Mod Post: Off-Topic Tuesday

Aug. 22nd, 2017 11:09 am
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[personal profile] icon_uk posting in [community profile] scans_daily
In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat amongst yourselves.

The apparent perpetrator of the carnage in Barcelona last week has been shot dead.

Steve Bannon departed the White House... I assume someone accidentally broke the chalk pentagram. He now intends to rejoin Breitbart and attack anyone in the current administration he feels isn't right wing enough. The gift that keeps on giving.

P45 has decreed that despite lambasting the previous administration for years over remaining in Afghanistan and campaigning on the principle of withdrawal that no, things are actually a little more complicated than he thought, and he's sending more troops in. That should have some interesting repercussions on his voterbase.

Courts in India have outlawed the Islamic "Triple talq" form of divorce, which allows a man to divorce his wife instantly by repeating the word Talaq "Divorce" three times, either in person, or even by text.

The decision to silence London's Big Ben in the Houses of Parliament for four years whilst essential maintenance takes place has caused a frankly ludicrous amount of Press over here. "The Luftwaffe didn't silence it" "Health and Safety gone mad" etc. etc. It WILL ring on Remembrance Day, and New Years Eve which, if we're honest, were usually the only time non-Londoners listened to it with any actual interest.

Well, the USA had view of a total eclipse, and since no one thought to reunite the missing shard with the Dark Crystal, things are trundling on regardless, and Trump didn't merge with a wise old hippy to become an enlightened superbeing. Better luck next time on that one.

The new series of "The Great British Bake Off" is imminent for those who follow such things.

It's rumoured that Bradley Walsh will be Jodie Whittaker's companion in Doctor Who... which given that Mr Walsh (best known as a gameshow host and light entertainer, but also a character actor) is 57, will make for a rather unusual double act in the TARDIS.

The UK lost Bruce Forsythe, TV entertainer, showman, presenter, and general national treasure for over 75 years, at age 89 and the US lost Jerry Lewis at age 91.

The world also lost science fiction great Brian Aldiss.

Slightly on topic, but the last episode of "The Lightning and the Storm", the podcast about Walt Simonson's seminal Thor run, has an interview with Mr Simonson himself, which is fascinating.

Astro City #45 - "Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes"

Aug. 22nd, 2017 01:18 pm
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[personal profile] laughing_tree posting in [community profile] scans_daily


We always need new superheroes. But actual new ones, reflecting the modern day, rather than reflecting yesterday. Unless reflecting yesterday is the point of the story. But the idea that we don’t need new superheroes is like not needing new romances or new detectives. The moment you don’t need new characters in genre stories, the genre is as dead as Latin. It’s not a crime that superheroes don’t age, but it’s a problem that superhero series don’t more often age and die and get replaced. Imagine if Kinsey Millhone and V.I. Warshawski and other modern (well, relatively) PIs couldn’t get an audience because Sam Spade and Race Williams were taking up all the shelf space. If you’re writing X-Men and your metaphors are about Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, that’s not all that much more modern than if your metaphors are about the Red Scare and McCarthyism. Ask yourself new questions, and put the results in your stories. Steve Englehart juiced up Captain America by asking what Captain America meant to the early 1970s. What does he mean now? What does Superman represent to the world? How does that, whatever it is, fit into the world today? Same for Batman, same for Wonder Woman. Tell stories you couldn’t tell ten, twenty, fifty years ago. -- Kurt Busiek

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(no subject)

Aug. 21st, 2017 09:57 pm
skygiants: storybook page of a duck wearing a pendant, from Princess Tutu; text 'mukashi mukashi' (mukashi mukashi)
[personal profile] skygiants
A couple months ago I was talking with my roommate about the new Anne of Green Gables TV series (I have not seen it, she had opinions about it) which led to us reminiscing about Other L.M. Montgomery Books We Had Known, which led to me last weekend rereading The Story Girl and The Golden Road.

