for sure i stared at the wall for a couple of minutes, trying to construct a scenario in which baking soda--a chemically processed form of the more ancient 'washing soda' aka soda ash, produced commercially in a couple of different ways but all of them based on mining--would ever be derived from a genetically modified organism.
like, i get it, it's free positivity, it's like seizing the opportunity to be like 'gluten free apples! :DDDD' like there's any other kind but. just.
the sci-fi industrial scenarios implied by the assurance that no genetic modification was involved in the production of this mineral from out of the ground. i'm
The Luddites were a secret organisation of workers who smashed machines in the textile factories of England in the early 1800s, a period of increasing industrialisation, economic hardship due to expensive conflicts with France and the United States, and widespread unrest among the working class. They took their name from the apocryphal tale of Ned Ludd, a weaver’s apprentice who supposedly smashed two knitting machines in a fit of rage.
The contemporary usage of Luddite has the machine-smashing part correct — but that’s about all it gets right.
First, the Luddites were not indiscriminate. They were intentional and purposeful about which machines they smashed. They targeted those owned by manufacturers who were known to pay low wages, disregard workers’ safety, and/or speed up the pace of work. Even within a single factory — which would contain machines owned by different capitalists — some machines were destroyed and others pardoned depending on the business practices of their owners.
Second, the Luddites were not ignorant. Smashing machines was not a kneejerk reaction to new technology, but a tactical response by workers based on their understanding of how owners were using those machines to make labour conditions more exploitative. As historian David Noble puts it, they understood “technology in the present tense”, by analysing its immediate, material impacts and acting accordingly.
Luddism was a working-class movement opposed to the political consequences of industrial capitalism. The Luddites wanted technology to be deployed in ways that made work more humane and gave workers more autonomy. The bosses, on the other hand, wanted to drive down costs and increase productivity.
Third, the Luddites were not against innovation. Many of the technologies they destroyed weren’t even new inventions. As historian Adrian Randall points out, one machine they targeted, the gig mill, had been used for more than a century in textile manufacturing. Similarly, the power loom had been used for decades before the Luddite uprisings.
It wasn’t the invention of these machines that provoked the Luddites to action. They only banded together once factory owners began using these machines to displace and disempower workers.
There are these huge industrial sites you couldn't possibly 'deal' with in one visit. This is one of those sites. This power plant, which is located on a still active steel plant, was built in the 1940s. At that time there was already a gas plant on the site, but it could no longer generate enough energy for the increasing production. Therefore, this coal-fired power station was built to support the gas-fired power station. The turbine hall has since been emptied, but in the boiler room with the impressive Stein & Roubaix boilers and their control cabins are still present and the entire installation - although very dilapidated - still appears to be intact.
During this first visit to this location we were able to visit this power station and the pump house of the adjacent gas station. On a next visit we hope to be able to visit the gas plant itself. In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful boiler room.
check your industria asteroid and what house it’s in as well as the aspects to it. this asteroid gives insight on what industry your career will be involved with in the future as well as careers you may be most talented in!
ASTEROID NUMBER: 389
social media influencer
a job with transportation
real estate agent
any type of manager
remember that these are just some examples! there can be way more interpretations of each house
I know you probably have all your western content planned out already but you can do this later. Trains, just like trains. Faster than horses, more accessible than teleportation. Trains are wonderful bringers of civilization & societal unifiers. Also they’re like really, really cool.
Drafting the Adventure: On track With Trains
I agree Anon, trains are cool. But you know what's not cool? Slavery, Racism, Corruption, and the industrial engine of exploitation that forces the poor and desperate to suffer endless hardship so that governments and tycoons can enrich themselves.
I have always loved trains, they were one of my first hyperfixations, and as someone who goes nuts for sustainable urban design I will gladly hype up the development of any and all rail systems . Sadly, like most other iconic elements of the industrial past, they were born out of widescale abuses that we all to commonly whitewash as signs of progress. The rail industry was built by robber barons looking to exploit government contracts in order to graft as much as they could as cheaply as possible, and to do so they employed virtual slave labor to keep costs low and progress steady. Because the rails were a matter of government interest, any time there was a labor strike (be it laying the rails itself or the production of materials or fuel) or the company simply wanted to appropriate someone else's land to build over, the military was dispatched to brutally pave the way. Think the development of the north American highway system in the 50s and 60s, or the pipeline protests today, and you'll understand how those contemporaries might think of the railroad. Yes, it benefits quite a lot of people, but others have their homes destroyed, all in the name of "civilization".
