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Messages - Emily

#1
The Last of the Dorsets by Al Purdy
Quote(Eskimos extinct in the 14th century A.D.)

Animal bones and some mossy tent rings
scrapers and spearheads
    carved ivory swans
all that remains of the Dorset giants
who drove the Vikings back to their long ships
talked to spirits of earth and water                   
—a picture of terrifying old men
so large they broke the backs of bears
so small they lurk behind bone rafters
in the brain of modern hunters
among good thoughts and warm things
and come out at night                                 
to spit on the stars



The big men with clever fingers
who had no dogs and hauled their sleds
over the frozen northern oceans
awkward giants                                       
  killers of seals
they couldn't compete with little men
who came from the west with dogs
Or else in a warm climatic cycle                     
the seals went back to cold waters
and the puzzled Dorsets scratched their heads
with hairy thumbs around 1350 A.D.
—couldn't figure it out
went around saying to each other                     
plaintively
    'What's wrong? What happened?
    Where are the seals gone?'
And died



Twentieth century people                             
apartment dwellers
executives of neon death
warmakers with things that explode
—they have never imagined us in their future
how could we imagine them in the past                 
squatting among the moving glaciers
six hundred years ago
with glowing lamps?
As remote or nearly
as the trilobites and swamps                         
when coal became
or the last great reptile hissed
at a mammal the size of a mouse
that squeaked and fled
Did they ever realize at all                         
what was happening to them?



Some old hunter with one lame leg
a bear had chewed
sitting in a caribou skin tent
—the last Dorset?                                     
Let's say his name was Kudluk
carving 2-inch ivory swans
for a dead grand-daughter
taking them out of his mind
the places in his mind                               
where pictures are
He selects a sharp stone tool
to gouge a parallel pattern of lines
on both sides of the swan
holding it with his left hand                         
bearing down and transmitting
his body's weight
from brain to arm and right hand
and one of his thoughts
turns to ivory                                       



The carving is laid aside
in beginning darkness
at the end of hunger
after a while wind
blows down the tent and snow                         
begins to cover him
After 600 years
the ivory thought
is still warm
#2
Hello everyone, I compiled this list for a blog elsewhere and thought it would be fun to share here. It's split into two separate lists, books I've read for uni and books I've read in off-time for fun:

Books I've read for uni in no particular order:

  •     Beowulf
  •     Hildebrandslied
  •     Cú Chulainn
  •     The Völsunga Saga
  •     Nibelungenlied
  •     Parzival - Wolfram von Eschenbach
  •     The Faerie Queene - Edmund Spencer
  •     Troilus and Criseyde - Chaucer
  •     Morte D'Arthur - Thomas Mallory
  •     William Shakespeare*
  •     Gulliver's Travels, A Modest Proposal, short stories - Jonathan Swift
  •     Javanese Gentry - Umar Kayam
  •     Dumb Luck - Vũ Trọng Phụng
  •     White Tiger - Aravind Adiga
  •     Untouchable - Mulk Raj Anand
  •     Fantomina - Eliza Haywood
  •     Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
  •     Purple Hibiscus - Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
  •     Darkness at Noon - Arthur Koestler
  •     The Female Quixote - Charlotte Lennox
  •     Romance of the Forest - Ann Radcliffe
  •     Tenant of Wildfell Hall - Anne Bronte
  •     Bleak House - Charles Dickens
  •     Dracula - Bram Stoker
  •     The Neverending Story - Michael Ende
  •     The Grimm Brothers' Fairy Tales
  •     Kiss of the Fur Queen - Tomson Highway
  •     Monkey Beach - Eden Robinson
  •     Noopiming - Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
  •     Medicine Walk - Richard Wagamese
  •     Soucoyant - David Chariandy
  •     The In-Between World of Vikram Lall - M. G. Vassanji
  •     The Divine Ryans - Wayne Johnston
  •     All My Puny Sorrows - Miriam Toews
  •     The Book of Negroes - Lawrence Hill
  •     The Handmaid's Tale, Moral Disorder - Margaret Atwood
  •     Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus - Mary Shelley
  •     The Scholar's Guide - Pedro Alfonso
  •     Poetry by Me'ir of Norwich, Marie de France, Berechiah HaNakdan
  •     The Dead - James Joyce
  •     Waiting for Godot - Samuel Beckett
  •     Spreading the News - Lady Gregory
  •     Playboy of the Western World - John Synge
  •     Translations - Brian Friel
  •     Angela's Ashes - Frank McCourt
  •     Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
  •     Shambleau, No Woman Born - C.L. Moore
  •     The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. Le Guin
  •     Woman on the Edge of Time - Marge Piercy
  •     Adulthood Rites - Octavia Butler
  •     Fun Home - Alison Bechdel
  •     Clade - James Bradley
  •     The Tiger Flu - Larissa Lai
  •     The Annual Migration of Clouds - Premee Mohamed
  •     Greenwood - Michael Christie
  •     The School for Scandal, The Critic - Richard Sheridan
  •     The Beggar's Opera, Polly - John Gay
  •     Jonathan Wild - Henry Fielding
  •     The Rape of the Lock, The Temple of Fame - Alexander Pope
  •     The Iliad - trans. Alexander Pope
  •     The Way of the World - William Congreve
  •     A Sentimental Journey - Laurence Sterne
  •     The Belle's Stratagem - Hannah Cowley

