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Topics - Hoopla

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Aneristic Illusions / Amtrak Train full of GOP Lawmakers hits Dumptruck
« on: January 31, 2018, 07:05:31 pm »
Track service was delayed as clean up crews had considerable difficulty differentiating between the two cargos.

I kid, I kid.

But holy crap you should see the comments on Twitter. It’s a deep state coup, folks!!

Literate Chaotic / Consistently Overcast Skies
« on: June 12, 2017, 03:44:58 pm »
This is a question for a writing project... anyone know how feasible it would be to grow crops in an environment where it is ALWAYS completely overcast? You know, almost as if the gods willed it, or it was magic or some shit. Could stuff be grown? Its a hard question to google answers for...

All help is appreciated.

RPG Ghetto / Players Trouncing Foes
« on: February 01, 2017, 02:48:17 pm »
So I have been running a Pathfinder D&D campaign for 6 friends (now recently 7), and find that most of the time my party trounces the foes I out up against them very easily. I budget my battles pretty carefully, and add an extra CR level to level out the size of the team, but they still make mince meat of the foes I send in.

Some back story: we mostly play online on Roll20, and only one of the players is very versed in using their system to create character sheets... so while everyone has done the bulk of the work creating their own characters, the one player had gone in to "clean up" their sheets. I don't believe he has cheated at all but I think he has maximized every character to their fullest potential and outfitted them with bells and whistles I don't fully understand. Full disclosure, this campaign had only been going on since September and is the first game I have run. I was always a little wishy-washy on the fills rules as it was... but I now have a gnome alchemist who seems ridiculously overpowered. I mean the little fucker can throw his concoctions 80 FEET! How can that be possible? I've also got a Druid who always (always!) sickens at least one of the foes. And if she doesn't do that, she entangling them.

The only time I've had an encounter which gave them any real trouble was when they once stumbled upon 3 ogres with classes. I actually never intended the party to fight these ogres, I assumed they would realize they were outclassed and flee. They didn't. They almost got TPK'd.

So, my question is... how do I put together scenarios which will be more challenging? Is it a matter of outnumbering the party slightly? Upping the CR even more?

Any advice is appreciated.

Apple Talk / Name the Tucson Mascot
« on: May 12, 2016, 05:35:24 pm »

So, the Tucson Saguaros are looking for a name for their mascot.

I believe the only appropriate name for him would be Prick.

If anyone agrees, let's make this happen.

Apple Talk / NYC May 16/2016
« on: May 10, 2016, 06:53:14 am »
Yo peeps, I will be in New York City next Monday (the 16th). I have no plans.

If anyone in the area wants to grab a drink, at any point in the day, please let me know.

I promise I am less annoying in person (Roger can likely attest to this).

Apple Talk / David Bowie died
« on: January 11, 2016, 07:30:31 am »
I honestly thought he would live forever.

Apple Talk / Your Original Avatar
« on: September 23, 2015, 03:13:50 pm »
Anyone remember the original avatar they used on the forum? Even if only briefly?

I'm pretty sure this was mine:

A crappy old man beer bottle cap... I used it for at least a month.  Oh, and also, my original name was Pope Christ Raw V... so, yeah, I sucked pretty hard.

What about you?

Apple Talk / Goodnight Sweet Prince
« on: June 11, 2015, 02:14:09 pm »
Sir Christopher Lee, actor, secret agent, opera and metal singer, descendant of Charlemagne... has died at 93. Not a bad run, but I was starting to think he might live forever.


Apple Talk / How Do You Know...
« on: June 08, 2015, 05:37:50 pm »
How do you know if you're clinically depressed, or its just that your life is a shitty shambles, and you have every reason to be depressed?

Apple Talk / The Trans Discussion
« on: June 03, 2015, 04:11:25 pm »
So, have we had the discussion as to whether the mindset of trans folks could be classified as a mental disorder? The Caitlyn Jenner thing makes this as good a time as any to bring it up, I suppose, if it hasn't been brought up before.

