Friday, May 26, 2017
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Monday, May 22, 2017
"You're just claiming to be skeptical because you haven't been exposed to the evidence!"
"That argument does not constitute the evidence I requested. My point stands."
Recently had this argument. Apparently you don't need to counter with evidence anymore, just say the person is biased and that's why they haven't seen it yet.
Saturday, May 20, 2017
Friday, May 19, 2017
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Highlights of my time as commentator:
1. Audience wanted llamas. I gave then llamas.
2. One asked me to sing her Happy Birthday. I did. She told me it was the only birthday celebration she'd had all day.
4. Whenever someone asked, "What game is it?" (as in match of the tournament) I'd reply, "Smash Bros." Got an amusing reaction each time!
Overall, 10/10 would commentate again.
Monday, May 15, 2017
Friday, May 12, 2017
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Who's buried in Grant's tomb? An unknown soldier.
What color was Washington's white horse? It wasn't a horse.
What weighs more: a ton of feathers or bricks? Feathers have varying weight thanks to being anti-grav.
Monday, May 8, 2017
But with superheroes.
I like it.
It takes so many great characters and keeps what's great about them.
Friday, May 5, 2017
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Which princess shines the best?
Which princess is most proficient with boats?
Which princess do you want to go mountain climbing with?
Which princess has the best singing voice?
Which princess drops the sickest rhymes?
Which princess makes the best cowgirl?
Monday, May 1, 2017
Season 5 Part 2:
I wonder when OUAT will give us their take on the 3 pigs? I don't remember them mentioned except in passing. And while Ruby is a werewolf, we haven't seen this wolf yet.
Does everyone in OUAT have daddy issues? It seems to be the go to trope for the writers. Maybe THEY all have daddy issues.
...OH COME ON WRITERS WHAT THE HELL.
About the only good thing about the OUAT Winter Finale: we'll get to meet Hades soon. The sass levels should be amazing.
Greg Germann will be OUAT Hades? Yes, I think he will have sufficient sass. Good casting. (Unlike Merlin, where they royally effed it up.)
Friday, April 28, 2017
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Normal: Let me wax loquaciously on the merits of romanticism in art and its uplifting effects on the human soul.
With an intelligent girl: Good. Yes. Like. Okay.
Monday, April 24, 2017
(This applies to producing physical tones via mixing colors, not digital displays or wavelengths.)
Friday, April 21, 2017
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
First, historical context: when Mao took over, he indoctrinated the populace into Communism using an easy to understand media for the masses - comic books. When Deng Xiaoping wanted to convert the nation to Capitalism, he used comics as well. Both instances were among the biggest examples of comics - normally a pop culture fixture - being used for something far larger scale than story telling. In this sense, China adopting game design to reinforce their national message is consistent with past mass education movements. They take what we treat as "fun" in the west and figure out how to use it in a more serious manner.
Third, and the scariest point: it could easily happen here. We have interconnected data mining on a mass scale, just like China, as well as at least two major online companies willing to work with the government on anything (Google and Facebook). We have a rising tide of people who want echo chamber hug boxes in their friend circles and a demand for exclusionary "safe spaces." It would be child's play for the government to sponsor a gamified site that ranked people based on adherence to being "environmentally friendly" or "socially just" or any of a dozen other dog whistle terms that all translate to "OBEY."
If they wanted to be more low key, have a private company do it, but receive under the table support from the government in choosing what constitutes "good" and "bad" points. They wouldn't have to pass a law saying it's mandatory: just shunt all the data in there whether you want it there or not and refuse to prosecute them. You will participate, even if you object.
I think I just envisioned Facebook 2.0.
Monday, April 17, 2017
"Sure I do! It's the right to public safety."
"That doesn't exist."
"That's basically the same, but nope, not a thing."
"The right to stop people who look scary and act weird?"
"That's called 'profiling.' And it's definitely not a right."
"Look, just shut up and do what I say!"
"You know what is a right? My ability to tell you to go to hell."
Friday, April 14, 2017
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
I'm so glad Belle picked Rumple in the end. That SHOULD end well, now. I look forward to seeing his recovery arc. Maybe he can become a proper hero now.
So the dagger is just the tip. Ha.
Ha. Rumple has a rose-based health bar. And Belle is going with them on the adventure this time! ABOUT BLOODY TIME. Maybe she and Mulan will get another team-up.
MERIDA! Yay! Makes sense she'd be in Anglo-Saxon territory. She should get Excalibur and become king. Then she could be Saber-class! Alternatively, she leads the Scottish in revolt against Arthur and kicks his butt.
"You need a hobby. How about knitting?" Loving this version of Rumple.
I just realized that the sanitarium nurse is Ratchet from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I wonder if she's from a realm filled with Jack Nicholson movies?
Zelena's actress is having WAY more fun in the role than in season 3. The Wicked Witch as a gleeful yandere type works so well.
"And now we ride to...Camelot!" I am disappointed the Monty Python theme didn't come out of those horns. Someone needs to do a mash-up.
Jeebus writers. Learn another plot device already. It was fine the first two times (once because it was new, the second as a callback to the start). But this is RIDICULOUS.
