December 22nd, 2006

Sensitive animals

I am currently writing a story about a shape-shifter who is very much like the animal she can turn into. She is a very sensitive person and if someone insults her/does something to injure her pride she will take it as some sort of challenge and try to attack them. I was wondering if there are any animals that act like this, or if I should just blame it on the character being an overly sensitive jerk.

Thanks in advance.

A Question of Speed

Google and Ask.com have failed me. All I've found on the topic has been a collection of different RPG rules that contradict each other.

My question? How fast would a renaissance-era sailing ship like a galleon move under typical conditions? I'm trying to calculate some rough travel times.

I can deal with answers expressed in either MPH or knots, given that the conversion (roughly 1:1.15, if memory serves) is easy enough.

Thank you very much!

Edit: I finally found stats on a couple of ships from roughly the period I'm looking for. On her famous voyage from Plymouth, England to Provincetown (which took 66 days and was against the gulf stream), it has been calculated that Mayflower averaged about 2 knots. On her return voyage to England, she appears to have averaged just over 3 (3.75 mph). The fastest clippers of a hundred years later were averaging about 3 knots along the same route from Britain to New England, so Mayflower appears to have been a fair sailer for her time rather than the leaky tub that some writers have attempted to characterize her as.

Now, if only I could find numbers on some slightly older vessels. Time to get back to digging.
  • Current Mood: curious

12th century food for nobles

I've searched through google, wikipedia, and sources I've found in other posts in this community, but I really need some feedback and maybe a point in the right direction.

The setting is 12th century England, and central to the story is honey being mixed into porridge, or a porridge-like dish. From what I've read, porridge wasn't really part of the nobleman's diet, as they could eat their grains/cereals in more pleasant ways. My questions:

  1. Am I accurate in thinking that porridge isn't something noblemen would bother eating?

  2. Would frumety (which I realise is a wheat porridge), made to the standard of the 'Norman overlords' as detailed on the webpage, be more appropriate? If so, considering what's in the richer dish, would pouring honey into the frumetry make it absolutely disgusting?

What I'm looking for is something upper-class English nobles would eat for dinner, and something they can stir honey into to sweeten it and (bonus points) possibly change its colour.

As a side note, I was originally going to use jam but my understanding is that jam was not introduced into Europe until the 15th-16th centuries.

Sources used that may be useful to others:

Stefan's Florilegium Archive
Stefan's Florilegium: Brakng-t-fast-art
Stefan's Florilegium: puddings-msg
History.UK.com Recipes (frumenty)

Masking-type computer program

I'm not quite sure how to get the idea across when Google searching/Wikipedia...ing so I'm trying here.

I was wondering if it's at all possible for one to write a program that, when you run it, allows you to APPEAR to be doing one thing, while you're doing something else. Not quite like a Trojan horse, but a bit similar. What I have is, a character has written a program to use during work that, when opened, allows him to surf the internet, while to his superiors' eyes his computer appears to be doing some other mundane thing that is not surfing the Internet. The computers at his job are always connected to the internet, btw. I seem to recall from high school that our tech people said they could monitor our internet useage from their own computers, but they never actually said how.

Anyway, I was just wondering if the idea is feasible. It's not THAT integral to the story, but it's an Important Little Detail.

edit Lovely, I've got what I need. Thanks, guys!

MF Updated

As a holiday bonus, both the market_finder LJ and forums have been given a very small update. I'll try to get more added to both once the holiday crazies are over and before the job crazies start again on January 3.

I know, I know -- promises, promises. But I really do try!

I think I'll hold off on an alden.nu portal update until tomorrow. ;)



  • Current Mood: tired
  • Current Music: Music Choice: Sounds of the Season