My cards on the table: I don't believe it is a mental disorder, in fact I'm arguing about it on Twitter with Gavin "King Douchebag" McInnis right now, but I started realizing I don't have any really solid reasons that I don't believe that, apart from wanting to support people I know are already in a tremendous amount of pain, and persecuted by so many. Also, I know seriously little about psychology in general. So, I'm not really a terrific person to be arguing this matter, but I'm doing it anyway, because I'm like that.

So... what are people's takes on this matter? And if this has been discussed, mods please either merge with the correct thread or delete as needed.

High Weirdness / Operation Jade Helm 15
« on: April 29, 2015, 05:15:59 am »
What the shit is this shit?

From July 15th to September 15th of 2015, the U.S. military will be conducting a massive military drill throughout 9 states in an operation entitled Jade Helm.

This rather alarming drill across the entire American Southwest will include the US Army's Green Berets, US Marines Special Ops Command, US Navy Seals, and US Air Force Special Ops Command.

The stated purpose of the drill contradicts how this unprecedented exercise will actually be carried out.

Combine this with the document labeling entire U.S. states as 'hostile' leaves one with a sinking feeling.


Is there anything to this story?

Literate Chaotic / Blood under Red Light
« on: April 14, 2015, 04:21:15 am »
Asking this in Lit because its for a work of fiction, and also seems too random and stupid even for Apple Talk.

Anyone know what blood would look like under red light light?  I tried googling, but it doesn't seem to be something lots of people are dying to know.  I could find out in... other ways... but this seems most legal.

Anyone already know?  I won't ask how you know, if you don't want me to.

I suspect it would look black, or possibly just sort of blend in, but knowing for certain would help me a lot.  Thanks folks.

Literate Chaotic / Shred Hoopla's Story
« on: January 06, 2015, 09:42:05 pm »
I was about to begin rewriting an older story, when the Wiser Joe thread from Apple Talk popped into my mind.  I realized that I could use that sort of story shredding for this troublesome little tale, which I have hammered out about six times over twelve years.  It started off as a very very short story, then I rewrote it into a long verbose story nobody would ever want to read.  I eventually ended up with what follows, but I've never been happy with it.  Here's what I'm going to do... I'm going to post it, then respond with what I think some of the problems are.  Please feel free to be as direct as everyone was in the Wiser Joe story... I have no darlings in this race anymore; it's all possible fodder for the chopping block.  Maybe the whole story is.  We shall see.  Also, formatting on this forum doesn't really jive with how fiction looks, but here's the best approximation.  if you are able, just ignore the formatting as much as possible.

PS: "OHIP" is Canadian health care.
PPS: This story has nothing to do with discordianism.