* The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Othello, Hamlet, MacBeth, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Anthony and Cleopatra, Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, Henry V, Henry VI Parts 1, 2, & 3, Richard III

There are more, of course, but these are all I can find record of and remember well enough to list.

For fun:

   
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
  • Shadow & Claw - Gene Wolfe
  • Sword & Citadel - Gene Wolfe
  • The Last Wish - Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Sword of Destiny - Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Blood of Elves - Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Time of Contempt - Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Baptism of Fire - Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Tower of Swallows - Andrzej Sapkowski
  • The Collapsing Empire - John Scalzi
  • The Consuming Fire - John Scalzi
  • The Last Emperox - John Scalzi
  • Too Like the Lightning - Ada Palmer
  • Seven Surrenders - Ada Palmer
  • The Will to Battle - Ada Palmer
  • Perhaps the Stars - Ada Palmer
  • Gardens of the Moon - Steven Erikson

If there's any interest, I'll group/categorise these and give recommendations from the list.
#3
General Discussion / Re: General Discussion
January 22, 2023, 11:30:00 PM
I think a CYOA game where choices reflect who the character is instead of who you as the player are are totally fine! One of my favourites in the genre is actually The Wolf Among Us by Telltale, and you have enough wiggle room in that to make your character either a violent irritable detective or a slightly less violent irritable detective. And it works because the character is fully realised and well written.

The major issue with Road 96's choices, I think, is that they don't fulfill either option. They obviously don't let you do anything you want as a player, but they also completely lose sight of the fact that your characters are so angry and hopeless in the face of their country's totalitarian dictatorship that they're getting out. So while you're in a scene with the Brigades, you are automatically on their side. While you're around the liberals, you talk about the virtues of voting. And while you're around cops, you fully cooperate no matter what. It's so meandering and confused that it just doesn't end up saying anything at all.

And that's so annoying for a game where the central conflict is extremely political (or has the potential to be). It's marketed as such a choice-heavy game where the things you say really matter to the world and affect things that are happening, but absolutely all of that is untrue. You only make a difference by nudging the final one-of-three endings to a higher probability by spraypainting campaign posters.

One of the surprisingly few negative reviews of Road 96 said it's just a visual novel that lied about the type of game it is, and I think that's ultimately true. You can walk around, you have a very small list of actions you can do, but ultimately you have zero control or choice over what happens. It's crazy to me that No Man's Sky was dismantled for lying about what was possible in the game, when this game has done just as much but was game of the year material for a majority of its players.
#4
General Discussion / Road 96 Review
January 22, 2023, 05:14:21 PM
So I wrote the following as a review for Road 96 on Microsoft Gamepass, but it apparently won't actually let people post reviews? Or maybe just bad reviews. Anyway, since I'm not going to buy it for Steam just to review it, I thought I'd share it here (and not make a thread, because I like Natalie's).

QuoteRoad 96 - "The Shallowest Game of a Generation"
1/5 stars

For a game so heavily marketed on being a procedurally-generated hitchhiking experience where choices matter, the only true word within that description is "hitchhiking". Road 96 is a game where you take on the role of a handful of rebellious teenagers who are fed up with the fascist dictatorship that rules the country of Petria and decide to leave by any means necessary. To do this, you will walk, hitchhike, take the bus or taxi, or steal cars.

