wooden steel

Hamilsquad Monster Headcanon’s

these are kinda kinky kinda sad but here 


Vampire!Alexander:

(I did these headcanons already but here are some more)

Alex is fast

  • Like… Fast. Especially when hungry.

John refuses to let you guys go walking in the woods anymore because of that time Alex got lost because he ran away to chase a rabbit and you couldn’t find him for almost two hours

  • He literally ran almost three miles after this rabbit in five minutes
  • He then had a panic attack because he was lost and the sun was coming up
  • You found him though, thank God, with just enough time to get him home before he got hurt

He doesn’t like the taste of certain blood – most vampires don’t care but he does

  • He won’t take his steaks as anything but rare but his pork has to be fully cooked or he throws up and gets a nosebleed

He likes to stay up late – it’s either you or John who has to drag him to bed because he goes the weakest for the two of you

But he doesn’t even do things he can’t do in the daytime

  • Literally, it’s like he could go outside and take a walk – he could do something he can only do at night – but no, there he is, writing a thirty-page essay and drinking more coffee at 1 AM

He’s got soft spots though

  • Laf’s wings are his favorite thing like just show him a feather and he’s up like Laf’s wings are warm and Jesus this boy loves being close to his boyfriend like that
  • He’s a kinky boy, suck his neck and he’s just t h er e
  • John can get him in with a blowjob just sayin’ (He could sing at the poor boy, but that would mean sex before bed because nothing turns Alex on more than John’s singing) so he’s just kind of like ‘I’ll let you fuck my throat if you come to bed’
  • Herc just has to give him that look and he’s shuffling quietly into the bedroom

But that’s only in severe cases because, although vampires tend to be fearsome, nothing is scarier than an angry demon, and when Herc is angry, you’ll know

  • It’s the look Alex gets when he’s done something wrong
  • He goes all non-verbal after that and it’s awful because Alex may be the most dreaded species out of all of you guys, he’s still fragile

Hercules hates doing it 

  • But after three nights of not sleeping, Alex still won’t go to sleep, so he kind of has to

Angel!Lafayette: (I said wings like 90 times here much sorry)

Laf has the nicest wings!!!!

  • They’re so soft and warm
  • They’re pure-white, but fade down to a baby-swan grey and they’re so pretty!!!
  • He closes them when he blushes but they’re nice ‘n open when he’s excited it’s so cute he doesn’t even know he does it
  • They provide lots of shade so he’s the best to go to the beach/picnic with because there’s never any sun in your eyes

He sleeps with them like a blanket and encases whoever is next to him as well, usually meaning Alex wakes up with a feathery blanket wrapped around his waist and his actual covers missing

  • But that’s okay though because he’s right up against Laf and that makes him all gushy and gooey and cute
  • and warm Laf’s so warm

The biggest Supernatural fan you’ve ever met

  • Probably has a crush on both Dean and Sam
  • Hates Castiel because he “Looks too much like mon père.”

Also when he stretches, he does this thing that’s just… wow

  • Like the fact that he stretches his arms over his head and it shows off his biceps and toned stomach is enough
  • But then his wings stretch out and the tips point up and god he’s perfect
  • But he does this thing where he’ll keep his wings stretched after he drops his arms down and yawns
  • And then he wraps himself in his wings and it’s like a giant hug!

You, Alex, and John have developed a contest to see who can hug him at the perfect time to get wrapped up in his wings with him

  • And he’s just kind of like “Ah! Bonjour, mon amour!” and he smiles so wide and kisses your forehead, spinning you slightly in his wings and hes so happy I just,,,,,

He wears giant hoodies in public because he doesn’t think they’re as beautiful as everyone thinks they are because… Well…

  • Like most angels, the dude’s pretty old
  • Most monsters like him were kept in circus’, freak shows, things like that
  • He was basically the property of the famous French traveling circus: ‘Nightline Brother’s Travelling Carnival Of Freaks, Mystery, and Tricks!’

The name is burned onto the sole of his left foot, and, even though it’s been almost a century, it’s still there

  • He won’t take off his socks for almost anything because of it

But his wings, they… They’re not great

He’s missing large patches of grey and white feathers here and there, but the skin underneath is all red and rough and bumpy like it’s been burned it’s… It’s not good

  • “I messed up one time… A few times.”

He’s got a few scars on his back and doesn’t like taking off his shirt, because they’re red and angry and pronounced and ugly – not to you, to him – and it hurts him to see them

  • “The people liked it when I screamed, I… I do not know…” He sighs. “It hurt. But it’s okay, I am fine, mon chou. It is over.”

He likes to fly but only does it when he wants - you can’t ask him too because then he’ll think he has to or he’ll disappoint you

  • Yet another side-effect from being a captive for so long

Sometimes you’ll walk into him flying around the bedroom

  • Or the library,
  • He does it in empty shopping centers
  • Hotel hallways 
  • The woods
  • Warehouses

He always has this goofy grin on his face when he flies

  • It’s a reminder that he’s free

You guys are allowed to touch his wings as long as he knows you’re doing it, but the second someone else touches them he has a panic attack

  • “When I was… Uncooperative, they… They used strings. You could never see them, but if I did not want to show my wings they would make me open them… It hurt a lot… Hands just feel the same I suppose?”
  • Unless it’s a little kid, he trusts them because they were always the ones who were gentle with him back in his freak-show days; plus they were the ones who gave him scraps of food and whatnot when they noticed ‘how skinny the bird in the cart with bars is

Also, he can’t have his hands tied - it’s too big a reminder of the shackles he was once bound by - he’ll cry and thrash like a madman because it brings back too many memories

  • Like one time he was kind of freaking out because of something and tried to get his sweater off quickly and in a moment of panic, it got caught around his wrists behind his back
  • He fell to the floor and writhed, shrieking and flapping his wings like a deranged pigeon when Alex went to help him
  • And John freaked, asking if he should just start singing to try and calm the Frenchman down, but Laf only sobbed harder, begging him not to because he didn’t want to lose consciousness like this
  • He only calmed down when Alex managed to yank the sweater off him, and then he curled up, wrapped himself in his wings, practically hiding in the feathers, and sobbed for almost half an hour

None of you left his side though

  • Alex missed work
  • John was tired
  • You were crying
  • Herc was petting his hair, whispering sweet nothings into his ear the whole time

But none of you left

  • Je suis désolé, mes amours, I just… It is a memory – it just hurts to think about, I am… I am so sorry.”

