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DonAithnen
13 June 2025 @ 02:21 am
This is my journal. Some posts are public, some are friends only. I'm usually quite happy to add new friends, as long as you're not one of those random people with a week old journal who's trying to accumulate a couple hundred friends for no good reason.

I do have a couple levels of filters to deal with a few topics, mainly to block out stuff that i think might be exceptionally boring or possible offensive to some people. If you're curious just ask and i'll tell you about them.

Also, i have a profile on G+ that i post to a lot. It's mostly just cross-posted stuff from here, but if you want to see it, here it is.

I also post other things on Twitter here.

I do keep _intending_ to get back into posting on LJ =/
 
 
DonAithnen
04 April 2017 @ 12:56 pm
Edit: I wrote this yesterday, not realizing that the finalists would be announced today. My speculations about who's likely to get nominated are moot, while my desire to promote people "not likely" to be nominated is even more fervent.

So here are the finalists: http://www.tor.com/2017/04/04/2017-hugo-award-finalists-announced/

Many things i voted for made it on, and many more that i voted for didn't! As you shall soon see! (/Edit)

Now that the deadline for the Hugo Award semifinals has passed and i no longer have to worry about accusations of slate voting, i'm going to share what i nominated.

Unfortunately i didn't spend as much time working on my ballot sheet as i did the past couple years, since i was on vacation a week prior to the deadline and before that was busy planning for the vacation.

However i did discover a couple online resources (a wiki and a google doc spreadsheet) people were using to compile lists of eligible works, which helped out a lot.

Best Novel
- All the Birds in the Sky; Charlie Jane Anders
- The Obelisk Gate; N. K. Jemisin
- Ghost Talkers; Mary Robinette Kowal
- Edge of Worlds; Martha Wells
- Wrath of the Great Guilds; Jack Campbell

Read more...Collapse )

Best Novella:
- Every Heart a Doorway; Seanan McGuire
- The Liar; John P Murphy
- The Dispatcher; John Scalzi

And then pretty much immediately my nominations fall off a cliff, because i mostly read novel length fiction. This was actually a relatively exceptional level of non-novel reading this year! It certainly helps if two authors i love and one author i know all come out with novellas!

(I probably _ought_ to have nominated one of Lois McMaster Bujold's new Chalion novellas, but i haven't gotten around to reading any of the 2016 ones.)

Novelette:
- The Tomato Thief; Ursula Vernon; Apex Magazine

Best Short Story:
- Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies; Brooke Bolander; Uncanny
- A Trump Christmas Carol; Roz Kaveney, Laurie Penny, John Scalzi,
and Jo Walton; Uncanny Magazine
- Ye Highlands and Ye Lowlands; Seanan McGuire; Uncanny Magazine

So i actually read a comparatively large number of short stories this year, mainly due to twitter and io9. Yes, three is a comparatively large number for me =P

(Well, i also read Ken Liu's "Paper Menagerie", and i think one other anthology? But by the time short stories come out in anthologies they're generally well past their Hugo expieration date.)

Best Related Work:
- IO9; Rob Bricken; http://io9.gizmodo.com/
- The Tingled Puppies; Chuck Tingle; http://www.therabidpuppies.com/

Again, i mostly read novels. I was originally thinking of nominating a Storify of Chuck Tingle's trolling of the Puppies from last year, but i couldn't find a good source. And then i saw "The Tingled Puppies" in the aforementioned spreadsheet. If i'd known before that Chuck Tingle managed to hijack www.therabidpuppies.com i must have forgotten about it. It's awesome, and it seems like a good alternative to the twitter trolling.

And since i was already nominating websites i threw in io9. Hey, they're responsible for some of the short story nominations above, so they probably deserve it!

Best Graphic Story:
- Oglaf; Bodil Bodilson; http://oglaf.com (NSFW)
- Homestuck; Andrew Hussie; http://www.mspaintadventures.com

That thing about mostly reading novels? That doesn't include graphic ones. So normally i have very little to nominate here. But i saw these both in the list, and i've read and liked both (though i'm not current on Oglaf and _very_ not current on Homestuck) so i figured why not? It's not clear from the category description on whether these actual qualify or not, but since i had nothing else to nominate, again, why not?