Now, below the cut I'm going to get into the nitty gritty of how trains might be introduced to a setting and how they change the pace of a campaign, but for the moment, here are some quick and dirty Adventure Hooks for you all to enjoy, sans history/civics lesson:
Just when the party needs to cross the rails as fast as possible, the train they're riding in is subject to a robbery, paradoxically forcing them to think fast while slowing their transportation plans to a crawl. In all the commotion, they might make a good impression on a first class passenger, possibly learning themselves a future ally or at least some good press.
The party is hired by the survey office of a rail company to protect their cartographers on a weeks long journey into the wilderness. There's a powerful monster lairing nearby, is the pay worth it to go disturb the beast?
In order to prevent a villain from shipping troops and supplies across country, the party are tasked with blowing up a key bridge. Do they do the job quick and give their enemy time to plan around it, or do they do the merciless option and time the bridge's destruction to when one of those trains full of soldiers is crossing over it.
Need to know news from across the whole nation? sure, swapping tales at the local tavern is a classic, but no one knows gossip like the folk who hop trains looking for work this way and that. Show up with a bottle to share and a story to spin and you might find yourself learning a few things among the tramps and vagabonds
Something about the liminal nature of train stations means that they're impromptu crossing points to the feywild, the way that standing stones or ruined arches might've been in a past era. Beware of boarding trains that seem deserted, pull in through the mist, or bear the markings of companies you do not recognize.
History: Trains emerged as an evolution of cart technology, as in the desire to move goods and materials from one place to another, we as humans realized that regular old wheels tended to make roads and other paths into pitted slogs by repeated use, and we invented carts that moved on rails instead. Eventually when engines got small and efficient enough to start doing the job of everyday people, we figured out a cart that could move itself with a little oversight, and the train picked up steam from there.
What began then was a patchwork of individual businesses building railways to improve their efficiency, leading to the development of railway companies specialized in installing these sorts of transit mechanisms at their client's expense. Eventually these companies started to pitch themselves to governments (who themselves were made up of business owners) and there was a sudden explosion of rail across the industrialized and colonized portion of the globe.
In order for you to have rail travel in your games ( even if you don't end up using steam engines), you're going to need powerful, centralized governments to make it all work, as individual nobles and landholders will likely be too squabbling to organize such a project, muchless have the funds. Any kingdom/empire/state with an interest in moving goods quickly from one location to another can build rail lines, with the added benefit of being able to project power across vast reaches of territory by way of deploying troops along the rails.
Rail travel makes cities and their surrounding settlements explode in size, expediting the flow of goods and supercharging the economic engines that communities already relied on. This allows for industry to be centralized specialized, and their products to be widely distributed, raising the general standard of living by allowing people in far off corners of the territory to have access to the same goods/tools/medicines as those living in the nation’s capital.
Gampeplay: Much like airships, railways change the way that campaigns have to be run, though rail travel tends to be available to the party much earlier in their adventures.
Travel between major settlements becomes near instantaneous, cutting down on the random encounters that might fill out an early game party’s XP . Compensate for this by having social encounters that occur on/waiting for the train, allowing the party to make contacts that they’ll be able to follow up on later in the game.
Alternatively, if you’re running an open world/travel based game, consider having the first few adventures occur in a region not yet connected to the rail network, to give them a bitesized taste of freedom before graduating to the larger map. This could be by traveling overland to a larger town, or by completing some quest that allows the railroad to finally be extended to their starting town.
Train companies become powerful movers and shakers on the political chessboard, rivaling merchants and powerful nobles as they act as both villains and potential patrons for players. In your classic d&d world, these companies are likely to be a constant source of monster contracts wanting to keep their most profitable lines clear of interruption or attack.
Everything is closer together now that the rails connect everything, meaning that if you want your party to venture out into the wilderness, you’ll likely have to put your hidden vaults full of mcguffins further out past whatever frontier town is the end of the line. Concurrently, Villains can now execute plans across a far larger territory with much fewer minions, which means multiple antagonistic groups might be playing around in a single settlement without the players even realizing it.
Paradoxically, those areas that the railway allows most people to skip past may become increasingly adventure-prone, as wilderness without adventurers to brave it will become increasingly wild, and settlements excluded from the railroad’s prosperity may become a haven for those wishing to avoid the scrutiny of the masses.
I hope that helps anyone thinking of including trains into their campaign, but I might do a follow up to this after doing a little more thinking on the subject.