But the one that really gets you is the scar where his wings meet his skin

  • It’s a deep, dark, unfading scar that he’ll have panic attacks over and point to and all of you guys just know
  • It hurts when it rains and aches when he flies too high

That was the only deformation you asked about, and you were met with a sigh as he rubbed his hand over his tired face

  • “I… They wanted to try to make me human, I suppose? Didn’t get very far – they said the screams were heard for miles.” 
  • He says it like it’s an accomplishment, but you just feel your heart break and you hold him real close
  • He wraps his wings around you
  • And you just sob

“I love you…” You mumble into his skin. “I love you, you and your scars, you and your wings, you. I’m so sorry, Laf, I’m so, so sorry.”

He’ll wake up in the middle of the night panting in a cold sweat at least three times a week - probably more

  • He’ll need someone to hold onto, so don’t get mad if he wakes you up and doesn’t let go for like twenty minutes

He just needs to forget all those nights where he was chained up, alone, in a wooden cart with cold, steel bars on every side, with only the moon and the screams of other “freaks” to fall asleep too

Siren!John:

John’s singing is just… Oof

  • The minute those golden pipes start a-rollin’, whoever passes is horny for the rest of the day

He’s never taken a shower without at least one of you there because he legit can’t contain his singing in the shower

  • Laf and Herc are better about that stuff – it doesn’t affect them as much, maybe because they’re older and more dominant
  • But the minute Alex even hears a note out of that boy’s mouth he’s either on his knees and pliant or ready to taste some of that sweet blood (With John’s consent of course)

But he can’t help it, he loves to sing

  • And why shouldn’t he? He’s great at it!!

Sometimes it attracts unwanted attention though

  • They once got into a bar fight because some guys couldn’t keep it in their pants when he drunkenly quietly sang along to Kelly Clarkson while Alex, Herc, and Laf were getting more drinks

Now, your boys don’t get angry easily

  • A bar fight? They would’ve probably given the dudes a few bruises but they’re smart enough to get out of there while they can

But they legit came back to find John pinned against the wall by his wrists, disgusting lips on his neck, writhing as they tried to slip their hands into his pants

  • The pedophiles barely made it out alive

John basically had a constant panic attack for the next few weeks, though, because, although those men did basically try to rape him, it was his fault - he sung

  • He refused to go out for almost a month after that until you and the boys had an intervention of sorts and convinced him that it wasn’t his fault
  • Literally, all Siren’s singing does is turn you on they were bad men and John, please don’t cry, it wasn’t your fault
  • Poor bbyg has a lot of problems

He has bad memories of boats

  • Doesn’t like nets either
  • But he refuses to tell you why

He absolutely despises aquariums and fish stores

Can’t sleep in anything but his boxers and sometimes falls asleep in the bath

Knows a lot about octopi, loved finding Dory and finding Nemo and cried during both movies

  • He’s the baby, though, he’s only about 400 years old

He can control the whole half-fish thing pretty easily

When he was younger he couldn’t control it and would just swim up to shore and then as soon as he’s on the sand whoops he’s on two legs

So sometimes he’s like “Can I join you baby?” While you’re in the bath, and you’re like “Sure, Johnny”

  • And then BAM! THERE’S THE TAIL
  • It’s not gross and slimy like a fishtail oh no
  • It’s got these huge scales that shine in the light and oh my
  • They’re like blue-green and shimmery and soft to touch
  • And his billowing fins are just mmmmm

He sure is one pretty fish

Demon!Hercules:

T H I S!! B O Y!!

He’s big

  • Everyone’s afraid of him
  • You were too at first though, so you get it

You know it hurts him though, he always bites his lip when mothers or other men give him odd looks

  • It’s not his fault he’s big
  • But you love him for it
  • More Hercules to hug

He sweet tho!!!!

  • He has to kind of dumb-down the whole ‘I am huge and scary and could bench-press a car
  • He brings you flowers and chocolate and the nicest kisses
  • He holds your hand wherever you are
  • He helps people on the daily it’s like he’s drawn to old women crossing the street and men dropping their groceries
  • He’s a softie and sleeps with a teddy-bear you bought him as a joke (it’s not a joke to him he loves it like it’s his child) called ‘Rolo’

Sometimes people try to fight him because it’s that old prison standard of ‘punch the toughest guy and you’re looked up to

  • And he would never hurt a fly
  • So he ignores them

But sometimes they’re fucking stupid and they go for you to get to him

  • Ex: “Hey, baby, want me to show you what a real man is?” – “If your mouth fits around his dick, it’ll barely fit around mine.” – “Ey, girl, bet you look real pretty on your knees, huh?”

