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Re: [May 2016] - Well known fairy tales from a different POV - Submission Thread The Emperor's 100% Cotton Clothes
1061 words

Spoiler for Hiden:
‘Damn it pa, I don’t care one whittle about that tailoring business of yours.’ Said Jim as he slammed the door shut behind him. The tears of his mom stung a bit but his dad had to leave him be. Didn’t Queen sing it on the radio about breaking free? This was his moment now. Jim took the bus to the big city, determined to make his fortune big time. Jim was dreaming big.

The city was big and full of light. ‘The place where dreams are made for sure.’ Jim thought to himself while being carried along with the throngs of people.
He almost stepped on a little girl with a red coat that slipped between the long legs of people.
‘Woah there.’ Jim thought. ‘If I catch that leprechaun I’m sure to get its pot of gold.’
But the little girl was fast, too fast for Jim and he lost her somewhere near an old worn casino. There went his pot of gold, so Jim was a bit down the lumps as he idled his way down the alley where he’d ended up.
Dumpsters were filed along the brick walls of old high rise and a television playing too loud declared that Rose had tossed Jack off that Titanic door once again. A small back door was open somewhere and a delicious smell of eastern cuisine wafted in Jim’s general direction. Something his stomach appealed to with a growl as Jim remembered he hadn’t eaten since this morning. He was drawn to the back door as if ensorcelled by the divine smells that emerged from that place.
A small brass sign read: “Dragon’s Palace, delivery only”. Jim’s hands went to his pockets in search of coin but they met only hemp. Maybe he could do dishes though? So, as if the tide of fate drove him, Jim pressed the tacky doorbell.

Jim was startled by this apparition. A wrinkled old man with a long thin beard stared up at the youth through two sharp eyes. He looked like he’d run away right out of some Chinese martial arts film.
‘What is it?’ The words were tossed in his direction in a less than amiable way. Though the old man was smaller than Jim, it was Jim who felt as if he was being looked down upon.
‘I’m looking for a meal-‘
‘What does this look like? A shelter? Scram!’
Jim wrung his foot between the door before it shut on him completely. The Chinese man gave him a tormented look. ‘Go away!’
‘I mean to work for it.’ Jim intervened.
Jim could see the cogs turning in the man’s head as he considered this easy form of exploiting him.
‘What are you good at, kid?’
Here a problem posed itself because Jim wasn’t good at anything in particular. Nothing, except...
‘My father taught me the craft of tailor. I can make pantalons, shirts, ties and bowties,...’
The Chinese man simply stared at him expressionless. ‘Boy.’ He spoke. ‘This is a Chinese restaurant. What need have I of pantalons?’
‘I know you might not need it immediately but every person needs clothes right? I can make you a suit that will make you the envy of the city. People will stare at you in the streets and won’t believe their eyes.’
Jim knew he was threading on thin ice here as he definitely wasn’t as accomplished as he claimed to be.
The restaurant owner seemed to buy it though as the pensive look gradually developed into a gullible smile. ‘True enough. How about this? I give you a week to make me a suit. In exchange you get a room upstairs and scraps from the restaurant for free?’
The deal sounded anything but fair to Jim but he had nowhere else to go so he accepted the deal and settled down in a small room under the staircase after having double checked for lingering wizards.

Every day the Chinese man would come knock at his door to ask how the suit was coming along and every time Jim would make a lot of noise in his room or pretend to measure up the man’s size for the non-existent suit. During this time, he instead worked on a devious plan to trick the gullible landlord.
Finally the last day of the week came round and as always, the Chinese man knocked at Jim’s door.
‘The week is up. Is the suit finished yet?’ he yelled at Jim and Jim let him in to display the manikin he’d gotten ready to show off the suit. The manikin was bare.
‘What are you trying to pull on me boy? Where’s the suit I asked for?’
Jim had rehearsed this moment every day of the week so he turned around the empty manikin like a professional salesman, his hands pretending to brush across the invisible fabric.
'I made this suit of the finest of fabric sir, 100% cotton, easy to wash. So fine that the eye won’t see it just like that and so light you won’t feel it on your skin.'
The man looked at it and for a moment Jim thought he’d be strangled on the spot, then the lines in his face softened.
‘Wait outside, kid. I’ll see to you later.'

Jim hid down the street behind a bin to watch the old Chinese man flaunt around the streets.
‘Ow shit, he actually believed that?’
People stopped in their tracks to stare and gawk and gossip but the old Chinese man wasn’t aware of the commotion he was causing by flinging around his dong for everyone to see. A little boy pointed at him and yelled. ‘Look mommy! The man has no pants on.’
It only took moments for two policemen to take the Chinese man into custody for streaking and this was a sign for Jim to pack up his belongings and head back home with the fortune he’d gathered by robbing an old man blind.

Two weeks later...

‘Bloody hell, would you look at this, ma?’ Shouted Jim’s dad at the kitchen door. ‘Looks like them city folk have gone crazy at last. Newest fashion is wearing no clothes at all. World is coming to an end after all. They’ll be catching pneumonia in no time. I’m glad Jim left there in time with some common sense.’

May 06, 2016, 09:06:59 PM
Re: Frustration
May 10, 2016, 03:25:11 PM
Re: Frustration
May 10, 2016, 03:51:11 PM
Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like) Dropping this link here as well. I found an English article about the bio concrete I was talking about earlier on here as well. Adding links that talk about the other forms of concrete/building mats too.


