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Dec. 2nd, 2016

Limerick equation

Found this on the Daystrom reddit (a Star Trek reddit). A limerick that's also a math equation. Kinda neat.



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Nov. 18th, 2016

Food for thought

Was directed to this article from reddit and found it an interesting read. But, I don't think I agree with all of it.

The thing is, the article comes into the argument from the POV that the original political beliefs that STTOS was created with must be the objectively correct one against which all subsequent movies, spinoffs, and reboots are measured against. But I don't think that's true, either in terms of real life or in-universe.

Meta-texually, times change, and the prevailing political view, and what is considered objectively "right" changes as well. For a drastic example, just go back a century or a millennia back in time to anywhere on the planet and compare the accepted common morality against modern day mores.

More relevantly, TOS reflected the ideals of a generation who was still coming off the victory of WWII and still confident in the superiority of the USA/capitalism/democracy versus the USSR/communism. In contrast, TNG came after the post-Vietnam and counter-culture disillusionment with those same values. DS9 dabbled even more deeply into realpolitik and modern cynicism (thank god it didn't go full grimdark like so many other franchises did). And Voyager... ok I have no idea what Voyager was supposed to be.

The thing is, is any one of those POVs more "correct" than the other? TOS Kirk's "liberty or death" attitude is a strong sentiment certainly, but where does it cross the line between humanism and manifest destiny? Is it really an "universal truth" outside of US political rhetoric? And, looking at the modern world and where it's headed... will it still be an "universal ideal" decades into the future?

Still, it would be nice to see the question itself explored in-story, somewhere. That's probably not happening in the reboot movies though. Maybe the upcoming Discovery series. Eh. Maybe.

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Nov. 9th, 2016

WTF America?

Ngh.

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Nov. 5th, 2016

Star Trek Beyond review

No I didn't watch this in the theater. And for once I didn't bootleg it either. =P I watched it for $3.99 on Google Movies. After, of course, having already thoroughly spoiled myself on the plot already, so I already knew going in that it was supposed to be more like a normal TOS episode than the previous two.

And, y'know, I actually kinda liked it, as a Star Trek AU. And considering how much fanfic I read, I don't have anything against AUs in an of itself.

Read more... )

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Nov. 4th, 2016

Vulcans <3

Ahahaha... after reading so much xenophobic comments whenever non-human species come up, I thought this was cute.

I mean, watching Journey to Babel, my impression is that Amanda wasn't exactly suffering in her inter-species marriage. I didn't even get the sense that she was all that bothered by the strain between her husband and son other than in a sort of tolerantly exasperated kinda way.

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Oct. 27th, 2016

Fandom is awesome

Because of posts like this.

Warning: 20,000 words of mental gymnastics that actually makes a creditable case for the STXI reboot and the mainstream Trek shows/movies to actually occur in the same universe. Destruction of Vulcan and all. I am impressed.

Summary )

TL;DR: Future!Spock lied, Past!Spock tried, Future!Kirk survived, and Romulus died.

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Trek hot topics

I guess one thing that I'll give for the reboot Trek films is that they've inspired a new generation of fans into the general franchise. I'm seeing a fairly large demographic range on various reddit threads and so forth, which is cool...even if sometimes rage-inducing.


Take this thread on reddit speculating on how the major races in ST would view homosexuality. My god, the number of people who immediately jump to "Vulcan's wouldn't approve because having sex without making babies is not logical" makes me want to *stab* something.

In case anyone cares, I personally feel most Vulcans wouldn't care, in the way that they're already closeted heterosexuals who mentally treat the whole topic of sex as anathema and taboo, so any closeted or non-closeted homosexuals wouldn't even stand out next to that. I feel that they also wouldn't "logically" equate sex with reproduction, since their biology is literally screw or die. If someone screws another person of the same gender or alien or whatever for the purpose of *not dying*, why wouldn't that be "logical"?

