Vikings were historically recorded trading in the far east, middle east, and into large parts of northern Africa. They set up colonies and outposts, married local women, and absorbed local customs and traditions.
so if you think about it, allura’s beginning is terrible. one moment she’s in the middle of a war, urging her father to fight back. then, from her perspective, she blinks a few times and wakes up in a cryopod, ten thousand years in the future
for her only a few moments have passed, and in that time, she’s lost her home, her planet, her family, her friends, everyone she’s ever known
she has to learn about the deaths of her people secondhand, from a historical record. she was left behind by time, and that’s just really, really sad
My grandpa does genealogy for fun and he just emailed me about my great grandmother’s great-great-granduncle who was born Sally Strout in Maine, 1791-1871. He identified as male rather than female and went to the lawmakers of Maine to ask them to recognize him as male, allow him a name change and to be allowed to marry a woman. This caused a lot of hoopla since that just wasn’t done at the time, but in the end Albion Peter Strout got his name change and gender recognition, and legally married a lady, Mary Dorsett, on August 31st 1835. He was well thought of by his peers and owned a tavern and sawmill in Buxton, Maine.
We have ALWAYS existed and the historical records are there to prove it. Genealogy is a great resource for learning about our trans ancestors (and LGBTQ+ too!) and it should be used to its fullest potential. Now I know I have a confirmed trans guy related to me who lived 200 years ago and not only had the respect of his town but even got the law on his side in a time when people like him weren’t taken seriously!! Dig around and see what you find about your own family history. Even if you hate your family that’s living, you may find some amazing and inspirational relatives who have passed on.
Although produced by the OCDM and not the FCDA (which I focus most attention on) this is arguably one of the bleakest, most honest pieces of media produced by all American Civil Defense administrations. It does not sugar-coat the effects of blast, fireball, or fallout, but also tries it’s best to provide pertinent information in a calm, organized manner.
Unlike most civil defense media, it talks almost immediately about how death is most likely if you do not take any precautions to survive. It later mentions how shelter life has psychological effects, and how most creature comforts will be gone. Most media maintains a very positive outlook and makes nuclear warfare seem not so bad. But this is arguably more important than other publications, as the reality of the situation would have encouraged people to take Civil Defense seriously.
Both parts of If The Bomb Falls, narrated by David Wiley, can be listened to on youtube:
Hey can I ask you something and this is a thoroughly ignorant question but I'm Latina and I grew up learning that Castro killed his own people and that he just was a terrible dictator. I even have friends from around the region that support this and say that Castro and communism are responsible for the suffering of the Cuban people. Could you explain to me why this isn't the case? I just can't find any other reliable sources to inform myself. Thank you.
im sorry this is long, but read the whole thing, its all important information
First, Cuba isn’t a one-man or military dictatorship. A lot of people don’t know this, especially in countries allied with America, but Cuba is highly democratic, and even takes measures to stop corruption in politics. For example, elected representatives are paid workers’ wages, so there is no monetary incentive to run for office, all voting is by secret ballot, votes are counted in public, voting is voluntary, elected representatives can be recalled at any time, women make up 48.9% of the Cuban government (a hell of a lot more than the US which can’t even break 20% in its Congress), it is illegal to spend any money on political campaigns to advertise for particular candidates, and candidates’ biographies and their reasons for standing are posted on public notice boards so everyone has equal exposure.
The nomination and election of local candidates for office is done in public meetings, with return meetings happening every 6 months. There are limitations in higher levels of the government, where voters must choose to either accept or reject a single nominee, but as far as i know, the principles of recall and community nomination still hold true.
As for the specific claim that Castro is a dictator, its on very shaky grounds (to say the least). Its true, of course, that Fidel and Raul have been the only presidents of Cuba since the revolution. However, the presidency isn’t chosen like it is in America, directly (well, its not even direct in America, but thats another topic). The presidency is chosen through the elected parliament (national assembly).
Delegates to the National Assembly are elected every 5 years, half nominated from municipalities and half nominated by mass organizations (like trade unions, women’s orgs, cultural orgs, etc.). Each nominee must receive at least 50% of the vote. All in all, there are 612 delegates, and 48.9% are women.
The National Assembly votes on who belongs to the Council of State, which appoints the ministers, Presidency, and Vice Presidency. And following a 2011 Congress of the Communist Party, senior elected officials can only serve two terms (10 years) in office. That means in 2018, Raul Castro will step down and a new President will be chosen.
We should also talk about what exactly “dictatorship” means. All societies are dictatorial for some and free for others, because all states are institutions of class rule. Cuba, while I don’t believe it has a socialist economy (and thus not a socialist government) has absolutely shown what can be done with the support of the mass power of the people, and drawn a line between it as a free and independent country and imperialists.
Still, compare those achievements to Haiti. A country that has been and still is politically and economically crippled by US and French imperialism, which suffers under a neocolonial elite, which is paid starvation wages to make Levis and other commodities for the US, which receives little to no aid when natural disasters hit (which are exacerbated by the ecological devastation of the island).
