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May 23 2017

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Reposted fromthebassa thebassa viachalielle chalielle

May 22 2017

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c-bassmeow:

Damn millenials

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kvotheunkvothe:

petermorwood:

his-quietus-make:

mumblytron:

severalowls:

did-you-kno:

Medieval castle stairs were often built to ascend in narrow, clockwise spirals so right-handed castle defenders could use their swords more easily. This design put those on the way up at a disadvantage (unless they were left-handed). The steps were also uneven to give defenders the advantage of anticipating each step’s size while attackers tripped over them. Source Source 2 Source 3

Not really the best illustration since it totally negates the effect by having a wide open space for those ascending. Castle tower staircases tended to look like this:

Extremely tight quarters, with a central supporting pillar that is very, very thoroughly in the way of your right arm.

Wider, less steep designs tend to come later once castles moved away from being fortresses to simply noble family homes with the advent of gunpowder.

Oh! Pre-gunpowder military tactics are my jam! I don’t know why, but this is one of my favorite little details about defensive fortifications, because the majority handedness of attackers isn’t usually something you think about when studying historical wars. But strategically-placed walls were used basically worldwide as a strategy to secure gates and passages against advancing attackers, because most of the world’s population is right-handed (and has been since the Stone Age).

Pre-Columbian towns near the Mississippi and on the East coast did this too. They usually surrounded their towns with palisades, and they would build the entrance to the palisade wall in a zigzag – always with the wall to the right as you entered, to hinder attackers and give an advantage to the defender. Here’s some gates with some examples of what I’m talking about:

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Notice that, with the exception of the last four (which are instead designed to congregate the attackers in a space so they can be picked off by archers, either in bastions or on the walls themselves) and the screened gate (which, in addition to being baffled, also forces the attackers to defend their flank) all of these gates are designed with central architectural idea that it’s really hard to kill someone with a wall in your way.

In every culture in the world, someone thought to themselves, “Hey it’s hard to swing a weapon with a wall on your right-hand side,” and then specifically built fortifications so that the attackers would always have the wall on their right. And I think that’s really neat.

Ooh, ooh, also: Bodiam Castle in Sussex used to have a right-angled bridge so any attacking forces would be exposed to archery fire from the north-west tower on their right side (ie: sword in the right hand, shield on the useless left side):

These tactics worked so well for so long because until quite recently lefties got short shrift and had it trained (if they were lucky) or beaten out of them.

Use of sword and shield is a classic demonstration of how right-handedness predominated. There’s historical mention of left-handed swordsmen (gladiators and Vikings), and what a problem they were for their opponents, but that only applies to single combat.

A left-handed hoplite or housecarl simply couldn’t fight as part of a phalanx or shield wall, since the shields were a mutual defence (the right side of the shield covered its owner’s left side, its left side covered the right side of his neighbour to the left, and so on down the line) and wearing one on the wrong arm threw the whole tactic out of whack.

imageimage

Jousting, whether with or without an Italian-style tilt barrier, was run shield-side to shield-side with the lance at a slant (except for the Scharfrennen, a highly specialised style that’s AFAIK unique.) Consequently left-handed knights were physically unable to joust.

image

There’s a creditable theory (I first read it in “A Knight and His Horse”, © Ewart Oakeshott 1962, 1998 and many other places since) that a knight’s “destrier” horse - from dexter, “right” - was trained to lead with his right forefoot so that any instinctive swerve would be to the right, away from collision while letting the rider keep his shield between him and harm. (In flying, if a pilot hears “break!” with no other details, the default evasive direction is right.)

The construction of plate armour, whether specialised tournament kit or less elaborate battle gear, is noticeably “right-handed“ - so even if a wealthy knight had his built “left-handed” it would be a waste of time and money; he would still be a square peg in a world of round holes and none of the other kids would play with him.

Even after shields and full armour were no longer an essential part of military equipment, right-hand use was still enforced until quite recently, and to important people as well as ordinary ones - it happened to George VI, father of the present Queen of England. Most swords with complex hilts, such as swept-hilt rapiers and some styles of basket-hilt broadsword, are assymetrical and constructed for right handers. Here’s my schiavona…

imageimage

It can be held left-handed, but using it with the proper thumb-ring grip, and getting maximum protection from the basket, is right-handed only. (More here.) Some historical examples of left-hand hilts do exist, but they’re rare, and fencing masters had the same “learn to use your right hand” bias as tourney organisers, teachers and almost everyone else. Right-handers were dextrous, but left-handers were sinister, etc., etc.

However, several predominantly left-handed families did turn their handedness into advantage, among them the Kerrs / Carrs, a notorious Reiver family along the England-Scotland Borders, by building their fortress staircases with a spiral the other way to the OP image.

image

This would seem to be a bad idea, since the attackers (coming upstairs) no longer have their right arms cramped against the centre pillar - however it worked in the Kerrs’ favour because they were used to this mirror-image of reality while nobody else was, and the defender retreating up the spiral had that pillar guarding his right side, while the attacker had to reach out around it…

For the most part Reiver swords weren’t elaborate swept-hilt rapiers but workmanlike basket-hilts. Some from Continental Europe have the handedness of my schiavona with thumb-rings and assymmetrical baskets, but the native “British Baskethilt” is a variant of the Highland claymore* and like it seems completely symmetrical, without even a thumb-ring, which gives equal protection to whichever hand is using it.

image

*I’m aware there are those who insist “claymore” refers only to two-handers, however the Gaelic term claidheamh-mòr - “big sword” - just refers to size, not to a specific type of sword in the way “schiavona” or “karabela” or even “katana” does.

While the two-hander was the biggest sword in common use it was the claidheamh-mòr; after it dropped out of fashion and the basket-hilt became the biggest sword in common use, that became the claidheamh-mòr.

