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  • All ill say is

    Watch HBO's Chernobyl... its horrible yet fascinating, very good inspiration for Pentex and its energy deparments, specially with all the human error going around

    Forum's Official's Joker and Trickster. Pardon my bad english, aint my first language (I Speak Spanish).
    ST: DtF, HtR, WtO, MtA
    Signature Chars: Crowley (hakalu), Joe The Nuwisha (WtA)
    Changelings: be afraid of the Technocracian High Five of Doom


    • So, I've been busy for a while, but still working on stuff for this thread. I'm hoping to have some stuff about the motorcycle industry and trucking/shipping. Also planning on something about social media, hopefully.

      Meanwhile, please enjoy this article about the issue of metadata in online music sales, and how it provides an easy and profitable way for music companies to potentially rip off their artists, songwriters, and even other publishers/producers, to the tune of billions of dollars.

      Added: I'm also taking requests for additional industries and businesses. I may also throw in some stuff about cults at some points (as a few of the groups/organizations in Freak Legion and elsewhere are more cults than companies).
      Last edited by No One of Consequence; 06-03-2019, 11:32 PM.

      What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
      Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)


      • I don't know if this has already been mentioned, but where I am in East Tennessee is the corporate headquarters and original plant for my employer, Eastman Chemical Company. If someone doesn't beat me to it in expanding upon them, in my opinion they are the perfect PENTEX subsidiary for a chronicle. They were responsible for managing the Y-12 complex in Oak Ridge, where they produced enriched uranium for the Manhattan project, as well as all of the creative things a Storyteller can do with a massive chemical manufacturing company. I am currently using Kingsport and the surrounding area for a chronicle of my own, which is especially fun for my players and I since we all live here.


        • Sigh. I swear I will have something new soon.

          Meanwhile, a few odds and ends for people to digest:

          The Impossible Burger may not be as healthy - or eco-friendly - as advertised. Personally, I still think O'Tolley's answer to this is the Soylent Green Burger.

          A look at how the anti-vaccination conspiracy was able to become so wide spread so quickly. (Personally, I've always felt that the most Magadon would do with vaccines is keep the good ones for themselves and the elites, while distributing less than effective cheep ones to the hoi polloi.)

          The 50th anniversary of the Cuyahoga River fire in Cleveland, including a big of back story and how the river is doing today. (The side bit about Chicago's "Bubbly Creek" is especially interesting as a historical Rage Across Chicago/Chicago by Night plot hook.)

          An interesting article about First Nations and the oil industry in Alberta.

          Sadly, the story that cellphones are causing kids to grow horns is not true. Because that would've been a lot of fun for PENTEX cellphones.

          What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
          Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)


          • Could you please do Special Projects Division? i would be thrilled. For the meat industry grab a copy of Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, Also this article by Mother Jones, on the effect of inhaling aerosolized calf brains. Kuru may make a comeback. There is also Deadly Feasts: the Prion Controversy and the Public's Health by Richard Rhodes. Prions are misfolded proteins implicated in Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease, which can be inherited, spontaneous, transmitted via banned-in-real-life cadaver-derived growth hormone, human (and xeno?) transplants (corneas, dura mater [covering of the brain] and meninges [the membranes that envelop the brain and spinal cord] ), contaminated surgical equipment, cannibalism (kuru), and eating infected meat and variety meats. For extra fun, there's Chronic Wasting Disease in deer, elk and moose. Red Talons and lupus packs would be in danger, as would rural Kinfolk.

            Classic CJD.
            infection control
            Last edited by Saint Michael; 07-15-2019, 09:58 PM.


            • Still waiting(patiently for a professional sports update...

              : )

              The Final Frontier


              • So, this weekend, I will finally have the motorcycle post up. And by either Wed or Sun after that, I'll have the popularly demanded entry for professional sports.