The overarching storyline of this game is a badly-realised and extremely shallow observation of the political situation within Petria. You have the moustache-twirling villain of Tyrak, who will abduct teenagers to put in work camps, have his police shoot non-violent protesters, and make enigmatic evil statements with seemingly little motivation. For a fascist country, Tyrak's posters and the border wall imagery seem to pull a lot from Soviet or North Korea-style imagery, neither of which were or are fascist states. Against Tyrak is the invisible Flores, the best and last hope for the neoliberal apologists the game wants you to sympathise with, but who you never see. And then, finally, are the Brigades, pseudo-leftist revolutionaries whose storyline ultimately boils down to "is it too radical to fight back?"

Along your various trips through Petria in your attempts to escape, you'll meet many badly-written and abysmally-voiced characters. There's Zoe, the extremely-privileged actual main character of the story, who cajoles you into helping her and gets the most important role of the story despite caring the least. Then there's John, who has the only competent voice acting in the game but is trying to undermine the revolutionaries from the inside. Fanny, a cop you're forced to help even if you would never actually help cops, and her son Alex, an incredibly annoying whiz-kid, both force you into comically-bad conversation writing, where if you don't say the choice they expect, they'll respond to the option you didn't choose anyway. Finally, there's Stan and Mitch, entirely useless characters, Sonya whose pitch-shifted shrieks I dreaded every time she showed up, and Jarod, who you're supposed to sympathise with even though he only ever shows up as a raging serial killing psychopath.

The game is split into multiple vignettes, either in the modes of transportation you're using or in the locations that you stop in along the way. Each of these vignettes has one possible outcome, and will shove you toward that no matter how hard you try to avoid it. They will occasionally give you extra bits to interact with along the edges of the world, like trash cans to rifle through or safes to open, but these rely on skills rewarded to you through specific vignettes you may never get. I ended my first (and only) playthrough only having the ability to make intuitive connections in what people were saying, extra energy, and the "lucky star", which allows you to open trash cans and gives you better odds on percentage chance options. And I imagine there's a chance I could have ended with even fewer options. There's really no reason not to have multiple opportunities to get these extra skills through different scenes, but that would require competent game design.

The most telling aspect of this game came at the very end, when during the credits I saw more people on the marketing team than on the development team. There is, somehow, a huge following for this game. This more than anything compelled me to play all the way through to make sure I wasn't missing anything because I couldn't imagine how people could enjoy this. Instead, all I got was lousy writing, false choices (seriously, just make it a visual novel, it's fine to not have choices if you're not interested in following through with them), the worst voice acting I've ever seen in a game, and the feeling that it could have been good if developed by anyone else.
#5
This definitely solves the problem in an equitable way. I think it works well.
#6
I'm not sure the February one necessarily needs to be changed. The 27-29 possibility aligns with the 29-31 of other months, while the more common 27-28 will align with the 29-30 months. Every four years you just get a fun bonus day!

But more seriously, a transition period doesn't need to be super long, it should be safe to assume that if a new Councillor still has questions after assuming the role, the former Councillor and other former Councillors will still be around to answer questions.
#7
Roleplay / TTT: Time travel or enTanglement?
November 27, 2022, 06:00:55 PM
Along the psychic tethers that connected Lynue to her own brain, she felt a jolt. It was like the world had continued to change and evolve drastically even within the last few moments, the separation of the inhalation and exhalation of a breath. She had a strange dissociative feeling, as if she had shifted sideways between a reality where she knew the rules and into another reality visually similar but mechanically very different from the one in which she had existed only moments before. The text on the book in front of her wasn't even making sense anymore.

Wait, hold on just one second, she asked herself. Why would the text not make sense anymore, that was ridiculous. She took a second look at the page, and realised it hadn't been that the text was in some alien script unknown and unknowable to her mortal understanding, but instead the bo0k was just upside down. She righted the book and all felt right with the world once more. That was odd as well, had she just imagined packing it up and setting out across the town? That seemed correct, but also she usually had trouble remembering breakfast that morning, let alone actions she may or may not have taken over the past 45 seconds.

She reached up and scratched where her horns met her head. An odd morning, this was. An odd morning indeed. Perhaps it had been the book. She looked at the book in her hand again: still just as enigmatic and unyielding as it had been all along. "Are you the one what had made my brain run all round to confusion?" she asked the book. The book, surprisingly, did not respond in any way. "Of course," she continued, narrowing her eyes. "That's exactly what a book what pretending to be all inanimate like would say. I don't trust you one lick, thing. Not a wit."