His eyes go all red and there’s just something about him that makes everyone in the vicinity shrink but not scream

  • And he gets real close to the dude
  • And honestly if you weren’t right there he’d probably snap the dude’s neck and go on with his day
  • But you are, so he just stares right into the guy’s eyes, and makes a milkshake out of his soul

It usually gives him a nosebleed but it’s whatever

  • He protected you
  • That’s what matters

But usually after something like that he gets all quiet and stays somewhere between angry and timid

  • The guys freak out when you come home, of course, but he just says he’s tired and goes off to sleep
  • You’ll have to explain to him that you aren’t angry at him

“But… Are you… Scared? Of me?”

Give this boy a lot o’ hugs he needs it

He’s vv warm!!!!

  • He can’t sleep with the covers on because of it but you make him anyway because he’ll catch a cold like that
  • He does it for you but kicks them off in the middle of the night just because it’s like a sauna otherwise

He has horns but they’re not as pronounced as they really could be because he used to cut them off to look more human

  • He’s really the only one out of the four of your boys who went through that oppressive stage
  • It really hurt him
  • And he won’t answer anything you ask about it

So they’re a bit like baby deer horns, tiny stubs of wood-like bone that you can see

He only lets you guys touch them though because he trusts you

This is now OVER!

Our fragrance for Hancock will be called Isodoped, and one will be sent to @road-slime

The winner of Eternal Steel was chosen from a bowl of written out names, Hunger Games style. The odds were in @belleroo ‘s favor!


Perfumes/Colognes in Fallout 4 inspired fragrances, including our traditional oil roll-on style, our moisturizing mists for body and hair, and for the first time a traditional perfumer’s alcohol based parfum (spray).

Pictured: Fancy Lads Snack Cakes, Power Armor Grease & Testosterone ( @papidanse that one will be on its way to you tomorrow! I know you’ll dig it) Wooden Soldier, Eternal Steel (NEW!), Valentine Detective Agency, What’s the Angle Here…, and Nuka Cola (Cherry version is also available).

I have a PERFECT scent blended for Hancock! Here’s the thing - I don’t have a NAME for the Hancock one. HELP! Reblog this with your idea for a name for it; I’ll pick one of those, and that person will get a free roll-on of it. <3 (Description if you need inspiration: It’s all about his coat. A hint of grape mentats, a touch of gunpowder, and a pleasant blend of musk, patchouli, and amber (all sweetened with a bit of caramel) because damn, that’s an old coat.)

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You all had great ideas, and I chose to go with the “obvious” Isodoped. It was a close race between that and Of The People, For The People,  and the first person who suggested that (Kat?) will get a certain bonus in their package if they decide to place an order. ^_^ I will contact the winner as soon as I finish posting this.

Shockingly, I don’t think too many have entered the contest to win a bottle of Eternal Steel. Again, just relog (or edit your prior reblog) to say you’re interested and your name will be included! I’ll be choosing tomorrow afternoon/evening, whenever the kids allow it.

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I also want to give away a roll-on of Eternal Steel. It’s new and I have a lot of followers who love Maxson! (Again, inspired by his coat: Leather, cold steel, rich bourbon and vanilla tobacco, a touch of ozone from laser rifles; an interesting mix of warm and sharp notes. Quite masculine.) The rules: I don’t want this to go to someone who just wants a freebie, I want it to go to a FO fan, especially a Maxson one. So you have to be following me, and your blog has to have some obvious FO content. If you’re interested in this giveaway, just send me a comment! ^_^ It’ll be done Hunger Games style, names in a bowl.

Shop, which will be reopened soon: False Nostalgia Shiny Scents & Sundries

PS: yes, I’m working on more. Preston’s is going to be lovely.

traveler--3326  asked:

Hello! I'm not sure how much you know about the 1848-50 California gold rush, but as a native Californian, I've always been fascinated by the topic. My question is multifaceted. For one: how big would miners plots of land along the various rivers be, and would people actually live on the same plots that they mined for gold? Also, what would it be like for a young woman and/or young men and children in an area like this?

Hello there! Well, aren’t you in luck because we have the Archivist from @scriptlibrarian answering this one! The Archivist has also studied history and has got your back so just read on!

There is gold in them darn hills!

Quick history of the California Gold Rush.  In 1848, John Marshal found flecks of gold in the American River, just below the Sierra Nevadas, in Coloma California, while building a water powered sawmill for John Sutter.

Just days after he discovered the gold, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, ending the Mexican-American War, giving California to the United States and essentially the gold.

The discovery of Gold shaped California into the state is today.  California saw the largest migration influx in the history of the United States.  In 1848 there was roughly 157,000 people in California (150,000 Natives, 6,500 Spanish/Mexican, 700 American/Non-Native).  Within 20 months the Non-Native Population soared to 100,000 and by the mid 1850’s was past 300,000.  This massive population influx put California on fast track to Statehood, and with the Compromise of 1850 California was allowed into the Union, just two years after the land was acquired, as a Free State - leading a imbalance in Free vs Slave States.  

So now that we got background history established let’s look at your questions.

How big would miner’s plots of land along the various rivers be…

I admit, I dug around for this information and beyond going into deep dark storage and digging out (pun intended) my books from school … the best answer I could find is - depends.

Yeah I hate that also.

A miner would first have to  Staking a Claim, which involves first the discovery of a valuable mineral in quantities that a “prudent man” would invest time and expenses to recover them. Then mark the claim boundaries, with wooden posts, capped steel posts, both of which must be four feet tall, or stone cairns, which must be three feet tall. Then filing a claim with the land management agency (USFS or BLM), and the local county registrar.   

