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In the past, before the upgrades and the downtime, reporting things in the blogs was a complicated mess of PMing BlogAlert, linking the content, describing the broken rules, and hoping someone read the BlogAlert account in a timely manner.
The "REPORT" buttons on comments and entries DO WORK. Before the downtine, they did not. Now they do! Hurray!
So, in short, if you have something to report, click that button, describe the offense, and a blog staff member will receive the report and an automatic link the the offending content. (Please do not use this to report signatures)
This is much easier on us, on you, the general populace, and also on kittens everywhere.
-The Blog Staff
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Another year has gone by, and so it's time for another top five. 2019 was better than usual for films; I feel like I saw a really diverse set of movies, more diverse than I usually do, and almost all of them in the cinema too. As usual, there are a few films I did not get to, which I'll give honorable mentions to now:
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World - while I doubt it would have made my top five or even come close, the first film in this trilogy remains one of my all-time favorites. Though the trailers to the finale didn't sell me on it, I have heard that it's very good. I should probably give it a proper chance.
1917 - It hasn't had a wide release in Canada yet, but will within the next two weeks. I guess since the wide release is technically this month, I might actually count it for 2020, and maybe it'll make the next top five....
That's about it. For once, I feel like I actually managed to see just about every movie that I was interested in. Feels weird. Anyway, onto the top five of the year.
#1: Avengers: Endgame
Avengers: Endgame isn't the best movie that was released this year, and it isn't even the best movie in the MCU. I think Infinity War is probably the better movie between the two, but I also think it's important to judge Endgame as the event and phenomenon that it was. Providing a satisfying conclusion to 11 years of story and 22 movies was a near impossible task, and yet Marvel managed it with flying colors (barring a few missteps - it REALLY sucks that Black Widow was by far at her all-time best in this movie, only for her time in it to be cut so short).
Ultimately, Endgame is the movie that impacted me the most this year. These characters and stories have come to mean a lot to me in the past 11 years, and getting a proper sendoff meant a lot. I cried during my first viewing of the film, and continued to tear up at points during repeat viewings. The MCU will continue on - but this was the end, and I don't believe the MCU will ever really reach this point again.
#2: Knives Out
Rian Johnson has discussed possibly doing a sequel to this movie if it does well, starring Benoit solving a different case. I hope he does, because Knives Out was just a whole lot of fun, and I'd love to see a little bit more from this world. Plus, I can't get enough of Daniel Craig's outrageous accent.
Joker was another cultural phenomenon. It was rather fascinating to watch Gotham descend into anarchy, while Arthur Fleck disappeared into the Joker.
#4: Ford v Ferrari
Matt Damon is always fun to see onscreen, and Christian Bale does a wonderful job here too. The racing is heart-racing (pardon the pun), the struggle between these two individuals and their corporate overlord feels real.
#5: Ad Astra
Sad Space Man Brad Pitt goes off on a quiet, lonely adventure through space. Ad Astra isn't for everybody - it probably isn't for a lot of people - but I enjoyed it a lot, and found it a nice change of pace.
And those are my top five films for 2019. Tomorrow, I'll do a Top Ten of the Decade.
Bionicle Pens strike again!
Black Six recently sent me a rare Bionicle Toa Nuva pen he found at BrickFair NJ this year. (Don't worry, I paid him back for it.) I've been able to track down the Toa Mata pens and their mini Toa masks, but the Nuva variants have been a bit harder to come by. Instead of a mask clipping over one of the beads, it has a pin attachment to a head shaped bead. Sadly the pin itself isn't compatible with Lego elements, so the mask only attached to the head bead. But the head bead itself can modestly attach to a minifig torso, so the implications were clear. It also came with a Toa tool, which had vaguely anti-stud connections on it. They're not the strongest, but it does allow him to hold only the stylized weapon as a fig. Horray!
I'm not sure if the armor combination I put together is the best, but I didn't dig too much through my collection to find these so there's always room for improvement. The head placement does make the proportions seem a bit more awkward than the previous Toa figs I made, and its perhaps worse on Pohatu, who's normally supposed to be a hunchback. But hey, first try. Maybe eventually I'll get the pens for the other Toa Nuva and make yet another minifig team of Toa with obscure pen mask heads...
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Last week I was watching Lego Rewind by Nick on Planet Ripple and it had me feeling a little nostalgic, so I decided to head over to Bricklink and pick up one of the first Lego sets I ever got, a technic R2D2.
