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That was pretty neat.
I found someone who was giving out extra pairs of eclipse glasses, so I got to make direct observations and also take a few clumsy camera shots.

My town wasn't quite in the totality path, but we did get something like 99% coverage; the sky dimmed enough to trip automatic lights, and one could actually (very briefly) look at the sun with the naked eye. (Yes, I know. File along with the proper use of Q-tips.)
The crescent sliver migrated from the lower left quadrant to the lower right, then upper right, before starting to grow again. Back to normal now.

One of the coolest things besides the eclipse itself was how everything pretty much stopped. The streets emptied of cars and the sidewalks filled up with people peering up through paper glasses.
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Blue-deck play, in most games:

"I tap two red and play..."
"Nope."
"... Okay, I draw..."
"Uh uh."
"What about...?"
"Mmmno."
"Fine, I'll just--"
"Not happening."
"... can I forfeit?"
"You can try."
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re the new Marvel show on Netflix (The Defenders):

"I mean, of the 4, only one of them is not completely fucked up."

And that's how you know it's based on the Marvel Universe.
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Six? attractive, well-off, tech-savvy twenty (thirty?) somethings (plus Jeff Goldblum, for some reason!) are sealed in a highly-advanced underground "house", for a reality show. And then they run into/somehow uncover an alien monster/pathogen, which transforms those it infects into (more) ravenous eating machines (literally; there's a (nano)technological as well as biological component, blurring the lines between the two).

The bulk of the dream/last half hour of the movie comes down to an extended, slow-motion, VFX-heavy, hyper-kinetic battle/ballet between the brunette Final Girl, who turns out to be some sort of gynoid, and the Nordic blonde of the group, now representing the alien monster (ala Species), as each attempts to contain/consume the other. As they tear at each other, break apart, "splash" away from each other's attacks and reform, they are both depicted as nanoswarms of a sort - opponents who can split apart into sharp-edged tiles (like a human-shaped disco ball), become sand or semi-liquid, etc.

At first the two seem to be evenly matched, or the monster-woman actually has the upper hand in this CGI contest of technological shapeshifters. Then the faces and figures of the rest of the cast, somehow surviving/returning from their own consumption/conversion, start to appear on the walls and screens of the smart-house, joining the fight against the alien with their own dance moves. The tide turns... and just for a moment, with the alien blonde on the ropes/the verge of full containment, it seems the Transhuman Treachery will kick in, with all of these entities uniting against the humans on the surface. They won't have a chance.

But then it's revealed that their new collective plan is to offer humanity a choice, between transcendence or... something. (Peak health in still-human bodies, maybe? Dream memory starting to break down.) The full cast is reunited and reconciled now, though no longer embodied; the alien influence is itself overwritten or suborned to the new purpose. The wallscreens go blank again (or come apart in an upward shower of mosaic tiles) as the new entity(s) leave their subterranean chrysalis to begin the Upgrade.

(Seriously, the VFX budget for all that I imagined would be huuuuuuuge.)

And now that I've written all that down... back to bed.
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A thoroughly irreverent bit of bardic song from my SCA days, twenty-odd years ago, has bubbled up out of my brain while I slept. Along with that classic opening line, the rest of the lyrics (that I can remember) go something like this - starting with an archery contest that takes an unusual turn:

The first man shot his arrow, straight as the eagle flies
The second split that arrow; it seemed he'd won the prize
The third one shot the other two men right between the eyes...
Ai-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi-yayyy.

"Well my lord," the maiden said, "it seems you've won the prize!"
"You bet your alabaster orbs I have," he cried
He swept her up upon his steed and off the two did ride...
Yippee ki, yippee ki, yippee ki, yippee ki ayyyy.


Reaching his castle, they immediately fall into bed together:

They could not stop, they could not get their fill
Their twenty children finally buried them on a hill
And from his heart, there grew a briar,
And from hers a-- rhododendron...
Corny, corny, corny, corn-ai-ayyyyy



(I've probably gotten the odd word wrong or out of place - for one thing, the song is not really that long, and the word in that first line might actually be "dark" or "sad" - and alas, Google offers no help. Still, I think you can see why this was so, er, memorable.)
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When I made my one and only visit to the park (so far) with my family, back in 1983, it was less than half its current age; more years have passed since then (34) than the 28 separating that summer from 1955. Most of those who'd attended as kids on opening day were only just starting to have kids of their own. It's a bit dizzying to read the list of past attractions and see how much had already been changed, to say nothing of what's followed (and been replaced in turn).

(I know it was '83 because one of my very few "time-stamped" memories was of King Arthur Carrousel being closed for renovation.)

I'd like to go back someday, but it's not a priority. My brothers have been back, with their kids. EDIT: And one of them, who I spoke to, is sure that the trip was in '81, not '83. Go fig.
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The last time I was at the store (before today), I got some chips and some salsa, some bean dip, and (why not) some "guacamole-flavored dip". I know, I know, but it was cheap and I figured it was an experiment. The results of that experiment, however, were so unfavorable that, after having maybe a quarter of the little tub, I was looking rather sadly at just tossing out the rest. (Sure, we're only talking about $3 of - as near as I can determine - vaguely-avocado-flavored mayo with little tomato bits mixed in, but it's the principle and all that.)

But then, to my pleasure and relief, I discovered that when spread thinly over a slice of bread (rather than scooped/globbed on a corn chip), the difference in flavor mix and proportions was enough to make it actually palatable. Today I got some more bread and intend to finish it off, and then making buttered toast (how... conventional) with whatever remains of the loaf.

