Sunday Sweets: Stained Glass

Sep. 24th, 2017 01:00 pm
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Posted by Jen

"Color is to the eye what music is to the ear."

- Louis Comfort Tiffany

What does "stained glass" make you think of? Church windows? Fancy light fixtures?

How about gorgeous cakes?

(By Queen of Hearts Couture Cakes)

Ooh la la! So soft and pretty; I love the watercolor feel to those colors.

 

(By Paige Fong)

This cake practically glows, it's so vivid. And I like how the flowers are mirrored in the artwork.

 

(By Maggie Austin Cake)

I can't imagine the time it took to pipe and paint even one of these layers, much less four.

 

(By Corrie Cakes)

These cookies look like sun catchers! Doesn't the blue background look like a cloudy sky showing through?

 

(By Melissa Alt Cakes)

One of my personal favorites today! There's a great little Tiffany museum here in Florida, and this one reminds me the most of some of his windows there. Something about all those glowing greens and rich orangey-browns... Just lovely.

 

(also by Queen of Hearts Couture Cakes)

Both are amazing, but that blue! WOW.

 

(By Bittersweet Pastry)

Perhaps more of a mosaic than stained glass, but I'm blown away by the 3D flowers! Such a great design.

 

And another tile mosaic:

(By Passionate Cakes)

So much detail! Can you imagine how long it would take to place all those tiny pieces?!

 

These flowers look like they're bursting out of the glass design:

(Also by Maggie Austin Cake)

So. Cool.

 

And finally:

(By Vinism Sugar Art)

I take it back; I think this is my favorite. The balance of dark and light, the perfectly blended colors, that butterfly...! It belongs in the Tiffany Museum! Or my belly. One of the two, anyway. ;)

 

Hope you guys enjoyed! Happy Sunday!

*****

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Episode 1552: Critical Mass of Paranoia

Top tip for GMs: Don't do what our GM did here and ask a PC what their hit point total is. Have this info pre-recorded before the game and easily within reach. Keep track of any damage that each PC takes, independently of the players. That way you always know how much more damage they can take without accidentally suffering an unexpected death due to unlucky dice rolls.

In some games, it's fine to let the dice rule, and if a PC dies, that's it. But sometimes you want to take a more story-telling approach and not kill PCs unnecessarily or due to a fluke of statistics. If you know that the fighter only has 12 hit points left, you can subtly modify the orc's critical hit from 15 damage to 11 without disrupting the flow of the game. Being that close to death is dramatic enough - you don't really need to kill the hapless fighter. (Unless of course they got into this mess by doing something stupid, and someone really deserves to die.)

aurilee writes:

Yay! K-2 is back!

I was actually quite worried when I saw that hit, and Bria's face, and the panel of the dead droid. I really didn't want K-2 to die so early.

Thankfully, he didn't! Thanks to some quick thinking by the GM.

I have to say, this GM does roleplay very well. It would have been easier for him just to not have Bria shoot at all, but in this kind of tense situation, accidental friendly fire is something that can easily happen.

Also, K-2 just looks really happy here, and that makes me happy. I look forward to some more combat droid action!

— aurilee

Keybounce writes:

First, would a stick do that much damage to a droid?

Second, I'm looking at this both from the roleplayers' point of view, and from the film point of view. There are clearly two robots in panel eight. So in the actual film, Bria was able to tell the difference between two robots, and identify one as her friend and one as...

How well does she actually know the robot? The robot is partnered with Cassian; she's only seen it briefly. Are we to believe that she was somehow able to identify two nearly identical looking robots, and figure out that one was the one she knew briefly, and the other was a stranger; or is it a case that she just took a random shot and got lucky that she did not kill the partner of the people she's working with?

Just how reliable of a person is this Bria? When her job is to avoid being noticed, she gets noticed; when her job is to talk to someone, she is far too literal and doesn't even realize that the guy is responding literally; she antagonizes Jabba's contacts out of a personal issue; etc.

Seriously, if Cassian does not need her, why not just shoot her? She's now reached the point of being more trouble than she's worth.

Oh right, she is the only one who knows who they're supposed to contact.

She's supposed to know who they're supposed to contact. Supposed to.

This could probably be the trope namer for a bad case of a bad escort mission.

Last Minute Update

44 hit points. 2d6, same as a blaster. A critical. We're talking about rolling a 12, and getting a 4× crit multiplier. On a non-lethal weapon being used to disable.

Was the line "Makes sense to me" or "I see nothing wrong"?