Best Dramatic Long:
- Rogue One
- Deadpool
- Kubo and the Two Strings
- The Expanse (season 1)
- Hidden Figures

Finally! Another category in which there were multiple things i could nominate!

Deadpool was silly but awesome, Rogue One and Kubo and the Two Strings were sad but awesome. The first season of The Expanse was awesome. Hidden Figures is maybe technically not SF, but still awesome :)

Best Dramatic Short:
- J.R.R. Tolkien vs. George R.R. Martin ; Epic Rap Battles of
History
- The Answer; Steven Universe
- Leviathan Wakes; The Expanse
- Salvage; The Expanse
Alcon Entertainment
- Critical Mass; The Expanse

Read more...Collapse )

Best Series:
- Raksura; Martha Wells; The Edge of Worlds
- Pillars of Reality; Jack Campbell; Wrath of the Great Guilds
- October Daye; Seanan McGuire; Once Broken Faith
- Vorkosigan Saga; Lois McMaster Bujold; Gentleman Jole and the Red
Queen
- Temeraire; Naomi Novik; League of Dragons

And finally, one of the toughest categories.

Each year the WorldCon hosts have the opportunity to add one special category to the Hugos. Sometimes those categories are a hit and go on to become regular categories, and sometimes they just fade away.

This year Helsinki is trying out "Best Series." I love the _idea_ of this category, but the result is a bit of a mess. They did their best to try to limit the number of nominees, in particular by requiring that the series have an eligible work come out within the last year, but it's still a bit of a mess. A glorious mess, but a mess.

My inner-teenager reaaaaally wanted to nominate Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series. I also considered Brand Sanderson, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, The Expanse, Marko Kloos, David Weber, "Mira Grant", Gail Carriger, Diane Duane, and the other Jack Campbell series. And probably others that i've forgotten now.

But i love the Raksura series! (Were-dragons with a matrilineal society in a well developed and very interesting fantasy world!)

And i love the Pillars of Reality books (Conceptually a bit like Pern, except with magic instead of dragons, and instead of the external threat of Thread the internal threat of the people who had the technology or magic deciding that they ought to be in charge. Also it set out a "standard" epic conflict in the plot and resolved the whole thing in just six books all released within two years!)

And i love the October Daye series (Urban Faerie Fantasy, with lots of focus on actual faerie mythology.)

And i love the Temerarie books (*cough* even though i still need to read the last one.)(Napoleonic war with aerial dragon combat.)

And finally, i love the Vorkosigan series. (*cough* especially the middle books.)(Liberal space opera/military SF/intrigue/"murder" mystery/romantic comedy) This is almost certainly the last chance for the series to get an award (the last several books hadn't been _bad_, but they've definitely been off-peak.)

So there you have it, the stuff i really think people should have read/watched/whatever over the last year!
 
 
DonAithnen
04 April 2017 @ 12:49 pm
*tap tap tap* Is this thing on?

So for those who don't follow me on twitter, yes i still exist! (For those who do follow me on twitter, sorry for spamming you with retweets!)

Since there's been a bunch of stuff going on lately that cannot be expressed adequately in 140 character chunks, i thought i might actually try reviving this thing again!

I'm not going to try and stuff everything in one post, but in short order, we went on a geeky cruise,my cat tried to kill me (probably because i was going on a geeky cruise,) I voted for a bunch of SF/Fantasy stuff for the Hugo Awards, and also a bunch of AMVs for the AMV.org Viewer's Choice awards, but it was kind of a rush job because the week before the votes were do i was going on a geeky cruise.

So no cruise is done, voting is done, and cat is (mostly) not trying to kill me, so i've got time to talk about it all!