           Lou had told Gerard several times that surely it must be a very small thing and could be easily corrected.
           His desk backed onto Gerard’s desk so that they faced each other all day, every day.  Lou had stared across the desks at him for hours on his first day in the office; still, it had taken months for him to finally mention Gerard’s mouth.  Gerard, used to polite silence, had mumbled it away.  He fell into an old habit: rubbing the bottom of his nose to surreptitiously hide it.
           The problem was this: from the nose down, Gerard always appeared to have just started melting.  His mouth was a soft crumple.
­­           –In my country, Lou said one day, –my aunts would have taken you to the islands in the south.  They would have taken you to see the witches.  Here, you don’t need witches.  You should talk to your doctor.  Fix it.  You’re young!
           –It’s complicated, Gerard said.  He stared at his monitor, trying to concentrate on the page he was reviewing.  QC was a serious work.  These documents would be used in courts of law, and should be treated with respect.
           He could feel Lou staring at his mouth.
           –You are so young, Lou continued. –if I was your age I wouldn’t want to be wasting my time blaming something like that for all my problems.
           Gerard looked up at Lou, opened his mouth, then closed it.  After a minute he looked up again.  –It’s a.  It’s a complicated issue, that’s all.  There are.  There are factors to consider.
           –What factors?
           –A smile is an extremely complex procedure, Gerard said.  He mumbled and slurred ever so slightly as he spoke, due to the limited motor activity he could perform with his lips.  He spoke very little at work, very little in transit.  He spoke little at the doctor’s office.  He spoke very little in general.  Only when he needed to.  –There are lots of elements to a genuine smile, he finished.
           –What elements?  A smile is a smile.  Women like a good smile.
           –No, there are many elements involved.  Anyway, I can’t afford it.
           – OHIP would not cover it?
           –No.  he said.  When his coworker continued to stare, he added:  –It’s considered a cosmetic procedure.
           Lou blinked, smiling slightly.  This was beginning to annoy Gerard.  He turned back to his monitor.
           After a few moments, Lou asked: –Is it name?
           Gerard looked at him.
           –Is it name?  Lou repeated.
           –Is what named?  Gerard asked.
           –The problem.
           Gerard looked back up at Lou.  He still had that look on his face. –It isn’t a problem.  he said, slowly. –For me.
           –But, is it name?
           Gerard sighed loudly.  He picked up a pen and looked at it. –They don’t really know what it is.  But my doctors call it Acute Idiopathic Facial Palsy.
           –Idiopath . . .
           –Yes.  Gerard said, and turned back to his monitor.
           Daisy, another coworker, approached their desks and asked Lou a question about the order of the pages in the current document being set up.  She was from the same home country as Lou, which seemed to make him think this made the two of them friends.  Before she could walk away, Lou asked her:  –What do you think of Gerard’s mouth?
           Gerard stared at Lou, then at Daisy.  His face went hot.  He could feel his pulse beating in his ears.
           Daisy scratched at her cheek. –What do you mean?  she asked. –It’s fine.  she said.
           –Fine, but could be better, right?  Lou said.  He was smiling at Gerard.
           –Lou,  Gerard said, but could think of nothing further to add.  He wasn’t certain what the company policy was, pertaining to arguments between co–workers.  He didn’t want to get into trouble over this.
           –No, he’s fine, don’t be so mean Lou, Daisy said, laughing slightly.  She made brief eye contact with Gerard, he rubbed his nose again.  Daisy smacked Lou on the shoulder softly and returned to her desk.
           –See?  said Lou. –It isn’t hard to talk to girls.
           Gerard pushed out his chair and left the office.  He walked into the men’s restroom in the hallway, entered a stall, and sat down with his pants up.  He rested his face in his hands.  His face was throbbing heat.
           Gerard sighed through his crumpled mouth.
            There was a vent on the upper wall of the men’s restroom, connecting it to the women’s restroom.  Through this vent everything on the other side of the wall could be heard, sometimes to a somewhat disconcerting degree.
           Gerard became aware of two female voices chatting on the other side of the wall.  –Lou was making fun of his mouth, the poor guy.  You should have seen his face, he looked like he wanted to curl up and die.
           Another voice, probably Sherri from marketing, said: –That’s so sad.  I’ve always wondered if it was a condition, or if he was just . . . you know . . .
           –Lou says it’s a condition.
           –The poor guy.
           Gerard flushed, and left the restroom quickly.  He didn’t want to be seen in the hall.  Back in the office, he briefly visited the break room, stood nervously for a half a minute, then grabbed his coat and told the receptionist he was not feeling well and was going home.  She told him she would pass it along to Carol, staring at his mouth the entire time she spoke.
           Dr Galambos sat across from him, his fingers resting on his clipboard.  –Well, Gerard, I have to admit, this is something of a surprise.  A pleasant surprise, of course.  I’ve been trying to convince you to pursue some therapy to try to correct the problem for so long that I’d almost given up hope that you would try it, and now . . .  He looked up at Gerard and shrugged.
           –I want an operation to fix this.  Gerard said firmly.
           –Well, Galambos said.  –I don’t know if an operation is the way we want to go about this.  There are excersises, and–
           –No.  No excersises.  I’m sick of looking like this.  I want an operation.  I can afford it.
           Dr Galambos took off his glasses. –Gerard, the situation isn’t any different than it’s ever been.  Without knowing exactly what the problem is I think we would be doing you a grave disservice by being overly hasty and jumping into any sort of operation.  Bell’s Palsy has a way of working itself out, and–
           –But this isn’t Bell’s Palsy, Gerard corrected.
           –No, strictly speaking, it isn’t Bell’s Palsy.  But it’s something very similar, and for the time being I think it’s safer to treat it as if it were Bell’s Palsy.  The conditions are almost identical.  Bell’s Palsy is an idiopathic unilateral facial nerve paralysis, and so is whatever we’re dealing with here.  Except in this case, unilateral means the upper and lower halves of the face, rather than the left and the right.  It may very well still be the same condition, Gerard.
           –But we don’t know.
           –No, we don’t.
           –And it may be permanent.
           Golambos sighed.  –Quite possibly.
           –Doctor, has it ever occurred to you that I’m not getting any younger?
           Dr Galambos looked up at him from the clipboard, but said nothing.
