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  • posted a message on 2001: A Space Odyssey
    It's a shot of Dave and Frank walking down a corridor that is spinning and climbing into a ladder that is also spinning. It looks like both sets are spinning, but that isn't possible. It's a pretty impressive shot for any film making era.

    I don't think they could have spun one part of the set then stopped it and simultaneously spun another part of the set.
    Funny - that's exactly what they did. He had a Ferris wheel sort of set-up, and it was split in halves. The camera is anchored to the half they start on which is not spinning to begin with, and they make the nearly seamless rotation change as they cross the threshold.

    I absolutely adore 2001: A Space Odyssey, and I find it interesting that people feel the pacing is a flaw. For me, the slow, deliberate pace is a master stroke conveying the temporal realities of space travel, and scientific discovery and exploration. A lot of effort is taken to make sure that the weight of reality remains in the audience and the pacing plays a huge role in accomplishing that. This may make it inappropriate for "empty entertainment", whatever that is, but makes for excellent mood if you come into it without that expectation.

    As for it being an adaptation, he worked directly with Clarke to expand his earlier short story "Sentinel", and then they split off to do the two works simultaneously without much communication. They are two different treatments of the same notion; neither is an adaptation of the other. The book explains a bit more than the film's willing to do - for example, Kubrick wanted the ending to be enigmatic, wanted for each person's personal interpretation to be just as valid - but for the most part they agree.
    Posted in: Entertainment Archive
  • posted a message on Dogfight, aka ugly date contest. Not funny to me. Funny to you?
    Quote from Rivaltuna
    What would your success rate be, then? I'm honestly curious.
    sisorus's question cuts to the core of the matter. What I'm looking for is honest, open, respectful communication with others in a way that brings me happiness - generally from learning more about the world and the people in it (truly fascinating stuff!), or from supporting one another. The problem in determining my success rate there is it's hard to know when I've failed, but if I were to make a guess I'd say... 50%?

    If you mean just for sexual or romantic endeavours, how often I try to start them and how often I succeed, I can't think of a time between adopting this outlook on life and now when I've made an attempt at forging such a relationship that hasn't been taken up by the other. I don't make many such attempts, of course - more often I'm the one they're approaching - but I haven't been without a romantic partner in this past third of my life or so (eight years).

    And bear in mind I'm overweight, introverted, have little money, maintain an atypical set of interests, carry some rather extreme opinions, have more than a few Problems, and was never short of forthcoming about these facts.
    Posted in: Talk and Entertainment
  • posted a message on Dogfight, aka ugly date contest. Not funny to me. Funny to you?
    I'm shocked by the prevalence of self-centred thinking in this thread, seriously having trouble believing that people act this way. It doesn't make sense to me that people can have such ruinous approaches to others. To my mind, it's a very simple process:

    1. Realise that you are a small individual in the world. You are encapsulated in a little body, and your identity, your self, all your hopes and goals and dreams and interests pertain only to your minute subset of existence. There's a greater world out there, with many other little bodies. Which brings us to...

    2. Realise that every other human you see is just like you. They have thoughts and feelings just as you have, they too are burdened by their identity, their dreams, and they - as you - wish to find happiness for themselves. You are no more or less important than anyone. We all share this experience of living, its highs and its lows, and we each feel we deserve some measure of happiness.

    Once you become fully aware of those two things, it's a very small step to being a truly respectful person. There's no divide, no "us" and "them", just other people just like me, and I can forge my path in a way that at least provides no obstacle to theirs. Better yet, I can find camaraderie with others every bit my equal, find methods of mutual support like friendship.

    And yes, romantic relationships! A meeting of equals who find a common bond and say, yes, this is a wonderful thing, a clarifying catalyst of a human being whose presence in my life brings inspiration and joy and energy to my whole life! Or even sexual relationships, those beautiful connections between individuals who trust each other and care for each other such that they're willing to lay bare their senses and work together to bring both to heights of exhilaration achievable in so few activities in life.

    There's absolutely no call to be adversarial about this, to feel any bitterness in your soul over lack of success in either or any of it, there's no one and nothing to conquer or vanquish. Most importantly, nobody's entitled to these experiences, and it can't be summoned into existence by force of will; it's a spontaneous discovery found in the meetings of minds when both sides are open to it, are moved to truly care about the person in that body beside them, and are fortunate enough to find that spark of connection.

