Playpen

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 21:18 on 14-01-2013, Alasdair Czyrnyj
Oh, don't worry, Daniel, we all have our periods of juvenile experimentation. Some of us even have later lapses; I purchased the entirety of his The Great War: American Front trilogy a few years back hoping for some fun alternate-WWI action, only to realize I'd have to bushwhack my way through his prose. Still haven't read them yet.

And now, for content, Commander Shepard receives his prescription contacts in the mail.
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at 13:36 on 10-01-2013, Daniel F
...oh, dear me, all you have done is remind me of the time when I thought Turtledove was the bee's knees. I really needed to remember that.
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at 10:00 on 10-01-2013, Robinson L
I don't think you're in much danger of spamming at this rate. Also, yays for podcasts featuring Ferretneurons; I'm always interested to hear what other people on this site sound like ... and what they have to say, of course.
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at 09:55 on 10-01-2013, Wardog
Spam away, we like it.

This is a completely banal thing to say - but it's weirdly nice hearing your voices :)
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at 21:46 on 09-01-2013, Michal
I'm trying not to spam this place too much, but I think this is of general interest 'round these parts: Alasdair & I did a podcast recently about steampunk (and our ebbing interest in said genre) and alternate history:
Part 1
Part 2
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at 09:34 on 09-01-2013, Arthur B
She's wound up like a coiled spring, you see, both turned away from the direction of the attack, as well has having her sword pulled away. When she actually attacks, she'll rotate her body at the same time as she strikes forward, extending her arms, and the aforementioned rotation will give her thrust more power than if she'd just been still and only moved her arms.

Mmmmaybe, but the image doesn't give me much suggestion of movement so I can only assume that she's stood still like that, waiting to strike... at which point she's loudly and clearly telegraphing her move to her opponent, who from this position will easily be able to step to a point where they can get an easy shot at her back.

It actually makes more sense if she's about to hack down at someone who's kneeling in front of her execution style, so we're looking at her from the perspective who's just walked in on her about to murder someone. Which probably isn't the intent behind the scene but is the only way I can make sense of it.
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at 08:32 on 09-01-2013, Axiomatic
I think the idea is meant to be that she's attacking in the direction her sword is pointing.

She's wound up like a coiled spring, you see, both turned away from the direction of the attack, as well has having her sword pulled away. When she actually attacks, she'll rotate her body at the same time as she strikes forward, extending her arms, and the aforementioned rotation will give her thrust more power than if she'd just been still and only moved her arms.

I'm sure they did it badly, but that was the INTENTION behind the pose.
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at 07:31 on 09-01-2013, Arthur B
In any case, if she's keen on fighting like that, she should do as Alice suggested and invest in some shoulder pads, rather than the tourniquets she seems to have applied to crucial areas of bicep - I can't see how that would do anything but impair you.

I just assumed she was in the middle of shooting up when the fight started.
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at 01:31 on 09-01-2013, Jules V.O.
It's actually *close* to a real stance, but it has a couple of bad angles, I think for the sake of the composition. It's not good, but it doesn't make me grit my teeth like some of the terrible stances I see in fantasy art.
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at 20:29 on 08-01-2013, Shimmin
Also, is it just me or is that a completely crap fighting stance?

Deffo. From there, I'd say she can make ineffective thrusts within about a one-foot range of movement against anyone attacking from her left shoulder or just behind her, which might be effective if an unarmed person fancied sneaking up on her. As soon as you're talking about someone with a weapon, they'll have a massive range advantage of arm length plus weapon length, whereas she's squandering hers. It gives a slight impression of being a defensive stance, but unless someone's delivering a blow to her shoulder from directly overhead, or coming up behind trying to bisect her from shoulder to right hip, I'd say that stance will do precisely nothing. In any case, if she's keen on fighting like that, she should do as Alice suggested and invest in some shoulder pads, rather than the tourniquets she seems to have applied to crucial areas of bicep - I can't see how that would do anything but impair you.

If someone comes up from further behind her, she can only make short, flailing thrusts with the blunt side of her blade. Further forward, and she's got an weak backhand range of maybe 30 degrees before her left hand stops turning and she punches herself in the face with her right.

