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Topics - Cainad (dec.)

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But really, I'm just too tired right now to be angry. So here's your chance.

What's your excuse?

RPG Ghetto / A Word on Dungeon Masters and Their Beloved Creations
« on: March 13, 2011, 08:43:18 pm »
Some DMs put a great deal of effort into crafting a large, detailed, and intricate world that their players will adventure in. In and of itself, this is not a bad thing. Indeed, there are many ways in which this can be seen as a very good thing, as it adds a great deal of depth to the experience of roleplaying a hero in a fantasy world. Busting down the evil lich's door and beating the shit out of his minions and stealing all his cool stuff can mean a lot more to some players if they're doing it for a reason beyond "get the XP and loot everything."

That said, your vast and epic setting doesn't mean JACK FUCKING SQUAT if no one wants to play in it.

You can have the biggest, most decked-out sandbox in the world, but it's gonna be one lonely sandbox if you don't remember that your players are supposed to be the most important group of four, five, or six assholes ever to stomp around in it.

It doesn't matter if that is completely unrealistic, or if your players are technically working at the behest of much more powerful people than them. Your players are THE most central thing to your setting, and not one nanosecond of the hours of brainpower you've put into crafting this setting and all of its grand cosmic machinations will ever mean more than a dried-out dog turd to anyone if you didn't craft it with the express purpose of being a place where a group of adventuring dorks can have a grand old time fucking it up and leaving their mark on it.

If your players are storming an Archmage's tower to recover an artifact for some other, more benevolent Archmage so that the good Archmage can keep vast and terrifying beings of cosmic horror beyond mortal comprehension from piercing the thin barriers between the Material Plane and the maddening Far Realm beyond, that's grand.

However, your players will NOT care or be even slightly happy about it if their role in this world-saving drama is to putz around for six hours doing jackshit while the rogue slowly and laboriously picks his way through the various locked doors and the ONE combat encounter that happens during the first three hours is completely piss-weak and lasts three rounds.

If you didn't want to write up a fun, well-balanced encounter where the Rogue, the Fighters, the Wizard, and the Ranger all have plenty to contribute, because you wasted all your time and energy on thinking up the "big picture" aspects of your beloved setting, then maybe you should fuck off with trying to be a Dungeon Master. Write up your campaign setting and put it online or try to publish it (LOL), so that some DM out there who actually gives a shit about entertaining his or her players and wants a convenient backdrop for their adventures can make use of it.

Or just write up the whole thing as D&D fan-fiction and post it on LiveJournal for all to ignore.

Just stop torturing your players. There's a goddamn reason none of them are making it easy to pull a group together anymore.

There's a new thing I want to try being brainstormed in GASM Command (in Operation Mindfuck). Go here, you bastards:

GASM Command / MailGASM v2.0
« on: October 28, 2010, 01:34:31 am »
(Credit goes to LordOfGanza for the original idea; see the first MailGASM thread. My personal thanks to Dok Howl for rekindling my enthusiasm for Weirdness by Mail with his Disturbed As Fuck Mailing List)

Pre-Internet Discordianism, I am told, produced a great deal of its stuff by mailing weird text and art from one cabal to another and building upon what they'd sent each other.

I'd like to try and rekindle that old process, but with the assistance of modern technology.

Here's the basic idea:

I will start with a list of mailing addresses volunteered to me by anyone who wishes to participate. I will create some form of Discord-flavored weirdness (a bit of writing, a doodle, maybe a pic; who knows?) and mail it to someone on the list.

A few days later, I will post my little creation in PDF form on a shared Scribd account (if I choose to draw or write something by hand, I'll try and get as high-quality a scan as possible).

When the recipient of my letter gets it, they will make a post in this thread declaring that they've received the letter. They will then make their own addition to the letter (again, as a doodle, a bit of writing, an image, whatever) and mail it to someone else on the list. You can choose for yourself whether or not you announce to whom you are mailing the letter. Try to send it to someone who hasn't gotten it yet!