Dark One Emma is pretty awesome, though. Liking the leather look.
Still getting used to an Arthur that isn't Graham Chapman.
The way it jumps between 3 times - founding of Camelot, 6 weeks ago, and today - is confusing. Not helping is the use of Granny's Diner in both the 6 weeks and modern.
Ooo. Does Merida get to go Mel Gibson on King Arthur? I really hope so. She needs the blue war paint!
AUGH. The writers must have been giggling hard when they wrote that line.
Dark One Emma continues to be far more interesting than her other versions (except season 1 Emma, who's snarkiness I liked).
The Belle and Rumple content of season 5 continues to please me. Makes up for the heart ripping moment of season 4. So glad that Will is gone. Also glad to see Belle FINALLY get more of a main character status.
I also love the Belle and Merida team-up. Belle is like the ultimate team-up companion.
Get Merida, Mulan, and Belle together. Rumple dispatches them to fight evil. RUMPLE'S ANGELS.
One thing I like with both the Frozen and Brave integration: they feel like sequels to the originals, in a good way. It's a shame Tangled won't get the same treatment, since they already had Rapunzel. I could see Tiana coming in - she could easily be from a part of Cruella's 1920's world.
Easily the worst part of season 5.
Emma's reason for going dark were kind of predictable. I was hoping for something more shocking. It at least makes sense in character and explains the mystery. It is also nicely ironic.
Arthur needs to get his limbs chopped off while screaming that he's invincible. I really want that to happen.
Looking back, they should have cast Neil Patrick Harris in this role. He'd have been perfect.
"My name is Merida Dunbroch. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
I wanted Mulan and I got Mulan! OUAT Season 5 is pretty good about pleasing me. It has Belle x Rumple, Frankenstein back, Merida and Mulan team-up, Zelena being a grinning evil lunatic, etc. That the thematic backbone combines two of my favorite properties - Brave and King Arthur - also helps.
Oh, so that's where Ruby's been. I was wondering.
So far season 5a is a big step up in quality. As much as I enjoyed Season 4a, this one feels better. The only reason it's not as amazing as it could be was the absolutely horrible actor they picked for Merlin. A better Merlin would've made this darn near perfect.
Oh, come on, OUAT. Now you're just screwing with Rumple x Belle fans for no reason. Seriously. There is no good narrative cause other than "Belle is an indecisive idiot" (and she isn't) that would keep them apart at this stage. They're probably setting up their reunion as part of the winter finale.
(Or they'll do something really horrible and have Rumple absorb all the other Dark Ones into himself, thus ruining this whole "Hey, look, he's a hero now" subplot.)
The Hook x Emma drama is just fluff for me. I'm not very invested in that couple.
One of the reasons seasons 4a and 5a of OUAT have been better than season 3a is the thematic unity and contrast.
Season 3a was just a "we need to do the thing by chasing the thing." It was a chase sequence with no chasing. Blah. It's only good episodes were where it explored Peter Pan's motivations and drew parallels to Rumple's relationship with his son.
Season 4a focused on Frozen's theme of sisterly love and added a new dimension with the Snow Queen. Frozen was about two sisters mending ways. OUAT Season 4a followed it up by exploring what could happen when that desire for a bond went too far.
In both 4a and 5a, they've found story cues from the original and pushed them to a next step for OUAT. It's very clever and is probably why I'm enjoying it so much.
Things I wish I could see in OUAT future seasons:
1. Chinese myths. They have Mulan, so this is possible. Sun Wukong and others would be a natural fit for OUAT. Since we know season 5b is Hercules themed, having them butt heads with the Chinese deities would be interesting.
2. Tiana. They've established another unnamed realm that is always the 1920's with Cruella. Tiana could easily be from there.
4. The Incredibles. A long shot, but with a sequel in the works and Henry's established love of superheroes, this could work. It'd have to be yet another realm. For even more fun, mix in Big Hero 6 - a Disney Marvel property that isn't tied up with the MCU.
5. Tarzan and Jungle Book. An obvious pairing here. Mowgli and Tarzan together? This could have some good moments. For even more fun, insert Emperor's New Groove. "WRONG LEVER!"
The main ones I struggle to think of are the animal ones, like Rescuers and Great Mouse Detective. I grew up on those and would love to see them integrated, but turning them into people risks losing something. Still, I'd love to see them try.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Season 4 Part 2:
Camelot! Another reference to Camelot! I wonder what unlucky knight lost their hand...I hope it's not just a model.
I'm also hoping the Sorcerer they keep referencing is Merlin. Too bad they killed Lancelot already. Hopefully we'll get a flashback to fill that in.
Ursula and Maleficent I get. They've appeared before. But...Cruella? How the heck does an old 1920's flapper type fit into the Enchanted Forest? Is she an eccentric sorceress who uses animal skin as magic components? I was expecting her to be modified, not appear straight-up in her movie outfit.
At least the dalmatian motifs are finally paying off, four seasons later.
Rumple: I'm assembling a team.
Ursula: For what?
Rumple: We're going to find the writers of this show and kill them.
Okay, THAT was a good one-liner.