— Keybounce

Transcript

Brewing experiment

Sep. 23rd, 2017 04:33 pm
doushkasmum: (Default)
[personal profile] doushkasmum
Today I am going to do an experimental brew. 8-)

36 lemons
1.3 kg honey (fairly strong tasting backyard honey from a mystery source, possibly Sui, some time ago)
25 g each of Citra and goldings hops
190 g lactose
10L water

Bring to boil, add goldings, 15 min later add citra. Strain out lemons, add honey and lactose and boil a bit more to dissolve.

Transfer to fermenter with 10L cold water. (so 20L batch) specific gravity 1.030 so expecting around 3.9 alcohol. Or a bit less as the lactose won't brew out.

Will pitch Nottigham ale yeast (gluten free!) when cool enough.

Squeakity Squeakers Squeak

Sep. 22nd, 2017 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

 

 

Thanks Julie A. for the cake, the cake for Kuzco, the cake chosen specially to kill Kuzco, Kuzco's cake.

That cake?

*****

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Internet Translation!

Sep. 22nd, 2017 08:48 am
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Posted by Katrin

If you are trying to read things that are not in your language on the Internet, there’s a few more or less helpful tools to use that offer machine translation. I’m sure you have all been victim of those already – as sometimes, things get quietly murdered translated and appear, for instance, in a facebook feed or on a shop webpage and you wonder about the curiously bad grammar and the utterly weird choice of words, or find it completely incomprehensible.

There’s a new kid on the block, though, and it’s called DeepL. I’ve tested it a tiny little bit, and so far, it has been really, really good – and perfectly comprehensible up until now, even if the English I’ve translated the German to is not always perfect.

So in case you need something translated from or into the languages German, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and Polish, give it a try. It’s definitely a large step up from what you’d get on Babelfish and other machine translators.

A Series of Unfortunate Monograms

Sep. 21st, 2017 01:00 pm
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Posted by Jen

Who thought this was a good idea?

 

Or this?

(Never in my life have I so fervently hoped that a cake was chocolate.)

 

Or, Aunt Flo help us, this?

"So, when's the party?"

"At the end of the month."

 

Amy M., Jenna B., & Kim W., URQTs. At least, I like to think that you are. Not in a creepy way, of course, or like I know firsthand because I secretly stalk you or anything...that would just be weird. I mean, look, I'm just trying to give you a friendly compliment, in a completely platonic, non-stalker-esque kind of way, Ok? Ok. As you were.

*****

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Episode 1551: Tonfa Tough

Sep. 21st, 2017 10:19 am
[syndicated profile] darths_and_droids_feed

Episode 1551: Tonfa Tough

The "exotic martial arts weapon badass modifier" is a well known bonus that certain weapons get simply by virtue of not being bog-standard boring old Western European swords, daggers, maces, and similar weapons. Weapons from exotic cultures with curved or wavy blades definitely get a bonus, but the largest bonus is for blunt weapons used as an adjunct to martial arts.

The ultimate progression of this is of course the scrawny, mystical monk who can do twice as much damage by slapping someone with an open palm than a brawny knight can do with a two-handed sword.

Keybounce writes:

We have min-maxing with a stick. "Same as a blaster".

I have known someone who could make a first level RoleMaster character min-maxed to having two +20% modifiers on things that first level characters normally have no modifiers for; this is the same player who made a Champions character with a massive level of Strength (provides a bunch of benefits beyond just physical strength, such as physical defense) combined with Stretching to turn that Strength into a ranged attack.

I wish I could say that we have never seen a stick with a modifier made as strong as a sword. The truth is, I can't tell. My memory isn't good enough to separate what actually happened from the things we joked about.

But I absolutely love the line, "Yep same effect" / "We need to do more testing".

What I am noticing though, is the lack of the <roll>; the lack of hit numbers. Imagine, arguing for bonuses to hit for situation, weapon damage, all sorts of favorable things, and then rolling a two.

I might not remember what I rolled, but I did miss.

Hold on a second - "don't kill anyone", and firing a blaster? And somehow, these blasters are weak enough that they are only doing the damage of a stick? Since when did stun weapon blasters become so common?

— Keybounce

aurilee writes:

"Testing".

This is a great excuse to do basically anything.

You took some food from somebody's plate? You were testing it for poison.

You were pick-pocketing townsfolk at the market? You were testing your dexterity and reflexes after recovering from a severe injury to your hand.

You broke into the estate of a wealthy noble? You were testing his security. (Bonus points if you can convince said noble to compensate you with his fantasy-Italian red carriage.)

The list goes on.

