Stalwart Stan -- Stanley Wood is a high school student with a gallant personality, although some people think he's too good to be true. He has a sculptured body with light brown hair and hazel eyes. His naturally tan skin darkens further under the sun. Stan is the son of Stuart and Sharon Wood. He is the older brother of Stephanie, Sloane, and Susie. He is the nephew of Gabriel and Jenna Kay and older cousin of Huckleberry and Mackenzie; and related to Mason and Miranda Kay, who are about a year older than him. Stan is bisexual, with a previous girlfriend Angelica Young and current boyfriend Antimatter (Lawrence Cunningham). His scouting friends include Tycho "Tyke" Norris and Maurice Stevenson.
Stan and his family live in Omaha, Nebraska. He has played several different sports at school, most recently inside linebacker and captain of the football team, but is increasingly drawn to chess instead. Math is challenging, but Lawrence helps him with it. Stan goes from one part-time job to another, because he wants to be industrious but he keeps losing his current job for hero-related reasons. He spends a lot of time patrolling Omaha to deal with supervillains and smaller problems, particularly in the Gene Leahy Mall and other downtown areas.
Origin: His scouting troop got lost in the woods during terrible weather, everyone afraid they might die. Stan found a weird fetish that gave him superpowers, enabling him to call for help and save the day. He earned the Honor Medal for saving lives at considerable risk to himself.
Uniform: Tan shirt and trousers reminiscent of a boy scout uniform but without insignia, plus a matching safari hat with a clingy mask obscuring the top half of his face.
Qualities: Master (+6) Such a Boy Scout, Good (+2) Athletic, Good (+2) Citizen, Good (+2) Handsome, Good (+2) Strategic Thinking
Poor (-2) Math Is Hard
Powers: Average (0) Moral Compass
Fetish: Good (+2) Invulnerability, Average (0) Communicator, Average (0) Super-Strength
Limitation: All fetish powers require the fetish to use; Stanley wears it around his neck.
Motivation: Be prepared to help those in need.
The Sicun is an immaterial God whose substance is never visible. It is the potency of mankind and the emitted potency of the Gods. Considered relative to mankind It is many, but apart from mankind It is one. Skan imparts a sicun to each of mankind at birth. It remains with the person until death, when it returns whence it came. Its functions are to enable its possessor to do those things which the beasts cannot do and to give courage and fortitude. It may be pleased or displeased with its possessor and may be operative or inoperative according to its pleasure. It may be invoked by ceremony or prayer, but it cannot be imparted to any other person or thing. Most of the Gods can emit their potencies and when so emitted their potencies become sicunpi. Such a sicun can be imparted to material things by a proper ceremony correctly performed by a Shaman.
A sicun so imparted must be clothed by proper wrappings about the material It pervades. The wrappings may be in the form of a pouch, bag, bundle, or any receptacle that will cover and hide the material. The wrapping, the material, and the sicun, all together make a wasicun. A sicun is operative only when It is a part of a wasicun. The Oglala concept of a wasicun is most nearly expressed in English by the word Fetish, and this word will be so used hereinafter.
Louison Wright -- He has fair skin, dark gray eyes, and balding gray hair buzzed almost down to the skin. He wears glasses. He owns Wheelies, a shop in Omaha, Nebraska that sells and repairs all kinds of human-powered vehicles such as bicycles, rollerskates, and skateboards. Cheerful and outgoing, he is popular with most people. However, he tends to think that bicycling and related sports are good for everyone, and doesn't want to listen to people who disagree.
Qualities: Master (+6) Cycle Shop Owner, Expert (+4) Mechanical Intelligence, Good (+2) Athletic, Good (+2) Citizen, Good (+2) Friendly
Poor (-2) Overzealous
He is named after both his father, Louis; and Louison Bobet, a famous cyclist.
* * *
"Voting is the most precious right of every citizen, and we have a moral obligation to ensure the integrity of our voting process."
