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17 Jun 12:51

The kitchen working triangleThis is the triangle between the...

The kitchen working triangle

This is the triangle between the most key parts of a kitchen — the sink, the hob and the fridge. The idea is that, when planning the layout of a kitchen, you should consider that you’ll be moving between these three regularly. Ideally, if you can get them just a step or a turn away from each other then your kitchen will be efficient and feel a pleasure to use.

Another handy thought is to allow trips to and from the fridge while someone may be preparing food without getting in their way — so having the fridge not deep at the back of the kitchen can be handy.

Plus, there’s a useful secondary triangle to consider between the sink, the dishwasher and your storage. Think rinse, dishwash and put away without having to trek back and forth across the kitchen all the time.

A more recent concept is to think of zones instead, such as the preparing zone, the cooking zone, the washing zone or the backing zone and make sure each of these has everything you need in them for the activity.

And make sure when the dishwasher is open there’s room to walk around it without it getting totally in the way.

15 Jun 01:56

Succubi Image of the Week 543

by TeraS

It’s been a bit since Morrigan Aensland was featured as the Succubi of the Week on the Tale and the image I came across I think is striking in a lot of ways. Perhaps most of all there’s a very regal feeling to her pose and expression that just works really well.

Morrigan by chitobein

Morrigan by chitobein

This art of Morrigan is by an artist on DeviantArt called chitobein who’s page can be found here and the page where I found this artwork can be found on DeviantArt here as well.

Much of the time art of Morrigan is somewhat focused on her sexuality, which isn’t a surprise, but it then pushes into the background the power she is. She’s more than what she appears to be and it’s that aspect about Morrigan that I like most of all.

The background seems to suggest a gathering storm, Morrigan defiantly standing against it. The sheer determination in her expression, the pose that suggests she is about to go into battle I think tells a wonderful story.

Morrigan’s determination and will speaks for itself and this art, in many ways from the wind sweeping her hair, the detail in her wings, the bats in motion above her, expresses that well.

A wonderfully powerful portrait of Morrigan’s determination and I like that most of all.



11 Jun 13:55

The 1600s, Lamentations and the Nympharium

by Zak Sabbath

It's an irony--or maybe just an incongruity--that, though Lamentations of the Flame Princess and I have had a long and mutually-beneficial RPG-publishing relationship, LotFP is officially set in the 17th Century and like none of my ideas are 17th Century ideas. We usually fudge it a little and compromise somewhere, or work in a way to get from canonical LotFP land to the Vornwelt.

The project I'm working on now--tentatively titled "Violence In The Nympharium"--for LotFP  has me looking pretty hard at the 17th Century because it involves a lot of locations and time travel as a basic element. It's going to be impossible to do without actually paying attention, much as I do hate paying attention.

So the basic thing is: wtf is the 17th century?

Well, basically: pirates.

That is, it's the golden age of piracy and most other members of the adventuring class (like musketeers) look kind of piratey--at least in Europe. Even on land people had big feathers on their hats and skinny swords. Boats looked cool, including galleons and the sleek, triangular-rigged xebecs. 

The visual artists were getting as good at getting materials to do what they wanted as they ever would be, it was the Baroque era: Velasquez, Vermeer, Willem Kalf, Bernini, Finelli, Rembrandt.  The British, as always, were a little behind in painting...

...but they did have the tail end of Shakespeare and then Milton writing Paradise Lost.

Louis XIV was in France being as fancy as fancy has ever been, tumblr fave Julie d'Aubigny was being about as badass a bisexual opera singer/duellist/nunfucker/arsonist as you could ever ask for, and most of the famous occultists are French. The Lesser Key of Solomon--the most well-known grimoire--is compiled.
Western Europe is as Europey as it is ever going to get right now. Go back much further and its barbarism and armor and nobody even wears wigs, go forward and suddenly people start being impressed by the industriousness of Americans and having real pants.