Bald Mountain! I knew Chernabog would get in here eventually. Only a matter of time with the other Fantasia reference.
The writers seem to be giving all the best snarky lines to Regina now. She has Emma's season 1 sarcasm.
Maleficent's costume in season 4 got a serious upgrade over season 1. Nice.
Season 4a was fun and good. Since I like Frozen, there was minimal annoyance and I really liked a lot of dialogue and costumes. Much better than all of season 3.
We'll see if this half can keep it going. Giving Snow and Charming a hidden dark secret that's only just coming to light and has never been mentioned before ever is kind of dumb. I'm worried I'm about to be very disappointed.
Wouldn't it be funny if the donut shop in Storybrook was on Drury Lane and staffed by the Muffin Man and Gingerbread Man?
Honestly, I really want them to follow along the lines of Integra and Alucard from Hellsing. Him as the servant monster and her as the increasingly tough leader. That's the kind of dynamic I was hoping they were building toward.
Ernie Hudson is Poseidon? Long way from busting ghosts.
I like the back story for Regina and Maleficent. Now we finally have an idea of what happened to Philip and Aurora in the timeline.
That scene where Rumple is disguised as Hook. UNG. Feels. I really want him to get Belle back. I hope the actual Hook gets to punch Will a few more times.
Did they combine Ursula and Tiana? That's actually interesting.
So, Elsa can put ships in bottles now? That's a far cry from ice powers. Or was it the Snow Queen?
I'm still struggling to figure out how Cruella's back story fits the aesthetic of the Enchanted Forest. Unless she's from another realm?
Damn Regina. That was cold. I kind of hate you for that.
I like how their using the red under Emma's eyes to show her descent to evil. Though the "heroes don't kill" thing is stupid. Prince Philip killed Maleficent in the original. Snow White killed the Queen in the original tale. Fairy tales had plenty of cases of the heroes killing the villains as punishment for their crimes.
Season 4b is picking up. A bit of a meh start, but good progress.
I feel like the Sheriff got mashed up with Gaston. Belle's Gaston was actually a halfway decent fellow.
The author's origin story is set in the 1960's. Just after Walt Disney passed away. THAT IS SO COOL.
I like the guy they picked as the Sorcerer's Apprentice. I hope they get him out of the hat eventually.
...Oh, there we go.
I love how they poke fun at the OUAT fanbase with the "Heroes and Villains" fan scene. They also lampshade our society's tendency to worship villains over heroes.
I though this would be bad, but Henry's actor is actually not bad anymore. I guess he recovered after the whole puberty thing.
"Who could ever love me?"
"I don't love Will."
DAMN IT WRITERS.
MERLIN NAME DROP.
Whoo! (Called it.)
Assessment: season 4 was much better than season 3. Not quite as great as season 2, but better than season 1. It had some pacing issues here and there, but the tension was better.
The Frozen tie-in was a lot of fun. If the writers of Frozen 2 have a clue they'll borrow some of that material. I hope we get to see Elsa and company return!
The second half started with an absolutely gut wrenching scene. Seriously. That was the worst emotional distress I've felt from a TV show in a while. Good job, OUAT writers. And screw you. At least the resolution was okay, if mostly deferred to season 5.
I did like both Rumple's story arc and Emma's choice. Lily's father search should be fun. Maybe the daddy will be Mushu? Or Smaug? Or voiced by Sean Connery? Who knows?
And MERLIN. FINALLY. We get to go to Camelot after 3 seasons of teasing! If he's not the crazy one from Sword in the Stone I'll be unhappy. I'll be fine if he's a Connecticut Yankee, though.
So...yeah. Season 3 was disappointing. Season 4 has convinced me to keep watching. I just hope season 5 keeps being okay.
Friday, April 7, 2017
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Season 4 Part 1:
I'm really curious how they fit Arendelle into the EF universe and timeline. Elsa was locked away by Rumple (maybe?), so it took place in the ~200 year time span he was Dark One.
Good job, episode 1 Season 4. You're already better than most of season 3.
Man. They're just copying the Frozen aesthetic straight up here. The other ones they re-imagined. This one is like live action of the film. I'm not complaining too much - it feels like it fits in with the film rather seamlessly. Maybe this is because the writers went, "Hey, we need this in our show now! Because ratings!"
(I want musical numbers, though. Curse the lack of musical numbers.)
It does create some incongruities, though - why are the trolls here not the trolls who menaced Snow and Charming? Are they a different tribe? Are they like flat head Klingons and ridged brow Klingons? I want to know more about the different troll races!
Well, episode 2 just answered the timeline question. Kristoff and Charming as buddies? That's awesome. Good integration into the lore.
Bo Peep? The hell? That costume is ghastly. I hope one of her guards is named Woody.
And with the parent's deaths when it is, Ariel finding their ship under the sea and that prompting her to take an interest in humans totally works! HEAD CANON DETERMINED.
"Anna was right. Reason and logic do work on you." Thank you, Kristoff, for succinctly stating why Elsa is one of the best Disney princesses.
"No one checked if it was empty first?" Kristoff is getting a lot of good lines.
