Blogworthy: Mercenary Companies, View-Master Memories, Swear Like a Dwarf, Free Bridge Destruction

Who Are Your Mercenary Companies?: Taking 10 looks at incorporating mercenary companies into your role-playing game as a way of building depth and background for both the world and your player characters.

The View-Master Slides of Our Youth Were Beautiful Works of Art: As a child of the 1980s, I have conflicted feelings about the old View-master slides. While this post is correct in that they were works of art, they were also surreal and strange. There was a sort of hyper-reality to them because of the saturated colors and the strangeness of seeing what were typically cartoons rendered in real-looking dioramas. In particular, I can remember clicking through some of the old Peanuts slide discs as a kid and watching Snoopy re-enact some of his World War I adventures. I have a half-recalled memory of him making his way behind enemy lines, barbed wire everywhere. As a cartoon panel, that sort of story may have been a bit grim, but it was all part of Snoopy’s overactive imagination. As a View-Master series? It was strange and compelling in an “I’m going to have nightmares about this but I don’t care” sort of way.

The Amazing Miniature Worlds Of… View-Master! For a more behind-the-scenes look at how the View-Master slides were created, check out this post at Lance Cardinal Creations. They have shots of the miniature sets that were used to create the slides (something I’d never seen before).

A Bold New Theory Proposes That Humans Tamed Themselves: This article at The Atlantic explores the theory that humans domesticated themselves by killing off their most violent male members. It’s a fascinating read; I can’t help but wonder about alternate realities (or planets seeded with primordial humans) who didn’t self-domesticate.

How To Swear Like A Dwarf: A random table for generating dwarven curses. ‘Nuff said.

How A Hurricane Wiped Out The Free Bridge and the Community Put It Back: The Free Bridge between Easton, Pa. and Phillipsburg, NJ is a local landmark. Originally built in 1885, the bridge provides a toll-free way of getting between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. What some folks don’t realize is that the bridge was badly damaged during the Flood of ’55, when the rapidly-rising Delaware River overtopped the bridge and small mountains of debris piled up against it. That caused the bridge to fail, with the center portion of it torn away. This post at the Easton Express-Times documents the local catastrophe and the subsequent community effort to rebuild the bridge.

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The ruins of the Free Bridge circa 1955. Credit: Easton Express-Times Archives

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