As for reproduction, I feel that modern Vulcans would prefer to do family planning "logically" outside of pon farr, which means they can essentially have babies by mail if they feel like it, and the whole thing can be "logically" divorced from the mentally taboo subject of pon farr, not to mention optimized for scenarios such as race-rebuilding in the reboot universe, or general population planning in the prime universe.


Another topic that comes up a lot is the Prime Directive. Generally, a lot of people are critical of Starfleet's non-interference code. Granted, there are also a lot of controversial (and sometimes baffling) on-screen depictions of the PD, such as why it even applied to the Klingon Civil War during TNG given the Klingons were a empire of technological parity to the UFP.

But IMO the core idea of it was based on the anti-colonial sentiments that followed WWII, and the stricter interpretations of it in TNG onwards was influenced by Vietnam. The "White Man's Burden" is an incredibly tempting slippery slope, and it's quite visible from how much that is evident in the criticisms against the PD.

I think it also helps that for me, I've also seen the POV of the recipient of such "well-intentioned intervention", which characterized China in the 19th and 20th centuries. I've read many alt-history fics by probably-Caucasian authors covering those time frames, and inevitably when they get to China, it's "and now our uber-wanked alt-UK/USA/Russia/Germany/etc. will now civilize the corrupt/powerless court or lawless/savage warlords of China by reprising the Alliance of 8, seizing more concession areas to civilize modernize..." ...And then I want to stab someone, again.

*long breath* Back to Star Trek. Occasionally, though, there are well written posts that don't immediately get my hackles up on behalf of intervention. This one is a very relevant modern day example.

In my honest opinion, I am actually fine with the stricter Prime Directive as it's shown in TNG (and as it applies to primitive societies, not advanced ones!)...as a Starfleet directive. (I'm less impressed with some of the rhetoric that the various characters use when discussing it, whether for or against breaking it for any specific episode case.)

I think that the formal "rule" should be "don't intervene". HOWEVER! It should still be within the prerogative of the individual captain to break that rule if the captain felt an exception should be made. HOWEVER! The captain should also be fully aware of the fact that they will then have to justify any intervention before a court martial panel. If they are indeed justified in their intervention, they will have to prove it.

This will allow there to be an form of automatic legal protection of less advanced planets from potential well-intentioned colonialism. It will also allow exceptions to be made in exceptional cases such as when the alternative to intervention is extinction. Further, it will give captains who are tempted by "White Man's Burden" an extra impetus to pause and really think before they act.

If they still feel it's a cause they are willing to potentially sacrifice their career for... well, that means they would have done it anyways PD or no. And this system would give Starfleet a way to quickly weed out captains who are wrong about their intervention, while retaining those who are able to make a valid case. In other words, the person choosing to intervene should bear the full burden of consequence for that intervention.

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Oct. 21st, 2016

Traumatic Childhood trope

"Star Trek is one of those happy, clean, bright futures which means there is a high ratio of adults to children in adult bodies."

Came across this comment - actually an author's response to a comment on a fic - and the sentiment kinda just struck me. It does seem to be one of the aspects of my dissatisfaction with the reboot Star Trek film - the playing up of angsty manchild trauma as the main fill-in for character interaction.

And, even looking beyond just the Trek franchise, it's a little pervasive in Hollywood films as a whole, isn't it? I mean, the reboot Superman and Batman are all about revisiting their childhood traumas over and over again in every film and reboot. Perhaps this is also the reason why Iron Man is not my favorite MCU film/character.

I think it says a bit about my personal tastes...

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Oct. 13th, 2016

Star Trek fanon, canon, headcanon

So I've been reading more TOS fics. Including the reboot Trek stuff since beggars can't be choosers. Been noticing a lot of fanon poppping up that didn't make sense in context of the new series. Then I went back and looked over some episode transcripts of TOS and lo and behold, it wasn't really canon there either.

Read more... )

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Oct. 10th, 2016

If Twilight Zone did Star Trek...