What is really responsible for the suffering of the people, not just in Cuba, but in Haiti and all countries in the global south? Is it really the ideology of socialism that fights for greater rights and the accessibility to basic needs? Or is it capitalist-imperialism, which strangles Cuba with economic blockades, and parasitically leeches off of its neighbors?
As for the claim that Castro killed “his own people”… the phrasing of this (and of course this isn’t your fault, anti-communists always phrase stuff like this) makes it seem like its better if politicians kill others in imperialist war. Killing “your own people” is somehow far worse than killing the people of countries you want to invade or control. Castro and Che did kill people, yes Cubans. But again, we have to look at the class forces involved. Who were those fleeing? Who were being killed? Historical records show most were rich, white Cuban plantation owners or otherwise of the middle and upper classes, who backed the former military dictator Batista:
All weekend a Cuban exile contingent of right-wing ‘gusanos’ have been gathered on Calle Ocho street in Miami’s “Little Havana” to celebrate the death of Fidel Castro. However the hatred was always mutual; as Fidel characterized the first 1960’s waves of wealthy white parasitic former land owners who were part of the Batista dictatorship he overthrew as “gusanos” (worms), based on their reactionary politics, intransigent support for the blockade, and desire to team up with the CIA to carry out terrorist attacks all across post-revolutionary Cuba. (Note, not all exiles fall into this category, especially more recent arrivals).
The zenith of gusano interference was the 1961 U.S.-backed Bay of Pigs invasion, which Cuba’s government defeated, and afterwards Fidel pointed out the wealth of many of the 1,100 exile soldiers that his troops captured (and later released back to the U.S. in exchange for baby formula). Within those 1,100 soldiers were: 100 plantation owners, 67 landlords of apartment buildings, 35 factory owners, 112 businessmen, 179 living off inheritances, and 194 ex-soldiers of Batista.
Over the decades since that time, the aging gusano contingent in South Florida has proven to be perhaps the most corrupt group (on a per-capita basis) in American politics—which is saying something. In their dying off ranks you can find Batista’s old BRAC secret police goons, ex Cuban mafia, CIA contract killers, and former oligarchs of vast latifundias. As essentially Miami is still controlled by the remnants of Batista’s dictatorship and their off-spring, a regime which killed 20,000 Cubans and tortured tens of thousands more.
Almost all (and i only say almost because i don’t know of any who were not) of those executed were members of Batista’s army, informants, rich landowners who backed Batista, etc. And, contrary to the idea that these were executions against the people, they were actually popularly sanctioned:
Serving in the post as commander of La Cabaña, Guevara reviewed the appeals of those convicted during the revolutionary tribunal process. The tribunals were conducted by 2–3 army officers, an assessor, and a respected local citizen. On some occasions the penalty delivered by the tribunal was death by firing squad. Raúl Gómez Treto, senior legal advisor to the Cuban Ministry of Justice, has argued that the death penalty was justified in order to prevent citizens themselves from taking justice into their own hands, as happened twenty years earlier in the anti-Machado rebellion. Biographers note that in January 1959, the Cuban public was in a “lynching mood”, and point to a survey at the time showing 93% public approval for the tribunal process.Moreover, a January 22, 1959, Universal Newsreel broadcast in the United States and narrated by Ed Herlihy, featured Fidel Castro asking an estimated one million Cubans whether they approved of the executions, and was met with a roaring “¡Si!” (yes). With thousands of Cubans estimated to have been killed at the hands of Batista’s collaborators, and many of the war criminals sentenced to death accused of torture and physical atrocities, the newly empowered government carried out executions, punctuated by cries from the crowds of “¡paredón!” ([to the] wall!),
Always remember- all states are the power of one class over another. Whether that class is the working class by itself (or in alliance with a progressive and anti-imperialist bourgeoisie as in Cuba), or whether it is a reactionary or imperialist bourgeoisie armed against the working class of the world (as in the US)- states are not just democracies or dictatorships- but institutions of class power. Its interesting how we call Cuba a dictatorship when the rich landowners flee or face persecution or god-forbid *gasp* their land is redistributed to campesinos! But the United States, which has the largest (mostly black and brown) prison population in the world (both by number and per capita), which is established on stolen land, and which regularly exercises its power to interfere in and mess with other countries independence, is seen as “free.”
Looks and acts cold, expressionless most of the time. Full of charisma, his aura always overpowers anyone in the same room as him. Everyone either want him as an ally, or want his head laid on their table. Leader of the pack, great natural instincts and exceptional skills. Cares for his pack a lot, even though he doesn’t show it often.
Has the biggest built out of everyone. Acts as the first wall for the pack, Donghyuck’s back up on spying missions. Excels in hand-to-hand combat, capable to decapacitate or kill someone with bare hands. Long codename: Chicago Monster. Actually is a nice and funny man, watches Cake Boss and Infinity Challenge on his spare time.
Never really had any trouble on doing his job, but rather attracting unwanted intervention from his objects due to his good look. Appears friendly and harmless, his smile fooling everyone of his ruthless nature. Excels as a con artist too. Leader’s right hand man. Johnny’s Cake Boss marathon buddy.
Short-tempered, but works fast and efficient. The brain of the pack. Hates to be annoyed by his pack but they do it anyway, just because. Knows anything and everything important. Works with Mark in their technological stuff.