                Meanwhile, I've been reading Jonathon Waldman's Rust: The Longest War, about the subject of corrosion and mankind's eternal (and somewhat in vain) effort to stop it. It's a rather broad subject, looking at everything from the 1980s Statue of Liberty restoration (and just how bad of shape it was in) to artists who sneak into condemned factories to take pictures of interesting rust. One chapter of particular interest here is about the canning industry and just how it coats its cans to keep them from corroding and rupturing. (A lot of food items are pretty acidic and therefore corrosive, including sodas.) The coatings are made from plastics, so this sort of industry is a convergence point for all the issues of Harold & Harold Mining, Rainbow Plastics, Young & Smith, and other industries. (The company highlighted began acting incredibly paranoid about Waldman's questions and interest, which didn't make them look at all suspicious in any way.)
                Also, given how powerful and all pervasive rust and other corrosion is in the world, I'm kind of surprised that Rust isn't a major Bone Gnawer totem. Or maybe one for certain Red Talons or other lupus who skulk on the edges of human civilization looking for ways to make it rot away.
                Last edited by No One of Consequence; 07-18-2019, 07:45 PM.

                What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)


                • MOTORCYCLES

                  Generally - and legally - speaking, motorcycle refers to any powered two wheeled vehicle. In addition to what most people think of when they hear the word, it also includes scooters and most three wheeled vehicles (such as traditional powered trikes and the more modern reverse models like the Can-Am Spyder). Because they tend to be cheaper and more fuel efficient than cars, as well as easier and cheeper to maintain than a lot of modern computer-enhanced autos, they are popular and prevalent in much of South and East Asia. An estimated 58% of the world's motorcycles are in Asia. Scooter type vehicles also have a high level of popularity in Europe, again because of fuel efficiency, but probably also owing to the fact that they're easier to navigate through the Continent's older urban areas that were never really designed with cars in mind. (Issues of Europe's post war economy and population density also come in to play.)

                  Environmentally, while motorcycles are more fuel efficient than cars, they do have a down side of often having worse exhaust emissions. Sometimes ten times the level of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. And, obviously, this contributes to the problem of air pollution in Asian cities. (When the Olympics were held in China, there was a joke about the smog being so bad that javelins were getting stuck in the air during the track and field events. Though I'm pretty sure this was recycled from when the games were held in LA in 1984.)
                  Motorcycles also have the issue of being more dangerous than cars, with the US Dept. of Transportation estimating fatality levels as 37 times higher than automobiles.

                  Globally, the three biggest motorcycle manufacturers are Honda and Yamaha (from Japan) and Hero MotoCorp (from India). But when you mention motorcycles in the United States, most people think of Harley-Davidson. Harley-Davidson was founded in 1903 in Milwaukee, and is one of the only two US motorcycle companies to have survived the Great Depression. (The other was Indian.) They're still headquartered and have one of their manufacturing plants there, which means that if you're doing something with Milwaukee by Night (or would it be Rage Across Wisconsin?), then it's a possible plot hook. They also have a plant in Manaus, Brazil, for possible Rage Across the Amazon involvement, and have just opened on in Thailand, if you're doing a Beast Courts chronicle.

                  Modern Marvels has an episode on motorcycles (6-43), and one about Harley-Davidson (10-24).

                  The YouTube channel Company Man has videos about Harley-Davidson and about Yamaha.

                  The Discover Channel made a three part miniseries about the founding of Harley-Davidson, Harley and the Davidsons (2016), which is available on DVD. However, like a lot of these things, it apparently fudges a few of its facts in places.

                  David Wright's The Harley-Davidsons Motor Company: A 100 Year History is more of one of those coffee table books, but has a lot of interesting photos and historical trivia. There's also Growing Up Harley-Davidson, the memoirs of Jean Davidson, granddaughter of one of the company founders.

                  Internationally, Jeffery Alexander's Japan's Motorcycle Wars is an interesting overview of that nation's industry history and corporate culture.

