectable location in Hinnøya for students predominantly from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden (and occasionally Finland, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands on account of their historical associations with the region) whose parents preferred for them to be educated in a more sympathetic environment. There is a large heated bubble on the outskirts of campus created for astronomy studies (by far the most popular academic stream at the school) where students can observe the night sky with an unobstructed view. A particular branch of divination correlating to celestial patterns and the movement of stars is studied intensively, and students occupy a large portion of their time speculating various outcomes of the alignment of stars and planets (overheard in the halls: “If Venus and Jupiter had been two degrees closer, I guarantee you I would have found that rogue troll already. The planets have not been helpful lately.”).

anonymous asked:

Wadda hell is dwarf fortress, I thought it was an rts, is it not?

no, it generates a fantasy plane based on custom parameters and simulates the actions of historical figures and civilizations through the passage of time. you can play in “dwarf fortress” mode, which is comparable to sims, minecraft, and rts, in which you give orders to dwarves on a set plot of land and try to survive as long as possible, or “adventurer” mode, which is a roguelike in which you can explore the whole plane, recruit people, take quests, etc. once these sessions are finished, they are treated by the game like any other settlement or historical figure in the region.

the immediate area of the game simulates physics, temperature, gravity, biology, etc. on an unprecedented level, and individuals have varying degrees of personal traits like family history, values, preferences, traumas, aspirations, etc.

it’s been in development for about 15-20(?) years, and is projected to hit version 1.0 in 2042. it’s currently in version 0.43, which indicates that the developers consider themselves 43% done with their vision for the game.

google it!

Traditional costume of the Sorbs (also known as Wends, Lusatians, Lusatian Sorbs or Lusatian Serbs) - Western Slavic minority in the territory of Germany. They live predominantly in the historical region of Lusatia - in the modern states of Brandenburg and Saxony. They speak Sorbian languages (Wendish, Lusatian) - closely related to Polish and Czech, divided into two main groups: Upper Sorbian and Lower Sorbian. Photograph by Iwajla Klinke                

Tourists ride in hot air balloons near the town of Goreme in Cappadocia, Nevsehir Province, Turkey on April 17th 2016. Cappadocia, a historical region in Central Anatolia dating back to 3000 B.C. is one of the most famous tourist sites in Turkey. Listed as a World Heritage Site, and known for its unique volcanic landscape and some of the best hot air ballooning in the world. Credit: VCG via Getty Images