When Highlanders in the 1745 Rebellion referred to their basket-hilts as claymores, they obviously gave no thought to the confusion they would create for later compilers of catalogues…

Well if left-handed swordfighting was good enough for the Hero of Time…

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Why is Peter Pan always flying?
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flavoracle:

theitalianscrub:

flavoracle:

writing-prompt-s:

A Genie offers you one wish, and you modestly wish to have a very productive 2017. The genie misunderstands, and for the rest of your life, every 20:17 you become impossibly productive for just 60 seconds.

“Well, it was a nice day.” You kiss your sweetheart gently on the forehead and sigh as the last remaining seconds of 20:16 tick away. “See you at 8:18,” you say. 

Then it happens. Every ounce of fatigue or hunger leaves your body. The face of your beloved is perfectly still, their expression exactly the same. The ticking of the clock on the wall has stopped. Once again, it’s 20:17. 

You stretch your arms and walk to the table with the homework for the three doctorates you’re working on. The work is mentally stimulating and enjoyable, but it’s finished far too quickly. You check your pocket watch and see that not even one hundredth of a second has passed. 

You knew it was too soon to be able to see any movement on the watch, but you can never quite help yourself from looking early on every 20:17. Time to move on. 

You clean your home, do your budget, then go outside and fix a noise that your car was making earlier that afternoon. (Oh how you already miss afternoons.) Then you go back inside, boot up your computer (which magically speeds up to keep pace with you as long as you’re in contact with it) and check for any new orders. 

You’ve set up a website for the small business you started called “Magic Elf Services.” People in your area can pay a modest fee on your site to have different tasks and odd jobs done by “The Magic Elf” at 8:17pm every day. It was a little slow to get started, but word has spread and these days you have a steady stream of clients. 

The money that comes in from the business is nice, but you’re mostly grateful that it gives you a clear list of things to do. You print off your updated list of clients, step outside, and start making your way through the neighborhood with your to-do list. 

There’s the apartments down your street where several neighbors have hired you to tidy up, do the dishes, and mop the floors. You do the windows too, just to see if they notice. There’s the large house across town that paid the “Magic Elf” to clean out the gutters. After the first dozen jobs are done, you manage to stop looking at your pocket watch. 

As near as you’ve been able to determine in the past, 20:17 seems to last for approximately one normal year. But it’s not exact. For one thing, it’s hard to keep track of “time” when everything but you has crawled to an almost total standstill. For another thing, time seems to move differently depending on how “productive” your behavior is. One time you tried to spend all of 20:17 sitting at home in your pajamas, but that was getting you nowhere, so you eventually gave up and got busy. (Though you defiantly stayed in your pajamas the whole time.) 

During 20:17 your body doesn’t get tired, hungry, sick, or injured. You’re essentially tireless and immortal for the duration of the “minute.” So sleeping or eating away your boredom has never really worked for you. 

One of the houses on your list forgot to follow the instructions and leave a key for you to get in. At first you figure you’ll just send them an email telling them to pay more attention and that you’ll do the job tomorrow. Then you decide to go home, get your locksmith tools, and come back. 

After finishing up all the jobs on your list, you go into several other homes and small businesses in the area, performing tasks you hope they’ll find helpful, and leaving a hand-painted business card at each one. (The business cards don’t contain your real name just in case somebody thinks “The Magic Elf” should be subject to breaking and entering laws.) 

Speaking of laws, you head down to the local police station to pick up your case file. You’ve been in contact with a detective who’s been investigating corruption within their department, and your ability to investigate unseen and get in almost anywhere between the ticks of the clock has proven invaluable. You see that they’ve also added five missing person cases to your file this evening, which certainly raises your interest in the job. 

You make your way through town gathering evidence, and start making your way to the outskirts of town. Since you happen to be out that way (and you’ve already solved three of the five missing person cases) you decide to swing by the stone castle you’re building and do some more work there. 

The castle walls stand about 20 feet right now, but you know they’ll be much higher when you’re done. You’re far from any roads and pretty safely tucked away, so for now it’s your little secret. You’ve been excavating and moving all the rock yourself, which has been much easier than you first expected since your body doesn’t get tired or sore. You’ve also got a nice system of tunnels going underneath the castle, and you dig and build more of that network for a while. 

All that time spent underground has left you feeling rather lonely, so you walk back home to see the face of your sweetheart. Their facial expression has moved ever so slightly since you last saw them, which is a comfort to you. Looking at them gets your imagination going and makes you dream up a story you’d like to tell, so you sit on your couch, plug in your laptop, and write a book. 

After you finish editing the last chapter for the third time, you finally allow yourself to look at your pocket watch again. Three seconds have officially passed so far. 

It’s gonna be a long 20:17. 

Wow, Dave. You managed to take a concept that seems nice on the exterior and make it into a real nightmare. This is some good stuff.

Which is EXACTLY why you should never trust a wish-granting djinn. 

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Reposted frombeer beer viamaly-pandzik maly-pandzik
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Jest wiele kobiet z którymi chcemy się przespać, z myślą o kilku się onanizujemy, ale nieliczne nas rozumieją. Z tymi ostatnimi pragniemy być.  

Z mężczyzną trzeba rozmawiać. Przebić się przez jego warstwy. O czym rozmawiać? A tego to ja już nie wiem. Jeden lubi czekoladę, drugi jak mu nogi śmierdzą.

Wiem jedno, masz go w momencie, kiedy szczerze ci opowie, czego się boi.

W tej grze jest jednak jeden haczyk. Jeśli się nie otworzysz (a to trudne, bo każdy boi się dostać po raz kolejny kopa w dupę), to druga osoba też się nie otworzy.

— ...seeeeerio?
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May 20 2017

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Legendary Mixtape T-Shirt
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