Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 03:35 on 19-01-2012, Sister Magpie
I love the "but men don't stand like that--that's not supposed to be sexy!" As if women stand like that regularly. It amazes me how rarely people seem to get that most of the poses are just about displaying the sexual characteristics. That's why, like in the pose the contortionist is describing iirc, the woman has to somehow present her breasts and her butt at the same time. That's why they're always so twisted.

I love those pictures in the link. In comics even when the guys are shown in stages of undress they're rarely looking like that, which is the actual equivalent to the female poses.
at 22:52 on 18-01-2012, Melissa G.
Whenever I post those "guy poses like girl on cover look how ridiculous it is", I always someone trying to give me the "But guys never stand like that! That's why it doesn't look natural!" So then I found this . (Click through for the rest.) A bunch of art of superhero wearing very little, standing in sexualized poses. Now lets pretend they were almost drawn this way. That's how girls feel.
at 15:30 on 18-01-2012, Robinson L
Welcome, Jules. Thanks for the links, especially the fantastic piece by the martial artist/contortionist.
at 17:10 on 17-01-2012, Shim
Nice. I'd be interested to see someone do a simple swap-out; exchange male and female characters throughout a comic or similar, but keep the original poses.
at 15:17 on 17-01-2012, Jules V.O.
I've seen a lot of those styles of things, most famously BleedingCool's pose comparisons, but also this critique from a contortionist. At the same time, I don't see a lot of the... inverse? obverse? Criticism by *good* example, I mean. Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor needs more company.
at 02:54 on 17-01-2012, Michal
Jim C. Hines imitates poses from various fantasy covers featuring female characters. Mostly to show how ridiculous these poses are.

"My sense is that most of these covers are supposed to convey strong, sexy heroines, but these are not poses that suggest strength. You can’t fight from these stances. I could barely even walk."
at 12:23 on 16-01-2012, Andy G
Michael Rosen has written a nice post about the apostrophe thing here.
at 10:42 on 16-01-2012, Arthur B
I guess stirring up pointless babyweeping amongst grammar pedants is an easier way to evoke interest in the brand than, oh, I don't know, getting in a more diverse range of stock, or changing up your eBook service so the products sold there aren't choked with DRM and are provided in a Kindle-readable format, or bringing back the 3 for 2 offer.
at 23:25 on 15-01-2012, Dan H
In other news, Waterstone's have dropped the apostrophe from their official banner. The Daily Mail tell us that this is destroying English.

I'm particularly confused by the line: And with them, meaning will be lost and our ability for articulation of the finer points of thought. For a self-proclaimed lover of words, you think the guy would be able to construct better sentences.
at 19:18 on 15-01-2012, valse de la lune
The guy who started in on "mental health issues" and "sweetheart, dollface" was real charming. It's a shame he uses such a generic handle; I'd love to find out if he shows up anywhere else/has a blog, so as to vitriolically name-and-shame plus avoid it.
at 17:31 on 15-01-2012, Fin
nothing better than drinking the river of tears caused by wounded fanboys. though i must say, that review was positively tame compared to some of the stuff i've been reading lately.

re: house, i'm prepared to put up with house being an arsehole, i'm just concerned that the bet plot will be used as a vehicle to validate his shitty opinions.
at 17:15 on 15-01-2012, Wardog
I'm personally just amused at the idea that there are qualifications for reviewing fantasy novels...

I have a DPhil in Applied Trope Recognition.
at 22:06 on 14-01-2012, Michal
Well, that exploded.

The above being Liz Bourke's review of Theft of Swords, wherein some folks in the comments contend that historians are not qualified to review fantasy novels. Or academics in general.

I guess I'd better change my career path...
at 18:20 on 14-01-2012, Alasdair Czyrnyj
To be honest, Finbarr, I would not get my hopes up. Insensitivity on House's is a given; this is a character whose core philosophy has always been "everybody lies." More than that, however, is the fact that House has come to bits over the past two years. Last season was dominated by a House/Cuddy romantic arc that really didn't make much sense in terms of the characters and was handled quite poorly all around. Assuming that the writers of the show could handle an issue like this with delicacy and tact is probably a losing bet.

At this point, the only thing really left to do with the show is to keep your expectations lowered, ignore the Patient of the Week, and enjoy the interactions between the main cast.
at 17:34 on 14-01-2012, Andy G
House has been pretty misanthrophic and offensive right from the start, so I doubt this is anything new.
at 16:56 on 14-01-2012, Fin
so, i haven't seen a lot of house, but from what little i know about the show i've gotten the impression that house isn't allowed to be wrong. i'm just wondering if that's an erroneous impression, because someone just directed me to this preview of an upcoming episode and i'd like to have some hope that it won't be made of too much fail.
at 16:17 on 14-01-2012, Dan H
I confess that I wouldn't have been able to swear to the correct spelling of "just des(s)erts" either.

I think it's what Language Log would call an eggcorn - the alternative spelling makes a kind of intuitive sense if you imagine dessert as being the reward you get for eating your main course, then it follows that "just desserts" would mean "the reward or punishment you deserve for your actions, be they good or bad." Also it creates some absolutely *adorable* mental images. "For your crimes, you are sentenced to EVIL PUDDING."

It's also one of those strange two-word phrases you get in English where an otherwise *totally obsolete* word ("desert" as a noun meaning "thing which is deserved") is preserved as part of a collocation. Like "woe betide".
at 13:25 on 14-01-2012, Shim
It's another one of them blasted homophones caused by nicking words off other languages. I can't decide if it's more or less annoying than having a tiny vocabulary.
at 07:44 on 14-01-2012, valse de la lune
Random: I right-clicked for synonyms for "desert" in MS Word. It gave me:

just reward

Boggled I googled it up and discovered "just desserts" is the incorrect phrase and that I've been using it wrong all this time when I should've said "just deserts."


(Yes yes, "deserts" etymologically rooted in "deserves," but...)
at 17:13 on 13-01-2012, Andy G
Did anyone ever play with the SAGA card-based system? I was released for Dragonlance and it seemed rather neat and elegant, though I never actually used it for a game.
at 01:36 on 13-01-2012, Michal
Wow, D&D is so complicated. Just listening to this discussion, it sounds like you need an undergrad-level understanding of calculus just to build a character.

That's why we have Lady Blackbird. It was specifically designed to play while getting progressively more drunk through the evening, I think. And if that was the design goal, it succeeded beautifully the one time I played it.
at 22:43 on 12-01-2012, Axiomatic
Savage worlds! It's a game!