Forum: Research Questions

Discussing: Resource section- where to?

Resource section- where to?

As a new admin helping Ang with the resource section, I would love to hear member's ideas and requests for the future. I would like to see the research articles increase and cover whatever is most needed.

So, what do we need? Just looking at the forum topics give some indication, and I hope some of the knowledgeable people posting may be interested in putting the information into the article section.

Other ideas? Requests? Suggestions? Rotten tomatoes?

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

Right off the top of my head I can't think of another one, but I did want to thank you for the lovely medical articles (the trama one was MOST helpful) that you have put together. I couldn't find any place to thank you (you have no forum) and since this really is a resource the site provides (through you) I imagined it would be something I could comment on here.

Hope that's OK... These resources are really helpful. Thanks!

Ariel

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

Thanks Ariel! All comments welcome.

I will also say for myself, and on behalf of others who post articles, knowing that someone finds them useful is akin to reviews for fics. So you have just encouraged me to continue posting.

Now the question for YOU-
What other types of information would be valuable?
Do you have information about any subjects to write an article?
Would you like to write an article?

You see, posting replies has consequences!

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

Hope this acts as encouragement too, Lyllyn, and thank you for taking on the resources section.

Ages ago I offered to do a short essay about constellations, and also work on a matrix of distances between significant places in Middle-earth - but it will be the New Year before I can start on these. They're on my little list.

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

In resources, there is a link to Chris Taylor's excellent Middle-Earth map page, one of which has a scale measured in Leagues.

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

Distances! Distances! Yes, we need a quick reference matrix of distances.

Wasn't Nath going to do some map stuff as well?

Constelaltions would be nice, too.

Ang

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

And perhaps here is one thing to tackle- how to let people know where the links, resources, etc are.
We could do a separate information type of thread of "where the goodies are" or would a first post on the different forums be a better way?

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

Perhaps in the very description of the research discussion, change the wording to something like, take a look at the articles and urls, discuss here what you couldn't find there.

Cel inspired me to write an article on climates in Middle Earth, relating it to various locations like the forests, mountains and such. If I can get myself some spare time soon, I really would like to do this.

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

Yes. I see this one as your basic table, with a dozen or twenty major locations listed and the distances between them. In both miles and kilometers, I think.

It might also be handy to have some indication of what barriers might lie between each; this could be done through footnotes.

So that Minas Tirith to Rivendell would be X miles/Y km, with a couple of little extra numerals to show that there were mountain ranges and large rivers in between. Or Hobbiton to Bree, would need no notes as the only barrier is the Brandywine and that has a bridge.

Another related thing would be a chart of how far people could travel in a day, with respect to several things:

(1) race (Hobbits have shorter legs than Elves and probably stop longer for eating and sleeping, for instance)
(2) means of travel (on foot, pony, horse, cart/wagon, boat on river, ship, etc.)
(3) terrain covered (is there a road? cross-country? hills, forest, mountain, swamp, many streams/rivers? etc.)

These could be expressed as factors: e.g. if a Man on foot on a road can go X miles per day, then multiply by a certain percentage for a Hobbit, multiply by another percentage if on a pony, and yet another if this is through hills w/ no road.

Right now I certainly don't have time for these, but they're lurking in the back of my head.

Cel

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

I see this one as your basic table, with a dozen or twenty major locations listed and the distances between them. In both miles and kilometers, I think.

Cel, this would be great. Some authors might want to see it expressed as leagues, also. (3 miles, I think?)

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

Llylln wrote:

I will also say for myself, and on behalf of others who post articles, knowing that someone finds them useful is akin to reviews for fics. So you have just encouraged me to continue posting.

Oh, there's no doubt they're useful! Don't doubt that. I'm such a pathetic city girl, I need Danielle's guide to plants just to write realistic natural settings. And you have single-handedly debunked the "don't let a concussed person go to sleep" myth.