— aurilee

Transcript

possible topics for that 2nd PhD

Sep. 21st, 2017 10:51 am
kareina: (BSE garnet)
[personal profile] kareina
In an attempt to narrow down my choices, I have gone through all of the emails my potential supervisor and I have exchanged, and taken notes. I think this is everything we have discussed:

* We are looking at doing some sort of Provenance study using Laser-Ablation ICP-MS plus or minus other analytical techniques, plus or minus experimental archaeology.

* We have narrowed down the area of interest to be Scandinavia, with a possible emphasis on Swedish objects, plus or minus Faroe Islands, Island, and/or Greenland.

* We have narrowed down the time period to be Viking age (or earlier) (though Medieval has also been mentioned).

* We have mentioned the following types of objects, and I should choose only one as the focus of the project:

* Lead spindle whorls
* Steatite spindle whorls
* Steatite cooking vessels
* Glass vessels
* Glass in Viking beads
* Garnet in Viking beads
* Garnet in other jewelry

Bielefeld spinnt – how it went.

Sep. 21st, 2017 08:19 am
[syndicated profile] togs_from_bogs_feed

Posted by Katrin

Bielefeld spinnt is over, and I’ve sort of regenerated a bit – thanks to a nice, relaxing day off work yesterday. It’s sort of funny to turn a Tuesday into a personal Sunday, but nice in its own way. Plus you can go shopping (which in Germany is not possible on a real Sunday, as all the shops are closed.)

The fair was lovely, but altogether also quite a trip, and quite exhausting. Going to a fair with a booth is always a wild ride, with a lot of delight but also a lot of stress. (In case you are interested, I can give you a rundown on my days – let me know!)

In Bielefeld, Margit and I were in the larger hall of the main building, on the ground floor. That meant we were smack dab in the middle of a light, airy room, and right beside a coffee booth too. It’s always good to be near a coffee source!

stand_bielefeld

View of my bit of the fair – the table all set up and ready for the fair!

With the courses that both Margit and I gave, together with alternately manning both booths when the other was teaching, we did keep busy all weekend long.

stand_bielefeld_2

Margit’s stall and mine, side-by-side or whatever you call it when two stalls form an L-shape…

So busy, in fact, that I didn’t get to knit a single stitch the whole weekend, including the evenings. Which means that neither the Baton Rouge jacket nor the Moyen Age sweater are finished yet.

But after all, I can knit at home and all the time, but at the fair, I had the opportunity to meet and chat with lots and lots of nice people, and I sold so many distaffs and spinning kits that I have to make more straightaway to have a bit of a selection to bring to Weikersheim. That’s part of the obligatory After-Fair-Homework. (There is no fair without homework. Never. There’s always something you discover that needs mending, or changing, or some other kind of attention – and that’s on top of the usual after-fair work such as taking stock and doing the book-keeping.)

So thanks to the organisers for all their hard work, and thanks to all the helpers at the fair – I had a lovely time, and I’m looking forward to the next German Ravelry meetup!

 

Wedding Wrecks, Fangirl Edition

Sep. 20th, 2017 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

Imani wanted this cake for her wedding, only with bright lime green flowers instead of pink:

 

She got this:

 

Yeeeah.

 

And Meredith asked for this design with little pumpkins instead of apples:

 

... but she got this:

 

Preach.

 

And finally, as a baker herself, Zoey decided to keep her wedding cake design SUPER simple to avoid potential wreckage:

No piping required! Just plain frosted tiers and colored sugar crystals!

 

Say it with me, now:

What could possibly go wrong?

 

Oooh, Sherlock, you so bad.

 

Thanks to Imani R., Meredith R., & Zoey K., who want to know if I seriously just turned this post into a SuperWhoLock love fest. And the answer is yes, YES I DID.

*****

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Was it a woman warrior?

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:50 am
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Posted by Katrin

You might have read about that Viking warrior found in a grave in Birka, Sweden, who was a woman according to DNA tests. The original article, published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, is open-access, so you can go read the real deal for yourself. It’s titled “A female Viking warrior confirmed by genomics” – a rather spectacular title.

There are always issues with gender stuff and archaeology. One of them is the fact that yes, for a long time, if someone was buried with a spindle and beads, it was obviously a woman, and if someone had weapons, it was obviously a man. While this is probably the truth in most graves, in some cases, later anthropological study has shown that there is the occasional exception to this archaeologist’s “rule”, and has led both archaeologists and anthropologists to the firm conviction that it would be a good thing to take in-depth anthropological data for every skeleton found, and if possible, maybe even DNA checks, instead of just assuming things. That’s a pipe dream, though, with the scarcity of both funding and personnel in these disciplines, so we’ll have to keep on going as best as possible and be delighted about the occasional opportunity to go deeper.

