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2017-06-17 06:59 pm

Wagon Train to the Stars, remember?

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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2017-06-15 09:02 pm

If Mass Effect can do it...

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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2017-06-15 08:05 pm

do androids dream of reality-warping monsters?

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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2017-06-09 11:15 am

"Sins of the Father", maybe?


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.


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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2017-05-27 11:13 am

Please adjust your contrast

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:

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2017-05-09 07:09 am

"Who am I to argue... with the captain of the Enterprise?"

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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2017-05-06 03:41 am


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.
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2017-05-03 07:21 pm

a regular occurrence in my Fallout Shelter game

TFW you and a few of your Raider buddies crack open a Vault door and find yourself facing two guys in power armor with miniguns...

and as the barrels spin up, you have just enough time to think, "This was a bad plan."

(Fortunately, as the Vault Overseer, I'm the one who's arranging this "warm reception". Raiders and Ghouls don't make it past the front door, and even Deathclaws only get to rampage through the top two floors before massed fire brings them down. And then everyone in those rooms gets a stimpak, on the house, to bring them back up to full health.)
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2017-05-01 09:40 pm

Odd association of the ... day?

The oscillating tone in old-style (that is, mid-20th century) electronic organs - which, wiki informs me, is produced by a rotating cylinder or "tonewheel" next to an electric pickup - has always made me think of water gurgling through pipes. Even though the processes, obviously, have nothing in common.
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2017-04-30 06:58 am

Crashlanding, 2017

Hey, [personal profile] gridlore! Guess what site is still up?

Increase population
Increase industry
Improve the transport network
Increase security
Improve environment
Increase business

I went and bolded the links that could use clicks. Still once per day.
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2017-04-27 02:23 am

just stare at the blank page until words form

What Fanfic Writers Are Like

Readers: We'd really like an update.
Writers: Yeah, me too.

-- fialleril at tumblr
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2017-04-26 09:20 pm

damn Greys takin' our jerbs

seen elsewhere:

Trump's "VOICE" Hotline set up for people to report on crime from illegal aliens was apparently overloaded with calls about space aliens.
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2017-04-25 06:30 am

Old enough to vote... with your feet

According to the email I just got, LJ is officially 18 years old.
Rather ironic timing for that milestone.
Of course, there's no mention in the official animated infographic of how many people have left, copied and/or deleted their accounts in the last month.

The cake looks pretty good - white/pale yellow, with cherries on top and cherry icing/jam between the layers.
Can't say I care for Frank's current, grey-hoodie-wearing incarnation, though. (Very Russian look, maybe.)

At least they gave me some hard numbers for my account, some of which would be a pain to gather myself:
14 years, 10 months, 2 days. (So, yeah, almost 15 years.)
1939 posts. (There's a lovely date, er, number.)
22.5 thousand comments made; 4515 received.

And now it's over.
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2017-04-13 01:47 pm
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2017-04-10 03:42 am

Listening to the tapes

Among the old things I'm going through (and sorting, reorganizing, and/or tossing out) right now are my old cassette tapes (a format I clung to long after many had switched to CDs). There are some commercial albums in the bunch, but a lot are classic mix tapes, recorded off the radio or, in some cases, from movies and TV (in an early form of "format shifting"). Now that I have mp3s, of course, most of these are superfluous except as artifacts of my past... and, if I must be honest, I have plenty of those without hanging on to an obsolete audio format.

Which is not to say I'm chucking all of them out. A few are not really replaceable - like the one that preserves not only the first Garfield TV special ("Here Comes Garfield"), but also my brother's and my reactions to it. Then there's the tapes which were made and given to me by friends; even if I have most of the songs on them, my favorites, it's not quite the same. There's even one with bits of the soundtracks to the Urusei Yatsura movies, from the very beginnings of my own anime fandom; even though I have clean copies of the music tracks now, thanks to the "Complete Music Box" set, I'm gonna keep this one around just a little longer to guide me in acquiring digital copies of the same clips/segments, including dialogue and SFX.
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2017-04-07 05:19 pm

Pieces of my past

Power was out all over town today, as a result of last night's storm - I listened to the wind whistling before I went to bed. Mine finally came back at about 4:15; before that, I passed the time by finally completing the task (without distractions) of re-organizing and re-packing some storage boxes: stuff from my childhood, high school and college, greeting cards from over the years, etc. One of these items was a journal I started on the eve of my HS graduation, thirty years ago, filling perhaps a fifth of the book before putting it aside; I'm pleased to say I've managed to keep this effort going much longer, even if the entries have sometimes been just as sporadic.

And then, when the power did come back in the afternoon, I did what I'd intended to do when I first got up: go to the website of my Star Trek Online fleet and let them know I was leaving. I really need to focus on other things in my life right now, and most of the people I used to play with there are already gone; I don't really fit in with the new bunch, so it was time for me to get out of their way and let them do their own thing.

It's something I've been meaning to do since before this latest thing with LJ. It always hurts a bit to close a book or a door... but I'm confident that, in both cases, it's the right decision.
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2017-04-04 09:30 pm

Closing the book

After fifteen years, I'm finally done with LiveJournal. While I'm not directly affected by the new terms of service, enough is enough.

I imported all of my old entries (and comments) long ago; I refreshed it today. The only practical difference is that I've turned off auto-crossposting. I won't be deleting my LJ account, but I won't be making any new posts there either.

I miss Frank the Goat.
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2017-04-04 09:04 pm

See You on the Other Side

Made this account back in June 2002, so just shy of 15 years. Not a bad run. But - as I've become ever more keenly aware during those years - all things end. And for me, at least, the new user agreement is the last proverbial straw.

It's tempting to look back on all the things that have changed in that time, but that would take much too long, and probably get way too personal and maudlin... and anyway, this is no longer the place for it. It would also be redundant; let the entries themselves serve as chronicle.

Most of my recent entries have been made on dreamwidth and auto-crossposted, but I'm making this one the old-fashioned way, via LJ's own post page. I won't be crossposting from now on, but I won't be deleting this journal, either. To any who follow me, and see this, come find me over there. It's all there already, and I'll be making a final offline backup as well.

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2017-03-22 12:53 am

Gotta get back in time

(I went looking for this back in 2015, but couldn't find it at the time. Better late than never, I guess.)

The following timeline is based on a marathon viewing of the entire Back to the Future trilogy. Some departure/arrival times are necessarily approximate. Red times indicate departures, blue arrivals. Important dates/times are bolded.

ISatOct 26198501:20Einstein is first time traveler
SatNov 05195506:00?Arrival in barn
SatNov 12195522:04Lightning strikes clock tower
SatOct 26198501:24Twin, er, Lone Pine Mall
IISatOct 26198510:35?"We don't need... roads."
WedOct 21201516:29Mill Valley, the future
21:00?Everything's fixed now, right?
SatOct 261985a21:00?Near miss by jet
SunOct 271985a01:00?A quick exit from Biff's Casino
SatNov 12195506:00Back from the future
IIISunNov 13195508:00?Drive-in
WedSep 02188508:00?Indians!
MonSep 07188508:15?Trestle over Eastwood Ravine
Oct 27198511:00Time machine destroyed

By my count, that's:
7 days in 1955
1 day in 2015 and 1985a
1 day in 1955 (doubled up on previous visit)
5 days in 1885

Which means that Marty McFly experiences 14 subjective days in 1 day and 9.5 hours by the clock in 1985.
And a very exciting two weeks it was, too.
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2017-03-22 12:50 am

Unearthed arcana

Today I rediscovered, while going through old notes:

Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" has the same meter as Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."