I was actually much more attached to these books than I ever was to Anne -- they're about an extended group of cousins who have very wholesome adventures together. The cousins include:

Beverly, Our Narrator, most notable for his mildly purple narration and deeply sentimental soul
Felix, his little brother, who is Fat and Sensitive About It
Felicity, who is Very Beautiful and Very Prosaic and also Extremely Bossy, like Lucy from Peanuts if she also looked like Elizabeth Taylor
Cecily, who is Very Good and Very Serious and probably also Doomed to Die Young Like Good Children Do
Dan, Felicity and Cecily's brother, who is an Annoying Brother
Sara Ray, who lives down the road and cries all the time
Peter, who is But a Hired Boy but Clever and Talented and also In Love With Felicity
and, of course, Sara Stanley the Story Girl, who is not pretty but interesting, and has a spellbindingly beautiful voice, and is prone to stopping in the middle of any given conversation to announce that she knows a story that has some vague relation to the topic at hand and will then proceed to relate that story come hell or high water, which: oh god, of course I imprinted on these books as a kid, because I of course do the exact same thing, except without any vestige of a spellbindingly beautiful voice, and also instead of 'I know a tragic story about our uncle's great-aunt's wedding' my version is usually 'I read a book once in which somebody banged a griffin.' But, much like the Story Girl, once I get started on an anecdote of this kind there is very little chance of stopping me. I apologize to anybody who has suffered from this.

ANYWAY. Fortunately, the other kids (with the occasional exception of Felicity) never get fed up with the Story Girl and are always glad to hear an entertaining anecdote about the minister's cousin's grandmother or whatever the topic of discussion is that day.

The kids also get into normal turn-of-the-century-Canadian kid stuff, like pretending to be ministers, or freaking out because the local old-lady-who-might-be-a-witch sat in their pew at church, or panicking that it might be the Day of Judgment. Normal turn-of-the-century-Canadian kid stuff centers very prominently on appropriate church behavior, as it turns out. L.M. Montgomery's world is composed of Methodists and Lutherans and that's about it. I don't remember this being weird for me as an emphatically-not-Christian youth but it is slightly retroactively weird for me now.

Other notable things that happen in The Story Girl and The Golden Road:
- Dan eats poison berries because Felicity tells him he would be an idiot to eat the poison berries, nearly dies, then goes back and eats more poison berries because Felicity made the mistake of saying she told him so
- Cecily the Very Sweet and Very Good is mean to exactly one person in both books, a boy in her class who conceives a terrible crush on her and will not leave her alone despite multiple stated requests until she publicly humiliates him in class, which she ruthlessly does; a good lesson
- The Story Girl gives a great and instantly recognizable description of synesthesia without ever actually using the word
- The Story Girl befriends a desperately shy neighbor who is known as the Awkward Man, "because he is so awkward," our narrator Bev helpfully explains
- the Awkward Man is later revealed to have a secret room in his house containing women's clothing, which, the Story Girl explains, is because he's spent years buying things for an imaginary girlfriend - and, I mean, far be it from me to question the Story Girl! but some grad student could probably get a real good paper on gender and sexuality in turn-of-the-century children's lit out of this is all I'm saying

Partial Eclipse

Aug. 21st, 2017 04:57 pm
goss: (2017)
[personal profile] goss
I took this photo at 3:53pm today:



From my house, this is as covered as the sun got during the solar eclipse. My dad has a special sun filter that he uses for surveying, so I took a bunch of video and pics during the event today. Though not a total eclipse, it was really cool to look up in the sky and see this in real time. :)
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
So, I was thinking about my epic lack of social skills, and ongoing shortage of brickspace friends, and it occurred to me to think about it in hours spent. Which of course makes me think of GURPS rules for study
http://beccaelizabeth.dreamwidth.org/2683842.html

Getting to know a person is like a specialist topic. And you probably can't study books about them, mostly, though people something enough to have instruction manuals would be an interesting category. Reading their journal might count, but only i they're, like, super chatty and write all the things.

... my journal. Probably counts.
But I do skim the highlights only, for a lot of topics.
... yes I know it's very wordy for highlights.

Most people most of the time are not deliberately teaching you about themselves. There would be times they were, but probably not often.

And the kind of thing that counts as intensive training? Probably not going to come up in routine social interaction.

So most people most of the time, hanging out with them is like learning on the job.

Some people are in fact your job, but then all you need to know about them relates to your job, so the primary skill is your job skill, and different clients are, like, familiarisation penalties. (B169) Eight hours practice gives you familiarity with a new model. Before then you're at -2 even if you have the relevant skill. So you can improve rapidly in those 8 hours, which seems to be all Torchwood does to teach guns, but might make an instructor think they were really good at teaching. But with people, 8 hours getting to know them would get you over the really awkward stage.

But then just hanging out not teaching in particular? 800 hours. To get one point better. Than default. For a maximum of 8 hours a day.

Sooooo... that could take a while.

And I, personally, leave the house maybe 8 hours a week?
And much of that time is spent on the bus.