Source

Comment 1: "My personal and admittedly macabre theory is that human transporter chiefs exist primarily because the transporter is fully capable of reconstituting a subject from new base matter when the pattern of a subject has been recieved, but the matter stream is completely or partially lost.
When this occurs, no record is kept, and the computer isn't called upon to note the action in any way. The chief makes the call, which is too morally complex to be left to a computer, and he/she adds new matter to the stream.
Everyone prefers not knowing. There's nothing to be gained from knowing.
Only the transporter chief knows that the person stepping off the transporter pad isn't actually the same person who left on the away mission. Part of his/her duty is to never speak of it to anyone."

Comment 2: "Explains O'Brien's PTSD. Among many other reasons."

XD

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Oct. 5th, 2016

Get your MilSciFi out of my Trek plz

Been going back over the Star Trek fandom lately, reading some fanfics and playing STO (trying to get my shiny Vulcan D'kyr decked out for a spin). It's pretty obvious to see the influences of the nuTrek franchise and other more recent military-oriented sci fi shows in the fandom. A couple of things always starts to pop up in discussions and I'm getting a little tired of them.

1. Carriers and fighters.

The influence from the newer Battlestar Galactica series is obvious. Also evident are the fans of modern carrier doctrine. Now, I'm not going to argue what makes sense in terms of military doctrine or 'realism', since any writer can twist the universe to suit the argument either way. Instead, I'm going to argue based on the kind of story telling for why this is a bad idea.

What do we get when we have carrier/fighter based ships? Ace jockey characters along the line of Top Gun, Starbuck...or Tom Paris. You get a bunch of stories where there will be a reason for your starship and the majority of your characters/crew to not be able to be on-scene while the ace fighter makes his daring run on the death star. Again and again and... yeah.

I watch Star Trek for the exploration and the culture clash/meeting of minds between the cast and the rubber aliens of the week. Even DS9, it was more fun when the story was about political machinations and social commentary of how far a moral person/society can sink to when the situation gets desperate. If I want to read/watch about the pluck of the typical anti-authoritarian maverick (and I don't), it's not going to be in my Trek.


2. Bigger/more is better.

You see this a lot with the nuTrek Enterprise, now with like 10x the size of the TOS Enterprise and 20x the guns. I have to wonder how much of this is due to fanboys and production crew waving their epeens at each other and trying to throw better numbers out for the next Star Trek vs Star Wars debate. Or I'm giving them too much credit even for that, and it's just about how much CGI they can throw onto the silver screen.

And:

3. Militarization, militarization, militarization; no peaceniks allowed.

I see all these forum posts going on and on about how the TNG era was a bunch of hippies went 'Peace at any Price', and that if the TNG Federation had been better armed and militarized, they wouldn't have had the hard time they did with the Borg, the Dominion, etc. I have to wonder if this is a generation disconnect between the generation that came out of WWII and was still feeling the stings of Vietnam, versus the current post-911 generation who're feeling the pressure of the USA's sole superpower status slipping away.

The thing is, it doesn't matter how over-militarized or well-armed the Federation or its ships are on paper. From a story telling perspective (and this applies to both canon and any well written fanfic), their enemy is always going to be bigger and better if there is actually going to be suspense. At no point were they ever going to "fare better" against the Borg or the Dominion or the alien enemy of the week, or those stories would suck!

Also, the 'moar dakka' adherents are missing the whole point to those stories. None of them were about resolving conflict through force. The Borg were defeated in TNG by lateral thinking (TBOBW) and via the theme of individuality versus blind conformity (I Borg, Descent). The Dominion were defeated by cowboy diplomacy (wormhole aliens), normal messy diplomacy (Klingon alliance), moral sacrifice (Romulan alliance), and a stumble on the slippery slope (Section 31). As in the real world, unilateral militarism is not the answer, and shouldn't be the answer.

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Sep. 13th, 2016

Windows 10

Finally got a PC refresh at work. My new laptop is running Win 10. So far the only problems I've had were some issues with sound (found the setting to fix it), and desktop icon positions resetting on restart (not sure if fixed...). The navigation for the most part are similar enough to Win 7 to be fairly painless.

