New Interactive Batgirl Book and Costume and More DC Women Merchandise Now Available at Hallmark Stores


Hallmark has long has a relationship with DC Comics for merchandise such as Christmas ornaments and greeting cards. But now they have expanded their merchandise to include some other items.

Earlier this summer the company launched a set of “Itty bitty” toys featuring DC heroes including Wonder Woman:


That’s about the actual size of the doll by the way.

The line also includes Superman, Batman and the Flash. There are also Marvel versions including Spider-Man and Iron Man (sadly no female characters). They are $6.95.

But now Hallmark has released a particularly awesome Halloween item featuring Batgirl. And it is awesome.

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620. A muggleborn and a pureblood become best friends as soon as they get assigned a bed next to each other. Their parents are very glad and very open about it so every holiday one of them spends a week with the other to discover something from their culture (soccer game/quidditch game, camping trip muggle style/wizard style, visiting villages and monuments and museums, etc.) and one summer, they bring their parents and siblings and it’s all a fun mess and happy memories.


So let me get this straight…


The Ferguson police department was forced to release an incident report with the freedom of information act by the ACLU.  When the ACLU gets the report it only has Michael Brown’s date of death and nothing about the incident and it was filed two days ago.

So that means that the Darren Wilson never filed an incident report on killing a young man and his superiors covered that up by approving and making up an incident report.

But he’s only on administrative leave?

Right.  America.


World Building Considerations: Cities


Creating a world from scratch can be overwhelming, but having an understanding of how societies form can be quite helpful. Here is a basic overview of how cities form.

The Origin

So how do cities pop up? Humans were nomadic for thousands of years before they learned to domesticate crops and livestock. With this domestication came the ability to stay in one place to grow food rather than to follow food and good weather.

Agriculture gave rise to permanent settlements. Humans settled near water and built homes that were durable. They became larger and architecture became more widespread. With building permanent homes came the need for more resources. The architecture of your cities (especially in worlds without modern technology and transportation) will depend on the surrounding resources.

With agriculture and settlements came society. Nomadic humans needed to travel light. Sedimentary humans did not.

Elements of Culture & Society

  • Clothing: When humans were nomadic, clothes were most likely animals skins and there was probably not a lot of it. Humans could only carry necessary items such as tools for hunting. Settled humans have the time and resources to create better clothes. Animals bones were sometimes carved into needles. Since humans could have more possessions when settled, they started making jewelry, more tools, pottery, and larger objects that could not be carried.
  • Population: If a baby was born with a physical deformity, this baby was abandoned because it was weak and would not survive. Humans in nomadic groups could not waste their limited resources on someone who would die soon anyway. In cities, humans could rest more often and spend what time they would traveling to take care of their young.
  • Economy: With agriculture came a large income of food. This led to the beginning of trade, especially when other groups of humans passed these new settlements (if they were friendly).
  • Law: With higher populations, an economy, and morality came crime. To deal with crime, some sort of authority must be established. For the enforcers of law to keep on track and prevent falling to corruption with power, laws needed to be written down. This is where written language comes in. But you need people who are able to read and write that language, hence education arises. With education, you need people to teach and people to learn.
  • Punishment: Given that currency may not have existed or that trade was more common as a form of exchange, the enforcers of law rarely gave fines when a law was broken. This led to the use of torture. Some cultures saw the left hand as the unclean hand and thus cut off the right hand as a punishment of stealing. The people who suffered this punishment then had to live their entire lives offending others by using their left hand for everything.
  • Religion: Most early civilizations were polytheistic. Their gods and goddesses were based on what was important to them. These beings set examples for the morals and values important to these groups. With architecture being developed, temples and shrines started popping up. Animals that are important to the population often became an important part of religion as well. Some were involved in burials or sacrifices. For example, a culture in Africa buried cattle with their dead and often made paintings of cattle because that animal was integral to that culture.
  • Marriage: Marriage is quite universal, though it may go by different names and have different laws depending on culture. It is defined, in its simplest form, as a sexual and economic union. With the rise of an economy and higher populations, this union became more common and often had a relation to religion, politics, or family influence.

The Evolution of the City

Over time, culture and society developed as the population rose. With higher populations came the need for more space. With enough people in a city, there needed to be some sort of organized power. Therefore, government buildings will be built. Also with higher populations comes more crime and the need for more enforcers. A military is established to deal with this and outside threats. Walls are built around cities for protection, though farms lay outside the walls. In times of war or threat, the population would hide within the city walls.

Also within the city will be a fort (called a citadel) for more protection if threats get inside city walls. Most cities that are over 1000 years old (especially in Europe) will have or will have had a citadel.

Over time, the population rises and more problems come up. Condensed areas are at higher risk for disease, especially without some sort of system for waste. Homes and other structures are built outside of the city, though sometimes the city walls are expanded.

Recap for Building Cities in Your World:

  • Put them near water.
  • Consider the resources available.
  • Establish law, punishment, and enforcers.
  • Religion and mythology explain morals, values, and the unknown and have an effect on laws.
  • The building of a society is produced by a domino effect.

Other Considerations:

  • Create a map of your city. Note important places.
  • Create a general history of your city.
  • Consider the population and its diversity.
  • High populations in condensed areas will have more sickness and less resources.
  • Don’t just write about the good stuff. Write about the bad stuff too, like the smell.