There are four types of Land Claims, a miner could make:

  • Placer (minerals free of the local bedrock, and deposited in benches or streams) - This would be your typical visual of Gold Miners.  Bent over a stream with a pan, looking for flexs or small nuggets of gold. 
  • Lode (minerals in place in the mother rock) - next stage up.  The Miner has a section off shoot of the river, and is breaking up the rocks looking for veins of gold.
  • Tunnel (a location for a proposed tunnel which claims all veins discovered during the driving of it) - This would be someone with enough capital to start mining operation looking for gold, and could hire workers.
  • Millsite (a maximum five acre site for processing ore) - This is a full on organization, that is mining not just gold, but other minerals as well.  Has a team of miners, and likely a full town surrounding it to supplement the miners.

So if your character would need to find the gold, stake out his claim, then register it.  Depending on how much gold found, expense to work the land, and fees for the register - would determine the size of his land claim.

Would your character live in the same spot as they mine?

Yes, they would have a camp with a tent and supplies near by, so they could work their claim dawn to dusk.  They did this for a variety of reasons:

Ease of access to the claim.  The last thing anyone wanted to do was hike in and out of the area, wasting precious time traveling when they could be mining.

Protecting their assets.  If they are away from their claim, someone could sneak in and mine the area, or re stake the claim stating it was abandoned.

Also, what would it be like for a young woman and/or young men and children in an area like this?

The Gold Rush was not really a place for children. It was a brutal work, and a very lonely existence.  Many men left their families behind in hopes of making it rich to bring back the gold to them.   

That doesn’t mean that there wasn’t women in the camps.  

At one point there was a call out to women to go to California, because there was a fear men would do ‘untold’ things without the calm and stable influence of a woman (not many headed the call).

There were wives that worked the claims with their husbands, and likely even a few who took over the claim after he died.  Though this was dangerous as she would be on her own, and had very little rights to the land.  

Most of the women seen in or around the camps were washers, cooks, those seeking out a living for their family.  These women came with their husbands, fathers, brothers and ended up making the money for the family to survive, while the men panned for gold.

By the 1850’s there were roughly 1000 women working in and around the mines, but they were still a small part of the population, and  by the 1860’s they were less than 19% of the population of California.

A good resource to look into the role women played in the Gold Rush would be They Saw the Elephant: Woman in the Gold Rush by JoAnn Levy.

Now as for young men, it would depend on what you mean by young men?  

There were many teenage boys out in the fields, either they came with their father or ran away from home. The Gold Rush was an opportunity to make it rich fast, and men from all walks of life, old and young found their way to California.

Children were less likely in the mines or panning for gold.  If the whole family was in the gold fields, the younger kids would be with mom, helping with cooking, washing, etc.  Older boys maybe 12ish would be with dad.  There are not many accounts, but it didn’t mean they weren’t there.  

William Tecumseh Sherman - the future Civil War General, worked in San Francisco during the Gold Rush as a banker, and had his two young sons with him during the time, while his wife and daughter stayed back East.  Now this was in the city and not the gold fields.  Women, kids and families were very common in San Francisco.

In contrast Ulysses S. Grant was in the Army at the time, stationed in the gold fields and had left his family behind.  This also led to him being discharged from the Army, because of his drinking problem, as he had never done well being away from his wife, Julia.

Irony both men would come together a decade later, a friendship that some say changed the world.  But that is another essay.

Some interesting facts about the Gold Rush that could be helpful.

  • The Gold Rush attracted immigrants from around the world, by 1850 more than 25 percent of California’s population had been born outside the United States. As the amount of available gold began to dwindle, miners increasingly fought one another for profits and anti-immigrant tensions soared. In 1850 California’s legislature passed a Foreign Miner’s tax, which levied a monthly fee of $20 on non-citizens, the equivalent of more than $500 in today’s money. That bill was eventually repealed, but was replaced with another in 1852 that expressly singled out Chinese miners, charging them $2 ($80 today) a month. Violence against foreign miners increased as well, and beatings, rapes and even murders became commonplace. However no ethnic group suffered more than California’s Native Americans. Before the Gold Rush, its native population numbered roughly 300,000. Within 20 years, more than 100,000 would be dead. Most died from disease or mining-related accidents, but more than 4,000 were murdered by enraged miners.
  • Early sections of San Francisco were built out of ships abandoned by prospectors. The Gold Rush conjures up images of thousands of “’49ers” heading west in wagons to strike it rich in California, but many of the first prospectors actually arrived by ship. Within months, San Francisco’s port was teeming with boats that had been abandoned after their passengers, and crew headed inland to hunt for gold. As the formerly tiny town began to boom, demand for lumber increased dramatically, and the ships were dismantled and sold as construction material. Hundreds of houses, banks, saloons, hotels, jails and other structures were built out of the abandoned ships, while others were used as landfill. Today, more than 150 years after the Gold Rush began, archeologists and preservations continue to find relics, sometimes even entire ships, beneath the streets of the City by the Bay.  Map of where ships can be found in San Francisco
  • Mining wasn’t cheap! Most of the men who flocked to northern California arrived with little more than the clothes on their backs. Once there, they needed to buy food and supplies, which San Francisco’s merchants were all too willing to provide for a cost. Stuck in a remote region, far from home, many prospectors coughed up most of their hard-earned money for the most basic supplies. At the height of the boom in 1849, prospectors could expect prices sure to cause sticker shock: A single egg could cost the equivalent of $25 in today’s money, coffee went for more than $100 per pound and replacing a pair of worn out boots could set you back more than $2,500.
  • The merchant’s made the money not the miners.  As the boom continued, more and more men got out of the gold-hunting business and began to open businesses catering to newly arrived prospectors. In fact, some of America’s greatest industrialists got their start in the Gold Rush. Philip Armour, who would later found a meatpacking empire in Chicago, made a fortune operating the sluices that controlled the flow of water into the rivers being mined. Before John Studebaker built one of America’s great automobile fortunes, he manufactured wheelbarrows for Gold Rush miners. And two entrepreneurial bankers named Henry Wells and William Fargo moved west to open an office in San Francisco, an enterprise that soon grew to become one of America’s premier banking institutions. One of the biggest mercantile success stories was that of Levi Strauss. A German-born tailor, Strauss arrived in San Francisco in 1850 with plans to open a store selling canvas tarps and wagon coverings to the miners. After hearing that sturdy work pants, ones that could withstand the punishing 16-hour days regularly put in by miners, were more in demand, he shifted gears, opening a store in downtown San Francisco that would eventually become a manufacturing empire, producing Levi’s denim jeans.
  • And to prove how fate is fickle - the man who’s name will always be associated with the California Gold Rush - John Sutter - died in poverty.  As news had spread about the discovery of gold on his property, within months, most of his workers had abandoned him to search for gold themselves, while thousands of other prospectors overran and destroyed much of his land and equipment. Faced with mounting debts, Sutter was forced to deed his land to one of his sons, who used it to create a new settlement called Sacramento. Sutter Sr. was furious—he had hoped the town would be named after him—but he had more pressing concerns. Nearly bankrupt, he began a decades-long campaign to have the U.S. government reimburse him for his financial losses, to no avail. While thousands became rich off his former land, a bitter Sutter retired to Pennsylvania and died.