           –This condition doesn’t make getting to know girls easy you know.  I’ve already had it for twenty years.  I think its time to try other options.
           Dr Galambos looked at his hands. –Then, you’ve gotten over . . .
           –Yes.  I have.  It’s nonsense.
           –You said so yourself, after all.
           –Yes, I did.  You, on the other hand, were quite emphatic that you thought it was some sort of–
           –Well.  That seems silly at this age.  I would like to try the operation.
           –All right, Galambos said, somewhat wearily. –I have to tell you, of course, that the operation doesn’t promise what most would consider a genuine smile.  A true smile is an extremely complex procedure.  The human face has fifty-three muscles and a smile utilizes almost every single one to some degree.  We cannot even begin to compete with that, even with modern medicine what it currently is.  We will, however, be able to manipulate the Zygomaticus major and minor muscles into simulating the rictus movement commonly associated with smiling, but it will not be, in truth, a genuine smile.
           –Doctor, Gerard said in a warning tone.
           –I just want you to be aware of the limitations.  This isn’t a miracle cure.
           –I’m aware.  How soon can I get it?
           Gerard stood looking into his bathroom mirror.  He was smiling at himself.  There was still no feeling in his cheeks or lips, but now when he ordered his face to smile, it smiled.  His lips pulled back away from his teeth and stood at attention.  Now, with practice, his lips didn’t twitch much anymore.  He was really smiling.  It was strange seeing so many teeth.
           Looking at his teeth in the mirror, he thought back on his childhood dentist, Dr Botner.  At the age of nine his two front teeth had already been missing for over a year, but no adult teeth had moved down to replace them.  The dentist could see them up there, but for whatever reason, they weren’t budging.  He had suggested that they lance the gums, so that the movement could begin.  Gerard was opposed to the idea; he hated the idea of surgery.
           “But, Gerard,” his mother had said.  “the dentist thinks the space in your teeth might adversely affect your speech, honey, and you don’t want to lisp like one of those fairies your whole life, do you?”
           Gerard had stomped out of the house, despite the fact that he was supposed to be helping his mother wallpaper his room in a Star Wars theme, to go to the playground.  On the way, he took glee in chanting to himself “Step on a CRACK . . .  break your mother’s BACK!” over and over as he stomped on every crack in the sidewalk.  He ran images of his mother’s back being broken in various ways over and over through his mind.
           In the playground, sitting in a tire swing, Gerard heard sirens but didn’t pay any attention to them.  They were clearly quite far away.  Someone else’s concern.
           On his way home, Gerard again indulged in stepping on many sidewalk cracks, thus, in some manner, encouraging the paralysis of his mother.
           He didn’t get to see his mother when he arrived home, but his father was there, weeping into his sister’s shoulder.  Gerard’s mother had already been taken away to the hospital.  Million to one chance, he had overheard an ambulance attendant say.
           His mother was doped up when he got to see her.  She was sitting up in bed, her head lolling around; her hair was ratty.  She smiled when her eyes focused in on him, giggling like a child and began to sing “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth, my two front teeth, my two front teeth . . .” then reached out, caressed his face with her cold fingertips, and squeezed his cheek.  A sharp stabbing pain, a flash of light before his eyes, and a brisk popping sound accompanied the squeeze, then Gerard couldn’t feel the bottom half of his face anymore.
           His mother’s smile faded slowly.  “Gerard?”  she asked, slurring slightly.  “Gerard, what’s wrong with your face?  What’s wrong with your mouth?”
           He shrugged.  She began whimpering.  The whimper slowly and horribly gurgled into a shriek.
           Afterward, they forgot all about his two front teeth; they eventually grew in on their own, but by that point it was useless to argue whether the lisp was from the missing teeth or from other matters.
           Gerard smiled now, staring at his two front teeth in the mirror, smiling, finally smiling.  If only his mother could see him now.
           He was quiet until almost noon, then finally he cleared his throat and said:   –Lou . . . do you have a pen?
           –Hm?  Lou asked, not taking his eyes from his own monitor.
           –A pen.  Do you have a pen?
           –Uh . . .  Lou said, in a distant dreamy voice.
           He continued to stare at his screen.
           Gerard waited.  He licked his teeth.  He wet his lips.
           Lou finally turned to him. –Sorry.  What?
           –Pen.  Gerard said, making a writing motion with one hand.  –Got an extra pen?
           Lou fished under some pages, and pulled out two pens, both with the caps excessively chewed. –Black or blue?  he asked.
           –Mm, black.  Gerard said.
           Lou tossed him the pen, then turned back to his work.
           –Hey.  said Gerard, on a whim.
           Lou looked back at him. –Hm?
           Gerard couldn’t think of anything to say. –Hey.  Did you watch anything funny on tv last night?
           –Mm, no.  he said.  His eyes were beginning to be pulled back toward his screen again.
           –I did.  Gerard offered.
           –Oh?  Lou asked, offhandedly. –What was it?
           –What was it . . .  Gerard pondered.  He couldn’t think of anything.  –Hmm.  I can’t remember the name.  God, it was funny though.  Just thinking about it.  Ha.
           Lou looked up.  –You don’t remember what it was? he asked.
           –No.  Can’t remember the name.  Still: Ha ha.
           Lou stared at him, then turned back to his monitor.
           Gerard returned to his work.  It was difficult to concentrate.  After some time had passed he said to Lou: –I guess you were probably wondering why I was away from work . . .
           –Vacation? Lou asked, without looking up.
           In the men’s restroom, Gerard stared at his face.  Nobody had said a word about his new mouth. He tried to imitate what his old mouth used to look like.  His old sad crumpled little mouth.  Then, in a flash, he would spring open his new improved smile.  It was utterly dazzling.
           He heard a toilet flush on the other side of the wall, in the women’s restroom.  As the roar of rushing water through old pipes died down, he became aware of female voices drifting through the vent.  The first words he caught were: –mouth was the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen.
           His heart stopped.
           –I know I know I know . . . came the voice of Sherri.
           –It’s so sad.  said Daisy.
           –I know. It’s haunting.
           Gerard turned taps on.  Full force.  He couldn’t hear the voices on the other side of the wall.  Looking in the mirror again he pulled his lips back and smiled.  He stared at his mouth.  Witches, he thought.  Cold water ran over his wrists.  He smiled.

