Posts Tagged ‘resource’

The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery

Well, I’ve just stumbled onto the best resource EVER if you are writing about warfare in a time with mounted artillery. The King’s Troop is a ceremonial unit in the British Army which King George VI decided to maintain following the mechanization of the last of the horse drawn artilleries.So what we have here is a troop of active soldiers who happen to train for warfare from horseback. This isn’t an amateur re-enactment group, these are actual soldiers.

This video is of their annual Musical Drive. Apparently, some of the formations they are doing have been in the drive since 1897.

There are loads more videos of them training and working. Very cool stuff.

Horse and math question

Oh, my horsey friends, please double-check my book learning.

I’m figuring that Character A will take about 2 and a half hours to cover four miles on a deer path through a heavily wooded area. She’s got about fifty very short characters with her, so isn’t walking at top speed.

Returning, she’s mounted on a horse. Is it reasonable to think that she could cover the same distance in about forty-five minutes? If she were in a hurry, (and she is) how fast could she safely go? This is a path with which she is familiar, but a new horse.

Many thanks!

And just in case someone else finds them useful, here is a site with Horse Speed in MPH and one with The Average Walking Pace for humans.

Swearing, Cursing, Cussing and Insulting in 181 Languages!

You guys are getting canned content, because I’m dead tired. Here’s a site I spotted a while back, which is in the same general theme as my question yesterday.

This falls into the category of a great resource, but at a cost.Swearsaurus has billions of insults in multiple languages but the ads that show up with the page… Lots of exposed body parts of “adult friends.” So, if you need to know what your Cantonese speaking character might say AND you can shutter your vision, it’s worth checking out. The insult generators are particularly good. But this site is not even remotely safe for work or family.

Banking time for writing

I’d talked about needing to simplify my life. The biggest optional time sink for me is the internet. There are a lot of things that I legitimately need to do online, so banning it doesn’t make sense. I’ve decided to try a very simple rule set.

1. I’m allowed one hour of internet time per day.
2. If I want more I have to “buy” it by doing an equal amount of time writing or editing first.
3. Time researching a story, if not knowing will stop me from writing, counts as neutral.

How’s it working? I finished a story today, which has been on my plate for the last month. I’ve got a story that I needed to revise open right now. I’ve already hit the sites that I normally read and still have twenty-five minutes of time allowed online. I’ll bank it rather than just aimlessly surfing.

Fire in space

For a story I’m writing, I needed to know what kind of fire extinguisher would be on a space ship. Which lead to this NASA article about fires in space.

It’s chock-full of interesting things, such as:

In microgravity, there is no buoyancy, so instead of a tall yellow flame on a candle, for example, you’ll see a smaller, blue flame centered on the wick.

Speech Accent Archive

In what may be the coolest tool for someone trying to get a quick handle on accents, the Speech Accent Archive ((Spotted by Jenn Nixon)) has scores of non-English speakers reading the same paragraph in English.

Please call Stella. Ask her to bring these things with her from the store: Six spoons of fresh snow peas, five thick slabs of blue cheese, and maybe a snack for her brother Bob. We also need a small plastic snake and a big toy frog for the kids. She can scoop these things into three red bags, and we will go meet her Wednesday at the train station.

There are languages that I’ve never heard of. Mortlockese? Xasonga? Teochew?

Very cool stuff.

Edited to add: Alex Wilson pointed me to a similar project which has both English dialects and accents of other language speakers. One of the strangest things, for me, about the sample text they use is that my maiden name shows up in the middle of it.

The goose’s owner, Mary Harrison, kept calling, “Comma, Comma,” which Sarah thought was an odd choice for a name.

Astonishing the number of different ways one can say Mary Harrison. I shudder to think what would happen if they tried Kowal.

The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death

Nutshell Studies of Unexplained DeathGood heavens. Go check out The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death.

Dollhouses as crime scenes. We were just tipped off to a remarkable book, the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death. It tells the story of Frances Glessner Lee (1878–1962), who was barred from attending medical school becuase she was a woman, but went on, nevertheless, to become a pioneer in the field of scientific crime detection and to later build these miniature crime scenes…

Christmas Brunch

We went to Dana and Mark’s Read for a Christmas Brunch to exchange Secret Santa gifts. You might recall that we exchanged Secret Santa names at Thanksgiving. I drew Þor’s name and gave him a copy of The Marionette Sourcebook by Luman Coad. It’s a really great resource and he seemed very pleased.

Sarah drew my name and gave me Independent People by Halldór Laxness. I’m really pleased with it.