I hope this information is helpful, and will give you some insight of the world during the California Gold Rush.

Some great sources to check out:

Women in the Gold Rush

Summary of Gold Mining Techniques

Articles on the Gold Rush

History Channel’s Gold Rush

Headcanon of the Day

All of the furniture in Byron’s house is made of metal. There are cushions, of course, but all of the supports are metal.   

It’s not an aesthetic decision. When someone asks why, he simply opens his wallet and hands them an old photograph. It features Roark (who couldn’t have been more than 4 at the time), his newly hatched Cranidos, and piles and piles of broken wooden furniture. Turns out Cranidoses don’t see any difference between the trees they headbutt to train and the wood that makes up a dining room table, for example. The pair got through two whole rooms before the destruction was halted. 

a lucky moment that totally brightened a cruddy day & also came from an unexpected place - workin hard at drinks & handout in the drive thru window on almost no sleep cuz shitty scheduling, one of the suits* rolls up and somehow I manage to hit all the points flawlessly and naturally and when he comes in after his meal he comes up and gives me this tiny egg spatula** with a little restaurant etched into it as praise for good service!

that sure gave me a second wind and perked up the rest of the day; I’m so lucky that went so well, I was fueled on nothin but about 3.5hrs sleep, a few caffeine pills, and a few sneaky bites of soft serv, I’m so lucky that was a ‘u got praised’ moment instead of a 'u got coached for slouchin’ moment, heh

*that is, the boss’s boss, not sure his official title but prolly area or district manager sorta thing

**a real one too! stainless steel and wooden handle and all, is pretty cool

I always forget how industrial chic my hospital is (no worries, allergy appointment) with like exposed wooden beams and steel bars everywhere and exposed piping. Like a steampunk wet dream but in a hospital.

Homes: Former Potato Barns Converted By Houben & Van Mierlo Architecten
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Former Potato Barns Converted By Houben & Van Mierlo Architecten


Houben & Van Mierlo Architecten has transformed a pair of former barns in Amsterdam into residences that combine original features with nods to their industrial past.

The two neighbouring buildings are located in Amsterdam Noord – an upcoming neighbourhood to the north of the IJ river.

Eindhoven-based Houben & Van Mierlo Architecten was asked to create two modern homes – including one for photographers Maurice Scheltens and Liesbeth Abbenes, who requested a studio space in their property.

The buildings are both from different periods, and were constructed using different methods.

The first was erected around the time of the second world war using a hybrid construction, while the second dates from the 1960s and features a steel frame, wooden floors and a concrete facade.

Several extensions added during the intervening years were removed and the buildings were stripped back to their basic shells at the beginning of the renovation process.

The architects chose to maintain the resulting open-plan rooms. They adapted them to accommodate loft-like living and working spaces featuring high, exposed ceilings.

Materials introduced for structural, technical or aesthetic purposes are chosen to complement the industrial feel of the interiors.

Black steel columns and beams brace the walls and support upper storeys slotted in beneath the pitched roofs. Whitewashed brick walls and exposed venting add to the raw aesthetic.

The photographic studio created for Scheltens and Abbenes has double-height ceilings, plus clerestory windows providing natural light.

The dramatic space also features an exposed pitched roof and is overlooked by a window set in the wall of the master bedroom on the first floor.

Next to the studio, an office is housed in a single-storey flat-roofed volume between the two buildings. The other half of this structure contains a dining area connected to the open-plan kitchen and living room.

A corner between the lounge and dining space contains large glass surfaces, with integrated doors leading out onto a terrace and the garden beyond.

A guest room situated off the main living space features a tiled wash area and glazed doors that open onto a small patio.

Much of the furniture, lighting, hardware, paint finishes and wall tiles in the photographers’ home was provided by companies the duo has collaborated with, including Farrow & Ball, Scholten & Baijings and Muller Van Severen.

Source: Dezeen

Sacco and Vanzetti both stood their second trial in Dedham, Massachusetts for the South Braintree robbery and murders, with Judge Webster Thayer again presiding; he had asked to be assigned the trial. Anticipating a possible bomb attack, authorities had the Dedham courtroom outfitted with cast-iron shutters, painted to appear wooden, and heavy, sliding steel doors. Each day during the trial, the courthouse was placed under heavy police security, and Sacco and Vanzetti were escorted in and out of the courtroom by armed guards.

Sun and Storm

I thought I’d write a fic from Alis’ point of view. Let me know what you think!


Sun. Sun and sand and summer.