    So I'd define a Guy 4, who goes about life finding others fascinating, who shares himself with those who find him fascinating, and who's open to relationships that become apparent to him. When he sees the possibility of a romantic or sexual connection, he comments on it to the other person, and happily takes what comes from there. All of it open, all of it accepting of whatever the other, his true and complete equal, says.

    How are his chances at finding happiness and fulfilment through interpersonal discourse?
    Posted in: Talk and Entertainment
  • posted a message on The Euthanasia Debate
    Ah, I think I understand what you're saying now, Blinking Spirit. The evaluative comparison is not one that can be determined logically, so it's not possible to make claims on what another would or ought to prefer. People can make their own evaluations in nonrational manners, but by that nature it is a personal thing. Somethin like that, or stronger y
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on The Euthanasia Debate
    I would think you'd need some reason to always prefer continued existence by living to nonexistence by dying, or are you saying there's no reason to prefer either because they are utterly incomparable?
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Things That Make YOU Feel Good About Yourself
    Generosity is basically all of mine. I'm a compulsive sharer and love doing what I can for others. I drive my friends all over without thinking about it, listen to people's problems and offer advice as needed, try to include everyone in everything... yeah.

    There's a few others, but they're pretty minor by comparison.
    Posted in: Talk and Entertainment
  • posted a message on [The Crafters] are trapped in Limbo...
    @Pat: I agree on Crokinole. I've never not known about it in the same way most people have always known about Pinochle or Bridge, but haven't played. I'd love to get a set some day.
    Wouldn't it be better to take shots when buying basic treasure? Or better yet, link it to Curses and control which curse-givers are around? Ill-Gotten Gains and Embargo seem like good choices. You want t encourage actions, not punish them.
    Posted in: Clans
  • posted a message on The Euthanasia Debate
    Blinking Spirit, you're placing value on being alive and existing, yes? Where does that come from?
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on [The Crafters] are trapped in Limbo...
    Valentine's Day? Why not Leap Day material? I love Leap Day, mostly for marking a year with Summer Olympics going on, but still!

    So that thing I was working on... it went just over 3,500 words. But you have to understand, twenty courses at The French Laundry is a lot to talk about!
    From the moment we arrived, a touch before 7pm, everyone was cordial at worst. We were invited to sit in the lounge, but were quickly interrupted "before [we] get too comfortable on the sofa" to be taken to our table - soon burdened by a tablet computing device (with a case to tastefully hide any logos) displaying their one-hundred eleven page wine list. The napkins were held by a clothespin bearing the restaurant's name, which staff removed before laying the napkins in our laps. After consulting their sommelier on the sparkling offered by the glass, I selected the Gaston Chiquet Blanc de Blancs (MV), and in short time we had the first food item before us.

    Served in exceptionally tall champagne flutes, the drink was very light, clean, crisp, and smooth, but still managed to hold its ground against the first amuse-bouche: gougere. Traditionally - or at least, in my experience - gougere has its cheese cooked into the dough before baking, where this had a molten cave-aged gruyere center in a plain, impeccable pate-a-choux shell. A single bite, a few moments to savour its glowingly warm cheese excellence, and we had second amuse before us. Balanced on a metal plate supported above the table sat two little cones topped with pastel orange balls, looking every bit like tiny servings of ice cream - smoked salmon tartare coronets, filled with brandy creme fraiche. Al, who's grown weary of salmon over the years, was refreshed by this distillation of all that can be delightful in the fish. Deeply flavoured, paired with the lightening creme fraiche, and set to gentle spices in the cone; perfect. These signature openers completed, we moved on to the menu proper...

    Our servers brought charming, squat, lidded cylinders to the table, resting on a stack of three plates, each broadly-rimmed with a houndstooth pattern. The lids were taken to reveal a shallow indentation in the cylinder, where varied fruit and vegetable rested - immediately to become the garnish beneath a parsnip-vanilla veloute. Parsnip happens to be my very favourite vegetable (barring the onion) and this was as wonderfully warm as parsnip ever could be, even paired with cool vanilla bean, speaking to the quality of the restaurant's own garden where most all the root vegetables and herbs are grown. Little can match parsnip's ability to make me sigh contentedly, but I fear that innate reaction will be diminished in the future save when it brings me back to a happy remembrance of this soup.

