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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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I’m trying to find two phrases/words, which I can describe, but can’t recall (if indeed they exist):

  1. There’s a type of failure in building, bridges, and other mechanical things. For example, you have a porch supported by a series of pillars. Failure of one of these pillars causes stress on the next layer of pillars, which fail, causing a cascade of failure in the critical members supporting a structure. What is the term that describes this in, say, civil engineering?
  2. A mythical creature. Defined not by what it is, but its definition comes from it being whatever anybody wants it to be. Defined by the desires of others, or something else.

If anybody knows terms/words for these, I’d appreciate it, as I can shut those two threads down in my mind then.