That was what Alis remembered of Adriata.

Adriata was supposed to be a beautiful place of beaches and seashells and long days. It was the famous Golden City of the Summer Court. A Court with a palace made of gold would be wealthy and prosperous, especially if they could afford to send blood rubies.

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In-depth: French experimental SMGs

Even before World War II, the French Army had experimented with military submachine guns. The French were perhaps more forward-thinking than the British Army in this regard. Both the French and the British had been offered the Thompson and both turned it down, but whereas the British Army dismissed the idea of submachine guns completely, the French began work on their own design called the MAS 35. It was chambered in 7.65x20mm. The prototypes were very basic and had simple tubular butt stocks with flat plates acting as shoulder pieces. The design was not adopted but instead improved upon as the MAS 38. The MAS 38 was unique in that the bolt actually traveled back into the stock at a tilted angle. The internal workings were very complicated and I will spare readers a full explanation.


The MAS 38. Designed at Saint-Étienne and chambered in 7.65mm. This was the standard French submachine gun in World War II.


Despite its unorthodox design, the MAS 38 was adopted as the standard French issue submachine gun. The low-powered cartridge meant that recoil was low and accuracy was good. The weapon was used throughout World War II by both the Free French and the Vichy regime, and would also be used post-war in France’s subsequent conflicts.

After the war it became apparent that submachine guns were more effective than most European militaries had anticipated. The Section Technique de l’Armée (the French equivalent of the Ordnance Board) commissioned the small arms factories at Châtellerault (MAC) and Saint-Étienne (MAS) to develop a new submachine gun in 9x19mm. STA felt that the 7.65mm cartridge was not powerful enough and opted for 9mm since almost every other European country had adopted it.

MAC developed their first prototype in 1947. It had a hinged magazine housing that would fold under the barrel. The magazines used were that of the MP-40. Internally, the return spring was actually located near the trigger mechanism and had a torsion action to it. The end of the spring was attached to a lever that came from a recess from within the bolt. When the bolt flew back, the return spring twisted and tightened.


The MAC 47. Despite a superficial resemblance to the Sten, it was internally nothing alike. The hinged lever underneath the trigger cocked the weapon.


The cocking system was also unusual. There was a lever that folded under the trigger on a hinge. Turning it downwards would cock the weapon. The folding buttstock was made of sheet metal and was considered very unergonomic because it was too large. The return spring system also lost tension after extended use. Another version of this prototype was made that had a wireframe stock and a perforated barrel jacket. The stock folded across the side of the weapon and a brace that ran across the middle of it would deliberately block the open ejection port to prevent it from being discharged in this configuration.

In 1948, MAC produced a new design. It had a cylindrical body and the internal action was based on the Sten gun, but with left-hand cocking. The magazine well was very long and doubled as a fore grip. MP-40 magazines were used. The safety was in the pistol grip and, rather unusually, the stock protruded from the bottom of the grip. Fixed to the side of the stock was a hinged steel plate that was designed for the firer to rest their right elbow on whilst firing from the hip. There was no fire selector on the initial prototypes but subsequent models had two triggers for automatic and semi-automatic fire. Ultimately the weapon was not all that accurate.

MAC produced a lightweight version of this weapon which was made almost exclusively from pressed steel. The wooden stock was replaced with a basic “tromboning” stock which was a simple retracting wireframe. This version was known as the SL and was produced in limited quantities. Those that were made were issued to French troops in Indo-China (now South-East Asia).


The MAC 48. The unusual stock did not align well with the bore and made aiming difficult. When fired from the hip, it was decent.


Meanwhile Saint-Étienne produced a series of prototypes called the C1, the C2, the C3, and the C4. They were all basically derived the same design and differed only in very minor ways. Development started in 1947 and by 1948, the final version known as the C4 had been produced. The action was very similar to the later H&K G3. It had a two-part, L-shaped bolt that ran through a tube over the barrel. The firing pin was fixed to the vertical arm of the bolt. Fitted underneath the long horizontal arm of the bolt, and in front of the shorter vertical arm, was a light bolt head, which was attached to a rotating lever. One end of the lever touched the bolt body and the other end sat in a recess in the weapon’s frame. When gas pressure was applied, the lever rotated, which accelerated the bolt. There was no conventional fire selector. Instead, the trigger was pressurized to give single shots at a half-pull and automatic fire at a full press.

Neither the MAC nor the MAS designs were adopted by the French Army and instead the MAT-49 was chosen.


The MAS 48 C4 in 9mm. The magazine housing, like many other French designs of the time, was hinged and folded under the barrel.


The MAS 49. Chambered in .30 Carbine. Note the long barrel and bipod.


The MAT 49. This was the weapon that was adopted by the French Army. It saw use in Algeria and Indo-China.


Other post-war French designs included the Gevarm D3, produced by ammunition firm Gevelot. It was a very basic Sten clone with a wooden stock and was never manufactured in any quantity. More interesting was the PM-9 produced by Societe Pour l’Exploration des Brevets MGD in 1954. The PM-9 was a very compact folding submachine gun. It is very hard to describe the internal action of the weapon. The bolt was a sort of rod that was connected to a flywheel on the rear end and the front end was connected to a crank that revolved 180 degrees when the bolt moved forward. When it reached the end of its travel, it returned 180 degrees in the opposite direction, upon which the next round would be chambered. When this happened, the flywheel on the rear end of the bolt would oscillate, cocking the weapon, which would then cause a spiral spring to tension and the move the bolt forward again. Very interestingly, the weapon′s fire rate could be changed by adjusting the tension of the spring.


The Gevarm D4 by Gevelot. This version had a retracting stock whereas the D3 had a fixed stock. Not many were made.