    And then we were given mother of pearl spoons for The French Laundry's perennial "Oysters and Pearls". Again served on a stack of wide plates, four this time (we were told our meal would likely use some eighty dishes between us), we found ourselves with a small bowl of tapioca sabayon, upon which rested two small oysters and a sizeable portion of white sturgeon caviar. Our previous caviar experience comes from another Keller restaurant, Bouchon, which also serves white sturgeon, but this was more excellent yet. The more tender membranes were so gentle, transmitting their slight brine in sublime fashion, matching our now half-drunk champagne as remarkably as the perfectly assembled tapioca. The pair of oysters mingled in that briny flavour and brought a note of sweetness to the dish. Fantastic! And the spoons were enormous as caviar spoons go, being almost the size of a normal spoons, with beautiful curve.

    Coming away from the caviar and tapioca, we were presented a single large spoon on (yes) a triple stack of plates, the bowl of which was completely filled with beautiful orbs of salmon roe, surrounded by butter and sprinkled with lime salt - quite the sight! All the flavours blended into one gorgeous taste upon breaking the eggs.

    Next was something of a deconstructed sushi roll, presented as a small domed rectangle of rice with a layer of avocado, next to which sat a thin matching rectangle of lightly cooked sardine, its beautifully shimmering silver skin unmarred in preparation. Neither of us had had sardine before, and if this is what sardine ought to be we can see the appeal. Amazing, rich flavour dazzled our tongues as its flaky flesh yielding instantly to fork and tongue. The rice was expertly crafted, maintaining the shape with precision but without the need to grow sticky and despite the presence of rice vinegar. At this point there was no doubt that wizardry is afoot in their kitchen.

    As if to confirm this, we were next given an egg resting in a short stand, its top end cut off. Inside sat a custard, infused with white truffle oil, covered by a black truffle ragout, and, rising up through the hole, a narrow bar of potato chip with a single green chive running a straight line perfectly centred along its length within. The hole was, naturally, just wide enough to allow the spoon to enter, and as much as it's over-used, silky smooth accurately describes the fineness of texture for the custard. Being late January, black truffle season was in full swing and this ragout demonstrated it fully; the white truffle didn't suffer for its season having just passed. As we progressed through the custard and had bites in full contact with the egg's shell, the flavour turned more significantly to an egg white, changing the composition again. Wonderful, in every way.

    A small serving table was rolled next to us and our server produced two blackened balls, each perhaps slightly smaller than a golf ball. Taking up a carving knife, he opened what he explained was a thick coating of ash, as would be used in aging cheese, to reveal that each contained a truffle. The ash is to provide no escape for any of the truffle's essence as might otherwise leave the truffle while it cooked. He then cut our truffles, placed them with the accompanying elements waiting on the plate - compressed persimmon, beets, pistachios, and some herbs and blossoms. We'd not had unshaved truffle before, and its texture is incredible, firm, friable, but with a spring, and its flavour... beyond words. Compressed persimmon was an interesting experience, too, taking on structure very close to that of traditional fruit jellies. Quite the salad!

    Here two large brandy glasses were placed before us, and we were presented our half-bottle of white wine, heralding our fish courses. I'd earlier asked the sommelier to select for us a half-bottle each red and white (within a set budget), citing our inexperience - particularly in the realm of whites. Ours was to be a French white Burgundy, 2009 Henri Boillot Clos de la Mouchere, a premier cru monopole wine from Puligny-Montrachet, and it was as gentle a wine as I've ever had, delicately layered in its flavour. A short time later we each received a beautiful little pretzeled bread roll, extremely flaky even to the eye, and so very buttery. As if that weren't enough, we also found butter placed before us, two handmade butters from Jersey cow milk. I've unfortunately forgotten one's origin, but it was a classic, wonderful butter, its surface sprinkled with fleur de sel. The other came from Andante, a local dairy I know very, very well for their masterful cheeses - but I had no idea they made butter! This had a different character to it, one I've found before in an Irish butter and those with high butterfat content, but even deeper and moreso. I have difficulty describing it beyond noting my synesthetic colour perception: a slightly dark yellow, not quite fully saturated but deep, deep to its core.