Flirtatious, tenacious and dangerous. Born and raised to kill. Deadly accuracy and speed. Amazing with weapons and great with hand-to-hand combat. Never spares a life, always finishes the orders given. One of the most feared assassin on the history of mafia.
Rarely be seen because he is either moving around completing missions or back at the mansion planning. Only a handful of people know what he looks like, a cheerful guy with cute face. Mostly doing operations on his own when Johnny is gone with Donghyuck.
The oldest. Quiet and calm in almost any situation, making him the best person for troubleshooting. Looks really scary because he is always seen with an electric saw, his favourite weapon. Enjoys his time alone, but never complains when the younger come to interrupt him.
The most innocent among the pack, honest and a hard worker. Always seen with a hat and his laptop. Also excels in hacking and the technology area. Doesn’t really like to hurt people badly on his own, the reason for his weapon of choice.
The youngest of the bunch. Mischievous, high-spirited, exceptional in his field. Historical record of 95% mission cleared, one of the reasons why he is in the pack from such a young age. Never knew of his parents, the pack is the only family he has.
Used to work for China’s government before he was betrayed by his own country. Moved to Korea and met Jaehyun, who brought him into the pack. Specializes in fabricating various choices of the crime scene and cleaning evidences.
After breaking a historic box office record, “Wonder Woman” has broken another record, becoming the most tweeted-about movie of 2017 in the United States. “Wonder Woman” has garnered more than 2.19 million tweets so far this year, according to exclusive information obtained by Variety from Twitter. Those 2.19 million tweets make “Wonder Woman” the most popular movie on Twitter of 2017, surpassing “La La Land” and “Beauty and the Beast,” which topped the box office this year with over $1.2 billion internationally, but came in third place on Twitter. Aside from the film as a whole, Wonder Woman, also known as Diana Prince, also ranks the most tweeted-about film character of the year. Steve Trevor currently ranks as the third most tweeted-about film character of 2017. Batman came in second place.
In January of 1709 during the War of Spanish Succession and a notoriously harsh winter, a man was found just east of Tours walking on the frozen Loire river. Naked and covered in burns that took the shape of vertical stripes all over his torso and legs, the man was found to speak only English and a bit of an unidentifiable dialect of French or Italian. Believed to be an opposing soldier, he was held in a military prison until 1714.
During his time in the Tours prison, he made numerous bizarre claims. The man, who accounts record as calling himself “Alexandre Ramieresse” stated that he was from the future, coming from a city called “Baz-Dan.” He stated that he was a university professor and scientist and that he had accidentally thrown himself back in time about 300 years while developing a type of vehicle, which he claimed was supposed to send people across great distances in a second. His accounts of how it worked were stated to be gibberish by his captors.
Yesterday, February 18th 2016, Professor Alexander Ramirez of Boston University disappeared from François Rabelais University near Tours while working on a quantum entanglement study.
The description of “Alexandre Ramieresse” does indeed match Alexander Ramirez, bald with a thick black mustache is all that the historical records say about his appearance. But they do list a good number of his rantings and prophecies. Among them are claims that France and Germany would have two great battles in the 20th century, one of them due to a German Tyrant whose name was stated but not recorded; a claim that he flew to Tours in a large metal object with wings; a claim that people across the globe would one day be obsessed with a play called “La Guerre des étoiles” (Roughly translated “the war of stars”), and that they would spend most of their time writing words on communication devices called “His Salt” (“his salt” in French would be “sel fon”).
Alexandre Ramieresse died in 1716 and was buried in the Holy Innocents’ Cemetery in Paris, but his grave marker has never been positively identified. Notably though, in 1987, a geiger counter located a heavily radioactive corpse buried in the cemetery, which was removed for public safety. The corpse, unidentified, bore several anomalies, including a fatally high polonium levels and evidence of advanced dental surgery. Suggesting a further connection, individuals who had extended contact with Ramieresse were said to have gone bald and suffered from tumors. Alexandre Ramieresse himself was not stated to have had any deformities, but the bones of the removed corpse did bear signs of internal cancerous growth.
Most alarming of all though, is the will of Alexandre Ramieresse. Dictated to an avocet in 1715, the will is in English and though it does not definitively state that he had traveled in time, its actual contents are quite suggestive of the phenomenon. It reads in its entirety:
“To Monica I leave my home and its furnishings. To Maurice I leave my accounts at Banque Courtois and my cat, Frodo. To Marie I leave one hundred livres on the condition that she pass on my letter to be delivered to the François Rabelais University on February 15th, 2016.”
Upon reading this bizarre will, investigators checked with the University to see if any letters had been delivered. Indeed, one had been received on the 15th but had been stowed in a sorting pile due to its faded address through the 18th and was only opened this morning. The letter read:
“Alex- It’s you from the past. For the love of fuck don’t use a resistor on B-13 or B-15. It will send you back in time and hurt like a mother fucker. Also I think you forgot to throw out the expired eggs in the fridge. Have Marty toss them fast or it will stink up the house like one of Larry’s farts.”
