Thursday, August 1, 2013


I've done the work of ranking the cities by size. White's approach to determining the biggest cities seem to down to two factors;

1) Spread the wealth. Because of America's more diverse geography, and fast build-up in a shorter amount of time, we don't see an monopoly of urbanization like with the Mediterranean, which had history, climate, and access to routes on its side. There's more of a give and take with the us--warm but swampy, fertile but cold, central but landlocked, ideal but isolated. He generally tries give one or two major cities per region--northeast, desert,  etc. However the Feudal Core gets two super cities due to its size, and the Great Plains don't get any.

2) White also seems to lay things at the Rule of First Arrivers. If you divide things by the northeast, heartland, gulf coast, desert, and pacific northwest, the largest cities are the ones which were able to first exceed a population of 25,000. (Buffalo is also the first city on the Great Lakes to do so, and one that's still somewhat Northeastern) This makes sense, as these would be the cities that were able to still thrive when "roughing it", and without depending on modern things like highways, or even trains. The major aberration would be Sacramento in California, (California being a geographic entity unto itself) which was not the first city to get that big--San Francisco was. This exception may be due to the nature of Imperial Capitals in olden days.

Tier One: New Orleans, Cincinnati, Portland

The "Big Three". New Orleans, Cincinatti, and Portland would make up a big three, with Sacramento smaller than the other three, but bigger than any other city. Cincinnati would be the largest city in the midwest. It's status as a "northern" city is up for debate, it seems to be directly where north and south in America meet. It is the largest city in the Non-Denominational world. Interestingly, the first tier of cities is the only one that doesn't have a Non-Denominational majority. New Orleans is the largest city in the south, and the largest coastal city. Portland is largest city in the west.

Tier Two: Sacramento, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Salt Lake City, Louisville

Sacramento is the largest city in California, and is actually the only city in its size range. It's larger than any other city but "the big three" (and could be put in the first tier as "The Big Four". Philadelphia and Buffalo are the largest "northern" cities. Philadelphia is the largest city to be connected to the Atlantic Seaboard (although it's still somewhat inland), and the largest city east of the Appalachian mountains. It's also the only top ten city of industrial America to comparable in rank to Medieval America. Buffalo is the largest city of the Great Lakes, and there is no city north of it that exceeds it in size. Salt Lake City is the largest city west of the Mississippi and east of the Cascades. Louisville is the largest "second city", that is, it the largest city still superseded by another city in its kingdom. (Cincinnati in Ohio)

Tier Three: Augusta, Seattle, Albuquerque, Shreveport, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Detroit, Montgomery

This one of very interesting. One, that some maps have Augusta as larger than Louisville. The other is the there are maps which make Albuquerque and Shreveport larger than Los Angeles, Baltimore, Detroit and Montgomery even though main maps have them equal in size. In any case, Augusta is the largest Non-Denominational city of the south. Seattle is the largest city to actually touch the Pacific Ocean. Shreveport is most western city of the Non-Denominational region. Montgomery is the largest city to serve as headquarters to a Non-Denominational District Supervisor.

Tier Four: New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Memphis, Boston, Savannah, St Louis, Albany, Natchez, Pocatello, Eugene, Lexington

Boston and Albany (both District HQ's) are both the most Nothern cities in excess of 65,000, and no city in the eastern half of the former U.S. exceeds 25,000. Lexington completes the "Ohio triangle".

Tier Five: Pittsburgh, Fresno, Nashville, Rochester, Fresno, Santa Fe, Mobile, Dayton, Richmond, Trenton, Toledo, Vancouver, Columbus, Vicksburg, Fayetteville, Casper, Evansville, Columbia

Santa Fe is the most eastern city of western America. Vancouver is the largest city in what was Canada, and (presumably), the most northern city in excess of 25,000. Casper is the most isolated city on the continent, the farthest from any city in excess of 25,000. Conversely, Trenton seems to the closest city to another city, at least in the 25,000 range, though there's an unnamed city below Philadelphia, possibly Wilmington. In any case, this area is probably the most urbanized on the continent.