The big downside is the whole Reformation thing which makes reading history around this time really really boring. Like you get ahold of something that sounds pretty exciting like The Defenestration of Prague and look it up and it's Catholic this and Protestant that and before you know it you're asleep between your Norman Davies and your Geoffrey Parker.

In India style was--so far as I can tell--within a stone's throw of the extremely stylish late medieval as exemplified in the paintings of Bihzad. You could still see war elephants, which is dope, plus a lot of bright fabrics, baggy pants, and pointy shoes. The thugee cult of assassins still roamed the land, though, contra Indiana Jones, not in sinister matching robes -sadface-.

Likewise looking sharp were North Africa and much of the Islamic world. The Ottoman turks were near the maximum extent of their power with very big turbans. They probably have the most D&Dable architecture around now, with lots of Islamic cultures producing big flat-sided, ornate stone buildings with a lot of geometry and niches and taking up a lot of space (as opposed to Europe where--under the appalling influence of humanism--even the grandest public buildings have largely abandoned otherworldly monumentality to take on the fluted, pointy-roofed, comfortably-grooved appearance we play games to not have to think about).

Parts of northern Africa--like Coptic Ethiopia--are still operating out of cool medieval buildings, like castles and stuff.

Japan is perfect right about now: the Tokugawa shogunate has just begun, samurai are everywhere and there's still ninjas. (The big ninja book was written during this period.) Also Japan had English, Spanish and Portuguese traders reporting back home.

In southeast asia they're in the very early stages of colonialism, and the locals are still building mindblowing temples and palaces.

In Russia there's a lot of peasant riots and sashes and funny fur hats and a "Time of Troubles". So kind of the usual.

The non-Muslim, non-Christian parts of Africa are very poorly recorded around this time and in many kingdoms the 17th century still counts as "legendary". This is after the fall of the city of Great Zimbabwe which means something like "big stone house" and would have been eminently dungeonable (sigh) but there are sites like Kami which are like little Zimbabwes. A lot of guesswork surrounds what people there might've worn, lived in, or killed each other with in these areas and a lot of sources seem to just throw up their hands when it comes to magic and folk beliefs due to the wide variety. The most interesting and non-boring-stereotype-reinforcing path seems to be looking at current belief and working back off that. So like digging out the Robert Farris Thompson again.

China has kind of the opposite problem: so much history I have real trouble keeping it straight. We are in the Ming-Qing transition, but the general rule with China seems to be (1) if you can kill someone with it they've tried it from rockets to trained cheetahs and (2) all previous eras of Chinese history exist in China at all times.

The Americas have a lot of feathers and pilgrim hats going on and can fuck off. I'm not doing it and Australia seems to be mostly Dutch people poking at it while native Australians ignore or kill them. 

Experience tells me that lots of people who read this blog are hard-eyed library-devouring history types with actual degrees to whom this will all seem very basic, but if you're reading and can think of some book, resource or image that makes some underappreciated part of the 17th C seem interesting, we're all ears.

11 Jun 13:45

Attention Span

I didn't even realize they MADE a novelization of "Surf Ninjas." How did you-- Oh my god, it's signed by the author?!
11 Jun 13:36

153 Ready… Aim…  There are many details of charges...

153 Ready… Aim…  There are many details of charges that should only be used with their original charges. Falcons and Hawks (Same heraldically) may be belled, Jessed and/or hooded. There are exceptions, but a submission may be returned for bad style, even if a specific rule or precedent isn’t set against it.

154 Maintaining This ‘ratio’ of Earth to Altas is artistically common. Too, this unrealistic comparison of items sizes is common in heraldry. Usually the charges aren’t set to make a whole picture. So, you’ll see ships and horseshoes carrying the same visual weight on the same armory.
Maintaining is an animate charge holding something small that won’t affect the number of Clear Differences.
Sustaining is an animate charge holding another charge that makes a difference or could stand by itself size-wise.

11 Jun 04:37

The spotlight effectThis is our tendency to overestimate how...

The spotlight effect

This is our tendency to overestimate how much other people notice our actions and appearance.