The final evidence came this afternoon when investigators contacted Ramriez’s T.A., Martin Salandor Essex and sent him to the refrigerator in question. Upon opening it he reported a smell that he confirmed was indeed nearly identical to the farts of student Larry Perspex.
Upon learning the near incontrovertible evidence that time travel is real, Martin stated for the record: “It’s true. It’s all absolutely true: Larry farts like a fucking skunk on Taco Bell.”
Narrative voice is one of those things editors and agents look out for as a sign of raw talent. It’s something people say can’t be taught. Either you have it or you don’t.
This may be true, partly, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t make any conscious decisions about your narrative voice.
I love playing around with my voice in different pieces that I write, and I thought I would share some advice on how you could have some fun with your own narrative voice as well.
I would argue that in most novels, about 50% of voice comes from the author’s own voice and natural storytelling abilities. This may change overtime, but mostly it’s just you. Writing as you write. The other 50%, I’d say comes down to writing like your narrator is telling a story to an audience. This means asking yourself two questions.
1. WHO IS TELLING THE STORY?
This is pretty simple in 1st person point of view: know who your character is and let them tell the story. Know what their opinions are. What interests them. The things they like and dislike. If they’re angry or optimistic or scared. If they use slang or speak like a professor. A voice should grow naturally out of that information.
In 3rd person, when your narrator is a non-participant, there are two options:
The first is to tell the story strictly as yourself, in 100% your own voice, and let it change naturally as you suit it to fit your story. This means being confident in your abilities as a storyteller and just telling the story.
The other option is to put on a costume. This narrator is you, but perhaps it is you as a grandfather, or you as a historian, or simply of yourself as someone funnier or wittier than you think you actually are. It’s still your voice. It’s still you telling the story, but you’re drawing out a particular aspect of your voice that enhances the story you’re telling.
This option is more complicated than the others. This is consciously changing your voice. I believe it can be done: that grandfather might help you get into a certain mindset if you want your story to have that kindly touch of “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of Number 4 Privet Drive were proud to say…” Thinking of yourself as a historian might add a formal sort of flare to your high fantasy novel. Believing you’re hilarious may give you the confidence to put sillier elements into your story.
2. WHO ARE THEY TELLING IT TO?
I don’t mean this in terms of who you imagine is going to read your book. That’s a different matter entirely. What I’m talking about here is the narrator’s audience. This is usually just an audience imagined by the author, unless the format of the novel is epistolary or journal entry, or the narrator references them outright. Even so, it can be helpful to remember, however, that every story is told to someone. This can be intentional or unintentional, but it drastically changes how the story is told.
Here are some types of audiences:
Afriend, which means they’re telling the story in an honest and casual manner, as though the reader is someone they trust with their innermost thoughts. I would say this is the most common “audience” for a novel told in the 1st person.
ex. The Shades of London series by Maureen Johnson
Someone they want to persuade, which depending on their character could mean being unreliable and defensive, or confessional and apologetic. They might be keeping a few secrets about their thoughts and feelings from the reader, and maybe even lying to the reader and/or themselves.
ex. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
Historical record, which is not actually for historical record, but a more formal 3rd person that doesn’t focus on interacting with the reader so much as honestly reporting thoughts and events as they occur. I would say that this is one of the most common “audiences” for a novel written in 3rd person.
ex. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
An audience referenced in the text itself. This is a book in full story-telling mode, where a 3rd person narrator both refers to the imagined audience and the fact that they are telling a story directly on the page. This is an older style of storytelling used to be more common than it is today. The imagined audience can be a certain type of reader (children in many classic children’s books). It can also be an audience that only exists in the word of the story itself, like prospective dragon naturalists.
ex. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
ex. A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
Once you’ve settled these two matters, you have a structure for your narrative voice in place. The rest, depends on your voice as an author, and for that I can only give the following advice:
Read. Pay close attention to the voices of the books you admire, the way the narrative interacts with you as a reader and with the events of the text. Consider why you admire certain storytelling features and how you might implement similar features in your own writing.
Write and write a lot. Every word you put on the page is a choice you’ve made. Every choice you make will hone your voice, completely subconsciously.
Have fun telling your story. Don’t worry about the voice being polished or “good,” just tell the story in a way that’s enjoyable for you. If you’d like, experiment with different styles. Practice telling stories in the voices of people who don’t sound exactly like you. Try on ridiculous costumes. When you have fun telling a story, your reader will have fun listening to it.
Sarah, I'm having one of those nights where it feels like I'm not enough. Like I'm not getting anything accomplished, like nothing I will do will ever be enough or be worth anything? What am I supposed to do? Try harder? Lmao sure that's all there is right?
So, even in the midst of….probably the most significant crises of faith I’ve ever experienced, there is still a part of me that believes that after you die someone is going to sit down with you and ask about your life.
(I always picture it in one of those beige, nondescript rooms like a high school counselor’s office. There are bright, inoffensive posters on the wall. A glass dish of hard candy. The entity interrogating you wears a sweater.)
And they are going to sit down with you, and they are going to ask, SO HOW DID IT GO. THIS WHOLE….LIVING BUSINESS.
And you are going to have to tell the truth.