Also, i need to digest the Russian-themed New User Agreement on LJ. Not sure entirely what i want to do/not do about it, except i think i'll finally try to make an effort to cross-post everything to DreamWidth as well as G+ =P
 
 
DonAithnen
07 November 2016 @ 01:00 pm
This CGP Grey video on the politics of power addresses it partway through (about 7:00 - 8:00).

https://youtu.be/rStL7niR7gs?t=371

This Cracked video on myths about voting hits it on the first item.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVDK0U4-YRc

TL;DW:

Politicians give rewards based on how much you can help them. This means that in Democracies they give (some) rewards to voters. (This is not a bug of Democracy, it's a feature.)

DetailsCollapse )

If young people started voting in the same numbers as old people then for the next four years both sides would find reasons to start supporting things that matter to young people the same way they support Social Security and Medicare.

Finally, here's a "reward" for making it to the end!

The Epic Rap Battle Trump vs Clinton video! (Just in case you didn't already see the link i posted on Twitter =)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kbryz0mxuMY
Tags:
 
 
DonAithnen
08 July 2016 @ 02:23 pm
We went to Anime Expo last weekend, and had a great time!

Unfortunately i don't have a _ton_ of pictures, because despite (or perhaps because of ;) a ton of help i wasn't able to find a new camera in time beforehand. (Hopefully i can post some more details about that process later.)

Details of stuffCollapse )

So aside from all that we spent a lot of time in the AMV room. We saw a lot of videos in a lot of different panels. There were a number that i intend to look up again but nothing that really blew my mind this year. The 25 Years of AMVs intro video was pretty awesome, and some of the videos in that panel were pretty great, but it was rather late at night and i started drifting off around the middle of it.

25 Years of Anime and Music | Anime Expo 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqBd3kWqw2s

Audience reaction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_PEaPgvh8g

The 2006 AMV Contest Replay had some good stuff, including one of my favorite AMVs ever (Between the Truth and the Lies), Rider4z's first convention showing (Fight For Life), and Wedding Rings. Gotta say though, looking ahead, the AX 2007 AMV Reshow is going to be EPIC! The Comedy panel was good as usual, the "Best of the Non-Finalists" was very hit or miss, also as usual. We weren't able to make it to the Rhythem panel (among many others) which makes me kind of sad. Along with comedy and "Best of the Non-Finalists" that would have been my best chance to find something new and amazing.

The best panel of the entire convention was probably the final AMV one, the "Sing, Clap, and Stomp Along" panel. Avalyn suggested they ought to do it at the beginning of the con to get everyone psyched up. Or maybe do it at the beginning _and_ the end. Or maybe the beginning and the end and in the middle. Or... :)

We did stop by the Dance at one point, but were only able to stay for about 20-30 minutes, because we needed to go get in line for an AMV room panel. (The 25 Years one i believe.)

So between a light sunburn on my arms (i did remember to wear a hat while outside,) walking all over the place, a little bit of dancing, four games of Dance Maniax, and a lot of enthusiastic singing and clapping, i was sore pretty much everywhere at the end of things, which is not at all a bad way to end a con :)

All in all though it seems like this is really just a post to say that i'm hoping to post some more stuff later =P
 
 
Current Mood: contentcontent
 
 
 
DonAithnen
25 June 2016 @ 11:05 am
Many years ago (around 2003 or 2004 i think?) i bought a new camera just before Anime Expo so i could take decent pictures. After a minimal amount of review i decided to go with the Canon PowerShot A610.

I don't know if it was the best choice or not, but it served me well for many years. Then 3-4 years ago it started having trouble moving the lens in and out. Which might have been okay if it just meant no zooming, but it also meant that when you turned the camera on it had trouble moving the lens out from compact mode. Then the LCD screen got scrambled and would only work if i flipped it out, as opposed to flipped over and folded back. (Something was wrong with the rotation mechanism, when it got to the point where it would have had to flip the image upside down it just bugged out.)

It was still usable as long as i was willing to have the LCD flipped out or just use the viewfinder, but the problem with the lens movement gradually got worse. It never quite got to the point where i couldn't get it to work at all, because before that point the batteries inside exploded. In fact the leaking acid cause some kind of reaction strong enough to break the shutter button mechanism off of the main camera body (since it's located directly above one of the batteries.)