I like this one because it basically shows that most of us can just relax a bit and not stress about what other people think — because they’re probably not thinking about us, they’re probably thinking about themselves.

I probably only remember it because of the effect effect.

11 Jun 04:36

The effect effect. There’s something about summing up a piece of...

The effect effect. 

There’s something about summing up a piece of research or an observation with the name effect that makes it a whole lot easier to communicate and remember. Plenty more effects left to tackle here on Sketchplanations. Thanks for following 👊

Check out some neat effects I’ve covered before: the firehouse effect, the Lake Wobegon effect, the IKEA effect, the fresh start effect, the Betty Crocker effect, the placebo effect, the nocebo effect, the singularity effect, the Streisand effect. Other ways to make your ideas sticky.

And, for those of you wondering why it’s not the affect affect: affect vs effect.

30 May 16:04


by aaron
26 May 20:38

The third teacher. I love this concept of the third teacher that...

The third teacher.

I love this concept of the third teacher that applies just as well in a primary school as in an office—for example, with an information radiator. I remember a previous mentor to me saying how he could tell how a project was doing just by walking around the project room. Too often these days the environment is seemingly hidden away in software. A well-designed environment can really be your third teacher. Worth considering how you can make the most of it.

Thanks, Kevin Henry for introducing me to it.

24 May 17:35

If you had fun, you won.

by Jessica Hagy

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The post If you had fun, you won. appeared first on Indexed.

20 May 17:35

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Hansel and Gretel


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

No, NO. It was NOT breadcrumbs. That came later in the story. The first part is about pebbles.

New comic!
Today's News:
20 May 11:16

131 Vehicular #1 Just in time for… well, maybe not...

131 Vehicular #1 Just in time for… well, maybe not everyone’s buying a car…. (I’m certainly not)
The first of several HR’s on Heraldry on the road.
When Henry Ford left his second automobile company, Henry Ford Company, his financial backers tried to liquidate the company’s assets. An engineer named Henry M. Leland persuaded them to continue the company instead. They listened, and so Cadillac was born. Cadillac’s first logo was based on a family crest of a minor aristocrat that the company was named after: Antoine de La Mothe, Seigneur de Cadillac (Sir of Cadillac). In 1701, de La Mothe founded Fort Pontchartrain which would later become Detroit. Cadillac was named after de La Mothe in 1902, following a bicentenary celebration of the founding of the city.
Problem was, de La Mothe was never a nobility! Born Antoine Laumet, de La Mothe was forced to leave France for America under a mysterious circumstance (some say he committed a crime or was unable to pay his debt). In the New World, he was able to assume a new identity and cobbled together a famiy crest with elements “borrowed” from, shall we say nobler sources.Car-nection on Cadillac.In 1998, Cadillac had a new design philosophy called “art and science” and had its logo redesigned. Gone were the six birds called the merlettes, the crown, and the entire fabricated de La Mothe family crest as the company tried to shake up its stodgy image. The new logo made its debut a few years later, looking positively like it was made by Piet Mondrian!

132  Vehicular #2 Alfa Romeo’s badge, the 1910 inspiration was from the great Visconti family’s red cross and biscione (human child-bearing serpent) coat of arms emblazoned over the great door of Castello Sforzesco. Updated in 1918 with the border and lettering.Wiki on Alfa Romeo

20 May 01:53

Homonyms, homographs, homophones, heteronyms…  This one...

Homonyms, homographs, homophones, heteronyms… 

This one rewards a little close attention—looking at each of the words and figuring out their different meanings or sounds.

I’ve always loved heteronyms and how we can have a single word spelt the same and yet pronounced quite differently — like read — and how that clearly makes English a crazy language to learn. And, as you probably do too, I pretty much woke up at night thinking how you could sort words into groups of the same or different spelling and the same or different sounds and begin to make sense of these curious groups of words like homographs, homophones and heteronyms.

Words with different spellings and different sounds generally just mean different words.