Garden sales have been absolutely wild here (mid-sized city in the Canadian prairies). In 2020 my main supplier smashed their previous record for mail orders by 300%. In late January this year they had *15,000* more orders than they'd had at the same time last year. Currently they've suspended phone orders, instituted a daily quota on online orders and are frantically hiring more full-time warehouse staff.
oh man, this is fascinating to hear; cool because of how notoriously hard greenhouses are to keep afloat financially, and fascinating from a garden industry perspective.
for those not acquainted with the really interesting world of garden and flower industries, most (ornamental flower) greenhouse and florist sales in recent years come from valentines’ day and mothers’ day alone, as opposed to several decades ago where flowers (in floral arrangements at least) were considered a thing you got on a regular basis without any special occasion needed. the turnover rate for retailers selling flowers for planting in gardens is really high unless you’re a big chain that sells flowers/florist services on the side, or you expand to include garden equipment, landscaping, houseplants, etc (my fave book on the flower industry and how this all goes down is called Flower Confidential by Amy Stewart, for anyone interested).
that aside, this feels like the other side of a new york times article i saw last month called We’re Saying it with Flowers. Loudly and Repeatedly, by Carly Lewis (which to be fair is specifically about florists, not greenhouse or houseplant sales; i’d assume gardening is way up too for similar reasons, though). it was really conflicting for me to read, because like...it’s a horrifying set of circumstances where this huge influx is happening, but it’s happening for really human reasons. excerpts for those who dont have access, although the whole article is really cool:
Three weeks ago, Julia Gray, a florist, delivered a bright bouquet of flowers to a customer in Queens — spring colors, by request. Judging by the accompanying card, which the sender had carefully dictated to Ms. Gray by telephone, a familial falling out had taken place. The flowers were sent as an apology.
“It was this young woman, sending flowers to her aunt,” Ms. Gray said. “She hadn’t seen her family for a year and a half.” When Ms. Gray told the recipient the flowers were from her niece, her face lit up. “People are realizing that time is of the essence,” Ms. Gray said. “You can’t hold a grudge.”
Spending the past 11 months in various states of lockdown has inspired many a soul-searching expedition. It’s been a period of perhaps involuntary rumination, during which many people have had no choice but to be alone with their thoughts. And when those thoughts sometimes become softhearted mea culpas, florists get the call.
Mr. Harkins estimates that his business is up 50 percent compared with this time last year. “My father told me when I was a young man that the flower business is recession proof,” he said. “He started during the second dip of the Great Depression in 1937. He said, ‘When things really get bad, a guy can’t go out and buy his wife a new car or a mink coat, but he can buy a dozen red roses and feel like a big shot.’ It’s kind of a denial of the hard times. That’s where the florist steps in.”
According to a recent survey conducted by the Society of American Florists, over 80 percent of respondents reported an increase in holiday sales compared to 2019. In January, 1-800-Flowers, a leading e-commerce retailer, announced what it said was the company’s highest quarterly revenue and profit in history, with a total net revenue of $877.3 million, an increase of 44.8 percent compared with the same quarter last year. Chris McCann, the president and C.E.O., estimated that approximately 22 million stems, including about 14 million roses, were delivered by the company for Valentine’s Day.
“It’s wrenching to know that the reason someone is sending flowers is because otherwise they’d be there in person,” said Whit McClure, who runs the floral design studio Whit Hazen in Los Angeles. “I get choked up thinking about that.” Ms. McClure also noted that, given the staggering number of Covid-19-related deaths in Los Angeles, she has been receiving a significant increase in condolence and sympathy orders.
“We’re getting more deliveries just to say hello and check in,” Ms. Gray said. “There’s this one couple we just started taking orders from during the pandemic. He lives in Brooklyn and she lives in Queens, she’s taking care of her elderly mother. He sends flowers to her every two weeks — beautiful arrangements, always decadent, gorgeous long-stem roses. Had the pandemic not happened, he could have been seeing her and not sending her flowers. You should see the cards he writes. He is madly in love with her. They actually got in a fight, I think they broke up at one point. But they got back together. He kept sending flowers.”
Emily Scott, who owns Floriconvento Flowers in Harlem, said that customers and florists alike are mindful of exacerbated sensitivities amid the pandemic. “There have been so many deaths, and that is such a touchy subject,” she said. “But whether it’s a death or a great, positive occasion like a new birth, there’s still so much love that needs to be expressed.” As well as less clear emotions: “There’s a lot of nuance that can be acknowledged through flowers.”