Snow Queen's first act? Killing Hans. Okay, so you're definitely a hero. I guess we'll see which of the 32 flavors you are.
Grumpy took the stupid pills this time. Sigh.
Pretty sure the writers are dropping "let it/him/her go" as a meme to deliberately annoy the song haters. Ha ha. Keep it up, guys.
Season 4 is doing very good so far at combining tension - Marian's fate, mystery of Anna and Elsa, Regina's feelings - with lighthearted moments like this. It's already better than season 3. We'll see if it can keep it up.
"You're not the sorcerer."
"No, I'm his apprentice."
LIES. You're not a mouse! And NOW I recognize that hat. Oh, nice reference. Will Nicholas Cage appear?
Okay, now the Sorcerer's Apprentice is a mouse. Nice.
Loved the scene with Elsa building the staircase.
Snow Queen puts Elsa in chains? Ties into those Slave Princess Elsa variants.
"I'm going to build a snowman." I am thankful Olaf is not in OUAT.
Belle and Anna in the sauna together? Oh, my. (Now, Belle and Elsa in the sauna together? I'd need to go to my bunk for that one.)
I'm sad they couldn't get the original VA for Grand Pabbie. John Rhys-Davies is a good choice, though.
Robin Hood's "I'm confused!" is getting repetitive. You could just do the royalty thing and have a harem, you know.
Ooo, the origin of the gloves.
Episode 10 is pretty good. Honestly, this entire Frozen arc has been quite good. The mystery of what happened to Anna is interesting. The Snow Queen's twisted desire for family is a nice variant of corrupting obsession. The "Emma's power goes haywire" bit is meh, though, especially when she grabs the idiot ball over it.
"And I sang with you!" Wait. So Disney songs happen in real time? Now I really want OUAT to have a musical number at some point! Maybe get Neil Patrick Harris involved.
I love the actress for Anna so much. She's written spot on. I also like how they did Sven. Elsa is warming up to me (ha, pun). I think I've been spoiled by knowing amazing Elsa cosplayers.
Gold becoming more evil is kind of weird this season. I could see it as a way of him reacting to Neil's death. He's lost his son, so now he'll get free no matter what. And screw the people he blames for his death. However, it seems a bit too diabolical at this stage - his marriage to Belle should have softened him a bit. The writers cranked up the evil a bit too much.
I like Regina and Robin more than Snow and Charming, even though they're basically recycling the season 1 subplot. At least they're watchably interesting.
Did they forget the elevator takes 2 people to operate?
How many times does the Blue Fairy die in this series? That's two so far.
"Shattered Sight" (ep 11) has just the right mix of humorous reactions and serious moments. The number of one-liners making me chuckle has increased sharply these last few eps, in fact.
Elsa: We need to be careful and take our time.
Anna: Arendel was conquered by Hans.
Elsa: We need to go. NOW.
Don't do it Belle...
He just wanted to take over the world, Belle! Nothing wrong with that!
Oh, god. What have you done? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?
I'm actually tearing up over this.
AUGH. That was HORRIBLE.
It's been a long time since a TV show has managed to impact my emotions. I suppose that says that just how well written Rumple and Belle were.
Monday, April 3, 2017
It's more interesting to think of other ways Saitama could be defeated. He's not particularly smart, so he can be out maneuvered and probably manipulated. Light, Lelouch, Yugi, and Gendo could all either defeat him or use him to their own ends. A powerful non-physical foe would do well, such as ghosts. The list goes on.
But, no, most of the DBZ cast loses hard to Saitama. Maybe Buu, but his regeneration has limits and he'd eventually get splattered to the point of disintegration.
Friday, March 31, 2017
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Season 3 Part 2:
Hook's warming up to me now. He's the character who had the best time in the Pan arc and has gone from really annoying to a proper lovable ruffian figure. (I like the lovable ruffian archetype - that the writers weren't doing it right with him at first is what annoyed me. His early dialogue and actions were all too emo.) Now I want to see him and Jack Sparrow vie for control of the Jolly Roger.
I'm seeing Henry's actor hit puberty. Yeah, his expressiveness has hit a nadir.
Yay! Elphaba! The Wicked Witch is a fun villain. I wonder what twist they'll put to her. I'm hoping there's a Quidditch style mid-air battle between her and Regina.
"We were cell mates."
"What were you in for?"
Yay for Robin Hood being a regular part. I wonder if Mulan, Aurora, and Philip will join in.
"Not my Miata!" Doc is the Cabbage Cart guy of OUAT.
Courage. Heart. So who's brain? I hope it's Frankenstein's. That'd be hilarious. (Of course it's Rumple's.)
I think one reason the 2nd half of OUAT's season 3 is somewhat more enjoyable is Belle gets a bigger role. There's still the lack of comedy, though. Charming teaching Henry how to drive was fun, as is the flirting between Robin and Regina, but there's not enough.
Charming's over handed sword throw looks stupid every time he does it, though.
I think I know one of the issues with season 3 part 2: too much curb stomp on the part of the Wicked Witch. She just waves her hand and walks through them. It ruins any sense of tension and begs the question why she doesn't just permanently end the heroes in her way.
