slab square

The Trickle Chamber

** Thank you to @superwholockmtg for pointing out that tiles 5 and 6 of the top row are switched around in the photo! **

Deep underground, our intrepid adventurers explore a network of caverns carved through bedrock by a long forgotten civilisation.
Upon entering one chamber, they see a large stone grid on the floor, roughly twenty feet by ten in size. There are two doors leading into this room: the one they entered through, and another leading out (sealed by a perfectly smooth stone slab).

Upon one square of the grid is a short stone pillar, one foot high. Affixed to the top of this is a shallow, carved stone basin, filled with an ethereal and intangible liquid which glows faintly in the darkness of the cavern. The basin has a hole in one side, and the liquid is trickling out, vanishing as it falls. The source is not depleted.
An adjacent square bears a similar (but empty) basin at ground level, with an inlet on one side which points in the opposite direction to the outlet of the raised basin. Neither basin can be lifted or rotated.

The other thirty squares of the grid are covered with stone tiles. Each of these has a strangely shaped carving: shallow channels which crisscross each tile.

If a character attempts to catch the mysterious liquid in their hands, it feels incredibly heavy but vanishes almost instantly on contact. It is immune to magical interaction.

Inspection of the tiles reveals that they are mounted on an ingenious gear system carved from marble. Each tile can be rotated through 360 degrees, given that all other tiles are currently aligned. They are quite heavy and require a strength score of 12 to move one. Each character can turn one tile per turn as an action.
As soon as a character rotates any of the tiles, a stone door falls into place, blocking the way back out. It is impenetrable and resistant to magic.

From this moment onwards, a swarm of 1d4 carnivorous bats enters the chamber every 24 seconds (4 turns), through a small hole in the lofty stone ceiling.

Once a circuit of channels linking the raised basin to the lower one is completed, the glowing liquid flows along the path, draining from one bowl to the other. When the second bowl is filled, the weight of the magical liquid activates a hidden mechanism, raising the door which leads deeper into the caverns.

imaginemedrawinglife  asked:

Hello there, love your blog very much. I have a question, with solarpunk style architecture there is usually a lot of/ large windows to let in light. I have noticed a movement to that in my universities new buildings, but they have a side affect of many poor dead birds. Is there a solution you know to prevent these birds from dying? I know about bird overlays mainly and Googled answers, but for a whole university that could be expensive if they even listened, and idk how effective those are.

Hi! 😊

Yes, this is an important concern, thanks for mentioning it. Before I say any more, I should add a disclaimer that I’m neither an architect nor an ornithologist, so if anyone sees me get something wrong, feel free to correct me.

So the way I understand it, this is mostly an issue with contemporary architecture, which itself has mostly been enabled by the fact that huge sheets of glass are very easy to make with modern methods. Older greenhouses tend to be made up of many small panes of glass rather than fewer huge ones for this reason. I don’t know to what extent those older glass buildings had this problem, but I’d guess it was less severe.

From what I know, the fact that modern buildings are full of flat sides and open spaces doesn’t help. Things like the Minnesota Vikings stadium are an example. It made the news earlier this year for exactly this reason.

There are two ways around this, really. Alter the glass, or alter the design.

Altering the glass is a clever solution. Birds see different wavelengths of light to us. Specifically, they also see ultraviolet wavelengths. So if you can alter the optical properties of the glass in the ultraviolet, the birds will see that there’s a solid object there, but the glass will remain transparent to humans.

A manufacturer called ORNILUX makes glass based on this principle, and while I haven’t looked into it properly, they claim it’s very effective. From the physics, I have no reason to disbelieve them, but seeing a few independent studies would be nice.

So, the other method – which I much prefer from an aesthetic standpoint – is to change the design of the buildings. Though I may be biased, because I honestly think a lot of modern architecture is rather bland, all monolithic surfaces and square slabs. 

Anyway. There are lots of ways this can be done, and I think they all make buildings much more visually interesting. Some cities like New York and Toronto have building guidelines, emphasising creating patterns and designs which birds can see (though as I mentioned above, this doesn’t necessarily mean those patterns must be visible to humans).

An article in Architectural Record suggests, “enhancing ultraviolet-reflectivity, color, texture, or opacity… Shading, brises soleil, colored and reflective solar blinds, or curtains also alert birds to buildings.”

One example of this is the Public Health Office in Mallorca, Spain, designed by Boris Pena. It’s designed both to look nice and to be visible to birds.

I suspect architecture incorporating plants, like Milan’s Vertical Forest, or the proposed Toronto Tree Tower would also be very bird friendly – as well as being highly visible, it would give the birds places to shelter and even nest.