Apple Talk / Gorillas in Clown Suits
« on: December 03, 2014, 01:18:27 pm »
So, as some might recall, RAW in one of his books talks about some nut going around tranquilizing gorillas, and then dressing them as clowns. 

I thought of that story this morning, and decided to dig around on the internet a bit.  Most references were back to RAW himself, except for one I found... in the Weekly World News.  Which, for those who are too young to remember, was a ridiculous tabloid: the one which invented Bat Boy.

So, now, my question is... did RAW use this story, not knowing it was likely 100% jive?  Did he use it, knowing it was 100% jive, but not anticipating search engines in the future?  Or, did he use this patently false story as a lesson in gullibility?

Or... none of the above?

Here's the link to the Weekly World News story, btw.

Apple Talk / So, the Shia LaBeef Thing... (WARNING possible triggers)
« on: November 30, 2014, 03:21:58 pm »
Has anyone heard about the recent Shia LaBeouf incident?

In a nutshell, less than a year ago he ripped off an art installation by Marina Abramovic, wherein he invited people to sit across from him while he did nothing in response.

He now says a woman raped him during this art piece. He did nothing to ward her off, as that was the point of the show. 

I'm not saying it wasn't rape, and I am loathe to victim blame in most cases, but... at what point do you just say "fuck art" and ward off the rapist?

(edited for title trigger warning)

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