So some people these days say that all you really need is a camera phone, and after living a couple years on that philosophy it's not working out so well. I don't need a _great_ camera (as evidenced by my previous choice) but the phone on my camera really sucks. You can see noticeable differences in quality between my unlocked T-Mobile Moto X phone and Avalyn's Verizon Moto X phone. The zoom in particular is horrible and grainy. I'd be kind of surprised if there was _that_ much difference in the camera drivers between them, so i suspect there may be some kind of defect with mine.

So my phone is sorta okay if i need to snap a quick non-zoomed photo of something to post on twitter, but not so good for capturing good photos of events i'm at. Like Anime Expo. Which happens next week.

So here i am again, considering buying a camera at the semi-last minute, and i'm wondering if anyone has any advice.

I don't really want to spend more a couple hundred on it. I generally only use the zoom and brightness settings. The old camera had a couple automatic modes (indoors, outdoors, landscape, etc) but even with those i had a tough time telling which would actually be better in what situation. So moderately priced and simple is probably best. I think i _would_ like a little better zoom though. I think the old one was limited to 8x, which wasn't that great if i was sitting in the middle or rear of a concert. And of course as previously mentioned the zoom on my camera phone is practically useless.

Based on 5-10 minutes perusal of Consume Reports i'm leaning toward either the Canon PowerShot SX710 HS ($280-300, 30x optical zoom) and the Nikon Coolpix S7000 ($200-$280, 20x optical zoom.)

So do any of the people i know who do camera stuff have any opinions about either of those, or have something better to suggest?
Tags:
 
 
DonAithnen
23 June 2016 @ 08:00 am
I've got this irrational(?) fear that if Brexit passes Trump will win in the fall.

Because if Brexit passes one of two things will happen:

1) The economy will go down. In the worst case scenario the initial seed of financial disruption from Brexit passing will trigger the China debt default chain and cause a total meltdown.

But whether it goes down a lot or little in response to which Trump will blame the Democrats for the economy sucking, which isn't fair but historically the party in office has always caught the flak for a bad economy regardless of the causes.

2) The economy will stay stable or improve.

In which case Trump will say "Hey look, Britain followed the lead of a bunch of fascist, racist, idiots [okay, probably not in those exact words] and it worked out for them, so it will work out for us too!"

Come on UK, you knew how to deal with these types under much more trying circumstances when they were living on the other side of the Channel. Don't give up just because they've become a homegrown threat! You were strong then, you can be strong now!
Tags:
 
 
Current Mood: worriedworried
 
 
DonAithnen
First:

I wrote the rest of this post down on Friday and meant to post it this week. But then i checked YouTube today and discovered that the new season of Epic Rap Battles of History just started, and the first video is George R R Martin vs J R R Tolkien. And it is awesome. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAAp_luluo0

Second:

If you remembered to come back from the video, this is my interpretation of the Middle-Earth creation mythos[1]:

Eru, to the other gods[2]: "Despite some initial unpleasantness we've got the world mostly worked out now and filled with plants and beasts[3], so we should get down to the important stuff, the sentient races. Since I'm the firstest and bestest of the gods i shall create the Elves, and they shall be the Firstborn."

Not-Quite-HistoryCollapse )

Eru: ARRAAARRRAAAGHHHHHHH!!!!!! *retroactively smites Tom Bombadil from existence

And that children is why Tom Bombadil did not appear in the Lord of the Rings movies.

1: The bit about the Dwarves and the Elves seems to be generally accurate. Information about the nature and origin of Ents is vauge, the information about the Eagles is even vaguer, and the information about Tom Bombadil is vaguest.

2: Ainu, whatever.[4]

3: "Years of the Lamps" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Arda#Years_of_the_Lamps)

4: I'm sure steuard will correct me on all the whatevers.
 