Types of information that I would find valuable:

Life in a mediaeval village: from feeding the population to husbandry of animals to making clothing (see my question on flax). Description, please. And time frames, please. People often write these great descriptions of how things are done, but neglect to say how long each stage takes.

Iron-working and mining: I know nothing. But Dwarves do, and smiths do, and you never know when you might need such characters.

Medical stuff: a list of commonly used medical terms which the general population might not be familiar with. I had to look up "diuretic."

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

Medical stuff: a list of commonly used medical terms which the general population might not be familiar with. I had to look up "diuretic."

Dwim, this is something I would be happy to do, but there are so many possibilities! I'd need a list of which words, or a general topic, such as medication, diagnosis, etc. Questions could be posted in a Medical question thread which I'll answer as they appear, or we could start compiling a list. Or I can post links to sites that explain medical words and conditions for nonmedical people.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

I'd rather see a glossary here on HASA than links - I burn out on links very quickly.

Topics like this might work well as joint efforts - one relatively clueless person who needs to deal with a topic in some story, say medicine, and one more knowledgeable person. Clueless person will say what they need to know, knowledge person fills in, and then clueless person can say what terms are unfamiliar.

Would something like that be doable? Offhand I can't volunteer for any particular topic as I'm a general-knowledge type, myself. My specific knowledge of topics tends to be fairly limited, often specifically English medieval, so not always the most relevant, but I'll certainly throw in my two cents whenever I actually do know something...

Cel

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

Cel, I think this could work well, with specifics answered on the forum, and the glossary stored in the research article section in some way.

My specific knowledge of topics tends to be fairly limited, often specifically English medieval, so not always the most relevant, ...

Oh Cel - Your English Medieval knowledge is probably among the most valuable we have. Wouldn't of course apply to aspects of the Shire, Gondor... You are not escaping so easily!

I will start a "Medical Questions" topic.
I suppose anything that seems to take over can be spun off to its own thread, but a general thread may be less intimidating to some.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

Ah, well, what I mean is that I know a little bit about lots of things - laws, medicine, clothing, writing, etc. etc. - but other folk around here are likely to know significantly more than I do in particular areas. Elizabeth, for instance, knows a great deal about parchment and writing and illumination. That's all. I'll happily contribute what I can, of course! I actually have an abiding interest in food, and a half-shelf of books on its history, so that would be one area I might be able to do quite a bit with.

Cel

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

I'd love a quick reference list and some speculation about what's where in Minas Tirith:

- royal apartments
- steward's apartments / house
- lords
- bourgeoisie
- houses of healing
- Rath Dinen
- libraries and archives
- theatres
- artisans
- department of motor vehicles
- merchants
- scholarly societies and museums
- barracks
- aquaducts and reservoirs
- rugby pitch
- etc. etc. etc.

I have a terrible time wrapping my head around all those levels!

I might be able to do something about medieval troubadours and theatre, eventually, if that would be useful. If anybody around here knows about old instruments and instrument-making, we could team up!

- Stulti

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

Lyllyn: Well, so far I am answered excellently by your faqs!

I am not certain how handy it would come, but if anyone needs information on forestry practice, I am pretty well versed, including medieval forestry and forest products that might have been procurred in the middle ages. (I am a forester IRL) I can identify plants in the wild and provide good descriptions of their uses (although mostly of US native plants, not European).

I am also a horse owner and pretty well versed in riding and horse care.

Hmmm... I belong to the SCA and have more than a passing familiarity with medieval archery, weapons and armor - which WOULD come in handy here, but I suspect others will also have this knowledge and some may be more versed than I am.

Other than that... can't think of anything else that would be of use.

Ariel

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

Ohhh Ariel, could this be useful!

Well, lets see. On my list to conscript someone for...er, make that recruit, is both Armour and Weapons. We have also had requests for information of medicinal herbs. I actually started something, using Forodwaiths list of plants know to exist in Middle-earth, but that is a slender list. It is close to ready to post.