While I don’t know about your university (they all operate differently), at least one of the ones I’ve worked at was very good at listening to student concerns, and many of their newer buildings incorporate a lot of eco-friendly design. 

Anyway, tl;dr, it’s not difficult to make buildings bird safe with proper architectural planning, and the resulting buildings are a lot more aesthetically pleasing! ☀️

If you’d like more things to read, here are a few.

Armie Hammer on romance Call Me By Your Name: ‘There were fetishes I didn’t understand’

In Luca Guadagnino’s acclaimed coming-of-age story, Hammer plays the older lover of a 17-year-old boy. He talks about the challenges of the role – including conveying the erotic allure of a peach.

Playing Oliver, he tells me, didn’t come entirely naturally. “I’m not sure I could have done it unless I’d reached a certain level of understanding with Luca. It was really a matter of him beating it all into my thick skull. There were all these kinks and fetishes that I didn’t understand. Like, why does he want to eat the peach? Why does he say ‘Call me by your name and I’ll call you by mine’? If I didn’t understand those things, I wouldn’t have the character.”

When explanations didn’t do the trick, Guadagnino resorted to film clips. For one scene, he showed Hammer a few minutes of Debra Winger in Bertolucci’s The Sheltering Sky: there is a lost look she gives that he felt was well-suited to the scene after Oliver and Elio have had sex for the first time. “I didn’t take it as ‘I want you to do it like this,’” Hammer explains. “It was more: ‘Do you see what’s going on in her head? Do you see her loss and confusion? That’s what I want you to feel. That’s what I think Oliver would be going through. Do you agree?’ I was, like: ‘I really do. Let me see how I can interpret that.’”

Oliver is Hammer’s third gay role, following Clyde Tolson in Clint Eastwood’s J Edgar and the writer James Lord in Final Portrait, but if that represents a risk, no one seems to have told him. “None of my team has ever said: ‘I don’t know if it’s gonna be good for you to play a gay character.’ So I can only assume we are working our way through that stigma,” he says. Then again, he has a history of following his instincts. Though he hails from “old money” (his Russian grandfather, Armand Hammer, was an art collector, philanthropist, Republican party donor and head of Occidental Petroleum), he defied his parents’ wishes by pursuing an acting career. Were they angry? “Yeah.” How did that feel? “I was committed and I was prepared to deal with whatever the consequences of that might be. I mean, they weren’t ever not taking my phone calls or anything. I just had to prove to them that my reason for becoming an actor wasn’t so that I didn’t have to carry on going to school.” Did they want him to go into the family business? “Or college, at least, you know?” he laughs.

Ryan Gilbey

Armie Hammer strides in to the press room a few minutes early, catching the eight or nine assembled journalists mid-conversation. There can be no ignoring him. Cartoonishly handsome, with a big square slab of jaw and a grin that arrives a couple of seconds before he does, he is also 6ft 5in tall. “What did I miss, what’s happening, something funny?” asks the 31-year-old actor. Gesturing at a colleague’s bulbous yellow microphone, I explain that I was remarking on its resemblance to a lemon and pointing out that it would have been more fitting if it were a peach. “Ah,” smiles Hammer. “Why do I have the feeling I’m going to be getting this a lot?”

His suspicion is correct. A peach figures only briefly in the rhapsodic gay coming-of-age story Call Me by Your Name, but that hasn’t stopped the scene in question defining the picture in the minds of those who see it. It is Elio (Timothée Chalamet), the precocious 17-year-old son of an American professor, who uses the fruit as a masturbatory aid; his older lover, Oliver (Hammer), who is staying with the family in northern Italy as the professor’s research assistant, merely raises it to his lips afterwards, perhaps contemplating TS Eliot’s question from The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock (“Do I dare to eat a peach?”) or wondering whether it’s going to count as one of his five-a-day.

Though Call Me by Your Name is deliciously sunny and sensuous, it has a proper sensitivity toward the pain, as well as the pleasure, of first love, as might be expected from Luca Guadagnino, the director of I Am Love and A Bigger Splash. Hammer seems dazed by the uniformly ecstatic notices the film has received. “I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop,” he says, pulling up a chair. Practically the only criticism so far, however, came last month from the actor James Woods, who expressed his disapproval by tweeting: “As they quietly chip away the last barriers of decency. #NAMBLA.” (The hashtag referred to North American Man/Boy Love Association, a paedophile advocacy group.) The next morning, Hammer replied: “Didn’t you date a 19-year-old when you were 60 …?” Miaow.