 
Current Mood: sillysilly
 
 
DonAithnen
17 April 2016 @ 11:50 am
Symptoms i have experienced over the last week and a bit:

Stiff and sore neck
Nausea and light vomiting (1 night only, maybe mild case of food poisoning?)
Sore throat (scratch)
Sore throat (unable to swallow)
Goopy throat
Stuffy nose
Goopy nose
Headache
Swollen eyelids
Pink eyes
Goopy eyes

Not all of these symptoms have been happening at the same time though, so it's hard to say which, if any, are linked by a common cause and which are entirely independent =P Do i have a single sickness? Or do i have several different co-dependently opportunistic sicknesses? I don't know! The stiff/sore neck has been the only one that's been consistent the whole time, and what started out the whole mess. It was pretty bad at first. It's gotten a lot better since then, but i still feel twinges if i turn my head too much.

The weird thing is that everything below my neck feels just fine. So i don't feel like i'm sick so much as i just have a bunch of problems with me head.

If i'm actually sick with something i wish i'd just get all of it at once, get _really_ sick, and just get it over with =P
Tags:
 
 
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
 
 
DonAithnen
01 April 2016 @ 01:07 pm
In happier news, the description claims to be an April Fools joke but the way they reworked the dialog in this video is genius :)

Rey's Jedi Training Directed By Quentin Tarantino
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4TSALVyT2g
 
 
Current Mood: sillysilly
 
 
 
DonAithnen
01 April 2016 @ 12:37 pm
So there was some kind of FF15 event and now there's more info out, and a new trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C05PC_dGjsw

So, um, yeah. Still not really interested in a very actiony looking Final Fantasy game featuring a bunch of bros going on a bro-trip in a bro-car. And no, turning Cid into bro-bait isn't really helping. (Female Cid, awesome! Female Cid in bikini and short-shorts... not so much.) The story also seems really bland. I'm not sure if they're not revealing the details that actually make it interesting right now or if those details just don't exist.

Also, the music switch at the halfway mark is... very not what i want out of a Final Fantasy game.

So this will be the very first "mainline" Final Fantasy game that i will not be eagerly anticipating on launch day since i got Final Fantasy 1.

Maybe reviews and commentary from friends will change my mind after release (_is_ anyone else planning on getting it?) or maybe this will be the first mainline Final Fantasy game that i just don't buy period.
 
 
Current Mood: disappointeddisappointed
 
 
DonAithnen
30 March 2016 @ 02:05 pm
This was originally a response to Scalzi's review of Superman vs Batman:
http://whatever.scalzi.com/2016/03/29/my-review-of-batman-v-superman-and-its-reviews

However it got long enough that i decided to repost it here.

I've seen a couple responses saying things along the lines of "You know what Zack Snyder does, so why are you surprised that he modeled Superman and Batman in that style" and the closely related "if you don't like that style then just don't watch it, why do you care so much?"

I think the problem is that Superman and Batman are very old characters with a lot of history behind them that a lot of people have known for a long time, many of them having grown up with the characters.

And those characters are completely under the control of DC. And because the movies are such a big investment DC is not going to muddy the waters by having two different Superman or Batman franchises in film at the same time. You get (very approximately) one interpretation of a superhero in film per decade. If it does well you get a couple movies in that series before a reboot. If it does poorly they _may_ reboot it early, or they may just forget about it for awhile.

Which means that if you don't like the interpretation of your favorite superhero in their latest movie you have to give up on that entire "generation". If you don't like Snyder's style then not only has he made a movie that you happen not to like, he actually has "ruined" your chances to see a Superman movie you do like for at least 5-10 years. And the more successful the movie is the more likely there will be sequels and the longer until it gets rebooted into something you might possibly like.

So not only are you unhappy with Snyder for "ruining" it, you're unhappy with the people who do like it for validating that stylistic choice, and you're unhappy with the financial success. Because all of that means that there won't be an early reboot. There will be more Snyder-esque DC movies that you don't like instead of possibly DC movies in some other style that you might like.

On the other hand no one really cares if the latest movie to reinterpret Snow White does so in a way they don't really appreciate. They may not like the movie, but they don't accuse the studio of having ruined Snow White. Because in another year or two (and in some years in just another month or two!) there will be another Snow White movie with a different interpretation.

Under any kind of sane copyright system Superman and Batman would be in the public domain by now. In such a world DC would still be making tentpole "official franchise" Superman movies, because why wouldn't they? But if you didn't like what DC was doing then some other studio would be doing their own interpretation of Superman that you might like better.