Fundamentally, this pose says "Wow, this sword is heavier than I expected!", or possibly "Damnit, now I got my sword caught in this title!".
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at 17:31 on 08-01-2013, James D
Cut her some slack, she can hardly see in that chainmail veil. She's probably just trying to figure out where the hell her opponent is.
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at 17:29 on 08-01-2013, Arthur B
Also, is it just me or is that a completely crap fighting stance? As far as I can tell to actually attack or defend usefully from that pose she'd have to either turn around 180 degrees or move the sword away from whoever she's fighting in order to angle her arms around to a point where she can actually take a swing. Otherwise she's stuck doing not-very-effective thrusts within a fairly limited angle of movement.
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at 17:28 on 08-01-2013, James D
Though her husband's life wasn't in danger in Alice's case, at least not as far as she knew. Ian was deliberately trying to lure Luther in to most likely kill him.

Well, I wasn't referring to the part where she warns Luther over the phone, since that's not what got her killed. I was talking about what she did after. Anyway I didn't get the idea that Ian actually wanted to kill Luther at that point, just that he wanted to be able to talk to him one-on-one, but he wasn't sure he could trust Luther and he was afraid if he called him himself, Luther might just roll in with a bunch of police and arrest him. I actually thought Ian's situation spiraling further and further out of control as he keeps trying to fix it and keep out of jail was handled pretty well.
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at 16:51 on 08-01-2013, Alice
Courtesy of browsing the YA section in my local bookshop, here's one for the Terrible Book Covers With Impractical Female Armour archives: Spellbound, by Heather Brewer. (Why does she have bare arms -- apart from possibly some sort of shoulder protection -- but a chain-mail veil, for crying out loud?)
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at 06:15 on 08-01-2013, Ibmiller
Though her husband's life wasn't in danger in Alice's case, at least not as far as she knew. Ian was deliberately trying to lure Luther in to most likely kill him.

And I know - they need to be on a show together where they are the only characters who DON'T die. Though she didn't die on Bones ;)
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at 06:04 on 08-01-2013, Cammalot
I sometimes feel like Indira Varma and Sean Bean are in some kind of morbid competition...
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at 04:51 on 08-01-2013, James D
What, grabbing a knife and waving it around at the guy who is well out of knife range and has a gun pointed at your head is the right thing? And then kind of half-assedly trying to run away? I'm not saying Ian wasn't at fault or anything but her actions seemed totally contrived to me, as if the script was telling her "ok, now you gotta get killed, start acting like an idiot all of a sudden." It especially doesn't make sense because when Alice Morgan had her at knifepoint earlier in the series, she just did exactly what she was told to (i.e. what anyone would do) instead of trying to poorly defend herself.
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at 03:37 on 08-01-2013, Ibmiller
Tried to get herself killed? If Ian hadn't lost it (and it was really fifty fifty, I think), she would have been fine and have done the right thing.
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at 20:13 on 07-01-2013, James D
Well, I didn't mind the yawning thing too much (and things like it), since it was in the premise of the show that Luther is heavily intuitive and operates on wild hunches as a matter of course, but he always then goes on to confirm them with hard evidence - it's when the show's world began to act in wildly unrealistic ways to coincide with his hunches and to create drama that I jumped ship. Like how he magically knew where ian hid the diamonds, and the combination to his safe. And yeah, his wife practically *tried* to get herself killed.
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at 06:43 on 07-01-2013, Ibmiller
I kind of agree about Luther s1's ending - the last two episodes both felt really contrived (I mean, more than "she didn't yawn with me she's a sociopath" contrived normal for the show), and only there to kill off Indira Varma. Which is a reason I'm still having difficulty going back to the show. Plus, I rather liked Ian Reed. For one thing, he had an awesome first name. ;) And for another, he's played by that Mackintosh dude, who is in other stuff I quite like (Muppet Christmas Carol, Our Mutual Friend). I think I'll eventually get to it - Elba really does rise above the material - but really. I don't think I could probably spend much monies on it, unless it went to the 5 or 10 dollar shelf here.
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at 22:41 on 06-01-2013, Shimmin
Did someone say Harvest Moon?

And the Law of Fin de siècle holds true. Everything's better with Wardogs.
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at 21:34 on 06-01-2013, Wardog
Did someone say Harvest Moon?
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at 18:54 on 06-01-2013, Pear
What you all need to do is play Harvest Moon. :')

Are any of you going to see 'The Impossible'? A friend-of-a-friend saw it and felt it was terribly sad and moving, she had no idea that the event was just so horrible! Also her friend chimed in and said she actually cried as she watched it. I was going to make a scathing comment but then my friend suggested that these people may have a condition where they are unable to feel empathy unless Ewan McGregor is coaching them with his face. Tragic.
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at 14:47 on 06-01-2013, Wardog
Farming Simulator is insanely hard. No wonder the agricultural industry is in such a bad way.

I thought it would be soothing but my attempts to play it have always been quiet disasters.
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