We'll see how it goes.

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Sep. 10th, 2016

Throws confetti

Just passed the first of 3 exams for the CCNP certification. Score was 790/1000, exactly at the pass threshold. XD

Funnily enough, I had no problems with the actual routing stuff (RIP, EIGRP, OSPF, BGP, etc.). It's the other stuff that stumped me. Like, what is even PPPoE and TACACS/RADIUS to do with ip routing? Meh.

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Aug. 9th, 2016

Ancient Chinese

This is pretty neat. I didn't know ancient chinese had so many rolling R's.



Y'know...usually in time travel or crossover fics to settings in ancient eras never consider the dialect barrier. Of course it's so you don't want to bog down the plot. But still...

Other awesomeness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdO3IP0Pro8

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Jul. 26th, 2016

GW2 patch update

Great QOL additions:
- Salvage-all options
- Recipe unlocks are account wide (YESSSS!! I don't have to keep a spreadsheet of who has what insignia/inscription unlocks anymore!)
- Search box for material storage
- Facepalm emote

Otherwise, the new hairstyles are all kinda meh aside from maybe the asura double-braid one.

Skill balance update...
- Rangers got the pet name system fixed!! ZOMG! Some pet buffs and utility buffs here and there. No major nerfs which is nice.
- Eles got nerfs across the board, looks like; though how much of it only impacts optimal build/rotation versus casual play I can't tell yet.
- Mesmer got tiny buffs to utilities and phantasms here and there
- Engi got some buffs and some nerfs, mostly to scrapper it looks like; not many of the changes affect my usual build though.
- Revenant was de-bugged, lol; seems to be a net buff though.
- Guardian got buffs on melee and utility skills, but a slight nerf to scepter range.
- Thief seems to have gotten a buff on condi builds, and a slight nerf to staff which is boo.

Did LS3 start? I can't tell...

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May. 29th, 2016

Finally Saw CA:CW Yesterday...

Yes it's good. It didn't disappoint even though I had fully spoiled myself on the plot before walking into the theater. (Aside: And a nice theater it was too; a new AMC at the New Park Mall which had large leather couches for seats, with an electronic foot rest. Nice.)

Read more... )

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May. 16th, 2016

The Sokovia Accords

I still couldn't find anything online about the actual contents of the Accords aside from that one page which appeared in the trailers. I suppose it's a good idea not to show it so that movie watches wouldn't nitpick the thing to death instead of enjoying the movie itself, but still, that prevents me from nitpicking the thing to death. =P

Also, it seems that even internally, Marvel isn't very consistent about what the Accords do. Pretty sure movie canon takes precedence over TV canon though.

Anyway, I found this article online which pretty much explains a lot of my feelings about what we do know of the Accords, better than I can. Of course, this would be in a realistic USA in a realistic universe...so of course that wouldn't include the MCU. -_-!

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Apr. 27th, 2016

Finished Wings of Dwayna

In the end I wound up spending about 100g total on making this. The majority of the cost came from the T6 leather for making the Gift of Light. Ugh. Damn you lopsided T6 mat prices.

The charged lodestones I had from a combination of saving up over time, raiding [personal profile] cashew's mats, and promoting from cores (so much clicking T_T).

Gotta say, though, I like this skin better than the Kudzu one. Loads cheaper than a legendary too. =P It's just a pity I don't have many characters that actually play the longbow.

Tumblr post with more pics here


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Mar. 1st, 2016

Finally finished 2nd legendary!

I actually had the resources to finish making Flameseeker Prophecies earlier, but I procrastinated a lot. Finally got it finished though. Also managed to use up a few stacks of T5 mats in the guild bank. The pretty pretty shield is going on my revenant, as is lore appropriate.

