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61  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: July 09, 2016, 08:44:06 PM
Finished Charlotte's Web today, so I feel refreshed enough to go back to Stormlight Archive.  

I'm glad I read that classic again.  I remember in 1st grade or so, the teacher would take time out every day to read it to us... but because (unbeknownst to me) I had ADD, I would drift off my mind wandering, not pay attention (even though I sat still like a well behaved kid), I didn't remember much of it.  I loved to read and could immerse myself in a book for hours, but I had to be actively involved in the reading process and not just a passive listener.  If I had my own copy of the book to follow along with (like with a book on tape) or was reading it on my own, I would have been much more engaged.  

There was one scene I preferred in the 1973 animated movie than in the book, though.  And that is
when Fern goes off with Henry Fussy at the fair.  I liked in the movie how Fern wanted to stay with Wilbur till he got settled in, then Henry came to visit the stall and hit on Fern.  When they left, Charlotte had a chat with a jealous Wilbur about Fern growing up and showing an interest in boys.  In the book, as soon as Fern got to the fair, she ran off (all taken by the sights and sounds), forgot all about Wilbur and, ironically, it was Fern's rambunctious older brother Avery (of all people) who helped Lurvy and the Zuckermans tend to the pig.  Perhaps that was meant to show that Fern was growing up and growing out of those "childish things" her mom worried about, and to also show that Avery was maturing as well and showing a sense of responsibility that a good, stout-hearted man should develop.

Another thing I like about this book is that the "antagonistic" characters are never truly antagonists.  They're just honest portrayals of regular folk just being themselves.  Sure, the crux of the story is that
Zuckerman wants to kill Wilbur for food, but he's not an evil man.  He's simply a livestock farmer who merely does what livestock farmers do.  Someone had to kill a pig to make the bacon you so enjoy eating, right?  Gotta kill it before you grill it, right?  And I mentioned Avery before.  Yeah he does troublesome boy stuff like play with toy guns, dig for worms in the dirt, catch frogs in the mud, collect bugs (he unsuccessfully tried to capture Charlotte), but he's not a mean-spirited kid.  Just a typical 1950s country boy, who eventually shows maturity toward the end.  And of course Templeton.  He's a rat who's completely self-serving but, again, he's not malicious or anything.  He doesn't deliberately try to cause harm and really doesn't cause any harm at all.  He's quite helpful actually, and more of an anti-hero than anything else.  He's simply a rat behaving the way that rats do.
62  Media / General Games / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic on: July 09, 2016, 07:21:42 PM
Okay okay, but "Ridiculous Boobie Ninjas" has a nice ring to it.  Like, it's a title that would get attention. 

From the makers of Ridiculous Boobie Ninjas comes... Valkyrie Vixens: Double Your Pleasure
63  Media / General Games / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic on: July 09, 2016, 02:59:35 PM
Speaking of round, bouncy, pink things....


Kinda inevitable I suppose.

Thanks to someone on the forums, I've taken to referring to Senren Kagura Burst as "Ridiculous Boobie Ninjas."  Now this sounds like "Ridiculous Boobie Ninjas- Double Stuffed."

I'll admit, my inner 12 year-old would play a game called Ridiculous Boobie Ninjas.
64  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Random and Amazing Pictures, Please! on: July 09, 2016, 02:47:59 PM

lack of dinosaurs fitted with laser cannons is a glaring hole within modern rpging

Reminds me of Calvin & Hobbes: http://i.imgur.com/e2y1cUj.jpg?1 (Tyranosaurs in F-14s!)

Hey waitaminute Jawsh... that image you posted looks familiar.  I think there was a cartoon about people arming dinosaurs back when I was a kid *quick Google search* Dino-Riders it was called.  Yeah!
65  Media / The Soundroom / Re: Random VGM on: July 09, 2016, 02:24:17 PM
An entire thread could be done on favorite MegaMan music and I'm sure several of these have been posted already, but here are some of my favorite MegaMan pieces of music.  