There are nice buckets of other words too like contranyms — words that can be their own opposite.

I did think a third axis of the same or different meaning may give the complete picture but would probably just serve to confuse things.

Some Greek: homo—same, hetero—different, graph—written, phone—sound

This sketchplanation was edited to remove contranym from words with different sounds and spelling as they’re the same word. D’oh

16 May 15:02


I was just disassembling it over the course of five hours so it would fit in the trash more efficiently.
15 May 14:00

The First  is an example using my and my wife’s arms...

The First  is an example using my and my wife’s arms using impaling:

The Second is an example using my and my wife’s arms using impaling quarterly:

Shown on a rectangle like a banner for fun.

The Third is an example using my and my wife’s arms using dimidiation:

As you see, major elements and details are lost.
What if my wife’s arms was vert, a fish argent? It’d look like a new type of sea-dog.

Don’t forget, this is NOT allowed (or at least, not registerable) in SCA Heraldic practice.
3. Marshalling. - Armory that appears to marshall independent arms is considered presumptuous.

My arms (Per pale vert and sable all semy of caltrops a talbot passant argent.) are an example of using the per pale field division which is NOT marshalling, as it has a charge (the talbot) over both sides of the field. Similar overall charges can render the quarterly field division registerable, but designs can easily be tripped up by the anti-marshalling rule quite easily.

15 May 13:58

125 Buggy Since the subject of spousal units came up, I should...

125 Buggy Since the subject of spousal units came up, I should talk about impaling myself (re-arrange/add comma’s to suit).
Impaling is something done in period but is not allowed in SCA Heraldry. It is a merging of two houses, and the changing of the arms to show both original arms per pale one half each side, the husband on the dexter, the wife on the sinister, or quartered, husband in dexter-chief and sinister base. In period, impaling was done and shown only in times of peace (Why? Only the male is out on the field of battle, and the wife’s arms are still her father and/or brother’s on the field).
Similarly, ‘dimidiating’ merges arms, but it is done by 'chopping’ the original arms in half however they turned out.
It’s frightening enough in period style heraldry, where many arms are simple single beasts or ordinaries. SCA dimidiations would be truly scary. Both of these are referred to as 'Marshalling’, which combined two or more arms to show marriage, rank or position.

The NEXT post will have examples with my own armory.

126 Color on color  The use of black on red is possible but very rare, breaking the color on color rule, and each use must be documented, and most likely should have a compatible name/persona of the correct time period and culture.
Thulsa Doom’s badge is too complicated - Gules, in pale a crescent pendant and a legless, wingless amphisbane regardant within an orle sable. (My guess)
The charge needs to be large and bold. One SCA registered example is “Gules, a bear passant sable.” registered to a Germanic persona.

13 May 21:42

How a lip stops drips. I’d never really thought this through...

How a lip stops drips.

I’d never really thought this through before, but just a tiny lip makes a massive difference. Should be a standard feature on pretty much every saucepan.

13 May 21:10

desirelovell:Earth Day Bounty


Earth Day Bounty

13 May 21:08

Portrait By TeraS

Eternal - Keith and Tera by DarkshadowArtworks
A short time ago my Eternal and I shared our anniversary together. As part of that, a dear friend had something created for us, which will be shared after this story that was inspired by their gift, a …   Portrait By TeraS   The hallway, being that it was located in the Realm’s Palace, was as grandiose as he’d expected: a place where, all things considered, a glimpse of the past was offered to…

View On WordPress

13 May 20:42

Mourning By TeraS

by TeraS

Today is April 16th, the birthday of my Eternal’s mother, the heart of our family. It is to be, soon, two years hence the day she was called home to Goddess. I was going to write something very sad this week, something that tells, as poorly as it would be, how much she’s missed, what it’s like for my Eternal. But I have written a lot of sad things since then, I’ve been looking for better things to write and, in all honesty, there comes a time when there’s more to life than …


By TeraS


The morning dawned across the Realm with the coming of the sun over the waters of the Lake. Her Son was there to greet the day, a promise to himself that he’d made since his mother had been called home to Goddess. It was, perhaps, a way to mourn that gave a means for his emotions to be calmed—on this day most of all.