Solar roadways

Green mossy walls

May 20, 2016, 08:06:09 AM
Re: What?? This article says flails never existed! Only just logged on and not now comes to mind...I am going to try to sleep. I am then out til thursday. Original text is in latin on the one quoted. Try searching under fléau d'armes. Will dig it out as time allows was off the web in the first place.

Short answer the expert is after publicity presumably he has a book due out. Lots of people are far too clever to say something didnt exist because its impossible to back up with evidence and someone will shoot you down.
It also says I know everything on a subject and can make a diffinitive statement, which is rarely correct.

Yes flails and even morning stars with spiky balls on chains existed. Were they common. No. The first one below is 1570's Below that is the Talhofer illistration about 1560 with both a spiked flail and a morning star. Context may be everything on the latter as Hans wrote a lot about judicial combat and its possible they are weapons given to settle a legal dispute not weapons of war. The German had (IDK they may still)a serious kinky thing about making divorce and inheritance law into an armed pit fight for public entertainment.



May 25, 2016, 12:13:08 AM
Re: YA for young males?  :o

I'm always surprised when an old thread gets bumped, and I see multiple paragraph-length posts of mine on topics I have absolutely zero interest in. I'm starting to think I just like to argue.

May 26, 2016, 02:21:59 PM
Re: HTC Vive Now Demoing in the UK This article on Polygon claims the Playstation 4 has sold more than 40 million units.


The HTC Vive is amazing, and the Oculus Rift will start to approach its awesomeness when it releases it touch controllers, but as I've seen in several articles, I think Playstation Morpheus is what's going to take VR "mainstream". If even a fraction of the 40 million user install base buy Morpheus (which is even cheaper than the Oculus, including touch controllers) you're going to have a huge explosion in the popularity of VR. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens there.

Latest VR recommendations:

- Call of the Starseed is incredible, and the most polished and immersive VR experience I've played to date. It's absolutely worth the price. My jaw was literally hanging open for the last ten minutes. Get it!

- Portal Stories: VR is short (maybe 30 minutes) but super fun. It really does feel like being in the Portal universe. It's absolutely free, though you do need to own a copy of Portal 2 to play it.

At some point, maybe after Balticon this weekend, I'm going to sit down and write another blog post about how incredible the Vive is. I haven't done it yet because I've been too busy playing it.

Also @m3mnoch, if you've gotten AltSpace and tried it out, let me know when you're up at the office and want to hop on. We'll play some frisbee golf. :)

May 26, 2016, 02:59:39 PM
Re: HTC Vive Now Demoing in the UK EDIT: I apologize for the ads at the start of the video, I forget about those since I use Adblock. :0 Since Audioshield uses existing music, Youtube automatically monetized the video for the rights holder.

As I continue to evangelize VR (and the HTC Vive in particular) one thing I've found difficult is to describe the experiences available (which are awesome!). Since I have a FRAPS license from way back, I decided to download it to my Vive machine and start capturing videos from various experiences.

The video below is from a game called Audioshield. You choose an MP3 in your home collection, then stand on a stage. Audioshield converts the song into a series of beats (represented by orange and blue balls) and then sends those beats flying at you at high velocity.

You have two shields, a blue shield (held in your left hand) and an orange shield (held in your right hand). To destroy the beats, you have to punch them with the matching shield (blue shield for blue beats, etc). The end result is incredibly fun, and while the algorithm that creates the order in which the notes come at you works better with some songs than others, it's still fun to be able to punch any song you own.

In this video, the song I'm punching is "Above" by The Blue Man Group.


I'll continue to capture various experiences (I'm going to be using them for blog posts) but I'll post them here, because I really do want people to understand how powerful and awesome virtual reality now is, even at this super early stage.

June 07, 2016, 04:57:13 AM
Re: [May 2016] - Well known fairy tales from a different POV - Discussion Thread Whoa. Just found that illustration while browsing pinterest and sad I can't pin it to my story, as it would be a most perfect cover picture for it.
I think m3m started the trend of having pictures before the title, and while I don't generally feel like I need one, this is another exception!

June 07, 2016, 12:51:40 PM
Secrets of Great British Castles

Just been given this DVD and it is packed with information about six British castles, Dover, Tower of London, Warwick, Caernarfon, Stirling and Carrickfergus. It may be interesting to anyone writing about castles, battles or seiges.   Facts about the buildings, interesting snippets of history, secrets of the fortifications and you see more than a tourist would, it had me enthralled and watched first disc right through in one giant history hit :).

Also thought that any of our US readers going to England on holiday, @Jmack @m3mnoch with you particularly in mind, may like to check out if any of these would be near where they are headed. I know Saraband and Eurog have their own local castle which Nora will be able to share soon, but not everyone else is so lucky.  ;)

Once lived near Warwick Castle and it is definitely magnificent.  The last Duke who inherited this castle couldn't afford to upkeep it, costs are astronomical. He tried hard by getting bit parts in Hollywood, even in an Erroll Flynn film, but had to sell off to the present owners, the Tussaud Group, who run it as a tourist attraction, but ensure it is preserved.

I always imagined an oubliette would be pretty bad, but the real thing in Warwick is horrendous. In Dover Castle there is a very clever tower that runs through all of certain levels but it has three different spiral staircases,running top to bottom,so soldiers could all get down to the bottom for defence, much more quickly from wherever they were and faster than with only one. Brilliant.

It is available on Amazon or BBC shop in UK, and advertised in US, but warns only for playback Region 4. This seemed to work for me, but the other choice for US would be netflix.


June 08, 2016, 03:55:41 AM