So to get over the first awkward might take two or three weeks, but then to actually start getting skill points in This New Person, that will take at least a hundred weeks. Or two hundred. Or... more.

And if any particular person is only there for one activity a month? A hundred months.

... which is a bit of a long time, really, and a complete explanation for only shallow acquaintance, without social skill penalties being involved at all.

Which makes me feel better about it.



... I mean my social skill penalties are also significant, but, theoretically not insurmountable, given sufficient time with an actual particular human.



Finding one you like well enough to invest 800 hours in is a tricky bit.


It was way easier when we got all those hours by osmosis at school, every single day, for years.

... easier in a way that I purely couldn't do any more, but, you know, in the friend-hours equation, that went faster.



So, new theory: just need more hours.


... at my age...

Beach | Eclipse | The Defenders

Aug. 21st, 2017 09:41 am
goss: (\o/)
[personal profile] goss
  1. Beach

    Since my mom's abroad right now, I took my dad to the beach this weekend, with a couple other relatives for company. Saturday was a wonderful, sunny day, driving through the rainforest mountain. I was a bit worried during the week, since a tropical storm was headed to the Caribbean and there'd been a landslide on road along the coastline. But luckily, the storm missed us entirely and went further north. Also the effects of the landslide were mostly taken care of, so the road was clear.

    Here's a pic I took on Saturday, of the view from the house. As you can see, we got lovely, clear skies.



    And at nightfall it was just amazing to see thousands of stars per square inch in the sky. I mean, I know they're always there, but where I live we never see them all, due to the bright lights.

    On Sunday, the weather was a bit more overcast, but it was nice being warm and dry, while still having that lovely view despite the rain. I did a little bit of sketching of the rain falling on the deck. It was oddly mesmerizing watching the raindrops making circular patterns in the pool.

    Pencil Sketch: Raindrops )

    Glad the skies cleared up in the afternoon for the long drive in our return journey back home. Here's one more pic of the coastline on that part of the island. Gorgeous as usual. *___* Photo )

  2. Eclipse

    Hey, I hear there's gonna be a complete solar eclipse over the U.S. today. I think here in the Caribbean we'll be able to see a partial eclipse at around 2:30pm, a few hours from now. So I'm looking forward to that. :)

  3. The Defenders

    EEE! I didn't realised the series came out over the weekend. I see everyone on Tumblr and DW seems to have seen in. EVen my own *brother* has seen it. Where was I? At the beach. lol. Need to watch before I get spoiled somehow. /o\

    Legends of tomorrow plot bunnies

    Aug. 21st, 2017 11:46 am
    beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
    [personal profile] beccaelizabeth
    There's definitely a gap between the end of 1-06 and the start of 1-07.
    You can make it all about Rip being a bit useless, going from "I suggest that we next hit Savage when he least expects it" to sitting staring at his wife's last message for a week, but it's a bit jarring.
    You can fit a whole story of oops Savage expected that too, oh no we can't think of what to do next, in the jump.


    Also, what to do with Snart in an AU: say he never met Mick, but didn't die in juvie. He got stabbed on his very first day, and it made him re-evaluate his life. So there's an AU version of him who is still alive, was never Cold, and then meets Mick after he's lost him. Massive angst potential. Mick blaming himself for every bad thing. But also it's like Tapestry, Len never was Cold but he never was much else neither. Lacked the necessary incentive to give him an edge. Meaning his father didn't threaten Lisa, somehow. Boring if she was never born, make her born and then they both escape. Say if the medical treatment necessary from the stabbing showed them a pattern of existing injuries and someone noticed in a useful way. The system worked, everything worked out different, yaay. That does what Len tried to in season one, just at a different point that makes it seem more about Mick for the angst. And we get different angles on what a 'better' Len would be, because civilian Len who didn't raise Lisa could still be a money hungry bastard, but with no focus outside himself. So he just hurt people with petty capitalism, and never did save anyone. Cold did better when it counted. Just also worse.



    I should write. Something. Eventually.

    The Wild Storm #6

    Aug. 21st, 2017 04:21 pm
    laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
    [personal profile] laughing_tree posting in [community profile] scans_daily


    I mean, there were a lot of Wildstorm books. And remember I said it was a pirate ship? The world-building was all over the place. I had to sit down and write a fucking cosmology for this project. Jim Lee made me invent 12,000 years of intergalactic history and I will never forgive him. -- Warren Ellis

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