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  • ayline

    Well I suppose that solves the ‘how do we get the kids to leave the room so we can get to business’ scenario. Puppies and kittens, that’s about 99% of solutions right there.

  • If you suddenly just cut to the puppy barn in place of showing us the revealing dialog, I might not even be mad.

    • Schist

      Are you the same spitefulfox that makes Forbidden Magic?

  • KWill

    Harry’s around children and a pregnant woman and still smoking her pipe? What a dick…

    • Lleyn

      This is set somewhere in the Victorian age, when smoking wasn’t seen as a health hazard at all. In fact, it would have been considered much more inappropriate that Harry is smoking because she’s a -woman-. Women weren’t supposed to smoke, whereas for men, it was seen as a natural, social activity and ‘manly’. Nobody even knew about the health hazards, so no, Harry’s no dick for smoking indoors, though perhaps something of a social outrage ;)

      • Tsapki

        Plus, I imagine Harry’s tobacco isn’t that corporate nicotine addiction cocktail that get’s sold nowadays.

        There was indeed some truth to tobacco having certain helpful properties back in the day, though of course one could over do it if they smoking nonstop.

        • elCo

          Nicotine has been produced by the plant since ever (it’s no coincidence that it’s named after the genus), or it wouldn’t even have become popular and expensive; it produces it as a way to keep parasites and grazers away.

          Home grown tobacco causes cancer just like the stuff produced by The Evil Corporations – in the mouth if chewed, anywhere in the respiratory system if smoked. Its “debilitating” effects had been observed well before it started being produced massively and cheaply, even if the link to cancer wasn’t studied seriously until the early 20th century or statistically established until the 50s-60s.

          http://www.reactiongifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/facts.gif

          It’s simply what Lleyn said: few or nobody in Victorian times knew anything about second hand smoke; it was seen as just a habit that could become harmful to the consumer if abused.

          And now, back to our regularly scheduled discussion of a web comic.

          • Del

            I still don’t believe in the harm of second-hand smoke.

            Cigarette smoke is an irritant, and therefore rude enough to people who do not want to be around it. Most people consider pipe smoke to be pleasant. or

            But there is no real science to back up the bogus claim that second-hand smoke causes any real or significant harm. That is why there have not been on noticeable benefits to the general health, now that public smoking has been outlawed in all of the nanny states.

            Humans lived for centuries in homes that were always smoky, with wood and coal fires for heating and cooking.

            • elCo

              >I still don’t believe in the harm of second-hand smoke.
              “Belief” is only relevant when supported by rational processes.

              > there is no real science
              What counts as “real science” to you? Are you in a review panel, or is it just what “sounds right” to you?

              > That is why there have not been on noticeable benefits to the general
              health, now that public smoking has been outlawed in all of the nanny
              states.
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoking_ban#Effects_upon_health (mostly cardiovascular disease and asthma) ; feel free to follow the references. Cancer usually takes a couple of decades to develop, so any effect on those rates will take a bit longer to show.

              > Humans lived for centuries in homes that were always smoky, with wood and coal fires for heating and cooking.
              What if I told you that not all smoke is the same? Smoke in general does some harm by being mostly made of particulate matter, and wood smoke does have some carcinogenic agents in it, but they’re not in the same concentration. Besides, open coal and wood fireplaces were common when testing for cancer was inexistent and tumors were only found when visible or in an autopsy.

            • karaz

              And if I may so bold as to jump on this bandwagon as well… Back then life expectancy was way way lower.
              Avarage life expectancy in medieval Britain was only 30 years. By the Widdershins era it was slowly climbing to 40. Even then, as he said. Would they recognize cancer in those early days. Me thinks most of the time not. Especialy in the lungs.

            • Del

              The two primary carcinogens in modern life are man-made: Cigarette smoke and birth control hormones.

              Second-hand hormones are causing measurable adverse effects on the environment, especially to amphibians and aquatic reptiles.

              Second-hand smoke…. not so much. That is mostly a political gambit that worked pretty well for the anti-smoking lobby.

              • King of the Dogs

                i’m a dog

                • Darkoneko Hellsing

                  I’m a cat.

