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The Unseen University


Near-Fatal Good Luck

Posted by Rache , in Minecraft Diaries Dec 31 2013 · 141 views
five temples, count them and 3 more...
My luck in Minecraft has an interesting flavour to it lately - I set out from my home on a savanna plateau, hoping to find a mesa from which to get hardened clay for use in the construction of my house.
I did not find a mesa biome.
Instead, I found three villages and five desert temples, leading to quite the collection of enchanted books, horse armor, diamonds and other goodies... and a rather low food supply by the time I turn back - or think that is what I am doing.
This results in me getting desperate enough for food to drop some planks and craft a fishing rod.
This results, not in food for the first few casts, but a Punch II, Power IV bow, 4 puffer fish, and a few random useless trinkets. After getting enough salmon and unnamed fish to stop starving to death, I continue south, confident that I will see my hilltop tower any second now...
...Except I'm now two kilometers south of the origin point, and did not walk that far in setting up my base.
Good thing I found a horse right after making this realization, really. Diamond horse armor and a convenient saddle undoubtedly saved my life tonight.


Switch Khan with Malcolm Reynolds...

Posted by Rache , Dec 29 2013 · 277 views
star trek, firefly, improvements and 1 more...
...and Star Trek Colon Into Darkness becomes a much better movie. Why?

My crew is my family, Kirk. Is there anything that you would not do for your family?

That's the Captain speaking, right there.
"Khan" was basically the hero anyway - he exposed a corrupt, war-mongering admiral, went toe-to-toe with the Federation to save his friends, and got shot in the back by Kirk and Scotty. Keep Burgerking Custardbath in the role, and it's just Sherlock Goes to Space with thirty minutes of desperately scrambling to make him the villain at the end.
Swap Mal in, and it's just another day at the office.
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[All glory to the greatest webcomic on Earth. Fan poster by offsite artist deino-erd.]


So Apparently

Posted by Rache , Dec 27 2013 · 204 views
wonder woman, good news, swords and 1 more...
The actor [Gal Gadot] that is slated to play Wonder Woman has confirmed that she is undergoing some serious training/physical conditioning for the movie.
Training that involves swords.
I may still have some doubts about her acting ability, based on what I know her to have been in - the Fast & Furious franchise isn't exactly known for nuanced performances, or actors capable of the like, but...
Well, if the long list of training material is any indication of her role in the movie - a list including swords, Kung Fu, swords, Ju-jitsu, and freaking swords you guys - then Wonder Woman is going to be a pretty entertaining character in a braindead action movie about Batffleck and some neck-snapping enthusiast wearing Superman like a cheap suit.


Hoo Boy

Posted by Rache , Dec 22 2013 · 305 views
blurgl, google, research and 2 more...
So, a few months ago, I tried to find some reference on the medieval Chola naval vessel known as the Thirisadai - essentially the equivalent of a battleship. At this time, I posted a blog entry, requesting aid in finding these references - the request was unsuccessful, which is hardly shocking; BZPower is not exactly a community built upon a shared fondness for naval history, nor is a high proportion of the site's population comprised of historians.
Anyway, I let that project rest for a while, as I tried to find the pictures I needed. Other ideas came up, I wrote some music, bought a didgeridoo, and the idea slid to the back of my mind, resurfacing earlier today.
So, feeling lucky, I tried Google again.
This was the top result.
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That's how little relevant material there is on this.


And That's Terrible

Posted by Rache , Dec 10 2013 · 339 views
green hornet, wonder woman and 2 more...
Let's just take a moment to reflect on the fact that the Green Hornet got a movie before Wonder Woman got to appear in one.
Okay? Had your flashbacks to how awful that movie was yet?
Wonder Woman's going to be played by a cardboard actress in a movie directed by Zack Snyder.
Let me put it this way - given the choice between not eating, and eating a muffin made of broken glass, I'd go ahead and not eat.
Zack Snyder movies tend to be muffins made of broken glass - very shiny, no real substance, and it leaves kind of an unpleasant, metallic taste in your mouth.


The Truth About Electrodes

Posted by Rache , Nov 15 2013 · 271 views
tags, I dont need no and 1 more...
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[I am in no way responsible for the existence of this image. I wish I was. But I'm not. It's a still frame from an utterly beautiful gif.]


