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    • CommentTimeOct 28th 2011

    The fella seems to be hinting that he wants us to go to a comic convention for our honeymoon (which, I can only assume is gonna happen next year, after 2 years of putting off our wedding), as he is asking me which one I'd most want to go to.
    My only problem is I have a history of freaking the fuck out in large groups of people. And I don't handle stress too well in general.
    I'm trying to think of a con that:
    1. is really fun (I know I might spend most of my time cosplay-spotting, but I'd like to be able to go to panels and lots of activities)
    2. might actually allow a couple inches breathing room
    3. isn't too much of a hassle getting to (I live in Nashville)
    SDCC might be right out the window, but Chicago? NYCC? I'd like to go to Dragon*Con but the fella seems to want something bigger.
    Besides those suggestions, any tips on keeping your cool in the middle of a gelatinous blob of nerdom?
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeOct 28th 2011

    I'm curious, Si, is this another term for what most people call "theme," or do you mean something different?

    A way to clip your idea down, while giving you a touch more breathing room, might be use "Life Victorious."
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeOct 28th 2011

    any tips on keeping your cool in the middle of a gelatinous blob of nerdom?

    The fact that it *is* a blob of nerdom.

    This isn't like being in a crowd at a hockey game, or with a bunch of students at a classical concert.

    These people are nerds. They're like you. They're into what you're into. They have the same hopes and fears that you do.

    Everyone at a con like that is at the con cause it's what they're into. Many of them will be going through the same set of emotions.

    These people are your people, and you are one of theirs.
    • CommentTimeOct 28th 2011

    I think I get what you mean by "That which loves life transcends that which undervalues it", and I've just spent a half hour trying to rephrase it with less words, and was unable to. That may be a fine description of the concept.

    I tried to make it into latin, thinking it might go shorter, but the best i could do was:

    vitæ amorem excedit vitae minoris aestimo

    Which isn't really more succinct, but it sounds more authoritative. You could put a "- Cicero" after it and pretend to be high-falutin', I guess.

    Maybe the love of life transcends the degradation of life? To de-grade something is kind of a way of undervaluing it.

    vitæ amorem excedit degradationem vitae

    Still not shorter. Hm.
  1.  (10293.85)

    Appreciate all the thoughts, folks -- keep 'em coming. Very interesting, and very valuable, to open this stuff up to the world at a far earlier stage than normal.

    @Alan Tyson -- personally, I'd say it's something quite different to a "theme". (Go back to the example I gave: you might argue the "theme" of WALL-E is one of ecological disaster, human consumerism, something like that. The controlling idea is far more invisible and far less intrusive: it's more like a set of traintracks which allow the writer to tell his story without fear of deviation or irrelevance, and which provides the viewer with a subconscious sense of homogeneity and elegance they might otherwise miss. We've all seen movies which feel like "a mess", even if they have very clearly defined themes and character through-arcs, and IMO that's often because the writer hasn't taken the time to isolate a controlling idea.

    ...all of which is not to say that the C.I. way of plotting is the only one there is. A lot of writers would argue that this sort of mentality is proscriptive or leads to formulaic plots. I can see both sides of that particular debate, for what it's worth, and I tend to approach different projects in very different ways. It just so happens that the project I mentioned above, at this very early stage, threatens to spin-off into an unfocused ideastorm and I think it'll help me to keep myself on the straight-and-narrow to isolate the one axiom which pins all the disaparate concepts, themes and characters together.

    For instance, this tale I'm working towards includes all kinds of conceptual ingrendients - religious views of an afterlife, desensitization to violence and death, war, dying-for-a-cause, depression-leading-to-suicide, aging, technology as a means of avoiding death, technology as a means of glorifying death, martyrdom, non-human attitudes towards death, political attitudes towards victory and defeat, cowardice, etc etc. Somewhere in amidst all that guff is an elegant "truth" (or, at least, something we all *wish* were a truth) which will hold it all together: the task is to find it and boil it down.

    ...On which topic, since proposing the initial C.I. I've been noodling about with countless other iterations. Some of them feel far more "right" but lack elegance, some of them are concise and beautiful but don't quite fit the nebulous story I want to tell.

    Nearest I've come so far, I think, is:


    (although it might be more like REVERENCE FOR LIFE OVERCOMES APATHY FOR DEATH.)
    • CommentTimeOct 29th 2011
    New Question
    #Sampling/Mixing/Splicing (#SMS)

    What is a good program for one to create new music by bastardizing old music?
  2.  (10293.87)
    New Question:


    I am tired of using the microwave to boil water for my perpetual cup of tea. I figure you brits would have a better grasp on what sort of electric kettle is best and most reliable. What should I buy? Are there electric teapots to keep it warm, too?
    • CommentTimeOct 29th 2011

    Can't offer any suggestions for cons, but I do have a phobia of crowds and had several freakouts at NYCC. Best advice I can give is to find a nice, quiet area for when you need it. This could be within the floor or the area outside of it, but the important thing is to just find a quiet space and calm yourself down before heading back out.
  3.  (10293.89)
    Rachael -- Do you mean which brand of electric kettle? (Personally, I've always preferred range kettles as I find a lot of electric ones shut off on their own and sometimes I want my water to be even hotter so I simply leave it on the stove for longer.)
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2011

    This really reminds me of something in Nietzsche, but I'll be damned if I can put my finger on just which quote or aphorism exactly.
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2011 edited

    We have an electric kettle that I adore, just because it heats up water as hot as I'd like it & I like that I can just flip the switch and go about my business. I'm spacey and have a tendency to wander off & forget about important things like fires I started in my own damn home - especially with railroad apartments I can run off and not hear things going on on the other side of the apartment.

