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Jason Corley
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Jason Corley

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So this is on the late end of the Old West, but here's a US Army historical publication on the buffalo soldier experience at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona (definitely come and visit their museum if you can!), including a lot of day to day details (don't miss the diagram of how you're supposed to pack your Springfield and your saber in case you get inspected by the lieutenant!) as well as details about their experience when Mexico's revolution sent the region into chaos in the early part of the 20th century.
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Cool!
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Jason Corley

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I found this while digging around for another topic. It's the first of three Fort Huachuca History Illustrated issues dealing with the buffalo soldiers and their history in Arizona. Don't miss the GREAT diagrams of what goes in an infantryman's pack and the little-known stories of U.S. Army intervention into the chaos in Mexico in the early part of the 20th century.
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This photo shows one reason that electrification was such a huge deal for rural areas. Refrigeration made it possible for farms to produce more (because it became possible to transport it further for sale), electric lighting permitted a shifted working day and improved educational opportunities for farm children who would otherwise still be reading by lamplight, and labor-saving electrical devices permitted the household to be run with fewer hours of work.

The Rural Electrification Administration, established under Roosevelt during the Depression, continued its work into the 1960s. In the 1970s it was estimated that 98% of all farms had access to electricity- up from around 3.2 percent fifty years earlier. In 1994, the REA was reorganized into the Rural Utilities Service, which continues to operate today to assist rural communities in getting access to utilities where private infrastructure investment is not likely to occur. http://www.rd.usda.gov/about-rd/agencies/rural-utilities-service
 
Food storage cellar, Deshee Unit, Wabash Farms, Indiana, 1940
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This alternate history breakpoint seemed really cool to me. Could make for some out-there 1980s scenarios!
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Good morning everyone. Here's a post I wrote about a song recorded in the mid-1920s, along with a modern cover of that song that sounds more like it would have in person than a historical recording.

"Well, prohibition has killed more folks
than Sherman ever seen.
If they don't get whiskey, they'll take to dope,
cocaine, and morphine.
This ol' country it sure ain't dry,
and dry will never be seen.
Prohibition is just a scheme,
a fine money-makin' machine."
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So I've posted a bunch about early-recorded music, here's a cover of an early white country blues song performed by a modern outfit with modern recording techniques. This is definitely a lot closer to what a performance would have sounded like in person.  One of the key factors in early recording was that their methods would almost entirely wipe out the bass line. Compression in recording is still a major point of contention and difficulty, but as you can hear, the actual music when performed lacks the tinny quality we associate with 1910s-1920s recordings. That tinni-ness was one reason that steel guitars and slide guitars became so popular among country and blues outfits during this time frame; you could hear them better! 

This is a cover of a Clayton McMichen song. McMichen was best known for his fiddle-playing, though on "Prohibition Blues" he played a guitar. In the 1920s, when "Prohibition Blues" was recorded, he played with a band called the Skillet Lickers; they broke up in 1931.  His most famous song was recorded by Jimmie Rodgers: "Peach Pickin' Time In Georgia."  In the thirties, he was part of the Georgia Wildcats with Merle Travis. Eventually McMichen had enough of the rambling country-band lifestyle and he settled in Louisville where he led a larger dance band that also included pop and jazz performances. He retired in 1955, but enjoyed a second career during the folk revival of the 1960s  He was one of the performers at the famous 1964 Newport Folk Festival that debuted Jose Feliciano.  He can be seen briefly to the far right in this recording of Appalachian folk dancers there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvbnqNZwfZg

McMichen continued to perform until his death in 1970. A tribute album led by his former bandmate Merle Travis was released in 1980.

I'll tell you brother and I won't lie
What's the matter in this land
They'll drink it wet and vote it dry
And hide it if they can
They'll pitch a party and all get drunk
And call it "society"
But if they catch you with a pint,
Good morning, penitentiary
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Jason Corley

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Men in your games wear shoes, right?

My guy is Hustler, all the way
Tagline: "Rise On!" Published in Ebony, March 1972 - Vol 27, No. 5 Fair use/no known copyright. If you use this photo, please provide attribution credit; not for commercial use (see Creative Commons license).
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I remember certain boys wearing these to school.
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Jason Corley

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Pulled this out of a private feed for you all. The main thing to remember about women's fashion in the 1920s was that curves were absolutely verboten. "My sexiest dress" doesn't have cleavage (though the thighs might be shown pretty provocatively!), in fact if the lady inside the dress is curvy, their options are either more matronly outfits from 20 years previous, or the many elaborate methods for reducing curves via undergarments.
The Concise Illustrated History of 1920s Women's Fashion and Style.
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One thing about Models T and A (no smart remarks from the peanut gallery) was their customizability. Just as you needed the support of a motoring club to plan cross-country trips in this time frame, you also had the ability to turn your cheap, sturdy frame into something unique to you - whether it be a primitive RV like the one below, or a piece of farm equipment, or a wider flatbed, or putting a luxury cabin in place similar to a hansom....customization was extremely common in motoring circles even once mass production began, since often times the vehicles were built from kits by owners in the first place!
 
This 1915 or ’16 Model “T” Ford has been fitted with an interesting camper attachment complete with a draw like slide-out section  serving as both a kitchen and table.
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This is a repost so that +Bundle of Holding can pick up my review of +Matt Forbeck 's Brave New World:

Because of its recent inclusion in a Bundle of Holding, it seems an apropos time to talk about Brave New World, perhaps the first RPG ever to be unfairly scuttled by the Internet.