I think there might be a lot less acrimony about the whole thing in such a world.
 
 
DonAithnen
29 March 2016 @ 12:58 pm
We went to see Batman vs Superman over the weekend.

It's not good, it's not bad, it's just meh.

There are some individually good bits, there are some individually bad bits, but my overall impression was just that it was kind of dull. Also dark. Dark and dull.

If you want to see spoilery and very snarky text review, Rob Bricken has come to the rescue as usual with a Spoiler FAQ:
http://io9.gizmodo.com/batman-v-superman-spoiler-faq-of-justice-1767720335

If you want to see a spoilery but less snarky video review, there's this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE4YgpkRGtI

If you want to see a much longer spoilery review (an hour long, and i haven't actually finished it yet myself) you could check this out:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOupZ8luUwc

Here are my non-spoilery thoughts:

Good bit: The movie practically opens with Superman getting some comeuppance for inadvertently murdering thousands of people in Man of Steel.

Bad bit: It doesn't do a great job of making that comeuppance feel meaningful. After processing Rob's Spoiler FAQ, i suspect that Snyder still doesn't understand that Superman killing lots of people is bad, and therefore was unable (or possibly just unwilling) to invest it with as much emotional weight as it deserved.

Good bit: Batman was a kinda okay character.

Bad bit: But the movie _actually_ opens with yet another goddamn retelling of Batman's origin story.

Bad bit: And Batman also murders a lot of people.

Bad bit: Also, Batman either doesn't seem insane enough or seems too sane, depending on which way you want to approach things.

Good bit: Wonder Woman was awesome.

Bad bit: Except for the part where she sits down to watch a trailer for the next movie in the series.

Bad bit: Also, there are way too many dream/vision sequences in this movie.

Bad bit: There are more jump scares than i want in a movie. (Correct number for me: 0)

Bad bit: The trailers are very intentionally misleading about the nature of the movie. (Big surprise, i know.)

TL;DR: Too many plot threads that weren't explained well enough and weren't integrated well enough, too many people doing weird things for insufficiently explained reasons, and too many weird things happening with no good explanation whatsoever. And some good action bits mixed in with all the other strange, dull, confusing stuff.

I think that's about as much as i can get into without spoilers, which i will save for the next (or technically, previous) post.

Edit: Oh yes, i also think it made a bit too much use of quick cuts during action scenes and a bit too much shakey cam during non-action scenes. My tolerance for that kind of thing is pretty low though, so it may not bother most people. (Such things don't make me feel sick like some people, they just annoy me.)
 
 
Current Mood: dorkydorky
 
 
DonAithnen
29 March 2016 @ 12:54 pm
This is the spoiler post! The non-spoiler post should be right above this!

All the spoilers!Collapse )

But seriously, i am nowhere near as good at snarking as Rob Bricken, you should go read his (also spoilery) version instead:
http://io9.gizmodo.com/batman-v-superman-spoiler-faq-of-justice-1767720335
 
 
Current Mood: dorkydorky
 
 
DonAithnen
28 March 2016 @ 01:11 pm
The VCA contest wrapped up last week. If you've got an account you can see the results here. As expected, two well done videos that i personally did not appreciate from an artistic viewpoint managed to sweep up 7 awards between them. but a couple of videos i liked managed to sneak through. So how good a job did i do at influencing the outcome?

Boring video detailsCollapse )

I think it's worth reiterating, especially in this context, that just because a video wasn't my favourtie doesn't mean it was bad. The two the cleaned up at the awards were _very_ well done, i was just personally annoyed by some of the themes and source material.

But in any case, the videos i really liked went on to the finalist round in 53/120 cases, or about 44%. The videos i _voted_ for went on to the finalist round in 44/120 cases, or about 37%. The reason for the disparity is that in many categories there were more videos that i liked than slots i could nominate for. So in many cases what would have been my #6 choice or #7 choice or etc made it in.

As far as actually winning goes, videos that i really liked made it in 9/24 cases, or about 37%, and the ones i voted for won in 4/24 cases, or about 17%.