Quite an interesting little guy. I still find pieces of my old one in my collection to this day. The only big function he has is that his little arm flips out lol. I wonder what a set like this would look like nowadays?
So, I bought Pokemon Sword. Due to having some open time in my schedule and the game ultimately being a bit short, I’ve already beaten the main story and the postgame episode. I actually had a lot of fun. The game may be riddled with problems, not the least of which being the cut of National Dex, but what it gets right it gets so right—heck, some of what it gets wrong manages to feel right, which appeals to my shounen battle anime heart. I’m not here to spoil, just want to say I’d recommend giving SwSh a try if you’re on the fence. Also, while I may not have Switch Online or an SD card to transfer screen shots, I fell in love with League Card customization and desperately wanted to share mine in some capacity, so:
Pupil of Gym Leader Bea and new Champion of the Galar Region, Liam! (You can’t see it but I’m wearing the Champion shirt, plus my hair looks much cooler in-game I dunno why it looks weird here.)
-Spike the Coalossal
-Steg the Rillaboom
-Murun the Runerigus
-Beat the Corviknight
-The Smogington Brothers the Galarian Weezing (character limit made it Smogingtons but)
-Zacian (in the post-game…)
Between this and my recent replays I think I want to revise my old region ranking. Stay tuned for that!
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Decided to flip the order of the serials, so just finished part 3 of PTB (yes, you actually don't have to wait six weeks for the next chapter -- I know you're shocked ) In this episode:
* We meet the "Who Am I?" winner
* We answer the age-old question, "What happens when Nynrah Ghosts have too much time on their hands?"
* We go inside the red star for the first time, and while we don't come out knowing just what the heck is going on there yet, it sure SOUNDS disturbing
* We get the return of some folks that neither you nor I EVER thought we would see EVER again (and special thanks to Biosector01.com for refreshing my memory about them) (and no, it's not the Makuta, relax )
And in chapter 4: More red star, somebody hits the right switch and regrets it ... or is the wrong switch?, and there are some people who get very frustrated by long lines ... murderously frustrated, in fact. Oh, and what does all this have to do with the murders of Karzahni and Tren Krom? And will Kopaka and Pohatu get the chance to find out?
I'm looking for some help from one of you creative types out there. I would like some overlay images we can use during BZPower's streams, both for builds and games, to help share info for people who tune in part-way through and give them more of a BZPower-feel.
For a visual style, I'm thinking something like the overlays we use for our YouTube thumbnails, with the angled line and the gears, but obviously smaller so it takes up less space. Maybe one in the bottom left and one in the top right. One would have generic BZPower info, the site name, URL, and social media names and icons. The other would be mostly empty to be customized for each stream. For sets it would have the set name, piece count, and price. For games it would have the game name. An overlay with directions for the giveaways we do might be a good idea too.
Resolution should be 1920x1080 minimum and the file format should be something I can easily edit in GIMP to add the required text, so XCF or PSD probably.
I am ready to be wowed.
I disappear for a few years and the whole website changes. Why do you do this to me?
But in reality life has uhhhh really freaking sucked.
Still recovering from freaking hurricane freaking sandy in 2012.
We had a contractor steal $60,000 this year. So that messed everything up. Here is a tumblr post from before we had that stolen that sums up everything from 2012 to the start of this year. It's insane.
At this point right now we are in an RV park that closes in like two weeks with no where to go so might be homeless unless there is a miracle or we find something.
How have you all been?
(I can't promise I'll post much but I have wanted to make an I'm alive post for awhile.)
I just found it in Alpha Sapphire! I wasn't even looking because that would be insane. Did they change the encounter system for Feebas from the original game?
Edit: Looks like they did. There's now a 5% chance of encountering Feebas on any tile. Carry on, then!
I sometimes really miss this community. And others I used to be involved in as part of the larger BIONICLE/LEGO fandom.
So I occasionally peak in, see how things are going... Generally without comment, and usually leaving a little more saddened by not feeling connected to it anymore and that things in general are really rather... quiet. Which I suppose makes sense when the focal point and passion of the fandom is dead again.
But man, what passion... I dedicated so much of my formative years to this, as did so many others. They're great memories. And I am glad to see some still chugging away at it and newer folks still somehow discovering it.