In no particular order:

-TopMan's stage theme from MegaMan 3 (dat into, plus it's a really complex piece with cool breakdowns): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JkNQDS-nec

-AirMan's stage theme from MegaMan 2 (somehow it just sticks with you): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhK4D3ytYMc

-CrashMan's stage theme from MegaMan 2 (the bridge at 1:04 is my favorite part): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOIjzmMZi_s

-WoodMan's stage theme from MegaMan 2 (and I love its use as a sample in the MegaRan song "Grow Up"): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvAAOmoEftg

-DiveMan's stage theme from MegaMan 4 (this sounds like you have to haul ass and get this underwater mission done or you'll run out of oxygen and drown!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5oXCTDeHFE

-BubbleMan's stage theme from MegaMan 2 (it's so... buoyant.): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEULEvmq7yE

-ElecMan's stage theme from MegaMan (dat intro!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwjUMTF4p5k  
66  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Anyone watchin' the Wimbledons? on: July 09, 2016, 11:59:56 AM
Well, Serena defeated Kerber in straight sets.  Kerber fought well the first set, but ran out of gas the second set.  And while the Murray-Raonic match is pretty much Murray's to lose, I hope Raonic pushes him hard, gives him a good fight.

And Froomie pulled a very risky move in le Tour, and it paid off.  Nairo Quintana needs to step it up and be more aggressive, especially in these mountain stages where he's at his best.  And the drama within Team Tinkoff is quite soap opera, what with Roman Kreuziger out-douching Alberto Contador and being a selfish saboteur.  Serves Contador right, since he's been a selfish rider and not a team player.
67  Media / General Games / Re: Pokemon Go on: July 09, 2016, 07:05:10 AM
It's fun, but still has fledgling issues, like crashes, freezes, getting bumped off, login issues, because mobile Internet can be spotty.  However, that's stuff any new venture like this faces.  "So not the drama" to quote Kim Possible. 

One of my friends found an egg but apparently he has to walk 5K to hatch it.  

The game works on an iPad, but I feel like it's more conducive to phones... And my phone upgrade hasn't come in yet so I'm gonna wait before downloading it to my phone.  And, yes, my avatar is female with a dark complexion and the yellow-black-purple outfits.

We on staff are plotting a Pokemon GO feature, so stay tuned for that.
68  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: July 08, 2016, 04:46:46 PM
Somewhat inspired by The Magicians to find a solid, yet quick reading, book set in a magical type school, I went on a little bit of a "sample spree" in the Kindle store.  Even found two entire books (ones whose audiobook versions I had unsuccessfully auditioned for) for free.  

H.I.V.E.: Higher Institute of Villainous Education by Mark Walden- The premise is that the worst of the worst youths are secretly gathered up and trained to become villains.  Where normal society finds their talents and attitudes distasteful, the H.I.V.E. nurtures that.  The characters didn't seem to have all that much personality in the sample, but I could totally see this becoming a hit TV series, where you really do root for the villain/anti-hero... Who hopefully gains a personality.

Hex Hall (Book One) by Rachel Hawkins- The first chapter was complete and utter tripe, but the second chapter was much better.  Basically, it's about a surly half-witch girl who's been through 19 regular schools trying to fit in, but somehow winds up in situations where her witchy powers are exposed.  She uses her powers to try and help downtrodden students, but it always backfires.  So after one incident too many, she's shipped off to a secret school for witches, shapeshifters, fae, etc. to learn how to manage her powers.  It's a total retread of everything that's been done before, but a competently written retread.  

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson- Sanderson is one of my favorite authors, but his works can be hit or miss for me.  The Rithmatist was well-written, but it just didn't grip me.  Like protagonist Joel's friend Michael, I didn't see the excitement in battles that basically boil down to animated sidewalk chalk drawings.

Lexicon: A Novel by Max Barry- The disorienting writing style was impossible for me to get a bead on and I was left wondering what the hell was going on?  Nothing made sense.  I assume everything makes sense later on, but the convoluted writing style was just really off-putting.  