                  A big part of Harley-Davidson is their corporate branding, putting their logo on an endless array of clothing and other merchandise, often with various levels of popularity among non-riders/owners of motorcycles. (Back about 15 or 20 years ago, I can remember seeing t-shirts that said "I own a Harley-Davidson, not just a t-shirt" or something to that effect, as a sort of backlash against this sort of thing by serious bikers.) With a PENTEX motorcycle company, this is a win-win, as in addition to people paying to advertise your product on their bodies, it allows for synergy with all the other PENTEX companies - clothing manufacturers, plastics, toy companies, video game designers, etc.

                  Motorcycles are, of course, also heavily associated in the public consciousness with various motorcycle gangs, ranging from simple juvenile delinquent types to hard core criminal organizations. If you've never seen The Wild One (1953) with a young Marlin Brando, it's worse watching. Likewise, Hunter S. Thompson's Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga, about his spending about two years with the California based gang in the 1960s. More recently, there's Sons of Anarchy (2008 - 2014). There's also a raft of true crime books out there about motorcycle gangs. Jay Dobyns's No Angel and Charles Falco's Vagos Mongols and Outlaws are two of the more famous. There's also Arthur Veno's The Brotherhoods, about motorcycle clubs in Australia. Japan has its own motorcycle culture, Bosozuku, which are kind of hard to find books about in English. Karl Taro Greenfield's Speed Tribes, which has a chapter about biker gangs, is twenty years old at this point (but still worth reading). However photographer Masayuki Yoshinaga has a rather nice book about the subculture, simply titled Bosozuku.

                  From more of a parody perspective, the South Park episode "The F-Word" (13-12) presents the sort of obnoxious over the top stereotype that a PENTEX motorcycle company would consider its ideal customer. Especially the idea of rampant noise pollution and general anti-social behavior.

                  Finally, a bit about off-road dirt biking. It has a tradition of causing certain levels of environmental damage. Tire ruts that turn into erosive gullies during rain, the damage to plant life, the potential spreading of invasive weed seeds, frightening local wild life and so on. (This is true of a lot of off-road type activities, so I'll probably do a more in depth bit about it at some future date.) This is the sort of thing that could be a potential irritant or even outright threat to a Caern's surrounding territory, with some members - especially, say, Red Talons or more hard line environmentalists camps - wanting to deal with it violently. (And inspiration for that kind of thing can be found in various films, such as the original The Hills Have Eyes Part II from 1984 or 2002's Eight Legged Freaks.) Odds are that outdoor off-road motorsports in the World of Darkness get a lot of sponsorship from PENTEX companies.

                  What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                  Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)


                  • Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
                    I'm kind of surprised that Rust isn't a major Bone Gnawer totem. Or maybe one for certain Red Talons or other lupus who skulk on the edges of human civilization looking for ways to make it rot away.
                    Rust would be a totem of the Wyrm.
                    Probably the pre-corruption, everything needs to be broken down and destroyed Wyrm, not Corruption-Wyrm that we have now. But Rot and Rust would not be good for Gaian Totems.

                    *Although, I have been mulling around concepts for wolves that want to fix the Triat. Ironically, I think that the best solution (in game) to the riddle of a broken Triat is to embrace the pre-corruption Wyrm and Destroy a lot of the world so that things can get back in balance.
                    A Totem like Rust could assist in that


                    • Professional Football (the American kind)

                      So, I'm not really much of a sports person. Which is part of why this post has taken so long. The other part being that "professional sports" ended up being such a sprawling entity that I had to break it up into individual sports. Starting with professional (American/gridiron) football and the NFL/National Football League.