I'm not sure what made this visit different. Anywhere I'm present online now, I more often than not just lurk and not contribute. Quite the contrast to how I used to be. Just don't have the time and energy to. So a mix of nostalgia, boredom, sorrow, and maybe a touch of hope. Reflecting a lot, I suppose. I know it's not going to change anything and I'm not really back - not even sure I'll respond to anything here. I just really, really wanted to say...
And I miss you all.
Those who will read this and those who have long since moved on before I did.
And thank you for all those memories.
hi nobody here remembers me or cares but here's a life update entry cause it's been a hot minute and things have been pretty big
a little over a month ago some stuff happened and I ended up alone and jobless and checking myself into a hotel with the intention of hanging myself from a doorknob
then I started seeing a psychiatrist and got diagnosed with PTSD and borderline personality disorder and started therapy and took up meditation and got put on like three more mood stabilizers
fast forward to now and I have friends who I'm hanging out with regularly, a new job that so far is the best I've ever had, and an awesome and gorgeous new girlfriend who is incredible
I went from the lowest point in my life where I felt utterly hopeless and like my life was over to an absolute high where I'm optimistic about the future and feel legit happy for the first time in a long time
I still have my moments and I still have some stuff to continue working on, but things have changed (for the better) in a way that I had become absolutely convinced was not possible.
Monday, January 9, 2012
It certainly has been a long time. I see now that I managed to go through all of 2011 without making a single post - anywhere on this website! The downtime throughout the entire summer probably did not help any. Now it looks like the Official Greg Topic, has just... stopped. And from reading the home page these days you would hardly know that this is a BIONICLE website.
Anyway, even though this is a very busy period of time, I think it is important to take some time to wrap up an old tradition. So just in case you feel like you never got a proper conclusion to the Farshtey Feed, and even though this should be considered way out of date, I give you its last entry ever, corresponding to p328-334; 1-5. Enjoy. =)
LIFE ON SPHERUS MAGNA
• There are many species from the Matoran Universe in the new Matoran/Agori settlement on Spherus Magna, but there are far more Matoran than anyone else from the Matoran Universe. [source]
• In the aftermath of the battle between Mata Nui and Makuta on Bara Magna, there are probably a little over 40 Toa left. [source]
• Kualus and Nuju are not able to speak to the birds native to Spherus Magna in the way they can communicate with bird Rahi from the Matoran universe, because the languages are completely different. The biomechanical birds from the MU speak a variant of programming language, like the other languages in the Matoran universe. [source] [source]
• The Order of Mata Nui will stay together. [source]
• Lightstones no longer work now that the Matoran Universe is destroyed. The Matoran did not bring any of them to Spherus Magna. [source]
• The Makuta stone from the Amaja Circle tales was brought from Metru Nui to Spherus Magna. The Makoki Stone and other items of value would also have been taken when the Matoran migrated from Mata Nui to Metru Nui, etc. [source]
• The Matoran did not bring heatstones to Spherus Magna. [source]
• The Matoran military groups from Mata Nui/Metru Nui have not been disbanded since Makuta's fall. [source]
• The Matoran will probably continue their sports and games on Spherus Magna when they have the time. [source]
• Old enemies such as the Dark Hunters and Barraki will doubtfully be welcomed in to the new society. [source]
• Now that the Matoran Universe and prototype robots have broken down, they will be used to build shelters on Spherus Magna. [source]
• Some beings are holding out from evacuating the Matoran universe, primarily those who can survive without heat or light. [source]
• The Order of Mata Nui will certainly try to establish a new version of the Pit, in collaboration with the Agori. Greg supposes that guarding the new Pit would be a shared responsibility between Glatorian and the Maxilos robots. Hydraxon's role is unclear, but he may be used as more of a bounty hunter. [source]
• Takanuva and the Toa Mahri should be considered veteran Toa by now. [source]
• Tahu is adjusting rapidly to his newfound Rahkshi powers. [source]
• After the fall of Roxtus, Branar met up with one of the fragments of the Rock Tribe. [source]
• The following characters/creatures have made it out of the Matoran universe and are on Spherus Magna: Voporak, the Rahi Nui, the Kardas Dragon, Tahtorak, the Kanohi Dragon, and Umbra. It is unknown whether Varian has made it. Tren Krom was freed from his island and allowed to escape, but it is unknown who. [source] [source] [source] [source] [source] [source] [source]
• Greg, on the outcome of "The Powers That Be": "Best answer is to look at the title -- it's about power. BUT -- I will give you a clue -- in the end this story is not going to be about death and murder ... the story is about to take a BIG turn." [source]
• Greg strongly hints that the Red Star is "causing trouble." [source]