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani- The premise for this one is really stupid, but I found myself enjoying it, surprisingly.  It revels in its preposterous-ness and even though some things didn't make logical sense, I was willing to suspend my disbelief.  The writing was engaging and I liked the characters, even though they were archetypical.  Anyway, the premise is that there is this village in the woods (that looks like any "village in the woods" that fairy tales begin in) and every so often, the "School Master" kidnaps two children past age 12 to go to the title school- a good child goes to the Good school to become a hero, prince, princess, etc. in a fairy tale and a bad child goes to the Evil school to become a villain, a wicked witch, etc. in a fairy tale.  These kidnapped children end up in the fairy tale worlds as books that get sold at the village bookstore for kids to read.  Anyway, the twist is that there is a mix up and the "good" girl gets enrolled in "evil" school and the "evil" girl gets enrolled in "good" school.  It's slated to be made into a movie, and I see it being a fun, if vapid, popcorn movie.  

This piece of dialogue made this silly read worthwhile for me:
Sophie: "Agatha, you dressed as a bride for Halloween."
Agatha: "Weddings are scary."

The two books I auditioned for (and didn't get) but was able to get free are...

Foxworth Academy: Freshman Year by Chris Blewitt- A normal kid from Delaware gets a scholarship to a super elite private school where the most coveted history professor actually takes his students on time travel adventures.  The story and characters are nothing special, but the book is easy enough to read with minimal strain.  Still, I'd pass since it lacks personality.  

Guardians Inc.: The Cypher by Julian Rosado-Machain- I haven't started it yet, but the excerpt I read for my audition (a bunch of elite humans and supernatural beings were being evaluated on their fighting prowess at what seemed to be some kind of secret academy) was engaging enough to interest me in the book, so it's a good freebie.  I feel like this is something up my alley.  After all, I did like the characters I met in my audition excerpt.  Hopefully this one turns out to be a winner.

69  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Anyone watchin' the Wimbledons? on: July 08, 2016, 11:47:39 AM
That was a well fought match, but Raonic had more in the gas tank.  We'll see how Berdych fares against Murray.

And in the Tour de France, the news today is that the 1KM checkpoint marker balloon crashed down on the race and bottlenecked the peloton.
70  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 08, 2016, 07:50:46 AM
More dead police officers in the news.  Man this sucks.  Yeah, the stuff that went down in Louisiana and Minnesota is straight fucked up but the Dallas police who got killed was innocent bloodshed.  It's like kicking the dog because your boss yelled at you.  Collateral damage sucks.  

You know, I never got behind that that whole "anti-cop" sentiment.   I know I used to play in rock bands and several members of their subcultures are all "growl growl growl, I hate cops, fuck you lightbar!" but that always bugged me because I'm cool with the police and they're usually pretty cool with me.  Even at work, the coworkers and substitutes I got along best with were ex-police officers.  

As an Indian guy, a "brown" guy whom guys like Donald Trump would snap-judgment racially profile as a national threat, I should be the most scared, paranoid, and hateful of police right?  Nope.  Quite the opposite.  I like and respect the police.  In the 38 years I've been alive, I've always found the police respectful, willing to help, pillars of the community, etc.  And if ever I had a negative interaction with an officer, it was ALWAYS because *I* was doing something wrong.  And even then, because I interacted with them in a positive manner, I usually got off easy.  The police aren't out to get me or ruin my day.  One of the sponsors for my cycling club is one of the local police departments and it's important for us in the cycling community that we have positive and open communication with police.  They've been nothing but helpful whenever I'm on my bicycle (be it in a group or by myself) and during event rides I made sure to thank every officer I saw.  

I get where the whole "anti-cop" sentiment  comes from, but is it fair to judge many by the actions of a few?  Police officers are human too and make human mistakes.  And, yes, there are some ogre officers out there who try to pull rank on you, but couldn't you say the same for any profession?  Think about when you were in school- does the one bad teacher you had tarnish your opinion of all the good teachers who supported you and believed in you?  No. 
71  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: July 08, 2016, 07:21:14 AM
Given the complicated chain of command, I wonder... could someone in a Human Resources department help?  Is there any legal action Klutz could take at this point?  The paranoid conspiracy theorist in me is screaming "the company probably made the chain of command all twissy tailed to prevent legal recourse" but I should know better than to let that guy dominate my thinking.  Is there any sort of retail workers' union?  If so, maybe they have answers?  Do other coworkers of yours have the same problems with this guy?  If so, maybe you and them could go as a group/team to get representation or go into HR as a group because if several people complain, someone will listen?  I don't know.  I'm probably talking nonsense and asking stupid questions, but there has to be some resource out there that he can turn to.  
72  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Anyone watchin' the Wimbledons? on: July 07, 2016, 07:01:35 PM
And how about Kei Nishikori?  He was touted as the next big rising star, but he's been a letdown lately.  Apparently, he's injury prone and not as good as his contemporaries at playing through his injuries. 
73  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 07, 2016, 06:40:05 PM
Clinton and Trump are bad, but Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party's Dr. Jill Stein both have appealing platforms.  Heck, of all the candidates, Stein has my favorite stance on education.  