    The first fish course arrived then, Atlantic striped bass displaying a lovely caramelised surface, as would a scallop, next to two little pools - a Yukon gold potato puree and a clam chowder doubling as sauce. There's an undesirable flavour that grows in fish as it ages that we've regrettably come to call "fishyness" for lack of a better term (unfair we know, it being a product of mistreatment and all, but it's proven impossible to describe otherwise); in this fish, however, we found certain elements of that flavour without the offensive components, and these elements worked with the rest of the flavours present to be fully enjoyable. Wizardry! Two tiny littleneck clams gave visual representation to the chowder, and were so uncharacteristic of their kind that I couldn't identify them despite being quite familiar with littlenecks. As for the potatoes, the puree was splendidly flavourful and creamy with more body I'd have thought possible given the level of milk and butter fats present, and the two perfectly carved little potatoes were a fantastic textural experience. Firm enough to offer resistance, but upon breaking it open there was no flood of cloying starch, that having somehow been replaced with the ideal of potato flavour seemingly without a delivering factor.

    We were presented with options for our next bread roll here, Al opted for sourdough and I chose multi-grain - each representing the height of the form - and then they brought out the next, and last, fish course: butter-poached lobster tail, with a pair of little cooked romaine lettuce leaves, a touch of bacon, and a lightly frothed butternut squash bisque poured to surround. Beurre monte is a very simple butter sauce made by melting butter in such a way that it stays in emulsion, a trick that, once accomplished, can be maintained in a small temperature window - a temperature window, Keller realised one day, that is just right for poaching lobster. Upon applying any pressure to this perfect, fresh, firm, thick tail straight from Maine, butter begins seeping through its whole form, as any little bit of water or air that once existed in its structure has been replaced with butter. Nothing can be written to convey the resulting flavour; I thought I could imagine its splendor when I read about the preparation, but trust me, it's so much more in person. And the butternut squash bisque was the very peak of the form, lovely even next to the lobster.

    At this point we felt we needed a break - after all, eight dishes with amuse could be a meal itself - but were advised to wait for the next dish as it was already being cooked, so we did. (The impression was this was merely advice from the chef as to how best enjoy the food, and that accommodations could be made.) But first we received two absurdly tall and wide wine glasses - truly absurd; I had a hard time stifling laughter at the sight - and our red wine arrived. This was a Syrah-Merlot blend from St Helena, California, a 2009 Variation One from Arietta. Slightly more than half a bottle, very, very nice. The first red meat dish came soon after, being a little bowl of tripes a la Provencal. A bright red sauce obscured the tripes themselves, which were served with a few vegetables and tiny croutons. It proved to be a trifle spicy, a problem for Al, who has an extremely low tolerance for heat ("green bell peppers are spicy, right?"). Overall, I found it a nice little dish, but didn't quite reach the magnificent or fantastic heights each of the other dishes had managed. Still, tripes seemed just fine to me and I can't imagine why anyone would specifically refuse them; for Al, they were merely inoffensive.

    Our break lasted some fifteen minutes outside in the gentle coolness of a warm-for-January night, light cloud cover obscuring stars but not a thin crescent moon, enjoying the garden and a peak through the windows into the kitchen. Eventually we heeded the siren call of the food that awaited and, back inside, we were given another pass at bread - Al took up the multi-grain this time and I the simple French bread, still excellent - and then presented a bowl of pasta, being fresh, hand-made, hand-cut tagliatelle, a thin ribbon noodle, featuring a gentle cheese sauce and some bits of black pepper and truffle. Then, the waiter produced a black truffle and began slicing it, thinly as possible, over Al's dish. And continued slicing. And slicing. Still slicing. Nearly halfway into the truffle, he was finally satisfied and moved to mine, giving it the same treatment before leaving us with our now thoroughly truffled pasta. I'd not had the pleasure of fresh pasta before; it was slightly eggy in a way that was perfectly accompanied by the cheese sauce - simply incredible, even without truffle. With the truffle... I have little doubt that'll be pasta unmatched in my experience for a long, long time.