• According to Greg, the reason why Toa and Glatorian characters have been the ones seen settling problems between the Matoran and Agori instead of the Turaga and village elders is because the village leaders are busy trying to set up a social structure for their new society, and are leaving the handling of internal disputes to the respected heroes. [source]
• Metus transformed back into an Agori because what Mata Nui did to him wore off. [source]
• The gold-skinned fusion creature knew so much about Annona because it is telepathic. [source]
• Annona was referring to Zaktan when he mentioned the "one thought dead." [source]
• The elemental power inhibitor which Kabrua is using only works on Toa. [source]
• Mavrah really is who he appears to be in "The Powers That Be." [source]
SISTERS OF THE SKRALL
• All of the Sisters of the Skrall who went looking for Angonce fell under Annona's power, as seen in "Sahmad's Tale." [source]
• The female Skrall of Bota Magna are much like the ones on Bara Magna. They too have psionic powers and do not get along with the male Skrall in their region, having formed an enclave of their own. The Skrall of Bota Magna in general are just as militaristic as the ones on Bara Magna. [source] [source]
• If female Skrall have a male child, they give it back to the males. [source]
• The name of the red, tentacled creature from "Sahmad's Tale" is spelled "Annona." [source]
• Annona has always lived on Spherus Magna. [source]
• Greg sees Annona as female. [source]
• Annona looks like a ball of energy with tentacles. [source]
• Annona remained in hiding for so long out of fear of the Great Beings. [source]
• The Kestora, the beings found living in the Red Star in "The Powers That Be," are of the same species as the black and purple creatures seen in "The Journey of Takanuva," when Takanuva was visiting a pocket dimension. [source] [source]
• Kestora are biomechanical and are creations of the Great Beings. [source]
• The Kestora are the same beings Gali Nuva saw living in the Red Star through the telescope. [source]
• Kestora do not live anywhere else in the main universe besides the Red Star. [source]
• The reason why Kestora were found living in a pocket dimension is an unclear topic. Greg once stated that there is no reason to believe that the Great Beings are responsible for their presence there. According to him, the Great Beings did create all of the pocket dimensions tied to the Matoran Universe, but they did not put the Kestora in the pocket dimension Takanuva visited. In his words, "How exactly the GBs created these entities [is] not yet known. So what they may have done is gotten the ball rolling, but the actual creation took place over time in the two different places, which would then explain some of the behavioral differences between the two groups. The ones in the City of Silver seem to be warriors; the ones on the red star are not." When asked later why the Great Beings put Kestora in such a place, Greg replied with a conflicting answer, saying, "Because the Kestora were good for what they wanted done there." [source] [source] [source]
• Gaardus, in addition to teleportation, has the power of flight, enhanced senses, and considerable strength. He also wears a functional Great Kanohi Hau, which is the mask he wore as a Matoran. [source] [source] [source]
• Judging from the combiner model of Gaardus, he was originally a Ta-Matoran. [source]
• The Nynrah Ghosts who experimented on Gaardus were rogues who had been exiled from Nynrah and forced to work elsewhere. [source]
• The Order of Mata Nui, Brotherhood of Makuta, and likely Artakha as well all knew about Gaardus. [source]
• Gaardus likely had no knowledge of the Red Star before he went there himself the first time. [source]
• The gold-skinned fusion creature does not wear any armor. [source]
• Marendar keys in on Toa power to find Toa. [source]
• Perditus is older than Gelu. [source]
• Tarduk is older than Berix. [source]
• Tuma is probably older than Stronius. [source]
• Greg has estimated how old these characters would be considered to be in human years:
Gresh: mid-20's [source]
Ackar: late 40's [source]
Raanu: early 60's [source]
Tarix: early 40's [source]
Kiina: mid-30's [source]
Tuma: mid-40's [source]
• Orde, Zaria, and Chiara all fought in the battle against the Rahkshi during the final battle between Mata Nui and Teridax. [source]
• In the serialized form of Journey's End, Makuta comments on Pohatu and Gali devastating half a legion of Rahkshi, whereas in the Bionicle comic book that covered that same scene, he comments on Pohatu and Gali devastating half a legion of Skakdi. Greg says that Skakdi were meant in both cases. [source]
• Kyry is depicted differently in "All Our Sins Remembered" from his winning MOC contest entry because the artists were never aware of the contest or its results. [source]
• The Order of Mata Nui destroyed most of the energized protodermis sources in the Matoran Universe with a counteragent. What's left is still inside the Matoran Universe. [source]
• The Mistika Makuta's armor was the same color before they were mutated. [source]
• Greg, explaining the different types of physical dimensions that exist in the story: "The main universe is the one in which the 2001-2009 story has taken place. It is the equivalent of Earth-616 in Marvel. We consider it to be the core reality for purposes of story. An alternate reality is another version of the core reality in which events unfolded differently. It is not linked to the core reality, it exists on its own. New alternate realities are formed whenever a decision is made in the core reality. A pocket dimension is a totally separate reality linked to the core reality. New ones are not constantly formed, and it need not have any relation at all to the core reality." [source]