The PM-9 produced by MGD and later Erma. The high cost and complex mechanism ensured that it was a commercial failure.


The folded PM-9. In this configuration it was incredibly compact.


The PM-9 design was sold to Erma Werke in Germany in 1955. Erma had difficulty selling the weapon so they instead used its production as a training exercise for young employees. Each unit cost about $150 so production ceased quickly.

Making your world come alive.

Make HISTORY!

Sorry for shouting but, yeah, giving your world a history behind it and, maybe more importantly, having characters that know and interpret it is a great way to give life to your world. For example; your M/C is travelling with a group through a ruined city (as they do) and your readers will automatically want to know what happened. Try to tell them the interesting bits, the useful bits, and don’t focus too much on long-winded descriptions of scenery. Most importantly, however, if you want your reader to be close to your characters you should try to ensure that they learn most of what they know about the world and story through the characters. In this way even secondary or one line characters can seem alive and vital.

Here’s what not to do;

“The ancient, ruinous city had once been a hub of trade and wealth long before the attack. All that remained now were the toothless, rubble strewn shells that Darn and his group were sheltering in. The wind tore through the old tunnels, almost sobbing their history in its passage.” - So this sounds ok but what does it actually tell us? Well, nothing really.

  • We know the city used to be important
  • We know it was attacked
  • The use of language implies a sad story
  • We know the characters are in the city.

Not all that much, right. 

Instead try this;

“Darn eyed the nearest ruin with trepidation; it was so high, so shadowy… there could be an army in there and he’d never now until they were bearing down on him. Lilit bounded ahead; the wilder was as much a part of this landscape as the buildings and she, unlike the rest of them, had no fear of it. He pressed his tongue against his teeth, counting the missing ones and clenched his uninjured hand,

"What’s with this place?” Roger growled under his breath like a frightened war dog, steam rising from the wet cloth clinging to his broad shoulders. A bead of water ran down his crooked nose before he swatted it away with a snarl, his dark skin emphasizing the whites of his frightened eyes.

“It used to be the Jewel in the North…. Baraba was the trade hub,” Marnie said quietly and pursed her small, bloodless lips, “Then the Kinna crossed the east sea and attacked,” her eyes flicked to the shimmer of water in the near distance, “they ripped the heart out of the city when they killed the high priestess… the wilder are afraid of this place.”

“Are they?” Darn eyed Lilits impassive back, 

“Aye,” Marnie shivered, “They think the battle is still raging, somehow… they believe that when the last building falls the Kinna soldiers will rise again for another battle.” - Whats the difference?

  • We now have a host of characters who now have names and the beginnings of personal traits. We also have some information about them physically; Marnie is very pale, perhaps ill? Roger is broad and dark skinned. Darn is missing teeth, perhaps due to age or violence?
  • We have a name for the city; Baraba, and we know it was once a great trading centre. It is in the north of this world.
  • We know who attacked Baraba and we know what the locals think of the ruined city.

Now there is a sense of a world, or at least a country, around this city. A country with other people not involved in the story.

Secondary and one scene characters are the most underrated resource an author has (in my opinion).

What better way to make a living world that to give every character your M/C encounters a sliver of humanity; a job, a life, a dream? Sometimes it can be as simple as a name or distinguishing feature. There’s nothing worse than a story populated by stock badguy#1s and shopkeep#3s, for example,

The bad (read, boring/lifeless) bad guy.

“Lilit licked her cut lip quickly and glared at the man who stood between her and the door, 

"Move.” She hissed and narrowed her eyes but he was unimpressed; a shrug and half a chuckle was all she got before he thundered towards her.“

This bad guy seems like a cardboard cut out of every dumb shit bad guy thats graced a screen or page, right? And worse still, he gives your reader the idea that your world is full of such types. He can be redeemed, however; 

The good (a.k.a genuinely Bad) bad guy.

"Lilit ran the back of her hand over her face, smearing the blood across her lips. This one could be trouble; his red hair was shorn close to his scalp, doing little to hide the conspicuously non-existent state of his left ear. He grinned at her and licked the gap left by a missing tooth; his sly eyes were still and narrow as if in expectation.

"Move,” she hissed, skin at the back of her ears tightening, “now! Out of my way!” Her barked orders seemed to break against his skin like wooden arrows against steel, 

“Nah,” he shrugged, “I think I like watching your mind work, girl… think i’ll enjoy cracking it open more.”  He rolled his heavy shoulders, “Unless you’d fancy just giving me the money?”

“Fuck off, prick.” Lilit shook her head and snarled at him, drawing back her lips in warning,

“Nah, didn’t think so,” his grin was lopsided and strangely plesant, “Hell I like you… if you didn’t look so much like my sister I’d fuck you,” his snort of mirth was vulgar and coarse, “hell, I might anyway.”-

So he’s a bit over the top, yes… but he’s bad and he's good at being bad. And he seems like he’s lived; he’s missing bits and he’s sly and hard; he’s probably had a shitty life, in short, and decided he’s more of a bully than a victim. He’s not smart but he’s not dumb either; it’s that animal, vicious cunning that we see in so many everyday villains. The knowledge of who they can and can’t push. He’s petty and nasty and utterly misogynistic; in short he could be an actual jerk who’s got a chip on his shoulder or a taste for violence.

One scene characters make a world and so you should make them memorable. Make them petty, angry, bitter, cruel or make them righteous, vain, moral but overbearing. Make your reader wonder what happens to them when they leave the story and you’ll have a world that goes on behind the scenes.

The conspicuously blank world is a sure sign you’ve gone wrong somewhere.

Unless your characters are in a desert or a frozen wasteland there will be scenery and wildlife and plants! Even in the former two there will be some non human life. 