                      The NFL goes back to 1920, formed by teams in Ohio and quickly joined by ones from Indiana, Illinois, and New York. (Only two of those teams still exist, the Chicago Bears and the Arizona Cardinals, originally from Stanley IL and Chicago, respectively.) There were several competing leagues, but by the 1950s, the NFL was essentially a monopoly in the US. This changed in 1960 with the American Football League. The AFL gained a number of good TV deals and was able to start bidding against the NFL for talent. By the end of the decade, the two leagues had decided to merge, effectively reestablishing the monopoly. The league has continued to grow over the decades, with attendance increasing by orders of magnitude, huge television deals, and billions in annual merchandise sales. However, attendance numbers and television viewership seems to have seen a decline over the past couple of years.

                      John Eisenburg's The League is a good look at the early history of the NFL and how hard it had to work to make professional football as popular as it ended up being. (Back then, baseball, boxing and horse racing tended to be the big things.) There's also Joe Horrigan's NFL Century and Jeff Miller's history of the AFL, Going Long. There's also David Harris's The League: Inside the NFL, which was written in 1986, offering a fascinating window into that era, especially the near soap-opera levels of intrigue and backstabbing among the team owners. From a more technical side of things is Michael Lewis's The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game. The book is both about how offensive football strategy has changed over the past several decades and a biography of football player Michael Oher. (The movie adaption focuses almost entirely on Oher.)

                      One of the biggest issues in football - and most contact sports - over the past decade is the issue of concussions. Dr. Bennet Omalu was one of the early advocates of the issue. Play Hard, Die Young was his first book about the subject. More recent is Truth Doesn't Have a Side. Jeanne Marie Laskas's Concussion is about Dr. Omalu and his research/advocacy. It's also the basis for the 2015 film with Will Smith. Another book on the subject is League of Denial by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru. (To be fair, Dr. Omalu's findings and opinions were initially something of an outlier, and it's something of a historical constant that in situations like this, where one expert is saying one thing and several others are saying something different, for the minority report to be disregarded. But he was able to convince more and more neuroscientists about his findings, and the League was forced to admit that, yet, he was definitely on to something. Something very similar happened over the causes of malaria during the building of the Panama Canal.) Depending on how one likes to run their settings, it's entirely possible in the World of Darkness that the issue is still being denied by professional sports leagues, either just for monetary reasons or, if you want to take it that far, because something about brain injuries makes people better subjects for some PENTEX project.

                      The other issue with professional football tends to be the off-field behavior of its star athletes. Besides various sex and drug scandals (including a Minnesota Vikings sex cruise and the Dallas Cowboys' Super Bowl drug parties), there's stuff like Michael Vick organizing a dog fighting ring, Ray Rice beating his fiancé-later-wife unconscious in a hotel elevator, Josh Brent's DUI-manslaughter conviction, Adam Jones's alleged involvement in two different night club shootings, and Aaron Hernandez apparently having a habit of murdering people. And with a PENTEX owned team, these are probably seen as career enhancers.

                      Teams themselves are also accused of shady behavior. The various cheating allegations against the New England Patriots was almost a running joke at one point. The New Orleans Saints were alleged to be offering their players bounty money to try to deliberately injure players on opposing teams. And the Miami Dolphins apparently had a really bad problem with locker room bullying. This sort of thing is likely business as usual with a PENTEX owned team.

                      Fiction-wise, I mentioned Mike Lupica's novel Bump & Run previously, and I'll mention it again, as it is a good read and has a number of ideas if you want to try making a PENTEX football team. Even better is Peter Gent's North Dallas Forty, about the seamer side of pro football in the 1970s (Gent actually played for the Cowboys). It was made into a 1979 film with Nick Note, which sadly I've never seen. His book The Franchise is also incredibly fitting for this. Dan Jenkins's Semi-Tough is also worth a read, and also has a film version (1977, with Burt Reynolds). Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday (1999) is probably one of his lesser known works, but its a good film in its own right, and very good for this subject. And, tangentially, there is Black Sunday, about a terrorist attack on the Super Bowl, by Thomas Harris (the guy who wrote all the Hannibal Lector novels).

                      ADDED: Other leagues.