    Next we had Moulard duck foie gras au torchon, served as a half disk standing up, probably twenty-five grams, with varied fruit and vegetable accompaniment, and a black sauce drawn on the plate of, what else, truffle. Along with the foie came extraordinarily thick slices of brioche toast - I thought each was a stack of two slices before taking one - and a large dish in the shape of a flower, placed in the middle of the table to reveal six compartments of salts. Two were Hawaiian large-grain salts, black and red, two were French salts, fleur de sel (white) and sel gris (grey), one finer grain white salt from the Phillippines, and the last, finest ground of them all, was pink, sourced to a copper mine in the northern United States and estimated to be some forty million years old. (Inaccurately named "Jurassic salt" by the company selling it; forty million years would put it right in the middle of the Paleogene period.) Very interesting how they all interacted with the foie gras, highlighting different notes in its extremely rich flavour. The Philippine salt was bright and gentle, very nice, most similar to fleur de sel, where the Jurassic salt was more textured as a result of greater impurities, being flecked with copper. All of the accompanying fruits were at their most brilliant, particularly notable of the orange and the cranberry, and the truffle coulis was, of course, fantastic. And, naturally, we were quietly brought more toast as needed. Our prior experience with foie gras au torchon comes, again, from Bouchon, but it wasn't nearly so good as this, and now I believe it's due to oversalting.

    Following that unfollowable dish was Pekin duck breast, so beautiful Al had to struggle to begin eating it. The meat sat as a little bar a couple inches long, with a perfect little layer of gorgeous, white fat beneath the crisp, dark skin flecked with ground spices. Sharing its plate were carrots, small dark red balls, adorably tiny cauliflower, and an exceptional curry sauce. Rich, rich flavour presented in the meat, masterfully spiced, matched superbly to the curry, to everything. I've never enjoyed cauliflower, but these were delicious - even just the water clinging to it was potently flavourful and wonderful to taste. Those small red balls had a firm, doughy texture and excellent flavour, but were impossible to pin down. On asking, we found out they were dates, and I might have guessed it but for the fact that dates look nothing like this! The cooks de-seed them, scoop out a tiny piece, and roll that into a ball before a gentle simmer. Lovely, lovely.

    After that, we informed the staff we'd like another break, and again were informed that the next dish is cooking and it'd be best to wait. So we had the steak, from a cut found wrapped around the rib-eye, in a portion similar in size to the duck, cooked to a deep, uniform rare red throughout with just the slightest layer of grey all around from its searing. This is served with a long piece of vinegared cabbage, some beets, and a dark red beet jus, with a spoonful of eighth-inch diced beef brisket as was cooked with the sauce to provide flavour. I've grown somewhat bored with beef, preferring lamb, but this was the absolute idealised form of beef - particularly the sweet, heavy flavour in the beet-soaked brisket. Cabbage is something I've found myself liking more and more, particularly as sauerkraut, and this was pure joy, cutting into those heavier beef flavours wonderfully.

    We took another break, longer than the first, and went on a bit of a walk around the restaurant. But first we needed to use the restroom as we each managed to get a bit of the beet jus on our shirts, and at the merest suggestion that we'd need to use one a member of staff immediately offered to show us the way. Fortunately, the sauce came out with the help of their excessively luxurious paper towels - seriously, they feel like cloth! - without any staining. A bit of starlight for this break, some fresh, cool air, and back in for a cheese course. Called Echo Mountain Blue, it was a generous serving of blue cheese made in Oregon. Superb flavour, a truly excellent cheese, served with walnuts, endive, and skinned red grapes.

    Our first dessert came next, being a small quenelle of osmanthus tea sherbet served next to an abundant crescent of fruits with a dramatic honey tuile. I recently became enamoured of satsuma mandarins after finding excellent examples in my local grocery store from an orchard in southern California, but those found on this plate blew those away. And the blood oranges were simply terrific. Al happens to enjoy tea a great deal and is fairly knowledgable about them, but hadn't encountered osmanthus before. It's a flower that's used as an herb in a traditional Chinese tea preparation, and here it was an interesting flavour, combining quite well with the pickled ginger. At first I found the sherbet a little odd, but warmed to it throughout, and somehow, after that last bite, the ginger and satsuma and tea mingled just brilliantly... such that I spent the next few minutes struggling not to cry. (I succeeded, for the record.)