Hammer is joined by Chalamet, who is 10 years his junior. After all they’ve done on screen, it’s no surprise to see them goofing around and exchanging big, unembarrassed smackers. When asked if he has ever experienced the sort of love chronicled in the movie, Chalamet assumes a wistful tone: “I have, actually. It was the summer I was working with this actor named Armie Hammer …”

Several hours later, I get Hammer to myself. He shakes my hand hesitantly; he is recovering from having recently torn off his pectoral muscle while working out. Indeed, his Instagram feed is a catalogue of injuries and hospital visits, among the snaps of how much legroom he has in first class and assorted portraits of “the Hammily” (as he refers to his wife, the TV host Elizabeth Chambers, with whom he runs a chain of Texan bakeries called Bird, and their two children).

Playing Oliver, he tells me, didn’t come entirely naturally. “I’m not sure I could have done it unless I’d reached a certain level of understanding with Luca. It was really a matter of him beating it all into my thick skull. There were all these kinks and fetishes that I didn’t understand. Like, why does he want to eat the peach? Why does he say ‘Call me by your name and I’ll call you by mine’? If I didn’t understand those things, I wouldn’t have the character.”

When explanations didn’t do the trick, Guadagnino resorted to film clips. For one scene, he showed Hammer a few minutes of Debra Winger in Bertolucci’s The Sheltering Sky: there is a lost look she gives that he felt was well-suited to the scene after Oliver and Elio have had sex for the first time. “I didn’t take it as ‘I want you to do it like this,’” Hammer explains. “It was more: ‘Do you see what’s going on in her head? Do you see her loss and confusion? That’s what I want you to feel. That’s what I think Oliver would be going through. Do you agree?’ I was, like: ‘I really do. Let me see how I can interpret that.’”

Oliver is Hammer’s third gay role, following Clyde Tolson in Clint Eastwood’s J Edgar and the writer James Lord in Final Portrait, but if that represents a risk, no one seems to have told him. “None of my team has ever said: ‘I don’t know if it’s gonna be good for you to play a gay character.’ So I can only assume we are working our way through that stigma,” he says. Then again, he has a history of following his instincts. Though he hails from “old money” (his Russian grandfather, Armand Hammer, was an art collector, philanthropist, Republican party donor and head of Occidental Petroleum), he defied his parents’ wishes by pursuing an acting career. Were they angry? “Yeah.” How did that feel? “I was committed and I was prepared to deal with whatever the consequences of that might be. I mean, they weren’t ever not taking my phone calls or anything. I just had to prove to them that my reason for becoming an actor wasn’t so that I didn’t have to carry on going to school.” Did they want him to go into the family business? “Or college, at least, you know?” he laughs.

There was disappointment early on when George Miller’s proposed 2007 Justice League movie, in which he had been cast as Batman, fell apart. Depending on who you listen to, you can blame the writers’ strike, or the fact that Christopher Nolan didn’t want a parallel Batman running around on screen while The Dark Knight was still a going concern. But Hammer’s break came eventually with his dual portrayal of the Winklevoss twins, squaring off against Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. Left unmonitored, Hammer’s preppy quality can shade into blandness, as it did in The Man from UNCLE and The Lone Ranger, but his choices are usually too offbeat to allow that to happen. He was part of the shoot-’em-up ensemble of Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire (and will shortly be seen fighting subterranean monsters in the same director’s Freakshift), while his bright, Tom Cruise-esque gnashers were hidden entirely as Amy Adams’s aloof husband in Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals.

His enthusiasm for discussing Call Me By Your Name is understandably boundless but I wonder how the experience of universal acclaim compares with those times when it was withheld. After all, Hammer has starred in two pictures that were, for very different reasons, among the most vilified of recent years. First, he played the title character in The Lone Ranger alongside Johnny Depp as Tonto. Disney shut down production when the budget ballooned; by the time it was back on track, the smell of blood, or rather turkey, was in the air. The idiosyncratic western was never really given a chance by most critics, though the late Philip French called it “handsome, exciting, affectionate” and compared it favourably to Buster Keaton’s The General.

Hammer sighs when I ask him to compare its reception to Call Me By Your Name’s. “It’s apples and oranges. Different kinds of movies, different kinds of monsters. That being said, this has been terrific, so to be part of a project like this, I’m happy for myself, for Timmy, for Luca…” He goes on to list several other people for whom he feels happy.