Oh boy! Time travel! So is it Doctor Who "fixed points in time" type or Back to the Future "my mom is in love with me" type? Hook speaking sense about time travel is hilarious. I guess Emma took her stupid pills on this one.
Princess Leia? LEIA? Really? Wow. That made me laugh. Better than a Princess Di reference, at least.
This time travel episode is much better than large swaths of season 3. Levity, tension, and good pacing. It looks like the good episodes come toward the end of their respective arcs now. It's getting there that's a pain.
Season 3 was definitely a drop in quality over season 1 and 2. The second half was better, but overall there were only 3-4 good episodes, really. At least it ended well.
Season 4 of OUAT, START! Yay for Elsa~
Monday, March 27, 2017
Season 3 Part 1:
So the Evil Queen and Rumplestiltskin go to Neverland, a place dripping with magic? I have the feeling they're going to get nerfed, otherwise they'd just curb stomp everything. I also have the bad feeling - based on how everyone has warned me of this arc - that the nerfing is done badly.
I'm annoyed Belle didn't go along. I wanted to see more of her adventure skills!
Emma: Ever since the plot started bad things have happened to us!
Snow: I have faith that eventually the plot will end with a happy ending.
Emma: Why do you want our show to go off air?!
"They made a movie about you." Ah, Baelfire. You just broke the 4th wall. Now you're Deadpool.
The protection spell and deal mechanics work, but those came later. Before they went into effect there wasn't much stopping magic users from rolling over someone with a shiny blade.
Rumple has Mjolnir in his inventory. Marvel crossover?
I am disappointed Robin Hood's son isn't named Westley. Roland's a good historical shout out, though.
"And you can have a life. Under the sea."
"You can be part of his world."
Really, OUAT? I'm disappointed we didn't see Ariel using a fork to comb her hair.
I'm seeing the issue with the Peter Pan arc. The core of it is good. Nice twists, good conflict, interesting tie-ins. The problem is pacing. Most of this could have been done in half the episodes. Or, at least, there needed to be better splicing so the multiple plot threads are tackled in a more interesting way. The episodes lack the punch of season 1 or 2.
"I should be full of regrets. But I'm not." *Yoink*
That's the kind of thing OUAT did regularly in season 2.
Did they ever explain why Rumple was fated to die when Pan did?
Saturday, March 25, 2017
We're a species that took worthless sand in the ground and from it crafted devices that see into other galaxies, allow near instant communication spanning the globe, and decode our very building blocks. We took the bounty of the earth and have amplified its utility a billion-fold - all thanks to the man's capacity for reason. Take pride in what our industrious natures have accomplished and look forward to the new horizons we may one day achieve.
Friday, March 24, 2017
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Aurora is brunette and Maleficent is blonde? Huh? OUAT has my least favorite Maleficent by far. And, dang, Philip got owned fast.
Why is Harry Potter now in this? I guess it makes sense, but I'd like to see older works before they throw very obvious Death Eater clones at me.
"You really are the evil queen!" Good god Henry says that more times than Vegeta goes on about the super saiyin. WE GET IT KID.
Bella and Rumple are best couple. I felt more "aww" from them than the others.
I wonder if he'll bust out Knight of Honor and start wielding other characters' Noble Phantasms. ...Wait, wrong show.
Also, darn it Emma you have 6 bullets in a land where guns haven't been invented yet. DON'T WASTE THEM FIRING INTO THE AIR.
Ooo. Tell me Belle becomes the town librarian for Storybrooke!
Oh, god. They made Belle the librarian. That is the best plot point OUAT has done so far. I literally squee'ed in happiness. (Belle is my favorite Disney princess, in case you didn't know.)
The multiverse aspect of the show is still one of its best things. The Forest (which seems to combine most Disney tales, including Arthur thanks to "The Sword and the Stone"), Wonderland, Neverland, our world. I'm hoping we get to see Narnia (wardrobes that penetrate the universe is a pretty obvious reference that they keep dropping), but the rights on that one may make it tricky. Oz and Barsoom would also be great.
Everytime they call Regina's mom by her name - Cora - I keep thinking she's a reference to Korra. Sigh.
Is the doctor who I think he is? Tell me he's who I think he is.
I want that coat. I want that Frankenstein coat. The glasses, too.
And, damn it, now I want Magic vs. Science in OUAT. I really hope that's not the last we see of that world. I could see it being all kinds of HG Wells, Jules Verne, and other amazing things. I know this is a fairy tale show, but classic SF were my fairy tales as a kid.
I wonder if the OUAT Netherworld is located under Bald Mountain and overseen by Chernobog. Certainly seems like his kind of thing.
I wonder if Emma Swan will end up in a tutu fighting evil with ballerina music.
Aurora: You can't trust me! You have to tie me up.
Mulan: Oo, fun. <3
Emma and Snow: o_o
Season 2 of OUAT is so far much more interesting. I liked the fairy tale flashbacks of season 1 a bit more, but the main plot of S2 is more compelling.
I really wanted Rumple to set Hook on fire after what he did to Belle. He's gone from rascal to "kill him, please" in my book.