• Greg imagines that there were still problem Rahi with infected Kanohi on Mata Nui as late as the start of the 2003 story. [source]
• Greg, on how Tahnok-Kal was able to retain its memories after its Krana was stolen in Comic 11: "Well, it would be fairly impractical if everytime a Bohrok changed its krana, it lost all its memories, etc. My guess would be there has to be some mental link between krana to insure things like that don't happen." [source]
THE GREAT BEINGS
• The Iron Wolves and biomechanical dinosaurs created by the Great Beings were modifications of existing creatures. [source]
• Greg, on why Angonce chose to stay on Spherus Magna: "I personally feel it is because he felt more of an attachment to the Agori than some of the others did. Keep in mind, though, that there is no evidence the other GBs actually left the planet, just that they disappeared. No one knows where they went." [source]
• Greg, on how the Great Beings built the prototype robot: "[T]hey did not build it with their own hands. There aren't that many GBs, it would have taken them ages to build something that big by hand. They mostly used construction robots and a few Agori." [source]
• The prototype robot was not built with a machine analogous to the Red Star, since it was not designed to leave the planet. [source]
• The Great Beings already knew how to repair Spherus Magna when they created Mata Nui, but for geological reasons the repair of the planet could not be safely done until 100,000 years had passed. Therefore they did not implement an immediate solution and programmed the task into Mata Nui to be completed after his journey through space. [source] [source]
• Marendar and the elemental power inhibitor were developed more or less at the same time, but by different Great Beings. [source]
• The Great Beings did not stay in contact with the Kestora inside the Red Star; otherwise, they would have known that Mata Nui crashed. [source]
• The Matoran universe inhabitant who is a Great Being in disguise is not being controlled remotely. The Great Being put his consciousness into one of the Matoran universe beings at the time of its creation, so he was never who he appeared to be. This Great Being is confirmed to be male. [source] [source]
• Greg, on whether the disguised Great Being's intentions are evil: "Who defines evil? All we know is that whatever he is planning to do, Orde objects to it and wants it stopped. But to the GB, it might not be 'evil' at all." [source]
• Even though the disguised Great Being would have left his old body on Spherus Magna for the others to find after he transferred his consciousness, the other Great Beings could have done nothing to stop him if they did not know where he had gone, and they had no access to the Matoran universe once it was launched anyway. [source]
• The disguised Great Being is not using his real name. [source]
• A Great Being would not be able to transfer his consciousness to a non-biomechanical being like a Glatorian or Agori. [source]
• The Great Being who was cursed by the Mask of Life affects everything within a certain range of himself, and the effects only last while those things are in range. It would be possible for the Mask of Life to lift the curse or revert affected objects. [source]
MATORAN UNIVERSE HISTORY
• It was not possible to travel between the Red Star and the Matoran Universe when they were docked together. [source]
• The various forms of protodermis in the Matoran Universe were created artificially. [source]
• Greg, on Tren Krom's original function: "He ran the universe - basically, he acted as the operating system for the machine until Mata Nui's AI came online. [... T]he MU was not turned on yet at that point, so he did not need to be wired into it to run it. Which is why once it was turned on, he wasn't able to do it anymore. All he had to be able to do was basically oversee the living things in the MU, and being telepathic, that was easy for him to do." [source]
• Greg, on what Shadow Stealer did to protect the Matoran universe in the days before the first Toa: "There are always menaces -- remember, there was a giant robot being built in an area where there was wildlife and the robot was not sealed yet, so someone had to be defending the construction site from the inside." [source]
• In the case that a planet did not have any large bodies of water, Mata Nui would have had to observe it from space. [source]
• The Great Beings created the pocket dimensions tied to the Matoran universe, although we have not yet seen one which really served an important purpose. [source]
• The lake of energized protodermis where Keetongu and Helryx encountered the Energized Protodermis Entity has existed in the Matoran Universe since 100,000 years ago. [source]
• Lesovikk's mad Turaga, the one who sent all of his Matoran to Karzahni while Lesovikk's team was fighting Zyglak, went crazy all on his own; no external power caused him to go insane. [source]
• During the Time Slip, the Order of Mata Nui did not hide more than one Av-Matoran in any one location, in order that they be spread out. [source]
• The Great Beings did not create any male Ce-Matoran before deciding they should all be female. [source]
• The Energy Hound species of Rahi was created by the Hand of Artakha. [source]
• The Toa Mata were in training around the time when Mata Nui was being activated for the first time, and they were not even the first Toa team in existence. Even so, the Matoran Universe was constructed in a matter of months at the most. [source]