BEFORE mailing your own letter off, though, try to get a good-quality scan of it and post it as a PDF to Scribd after you mail it off. Obviously, this will be inconvenient or unfeasible for some people, but don't let that discourage you from participating.

The hypothesis here is as follows:

1) We potentially make a really cool bit of Discordiana using a method that has fallen by the wayside in recent years.

2) By posting our submissions as PDFs, we make it possible for someone who's too impatient to wait their turn to grab the latest version (or an earlier version, even) off of the Scribd account and make their own alterations, and mail THAT off. With any luck this will quickly make things really confusing as to which letter is the "original" letter and how many letters are going around at any given time. Hail Eris, and all that.

Anyone who wants to participate should agree to submit their work, both the physical letter and the electronic copy, under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License, described here:

If you're too lazy to click the link, it means you agree that people can make derivative stuff based on your work (which is kind of the whole point) as long as they credit you the way you want to be credited and don't try to make money off of it.
I personally don't care if you credit me or not; the point here is the creative process, not my personal ownership of my piece of it.


WASHINGTON — Nearly four years after the federal government began a string of investigations and criminal prosecutions against Blackwater Worldwide personnel accused of murder and other violent crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, the cases are beginning to fall apart, burdened by a legal obstacle of the government’s own making.

In the most recent and closely watched case, the Justice Department on Monday said that it would not seek murder charges against Andrew J. Moonen, a Blackwater armorer accused of killing a guard assigned to an Iraqi vice president on Dec. 24, 2006. Justice officials said that they were abandoning the case after an investigation that began in early 2007, and included trips to Baghdad by federal prosecutors and F.B.I. agents to interview Iraqi witnesses.

The government’s decision to drop the Moonen case follows a series of failures by prosecutors around the country in cases aimed at former personnel of Blackwater, which is now known as Xe Services. In September, a Virginia jury was unable to reach a verdict in the murder trial of two former Blackwater guards accused of killing two Afghan civilians. Late last year, charges were dismissed against five former Blackwater guards who had been indicted on manslaughter and related weapons charges in a September 2007 shooting incident in Nisour Square in Baghdad, in which 17 Iraqi civilians were killed.

So, who else is entirely unsurprised? :kingmeh:

link courtesy of a friend:

NEW YORK – Frito-Lay hopes to quiet complaints about its noisy SunChips bags by switching out the biodegradable bags for the old packaging on most flavors.

The company is switching back to original packaging, which is made of a type of plastic, for five of the six varieties of the chips. It will keep the biodegradable bags for its sixth variety, its original plain flavor. That's its second best-selling, after Harvest Cheddar.

So, normally I'm pretty lax about the whole recycling-composting-SAVE-TEH-PLANET jazz, but this is just silly.

Literate Chaotic / Thoughts on Reading
« on: July 31, 2010, 04:47:41 pm »
I've noticed a fair few people, myself included, express a frustration with their reading habits.

"I used to read a lot, but I jut don't seem to enjoy it as much anymore."

If you're anything like me, you likely lost your reading habits because you started doing other stuff. School or work started taking up loads of time and mental energy. Or maybe you just started to fill your free hours with something else, like video games, tv, or internet. Whatever happened, you suddenly found yourself putting books down partway through and not picking them back up. Reading became a chore.

This thread is about ways to deal with this problem.

I've had some success with the "brute force" method. If I find that I'm not reading for pleasure anymore, I read anyway. Force it down until you've re-acquired your taste for it.

Read stuff that's relatively easy. Pick a guilty pleasure sort of book or something that you read back when you still enjoyed reading. Harlequin romance, dorky sci-fi, cookie-cutter fantasy novels, mysteries, whatever. I know that for a while I was on a non-fiction binge, which eventually killed my ability to enjoy reading until I rediscovered the joys of Terry Pratchett and the like.

Don't try to choke down some really dense classic if you're picking up reading for pleasure up again after a long break. You want something that will give your brain lots of cheap and easy rewards, so that your brain develops a "reading = fun" connection in place of a "reading = work" connection.

Anyone else have thoughts on this?