Yay for Belle's yellow dress.
It kind of sucks Cinderella has disappeared from the show. I'm also still waiting for Ariel, since they mentioned mermaids and squid ink before.
The scroll with Emma's name made me think how much more disturbing this would all be if they started using tales from Marquis de Sade. (He tucked many stories away as rolled up paper in his cell.)
Yeah, saw the plot twist of Henry's parentage coming a mile away.
Oh, Snow. You went dark side. Oh, dear.
The dynamic of Regina and Cora isn't one I really get. I was honestly expecting a last minute back stab.
It would've been funny if the Dragon turned into Eddie Murphy.
Rumplestiltskin is like the anti-Doctor. When there's a good wizard, it tends to be the Doctor. When there's an evil monster or trickster, it tends to be Rumple.
Prince Charming giving dating tips to Gold? This is pretty hilarious.
Regina's character arc confuses me. They looked like they were going to redeem her. Then they had her go with Cora even though she knows Cora would imprison her with Dark One powers. And then she insists on killing everyone. I just don't get it.
The fact that Baelfire's nickname is "Bae" really annoys me.
Monday, March 20, 2017
1. Vanilla ice cream
3. One 1/2-pound Reeses Peanut Butter Cup, from the "1 pound, 2 cup" holiday special.
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Friday, March 17, 2017
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
I'm digging the kid who's genre savvy and familiar with Campbell's Monomyth. I also like that quite a few actors I like from other shows (House, Breaking Bad, Stargate Universe, etc.) are in this series.
Wait a minute. A girl named Ruby who wears red and is an analogue for Red Riding Hood? Where have I seen this before?
It's starting to tick me off that no one knows how to negotiate with Rumpelstiltskin. He's using lawful evil contracts, people! Bargain for better terms! Or try to get clever with the clauses! Yeesh.
I'm also very fond of the fairy tale world flashbacks. Non-linear time jumping with an interconnected world and fun twisty mythos? Yay!
In the less awesome column: the modern day Snow White subplot. Ugh. I kind of tune out when they're focusing on that.
Someone was channeling Star Wars here. "Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny."
Ah, finally. We get some expansion beyond the Grimm Tales. Lewis Carroll is a personal fave, too. I wonder if they'll ever start integrating some of the newly documented old fairy tales the Grimm's didn't use?
Monday, March 13, 2017
Friday, March 10, 2017
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
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Shì shì shì shí shī, shì shǐ shì, shǐ shì shí shī shìshì.
Shì shí shì shí shī shī, shì shíshì.
Shíshì shī, Shì shǐ shì shì shíshì.
Shíshì shì, Shì shǐ shì shí shì shí shī.
Shí shí, shǐ shí shì shí shī shī, shí shí shí shī shī.
Shì shì shì shì.
In a stone den was a poet with the family name Shi, who was a lion addict, and had resolved to eat ten lions.
He often went to the market to look for lions.
At ten o'clock, ten lions had just arrived at the market.
At that time, Shi had just arrived at the market.
He saw those ten lions, and using his trusty arrows, caused the ten lions to die.
He brought the corpses of the ten lions to the stone den.
The stone den was damp. He asked his servants to wipe it.
After the stone den was wiped, he tried to eat those ten lions.
When he ate, he realized that these ten lions were in fact ten stone lion corpses.
Try to explain this matter.
Monday, March 6, 2017
Friday, March 3, 2017
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Take different themed Monopoly boards (original is Earth 0). Overlay them at either Free Parking, Go to Jail, or Jail/Just Visiting.
Players may choose to move onto a different board when they come to the intersection.
You can go to any Jail. Instant warp.
Number of players: Number of boards times 8. Hit triple digits (13 or more boards) for amazing times.
Try to have players start at different boards so there aren't large dead zones.
Sets of boards are distributed in different rooms. Players move rooms when they go to a different cluster. They can choose to survey or build. This creates a "fog of war" effect - you don't know how much players in other clusters have versus you unless you go looking.
This requires a GM to track what's connected to what, as well as to keep income from different property flowing to the right person from across dimensions.
Monday, February 27, 2017
Friday, February 24, 2017
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Monday, February 20, 2017
"But I know something you don't."
"Huh? That doesn't work with bullets."
"It does when that's where I'm holding my spare clip. And where I've been reloading since you let me start talking."
"OH CR - " *BANG*
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Friday, February 17, 2017
Then, years later, they announced a change. All would be welcome in their forge to learn and use their unique ornaments and embellishments and to craft fresh blades from iron that sat dormant. Encouraged, I found others and opened a new forge, next to theirs, one that used the items they'd graciously offered to all.
The goal of making the swords was not revenge. I sought not to stab those who'd banished me, but to demonstrate my worth. For I had long practiced bladesmithing on my own, in the wilds, and found new techniques they did not have. I would combine these techniques with the untapped potential of the resources they offered freely
But as the forge was opened, they came, anger clouding their mind. As they marched, they stumbled, and fell upon the swords I'd made. They ruined themselves for no reason other than anger and rage, perpetuating a grudge that was now one-sided. Their blood lay on the ground before their forge, frightening away all they'd hoped would join them. The fires of their furnaces went dark.