-- Hillary Clinton
Here is Stan's house. See the exterior, main floor, and upper floor. When Stan is 17, his sisters are 12, 10, and 8. The three girls share the master bedroom, which has its own big bathroom, which makes for less competition. Stan has the bedroom next to that, and his parents have the one on the opposite side of the hall.
The Wheelies counter has parts for skateboards and rollerskates. There are indoor and outdoor displays of bicycles. A repair workshop services bicycles and other things.
The 2014 United States elections took place on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. Nebraska elections included a variety in Douglas County and Omaha.
In T-America, Voter Education follows the same model as Driver's Education. Students who choose to take the class in high school can register to vote in local elections at 16. Without that, everyone becomes eligible to vote in all elections at 18. Teens are strongly encouraged, though not required, to take the class and learn about politics before getting dumped into the deep end of the pool. Summer intensives may be offered for students who missed or failed the class during the main school year.
See Stan's Election Day white shirt and tie and blue jeans.
Lawrence originally shows up in this WiFi detector shirt and black jeans, later switching to a light blue shirt and tie.
Smart casual includes dark jeans with various tops.
Mechanical vs. electronic voting machines have pros and cons. Here's a look at California's voting history.
T-America offers voters a choice of polling equipment and services. This avoids problems caused by people not being able to use a certain type of equipment, or not trusting it -- which in L-America leads to spoiled ballots and people who quit voting. Established best practice dictates the prevailing type of equipment, and the others are available as backup, so you might have to wait a bit longer if you want different gear or need an assistant.
Ballot design in local-America is fraught with problems. This is an important issue. Here are some examples of ballot designs and tips for making good ones. Just testing ballots and other voting equipment for usability before widespread deployment can greatly reduce errors. T-America routinely observes election outcomes, including complaints about flawed processes or equipment. They take this information and use it to make improvements between elections. Changes are tested first at the local level, then at the state level, with the national level using the established best practices. For this reason, it's fairly common to have separate ballots for the separate levels, if people are testing a new idea. Another feature is that voters have the option of putting a randomly-generated code on their ballot so if there's a challenge they can be recontacted regarding it. That one only works in a relatively high-trust environment, but T-American voters are less fussed about keeping their votes secret; the excellent privacy protection is just there for whomever wants it.
Voting systems may deal with social choice theory, majority rule, proportional representation, and plurality voting among other configurations. Explore the Condorcet criterion.
Most voting uses "first past the post" counting. However, ranked-choice voting offers a better balance of pros and cons. This method requires a more sophisticated constituency and the technology to handle complex calculations. It allows people to vote for their favorite candidate, even if unpopular, instead of restricting votes to two major candidates with "a real chance of winning." T-America prevailingly tests things at local level before deploying them over a wider range, so you can see this in local elections.
Voter confidence depends on a mix of psychology and facts. L-American elections can be tainted in many ways. Voter confidence may be improved by protecting the integrity of elections.
People choose not to vote for all kinds of practical and ideological reasons, along with apathy. This is backed by the unfortunate fact that L-America is an oligarchy (if you focus on how it's run by a tiny number of people) or a plutocracy (if you focus on how that tiny number is made of rich people). The wishes and needs of ordinary citizens have a negligible effect on what happens; if you feel like your vote doesn't matter and nobody listens to you, this is a statistically validated perception. Explore what distinguishes voters from nonvoters. There are ways to encourage someone to vote and strengthen democracy.
You can get stickers that say "I Voted" or "Future Voter."
In L-America, it is technically illegal to offer incentives for voting, although some places do it and the ban isn't vigorously enforced. In T-America it's legal as long as the perks are nonpartisan. They like the idea of encouraging people to vote. It works.
Here are some Stars and Stripes Donuts and a recipe for star donuts. Stan's Election Day donut is a jelly donut heaped with fresh fruit. Lawrence's Election Day donut is made with espresso.
This is the Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha. Check out these recipes for White Chocolate Mocha and White Chocolate Peppermint Mocha. Café de Olla is Mexican-style sweetened black coffee.