So, what about the Viking warrior woman? I’m not completely convinced that the person buried in this grave was “a powerful military leader”. For that, I’d personally expect definite traces of hard military labour, and possibly also evidence for some healed wounds from battle. We may have an unusual woman there, and possibly also one who fought – but it might also be a woman buried with weapons out of some honorary reason. We actually don’t know. History on a whole, after all, was not cut-and-dried at all, but just as colourful and as varied and capricious as human beings are.

And as usual when there’s an interesting find, there is discussion, by people who offer very interesting thoughts. One of them is Martin Rundkvist who writes in Aardvarcheology. There’s also a critical response to the original article written by Judith Jesch, which you can read on her blog.

It remains… interesting.

 

 

In baby steps it goes forward

Sep. 19th, 2017 11:03 pm
kareina: (BSE garnet)
[personal profile] kareina
I am making tiny progress on preparing my application for a 2nd PhD through the University of Durham. Today I actually started filling in the on-line application form, so that the basics are ready when I finally have my project proposal and budget ready to attach. I have exchanged a number of letters with my potential advisor, who has written to various people in her network and forwarded me their replies. She sent me a copy of a very interesting PhD thesis by one of her colleagues who studied "war booty" from the Roman Iron Age, using LA-ICP-MS to study the weapons that had been deposited in a heap in a lake. What really amazed me about his thesis is that he did his data processing by hand, in a spreadsheet, since his department didn't have a licence for a program like iolite, which is what I use for my LA-ICP-MS data processing.

I also looked at the web page for the Swedish student financial aid people. It looks like it is possible for me to get a stipend from them to study in the UK, but only until I am 57, so I had better do it now and not wait. The stipend isn't huge, but it will make a difference in paying for lab work and possibly even getting to Durham now and then to actually see my advisor in person.

The only reason I don't already have a project proposal is that there are too many cool project ideas that we have been tossing back and forth at one another. The good news is that I will enjoy whatever project we settle on, the bad news is that I can only pick one. garnets? glass? soapstone? beads? cooking toys? Something Viking Age, anyway, and using Swedish artifacts. That much we know.

Some of you who have been reading this since I first got hired to run the LA-ICP-MS lab might remember that while waiting for the delivery of the machines I had contacted some archaeologists in Uppsala wondering if they might be interested in doing some collaborative research on some garnet-bearing sword hilts etc. It turns out that my potential advisor knows them, and is good friends with one of them.

The more letters we exchange, the more convinced I am that this is a chance of a lifetime, and I should go for it.

And, to make things even better, AMT was fun tonight, as always! I love the gymnastics training. Never mind that I am the worst kid in the class, I am showing improvement every week, and enjoying it.

I stopped by an open house today--one of the houses in our neighbourhood is for sale--the third since we bought our place (if you count ours). That house is slightly older than ours (1964 vs '66), not as big, weirdly laid out (who sets it up so that one has to go through the kitchen into and then through a bedroom to get to the garage and laundry area? Why did they take off the back door? They also have much, much, much less land than we have--just a small yard suitable for little kids to play in. I am so happy we got the house we did. The highlight of the house was a wall mounted can-opener in the kitchen, that, from the look of it, must have been put up when the house was brand new. but probably hasn't been used in years, since most "canned" food in Sweden comes in cardboard boxes, and those few items that are in metal cans have a self-opening lid.

Let's Play Telephone

Sep. 19th, 2017 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

Ever wonder what could possibly go wrong with a simple inscription on a basic cake? Well, WONDER NO MORE. 

Below I've listed the inscriptions some of my trusty Wreckporters ordered from professional bakeries, followed by the cakes they actually received:

 

"God Bless Neal"

I hear it's His middle name.

 

"Welcome Baby Arnold"

The spacing is what really sells it.

 

"Happy Birthday Mom"

Now that's a cake only a mother named Bob could love.

[Btw, I'm starting to wonder if a baker named Bob is doing these on purpose. And if so, I want to shake Bob's hand.]

 

"Congrats British Lit"

I hope this starts a trend; I want to see all the ways bakers butcher "Kyrgyzstanian."

 

"Happy Bandwidth Upgrade Day"

"Band With Upgrade" is the name of my retro Steam Powered Giraffe cover band.

(I realize only about 3 people will get that joke... and I'm ok with that.)

 

"Grats to Dad"

I like to think this is the baker's revenge on everyone who shortens "congratulations" to "grats." "CONGRATS" IS SHORT ENOUGH, PEOPLE.

