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The local motto: “A little science. A little magic. A little chicken soup.”
Updated: 24 min 39 sec ago

Young Wizards New Millennium Edition updates start November 20

Sun, 11/19/2017 - 15:44

During the third week of November, the Ebooks Direct store is beginning the process of rolling out new, updated editions of the Young Wizards NMEs, with new cover art and reformatted, reset interiors. (You can see the new nearly-ready-for-prime-time cover for So You Want To Be A Wizard below.)

Whether you’ve purchased just one of these books or an entire box set, there’s nothing for you to do but wait for the system to email you (at the email address you gave us when purchasing) with new download links for the book or books you’ve purchased. Our usual 72-hour download deadline remains in place – to foil the naughty people who post our ebook download links on illicit download sites – but if you miss your download window, we’ll gladly refresh your links: just contact the store at our customer assistance email address and ask.

The rollout of the re-covered NMEs will start on November 20th with So You Want To Be A Wizard. Please note that the system does not send out all download links at once, to avoid ISPs mistaking them for spam. So it may take a day or two for your links to arrive.

The updated books will be coming out about once each week over the course of December 2017 and January 2018 until all have been reissued. We hope you enjoy their new look, both inside and out!


Sat, 11/18/2017 - 22:56

rosetintmyworld84: As we approach the Holiday season, think...

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 22:26


As we approach the Holiday season, think about those less fortunate, and the what the reality of being less fortunate means for millions of American citizens (ie fellow humans) as laid out by the incomparable @seananmcguire 

In the Shot From One Of Our Roof Windows dep’t: “I think it...

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 11:52

In the Shot From One Of Our Roof Windows dep’t: “I think it might rain.”

petermorwood: blacksheepboybucky: trapperweasel: justabrowncoat...

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 11:02
















Needless to say, I am HORRIFIED.

‘All that you need to know about boars can be summed up in the fact that if you wish to hunt them, you must have a specially made boar spear. This spear has a crosspiece on it to prevent the boar from charging the length of the spear, driving it all the way through his own body, to savage the human holding the other end.’

-Boar and Apples, T. Kingfisher

fuck OFF

Note that pigs are also HUGE. So, yes, they ARE slightly larger pigs.

So I grew up in the city and have never seen a pig in real life and I just googled it and WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS

I thought they were like labrador sized, like, fat labradors, not mini-cows.

every time I see this post there are more people discovering how fuck off huge pigs actually are and I love it I thought this was a thing everyone knew but clearly not and I’m laughing 

This is me with our Tamworth boar, a heritage breed closer to their wild cousins than the Yorkshire above. I am a fully grown, average sized human. He was a gentle sweetie who, sadly, is no longer with us. His name was Mr. Big. 


Forever laffin’ at people who don’t understand how enormous, terrifying, and tenacious wild boar are. 

They’re like if bears had knives protruding from their closed mouths and Didn’t Know When To Quit. Their survival instincts when they’re wounded aren’t “run away and minimize injury” it’s “take the thing that hurt you down with you” They also make sounds like someone crossed a pig with an alligator.

Their head and neck alone can be like the size of an entire human torso.

Also forever laffin’ at people who think pigs are tiny, ‘cause we designed those things can get in the neighbourhood of a thousand pounds in ideal circumstances. 

It’s like when people assume Tuna must be small because they’ve only ever experienced them in hockey puck form.

Like seriously why the fuck y'all think everyone FREAKED THE HELL OUT when Dorothy fell into the pig pen in Wizard of Oz? It’s because pigs are HUGE and weigh a shitton and would crush her in an instant.

also dont they eat like, basically anything?

YUP. Pigs will eat people, if given the chance. They dgaf.

That’s why boar hunters use a team of very tenacious dogs to hold the boar so they can be speared without fucking you up. The dogs wear body armour. 

I’ve heard stories of people shooting boars, and if it didn’t kill them, it just pissed them off. 

how the hell did we ever domesticate these things?

…“how the hell did we ever domesticate these things?

Very carefully, I would imagine.

WIld boar babies are rather cute, like living humbugs…

…but the adults and their ferocity have been associated with warriors for thousands of years, from Mycenaean Greece (a helmet made from sections of boar tusk)…

…through Celtic Europe (reconstructed carnyx war-horns and standards)…

…Ancient Rome (the crest of Legion 20 “Valeria Victrix”). A couple more legions also used a boar as their crest - I wonder did they squabble over which was the “right” one the way a couple of Swiss cantons had a little war over whose bear was best…?

…then Anglo-Saxon and pre-Viking helmet crests…

…right up to the late Middle Ages (here the white boar badge of Richard Duke of Gloucester, later Richard III of England)…

…and the blue boar badge of the Earl of Oxford, more usually represented by the De Vere arms, quarterly gules and or, in the first a molet argent.

After Richard was defeated at Bosworth in 1485, there was a run on blue paint as inn-signs were changed to reflect new loyalties since Oxford was on the winning side…

And pigs will definitely eat people.

It gets mentioned in the movie “Snatch”, the book/movie “Hannibal” and the webcomic “Lackadaisy Cats”, among numerous other fictional sources, and IRL it’s suspected to be the reason why numerous missing persons have stayed missing.