                      While the NFL (and briefly the AFL) have been the mainstay of American style football, a number of other leagues have come and gone over the years in futile efforts to break the monopoly. Even the NFL tried its hand at a developmental league, the World League of American football, back in 1989. In 1998, it was rebranded as NFL Europe, and finally folded in 2007. About the only book I've ever found about it is Lars Anderson's The Proving Ground.

                      In the early 80s, there was the United States Football League, which aimed to have its season in the summer, in-between NFL seasons. By most accounts, they put out a decent product and seemed poised to potentially be a solid second tier league. Then someone had the bright idea of having them compete directly against the NFL as part of a plan to try and force a merger (the way the AFL had, and the American Basketball League had done with the NBA). Apparently, one of the major advocates of this idea was New Jersey Generals majority owner Donald Trump. The other part of the plan was to sue the NFL for anti-monopoly violations. The USFL won, and received the settlement of ... a dollar. After that, the league was effectively dead. Jeff Pearlman's Football for a Buck is one of the better accounts of the entire thing. There's also Jim Byrne's The $1 League, which is out of print.

                      The other major one was the XFL, the brainchild and creation of World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment owner Vince MacMahon. It only lasted for a single season. However, there are apparently some plans to try to revive it in the next few years. There aren't really any good books about the XFL, but for two different takes on the experiment, there's Brian Zane's Wrestling With Wregret video and Company Man's comparison of the XFL and NFL, both on YouTube.

                      North of the border, there is the Canadian Football League, which I confess to knowing next to nothing about. They've been around since the late 1950s, and briefly tried and failed to expand into the United States during the early 90s. The rules are slightly different, with a longer field, 12 players per team on the field instead of 11, and three downs instead of four. There doesn't seem to be much about the CFL out there. Michael Januska's Grey Cup Century is about the first hundred years of the League's main trophy (originally for rugby), and Ed Willes's End Zones and Border Wars is about the failed US expansion.

                      Finally, there's the Arena Football League, which originated in the 1980s as "faster paced" indoor football with a smaller field and different rules. In spite of the league's relative longevity, there's not much out there about them either. However, AMC ran a one season docuseries, 4th and Loud, about the Los Angeles KISS, whose owners included band members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. Sadly, the team folded after a year. Curiously, there is a China Arena Football League. So if you are running a Beast Courts game set in China, it might be something unusual to incorporate. (The Wuhan team is called the Gators, which makes me picture a young Zhong Lung decked out in memorabilia.)

                      And speaking of memorabilia, all NFL merchandising and licensing is handled by NFL Properties, a subsidiary company of the league created for the purpose. They develop the team mascots, negotiate all deals for officially licensed products, and anything else that has to do with branded merchandise. This sort of business is big money, and crosses over into clothing manufacturing, toy making, comic books, and other industries already covered in this thread. So, if you were a holding company that owned controlling interest in all these various enterprises, it's easy to create a synergistic cycle keeping everything in the family. One of the most curious bits of NFL licensing was the collaboration with Marvel Comics to create NFL Superpro. A review of said enterprise from Linkara/AT4W can be found here. A better take on the idea was Marvel's New Universe's Kickers Inc., whose main character's origin could easily be twisted into some sort of weird Project Iliad super soldier project involving professional athletes.

                      Last edited by No One of Consequence; 08-18-2019, 09:09 PM.

                      What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                      Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)


                      • The annual football championship game, the Super Bowl, remains the most watched event in American television. The game is the most important event of the year for the advertising industry, and an unmeasurable chunk of the audience watch just for the ads.

                        The size of American football’s TV audience has been hit hardest on the Monday night broadcasts, where it has to compete with pro wrestling. Sure enough, the World of Darkness has its own pro wrestling league, whose champion is a masked Nosferatu named El Diablo Verde. I don’t know precisely who is supposed to own it, but Pentex at least has a “training camp” that sends its “steroid” enhanced grapplers to compete there.
                        Last edited by Reasor; 08-18-2019, 09:43 PM.