Uncontroversial Opinion

Posted by Rache , Nov 03 2013 · 280 views
Dave Newman, Firefly/Serenity and 2 more...

This right here is some magnificently fun music.


The ArchChancellor's Top Ten Video Game Names

Posted by Rache , Aug 22 2013 · 188 views
name generator, wacky, ohgodswhy
10. Inbred Chocobo Spies
9. National Lampoon's Dog Hospital
8. Invisible Landmine in the Outback
7. Deep Space Spelling of the [consigned to an unpleasant afterlife]
6. Shady Pachinko Encounter
5. British Sushi - The Game
4. Relentless Furry Dancers
3. Olympic Ninja Desperados
2. Children of the Cheese-Fight
1. Flying Hamster Combat
Honourable mention: Mario's Wrestling Power, Heavy Metal Sunshine Sisters, NCAA Dwarf Fiasco, Narcoleptic Harpoon - the Gathering Storm, Muppet NASCAR Overload



Posted by Rache , Aug 21 2013 · 393 views
blog wars
The blogs have become an uncomfortable place lately, and, due to some disagreements on the way a few things have been handled, I have found myself at odds with people I would rather count as friends. I don't see an end to this situation coming as soon as I would like it to, so there is something I would like to make clear before things go too far.
I do not want a fight.
I have never logged onto BZP with that desire in my mind. I have enough people to argue with elsewhere, were I the sort of person who revels in confrontation - but I'm not. When I log onto BZP, I want to relax, laugh with my friends, and maybe debate minor matters of philosophy. No matter what is said in the rather more serious debates happening now, and those still to come, no matter what my errors of communication or careless, accidental, hurting words, I am here to talk, relax, and have fun. Not to make enemies.
If the time ever comes that I do not respect you, I will not fight you. I will not argue with someone for whom I have no respect, whose views, desires, and feelings hold no value for me. I will ignore them. I will give such a person up as a lost cause, and happily avoid the irritation they brought me.
So unless the time comes that I never reply to anything you say, never visit your blog, and never argue with you, know that I respect you. I may not be your friend, I may not agree with you on anything, you may not even like me, but I would rather have you as a friend than an enemy, and if, by some chance, all the people who are so much better at being human and nice and comforting than I am have disappeared, know that, if you need it, I will try to have something good to say. I will try, in the small ways available to me, to make your day better.


On Individual Characters vs. Broad Trends

Posted by Rache , Aug 15 2013 · 327 views
sexism, writing
I have recently seen an instance in which a single female character was portrayed overreacting to something. The scenario was played for laughs, and while a good amount of time could be spent going over the joke itself and why it was or was not funny, a more important issue is some of the criticism that the joke received - that having this character, who was female, overreact in an emotional manner, was sexist. That it implied the attitude that all women were prone to overemotional reactions.
This, I believe, is a flawed judgment, for the reason that some individual women are, in fact, prone to overemotional reactions.
This is not because they are women.
This is because they are human, with any of an assortment of personality quirks that come along with that condition. I know more than a few men who are prone to such an overreaction.
And perhaps, one might say, it would have been better to use a male character for that role - to make a man overreact instead of a woman, to deter the accusations of sexism.
I disagree. Women are approximately fifty percent of the human population, and it is probable that approximately fifty percent of overemotional freakouts are had by women. Simply because years of consistent portrayals of a trait as a quality exclusive to women has made it a sensitive subject does not mean that this trait can never again be ascribed to women in fiction, nor does the ascribing of such a trait to one character mean that the writer is sexist. For that to happen ,the writer has to consistently portray the majority of their female characters as overemotional basket-cases - have a look at a good many sitcom writers if you need an example. Having one character with this trait is not sexism, it's having a character with believable human qualities - or, in the case of some works of amateur comedy, somewhat unbelievable human qualities. Even exaggerating these traits to absurdity in one case, however, does not make the writer a sexist - anymore than making a male character an unbelievably smug windbag suggests a belief that all men are cartoonishly smug windbags.
When writing fiction, it isn't healthy to constantly be looking over your shoulder to make sure that nothing you write could possibly offend someone. Just write natural characters that fit the story you're writing. And even if you can't do that, a bad joke doesn't make you a bigot - perhaps a bit thoughtless, and certainly not a master comedian, but not necessarily a bigot.

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