BNW eschewed the "everything and the kitchen sink" approach of prior superhero RPGs, most of which were aping the bizarre, unplanned conglomerations called the Marvel and DC universes. Just thinking through how the Marvel and DC universes happened (mergers! soft reboots! hard reboots! office coups! lawsuits!) should have been a huge warning sign to RPGs that maybe this was not the needle we wanted to try to thread. But okay, we wanted to know whether Superman or the Hulk was the strongest, and hadn't noticed that the answer to that question depended on the dramatic needs of the comic book creators instead of a beep boop computer analysis of how many pascals are exerted by a Hulk punch. The result was Champions and its successors, which I regard with the kind of reverence reserved only for the accomplishments of mad geniuses.

But even the independent superhero RPGs, for the most part, didn't pursue an independent setting capable of standing on their own two feet. Instead, they leaned on existing comics and tried to pursue their aesthetics instead of their own. The exceptions started to hit at the end of the late 90s. In 1999 we got two big ones: Aberrant, White Wolf's deconstruction of superheroes, starring superpowered wrestlers, religious figures, and superspies, all with lovingly detailed haircuts and sunglasses, and Brave New World. I'll defend White Wolf stuff all day and all night but in this matchup, Brave New World wins walking away.

The premise of Brave New World, as implied by its literary-reference name, is that America (and much of the rest of the world) exists in an alternate 1999 as a totalitarian police state. A great deal of effort is put into grounding this in reality; how do people live in such circumstances? How do they accommodate themselves mentally to it? How do people come to support a police state in large or small ways? And how do they resist, in large or small ways? The need for the police state, naturally, is the emergence and misbehavior of superpowered beings, extremely powerful in the WW2 generation, and somewhat less so by 1999. Some of these beings are more or less leashed thugs working for the government; others are rebels trying to expose the truth and tear it down. Propaganda urges non-powered people to hate and fear powered people, and they do. The X-Men rarely gave us this kind of detail even when they remembered that humans hated mutants (which they often forgot).

There were two elements of the game that the Internet (at the time, primarily Usenet), responded to negatively. Bizarrely, they identified two of the best elements of the game as deal-breaking flaws.

First, in Brave New World, you can't just be any sort of superhero you want. Character - both player characters and non-player characters - powers fit into established categories. The super-strong person, the super-fast person, the psychic, and so on. This has numerous advantages: it makes character creation faster and easier, it makes tactical decisionmaking in fights faster and more reliable ("that guy's super strong, therefore I don't have to worry that he's going to take over my mind") and it encourages players to come up with new cool ways to use an established power versus ceding the field to someone who happened to toss a few points into the right ability, or feeling that because they didn't, they can't. The fact that the system smoothly utilizes power stunts within the options for using these limited powers multiplies this advantage - you can see how to make a power stunt and what they should be like.

The Internet absolutely freaked about this. After so many years of being told "you can do whateeeeever you waaaaant" without noticing that this produced a ton of shitty, boring character building before you got good at it, and impeded quickly getting into play, the idea that you couldn't be Dr. Strange with Weirdly Undefined Abilities was just beyond their comprehension. "Incomplete" was a word thrown around. Ugh.

The second thing that BNW did well that the Internet freaked about was not say anything about the "origins" of the superpowers that spread across the world. There was some implication they would be handled in later supplements. but of course by 1999 we had all forgotten what the word "supplement" meant and assumed that if something was bad in a supplement that it would be bad in all games around the world forever. In practice, BNW's decision to withhold this information worked because everyone assumed the evil government had it in a computer somewhere, or that they were undertaking evil experiments to GET it in a computer that had to be stopped. It became actionable primarily in response to villainous undertakings, which of course, is what superheroism actually is.

It seems like when we talk about our RPGs, we often measure them by what we already think a RPG should be, instead of what the RPG actually is. We take our prior experience as the center of RPG play and regard games that don't support that experience as deviations from the norm. Perhaps the better way to handle ourselves is to try to take each RPG from zero. Brave New World can't "do" the X-Men - christ, about 73 percent of the time, Marvel Comics can't. But that's not what Brave New World is. It's not a comic book, nor a simulator of a comic book world - it's a superhero RPG, and a damn good one.

All in all, Brave New World was a tremendous experience. The high stakes of being a superpowered rebel and trying to keep your identity secret created a heightened environment for throwing a car at a guy shooting lasers. It is one of my all time favorite superhero RPGs and I'm psyched that the Bundle of Holding might bring it to a new audience. I definitely encourage picking it up!
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...aaaaannnnd, sold! 
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Jason Corley

Fan Made Content  - 
 
As you can see, I am ready for the Agents of AEGIS/Quantico crossover, about young agents in training who are caught up in an international conspiracy when AEGIS is suspended by Mysterious Political Forces!
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I am glad you are ready.
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What's everyone's favorite reference for daily life (and the Resistance) in Vichy France?
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Paxton definitely looms large over this field, for sure!  Thanks for the movie references, hopefully I can find subbed versions. :)
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Jason Corley

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Delightful viral fiction with a very cool premise.
 
I’m typing this on February 27, 2016. Today was my last day at Facebook. I turned in my badge and my laptop and I walked onto Willow Road with a flash drive containing the images you’ll see below.
This saga appeared in my secure dropbox late last month, along with a plea to post it on Facebook today in exactly the format you see here. I gather I'm not the only one to have received those instructions. I can't vouch for the authenticity of the story, but I thought it was certainly weird and ...
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Sooo...yea. Let me find this Enchilada
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