    In any case, ours is one of these: cheap & simple.
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2011 edited
    NEW QUESTION: #amanistiredoflondon

    Two questions, really. I've been living in London for the last eighteen months. I'm not enjoying it. So many people like it here it that I think I may be Doing It Wrong. At the moment I think it is dirty, noisy, rude, busy, confusing, frustrating, expensive, impersonal, and isolating (and at the moment those are all bad things). So I am looking for Whitechaplains' advice.

    Query the first: How can I stop worrying and love the capital city?

    Query the second: People I know who have moved here from outside have told me that, "Oh, I hated London when I moved here. But now I love it!" Well. I've got the first part down. How long should I give it before I give up and move back to the provinces?
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2011

    Any device that raises tapwater to 100°C will do you fine. The only reason it need be in any way fancy is your own aesthetic preferences. I found one for a reasonable price at Walmart. I have never heard of an electric teapot, although they may exist. Without meaning to sound glib, teacosies work well! And are easy to knit!
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2011

    The best electric kettles we use here in Blighty are ones you probably won't be able to get stateside, we can get 3000w monsters and I'm told the US power supply won't actually let you suck that much power down.

    Basically, looks are unimportant. More wattage means it'll boil quicker. If you're in a hard water area you might prefer one that doesn't use an element as they're easier to descale. But to be honest you really don't need anything fancy. Only thing I'd avoid is anything 1000w or under, you're quicker boiling a pan on the stove than using one of those.
  4.  (10293.95)
    double post. oops.
  5.  (10293.96)

    @Osmosis - I don't know London, but I do know NYC versus the wilderness of New Jersey. Have you considered that you might just not be a city person? Or you might have certain specific needs that might take some wrangling to get yourself comfortable? I love living in New York, but I've come to realize that there are certain things I need to arrange for myself, or my life will be frustrating. I need to live somewhere with trees outside my windows. I need to have natural light during the day. I need to have a bedroom that faces the inside of the block, and not a street with a bus route. I need to live in an area where I can leave the house with $30 and come home with bags and bags of belongings. I need to live where I won't get dirty looks for paying something with all pocket change, but rather, empathy. These things are all findable in New York City, it just takes some time and energy to GET them. Most people in New York I've known don't really care about trees outside windows, could care less about fresh air. Be true to your own needs, whatever they are.

    Also, as far as people being polite, you get what you put out there. I'm asked regularly "where are you from?" because people don't assume that I could have lived in NYC for most of the past 14 years and still be friendly to strangers and shop owners. But because I've been friendly to a ridiculous degree, when I walk from my apartment to the subway, when I go to the grocery store, when I go to the bodega at 3am, I always have people smiling back and me and saying hello now. Embody the change you wish to see.

    (also, I've been told "fuck you" repeatedly because I've made it my mission to point out when people are being publicly without manners. i ask people to stand to the right when I'm trying to walk up the escalator, I remind them to not stop walking in the middle of a stairway to check their phone, I tell them they are in the way if standing right in front of subway doors. I am not always polite about that. It makes me sort of happy when I get told "fuck you" in those instances.)
      CommentAuthorCameron C.
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2011

    The first con I went to was Anime Expo just a few months ago in July and I had a huge freak out. The only reason I didnt just fall to my knees in the fetal position crying was because who I was with took me and lead me outside away from people so I could breathe D: When we were outside she told me that it was alrigt for me to just run outside if I needed to, that her and the others I was with would understand and wouldnt think I was being rude or anything. So a couple days later when I felt the same way I just told her I was gonna go outside and i ran away :3 Thats about all you can do, and if youre with people youre close to then it should work out fine.
  6.  (10293.98)

    I've been urged by a good deal of people that I should do a fetish pay site. Would basically be almost the same thing as I'm doing with my flickr, I cater to fetishes but on the site it would be boobies, chat, videos (of i'm not sure what) people writting in to say what they want to see pictures of (with in reason...) and anything else cleared by the hubby.
    I would need to go through all the trouble of finding someone to build the site and what not. (i have zero idea on how to even find a reputable site builder...)
    Good Idea? Bad Idea? No one would pay to see you nekked/ your boobs... ect.
  7.  (10293.99)
    Men always enjoy seeing boobs. Even gay men like them.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeOct 31st 2011
    #Siri - just curious if anyone has used the new Siri personal assistant app fro the iPhone 4s.

    If so, does it live up to the claims?

    Because if we've got a program that understands natural speech and has the ability to interpret ambiguous commands are we very far away from having actual domestic robots?