And now only the one they'd banished remained.
Hate is a sword that cuts its wielder worst of all.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Monday, February 13, 2017
There would be no money system, only bartering. You survive by allowing people access to knowledge in exchange for things. You can also trade those things to others who have books in order to get them. However, if you trade for a book that's so-so, you may not have enough for a real gem that comes to you later.
there are also raiders who want to steal what you have (not the books, your trading goods). If you're popular with your patrons and have been keeping up on fresh books they want to read, they'll help defend you. If you haven't been listening to them, they won't do as much.
Different segments of the population want different types of books and each segment will have different pluses and minuses when it comes to what they give for access and what they do for you when they're happy.
Minimal graphics - it's mostly text based. Easily doable on an 8-bit style. No real moving art or action sprites. Trickiest part would be balancing the different equations and play strategies. Identifying the minimum viable product would also be interesting.
Saturday, February 11, 2017
Now and then, Jamie Dornan (Christian Grey) will do a half-smile expression. This makes him look remarkably like Tobey Maguire. So all through the movie, I am wondering when Grey is going to put on a Spider-Man costume.
Other jokes that ran through my mind:
Mr. Parker will see you now.
When they do the upside down kiss in this movie, it'll be Mary Jane who's suspended.
Spidey has a new use for his webbing.
The safe word is "amazing."
And so on.
Friday, February 10, 2017
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
For example, if I see an artist hold up something that is ugly and blighted and call it beautiful, I know that person has a very demented outlook on the world. Sometimes this can be fun - I was always a fan of JTHM, despite the deliberately ugly portrayals of humanity, because it was darkly humorous. But I know better than to declare it beautiful - it isn't (to me), and that's the point. There's also art I find unenjoyably ugly. Much of R. Crumb's work falls into that category along with large chunks of modern faire.
What there is too much of are people who want impose and enforce their vision of "acceptable" beauty on everyone. They want to limit what can and cannot be regarded as attractive and stirring. Some of them take the form of fashion police who want to mock women who wear glasses or who eschew greasy face paint. Others scream obscenity and oppression at artists who draw women with curved forms in provocative poses.
It's one thing to find that a piece of art doesn't stir you. It's quite another to determine that no one should ever have a chance to be impacted by that same piece. The former means you need to keep looking. The latter is the impulse of the tyrant - the mark of an ugly soul.
Monday, February 6, 2017
Ran into a Jesus cosplayer. Yelled, "You're not the Messiah!"
With Sailor Deadpool: "I'll see you in season 3!"
Sunday, February 5, 2017
First, you learn it's better mock and deride than argue. Opposing views don't have to be understood if they're "crazy" or "stupid."
Then, you move on to shouting them down and shutting them up. If they're not worth learning about, they're not worth allowing to be expressed.
Next, control the physical space, disallow the views you deem evil, and shove out anyone who dares trespass with foreign knowledge. This is where the physical violence begins, albeit cloaked as defense.
Finally, hunt down anyone who refuses to remain silent. Make them be silent. Punch them in the face to shut them up. Kill them if they persist.
Once all the thought criminals are dead, you've won. Fascism achieved.
We are sadly at that last stage. it remains to be seen how far hate groups like ANTIFA will go as they seek to beat down any they dislike (all of whom, so far, have not been actual Nazis).
Friday, February 3, 2017
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Define a lifetime happiness function. It's the average of the satisfaction resulting from every choice you make in your life span. Higher overall satisfaction, higher happiness.
Function: H(h) = sigma(h(i))/n, i=0..n
h(i) is the satisfaction from a given choice, i, and n is the total number of choices you make in your lifetime.
Pursuit of happiness means as a general goal is pretty standard, so maximizing this utility function is a very safe bet. Note that this is more general than profit maximization, since satisfaction with a choice doesn't necessarily entail material gain. This accounts for things like self-sacrifice.
That's the top level. For scale, h(i) varies from 0 to 42, where 42 is maximum happiness and 0 is total misery. A neutral mood is 21. (42, being the meaning of life, is clearly the best choice for number here.)
What determines the value of h(i)? Resolution of tension, which is defined here as the difference between the expected outcome, E, and the observed outcome, O (straight out of estimation theory). Assuming every choice is made with the intent of being satisfied with the outcome (assumption of rationality) at least nominally, you'd get:
0 = What was observed fell well short of what was expected
21 = What was observed matched expectations
42 = What was observed exceeded expectations
This works for tallying up someone's existing happiness based on the past. Most people strive for H=21, since we're smart enough to know that it won't be sunshine and lollipops everyday. We know that some choices will be 0, so we seek to maximize individual choices when possible to compensate and keep the average at 21 or higher as much as possible. So we have local maximization with a goal of influencing a moving average upwards.
What about predictions? If the goal is to make each choice so that it maximizes happiness, we need a way of predicting what will do so.
Choices, by their nature, are games of incomplete information. There will always be things the person making the choice does not know and which could, potentially, result in an h(i)=0 situation. The good news is that for every choice similar to ones made previously, the unknowns will tend to decrease (via experience). We also know that a person who strives for the best each time they play a game of incomplete information will trend toward the maximum value over time.