    The next dish was a cup of chilled apple cider, covered by a thick layer of rum creme anglaise, and two cylinders of warm, poached apple wrapped in a thin pastry shell, gently tasting of cinnamon and with a dusting of powdered sugar. Unfortunately, the server tipped my plate just a touch too far, causing the cup of cider to slide a couple inches, and one of the apple logs to roll, losing its powdered sugar. She apologised profusely, saying she was sure it'd be just as good, but was really, truly sorry for it. I waved it off, smiling, but I'm quite sure they'd have brought another plate if I'd asked. The dessert itself was simply amazing. I'm mystified as to how they got such a uniform, light poaching of such a large piece of apple, nor how the apples were cut to form these four perfect shapes. But the cider was the real star of this dish, spiced just perfectly. I cannot find words to describe it, except to call it ambrosial. I've had no drink that could compare, not among wines, hand-made sodas, or anything else. Oh, to have that again...

    From that last dessert I was rather in the mood for a glass of calvados, but they regretted to inform me that they don't serve the drink and offered instead a glass of a dessert wine, naming a few off the top of his head. Nearly tempted by Tokay, I opted for Madeira, the Cossart-Gordon Bual 10 year, which was very, very nice, light, fantastic. Our dessert arrived soon after, a long, square bar of white chocolate parfait stretched across our next plate, mounted atop a crisp cookie layer, with a pair of small walnut cookie discs fancifully called pain de genes decorating it, and a long banded white and dark chocolate curl, impossibly tight, next to which sat a pleasantly shaped ball of delicious cherry sorbet. A brilliantly executed light dessert that had the misfortune to follow such perfect dishes and merely be excellent.

    And finally we came to the last dish, which resided in a small coffee cup - another signature dish, "coffee and doughnuts". A small plate held four brioche doughnut holes, and in the cup was a coffee semifreddo covered in a milk foam to complete the image. Set in the middle of the table was a bowl filled with chocolate covered macadamia nuts that had been rolled in powdered sugar. The doughnuts were fresh as can be, having just reached doneness before receiving a coat of fine sugar and coming out to our table, retaining that warmth and moisture inside. And the coffee semifreddo was delightful, too, strongly flavoured with only the slightest stickiness from the meringue.

    Our food finished, we each enjoyed a splendid cup of cappuccino as they brought us tall folders of textured card stock, embossed with their clothespin logo, which held our dinner menu (absent the amuse-bouches and coffee and doughnuts) printed on nicely-weighted paper, two bags containing eight shortbread and half a dozen house-made chocolates, and the check - which also had a novelty check written on a laundry ticket to keep as souvenir. Once we'd enjoyed our espresso, they invited us into the kitchen to meet the chef.

    All their cooking done, they were gathered around a table planning the next day's menu, which we interrupted for mutual thanks and menu signing. This accomplished, we were on our way out when I asked to meet with the pastry chef as well. Now, I had thought I'd first said hello, but was later informed that upon being introduced to her I immediately and exuberantly burst into how I found the cider absolutely amazing, and that the tea sherbet nearly drove me to tears, and that it was all wonderful. A moment to recover, we spoke for a minute about work and such before we left. We foolishly thought we needed to return to our table for our remaining items, but were quickly told that it all waited at the front. And so we left The French Laundry at 12:30am, burdened with yet further delights to have over the coming days...
    For those not aware, The French Laundry is one of the very finest restaurants in the world, at times holding the title of best. In the United States, only two other restaurants exist at its calibre - one being designed by the same chef. I've been wanting to go for a few years now; Al and I scored reservations on Black Friday last year. As they have to be two months in advance, we ate there Wednesday, and it was fantastic. And no, they don't typically do twenty courses, more like ten, but we requested an extended menu.

    Anyway, off to make oatmeal raisin cookies!
    Posted in: Clans
  • posted a message on [The Crafters] are trapped in Limbo...
    Sorry I've not posted in a while, busy week. Relatedly, I've been working on something to share here, but it's taken quite a bit longer than I expected to get done. I'll probably finish up tomorrow or the next day. But I've been enjoying what everyone else is up to, fun times all around. Smile

    Magic: I'm afraid I'm boycotting this block over the double-sided cards problem. I've not enjoyed constructed since Time Spiral block over the constant ease or irrelevance of colour-fixing, but I've liked the occasional draft - however, double-sided cards wreck that for me. Glad that others are having fun, though! And I have to agree that's a mean prize payout scheme, M_E; 3-1-1 is a fine record, and the idea that even a 4-1 would get nothing is absurd.
    Posted in: Clans
  • posted a message on [The Crafters] are trapped in Limbo...
    Quote from rianalnn
    It has to be fair or I turn the whole subforum around & nobody goes to Disneyland Mad
    Wait, there was a trip to Disneyland riding on this? Hot damn! Been much too long since I was there... (Okay, so three years isn't much for most people, but before that I'd only missed visiting in one year of my life.)