She stood up with the book and made to leave her office, only to open the door in tandem with someone opening it from the other side. Ah yes, her assistant Constable Constabulary. Strange family to give such a strange name to such a strange boy. Downright odd, some might call it. Not Lynue, of course. But surely some. "Lynue, Councilor Alanganin here to speak with you."

"Right, brilliant." she replied, stepping back slightly and doing the quick rundown any dishevelled person does before meeting with an official. Under her breath, she said "Awful unfortunate timing for someone not making an appointment, but" and then continuing in her normal voice, "Please, see him in. See if he needs anything."

She attempted to get books off of the chairs near her desk and back into the box, and to straighten the items on the desk, before he was shown in.
#8
Spam / Re: Calamity Refuge Guestbook :3
November 24, 2022, 02:29:59 PM
~.:|My_D4rk_V4l3nt1n3|:.~

chk out teh fanfic i made of this :3
#9
Spam / Re: CTRL+V
November 24, 2022, 02:28:25 PM
HumanSanity: 81
Emily: 66
Luca: 56
Argo: 30
Aav: 14
Kal: 12
Wasc: 10
FLP: 7
Ziz: 5
Dyll: 5
Fox: 4
Zuk: 2
Sueloc: 1
Istillian: 1
#10
Spam / Re: Post the Time of Day
November 24, 2022, 02:28:17 PM
14:28
#11
Spam / Re: Name a type of pancake
November 24, 2022, 02:28:08 PM
Inert
#12
Spam / Re: Spam Points
November 24, 2022, 02:27:59 PM
HumanSanity: 81
Emily: 67
Luca: 56
Argo: 30
Aav: 14
Kal: 12
Wasc: 10
FLP: 7
Ziz: 5
Dyll: 5
Fox: 4
Zuk: 2
Sueloc: 1
Istillian: 1
#13
Spam / Re: Name Five
November 24, 2022, 02:27:39 PM
Ecosia
Discord
Libby
Spotify
Pocket Casts

Name five types of coffee that you hated
#14
Spam / Re: One Word Storyline
November 24, 2022, 02:26:17 PM
Once upon a star supernova, twenty six legendary cards descended from our tall card tower. Hooray!
Our newfound love Testlandia, wore splendid magenta fursuit, specifically commissioned to contain BEES! It buzzed through rainbow, over walls yonder, and into the sky. At midnight, Gerald Ford erupted from his volcanic lair, overflowing with meritorious service. Both chambers reloaded their legislative shotguns while removing glistering shirts, heated by lava undershirts. Ford devoured the 535 imperial guards, while copper prices skyrocketed, and legislation stalled.

Meanwhile, the legendary crocodile, Crocodile Irwin, initiated CPR for the legislature of New Hartoria. Mercifully, HS wrote textwalls of nonsense which follows:
"Spinning crickets mercifully inundate Equestria"

Obviously, this sucked. Mercifully, Andraste (Jesus Ronaldo) smote tobacco from a Tevinter corpse. Aromatic! It smelled. Unclear directions confounded the manufacturing executives, who decided there was no better fate than death. Opportunistically, they provided Andraste more timeshares filled 37% of the time by Tevinter, but why? For this, the ultimate price of three dollars and forty seven cents must be paid.

Dissenting Justice reminds us of prison. Thanks Justice! Very cool! Not until Alexander Wallexander
#15
Spam / Re: Post a random song lyric
November 24, 2022, 02:25:25 PM
It's gonna be may
#16
Spam / Re: Name a type of pancake
November 20, 2022, 11:37:13 PM
Sizzler
#17
Spam / Re: One Word Storyline
November 20, 2022, 11:35:53 PM
Once upon a star supernova, twenty six legendary cards descended from our tall card tower. Hooray!
Our newfound love Testlandia, wore splendid magenta fursuit, specifically commissioned to contain BEES! It buzzed through rainbow, over walls yonder, and into the sky. At midnight, Gerald Ford erupted from his volcanic lair, overflowing with meritorious service. Both chambers reloaded their legislative shotguns while removing glistering shirts, heated by lava undershirts. Ford devoured the 535 imperial guards, while copper prices skyrocketed, and legislation stalled.

