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 03:11 on 24-02-2012, Alasdair Czyrnyj
Personally, I like to think she came across my old screenplay and is working on a blaxsploitation reimagining/homage of the original franchise called Tyrese Potter and the Goblet of Funk.

Note: In my version, Voldemort is replaced by "Dat Honky", and he looks like Ned Beatty.

I am such a horrible person.
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at 22:02 on 23-02-2012, Arthur B
Guess who's back. I am yet to be convinced that this isn't going to end up being some form of edgy, grimdark Potter spinoff.
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at 22:00 on 23-02-2012, Dan H

Well yes, because your basic premise is nonsense; you don't need petrol stations to have cars, they just kept supplies at home and carried it with them... hardly impeccable, mates.


Perhaps it's my scientific background, but as a general rule of thumb if your theory predicts that it is impossible for cars to exist, your theory *may need some revision*.
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at 18:51 on 23-02-2012, Ibmiller
@Shimmin: True, but I think that Austen, unlike many "classic" novellists, provided everything you need to know in the work itself. I think Hale's implication was that you need to read tons of history and literary criticism to understand some classics, but that when you read Austen, she slips in the details of the entail and the mores surrounding Lydia's behavior so that it makes sense as you read it, rather than requiring extensive secondary reading to understand and respond. Not that extensive secondary reading doesn't enhance Austen (English major, here :-), but it's not required.
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at 08:17 on 23-02-2012, Shim
Just noticed this on a link off Michal's Dvorak page:
This, of course, is a catch-22 that we might suppose to be common in the economy. There will be no cars until there are gas stations there will be no gas stations until there are cars. Without some way out of this conundrum, joyriding can never become a favorite activity of teenagers. The logic of these economic traps and conundrums is impeccable as far as it goes, but we would do well to consider that these traps are sometimes escaped in the market.

Well yes, because your basic premise is nonsense; you don't need petrol stations to have cars, they just kept supplies at home and carried it with them... hardly impeccable, mates.
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at 08:14 on 23-02-2012, Shim
@Michal: it's quite a nice read. Dvorak is one of those things I vaguely meant to try sometime so I'd have more idea about it, but can't be bothered, especially with having Qwerty at work. Some of the key placements look distinctly suboptimal but it's hard to tell without see above.

@Kyra: yeah, the game thing was lovely.

@Ibmiller: ZOMG yes Princess Academy was quite a lot of fun and had some really nice ideas in. Although not entirely sure I agree with the quote there; Austen has plenty of historical context to worry about. Like in P&P, the root of their troubles being the inheritance rules; or the main problem with Lydia being running off unmarried rather than doing so at fifteen. I'm not sure those specifically related to "why the book was important" mind, but then I'm not sure what would.
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at 07:17 on 23-02-2012, Ibmiller
In counterpoint to Meg Cabot's brilliant idea that we create our own images of characters while reading (sorry, Meg, horse is dead), I just found a short but sweet piece by Shannon Hale (author of the lovely little piece Princess Academy which is definitely not the kind of overly pink processed YA fast food I was expecting (like, say, The Princess Diaries by Cabot), but instead well worth reading) - http://blog.figment.com/2012/02/06/shannon-hale-on-jane-austen/

The most relevant (and agree-with-by-me) insight was the following:

So many of the classics are historically dependent—a reader needs to decode language or understand complicated historical contexts in order to fully appreciate why the book was (and/or continues to be) important. Austen is only human dependent.

Also, Kyra, I nearly stopped breathing while laughing at the video game clip. Thrice.
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at 23:01 on 22-02-2012, Dan H
I’m not comparing a woman to a book, I’m comparing two different types of infatuation.

I can't believe he missed the opportunity to insist that, if we're annoyed by the analogy, then that implies that we know nothing about books, or women, or him.

(sorry, old comment, but years of Hollywood movies have left me unable to resist the old "same line in a different context" gambit).
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at 18:49 on 22-02-2012, Michal
More from Nick's Cafe Canadien: This post on the Dvorak keyboard is almost sublime.
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at 15:45 on 22-02-2012, Arthur B
In which Mark Charan Newton is self-critical: http://markcnewton.com/2012/02/21/things-i-got-wrong/

They should print this out and give it to authors in a little leaflet the first time they get published.
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at 14:52 on 22-02-2012, Cammalot
(I think Strange Horizons *did* favorably review his second book.)