But wait! There's more! There were also the editor categories!

Boring editor detailsCollapse )

So for some reason i rocked in the editor section! I voted for 10 of the 20 nominees and 3 of the 4 winners! So 50% and 75% success rate!

Interestingly, if you eliminate the categories in which the two stellar videos won, then my "favorites got nominated" rate stays steady at about 45%, while the "voted for nominees" rate actually _drops_ to 32%. However as expected the "one of my favorites won" and "voted for the winner" values skyrocket to 53% and 23% respectively. But obviously if i had the magical power to dictate the categories and/or results then very quickly my success rate would shoot to 100% :)
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Current Mood: dorkydorky
 
 
 
DonAithnen
22 March 2016 @ 12:55 pm
My brain seems to run into the same difficulties with Stardew Valley that i do with boardgames.

I will come up with elaborate long range plans. And sometimes those plans will come off perfectly and everything will be great! Especially early on in the game when my resources were limited and therefore the range of possibilities were limited.

But other times, especially now that i have plenty of resources to work with, i will have a plan to do tasks W, X, Y, and Z during a day. And then i'll discover that there are some prerequisites for W that i forgot about and i need to do tasks Q and R first. And then i'll realize that you can't do both X and Y at the same time. And then i'll realize that in doing X i've used up some of the resources i needed for Z. And then just to make things complicated a mini-quest will pop up that adds in task G. And finally at the end of the day i'll realize that i entirely forgot about task D which i really ought to have been doing instead.

So aside from that i just made it through the first year of the game and things are going pretty well.

State of the FarmCollapse )
 
 
Current Mood: dorkydorky
 
 
DonAithnen
12 March 2016 @ 09:26 pm
I've finished watching all 196 AMVs in the AnimeMusicVideos.org VCAs. Or rather, all that are available, there were one or two that weren't downloadable.

So this year i'm going to mix things up a bit by just listing a bunch of my favorites without waiting to see which make it to the finals.

Starting with one of my favorite kinds of AMVs from this year by one of my favorite editors,

AMV List (25 items)Collapse )

And finally, the food porn!

For some reason there were _three_ food porn videos this year. Actually i suspect the reason is that the anime featured in two of them is probably newish.

But in any case they all ended up in the "Fun" category (although some of them had noms in other categories as well) and because of a coincidence in the editors names they showed up in and order where each one was more food porny than the one before it.

And, uh, i'm using the term "food porn" very literally in this case. The first video is just fine, but after that, i would probably not watch them at work if i were you.

Food PornCollapse )

And that's it for my favorites! Well, probably. Given there were 195ish videos to sort through it's entirely possible i managed to miss one or more, even with my giant spreadsheet of doom, so there might or might not be an addendum later.
 
 
Current Mood: tiredtired
 
 
DonAithnen
11 March 2016 @ 11:29 am
So i _was_ playing the new Master of Orion early access for awhile. (After 3/4ths of a game plus watching some Let's Plays, my impression is exactly what i expected. It's a well done Master of Orion 2 reboot that's vaguely disappointing to me as a Master of Orion 1 fan.)

But then i got distracted by Stardew Valley, which i'm blaming entirely on stormfeather ;)

Okay, to be fair i'm sure i'd have heard about it pretty soon anyways, given that it's up to almost half a million sales in the first two weeks (http://www.pcgamer.com/stardew-valley-sales/) which is pretty damn good for an indie title!

Anyways, i haven't played a _lot_ of it yet since as previously mentioned i've also been chugging through the AMV.org VCAs. I'm currently at about 7 hours of playtime and only 3/4ths of the way through the first month/season. (At least some of that playtime was the game being paused while i dug around in wiki pages and such =)

However at a $15 price tag i think i would say i've already gotten my money's worth out of it, even if it inexplicably tanks when i get to the next season :)

Obviously it's very much like Harvest Moon. It's also giving me a bit of a Recettear vibe, probably because of the dungeon delving in the Mine and having to juggle time between maintaining your base of operations vs doing more of that dungeon delving. However i admittedly haven't played a lot of the Harvest Moon games so maybe some of them had a dungeon element as well and i'm just not aware of it.