He’d promised that he would be better in time, that things would be better. That promise was made in hope, or perhaps in some expectation that the pain couldn’t go on forever. A year ago, the first birthday since … things happened … was one of reflection, of thinking about her, of wishing for the chance to say things not said, to share secrets not revealed, to keep promises and hopes unfulfilled.

The waves turned orange as the sun rose higher in the sky, not really so much to warm him—it was,

after all, not quite yet spring in the Realm. The tea helped some to soothe the cold in his fingers, the shiver that passed through him in the morning dew that began to be burned away as the morning … and mourning … continued.

He was thinking about the last birthday they’d shared, the card given, the smile she’d had even if she’d been so dearly tired; sad memories that only served to bring tears to his eyes and bring rise to the shudder as he took a breath. He hadn’t heard the footsteps or realized that he had a companion, but the voice took him out of his memories back into the here and now.

“Hey, Keith.”

Looking up, he found someone there he hadn’t expected. To all in the Realm she was known as The Receptionist; to all, save for two. He was one of them.

“Hello, Simone. Nice morning, isn’t it?”

She looked across the Lake and mused: “Morning, yes … But this isn’t a good day to be mourning.”

He allowed himself a small, thin smile: “Feels like it is.”

Regarding him through silver thin-framed glasses, she sighed.

The tea went down a little harshly at that sigh. Simone was Tera’s aunt, not his. He’d lost both of his aunts years before. Perhaps that’s why it mattered to him what she thought about things. Tera had her Uncle, their evening chats about hockey and all. Simone didn’t find the connection with Tera after her sister passed on, deciding that being the Receptionist to a young Queen was more important than being her aunt.

It had been different for him with Simone. Somehow she’d latched onto him, or he onto her—whichever was correct really didn’t matter. Seeing the real red tail underneath the all-business persona always struck him as to how much like Tera she was. She’d never allowed him to call her “Aunt”, however; she’d made that very clear from the beginning. In public she was The Receptionist, but, when they were sharing a moment together, the real red tail came out to play.

“Simone …” His thoughts were interrupted by the tall raven-haired red tail settling in beside him, her tail moving around his waist before she placed her head on his shoulder: “When my sister passed away, I mourned her. I still do.” He wanted to tell her that it wasn’t the same, that the hurt was so much worse, but bit his tongue on the reply as she continued: “I’ll think about her at the oddest times. Something will jar a memory loose and … it hurts.”

A memory skated past, a flash of time spent with his mom in the kitchen, learning to make French Toast, of all things. That brought the realization that he’d not made that since she’d become ill, not even thought about doing so until this moment.

His companion of the morning asked: “What are you thinking about?”

The tears weren’t too bad in his admission: “Been a long time since I’ve done something.”

“Why not?”

“I … don’t know.”

“Not really a good reason, is it?”

“No … it isn’t.”

They fell silent for a time, as the sun rose higher into the morning and as the son continued through his mourning.

“Do you want to?”

“Not sure.”

“What’s stopping you?”

He didn’t answer that question, watching the surf roll over the beach with her. When does the mourning end? There’s a limit to the morning, after all. Didn’t there have to be a point where the mourning gave way to something else, whatever that was?

“Today’s her birthday.”

“Yes, I know.”

“I wish she was here.”

“I know.”

Closing his eyes, he found himself watching his mom mixing up the batter, cutting the bread, dipping the bread into the mix before laying it on the skillet. Being shown when the browning of the bread was right, how to flip them over. Cutting up the strawberries; mixing up the whipping cream. Rediwhip had its place, but not on Mom’s French Toast. She never would have accepted that.

