Operation It’s a Small War After All: Proper Siege Tactics for Assaulting Disney’s Magic Kingdom


Presented on Quora to the community was the following odd (but brilliant) question:

Cinderella Castle is the the worldwide-recognized icon of the Disney empire. Physical representations of it stand at the center of two Disney Parks: Walt Disney World in Florida (state), and Tokyo Disneyland.

Assuming it were an actual fortress, how would you take it?

Sergeant Jon Davis, USMC, decided to take a crack at an operational plan. Below is the (slightly redacted) plan of attack:

Phase 1:
A ground must be chosen in which you can quickly secure a foothold into the Magic Kingdom. This position must be easily accessible for the invasion force, provide cover and concealment for the troops and give strategic advantage once taken while depriving the enemy of the same.

For this mission, I choose the area outside the tracks, between Tomorrowland and Main Street USA.


Phase 2
The next phase would be the first two infantry companies sneaking in through the wooded area in the Southeast between Tomorrowland and Mainstreet, USA. Their primary targets are the train station and entrance to the park (to prevent enemy escape or reinforcements.)

Marines and soldiers are advised to not use the teleporters. They’re a trap. They will only kill your unit and replace him with an evil alien.

Also important is that troops remember to take all underground entry points and gas them to prevent surprise attacks from the tunnels.


Phase 3
Securing Mainstreet USA (now Mike Station) and Tomorrowland (Tango Base): By this point we should be concerned with securing our assets in Mike Station and Tango Base.

You will see in the map below that I have shown the locations of sniper and machine gun teams along the buildings and alleyways in the two operations centers.

The weapons should be made to cover key positions likely to receive any counter attack through likely avenues of approach with overlapping fields of fire and pinpoint targeting by the snipers.


Phase 4
An assault force comprised of an infantry company staged in Tango base will attack the back of the castle.

The front of the castle is lined with a moat and the counterattack will be an easy matter if they blow the bridge and your men stand helpless staring at the statue of Walt as they are taken out one by one. Go through Fantasyland and attack the castle in the rear.

Secondary Objective: While in Fantasyland we will have the opportunity to take down the menace of all parents everywhere.

The “It’s a Small World” ride will be within our reach. Our secondary objective is to eliminate the ride with extreme prejudice. This isn’t a capture mission like the castle, but one of complete annihilation.


The Final Phase
Now that the castle’s main attention is on the defenses of its rear the primary invasion force will be ready to take structure.

Infantry staged at the station will now make their way down Mainstreet and secure the statue and the moat. They will then spread out to secure the other zones of the region as they take the castle. Mission accomplished.


Via Quora.
Also check out Jon Davis’ My Patreon Support Message as well as his Short Stories and Essays in Military, Science Fiction and Life.

Death By Molten Gold and Lead


[I]n season one [of HBO’s Game of Thrones], a character was killed by having molten gold poured over his head. Centuries ago, having molten gold poured down your throat was actually the preferred means of death by molten metal.

Marcus Lincinius Crassus, an astoundingly wealthy Roman general, is rumored to have died this way. Spanish inquisitors used this technique and so did tribes in South America—as one corrupt, gold-loving Spanish governor found out in 1599.

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 1.02.15 AM

[J]ust what killed the victim? Was it the hot gold itself, the steam, perhaps suffocation? [A] 2003 study in the Journal of Clinical Pathology decided to find out.

“We obtained a bovine larynx from a local slaughter house (no animal was harmed or killed specifically for this purpose). After fixing the larynx in a horizontal position to a piece of wood and closing the distal end using tissue paper, 750 g of pure lead (around 450°C) was heated until melting and then poured into the larynx.”

After the lead and larynx cooled down, the experimenters examined the larynx by taking cross-sections and looking at them under a light microscope.

Having molten lead or gold poured down your throat might rupture your organs, burn your lungs and choke you. Ultimately, though, it’s probably the steam that pulls the plug.

Bottom image and video clip from HBO’s Game of Thrones.
Via Smithsonian.com for the full fascinating (albeit grisly) article.

Woodblock Prints of Game of Thrones…In Feudal Japan


Tyrion at the Eyrie.

Catelyn Stark, her uncle Brynden Tully, and a dispatch of the Knights of the Vale journey to the Eyrie while transporting their captive, Tyrion Lannister. Tyrion is dressed in the robes of a nobleman.


Bran Stark and Hodor journey north.

Weirwood lore shares some interesting similarities to Shinto practices, so I drew a shimenawa (prayer rope) around the tree trunk.


Mother of Dragons.

Danaerys wears Heian-period royal clothing and is seated on the Mongolian Steppes, a fitting analogy for the Dothraki Sea, far from Westeros.


The Red Viper Dueling the Mountain.

Oberyn Martell wields a naginata against Gregor Clegane, who fights with a no-dachi (greatsword) and a tessen (iron war fan). The three kanji on Clegane’s armor each translate to the word “dog”, in accordance with his family crest.

I considered giving Martell a yari (single-pointed spear) but I liked how the naginata drew parallels to the visually similar duel between Ushiwaka and the warrior-monk Benkei in the Heike Monogatari.

Via seiji on Redbubble, where these (and more) are available for sale as prints.

The Science of Detecting Fake Reviews


As online retailers increasingly depend on reviews as a sales tool, an industry of fibbers and promoters has sprung up.

Determining the number of fake reviews on the Web is difficult. But it is enough of a problem to attract a team of Cornell researchers, who recently published a paper about creating a computer algorithm for detecting fake reviewers.

“The whole system falls apart if made-up reviews are given the same weight as honest ones”, said one of the researchers, Myle Ott.

Test reviews yourself at Review Skeptic.

Review Skeptic via New York Times.