              • Euodiachloris

                Del… please: stop embarrassing yourself and take up a book or two on statistics and empirical methodologies, specifically research design. Then, hit the papers and really read them. <_< Do that, and I think you're in for a world of surprises. :)

                • Del

                  I am a research chemist and pipe smoker.

                  I know political-lobby science from real-knowledge science. I can tell “politically correct” myths and pseudo-science from the real thing.

                  I’m old enough to remember the “hole in the ozone layer” (which banned aerosol spray cans) and “the coming ice age” (which raised a bunch of climate-change research money in the 1980’s) and “cold fusion” and “poly-water.” I’ve seen plenty of fads pass through the scientific community and panic-legislation. “Second-hand smoke” and “third-hand smoke” are popular myths, but they don’t have the credibility of real science.

                  For example, I’ve known about the Helena, Montana study for many years. I am not surprised that those results were not reproduced at any other location which has imposed a smoking ban… and especially at larger populations that are statistically significant.
                  =======================================

                  Cigarette smoking is a nuisance. I’m not sad that it is gone. I’m just sad about how gullible we are.

                  Now, I’m going to go out and play with the puppies. There’s no respect for diversity of opinions here.

                  • CorvusCornix

                    Del you may be right or wrong, and you may or may not be a research chemist, but I’d just like to say that I’m not sure gullibility is the real issue here. I think the issue is that access to the really current and definitive scientific knowledge requires years upon years of training and specialization. Even people who are supposed to have a good understanding of experimental design and statistics can misrepresent and misreport on the scientific community.

                    What can you do.

                    • Del

                      I think you understand what I am getting at….

                      When there is a lot of grant money chasing a specific sort of result, then there will be a lot of researchers chasing that field of research. Most of those researchers are ethical guys, trying to do good science. But the influence of the money and politics skews the research and the results.

            • WaytoomanyUIDs

              I dunno, I know several non-smokers who developed asthma as adults who grew up in houses where both parents smoked and worked in offices where everyone smoked. Second-hand smoke definitely is a factor.

    • Do you tell her…

      • Del

        No. I try to bum some tobacco from her stash!

    • =Tamar

      It was considered beneficial at the time, and even required at Eton.

      • Del

        Even now…. When you imagine “a typical guy smoking a pipe,” he is a very old guy who has been smoking for decades!

  • reynard61

    Second panel Cassie is weapons-grade adorkable!

  • Mah.

    The ultimate solution of the question to the world, the universe and everything : puppies!
    But seriously, puppies solve every problem.

    • Nonesuch

      Except the problem of pee on the carpet and chewed leather.

      • King of the Dogs

        ill choo ur leather bby

    • ShadeTail

      Nah, it’s kittens that do that. :D

    • Ben

      to be more specific: 42 puppies!!

  • Kactus

    Omg yes Cassie being friends with her cousins :D Cousins are the best for shyness.

  • smee

    sooo, if they have a puppy barn do that mean they live on a puppy farm?

    • Nonesuch

      Edmund breeds and trains dogs for a living, if I recall correctly. Kitty runs the rest of the farm and the family. ^^

      • smee

        … apparently my attempts at being facetious go down just as well on the internet as they do in real life. Now bring on the puppies :)

  • Jordan Hiller

    Cassie really reminds me of one of my nieces. Super shy and quiet until you stumble across something she really loves.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    Puppies are nice and all, but kitties are better !

    • Afrodiseum

      Them’s fightin’ words, pardner.

      • reynard61

        Puppies and kittens living together! Mass cuteness!

  • Scrimshaw

    The adults are going to discuss terrible danger and the children aren’t going to be seen for an hour. What could possibly happen when they are safely off-panel? Nothing!

    • Darkoneko Hellsing

      Gren will watch over them.

      • Phlebas

        Gren and a million mini-Grens?

        • Nonesuch

          Forget the seven sins, puppy chaos will destroy the farm…!

          • King of the Dogs

            This is more true than you yet know.

  • Columbine

    Yay puppies! What kind of dogs do they breed?

    • King of the Dogs

      Good dogs.
      I.e: Dogs.

  • Let’s go and play outside in the farmyard while we’re wearing our best dresses… Sigh.

    • Darkoneko Hellsing

      Every kid ever.