The little gear bit that goes on the turning peg thingy:

One on this guitar is missing. What is called, so I may acquire a new one? Or do I have to buy a whole new thingamabobber 'cause you can't get new whatsits for this kind of doohicky?

Please help. It's the only way to alleviate the 12-inch Horrorstache that's suddenly sprouted on my face.

Fruit is fucking awesome. It's all growing on trees and shrubs and shit, and you can totally just leave a fruit-bearing plant in your backyard, never do any work (except the initial planting if you don't already have one), and BAM it'll give you a bunch of awesome fruit FOR FREE.


If you're really hardcore, you can grow shit like cantaloupes and watermelon in a garden but that's work so screw that.


Eat these sweet bitches straight (gotta slice 'em up though 'cause the skin and seed are some nasty shit) or make a delicious-as-fuck mango chutney to smear all over your boring-ass chicken, and possibly you or your significant other's tits if you're into that.

Or Kill Me / Someone turn down the damn noise
« on: June 17, 2010, 04:19:35 pm »
I can't do it. I can't bloody do it.

Maybe I'm too dumb, too illiterate, or both. Maybe I should have taken the full-semester course rather than the short summer course. Maybe I would do better if we were reading the novels; The Stranger and The Seducer's Diary and whatnot.

All I know for sure is that trying to read Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Camus fills me with a deep, unrelenting loathing that makes me feel nauseous and makes me want to hurl the book across the room, preferably into a fire. And based on this I'm pretty sure Sartre and Hiedegger will make me feel the same way.

The study drug doesn't help. All it does is give me the ability to peruse multiple pages of nonsense before giving up in disgust, rather than a single paragraph. Even the lectures, which used to be my only way of understanding anything, are failing to penetrate my thick skull. All I see is page after page of shit, horrible bullshit that means nothing to me and is worth even less. It's so much fucking noise, and only Nietzsche comes close to being tolerable because at least he seemed to have a notion of what a joke the whole venture is.

What truly burns me though is the knowledge that by taking this class and paying tuition, I am supporting an institution which exists for precisely one purpose. That purpose is allowing airheaded rhetoriticians to make a living by writing 200-page treatises on subjcts of exponentially increaing irrelevance using poorly defined terms and inexcusably vague generalities, and babble on with other such airheads on these subjects in a neverending game of trying to prove to each other how clever they are while drinking coffee in the morning, liquor in the afternoon, and smoking cigarettes.

Like I said: probably just too stupid or too unprepared for the class.


I make a vow, right here, right now, that I will watch the next ten videos posted ITT all the way through (one video per poster!).

Your fucking worst. Do it.

Or Kill Me / Gone Dull
« on: May 29, 2010, 10:26:40 am »
I've lost my edge. I used to have a knack for writing, and now it's gone. Words would just flow from my fingertips onto the screen; neat little ideas spun into verbal abstractions that other people could pick up and experience if they liked. And not to brag, but they did like, even if I never thought they were worth much. I've had friends and teachers who mistakenly thought I would pursue a career as a writer. Even though I never cared for what I wrote, I'd give a lot to be able to do it again.

It all disappeared when I stopped taking brain pills. Adderall, the awful stuff. On it, I was an efficient, angry, and productive machine. Ideas crystallized rapidly and beautifully inside my head, and I had to let them out lest they crack my skull from the inside. I almost never had to draft, and barely even had to proofread. The thoughts would form with such clarity and precision that no real process came between my brain and the blank page except for that of my fingers moving to touch the keys or move the pen. Some of my best crap took less than an hour to write.

I was angry, intense, and someone very close to me didn't care for it. After a while, neither did I. Everything could be going perfectly well, and I'd still be angry. I'd force a smile to put others at ease and try to remind myself that everything was just peachy (because it usually was), but within a few moments I'd return to a scowl and terse language. Adderall put a sharp, clear focus on everything–too sharp. I started taking it less and less for the sake of, ironically, my mental health.