And the truth isn’t….did you make it. Where “it” is anything ranging from a lot of money to a lot of fame. The nice entity in the sweater doesn’t care about that. The nice entity in the sweater wants to know if you helped.
When you saw suffering, did you react in a way that was to minimize pain and bring relief? that came from a place of empathy? did you react our of love and justice, or out of showmanship, or worse—out of fear? did you give up what you could live without, to serve them?
If you were privileged enough to know other people, did you help carry their burdens where you could? did you meet them where they were, and forgive them their trespasses as you forgive yourself? did you rein in your own anxieties and fears, and let them blossom as only they can?
When you moved through the world—and wasn’t that beautiful, all that physics and chemistry and psychoanalytic geometry, really so impressive—did you leave the bits of it you touched better than you found them?
And at the end of the day, the nice entity in the sweater is going to know, whether you improved, helped, carried, served,….or whether you didn’t.
No other standard matters. Nothing else is important.
And….I mean, I didn’t choose my profession out of pure disinterest, I’m guilty as anyone of ignoring what I really and truly believe should be the guiding principle of my life. But I do believe it. And I think that there are millions upon billions of humans who fit the above criteria even though the historical record will never mention them by name.
That reminder keeps me humble, as I pursue more lofty goals—however prestigious, however notable, that entity in the sweater doesn’t give a fuck. All that matters is: did I lessen suffering and unkindness where I could? was I gentle even when I could have reacted with violence? and did I help others flourish, even when I wasn’t sure it would help me grow at all?
Ok, controversial question warning. Aren't the Norse mostly violent? The historical records, the sacrifices and the die in battle or go to Hel thing makes me uncomfortable with the Scandinavian pantheon. Even more than other equally old or older mythologies. Old Testament included. Thanks!!!
Ok, so, I was really going to just say no and let it go but I’m honestly so frustrated because you straight up think the Norse(and do you mean the Norse people or the Norse pantheon - you should really be more specific so I can answer more thoroughly) more violent than Christians and I would just like to casually remind you of the Crusades. Where a bunch of Christians just went an waged war on Muslims in the name of God and trying to eradicate them from the Earth. Like no one is more violent than Christian history. Ughhh. Anyways, I’m not going to deny Scandinavian history, yeah? Vikings definitely raided, killed, and raped, so have most militaries throughout history. It’s very unfair to the Norse deities and people to act like all they were was violent barbarians.
Let’s begin with saying we don’t know everything about our gods and their history because there’s not that many resources on their stories or lore. Sure, our gods are a bit violent but that’s because they have to be - they’re warriors, they’re not immortal by nature, they bleed and breath just like you and I and they have to fight for that. As far as I’m concerned most deities are immortal and don’t have to fight to live. But really not all Norse gods are violent? Freyr(sweet precious bee dad) absolutely forbids weapons, armor, and violence in Alfheim because he chooses to promote peace and equality.
Also, the Norse aren’t the first or only religion that includes sacrifices? Did you not have a history course in school? Manyyy ancient religions in civilizations practiced human sacrifice - Celts, Incas, and the Egyptians are the three that I remember the most from college.
Furthermore, there’s more than Helheim and Valhalla when you die. Sure, Hollywood may make it seem like those were the only two options but you could be with Freyr in Alfheim, or go to Fólkvangr with Freyja. The Norse knew this, there were priests of Freyr who would work in his temples in hopes of going to Alfheim, it just so happens many of them wanted to go to Valhalla because it was d o p e. Endless beer, battles, and food? Sign me the fuck up.
To continue, can we please address that there was more to vikings than just violence? They were master blacksmiths and were forging incredible armor and weapons with iron/steel while many other countries were still using bronze? And can we talk about them being significant mercantile traders with parts of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Northern India, Kashmir, North and Eastern Africa. They were farmers, BOAT BUILDERS, and bomb hunters. the superiority of Viking ship-building skills enabled them to trade in much farther lands and carry way more goods and they were probably the most successful traders of their time?
I don’t know man, I had more to say but you’ve been kind of rude about this whole thing so this is it. Good luck.
(Here’s a definition so that I don’t contribute to a stigma. :) ) Stockholm Syndrome: Feelings of trust or affection felt in certain cases of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim toward a captor. Often used as a coping mechanism that arises strictly as a result of survival instincts. The reason why this positive emotional bond between captor and captive is created is to act like a “defense mechanism of the ego under stress”.Unfortunately since captives often fear that their affection will be perceived as fake, they eventually begin to believe that their positive sentiments are genuine.
So how does this relate to aliens? Well, they just simply refuse to believe that
Stockholm Syndrome is real and can happen. After all why would it? Why would a big, strong, determined human try to protect the one who was causing them pain? That is till they see the historical records or they see it happen to a human right in front of them after they have been captured by space pirates. Then slowly they might understand. They see that the humans who ‘love’ and co-operate with their captors live a better life even if it comes at a great cost of their own minds. After all, humans are known to survive anything. So what if can tear them apart piece by piece. At least they survive.