In T-Omaha the voter extras include: free parking, free entry into raffles for larger items such as bicycles, and balloons in the Mall. Stores often hold back some of their leftovers from the Fourth of July to use as giveaways on Election Day.
You can get No Politics stickers too.
These are some red, white, and blue prizes.
Human-powered vehicles offer some interesting technology. Paramedics, firefighters, and police benefit from bicycle patrols; superheroes can too.
Spoke clips are cheap and make a fun decoration.
See Stan's BMC ALR01 Sora bike and helmet.
Check out Lawrence's skateboard and safety gear.
These are the flag shoes.
Here are Lawrence's stars and stripes toe socks.
These are Stan's stars and stripes socks.
Election Day pinwheels are pretty.
So are these wind spinners.
Assorted kites offer something for everyone. They include Stan's Eco Kite, Lawrence's Pink Triangle Kite, Hefty's Pig Kite, and Fiddlesticks' Swallow Kite.
MOPS is Mothers Of Preschoolers.
Explore some Election Day crafts and activities for kids.
Read about late-season apple varieties. 1 bushel apples = 48 pounds = 126 medium apples = 15 9-inch pies = 30-36 pints frozen = 16-19 quarts canned. Canning applesauce may be done with apples only, or more often sweetened and spiced.
String bags are convenient for carrying produce, and they offer many benefits.
Skateboarding is a fun hobby. Understand skateboard design. Skateboard enthusiasts learn many tricks. These tricks rely on physics. Everyone falls when learning this sport, so take appropriate precautions. The gorgeous graffiti art visible in the beginning of this skateboarding trick video is typical of T-American skateparks. Explore some different types of skateparks and obstacles.
Sadly, L-America is hostile to skateboarding and often harasses skateboarders. (Then they whine that people are fat, isolated, and unhealthy.) Skateboarders have fought back against defensive architecture. Here is one example of skateboarding rules. Public places can plan to include skateboarders. T-America is much more skate-friendly than L-America. Skateboards are generally allowed on sidewalks except in high-traffic areas, all human-powered vehicles may use bike lanes, and there are many mixed-use paths. They're just expected to be courteous to other travelers. Safety gear is recommended but not required by law. Due to better design and comfort, it's more popular, and most people use it unless they find that the interference raises their injury rate (which is why it's not mandated by law). A feature commonly seen in T-American skateparks but not L-American ones is the provision of obstacles for crowd practice, such as weave poles or hanging bags, so skaters can learn to avoid other travelers on a mixed-use path. A local example of skateboarding based on avoiding obstacles is pooling.
Skateboarding requires commitment to learn. (A high pain tolerance helps too.) Here is a very basic video lesson in skateboarding, and then one on riding.
An integrated public safety system makes it easy for one call to send whatever kind(s) of help may be needed. This works great in a high-trust system like T-America. In a low-trust system like L-America, it can be a disaster, as people stop calling for an ambulance or fire truck if they know police might be sent. Other problems may arise too. Cross-training also has pros and cons. It's a great idea to have some staff cross-trained for versatility, but a bad idea to have no specialists. Combined team training helps people cooperate across departmental lines. Vacant houses can offer a good training ground.
A battlesuit is powered armor. There are various kinds. They can even be designed for search-and-rescue work, although that's rare in mainstream comics. It's more common in T-America. Here, exoskeletons are in development for firefighters and other first responders.
Surge capacity is the ability of a system to handle sudden increases in demand. A surge plan pulls in new staff and other resources. Here is an example of a surge plan. These things need fault tolerance in order to work.
Mixed-use paths includes such things as curbless streets and shared-use trails. Here are some resources.
Mountain bike tricks can be done at a skatepark, dirt park, or mountain trails. See an example of skaters and bikers sharing a park. Try the top ten tricks.
See the anatomy of a skateboard. Learn how to maintain one.
Buses can offer many accessibility features. and storage for bikes. See the exterior, interior, and floor plan of a T-Omaha bus with a baggage compartment.