 

"Old Dirty Thirty"

At some point you stop being surprised. Or so I'm told.

 

"When I'm 64"

That's actually how John says it when he's singing in his "drunk McCartney" voice, so maybe Kit sang her order over the phone. Drunk. While imitating Paul McCartney. 

(Don't keep us in suspense, now, Kit: did you?)

 

Thanks to Colleen C., Suzanne R., Morgan & Eric, Katie D., Ethan D., Leslie C., Becky L., & Kit K. for really phoning it in today. ;)

*****

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Episode 1550: Mech (sic) and Chicken; or Los Pollos Caminos

It's good to have miniatures to help the players visualise enemy forces and battles.

And although improvised figures will do, it's definitely better to have appropriate miniatures.

(Yes, we know the Spanish is terrible and doesn't mean the same thing.)

aurilee writes:

It was the first walker-type! And he apparently had no miniatures.

The poor players, having to use their imaginations while playing a tabletop RPG. Oh the humanity!

And unfortunately, the GM never saw my very, very clever suggestion of gluing some guns onto Timon. So everyone had to suffer through chickens.

With guns.

— aurilee

Keybounce writes:

Something that I never realized before: Chicken miniatures.

There is no movie; this GM actually had chicken walkers, and chicken miniatures.

Chicken. Miniatures.

Never mind the deformed seal-walrus-whatever it was, where do you get chicken miniatures? Are there other farm animals yet to show up?

I find myself wondering, what would a cow standing on two legs like a meerkat look like? (Lorenda? Kria?). Oddly, I have no problem imagining that cow holding a gun.

Looking over the last two comics, I'm realizing the clear advantage of the chicken walkers: they bring in close air support. Easy to tell apart from enemy fire. Easy to tell apart from the kitchen mess.

But the whole design still seems wrong. It still seems too easy to take out one leg, and turn the main body into skeet. (Have we ever seen one of these guys self-destruct? There's always a self-destructing something in movies, right? Toss a grenade in, tie up their legs... do they self destruct? What kind of hum do they make before they go boom? There was a self-destructing speeder in the TV series, but that's not the same.)

So let's look at the soldiers. Last comic, we see a huge number of soldiers appearing with the walker. They spread out in front of the walker. This comic starts with two in the first panel, then has a lot more in the second panel.

So who is killing the soldiers, and why do we not see them shooting? It sure looks like there's a lot of bodies in the center of the last panel, but we don't see them being killed. Presumably, this is just the choice of screen captures. It sure looks like we see a soldier being shot in the last panel. But we don't see who is shooting them at all. Are they really running into a killbox?

Meanwhile, all of the other civilians have gotten out of the way. "Our heroes" are the only ones left to get into trouble.

— Keybounce

Transcript

Stuff out of the Net.

Sep. 19th, 2017 07:37 am
[syndicated profile] togs_from_bogs_feed

Posted by Katrin

And here you go again, with an assortment of links in various flavours!

Maybe you have seen the claims that the Voynich manuscript has been deciphered – this has been debunked right away. Bonus article about how it’s not been solved.

BBC Travel has a post about the last woman who works with byssus (the silk-like fibre harvested from the mollusc pinna nobilis).

In case you ever wondered where you’d end up if you could tunnel straight through the planet (who hasn’t?), here is Antipodes Man and his map to finally solve this for you. (Spoiler alert: Chances are high you’d be swimming. Better pack those swimming clothes, and probably even better: a boat.)

If you’re in the UK, UK Handknitting has a workshop list for all kinds of courses and workshops around knitting and crocheting… just in case you are looking for one (or maybe want to offer one).

And that’s it for today. I hope you found something of interest!

Now That's A Bad Day

Sep. 18th, 2017 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

Where is the moment we needed the most?

You kick up the leaves and the Volvo is lost...

You tell me your blue skies fade to grey

Your baker still hates you, too, they say

But I don't need no carryin' on!


You fall in the line just to hit a new low

You pretend that you meant to, but everyone knows


You tell me it's hard working here offline

Your coworkers mock you all the time

But I don't need no carryin' on!


So you had a bad day

You're itching downtown,

You sing a sad song just to drown out the sound!


You say you must know,

You tell me don't lie,

Then you work on a smile and you opt for the pie.


You had a bad day!

Now that's a bad day.

 

Thanks to wreckporters Connie L., Deborah P., Melissa F., Fribby, Monique R., Anony M., & Rachel B. for inspiring a new CW policy: from now on, we want any and all apologies handwritten. ON CAKE.

*****

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