Just this spring, The Royal Romance: Book 1 kicked off with a dance in the palace ballroom of Cordonia. The whirlwind romance of the first book ended with a courtly plot against you. Who in the court can you trust? And how will you fight back? All will be answered in Book 2… and The Royal Romance will return at the end of September! To find out more about the upcoming book, check out the interview with The Royal Romance team below:
Soooo… how’s book two of The Royal Romance going? What’s next for our Cordonian crew?
Jeffrey: Well, next I’m probably going to go home, cook some vegetables, listen to a podcast, then socialize with some friends through the interwebs–
Oh, you meant the characters, not us. Well… In Book 2, we want to take the main character’s journey in a more experimental direction where she really discovers who she is and what she wants. First, she was living under the expectations of her role as a waitress in New York, then she escaped into the trappings of high Cordonian society. Now’s her chance to pursue her true self.
Kara: Even though we’re not releasing chapters right now, we actually started Book Two right after we finished Book One! I finished writing the last few lines of the Coronation and then immediately started writing the first chapter of Book Two! We actually had to do most of the planning while we were still working on Book One. We’ve got a lot of fun planned–even though things can get a little dire in the Royal Romance, the fun of being at court and spending time with your friends is still there. We’re going to travel the world, meet new people, build a barn, and probably talk more about hats.
It’s a pretty big understatement to say Book 1 had quite the cliffhanger. Can you tell us a little bit about where this is going?
Kara: I think the most striking thing about the reactions to the end of book 1 are how people interpret what happened differently. It all happens so quickly, and we only gave people a few lines to read into, but it really isn’t very much to go off of. You don’t know exactly how the Prince is feeling, or why he picks who he does. From the writers’ perspective, we jump right into writing Book Two, so there’s not much of a wait. I wish our players didn’t have to wait either, because a few weeks of being in suspense can go a long way! In Book Two, you’ll be able to finally fight back and figure out who framed you and Tariq in Book One.
Jennifer: I don’t want to say exactly where Book Two is going, but questions that were brought up during our brainstorming were: Who sent the blackmail note? Will Olivia come back? Who tried to sell the bachelor party photos?
I need to know. Will we get our happily-ever-after?
Jennifer: I think you can really tell by a writer’s favorite novels what kind of outlook they have on endings. My favorite novel is Pride and Prejudice, so you could extrapolate how The Royal Romance will end from that. On the other hand, Kara likes Wuthering Heights, and Jeffrey really likes Hamlet, so… take from that what you will.
Hm… interesting. Now given Olivia’s ancestry and other factors, Cordonia is essentially the modern day version of Stormholt from The Crown & The Flame, which had quite a bit of worldbuilding. What does worldbuilding look like for The Royal Romance?
Jeffrey: Worldbuilding is a delicate and intricate process. First, I like to devise an economic system because economics answers a few questions on how we organize ourselves. For The Royal Romance, we developed an export market for the Cordonian apple sector by defining the exchange rate between the Cordonian currency versus the Euro. We have spreadsheets, graphs, and everything. It’s very professional. In fact, if you look closely, you can see a subplot where Cordonians attempt to tackle the housing crisis and rising inequality.
Once you have an economic framework which people organize themselves around, you can move on to the stories engrained in the national identity. What do they believe and how do their surroundings and past traditions influence them? What are the dissenting points of view?
With these two pieces in place, you can finally embark on a 10-volume historical record following the rulers of Cordonia, which will prompt a body of work on Cordonian history from the perspective of the common people. When you can recite the third edition of the Encyclopedia Cordonia, the writing can begin.
Jennifer: Jeffrey will be publishing his next novel, “Cordonia: An In-Depth Look At A Glorious Peoples” in Spring of 2028.
Very funny. (Just so we’re clear, Jeffrey is joking. Sort of.) Out of curiosity, who’s your favorite character to write in The Royal Romance?
Kara: I love writing Maxwell. In the first draft of The Royal Romance Chapter 1, he actually didn’t exist, and Bertrand was your only host. But that world felt too flat and un-fun. I realized we needed someone more playful to be opposite of Bertrand, so that’s how Maxwell was born! (He was originally just “Nobleman 2”). Right away, everything in the group felt like it finally clicked, and everything got a lot more fun to write. Even though we had to do a lot of last minute changes to the plot, I think it was worth it. Now he’s such a major part of the book that it’s hard to imagine a world without him! I also love writing Hana and Maxwell together because they’re both very sweet and playful but in very opposite ways. Hana also kind of reminds me of Jennifer and Jessica in some ways… XD
Actually, it’s very striking to me how each of the three Royal Romance writers for Book One has influenced the world and cast. Jennifer gives everything a touch of formality and courtly grace, and Jeffrey brings in a lot of wacky humor about horses and hats and poodles. If I’ve added anything, it’s probably making Bertrand meaner, throwing in more silly group moments with your crew, and probably having Drake drink too much whiskey. (I don’t even like whiskey.) But overall, it’s really thrilling to see the world and the characters that come out of this combination.
Jeffrey: Madeleine. It’s fun to write someone who’s constantly trying to spin a situation to their benefit, and making power plays along the way. I’ve actually been writing for Madeleine since her appearance in Rules of Engagement: Book 2, so we’re practically besties.