In conclusion, I would probably make a terrible millennial.
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(inspired by the recent movie(s), of course)

For all that it's a big part of his powerset, Spider-Man's strength tends to get ignored or underestimated a lot. Mostly (IMO) that's cause he's usually either up against normals, and pulling his punches so he doesn't kill somebody, or real heavy-hitters who outdo him in that department.

But that's okay, because he still has (along with his speed, agility, spider-sense, etc) the proportional smack-talk of a teenaged male from Queens.

(Seriously, anyone who does not count Peter Parker's smart mouth among his powers has never met the guy, let alone fought him.)
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thought on your Standard Superhero Universe:

when you get five precogs and a time traveller warning you about a certain flight, you don't argue; you ground the damn plane.
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Protagonist Motivations in FALLOUT

"I need to find a water chip to save my Vault."
"I need to find a GECK to save my people."
"I need to find my Dad."
"I need to find my son."
"WHERE'S THE #$%& THAT SHOT ME IN THE HEAD?!"

"Golly."

Jul. 7th, 2017 10:39 pm
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TIL that Gadget Hackwrench was based on Jordan (Real Genius).

Obvious, in hindsight.
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At the end of last month, Photobucket quietly updated its ToS to disallow linking/embedding images on other sites - which is, I would guess, what 99% of its users used it for, myself included - unless you pay them $400 a year. This has broken eBay auctions, forum posts both current and past, etc etc all across the net and made them very popular.

So that's it, then. First LJ, and now...

I've not yet deleted my account there, which I've had since Oct 2005, on the slim chance that they change their mind... but I have gone and deleted all the images that they apparently no longer want to host.

And before you ask, Imgur's ToS specifically warns against hotlinking.
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And that's why I gave up being Red Squadron CO, and more recently, a senior (guild) officer for Task Force Zenas.
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In TOS, the colonies seem to be in a constant state of famine. Or plague.


Don't forget the threat of attack by Indians.
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Wild Star Trek plot bunny, based on the currently fashionable notion in SF that the only way we're likely to have "manned" interstellar travel is to store the humans as data and rebuild them at the destination - Trek gives us warp drive, but some places are still very far away:

Expedition to Andromeda. Using captured and reverse-engineered Kelvan tech (TOS "By Any Other Name"). Including the part where most of the crew spends the (still very long) journey in compressed form. Racks and racks of cuboid solids, with android or photonic caretakers. (More shelf-stable and space-efficient than cryo, and without the constant power requirements.)

You'd sensibly want to take lots of precautions against things going wrong. They probably will anyway, particularly for the sake of drama.
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So I was rewatching the scene at the end of The Matrix where Neo achieves apotheosis. Mostly, I admit, for the moment of near slapstick where the other two agents look at each other and, by unspoken agreement, NOPE right outta there.
And I found myself paying attention to the moment right before that, when Neo leaps into Smith - yet another thing that is never, ever supposed to happen - and he turns to them, already visibly straining and distorting, and they both take a step back.
There's a change of expression there. Subtle, as you might expect... but while I don't have Neo's codesight, I can imagine what's going through their main processing loops at that moment:

< error - anomaly - abomination >

This... thing that they thought was a person - exceptional, yes, awakened, but still "only human" - has just taken multiple kill shots and gotten back up, outright nullified part of the simulation's physics, casually bested one of their own at hand-to-hand combat, and now hijacked his avatar, something that only they're supposed to be able to do... and even there, the way it's done that is wrong.
They're suddenly facing, not another redpill, but an eldritch horror, an outside-context problem, something immune to their standard attacks, that can rewrite reality and potentially do anything.
As much as security programs who haven't been corrupted by too much time among the animals can "feel"? I think they're both scared enough to dump core. In their pants.
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writing-prompt-s:

You’re an ancient Greek man coming home from 4 months of war to find your wife 3 months pregnant. Now you’ve embarked on a solemn quest: to punch Zeus in the face.

hermdoggydog:

Soon after you begin your quest, you encounter another man in a similar situation. You decide to join forces, as two mortal men stand a better chance at punching Zeus than one.

Two villages over, you encounter a woman who had relations with Zeus and was left with a highly aggressive half-boar half-man offspring. She too feels your anger and offers to join your quest.

By the time you reach Mount Olympus, you’ve amassed a large and formidable army of cuckolded/ravished mortals, demigods with daddy issues, mythical creatures with scores to settle, and a seamstress who you’re pretty sure is Hera in disguise.

Zeus never stood a chance.


(from here)

As the friend who linked/found this said,
"10/10 would read this book, would play this game, would watch this series."
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So it's long been known that panthers are just all-black leopards. But it turns out they're only all-black in our visible spectrum. In infra-red, the spots show up quite nicely:



Neat.
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This morning, I was thinking of a short bit in the first act of Star Trek Generations. In the midst of a developing crisis, young Captain Harriman is all set to turn over command of the Enterprise-B to the senior officer and go take care of something himself. And we see how much Kirk wants this, that he's eager to take the center seat for one last ride, with the justification of an emergency... as he did with Decker, and Spock.

And then we see his realization: that this is wrong. This is not his ship, not his Enterprise, and he has no right to claim her. "A ship needs her captain," he tells Harriman a moment later... and that's not him. Not this time, not anymore.
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Today in the comments section for Strong Female Protagonist, someone made a joke about MORAL KOMBAT.

I, of course, immediately imagined the techno theme song, with deep-voiced listing of "PLATO - ARISTOTLE - HOBBES - KANT" etc.