    Anyway, yay clan! And glad to hear you passed, Kronik! And thanks Aurora for stepping up!
    Posted in: Clans
  • posted a message on What limits should be on marriage?
    But it's also not zero-sum: not all who wish to marry do so, not all who wish to marry would be willing to do so polygamously, not all who would marry would be willing to do so monogamously.

    We don't have data for introducing polygamy to monogamous cultures, nor to nations with significantly high GDP such as the United States. All of the data is discussing polygyny; would you be at ease with polyandry? And that paper mentions that, oddly, simple co-habitation does not have the crime-reducing effect of marriage, and so I could argue we should allow polyamorous groups in long-term co-habitation to marry as they're unlikely to marry monogamously. In fact, long-term co-habitation as a prerequisite for all marriage makes a good deal of sense...
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on What limits should be on marriage?
    This is actually a common problem in countries where polygamy is allowed and it ends up with the person who wants to be with another woman causing social strife because they can't.
    I'm interested in the statistics you have to support your claim, but even if you're right, that's not reason enough to restrict a person's freedoms. People aren't guaranteed a marriage at some point in their life, and I'm frankly uncomfortable with how much this feels like male entitlement. Plenty of people who are inclined to marry never will for lack of finding the right someone, and that's exactly as it should be.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on What limits should be on marriage?
    And for the social aspect, this article explains it well I believe.

    I'm appalled by this article. It assumes that everyone who wishes to marry will marry someone and so marrying off couples is a zero-sum affair. This is horrible, and even more horrible if it reflects reality. Do people marry just so they can say they have been - just to get the achievement? To the point that they'd marry anybody who comes along? And the article needs for polyamorous groupings to split for purposes of marriage instead of staying happily unmarried in the groups they love. Absurd to me, dreadful if true. I'm not sure if any of that's worse than the notion that everyone has a need to marry, that we all deserve to marry, that it'd be just the worst thing ever if some man couldn't marry because the people they'd call upon to marry found someone else to love and support.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on [The Crafters] are trapped in Limbo...
    Wine!: I drink mostly reds, and mostly by the glass at restaurants. I'm finding my tastes drawn to lighter, nosy wines - though an incredible syrah I had three years ago remains my favourite - which is unfortunate, since American wines flock to a bigger, bolder, more alcoholic style. (I'm generally having it to complement my meal.)
    On Gewurtz, I once had some juice as would normally be turned into wine, and can't imagine wanting to alter it. So deliciously sweet...
    Other alcohol: I've had some beers, a few spirits, and a couple mixed drinks. There are beers out there that work for me, but mostly I find it's just not worth the effort. I'm on the fence about mixed drinks; since I'm not interested in ever getting drunk, each element has to contribute meaningful flavour or I feel like it's just a waste. As for spirits, there are some wonderful brandies out there, big fan of great calvados, and I could get to appreciate fine whiskeys.

    Shaving!: The first things to look at are your razor and your soap/cream. Is your razor well honed? Are you stropping it well? Do you get a good cushion of lather out of your soap or cream? Next up is the shaving technique itself. Shaving only with, or when necessary across, the grain will irritate less, and one should never shave against the grain on the first pass. Be sure to get to know the proper angle of attack (typically 30° with the grain, 15° across, and 5° against, but it'll vary). And it's good to practice as light a touch as will still remove hair - it's amazing how little pressure it takes. After that, there are pre-shave oils (and non-oil alternatives) to help lubricate, and balms and such to soothe post-shave. Oh, and the big one for me: I try as much as I can to only ever shave immediately after a hot shower. You can also experiment with cold water after a hot soak; some report an improved shave due to stiff, brittle hairs after a cold splash.
    I could get more specific with more detail on your routine, but I'm also not much of an expert or anything. I'm just a year and a half in, and only know what I've read and what I've found works for me.
    Posted in: Clans
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