And who’s your favorite love interest? *wink* *nudge*
Kara: I love them all! I probably end up writing the most Drake, but I often get to write some of the Prince’s speeches to you, and I love how considerate and loving he is. There’s nothing selfish or mean about him. He’s the kind of person that you’d want to be around in real life.
Jennifer: In my personal game, my love interest is definitely Drake, and I totally make Kara write him just so I can read his scenes and enjoy the romance. =) Writing-wise, I enjoy Hana the most because I feel like we have a lot in common, and some of her struggles with trying to please while simultaneously trying to figure out what will make her the most happy in the long-run really resonate with me.
Is there anything you’d like to tell the fans before Book 2’s release?
Jennifer: We hope you’ll enjoy the twists and turns we have planned for Book Two!
😱 🤔 Well, that’s something to look forward to! To everyone reading along… Check back at the end of September for the start of The Royal Romance: Book 2! And as always, we’ve got more on the way…
‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Trailer Analysis: Burnham Is a Badass, and 8 Other Things We Learned
With the debut of over two minutes of footage from “Star Trek: Discovery,” fans of the “Trek” universe and/or anyone curious about what a new “Star Trek” airing on CBS might look like now have plenty to analyze.
The new trailer doesn’t answer all of our questions, but it does establish some key facts that only have us more excited to know more about the new series. Below are just a few of the things we learned by watching.
1. This Cast is DIVERSE (On Both a Gender and An Alien Level)
If a white human male spoke once in this trailer, it barely made an impression. (James Frain appears as Sarek, but in case you couldn’t tell from the ears, he’s playing a Vulcan.)
Otherwise, the spotlight is firmly on Sonequa Martin-Green as First Officer Michael Burnham, as well as Captain Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh), passing the Bechdel test in the very first scene. In addition, the trailer features a diverse range of alien species, some of which appear to be brand new to the “Trek” universe. Just check out the screenshots below:
This is one of the clear vestiges of original showrunner Bryan Fuller’s influence. As he said last summer, “Usually you’ve got one person with a bumpy forehead and then seven other people who look relatively human. We wanted to paint the picture of a Starfleet that is indicative of a universe where we’re encountering people who are much different than we are.”
2. Also, Yes, the Klingons Look Different
And we get a lot of them in this trailer, including what appears to be a scene set at a Klingon funeral.
Here’s what’s important to remember: “Star Trek” has a historically shaky record when it comes to a consistent look for the Klingon race, which is best summarized/not summarized by the below clip from the “Deep Space Nine” episode “Trials and Tribble-ations.”
Technically, the difference between old school versus new school Klingons (which began with “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” which means yes, this is Roddenberry’s fault) was “explained” by an episode of “Enterprise.” But J.J. Abrams also reset the Klingon look in “Star Trek Into Darkness,” so at some point you just kind of have to embrace the fact that Klingons are going to look however Klingons are going to look.
Oh, speaking of Abrams…
3. Whoever Shot This Show Has Clearly Seen the Abrams Movies
It’s hard not to notice the distinct use of lens flare and kinetic camera moves at play in this trailer — whether that’s consistent across the series as a whole is unknown, but if you were already a fan of Abrams’ visual approach (in partnership with cinematographer Dan Mindel), you’re in luck. If you find the style irritating, well, sorry about that.
4. Some of “Discovery’s” Technology Feels Modern
Such as these warp speed swirls:
And a new look for the transporter effect:
5. Some of It Does Not
Just check out Georgiou’s appropriately flippy communicator:
6. Burnham Has a Backstory With Sarek
While we’re not sure why Burnham has something resembling a mentor-mentee relationship with a high-ranking Vulcan official, thanks to a flash of young Burnham speaking with him in person we get a sense that it’s a relationship that goes back years. (Does that mean she also knows Spock? That’s something to look forward to discovering.)
7. Martin-Green Is Definitely the Star Here
She might not be the captain, but between whizzing around in a space suit and confronting Klingons, Burnham is definitely the center of the action. And we already kind of love her badass attitude (and cute haircut).
8. Burnham May Not Escape Just a Little Bit of Objectification
In the battle between cynicism versus optimism — a metric that has always been under close scrutiny by “Star Trek” fans — “Discovery” might lean darker than its title might have originally implied. In the trailer, Burnham directly battles her captain over whether or not they need to attack first: “Cut off its neck or target its head.” Again, we see what looks like a Klingon funeral. And the trailer ends with Lieutenant Saru (Doug Jones) literally saying that he senses “the coming of death.”
Is Burnham the hero we need in this pre-Kirk era of “Star Trek”? We’ll find out this fall on CBS All Access. Fifteen episodes have been ordered.