Let's take this construct and see how altering the decision structure influences it. Up to now, it's the person whose happiness is on the line making all choices that affect h(i). Let's turn that over to an external faction. Assume a 3rd party now controls the choices of another. We'll call the 3rd party's happiness G and their individual happiness measured by g(i). we'll refer to the person they make choices for as H with h(i) as the happiness result.
Note that G does not directly set the value of h(i) - what they do is make the choice and H's reaction determines h(i). The expectations, E, that determine the final happiness, h(i), are set by H, not G. G, however, controls its own g(i) expectation values.
Let's set G's goals simply: they want to make H happy. When when h(i) is 21 or higher, g(i) is 21 or higher. What happens? G will try to make choices that it predicts will result in a strong h(i) value. It will base this likely on communication with H about preferences and expectations. However, this process will be guaranteed inefficient: there will be latent variables G cannot anticipate that H could, since only H is completely aware of its own history and mind.
Still, over time, G will be able to approximate a good h(i) value, since it will learn H's preference through testing and become better capable at predicting. This will, however, take longer than H by itself. H only needs to deal with one set of unknowns - those of uncertainty involving the circumstances of the choice. G has to deal with those as well as unknowns about H's expectations.
Complicate things further: now G has to manage the choices of not one H, but 100 H's (H1...H100), all of them unique. G's happiness, g(i), is now based on the aggregate happiness of those G makes decisions for. Even assuming every H makes the same choices in the same order as the others (a simplification that does not hold in the real world), G now has to deal with not just the unknowns of the choice, but now 100 sets of unknown behavioral preference variables. Every single set has to be learned individually over time through testing, consuming more bandwidth.
Now increase this to a thousand H's. A million. More.
Economy of scale requires G to make approximations. Instead of trying to perfectly learn each H, it goes for averages. After all, its own g(i) is satisfied by the overall score. Hit a bell curve with an average at 21 and G is happy. Never mind that means 50% of the H's could very well end up with final happiness tallies of less than 21. Even if G is smart and mixes up who gets what payoffs so there isn't one subset that always gets less than 21, there will still be H's who get H<21 and some who are very near 0. This could, interestingly, lower G's own happiness to less than 21, as well.
Compare this to a model where every H makes their own calls. Without the extra layer of unknowns, each individual is able to trend toward 21 faster than with interference from G. This shorter time frame increases the likelihood of H=21 being the norm. At the very least, it should be sufficient (and there's hand waving here) to make it so the likelihood is greater than when G makes choices for H. This should also hold (more hand waving) when G only makes some choices for H.
Questions and additions for later:
1. What if G has more knowledge about choice outcomes than H? How much would they need to justify interference? And wouldn't communication be more ethical?
2. Ethical and moral constraints, such as disallowing harming or stealing from others to increase h(i).
3. Role of information sharing between H's and increasing the speed of optimizing h(i).
4. Could low levels of happiness within a subset indicate bad choice methods brought on by misinformation?
5. Tyranny. What happens when G's happiness is maximized for things other than H's well being.
6. Regrets. When h(i) is maximized locally in time, but drops in value outside of that time frame when satisfaction criteria changes with time.
There's obviously a lot more work needed to make this conclusive, but it's a start. A mathematical/game theory way to prove that central planning will always be more inefficient at making others satisfied with their lives than letting them make their own choices would be wonderful. I think this may already exist, but it's fun to create my own system.
Monday, January 30, 2017
Friday, January 27, 2017
Thursday, January 26, 2017
"You will be arrested."
"But what if they're advocating genocide?"
"That doesn't follow. I HATE them for what they're saying."
Paying homage to this bit of Guardians of the Galaxy seems appropriate.
The blood thirstiness of the Ctrl-Left is out of hand. Now's it okay to punch someone because they're a Nazi. How do you know they're a Nazi? Because you say they are.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Monday, January 23, 2017
Friday, January 20, 2017
Thursday, January 19, 2017
For example, Venezuela started having issues with food. So they blamed the bakers, seized their facilities, and having troops make bread. Result: there was soon no more bread. Then they blamed the farmers and seized the farms. Now? They've slaughtered zoo animals and have mass starvation, as there's no food. Baby formula has to be smuggled in like drugs. And still their leaders blame the producers, so that the people won't identify the true culprits: the government.
They're already entering the final stages, sadly. They've started printing larger denominations, ala Weimar, Argentina, and Zimbabwe. I spoke to a refugee from there a couple months back. She'd originally come to the US just as a college student, but now her parents were having her seek asylum so she wouldn't have to return.
It's a reminder to all of us that democratic socialism has never worked, will never work, and will always tear a nation apart every time it's implemented. Central planning fails - it's just a matter of how long a country can limp along with the mistakes before falling. It's heart breaking to see the innocent lives endangered and lost when economic laws assert themselves like gravity on a rotten tree.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Monday, January 16, 2017
I think the animators were just all, "Hey, how much MORE disturbing can we make this? Let's find out!"