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Content Notes for "Catch a Rising Tide" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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Content Notes for "Catch a Rising Tide"
These are the content notes for "Catch a Rising Tide."


Meetings may be called for various reasons. In this case, Granny Whammy has noticed a major change in world politics that concerns everyone with superpowers, so she invited some people and passed the word to others in hopes of exploring what it means for the soup community as a whole. The topic is too big to settle in one meeting, but they managed to discuss it without turning the meeting into a cape fight, so let's call that a win. In choosing a venue, it's important to consider the needs of all attendees. They didn't, but not by deliberately snubbing or dismissing some people -- it's inexperience. Give them a few years, and they'll know the main points to add on a checklist for soup meeting venues that don't need to be on nary ones. Granny Whammy does a capable job of encouraging participation, managing questions and answers, and otherwise leading the meeting.

Watermelon is a popular treat for horses. Here are some tips on preparing fruit and vegetable treats. A little bit is fine. However, since horses evolved to digest mostly grass, large amounts of other foods can upset their digestion.

Comté is among the more spectacular cheeses of the world, because it comes from the milk of pastured cows. The meadows include many French wildflowers such as daisies and wild orchids. Basically, Savoir Faire ordered a horse-sized, world-class salad.

Judd's hay net is basically a bag made of sturdy straps. These come in various sizes and styles, which can be secured firmly for easy feeding or left swinging to make the food last longer.

The buffet table is stocked with high-calorie fruits and vegetables.

bon appétit
Borrowed from French bon appétit (literally “good appetite”), from bon (“good”) + appétit(“appetite”).
Used to wish someone enjoyment of the meal they are about to eat.
Synonym: enjoy your meal

Meal options at weddings often include either meat / vegetarian or meat / fish / vegetarian. There are various ways to present this on the RSVP cards, and the better ones detail exactly what each meal contains. Even if you're offering a buffet as shown here, it helps to have an idea approximately how many carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores you have coming.

A speech therapist provides advice and exercises for overcoming a wide range of speaking and listening difficulties. While the vast majority of this field has focused on human communication, there is a modest adjunct of animal communication research with such examples as Alex the parrot and Koko the gorilla. I have yet to see speech therapy offered to any character in mainstream comics, despite the prevalence of speech impediments; but to Hannah, who routinely works with disadvantaged children, it's an obvious step to suggest. While it can't change the shape of Judd's head, it can almost certainly help him figure out better application of what he has, and alternative communication is a great idea too.

See Mallory's theater stunts maternity T-shirt.

Gross National Happiness measures the success of a country on how well it promotes the contentment of its citizens. In ranking countries by happiness, the United States is 18th. Consider some lessons from Bhutan, inventor of the GNH and consistently the happiest country in the world.

Helicopter problem(s) -- when you have a superpower that is rare and/or in high demand, so that everyone wants your help with it, like when you get a helicopter and everyone wants to borrow it.

This map of the Maldives shows the cities and bigger towns. This one shows many more including the smaller ones. Here are the administrative divisions.

The population of local-Maldives is 444,898 as of Friday, August 3, 2018. Of those, 41.0% of the population (182,170 people) is urban, over half of whom live in the capital of Malé alone.

Name Population Latitude/Longitude
1 Malé, Kaafu Atoll
103,693 4.175 / 73.509

2 Fuvahmulah , Gnyaviyani Atoll
11,140 -0.299 / 73.424

3 Hithadhoo , Seenu
9,927 -0.6 / 73.083

Globally, soups make up about .01% of the population. Another .09% of people are latents, who could manifest powers under the right circumstances. Conversely, about 10% of people are actively resistant to acquiring superpowers even from sources capable of bestowing them from scratch. Superheroes make up about .00033%, supervillains about .00066%, and crickets .005% respectively. Blue plate specials -- the people who use their powers in a regular job -- may count as superheroes or supervillains (if open) or crickets (if in the fuse box). Frex, I tend to class Hefty and Fiddlesticks as superheroes because they do heroic things, even though they work for the Omaha police department. The rate of manifestation is rising, and the age of manifestation is dropping.

In the Maldives, .01% of the population would be about 44 soups, or 1 in 10,000. (They've had more immigration, obviously, but I'm using local numbers for an example.) They probably have several hundred by now. If redheads count as crayon soups, however, the ~600 on Red Island of that population alone would put the proportion over the 444 threshold of .1% which is ten times the global average. (That also means redheads make up about 0.13% of the population, which is still below the global average, but probably a lot more than they had prior to the advent of Red Island.) Furthermore, the political balance is totally different. I have yet to see any supervillains flouting the law in the Maldives, probably because they'd get flattened by the nearest soup who saw them. The only incidents seem to be people falling off the wagon because it's hard to start a whole new way of life; supervillain immigrants seem very determined to try hard, which earns them some leeway when they slip up and pick pockets or whatever. The proportion of blue-plate specials is much higher and that of crickets is considerably lower. In essence, the Maldives is so safe and welcoming that few people feel compelled to hide, and it's easy to get a job openly using your abilities.

Countries vary dramatically on immigration. Some welcome immigrants and view them as a gain, thus work to attract them. This includes assisting immigrants after they arrive; check out Europe's policy of "A Common Agenda for Integration." The Maldives uses similar methods to attract soups, which it values and some other countries don't. It has taken a while to build up enough momentum for other countries to notice, and now it's too late for anyone else to stop or even catch up.

This article explores some of the pros and cons of superheroes charging for services. However, it assumes the burden of privatization would fall on individuals, rather than following the thread hinted at by mentioning municipal taxes to support repairs after cape fights. T-America is starting to develop relationships between cities and superheroes, through the "key to the city" approach. The superhero gets a salary, a working budget, and literal keys to access municipal resources such as utilities and vending machines like other first responders do. In exchange, the superhero protects the city from super-scale threats and may provide other services as negotiated. This works well because the scale of a superhero's benefit and expense matches well to the scale of a city's budget and needs, much better than to an individual's scale.

Given the geopolitical structure of the Maldives, I would expect them to scale superhero responsibilities like they do everything else: city, island, administrative atoll, nation. Most superheroes who oversee an area would be responsible for either a town or an island, the more powerful ones would handle an administrative atoll, and the most powerful would cover the whole country. Probably the expert and master level soups are heavily represented among those who got government seats early on anyway. Unlike most nations, the Maldives doesn't tend to block people with superpowers from jobs or competitions; when the question of unfair advantage comes up, they just split the pool based on relevant traits, much the way wrestling has weight classes. It is far and agone the best opportunity for blue-plate specials, and that's a key reason why the Maldives is creaming off the best talent in the world.

Zakat is the third pillar of Islam, giving to the needy. Eight kinds of people may receive zakat. T-Maldives is especially considerate of refugees who have fled there due to superpowers. In return, the refugees are extremely attached to their new home. This also provides a natural way to gauge how much of a superpower should be given away: zakat is payable at 2.5% of the wealth owned above the nisab (basic living expenses). So to a Muslim, it is ridiculous and usurious for a society to demand that anyone give away ALL of their superpower for free. (The rules are slightly different for silver and gold wealth, however, so a soup whose ability produces either metal must use the specific rule for that metal.) A soup can simply consult their nearest zakat office for opportunities to donate time, and the rest of their time is theirs to give freely or charge a fee as they please.

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