Honestly, it's pretty misogynistic to assume that women who dressed as men and used fake male names to go along in society at that time period aren't women any more. Women did what we had to in a time when we weren't allowed to practice medicine ourselves. People are now saying Joan of Arc was a trans man, too. So what, now any woman who isn't conforming to the feminine social construct isn't a woman any more? Womanhood is just about being feminine? THAT IS SEXIST! THAT IS MISOGYNY!
did historical women who took on male identities exist? yes. did historical trans men exist? also yes. acknowledging the presence of the latter does not mean negating the accomplishments of the former! billy tipton, albert cashier, and james barry et al were all men who knew they were men, who wanted to live as men, love as men, be remembered as men only in historical records. misogyny past and present is absolutely an issue that deserves to be brought up, challenged, and dismantled, but if the consensus is that james barry was a trans man and not a gnc woman, then me just shedding light on that isn’t misogynistic by any means. a trans man getting excited about the life and achievements of another trans man isn’t an attack on your womanhood or women in general. listen, there are many examples of gnc historical folk and only a handful of historical trans men out there. james barry has literally been acknowledged by his home country and their historical registrars as a trans man. you and i are both oppressed people trying to find our place in the world. you have joan of arc, mary read, charlotte brontë, hua mulan, george eliot, and hatshepsut. please let us have james barry in peace
hello! meron ka bang complete/accurate list of all the deities from the tagalog and bisayan pantheon? Also, i'm sorry if this question has been asked before ngayon ko lang nahanap blog mo and i'm only now really getting into ph mythology :)
Hi @saetr3noora. I made one before though I don’t remember which blog I posted it in, this one, or my blog on reviving our old beliefs, practices, and on our general mythologies and folklore at @diwatahan. Also its an old list that needed to be updated and corrected so I guess it gives me an opportunity to make another one. :)
But here is my complete list on them based on historical research, not modern takes on it. This list is from my notes for my book I am still currently writing and researching for. Any modern deities from recent stories such as Lidaga, Lihangin, Lisuga, etc. are not included on this list as there is not one mention of them in any of the oldest dictionaries or in any historical record accept in the 1900′s particularly during the U.S. colonial period and after and thus based on historical research, they weren’t traditionally worshiped. However this doesn’t mean they aren’t deities as some may just be but never mentioned in historical texts and only known orally, but for the purpose of listing all the deities that were believed and worshiped prior to the Spaniards I have excluded them from the list. I try to put info on each deity as much as possible based on what was written on them but there are a few who are only briefly mentioned in passing either with just the name of the deity alone or the name and the attribute they were known for.
Also note there are other Bisayan deities not listed here that are known to the Sulod of Panay island with the exception of Laon Sina/Alunsina as she was a prominent goddess known throughout the Bisayas. The deities known by the Sulod may possibly be deities that were known by the other ethnic groups in the West Bisayas and elsewhere in the region under different names locally but I have not looked into that intensively and done enough research on that subject so I have left those deities out of this list.
This is a pretty long list so I have cut it off here for those who don’t want to scroll so much on their dash. To read the entire list just press keep reading.
Anyway I hope this helps all those who are interested in our mythologies and folklore, whether from mere curiosity, for the sake of creating art, or to actually join the movement of reviving our precolonial beliefs and practices to the modern day.
Marcus Vispanius Agrippa (63 BC – 12 BC) was a close childhood friend of Octavian. They were inseparable over the years, with Agrippa becoming his great military strategist and commander. Without him, Octavian might never have become Caesar Augustus. Agrippa was born in a town nearby Rome. His family was not high in status according to the historical record. However, it was high enough that Agrippa attended the same school in Rome as Octavian in their early years. They were the same age and received their togae viriles together. Agrippa was physically tough and must have, at times, provided protection for his friend, Octavian.
In 46 BC, Agrippa and Octavian joined Julius Caesar in Spain and served with him in his campaign against the remnants of Pompey the Great’s army led by his two sons, Gnaeus Pompey and Sextus Pompey. It was during this time that Caesar became even more highly impressed with his young great-nephew. When Caesar returned to Rome, he changed his will. Unknown to Octavian, Caesar left him most of his personal wealth and adopted him as his son upon his death. Then Caesar arranged for Octavian and Agrippa to go to a military camp in Apollonia, Illyricum (current Albania), to further their education and get high level military training. Six months later, Agrippa was at Octavian’s side in Apollonia when they learned of Caesar’s assassination. In the following years, Agrippa led Octavian’s armies to victory in the battles of Perusia, Naulochus, and Actium. Also, in 40 BC, though not a major battle, his victory over Mark Antony’s soldiers at Sipontum was pivotal in helping bring Mark Antony to the bargaining table for the Treaty of Brundisium.
In 34 BC, Marcus Agrippa demonstrated how highly civic minded he was. After having served as consul, he requested from Octavian and took the lower position of aedile so that he could clean up the city of Rome; repairing aqueducts, building baths and hundreds of fountains. He oversaw the effort to clean the sewers and was only satisfied when he could personally sail through them from the Forum down to the Tiber River. Using his own money, he supplied the Roman people with olive oil, salt, and other foods; let them use the baths free of charge; and paid for their haircuts, men and women alike, for a year.
In 27 BC, he built the original Pantheon which was later destroyed in a fire. The emperor Hadrian rebuilt it in 126 AD and had Agrippa’s name inscribed on the face of it; “M-AGRIPPA-L-COS-TERTIUM –FECIT” in Latin which translates to “Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, Consul for the third time, built this”. The Pantheon stands intact in Rome today as one of the most impressive and beautiful structures of these ancient times.