More here (another comment to this same OP) and here (slightly different).

Here’s some boar-hunting armour for dogs, ancient…

…and modern…

…and the modern one looks very like a simple style of ancient…

So when Odysseus’s old nurse recognizes him by the scar he got from the boar-tusk slash that almost killed him… now you get the resonance.

spielzeugkaiser: fabtrek: stop seeing jim kirk as some crazy womanizing badass and recognize him in...

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 10:59



stop seeing jim kirk as some crazy womanizing badass and recognize him in his true form as your local florist who adopted seven dogs because they looked sad


Womanizing? No. Romantic? Yes. The Captain with his heart on his sleeve (poor schmuck).


Fri, 11/17/2017 - 10:57







(sorry for shouting, but open enrollment is only nov 1 - dec 15 this year with minimal advertising to tell folks it’s open. go. please. get yourself covered.)

Signal Boost: One more month for healthcare enrollment!  

Open enrollment ends on 12/15/2017. If you need coverage, don’t wait.

…The things you find while going through old image...

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 10:56

…The things you find while going through old image folders…

I’m re-reading How Lovely Are Thy Branches and it occurs to me- did Tom’s nutmeg-at-the-bottom-of-the-eggnog story actually happen to someone of your acquaintance?

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 23:44

It happened to Peter while we were staying in a cottage in Scotland and had New Year’s with the people in the local tiny village. :) It’s a good thing I knew what the problem was: otherwise I’d have been freaked. (It would be the rare large-city emergency room in the US that doesn’t have one or two cases of this kind during the holiday period. The normal diagnostic is when a patient presents who’s blitzed out of their mind while all family present swear blind that the person in question has never done drugs in their life. After about three questions you know exactly what happened.)

Always shake the jug.  :) Also: don’t fuck around with nutmeg. It can be incredibly toxic to the liver and kidneys and toxicity varies widely from person to person, so it’s impossible to judge what might be a “safe” dosage.

Go look at the whole thread, it’s delightful. (Devolves into cat...

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 22:45

Go look at the whole thread, it’s delightful. (Devolves into cat pics, but it’s not like that’s a bad thing.)

Reading all the cat stories now; Arhu's backstory is Rude and Unfair to me, as a person with emotions and a beating heart. Kittens and Puppies are not allowed to die in stories :(

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 11:15

Well, I wasn’t wild about that bit of his story either, but sometimes these things appear in a character’s life and you can’t not tell them. When you are the only voice they have to speak with, silencing one’s characters is cruel.

regarding your request for a ranch recipe on teh twitter: 1 cup butter milk, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 TBS vegetable oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/4 cup minced parsley, 3 TBS minced onion, 1 clove minced garlic....

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 11:13

I’m sorry to have been so late getting back to you on this, BTW: thanks for the recipe!

Generally I’ve been trying to achieve something that resembles the Hidden Valley Ranch recipe of about twenty years ago (because the present one has way too much salt in it for my preferences). To go on my daily salad I now throw together something along these lines: ½ cup mayonnaise, ½ cup buttermilk, ½ tsp black pepper, ½ tsp chopped fresh (or dried) parsley, ½ tsp onion powder, ½ tsp garlic powder, a big pinch of dried herbes de Provence, and (if I feel like it) some fresh chopped chives. Dump everything into my Pyrex Erlenmeyer flask and shake well. Normally this amount of dressing will only last me a few days.

Bizarrely, the hardest part of this to achieve was the onion powder. Ireland can be a strange place when you’re trying to buy herbs and spices at the supermarket. (For example, I’m out of savory right now and I may have to send to the UK for it. Or France.) Though there’s plenty of garlic powder here – Irish people are pretty hot for garlic these days, after about half a century of not being into it – onion powder has until recently been impossible to find. (I was having to order it in from Germany, partly because though it’s all over the place on US Ebay and Amazon, almost no one in the US will ship it to Europe, and if they will, the prices are extortionate.) Now, however, all of a sudden, out of the blue Tesco is carrying it. Which has made me VERY happy, as onion powder (it seems to me) is vital to the basic Ranch Dressing flavor.

Anyway, thanks again for sending the recipe! I’ll give it a shot.

Dave Gemmell's Brownies - Out of Ambit

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 15:30
Dave Gemmell's Brownies - Out of Ambit:

These are terrific. Just saying.

Galway Bay Subsea Observatory

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 18:52
Galway Bay Subsea Observatory:

This is fabulous stuff.

PPS status note

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 18:30

For those of you who’re watching the PPS project from here: there’s no update / new material today (the day’s writing time unfortunately got devoured by other business). Present word count stands at 2536 words.

Please note that starting at the end of next week, I won’t be doing daily progress updates here: only weekly ones. If you want to be notified when new posts linking to chapter material go up, please register for access at the site (make sure you read the TOS!) and use the widget in the right-hand column on any post page to sign up for notifications. 

Thanks, folks!

socks on Christmas

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 15:52
8 year old me: what the fuck I said I wanted toys
me now: *crying* thank you.. thank you sweet christ my feet are always so cold.. so very very cold