Avoid;

  • Forests that are quiet at night; either something scared away the animals (a battle, a fire or, even, something demonic?) or it’s not going to feel like a forest, Anyone who’s been camping will tell you that a forest is as noisy as any city at night, especially in places like the Amazon, the Congo and big wildwoods like the Black forest in Germany. Think about what type of woodland you’re setting the reader in e.g a jungle is noisier and more dangerous than a small woodland, a large woodland may hold deer, wolves and miscellaneous mammals but it’s unlikely you’d find a chimpanzee or tiger.
  • Lowland hills that are suspiciously devoid of rocks, trees and farms; Even in medieval and pre-medieval times lowland pastures would have had farmsteads dotting them: in fact it’s more likely that they would be devoid of (human) life in a modern setting due to urbanisation. If you’re going for a medieval-esque society/world then you can be certain that there would be lonely farms dotted everywhere on such arable or pasture lands. Likewise, due to the lack of demand of housing, the landscape would be rougher than in modern times as the local would not yet have cleared vast swathes of their vegetation and rubble to make way for farmland or housing.
  • ‘Ancient’ ruins that have not been overrun by nature. The very nature of man made ruins that are 'ancient’ in definition, here meaning that they have been ruined for at the very least a few centuries (perhaps four or five), is that eventually nature will come into its own again. Unless built on a bare rock face the ruins will start to be overrun by ivy, weeds and small animals looking for shelter. Perhaps even bigger animals like wolves or bears using the depths of such places as dens. Even in the case of desert or tundra wastelands the natural world will take over; ice and snow will crack the stone, the sand will reclaim the space, eventually burying untended places. 

Add;

  • Life;Sounds stupid, I know. But we’re not talking about the big picture, theoretical life like that of a drawing or novel. I mean actual life; birds, insects, other people, flora and fauna, make the world you build full of non-essential life and you’re well on your way to making it come alive.
  • Detail; think realism or impressionism rather than abstract. If you’re not a hug stickler or exact detail then give enough that the mind of the reader can discern and add itself. In the same way that the mind can see a tree in a bundle of lines in the right basic form it can also spot history in the merest details. An old building says nothing but scattered, worn books, toppled desks and big, light welcoming windows suggest library. These are the kind of implies histories that say “I was something more, I once had purpose. I lived and died before you were conceived of”. In short “The devils in the detail” and the human mind will pick up on it all.
  • Empathy; in all senses. Give your reader something to empathise with; a social injustice, an orphaned child, the happiness of a victory. Likewise make your world an empathetic one; there will be some people in your world who strive to make it better and the world will change with the times. Battles ravage the earth as much as industrialisation; prolonged war will leave fields fallow. Your world should react to the events that take place within it.

Hopefully this representation of three years of frustrated learning curves will be helpful to you! Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification or extra detail if you feel its necessary! 

- WD

Abandoned railroad hike in an Oregon forest

Source: bake-kujira (reddit)

bake-kujira:

I hit up Oregon’s Wolf Creek Trestle Hike a couple days ago. 5 miles out and 5 miles back of abandoned railroad. There were washed out sections of track, landslides, waterfalls (in album) that spilled over onto the tracks turning it into a stream, wooden trestles, steel trestles, 2 creepy tunnels that you HAVE to walk through, and amazing views of the Oregon coastal range forests and mountains. Would recommend.

More photos here

The Chalice

Become a chalice and nourish them
Like the sweet rice pudding consumed to
Balance the stomach;
The wooden vessel mutes the steel spoon,
Night, state of matter (without a form);
Look up to the sky, expect none, cede
And then— if you drift, observe, the sky
Shall breathe through you;
A reed, you were and shall be, the origin
Of warmth, a fountain of spring.

Early Mornings: Chapter I

The desire to fall back asleep comes as easily as the urge to draw a breath. Clarke’s frequent presence in the commander’s quarters was an open secret known by the maids and ambassadors alike, though none would dare to speak out of such things after Lexa’s triumph against the false prophets that were felled just short of Polis, her strength and throne assured in the process.

“Heda,” the young handmaiden nodded at Lexa’s wave of dismissal and set the breakfast at the table by the foot of the bed. She dared to glance at the sprawling golden aureate hair and bare shoulder that slipped out from blankets adjacent, quickly averting her eyes.

“You are not required today.” Lexa reconfirmed, bleary eyed and yawning.

“Yes, Heda.” she quickly retreated and Lexa rolled her eyes in the knowledge of the quiet gossip that would come.

She stretched awake, arching the column of her spine and sighing into the relief that followed each loud pop. The blankets were quickly kicked off, though the amount of blankets she had in her possession decreased every night spent beside Clarke’s hoarding shape, hooking her hips around the furs and claiming them one by one.

Next was the trunk. A cumbersome wooden and steel box that came with her station, filled each morning with the most crucial documents for the days and weeks ahead, usually trade agreements and tithe papers. It sat on the table beside a breakfast of fruits and barley water, carried in every morning at the stroke of dawn ready for her appraisal over what was usually a short meal.

Today the trunk was mercifully light with just a few urgent requests for materials from Arkadia, rushing to build their first settlements in time for their first harsh winter. Easily remedied, Lexa mused as she flicked through the list, ripe persimmon between her fingers.

The sound of movement earned her full attention as she set down the papers and turned to face the foot of the bed, leaning against the table, smirking at the sight that greeted her. Clarke’s hand emerged from the blankets first, slapping and feeling out the vacant side of the blankets, sighing and earnest in her disappointment.

“Good morning, Wanheda.” Lexa cleared her throat and smirked, waiting for it.

“No.”

“It’s time to get up.”

“No.”

“Clarke-”

“Sh.”

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