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Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/11/19: Christmas Scents

This time of year holiday scents abound. There’s the usual Pine and Balsam, Gingerbread, and Sugar Cookie. But to really move sweet-smelling merchandise, novelty is required. Yankee Candles has one scent I like in particular called After Sledding. The name is memorable and brings up memories of playing in the snow, while the smell is …

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Horrible Christmas Album Covers

Croation pop singer Kićo makes a pretty glum Santa on the cover of this album, often cited as one of the worst Christmas album covers ever made. He doesn’t even convey the solemnity of a traditional Father Christmas. He’s just… there. Hungover, or wallowing in existential despair.  His version of “Jingle Bells” featuring a banjo …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/4/19: Birth Signs

One of the perks of worldbuilding is creating a zodiac, or set of birth signs, for your particular setting. The Western Zodiac* is the most familiar model and is named for the path the sun, moon, and planets take through the constellations on their journey through the sky. The constellation the sun is in when …

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Welcome, Winter.

An early 20th century representation of a Scandinavian frost giant, from the silent movie Conquest of the Pole  by French film pioneer Georges Méliès.  To me the creature looks more like a goofy Russian ventriloquist’s dummy.  Which is no less horrible than a bloodthirsty spirit to my eye, but probably not what the director intended.

Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/27/19: Let’s Talk About
xxxxAphrodite

In Greek mythology Aphrodite was the goddess of love, but she had a surprisingly macabre beginning. Legend says she was born of the sea-spume cast up on shore after the Greek god Cronus cut off his father Uranus’s genitals and tossed them into the waves. Also strangely for a goddess of love, her own lovers …

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Jimmy’s Got a Problem

Jimmy Olsen, Superman’s pal, got up to all sorts of trouble in the 1950s, so much so that he had his own comic. This was one of the milder issues. Note the comics authority code at the upper right, probably the reason why such bizarre storylines became commonplace — violence and mayhem had become definite …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/20/19: Minor Magical Items

Some magical items are very useful to the recipient. Some are cursed, or useless. But more often than not they have a minor kind of magic, helpful in a certain situation. Here are some of those items.   Minor and Mundane Magical Items The Wizard Kift’s Small Dirt-kicking Satyr: A diminuitive statue of a satyr …

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Unsavory Satyr

Isn’t this guy a shady character! He’s got a buckskin and pointed ears like the mythical satyr but no hooves. Peter Paul Rubens, 1638. On display at The Prado, Madrid.

Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/13/19: Steampunk Characters

Steampunk as a genre got its start with The Difference Engine and The Diamond Age, both set in a alternate world Victorian England. So, it bears to follow that Steampunk characters have English language names that were popular during that time. There are no hippy names like Rainbow or Phoenix in Steampunkland, and neither are …

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Rat Dance

Even rats like to dance.