I hope an alternative party does well enough to at least stimulate the conversation that there is more than just Coke and Pepsi.  

And Mesh has a good point. Many host places, post-Olympics, end up in rough shape.  And readying a host city for the games basically means hell for any locals living in the area, especially in terms of displacement, rushed infrastructure urban planning, etc.  This ties into Jawsh's point about human rights violations concerning residents in Rio's favelas because of the Olympics taking a dump on current infrastructure (like usual.)  I probably could have boycotted Beijing's Olympics since China is quite the leader in human rights violations, and I'm sure the Olympics screwed people over worse than usual.

My dad attended the LA Olympics in 1984 and he said the city primarily used facilities that were already in the area, but they pro sports arenas, college campus arenas, etc. rather than building all new.
74  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: July 07, 2016, 04:09:57 PM
Wasn't The Rescuers based on a book?  I vaguely remember reading that book in elementary school and finding it rather boring.  

Now, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (also a book with mouse characters) was a good book.  The animated movie (Secret of NIMH) was good too, even though it deviated a lot from the book. 
75  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: July 07, 2016, 04:02:41 PM
Given how dense Words of Radiance has been and how its density has made me even entertain the notion of calling the series quits (even though it is stupendous), I decided I needed a palate cleanser read to reinvigorate me.  

So my palate cleanser read right now is Charlotte's Web.  Books like it, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator work as palate cleanser books for me.  I know some folks use a trashy "beach read" as a palate cleanser, but I can't do that.  I want a palate cleanser with some substance.  

In Charlotte's Web, I just finished the chapter where Wilbur tries to escape from the farm early on.  This was never in the 1973 animated movie, but I think it's an important scene in Wilbur's character development.  

Oh, and because I heard about some SyFy series called The Magicians that is based on a book series, I decided to get sample of the first book for my Kindle.  The premise seems sound- a more "grown up" Harry Potter where instead of real-world kids being whisked off to a magical school at age 10, real world teens are whisked off to a magical university at age 18.  And apparently, it also has some Narnia type elements.  Anyway, I figured "ehhh, why not" and read the free sample.  

The sample was terrible.  

For starters, the book initially takes place in Brooklyn NY, yet the three teenage characters spoke very stiffly, overly formally, and very "English."  Like, there was no Brooklyn swagger in any of their speech.  I get that these were the most elite students in the gifted/talented program, but I'd expect they would still talk/interact like city-dwelling teenagers.  The awkward kid was too restrained (clearly not from Brooklyn), the confident kid wasn't cocky enough (clearly not from Brooklyn), and the girl (who the awkward kid crushes on) had no personality (again, clearly not from Brooklyn.)  I also felt that the author's narrative style, his sentence structure and his word choice, was too English.  There as nothing American about it, and when a book is set in America it needs to "feel" American.  Apparently the author (Lev Grossman) is American and from Brooklyn, so I don't know if he's trying to be sardonic and parodical in his work (like typical British dry-wit humor), but it comes off as just asinine.  At least British humor has a little "wink wink" but with this, I can't tell if it's meant to be parody or meant to be taken seriously.  It doesn't even give me the satisfaction of laughing AT it rather than WITH it and just comes off as insipid and amateurish writing.  

That being said, I would like to revisit a fantasy/magical school setting.  The Magicians seemed like it would be a good fit for me, especially since it's a college setting with older characters in more adult situations, but I can't get over the dreck writing. 
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