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It is my great pleasure to announce that today we made the first successful call from the Panel office to the No. 1 Crossbar!

This is a truly momentous occasion! The museum has the only remaining Panel and No. 1 Crossbar switches left in the world, and for them to once again connect calls to each other after more than 40 years is an incredible achievement!

Our Panel switch, “Parkway 2” served the Columbia City, and Rainier Valley neighborhoods of Seattle in the Parkway central office on Rainier Avenue, from 1923 to its replacement in 1974. The No. 1 Crossbar, “Vernon 2”, served the University District from the Lakeview central office on 65th from 1942, until its replacement in the early 1980’s. During their time in service, they interoperated with each other, and with the many other central offices in the city of Seattle.

After they were brought to the museum in the 1980s, communication between the two machines was never established, because the terminating senders that the “Vernon” Crossbar required to complete calls from the “Parkway” Panel office were no longer available. This has been the case ever since the museum first opened.

Last year (to my great surprise), I was able to locate a fellow collector who had the exact parts we needed to re-establish a connection between the two machines. He helped decommission many electromechanical COs in the 1980s, and had several revertive-pulse terminating senders that he brought home from an office in Brooklyn, NY. When he heard about our machines, he enthusiastically agreed to donate the equipment we needed!

After Astrid and I retrieved the units from Connecticut, we and a team of volunteers spent a year wiring and installing them in our “Vernon-2” Crossbar office. It was a fantastic learning process, and we have grown together as a team during this time. I’m proud of the work we’ve done together, and completely humbled by the time and energy that everyone put into this project.

I’d particularly like to extend my love and thanks to Les Anderson, Colin Slater, Astrid Smith, Jim Day (the equipment donor), and all at the museum who gave their time, money, and advice during this time. I am grateful to each and every one of you, and this would not have happened without your hard work and dedication.

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@schlaf-chauvi drew an uratemba soldier a little while ago and it made me realize i’ve never written anything on uratemba arms and armor, so here are some pix of how i imagine their stuff to look! obviously these are all actual archaeological items that just have the hegemon’s symbol lazily stuck over them – in-universe that symbol would be stamped or etched into the helmet (and would be really hard to see unless you were close up, more like a hallmark than anything else) and painted onto the shield in bright colors. the real life things in the pics are a mamluk hauberk, a makua shield, an illyrian helmet, and an assegai

well, that’s all! now here is some flavor text:


THE EQUIPMENT OF THE URATEMBA ARMIES

The soldiers of the Uratemba Hegemon are at once identified by the material of their equipment: smithed from the cloud-gray zvachosimbi rather than bronze, an army marching in such battle-dress can only come from the Hegemon, for only they have developed the secret to its production.

A soldier of the Hegemon is presented with three standard-issue items upon enlisting, all free of charge: the metehembi, a heavy, impenetrable shirt of metal loops, the denya, a metal helmet of typical eastern shape, and the refumkondo, a spear of approximately two-and-one-half arm-lengths.

Shields are provided not by the forges of Mukotange but by local craftspeople, and therefore vary considerably depending on where the unit in question is from (though every Uratemba soldier must, by law, carry a shield capable of protecting their body against projectiles). Most shields are made from wood or wicker, and the finest among them bear reinforcements around the rim and boss in bronze or zvachosimbi.

Shields from the northern provinces of the Hegemon tend to be more circular in shape, whereas southern peoples prefer tall shields in the shape of ovals or rectangles. All shields, regardless of their shape, are painted with the symbol of the Hegemon, and often bear the soldier’s name and that of their unit as well.

Underclothes are also provided by local craftspeople; padded hats to wear under the denya and long tunics to shield the body from the metehembi’s rough loops are provided at the expense of the government.

A soldier is expected to provide their own waterskins, dining utensils, and other non-combat equipment, however, as well as a sidearm; though carrying a weapon other than the refumkondo is not a requirement of the Hegemon’s soldiers, it is widely encouraged and even more widely practiced. Most carry the traditional short weapon of their people as a sidearm, whatever that may be; the Uratemba people of the south prefer a broad stabbing-knife, the Ashibtu of the northwest an angled cutting-sword, and the Medgai of the northeast a fearsome axe. 