Meanwhile, the legendary crocodile, Crocodile Irwin, initiated CPR for the legislature of New Hartoria. Mercifully, HS wrote textwalls of nonsense which follows:
"Spinning crickets mercifully inundate Equestria"

Obviously, this sucked. Mercifully, Andraste (Jesus Ronaldo) smote tobacco from a Tevinter corpse. Aromatic! It smelled. Unclear directions confounded the manufacturing executives, who decided there was no better fate than death. Opportunistically, they provided Andraste more timeshares filled 37% of the time by Tevinter, but why? For this, the ultimate price of three dollars and forty seven cents must be paid.

Dissenting Justice reminds us of prison. Thanks Justice! Very
#18
Spam / Re: One Word Storyline
November 20, 2022, 11:35:25 PM
Once upon a star supernova, twenty six legendary cards descended from our tall card tower. Hooray!
Our newfound love Testlandia, wore splendid magenta fursuit, specifically commissioned to contain BEES! It buzzed through rainbow, over walls yonder, and into the sky. At midnight, Gerald Ford erupted from his volcanic lair, overflowing with meritorious service. Both chambers reloaded their legislative shotguns while removing glistering shirts, heated by lava undershirts. Ford devoured the 535 imperial guards, while copper prices skyrocketed, and legislation stalled.

Meanwhile, the legendary crocodile, Crocodile Irwin, initiated CPR for the legislature of New Hartoria. Mercifully, HS wrote textwalls of nonsense which follows:
"Spinning crickets mercifully inundate Equestria"

Obviously, this sucked. Mercifully, Andraste (Jesus Ronaldo) smote tobacco from a Tevinter corpse. Aromatic! It smelled. Unclear directions confounded the manufacturing executives, who decided there was no better fate than death. Opportunistically, they provided Andraste more timeshares filled 37% of the time by Tevinter, but why? For this, the ultimate price of three dollars and forty seven cents must be paid.

Dissenting Justice reminds us of prison. Thanks
#19
Spam / Re: CTRL+V
November 20, 2022, 11:34:42 PM
Once upon a star supernova, twenty six legendary cards descended from our tall card tower. Hooray!
Our newfound love Testlandia, wore splendid magenta fursuit, specifically commissioned to contain BEES! It buzzed through rainbow, over walls yonder, and into the sky. At midnight, Gerald Ford erupted from his volcanic lair, overflowing with meritorious service. Both chambers reloaded their legislative shotguns while removing glistering shirts, heated by lava undershirts. Ford devoured the 535 imperial guards, while copper prices skyrocketed, and legislation stalled.

Meanwhile, the legendary crocodile, Crocodile Irwin, initiated CPR for the legislature of New Hartoria. Mercifully, HS wrote textwalls of nonsense which follows:
"Spinning crickets mercifully inundate Equestria"

Obviously, this sucked. Mercifully, Andraste (Jesus Ronaldo) smote tobacco from a Tevinter corpse. Aromatic! It smelled. Unclear directions confounded the manufacturing executives, who decided there was no better fate than death. Opportunistically, they provided Andraste more timeshares filled 37% of the time by Tevinter, but why? For this, the ultimate price of three dollars and forty seven cents must be paid.

Dissenting Justice reminds us
#20
Spam / Re: One Word Storyline
November 20, 2022, 11:33:48 PM
Once upon a star supernova, twenty six legendary cards descended from our tall card tower. Hooray!
Our newfound love Testlandia, wore splendid magenta fursuit, specifically commissioned to contain BEES! It buzzed through rainbow, over walls yonder, and into the sky. At midnight, Gerald Ford erupted from his volcanic lair, overflowing with meritorious service. Both chambers reloaded their legislative shotguns while removing glistering shirts, heated by lava undershirts. Ford devoured the 535 imperial guards, while copper prices skyrocketed, and legislation stalled.

Meanwhile, the legendary crocodile, Crocodile Irwin, initiated CPR for the legislature of New Hartoria. Mercifully, HS wrote textwalls of nonsense which follows:
"Spinning crickets mercifully inundate Equestria"

Obviously, this sucked. Mercifully, Andraste (Jesus Ronaldo) smote tobacco from a Tevinter corpse. Aromatic! It smelled. Unclear directions confounded the manufacturing executives, who decided there was no better fate than death. Opportunistically, they provided Andraste more timeshares filled 37% of the time by Tevinter, but why? For this, the ultimate price of three dollars and forty seven cents must be paid.

Dissenting Justice reminds us of