Copyright © 2013 Marieke Krootjes; all rights reserved. Published with permission.

Stuff I’m Not Supposed to Tell Anybody by Catarina Rodriguez y Osuna (age 11)

The new school year had only just started. My new school! The Carlos Cory School for Gifted Orphans. That’s right; everybody here is an orphan, just like me. And getting in is a gift indeed, this is a great place. The gardens are really big, and we are even supposed to ride horses and stuff. There are a lot of interesting things to be found in the gardens as well, and I’ve already found the vegetable garden, and I can use the kitchens if I clean up (of course I will, I’m not a baby!) and most kids and grown-ups are real friendly. I like to make them treats. I couldn’t help it that my pudding exploded that one time and I had to clean up the whole kitchen, and I found where the good knives were kept and then I rearranged the herbs to taste rather than to alphabet and I had to undo that, which is really stupid, ‘cause who places cardamom and camomile that close together, they are like totally different and you would never use them together and…

Okay, well, anyway, that’s stuff everybody should know. But there are also things no one is supposed to know, because it is secret. This is how it started, on September 21st:

rurwinrurwin 03 Aug 2014 19:5703 Aug 2014 20:49

This game ran at Ambercon UK 2014. It is only here for nostalgic reasons.

Game Description

Title:The Strange Case Of The Missing Ancestors
Players: 6
Mode: Tabletop

Life at the Carlos Cory School for Gifted Orphans is not a bed of roses; the academic regimen is punishing and the discipline is worse, and then there are the people who are trying to kill you and everyone else in the school.

Okay, so the school life isn't the most important thing on your agenda right now.

In fact some of you have graduated already, sort of. Others of you sort of should have done. Life would be a little easier if you had not lost two years while wandering around Chaos looking for Doctor Strange and his family. Your friends are suddenly two years older than you and some of them ask questions that you can't answer and some of them… don't. Somehow that's worse.

And then there are those left behind, who had to take up the slack while Harryn, David, Skye, Wyonna, Vic and Catrina were missing presumed… missing. Two years of ferrying families to the safety of the island. Two years of waiting for Miss Trees or any of the dozens, maybe hundreds of people who know about the school to tell the wrong person the wrong thing.

Another year passes and things are sort of back to normal when official-looking cars pull up and there are loads of serious people in suits poking their noses in everywhere. Is the game up? Or is it merely afoot?

rurwinrurwin 30 Jul 2014 21:5102 Aug 2015 18:57

You want to try vaping. Maybe you want to give up smoking, maybe you just want to get your nicotine fix without going outside in the cold, maybe you just think it looks cool. You're going to wonder what you should buy, and there are a lot of confusing bits of equipment and no guidance around. So here is my take on the cheapest, most cost-effective and simplest introduction to vaping for the beginner.

rurwinrurwin 08 Jan 2014 14:3722 May 2017 08:53

So can e-cigarettes help you to stop smoking?

rurwinrurwin 31 Dec 2013 00:0817 Jan 2014 09:41

Electronic cigarettes come in various different types.


These are the ones from the newsagent. They are slim and white with a light on the end. The cartridge is often brown to match a tobacco cigarette. The cartridges are invariably pre-filled with a tobacco flavoured liquid. They may come with a choice of nicotine strengths and a choice of a few flavours, for example standard and menthol. In addition to the newsagent versions, there are other more up-market cig-a-likes. One hopes these have a higher quality.

Elusion e-cigarettes are among the e-cigarette market leaders in Australasia; … We commissioned analyses of these e-cigarettes: … nicotine cartridges (labelled 16 mg) contained 10—16 mg nicotine per mL … Vapour analyses done midway through the trial (using Goniewicz and colleagues' methodology) showed that 300 puffs from one nicotine e-cigarette cartridge delivered 3—6 mg nicotine, equivalent to smoking between one and five tobacco cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation: a randomised controlled trial — Dr Christopher Bullen MBChB et al.

A tobacco cigarette is smoked in approximately ten puffs. These market-leading e-cigarettes are only delivering between a sixth and a thirtieth of the nicotine delivered by a tobacco cigarette. That is pitiful.


Now we get into the area of the separate battery. A cartomiser (a contraction of cartridge and atomiser) is identical to the cartridge of a cig-a-like, but it is sold to be refilled and it is generally sold empty. Vapers now have a choice of eliquids from whichever vendor they choose. Most eliquid still comes from China, where the e-cigarette was invented, but some companies are sourcing their ingredients locally.


The wadding inside a cartridge must remain wet if it is not to burn and spoil the flavour, maybe permanently. A tank system wraps the cartridge in a glass tank full of liquid. The cartridge has holes punched in it to allow the liquid to penetrate. It has the advantage of a greater capacity with more constant vapour production. But it is fiddly to fill and rather expensive.


This horrible term refers to a system that places the atomiser directly in the tank, removing the cartridge with its wadding. Since atomisers have a finite life, the cheap clearomisers are disposable items. At around £5 each, that is not too much expense. The more expensive ones have replaceable atomisers, with replacements costing around £2. The disadvantage is in the control of the liquid flow through the wick and onto the coil. If not enough liquid flows the coil runs dry and the flavour tastes burnt. If too much flows the coil floods, hampering vapour production and leaking liquid onto the battery below.

Clearomisers come with an atomiser either at the top or at the bottom. Both alternatives have pros and cons. A top atomiser tastes better and delivers warmer vapour, but it can run dry when the liquid level is low. A bottom atomiser is more consistent, but can flood more easily.


At the top end of the market are rebuildables, where the user has to make their own atomiser by winding the coil around a silica-based wick. They generally work like clearomisers.


This is a high-end alternative to the rebuildable. In this design, the wick is a roll of stainless steal gauze and the atomiser is built above the tank. It gives a consistent vapour with good flavour and warmth. However setting it up is even more bother than a standard rebuildable with a silica wick, and I suspect it may leak badly if left lying down.

Battery Types

Batteries too come in various guises. They can more or less be used with any of the various types of e-cigarette above. There are only a few standards for the design of the battery to atomiser connection and adapters are commonly available and dirt cheap.


This is a lithium battery designed for zero maintenance. You charge it with the supplied charger, you use it. Eventually, (after a year or two,) you throw it away. Generally, rechargable batteries are larger than those supplied with cig-a-likes. They are around 15mm in diameter.


A passthrough battery is a rechargable battery that allows you to use it for vaping while it is charging.

Variable Voltage

There is at least one1 rechargable battery with variable voltage. Varying the voltage allows the user to control the heat of the atomiser coil, which affects the flavour, the vapour production and its warmth.


These are battery holders. The batteries are commercially available Lithium batteries, which are charged in an external charger. MODs come in two varieties — mechanical and electronic. A mechanical MOD is simply a tube with a button. The battery is connected directly to the atomiser coil when the button is pressed. Electronic MODs have electronic circuitry between the battery and the atomiser. They deliver a constant voltage to the atomiser, which results in a more consistent vape. Some have the ability to alter the voltage and to measure the resistance of the atomiser coil. Because MODs have to hold batteries, they are larger than rechargables. MODs are generally 22mm in diameter.

rurwinrurwin 30 Dec 2013 22:4431 Dec 2013 00:14

Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License