Another memory floated by, that of a new young King trying to impress a certain Receptionist one morning by bringing her French Toast to start her day. He remembered her smile, the compliment she’d given at his skill, and how much she appeared to enjoy his efforts. He recalled many a morning when she’d come by and shared breakfast with him, always French Toast, before going off to the Palace to help Tera. He also remembered that he hadn’t done so since mom had passed on. Many mornings spent mourning, and he felt ashamed of that.

“So … Aunt Simone …”

The tip of her tail tapped his side: “Oh I’m “Aunt Simone” now, am I?”

He hadn’t turned away from the rising sun: “Actually, you’re “Auntie Simone,” as I recall.”

Simone didn’t say anything. The hug was enough to remind him that she’d started to make amends with Tera once more.

“You think the stores are open by now?”


“I think it would be nice to make French Toast. She always liked that on her birthday.”

The red-tail seemed pleased at his thought: “Her son, so I understand, is excellent at that.”

He smiled: “I have a very good teacher.”

She teased him, the first time in ages: “I’m sure we can find some whipping cream.”

The laughter in that thought made the moment change. The mourning hadn’t completely been transformed—there was still a long way to go—but the smallest step began with the simplest things. Sharing something loved and cherished with one who understood mattered.

10 May 18:35

The misattribution of arousal. It turns out when our body gets...

The misattribution of arousal.

It turns out when our body gets excited about something, we can’t reliably tell what caused the excitement.

In David McRaney’s brilliant article, he explains how we routinely misattribute physiological arousal and how the most common target of misattribution is other people. It’s part of why doing challenging or exciting activities with your partner can help strengthen your relationship, and why roller coasters and scary movies can make great first dates — when we reflect on the time, we often assume that it was the person we were with that helped get our heart racing rather than the excitement of the activity.

Don’t use this effect for evil.

09 May 13:30

Schools are economic powerhouses.

by Jessica Hagy

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The post Schools are economic powerhouses. appeared first on Indexed.

07 May 20:33

Holidays and Days of Note for May 4, 2018*   Bird Day*   Respect...

Holidays and Days of Note for May 4, 2018

*   Bird Day
*   Respect for Chickens Day (U.S.) Hey! it’s already bird day, don’t get greedy.
*   Star Wars Day also known as Luke Skywalker Day
*   National Orange Juice Day
   The dark truth about orange juice.
*   International Firefighters’ Day.
*   Anti-Bullying Day
*   Remembrance of the Dead. (The Netherlands) that’s the Netherlands NOT the Nether World.
*   Youth Day & Literary Day (People’s Republic of China)
*   Day in the Roman Empire on which an all-female festival was held in honor of Bona Dea.
*   It was on this date that Manhattan island is sold in exchange for $24 in beads & buttons in 1626. That’s the story anyway, but who used dollars as a designation of the cost back then? Anyway, the bit they always fail to add about this tale is that the fellow who took the beads & buttons didn’t even live on the Island (must have been from Jersey) and was just there to fish, no doubt he was glad to take it from the suckers, however.

07 May 20:32

Driving Cars

It's probably just me. If driving were as dangerous as it seems, hundreds of people would be dying every day!
02 May 01:07

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Jesus


Click here to go see the bonus panel!


New comic!
Today's News:

Let it never be said that SMBC was especially motivational.

02 May 01:06

Burning Passion – DORK TOWER 01.05.18

by John Kovalic

The Patreon goal for THREE new Dork Tower comic strips every week has begun! Readers’ support is vital. Please consider helping us reach that milestone – and get all the bonus material (plus  swag, and MORE DORK TOWERS):  JOIN THE FUN (if you can)

01 May 13:11

River Border

I'm not a lawyer, but I believe zones like this are technically considered the high seas, so if you cut a pizza into a spiral there you could be charged with pieracy under marinaritime law.
01 May 13:08


I found a copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but the idea of reading it didn't spark joy, so I gave it away.
01 May 13:00

Here’s an Idea – DORK TOWER 24.04.01

by John Kovalic

01 May 12:58

Snow Big Deal – DORK TOWER 19.04.18

by John Kovalic