Also finished the specialization collection for Yggdrasil, the ascended staff for my ranger druid; though I'm actually using the Auric skin for it. Since the collection for Bo, the daredevil staff, is only a few items different from Yggdrasil, that's next on the list.

Will put up pics of the shied and maybe staff later. Legendary pics here )

Meanwhile, here's the bump in the overall worth of my characters as calculated by gw2efficiency. (You can tell which guys are holding the legendaries, ne?) XD



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Dec. 2nd, 2015

Some thoughts about GW2 HoT

So it's been over a month since the Heart of Thorns expansion came out, and I figured I should write something up on my impressions. I had wanted to wait until I played more of the content, but looking over my progress that's probably going to take a good while, which may not necessarily be a bad thing.

more... )

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Nov. 14th, 2015

TIL The Hobbit trilogy wasn't all Jackson's fault

Apparently PJ had only intended 2 movies. There wasn't supposed to be any love triangle with Tauriel.

The studio pretty much gave PJ no time for pre-plotting before demanding they start filming, then stepped in and demanded 3 films at the proverbial last minute, and also pretty much overrode a lot of the plotting and cutting.

And as comics have taught us, editorial plot mandates are all inevitably fails. *sigh*

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Oct. 30th, 2015

Hobbit BOFA extended scenes

So it seems the extended DVD for Battle of Five armies is out. I've been going through the clips that have been uploaded to youtube to see if there's anything decent added to canon. They were mostly underwhelming, unfortunately.

Also, no awesome combat scene for Thranduil *sadface*. Didn't bother to look at the extended Legolas vs Bolg scene - the Mario hop over the crumbling stone that made it into the theatrical release already obliterated my SOD for that sequence.

WTF is this--? - Helicopter seige...bolts, what? I'm pretty sure that's not possible..really? And...and the dwarven army lugged all of this seige over from the Iron Hills, like, overnight? Over two nights? And then they didn't bother to use them on the orcs/trolls? I'm...not going to accept this as canon. No. Someone's dipped too far into the sauce for fantasy CGI.

Ok, this bit here I can accept as canon, if only cuz it kills off that really annoying guy.

Thorin's funeral - no Elves or Men in attendance, really? Moar character assassination ho! Where's the frickin' moral of this story?! AAAUGH!!

Ok, this one made me laugh. But, uh, why did Thranduil namedrop Ecthelion? The Battle of Five Armies took place in TA 2941, while Ecthelion became Steward of Gondor in TA 2953 (after the death of his father). At this point he's...not even a prince...just the heir to the Steward of Gondor. I mean, would he have cared to know Boromir's name circa LOTR?

More White Council vs Nazgul - I can't tell, is the flashing light when Elrond strikes the Nazgul coming from his hand/ring or from his sword?

Beorn the bear cavalry - Well at least he looks better than Lupin did in HP. *squints* I wish they actually put him up against one of the giant siege trolls instead of against random canon fodder though. Crushing a bunch of mooks doesn't really do much to establish your cred in fantasy land.

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Oct. 9th, 2015

Theorycrafting Post-HoT builds

Too cheap to pay the 10g each to buy dupes of the ascended sinister rings/earrings, so going to split them between engi and revenant...

http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Loaf_of_Tarragon_Bread --> -16% condi duration for reve (and anyone else that needs more condi cleanse)

Herald
--> Redo hammer sigils (force+purity), Runes of Antitoxin or Water

Chronomancer (switch Domination with Inspiration for Teq/Portal) (candied dragon roll)

Daredevil

Tempest -- maurader's staff, swap chest pc... (optional: runes of radiance, sigil of cleansing)

Engineer --> Condi set

Meta builds: https://www.reddit.com/r/Guildwars2/comments/3rn9ry/dnt_updated_pve_build_guides_for_all_nine/

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Sep. 6th, 2015

Thoughts on BWE2

So let's just jump into my thoughts on the second beta for Heart of Thorns, in more or less the order experienced...

Read more... )

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Aug. 7th, 2015

GW2 HoT beta initial thoughts

Read more... )

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