• Protodites are biomechanical. [source]
• Greg says that it is likely that all the Makuta had a Toa Hagah team at some point. Toa Hagah generally followed their Makuta wherever they went. It is likely that the Makuta employed Toa of Magnetism and Iron, given that they wanted Toa with those elements to be where they could keep an eye on them. [source]
• Greg's opinion is that the fact that Life, Time, and Creation have legendary masks implies that these powers are considered beyond standard elements. [source]
• When Av-Matoran become Bohrok, their consciousness does fade away, and they effectively die. From their point of view, it is a natural part of the cycle of life, and not something they fear. [source]
• The primary color for the Iron element is metallic gray, like Zaria. Iron may also have other colors such as gold, bronze, and gray. [source]
• Greg, on whether Matoran-language names are actually pronounced like they are spelled: "MU inhabitants speak programming language, so it may not sound anything at all like what our language sounds like. If I recall, one of the early online animations had them speaking in this very high-pitched way that sounded pretty much like programming noise." [source]
• The inhabitants of the Matoran universe have mechanical eyes. [source]
• Matoran of Plasma probably prefer hot climates like Matoran of Fire. [source]
• Fe-Matoran would settle in environments near where metal can be mined. [source]
• Matoran of plant life like to live in forests or jungles. [source]
SPHERUS MAGNA HISTORY
• According to Greg, the Energized Protodermis Entity is not as old as the Great Beings, since it did not achieve sentience that early. [source]
• Vorox have always been aggressive, even before devolving into beasts. [source]
• Like the Vorox on Bota Magna, the Zesk there did not regress into savagery either. [source]
• The terms "Vorox" and "Zesk" are demonyms for members of the Sand Tribe rather than the names of species.
• The Vorox and Zesk's tails are probably biomechanical. [source]
• The Element Lord of Rock was not a supreme leader of the Skrall tribe before becoming an Element Lord. Basically, the Skrall were broken up into legions, and each legion had a leader. To Greg's knowledge, there was no overall supreme leader. [source]
• Greg, on the whereabouts of Gresh's parents: "No idea. Probably still out there somewhere. Eventually, you do leave your parents and go out and make your own life, and that is what Gresh did." It is "not impossible" that they fought in the Core War. [source] [source]
• Aqua Magna may have had sand bars for seabirds to rest on in the time before Spherus Magna was reformed. [source]
POWERS AND ABILITIES
• The Kanohi Rau only works with languages of the Matoran universe. The Rau would be able to decipher codes as well, since codes are basically languages. [source]
• Toa and Glatorian can channel their elemental powers through any of each other's tools; they are not limited to work with only one element. [source]
• In terms of elemental power, the following rank from strongest to weakest: Makuta, Toa Nuva, Toa Hordika/Toa Inika/Takanuva, Glatorian. Toa Hordika have the same level of elemental power as normal Toa but less mental capacity to use it. [source]
• Toa Tuyet is much more powerful than a Toa Nuva, but Greg argues that she is not as powerful as an Element Lord, since an Element Lord essentially is one with the element it controls, whereas Tuyet merely wields it. She has more raw elemental energy than a Makuta, but a Makuta has more willpower and mental discipline to be able to use its power more efficiently. [source] [source]
• Tahu, with his new Kraata powers, is more powerful than Toa Tuyet with her Nui Stone. [source]
• A normal Toa would not be able to use a Toa Kaita mask. [source]
• When used above water, Lesovikk's sea sled does not fly, but hovers above the ground. [source]
• Krahka would be able to change herself to look mostly like a Glatorian or an Agori but would not be able to make herself mostly organic like on of them. She would be a biomechanical version of one and not terribly convincing to anyone who really knew what one was like. [source]
• The Shadowed One is not able to use Kanohi. [source]
• A Mask of Rahi Control would not work on Spherus Magna wildlife. [source]
• Takutanuva, like Makuta, had the ability to shapeshift. [source]
• A user of the Mask of Intangibility avoids falling through the ground by willpower. [source]
• It is known that Av-Matoran can access special powers when in contact with a Toa or Makuta. These same powers would be available to them upon becoming a Toa. Takanuva never found out what his Av-Matoran power was as Takua, so he cannot access it. [source]
• The Kanohi Hau cannot block unseen attacks, so it would not be effective for blocking attacks from an invisible opponent. [source]
• Makuta can only use one Rahkshi power at a time. The particular strength of these powers in comparison to a Kraata depends on the willpower of the individual Makuta. [source]
• The quick healing Rahkshi power only affects organic components, not armor. [source]
• Rahkshi powers like fire resistance need to be consciously activated. [source]
So around this time of year I hear a lot of scrooges trying to dampen the holiday mood by saying something along the lines of "You know, people commit suicide more often around Christmas. It's a shame how people get so stressed out over gifts that they end their lives."