What I think people would love is a list of medicinal plants thought to be effective which could grow in the various climates of middle-earth. If you want to take this on, it is yours. (Generous of me, yes?) If you don't want all the work, I'll do part. The way I'd divide it, you give me a list of either herbs thought to be effective, or plants likely to be in those climates, I'll research the medical end.

What I've set up for the 'plants known to exist' list is:
Historical uses
How to prepare
Scientific evidence if any
Overdose causes
Comments
Information source

But I can revise if someone has more ideas.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

Stulti, the troubador and theatre information would be useful to someone, and a great addition to the research article section. One of the listed categories not yet explored is Arts, and I'd love to broaden what we have.

As to the layout of Minas Tirith, why not start a thread in this forum? You'll probably get lots of people speculating like crazy.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

> I am a forester IRL) I can identify plants in the wild and provide good descriptions of their uses (although mostly of US native plants, not European).

That reminds me, Ariel, I was going to ask you to take a look over my (still incomplete, argh) list of plants and see whether I'd made any egregious errors with the trees.

I'm a gardener, so the flowers, wild and cultivated, are fairly easy for me to describe from personal knowledge (though I have to be careful about differences b/w European & NA species). But I can only identify about five trees by sight...

Also, I'm in the midst of putting together a bibliography on native European species, which I'll add to the essay when it's done.

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

I would be happy to take a look at this list, though I am feeling, again, as if I have stepped off the bus at the wrong stop...

I knew I would have to save that post that said you guys would never regret me posting.

Ariel

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

Distances! Distances! Yes, we need a quick reference matrix of distances.

Wasn't Nath going to do some map stuff as well?


Yes, she was - Beleriand. What's more, she's finished it...

I now have a list of places and important bits of geology in Beleriand, and how far they are from Menegroth.

What format do I put it in, and am I supposed to just drop it in the Beta section or what? (I can do an HTML table for it easily enough)

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

Yeah Nath!

You can post it in the beta section, email me when it's up, and I'll set it to publish and link it to any categories that seem appropriate. I know it goes to 'geography,' and possibly to 'elves:realms.'
Any others you'd like to see?

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

It's up; I think it should stay beta for a bit, since I'm sure people will have input on locations that aren't in there yet, and maybe should be.

Can't think of other categories right now; those two seem to cover it.

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

Nath, this is marvelous! If you would like, after others have had a chance to add/request other locations, I can format the table specifically for HASA.

Many thanks for a wonderful job!

Ang

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

/me bows.
It's been moved to 'Research' now; I think it's pretty much finished, so you can go ahead and rework the format if you like.

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

I might be able to do something about medieval troubadours and theatre, eventually, if that would be useful. If anybody around here knows about old instruments and instrument-making, we could team up!

I have considered some sort of article or reference sheet to musical instruments that might have been used in Middle Earth, which peoples would use them and for what, and their making. I've even pulled together a reference of the instruments mentioned in the books. If you would like, we could team up to shape that.

 

 

Re: Resource section- where to?

/me goes to look at the reformatted table..

Ooh, pretty!

 

 

Re: Formatted Distance Chart



It took about two hours to get it all set up correctly, but I think the results are well worth the effort!

Now, weren't you going to do one on Third Age distances in Arnor, Gondor & Mirkwood, hmmmm? ;-)

Ang

 

 

Re: Formatted Distance Chart

Certainly worth the effort.

Now, weren't you going to do one on Third Age distances in Arnor, Gondor & Mirkwood, hmmmm? ;-)

No, I think you will find Una volunteered for that one....

 

 

In Forums

Discussion Info

Intended for: General Audience

This forum is open to all HASA members. It is read-only for the general public.

Membership on HASA is free and it takes only a few minutes to join. If you would like to participate, please click here.

If you are already a member, please log in to participate.

« Back to Research Questions

Stories linked to the forum