Does he have faith that The Lone Ranger will be rediscovered or reclaimed in years to come? “I don’t know, man.” Another sigh. “That’s really beyond my scope of consciousness. I got to make the movie, it was one of the best times of my life. It’s like someone says in Call Me By Your Name: ‘You got to have the experience. Whatever comes after …’” He trails off. Was The Lone Ranger simply too strange to ever enjoy the kind of success needed to justify a $215m budget? All he will say is: “It’s quirky, for sure.” Maybe he’s simply learned to live with the anger he felt when he accused critics in 2013 of deciding “to slit the jugular of our movie.”

The civil rights drama The Birth of a Nation, in which Hammer played a slave owner, died for entirely different reasons. Its reception at Sundance in 2016, where it was bought by Fox Searchlight for $17.5m, was every bit as positive as the one afforded there this year to Call Me By Your Name. Then details emerged of the 1999 rape accusation against its star and director, Nate Parker. Though Parker was exonerated, his accuser later took her life. What had been a surefire Oscar contender was hastily buried in the light of this revelation. Surely Hammer has some feelings or opinions about the film’s fate?

“I don’t really know because I haven’t followed everything that’s been going on. I haven’t really been reading anything. I’ve been busy. We’ve been kinda doing this thing. I know that we got to make a movie that at the time felt like it was something very important. I don’t even really know what happened. There are people over at Fox Searchlight who are paid to worry about that sort of thing.” He doesn’t exactly say “I only work here”, but the implication is clear. “Actors come in at the 11th hour and we just stand in front of the camera and do our job,” he says. Another big grin – or is it the same one he’s been wearing all along? – and he’s off.

http-jack  asked:

Dark, how did you find Naga or end up keeping her? You two seem to really enjoy each others company and I find that very nice, so I was just curious. Also, Naga is lovely, both in a beautiful and dangerous way.

“Someone ended up mentioning to me that they thought it was cute that I had a tiny dark tim as a sidekick of mine.”

Dark’s face scrunched up, wrinkling the edges of his nose in displeasure.

“Can you image? A floating, dripping box at my side? How unsightly, how unoriginal. No, I thought to myself that I deserved something far more regal than some slab of square wood. I ended up assigning a poll to decide the species and name for my creature. Once it was decided, I chose Cobra, and ended up combining two names, Naga Crowley. I just call her Naga, of course. It wasn’t hard to create her, I simply willed her into existence. She would not survive in physical world, she’s merely a mirage of the subconscious mind as I am. She was created the same way everything else you see before you is. Made purely by the thoughts of the mind, and could easily be destroyed in that same fashion if it was seen fit.”

Portland Gothic
  • You cross under the bridge at the waterfront, you continue walking under bridges, how many bridges have you passed? there’s no cars on them anymore, but the phantom engines still rumble
  • You watch the pigeons weave through the legs of pedestrians by the georgian food cart, you lose sight of one for a moment, only for a moment, when you find it again, night has fallen, pedestrians gone but the pigeons remain
  • “A protest is happening at pioneer square,” you hear, and you can hear it, louder, until it is just deafening static against your ear drums. the concrete slabs of the square fidget, the statue drops his umbrella to cover his ears. “where are the protesters?”
  • The max doors close and the train descends into the dark tunnels towards the zoo, the whirring lights lining the tunnel slow as it finally stops at washington park max stop. The doors open, but you cannot leave, people are watching you. A mother takes a photo. A child has an ink stamp on their hand and they hold a stuffed toy with your likeness. Children love the zoo.
  • where is your umbrella? You used to have one, did you give it away? Nobody around you has an umbrella, everyone is soaking wet and you are as well, you look up, it isnt raining, the clouds are black, the sidewalk is dry, “looks like rain” the old woman beside you mutters, water still dripping from her floral hat.
  • “where is this coffee ground from?” the customers sneer. The barista turns toward them and opens their mouth to respond, the hissing whine of the milk frother is all they can speak. Nobody understands, but the patrons still think its an unethical purchase.
  • Powells world of books. You enter one door and wander through the “new arrivals” section. A teenager is curled up reading a book in the aisle. You step by him and continue to wander through the labyrinth. You later find him again, seemingly unmoved since you last saw him, he clutches his same book weakly to himself. He is in the “Classic literature” section, the man is old now, You still never found the philosophy section.

Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tetrapylon, a massive ancient Roman monument that marked a junction of thoroughfares, includes four square structures, each comprising four pillars. Each pillar supports a massive square slab of rocks intricately carved at their edges.

The bridge of the russian aircraft carrier Kuznetsov (top) vs her sister ship’s, the chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning.

While similarly packed, the chinese electronics are superior, and it’s said the antennas for the PESA radar on the russian vessel (the square slabs above and behind the bridge) are actually inoperational and filled with concrete for stability’s sake.