Now it's all gone, no more. Everything's all soft and muddy, and sometimes I'm even able to reach a state one might call "calm" on a semi-regular basis. Ideas and thoughts in my head are softer and squishier than they were, and have a habit of oozing out on their own without needing me to write them out of my head. But I can't write anymore, and soon I will be in a situation where I'll be surrounded by very few friends and I will have need of a sharp mind that is efficient to the point of viciousness. Looks like the Old Me might be making a comeback to PD.


 :lulz: :lulz:

Stony Brook University officials are proposing to slash spending on Stony Brook Southampton, effectively reducing operations at the 81-acre Shinnecock Hills campus to two buildings and pulling the plug on most of the programs offered there, in order to save money, according to local politicians.

The proposal comes just four years after Stony Brook University purchased the campus for $35 million from Long Island University, and invested tens of millions of dollars in an effort to transform it into a center for sustainability and environmental studies.

In a closed meeting at the Stony Brook University’s main campus on Tuesday afternoon, Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. discussed the proposal with New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle and U.S. Representative Tim Bishop, according to Mr. Thiele and Mr. LaValle.

Mr. Thiele, who along with Mr. LaValle was instrumental in convincing the state to provide the money to acquire the college, described Stony Brook University’s expected announcement as a “breach of faith.” In the same press release issued Tuesday evening, Mr. Thiele said Stony Book University officials “are taking the substantial goodwill created by Stony Brook on the East End in the last five years and flushing it down the toilet.”

As per the proposal, the Shinnecock Hills campus will remain open, but will no longer house students starting this fall, and the academic programs offered there would be reduced to marine sciences and a graduate degree in writing, according to Mr. Thiele. The campus currently offers nine undergraduate majors, along with the graduate degree in writing.

The 500 students who currently attend the satellite campus, which is operated as a quasi-seperate entity from the main campus, would probably be absorbed into the main campus, according to Mr. Thiele.

Mr, Thiele also said that most of the facilities at the campus, including the library, student center and dormitories, would be shuttered under the current plan.

Immediately after the meeting, Mr. Thiele said he expected Stony Brook University officials to announce that their decision is final within the next 24 to 48 hours.

“I was left with no indication that they intended to consider other alternatives,” Mr. Thiele said.

Representatives from Stony Brook University, as well as Mary Pearl, the dean and administrative vice president of Stony Brook Southampton, could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday evening.

Stony Brook University underwent a change of leadership this summer, when Dr. Stanley, formerly the vice chancellor for research and a professor of molecular microbiology at Washington University in St. Louis, took the reins from Shirley Strum Kenny, who retired after 15 years of service. Stony Brook Southampton was purchased under Dr. Kenny’s leadership.

In the last 18 months, New York State has handed down more than $500 million in cuts to the State University of New York System, $33 million of which have been passed on to Stony Brook University, according to Mr. LaValle, who also spoke out against the proposal to make drastic cuts at Stony Brook Southampton.

Mr. Thiele said that Stony Brook University estimates it will save $6 million per year by cutting back programs offered at Stony Brook Southampton.

Five years ago, Long Island University, the original owners of the campus, were proposing to close the college and sell the land to developers. An outcry from the community, and the help of local politicians, thwarted that sale and set the stage for Stony Brook’s acquisition of the campus.

Or Kill Me / Very short rant about America, its wars, and its kids
« on: April 06, 2010, 02:42:30 am »
They told us we needed to save American lives. They told us there were people in that place over there who did bad things to us and we needed to go over there and punish them, and it was true, for the most part.

But the Bad People weren't enough, so they told us about more bad people being over in that other place. It wasn't really true but it was for the good of the Empire, so it was worth it. Now they've spent all the money on fighting those wars, spent all the soldiers too. So they made it up to all the kids by giving them an extra weekend day as a way of saying "Sorry we ruined your future."

So now these kids can grow up learning about the Great American Freedom Campaign in that part of the world that they can't find on a map because they cut Fridays and lopped off the 12th grade so they could get out and join the party sooner.


I've seen worse things on the internet. Far, far worse.

But this is pretty damn bad. Watch all the way to the end; they saved the absolute best part for last.

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