Oh, and I can vouch for the Yankee-ism -- grading a class 'on a curve' means that instead of grading out of 100 percent, you grade out of whatever the best score in the class was. This will go into efffect sometimes if everyone in the class does lousily on an exam, even the consistently high scorers; it's assumed that something was off with the test. Which helps out the low scorers if the top grade was, like, 64 (very low, but not failing) or so. Everyone will then be graded out of 64 percent. Someone who screws up the curve gets a phenomenal grade, so everyone else has to suck up what they actually scored rather than getting any merciful adjustments. That said, I think I was in a class that got a test graded 'on a curve' about ONCE, in seventh grade (age 12 or thereabouts), maybe.
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at 13:06 on 22-02-2012, Wardog
Wow, he totally agrees with me about himself! That almost tempts me to read his second book. Almost.
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at 12:43 on 22-02-2012, Cammalot
In which Mark Charan Newton is self-critical: http://markcnewton.com/2012/02/21/things-i-got-wrong/
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at 12:41 on 22-02-2012, Wardog
OMG, adorable. That helped.
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at 12:32 on 22-02-2012, Shim
Here, try Gronk for that. If you still notice symptoms, judicious application of Ellie may be required. Always read the label.
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at 11:41 on 22-02-2012, Wardog
And I played an Indie game yesterday. Life is one big suck.
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at 11:39 on 22-02-2012, Wardog
Pat wrecked my Wednesday, the fucker.
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at 11:03 on 22-02-2012, Arthur B
I’m not comparing a woman to a book, I’m comparing two different types of infatuation.

And yet he fails to grasp the really compelling parallel between the two situations: they both involve him getting bent out of sorts because someone made a decision he didn't approve of about something he doesn't have any authority over (and shouldn't have expected to have any say in).
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at 10:09 on 22-02-2012, valse de la lune
Well we can always make Peter Watts the new Bakker, if you're interested in deep vileness. :P

My tweet about that Rothfuss post got RT'd quite a bit, which was surprising. Being sexist/racist asshats mightn't yet ruin your career, but at least it will affect your reputation online, which is something.
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at 09:48 on 22-02-2012, Wardog
Oh I SEE ... *laughs*

Well it's still annoying :P

See, I am so bad at chemistry I cannot read things ABOUT chemistry correctly.

My other points STAND HARD however.

(I kind of assumed she was so awesome at chemistry that in some way staring at her breasts prevented the narrator from getting his proper A)
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at 09:32 on 22-02-2012, Shim
I don't pretend to understand the curve-grading business, but I think that quote would mean she was so awesome at chemistry that even though he was also awesome at chemistry he still only got an A- because the boundary for As got pushed up.
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at 09:16 on 22-02-2012, Wardog
I, err, braved the comments to see if anybody else felt like pointing out to him he was being a shithead but...

I’m not comparing a woman to a book, I’m comparing two different types of infatuation.

The crush you feel for a girl you don’t really know and the attachment you feel toward a book you read in high school fall pretty firmly into the same category. They’re both intensely personal, one-sided experiences.


YES, they are, except one of them is a profoundly offensive intensely personal, one-sided experience...

I am sad :/

Also, no intention of making Pat the new Mr Bakker, and sorry if it sounds like I hypocritically am ... just ... err ... lettin' off steam :(
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at 09:12 on 22-02-2012, Wardog
That is awful... awful! I can't believe he thought that was a reasonable analogy...

You know that it’s going to be like? It’s going to be like wandering onto an internet porn site and seeing a video of a girl I had a crush on in high school. You probably knew someone like her. The smart girl. The shy girl. The one who wore glasses and was a little socially awkward. The one who screwed up the curve in chemistry so you got an A- instead of an A.

God, girls are so shit. First they won't sleep with you, then they suck at chemistry, and then they have sex with people not you. It must be so hard being Patrick Rothfuss...

Sorry I don't mean to randomly bitch at the guy but siiiiiigh.
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at 06:16 on 22-02-2012, Kellicat
If anyone here ever wanted to know if Patrick Rothfuss had creepy ideas about women in real life, here's your chance to see it for yourself.

(He manages to invoke the madonna/whore stereotype when talking about movie adaptations of the Hobbit of all things.)
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