Commanders of units are identified by the plumage of birds, which they wear fixed to their helmets in order to be more easily visible to their soldiers in the midst of battle. Color determines the rank of the commander; the highest-ranking commanders, however, who lead entire armies to war, wear headdresses of leopards’ fur rather than birds’ plumage, a relic of the age when the Uratemba Hegemon was known as the Uratemba Paramountcy and was ruled by a leopard-crowned monarch.

I see people being angry at Armin as well as Eren/Mikasa. But Armin didn’t choose any of this, and you know as soon as he’s fully conscious he will be disgusted by the fact he was chosen over Erwin. 

Armin isn’t to blame here. He gave his life for a cause he believed in to help his team win the battle. Erwin did the same. They didn’t expect to be brought in to this syringe bullshit. They were doing everything in their power to help humanity win against the titans.

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Happy Birthday, Dame Maggie Smith (28th December, 1934)

Maggie Smith is magnificent, pure and simple. She’s a monolith. Multitudes of complicated women teem within her, and she morphs from one to the next in the course of her many roles, never repeating herself, but somehow always remaining indisputably Maggie Smith.

She comes equipped. First the eyes: huge, potentially barmy and never-endingly expressive. They exude aristocratic malevolence in Gosford Park. In The Lonely Passion Of Judith Hearne, they flicker and lose a little more light with every fragment of her dignity subtracted by heartbreak or the bottle. In The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie they are arrogant and commanding, yet wounded in their depths. As the preening, socially ambitious wife of meek Michael Palin in A Private Function, she aims them like lasers on every social faux-pas the poor man commits.

Then the voice: it has a steely, nasal edge to it that best serves her harder characters, or all her characters’ harder moods, but its other pole is a singerly softness that appears in moments of romance or, more often, disillusion. However she uses it, her mastery of vocal control is without peer; she can roll a word around the mouth until you hear every pealing syllable of it, a throwback to the West End’s postwar, pre-Wesker commitment to exquisite diction.

And the brain. Command Central. This is the cleverest, wittiest actress alive, the fastest mind in the room. No wonder Alan Bennett can’t get enough of her; she delves into every last nuance in his characters’ words and lives. And although Bennett, an old friend, knows how to play her like a trumpet, she can do all this for any writer, it seems.

She stands five feet five. She acts six foot four. Where’s her statue?

anon said...

One thing I keep going over in my head is when Allie & Bea are in the equipment room the first time & Bea asks Allie ‘well what are you into?’ & Allie says 'I was into you’. I can’t help but get the idea then that this may have been true. It was no secret that Kaz had an obsession with Bea after she killed Braydon or that Allie seemed to immediately zero in on Bea once they got to Wentworth. What if she did develop a crush on Bea on the outside and when the RRH got inside Allie took the chance to get closer. She saw this woman who took the law into her own hands & got revenge, something Allie had wanted to do many a time. However as she got closer the rose colored glasses were slowly & voluntarily removed. She got to see the woman beneath, who had to toughen after the death of her daughter, to protect those she cares about, who is broken & restored to self-harm as a way to cope. The superhero crush slowly became a real love.   

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Maggie Smith comes equipped. First the eyes: huge, potentially barmy and never-endingly expressive. They exude aristocratic malevolence in Gosford Park. In The Lonely Passion Of Judith Hearne, they flicker and lose a little more light with every fragment of her dignity subtracted by heartbreak or the bottle. In The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie they are arrogant and commanding, yet wounded in their depths. As the preening, socially ambitious wife of meek Michael Palin in A Private Function, she aims them like lasers on every social faux-pas the poor man commits.

Then the voice: it has a steely, nasal edge to it that best serves her harder characters, or all her characters’ harder moods, but its other pole is a singerly softness that appears in moments of romance or, more often, disillusion. However she uses it, her mastery of vocal control is without peer; she can roll a word around the mouth until you hear every pealing syllable of it, a throwback to the West End’s postwar, pre-Wesker commitment to exquisite diction.

And the brain. Command Central. This is the cleverest, wittiest actress alive, the fastest mind in the room. No wonder Alan Bennett can’t get enough of her; she delves into every last nuance in his characters’ words and lives. And although Bennett, an old friend, knows how to play her like a trumpet, she can do all this for any writer, it seems.

She stands five feet five. She acts six foot four. Where’s her statue?

- The Guardian