I definitely haven't been playing in a very optimal manner. I almost certainly should be keeping more crops in rotation. I definitely should have opened up the extra section of the beach earlier. Instead of buying the backpack expansion first i probably should have saved the money for strawberry seeds at the Egg Hunt Festival. On the plus side though i did encounter the warning that the chicken coop is an unnecessary money sink early in the game before buying it.

I also wish i'd checked ahead of time and found out that same-sex marriages are allowed in the game. If so i'd probably have made a female avatar. (I also kind of wish there was a dateable girl who was gothy _and_ geeky, but i've already got Avalyn in real life so i guess i can't complain too much ;)

In any case i'm sure i'll be playing more of this, especially after the VCA semifinals round wraps up. I'll probably get back to Master of Orion 4 at some point too, but who knows when that will be.
 
 
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DonAithnen
11 March 2016 @ 09:18 am
For some strange reason i've been thinking about politics lately =P Which has gotten me thinking about election systems again. (Have i posted about this before? If so, too bad for you!)

If you're not already familiar with the problems with "First Past the Post" voting systems (aka what we do in the US all the time) i strongly suggest checking out CGP Grey's video series on voting systems, starting with the aptly named "The Problems with First Past the Post Voting Explained": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7tWHJfhiyo

I think anyone who really cares about the issue agrees that anything would be better than first past the post, but past that the merits of the different systems vary. So here's a system that seems pretty good to me. It would only be applicable to the House of Representatives, but would do an excellent job in that arena.

This method would really only work for the House of Representatives, but i think it would work admirably for that purpose.

(And i suppose i should insert a disclaimer here, none of this is particularly original. It's just me piecing together bits of ideas that others have come up with into the structure that seems most appealing to me.)

Blah blah blahCollapse )

Realistically speaking though, i'd be pretty darn happy if we could just get STV implemented for our current election system. (Not that that's likely to happen either =P)
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DonAithnen
04 March 2016 @ 08:46 am
So this came out last friday, just barely too late to make it into last week's post about Final Fantasy stuff

Top 10 Video Game Theme Covers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogX8Ygecxuc

Speaking of video game covers though, have i mentioned before that Extra Credits, one of my favorite educational YouTube channels, has a series on remix artists? Sadly there are only about a dozen episodes and they haven't made any more in awhile, but the ones they do have are good.

Extra Remix: All Episodes
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhyKYa0YJ_5DXcFVYYJLcNuNQ0ISa7rPQ

And speaking of educational channels, both "Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell" CGP Grey came out with new videos recently.

Kurzgesagt did "Why The War on Drugs Is a Huge Failure"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJUXLqNHCaI

And CGP Grey has "Zebra vs Horses (Americapox Part 2)"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOmjnioNulo

Which is obviously a follow-up to "Americapox: The Missing Plague"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEYh5WACqEk

Hmm, we're gone from video game music, to the drug war and mass incarceration, to genocide. Very "fun" stuff =P

Maybe we should see what i've linked to on twitter recently instead?

"Chris Christie’s wordless screaming"
https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/wp/2016/03/02/chris-christies-wordless-screaming/

Well that's funny, though still kind of depressing, what else?

"The rise of American authoritarianism"
http://www.vox.com/2016/3/1/11127424/trump-authoritarianism

...not helping!

Well as long as we're talking about Trump anyways, i'm sure most people have seen this already, but:

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Donald Trump (HBO)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnpO_RTSNmQ

I'm not sure how i feel about trying to defuse Trump by referring to him by a name that sounds a bit silly, but the video is certainly funny at least. (And contained a couple tidbits about Trump's suckitude that i didn't know before.)

Ok, to try and end things an an upbeat note, and get back to the theme of music, how about a new Doubleclicks song about Star Wars?

PROTOCOL (C-3Po's Lament) - The Doubleclicks
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5xSvXJdt9k

...well okay, it is a Lament, but compared to some of the previous stuff it's positively cheery!
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