Well, no more! Because that is 100% false!
I'm bringing this up right now because I've heard this four or five times in the last three days, and it annoys me incredibly. I don't even celebrate Christmas and I love the holiday season because of how cheery people get, and how they seem to be more generous, so people trying to dampen things by spreading misinformation about people dying gets under my skin. So please, next time someone tries to rain on the parade with that line, present the facts.
A bit of a heavy topic for BZP, but I think that saying "Hey, people aren't killing themselves in droves, things aren't as bad as you might think they are!" is an acceptable reason to delve into a heavy topic.
My grandmother died this morning at the age of 77.
Words can’t even begin to describe the misery she went through in the past several years of her life. Her immense medical record was just about as long as the list of doctors who were mortified at the prospect of having to navigate the murky medical waters of a woman who, by all rights, should have been dead five times over. Between her assisted living facility, the various wards of the hospital, and rehab facilities spanning across several counties, she was a threat to sap the combined medical resources of the greater Charlotte area. 77 is not an old age, but aside from her thinning, yet stubbornly black hair, her body might as well have been 97.
I don’t know, at this point, what finally did her in, but I can venture a guess that it’s something to do with the all-too-uncommon perils of someone with her comorbidities: her stage 2 kidney failure prevented her from taking the full dose of diuretics necessary to get the inevitable fluid buildup away from her heart and lungs, while her stage 3/borderline stage 4 heart failure had a hard time keeping up with the volume overload. People in her condition walk a thinner and thinner tightrope until they (or their loved ones) are forced into choosing death by kidney failure or death by heart failure.
It was getting to a point where we would have been forced into making a difficult decision on her behalf. While she never suffered from any sort of neurological conditions (other than lifelong anxiety and depression), she was so tired—especially in the final months—that she could barely lift up her head, and her generally high creatinine levels (a byproduct of kidney failure) led to many a moment when the vivid imagination of her dreams got to her in her few remaining waking hours. She would have been in no condition to weigh the awful choice which was coming her way; a nursing home would have been the next step, and that process would have been an unimaginable emotional anguish for everyone involved.
Her passing, while undeniably sad, is a weight lifted. Her condition would have killed a lesser person, and her life is a testament to a strength of willpower so strong that the rest of us would do well for ourselves in life if we had the tiniest fraction of hers.
You often hear about deaths like this being sad, but not too sad, because they’re “expected.” As cliché as that might be, I can attest to its accuracy, having seen her on her deathbed on multiple occasions within the past several years. It was hard on those occasions because we grieved her passing and got through the emotions associated with such a loss, only for her to pull out and get through another two years.
Even towards the end, she had good days, good weeks, and even good months. She found as much joy as possible in the little pleasures and comforts still available to her—watching the livestream of my graduation, hosting her bridge club for the final time—up through May. When it became clear that her body wouldn’t get back to the quality of life she once enjoyed, it shut down for good; that fight to get to the next goal, the next thing-she-was-looking-forward-to, just wasn’t there this time.
If there’s anyone who taught me perseverance in the face of adversity, it’s her, and I hope that I can follow her example for the rest of my life.