Tier Six: Washington DC, Toronto, Washington, El Paso, Providence, Little Rock, Baton Rouge, Charleston, Monroe, Milwaukee, Grand Rapids, Victoria, Bakersfield, Provo, Stockton, Knoxville, Chillicothe, Alexandria, Terra Haute, Syraceuse, New Haven, Boise, Salem, Tacoma

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Morphing to Folklore

Avatar: Exteremly simple. The popularity of the movie is tied with its biggest criticism--, that it's a very simply, tried and true formula, seen in everything from Dances With Wolves to Fern Gully. Translating it from other space to some kind of fairy land would be no trouble at all. A bunch of sparkly, nature-loving people riding dragons and defending themselves from heavily armed oppressors would certainly translate. The question of course, is how the hero would find himself in a navi body, but stories like this usually don't sweat those details.

Titanic: Obviously, this story would be told amongst generations as something akin to the Atlantis myth. The Titanic would be talked about even without the influence of the movie, but the star-crossed love story would also be very enduring. It might be interesting to see plays staged with "I'm king of the world" passed on with the same familiarity as "y tu, Brutus".

Avengers: Very simple--it's a story of the world's greatest heroes teaming up against does which are not dissimilar to ogres and dragons. Captain America, Iron Man and Hawkeye have very translatable medeival counterparts, and I've talked before about how the Hulk could be worked in. I don't know if Thor would be used as a character, due to his pagan nature, but some fine-tuning/replacing him with another hero would be simple. I can actually see this being a case of more and more heroes being added to the narrative as centuries go on. In times like this, character development and plot schematics are less important than it just being exciting.

The Dark Knight: More well-plotted than the Avengers, perhaps too much so, I can't see the events of this movie being staged at a play or told around campfires. The premise of Baman, and that he would battle someone called "The Joker", that could easily happen. The Batman myths in general could be spun into something new, but the particular plot of this, less likely.

Star Wars: Star Wars draws on so many fairy tale conceits, that the only major difference is, that it takes place IN SPACE. Therefore, one is left to wonder how much would be intact, and how much would be scavenged. Yoda, Darth Vader, they're all large parts of the cultural fabric. The battle between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader culminating in the revelation as his father is definitely remembered (it should be mentioned that scene is in neither of the Star Wars movies that are on the top ten list. perhaps I should talk about franchises?)

ET: interestingly, ET has kind of disappeared from the pular consciousness recently, it almost invokes the 80's as a decade. Likewise, I think a part of it has kind of slipped through the cracks,man's it's not bombastic enough to be one of the quintessential "b-movies", but it's not a straight drama either, so it's probably rather orphaned, fanbase-wise. Also, like with Star Wars, there's the "alien" factor,

Monday, April 1, 2013


Modern Americans often take the myriad of languages in the world for granted. As one of the largest nations, both geographically and population-wise, and bordered by a neighbor with largely the same mutual language, and as a very young nation who's population expanded as mass communication started, it often does not occur to them what a strange situation this is. However, in the new medieval society, this linguistic homogeneity broke down very fast. Even in industrial times, colloquialisms and slang would occur between regions that were not very far from one another. With most people not traveling more than 25 miles in a single lifetime, nor reading or writing, or even watching the same language being spoken on television every night, it was inevitable that communities would entrench further into their own idiosyncrasies. In fact, there was sometimes even an incentive as to be able to block outsiders from the conversation. Also, since most of the population was illiterate, people learned to speak their native tongue phonetically, which even accents saw the various languages drift further and further away.

However, it should be said most languages on the continent share a common root. Most of them in medieval American classify broadly under "germanic, of which American English is. In fact, English is still spoken as a lingua franca in many places, and is still, more or less, what is spoken amongst the citizens of the United States and the clergy of the non-demoninational Church. Still, various Non-English speakers have influenced dialects here and there. Between the Great Lakes and New England, the French-speaking Quebecois have left their mark on he surround regions. Likewise, the Portuguese and Brazillian minority of New England has seen much of Massachusetts influenced by the Portuguese language. And of course, the Cajun and Creole has had a hand in how the Gulf Coast is spoken. Areas with large Hispanic or African-American populations would also take their own course, linguistically

Usually the mutations in words would start with say, "th" sounds slowly fade and be replaced by "d" and solid "t" sounds in New Jersey. In Texas, unusual turns of phrases like "might could" would see synonyms, conjugation and pronunciation would turn "It's possible" into a whole other language.

It should also be said that the rhotic vs. non-rhotic accents of America have sort of split the American languages in an interesting way. "R"'s are less likely to be used in words found in the coastal areas, and more commonly seen in the mountain and inland tongues.