      • King of the Dogs

        2 troo

      • Euodiachloris

        Of course! It’s traditional! xD

      • Nomad94

        Guilty as charged… I still do on rare occasion…

  • Del

    I think this comment forum board could use a puppy barn, sometimes.

  • Del

    I’m ready to meet the new girl, the guy-with-the-pipe, and the awful pendant necklace.

    • Arda

      Guy with the pipe looks an awful lot like a genderbent Harry!

      • Sessine

        Well of course they look alike, he’s her grandfather. When he walks in the door here he’s going to be a lot older than the cover picture — but we’re still in the frame part of the story. I expect there will be an exciting flashback to him as a young man.

  • Turnip the Scintillating

    What? No. NOOOOO END OF THE ARCHIVE BLUES

    NOW I HAVE TO WAIT FOR UPDATES LIKE A NORMAL PERSON!

    -sob-

    Just found this webcomic the other day, lovin’ every minute. :P

    • Thanks, glad you like it :D

    • Jonathan Trouba

      Welcome to the first day of the end of your sanity.

    • Would puppies help?

  • maeverin

    aw, 2nd panel Cassie–I was you back then. Love the detail on Nora’s dress (i almost didn’t spot it). It makes me happy when artists take the time to do that. I learned that when creating characters, adding small, simple details to a character’s clothing can add volumes to a character’s inividuality, even if it’s just a simple shape. it makes the charatcer more of a person, somehow. Also: PUPPPPPPIEEEES.

  • Nonesuch

    Cassie is adorable. ^^ Fortunately, as shy as she is, puppies are a great ice-breaker. *chuckles*

  • JWLM

    Like mother, like daughter. I wonder what it will take to make Cassie come out of *her* shell and become a bit more self-confident.

    • Terry

      Puppies, apparently.

      • Euodiachloris

        Kitties could also pull it off, I bet. ;)

  • GristleMcNerd

    Careful there, you might out-cute the Purple Hippo of Happiness, and I’m not sure if I can deal with that.

    • Sanjay Merchant

      I bet the PHoH would love to play with the puppies!

      • Dud

        What price PHoH puppies – cute squared?

  • Of course, one of the reasons why an author puts lots of characters into a story is so she can have the bad guys kill a few of them off and provide suitable motivation for the heroes. Now, which of the extended family are wearing red shirts?

    Why are you all looking at me like that? OK, I’m backing slowly out of the room now…

    • Jonathan Trouba

      *cracks knuckles threateningly* Would you care to serve as a demonstration, good sir?

    • Tsapki

      Oh come now, almost no one wears even a single fully red garment.

      I mean the closest we ever seem to get is that scarf..that…MAL NO!

  • TheWaffleMan

    I WANT A PUPPY BARN YES PLEASE

  • And that was the last anyone saw to the girls that night… that is, until the police came calling about a mysterious puppy-invasion downtown… :D

  • Sanjay Merchant

    Social anxiety is helpless before the power of cute baby animals.

    (I personally prefer kittens to puppies, but the principle is the same.)

  • Puppies! Puppies are always perfect.

  • Oookayyy … Except that neither of the daughters is a redhead or a blonde, i am hearing my granddaughters (nine and seven) Natalie would SO be “Mum we’re going to the puppy barn okay bye!”, and Maggie, her older sister, would, indeed, be appealing to Higher Authority to try to slow Natalie down until she could catch up…

  • Justin Case

    Wow Kate I just caught up again today and I forgot how good your work is.

  • Del

    Hey, Kate — How old are Annie and Cassandra? They appear to be pretty close in age, somewhere in the range of 4-to-6 years old.

    • Same age! None of the kids are older than 6, June just acts a little older because she’s trying to be the responsible big sis.

      • Del

        June’s eye-rolling thing doesn’t start until about 10 years old in modern adolescent girls. To see this in a young Victorian is quite an anachronism.

        But then again, she’s a Barber….

        Meanwhile… I like the short wait between Tuesday and Friday. Can we do anything to get the Tuesday update closer to the previous Friday?

        • Not really, sorry, I’m finally having weekends again for the first time in three years and it’s really too nice to give up!

  • Rhee

    Yep, there’s no cure for a shy kid better than a boisterous not-shy cousin!

  • maarvarq

    Gawd, Cassie takes after her father physically, doesn’t she?

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