April 16th, 2016


Crowdfunding Creative Jam

The April 2016 [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam is now open on Dreamwidth and on LiveJournal.  Our theme this month is "Ideas."  Come give us prompts, or claim some for your own inspiration!

What I Have Written

"Mindweeds" is today's freebie about the immortality of ideas.

A "shapeshifter" bingo square inspired the free-verse poem "Dark Ideas." Hilla and Randie listen to women in the chronic pain support group.
225 lines, Buy It Now = $112.50

From a DW prompt I got the poem "The Fluidity of Inspiration," which is written in unrhymed couplets. It's about liquids and solids, ideas and people.
10 lines, Buy It Now = $5  HOLD

This contributed to the free-verse poem "Maa Yea."    When a woman takes up the cause of protecting children, she ceases to be mortal.
128 lines, Buy It Now = $64

This inspired the free-verse poem "A Confession of Pain." Alicia and Judd visit the Easy City police station to share their past experiences regarding the Spectrum.
372 lines, Buy It Now = $186

From My Prompts

"Lightbulb" by [personal profile] alatefeline explores different forms of perception.
Fly Free

Poem: "Mindweeds"

This is the freebie for the April 2016 [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from LJ user Ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "cannon fodder" square in my 1-4-16 card for the [community profile] trope_bingo fest.

Warning:  This poem is all about oppression and resistance.  It includes graphic violence and other uncomfortable imagery.  But on the whole it is very, very subversive.  Please consider your tastes and headspace before deciding whether it's something you want to read.

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Saturday Yardening

Today we planted and mulched four red-twig dogwood bushes.  This concludes the current batch of tree and shrub seedlings.  Yay.  Yay.

Next up will be gathering sticks so the grass can be mowed.  

We still have one bundle of seedlings on order that should arrive any time now.

It's a gorgeous warm sunny spring day outside.  Violets are blooming everywhere.  The big crabapple is in full bloom and the smaller ones are starting too.  I saw the first bees in one.  I think the cherries are opening too.  Trilliums have their leaves and one is blooming.  One whole tulip bed is blooming, some solid light reds that have faded to pink, and some red-and-yellow Rembrandts.  The Rembrandts and parrot tulips are among my favorites.


EDIT:  And picked up 3 piles of sticks.

Four Types of Cities

I found this article about city shapes and just ... had to laugh.  "Only" is a dangerous word.  

Off the top of my head, I can think of at least three other city shapes: hexagonal, radial, and vertical.  

Now hexagonal was never common, so I'm not surprised they didn't include it.  It's super efficient for space but not very convenient for traffic, and humans figured that out fairly fast.  But I did find a hexagonal example on a search.  

Radial is a spiderweb, with straight crosslines and straight or curved perimeter lines around a focal point.  You see it in cities butted against an edge like a lake or mountain, or cities that grow up around a central point like a castle.  Here's a nice one with concentric circles, and a bigger one done all in straight lines.  This huge one is a bit more gridlike, but you can still follow the pattern of radial and perimeter lines.

Vertical cities go up the side of a mountain or cliff, such as pueblos.  Sometimes they have a vertical grid if they are built, other times a more organic pattern if they are stuffed into whatever holes people can find already there.  This cliff city basically has a front (the air) and a back (the cliff) and its access ways are mostly stairs and ladders  instead of streets.  This mountain city seems to have a central access for boats  and most of the rest is tall buildings jammed right next to each other.  Once again the prevailing direction is up/down and the primary transit is probably stairs, as it looks older and poorer than the kind of city that puts an elevator in every building.

And of course, not everyone cares about efficiency.  Here's one based on circles with houses in wedges, which totally do not pack well.  This one uses ovals around each house.  Very retro, that's what got people trying hexes and later square grids.  But if you want  that green space in between housing clusters, suddenly these models make a lot more sense.

Another division is between manmade and organic.  Grids are manmade, using straight lines and regular patterns.  Organic shapes are more random and curvilinear, like some subdivisions, and rarely work as well.  (See Stupid Street Design and Stupid Lot Shapes.)  In the article, the grids are over-represented in their set of four, and curvilinear shapes -- which do exist -- only somewhat.

Then there's the question of navigation.  Modern cities are pretty much built to be easily navigated. They want people to get in and out and around them easily.  This was not always so.  Once upon a time, cities were sometimes built for defense so that the streets were either a completely chaotic maze, or later on, deliberately designed to slow progress from the rim to the center.  It's how you discouraged invaders.  You got a similar effect if people just built stuff wherever they felt like it and/or followed natural features such as rivers.  Then the Romans popularized the grid.  Rome!  By firelight!  <3  You could charge an army right down those streets on a straight run.  For centuries, in fact, barbarian hordes had great fun doing that.  Here's a fascinating comparison of which cities have a regular grid and which are tangled.

Come on, math dudes, get your heads out of your cultural bias.