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Donaithnen Keir
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Attended Calculus and Newton's Laws and Relativity (Sucks!)
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Donaithnen Keir

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We went to Anime Expo last weekend, and had a great time!

Unfortunately i don't have a ton of pictures, because despite (or perhaps because of ;) a ton of help i wasn't able to find a new camera in time beforehand. (Hopefully i can post some more details about that process later.)

So i've got some pictures with the crappy camera on my phone, and some more pictures with the less crappy camera on Avalyn's phone, which i need to get copies of. Along with some individual pictures we also went to cosplay gatherings for Steven Universe (because we know someone who cosplays that, though sadly she didn't make it to the gathering) and the Final Fantasy gathering (although i ended up in a kind of crappy spot for taking pictures.) Hopefully at some point i'll do the copying from Avalyn's phone and organize it all and share some of the better ones.

The AMV Contest was decent, and i promise i'll have a full post about that fairly soon! There were several good videos, but i'd already seen two of the best of them as part of the VCAs. And sadly because of that i didn't encounter any entirely new songs that i got addicted to.

The Masquerade was also decent. There were a number of decent skits, a number of so-so things, one major production failure, and zero marriage proposals. The intermission consisted of a singer that i didn't recognize who did the themes for... i think Air and Clanad and some other stuff? And the second half of the intermissions was a performance by the Dance Corp, which was pretty good but once again did not quite rise to the spectacle of their first performance two years ago. It's possible i suppose that the issue is nostalgic rose coloured glasses, but it really seems like they've started focusing more on the story of their skits than on the dance choreography, and it seems like they might have fewer people than they did that first year.

We checked out the arcade area and found that the Dance Maniax 2nd Mix machine was back after a hiatus last year. Sadly i only had time for about four games over a period of two days and was busy pretty much the entire rest of the time. I really miss having an arcade with a Dance Maniax machine nearby. (Come to think of it, that is one thing that might convince me to try out VR, though i doubt there's anyone interested in porting Dance Maniax over =)

We bought a moderate amount of art in the Artist Alley. Specifically several prints from an artist that redesigned characters as kitties, one each for Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Super Smash Bros, a small print of some cute Chocobos, a steampunk Totoro and steampunk Catbus, and a FF7 Chocobo Racing print that i saw on Day 1 and then had to go through the entire Artist Alley twice to find again =P

We attempted to buy some new t-shirts but not until day 4, at which point they were running out of sizes. At each booth we could find a pair of shirts we wanted to get, but in each case they either didn't have my size, didn't have Avalyn's size, or both =P We've got business cards and website URLs and such, so we could try ordering them online, but it's not quite the same.

We did see a little bit of new anime, Sunday morning we went to see the first three episodes of "Food Wars". We were running a little late, but the room was running even later so we actually caught the last 5 or 10 minutes of "The Boy and the Beast" as well, but since the last 5-10 minutes of a movie doesn't do you a lot of good i just intently studied my 3DS until it was over. (Oh yes, i got well over 100 hits on my 3DS of course.) Food Wars turned out to be pretty much what we were expecting. There was a lot of food and a lot of cooking and a LOOOOOOOT of fan service. Like, ridiculous levels of fan service given the subject. However the AMV i shared from the VCAs a couple months ago had already led us to expect that. And somehow the fact that it was in such a silly situation and was not taken at all seriously made it seem less problematic than the same type of stuff would have seemed in other circumstances. (cough cough Kill la Kill.)

So aside from all that we spent a lot of time in the AMV room. We saw a lot of videos in a lot of different panels. There were a number that i intend to look up again but nothing that really blew my mind this year. The 25 Years of AMVs intro video was pretty awesome, and some of the videos in that panel were pretty great, but it was rather late at night and i started drifting off around the middle of it.

25 Years of Anime and Music | Anime Expo 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqBd3kWqw2s

Audience reaction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_PEaPgvh8g

The 2006 AMV Contest Replay had some good stuff, including one of my favorite AMVs ever (Between the Truth and the Lies), Rider4z's first convention showing (Fight For Life), and Wedding Rings. Gotta say though, looking ahead, the AX 2007 AMV Reshow is going to be EPIC! The Comedy panel was good as usual, the "Best of the Non-Finalists" was very hit or miss, also as usual. We weren't able to make it to the Rhythem panel (among many others) which makes me kind of sad. Along with comedy and "Best of the Non-Finalists" that would have been my best chance to find something new and amazing.

The best panel of the entire convention was probably the final AMV one, the "Sing, Clap, and Stomp Along" panel. Avalyn suggested they ought to do it at the beginning of the con to get everyone psyched up. Or maybe do it at the beginning and the end. Or maybe the beginning and the end and in the middle. Or... :)

We did stop by the Dance at one point, but were only able to stay for about 20-30 minutes, because we needed to go get in line for an AMV room panel. (The 25 Years one i believe.)

So between a light sunburn on my arms (i did remember to wear a hat while outside,) walking all over the place, a little bit of dancing, four games of Dance Maniax, and a lot of enthusiastic singing and clapping, i was sore pretty much everywhere at the end of things, which is not at all a bad way to end a con :)

All in all though it seems like this is really just a post to say that i'm hoping to post some more stuff later =P

Cross-posted from: http://www.livejournal.com/users/donaithnen/1205643.html
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Donaithnen Keir

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I've got this irrational(?) fear that if Brexit passes Trump will win in the fall.

Because if Brexit passes one of two things will happen:

1) The economy will go down. In the worst case scenario the initial seed of financial disruption from Brexit passing will trigger the China debt default chain and cause a total meltdown.

But whether it goes down a lot or little in response to which Trump will blame the Democrats for the economy sucking, which isn't fair but historically the party in office has always caught the flak for a bad economy regardless of the causes.

2) The economy will stay stable or improve.

In which case Trump will say "Hey look, Britain followed the lead of a bunch of fascist, racist, idiots [okay, probably not in those exact words] and it worked out for them, so it will work out for us too!"

Come on UK, you knew how to deal with these types under much more trying circumstances when they were living on the other side of the Channel. Don't give up just because they've become a homegrown threat! You were strong then, you can be strong now!

Cross-posted from: http://www.livejournal.com/users/donaithnen/1205106.html
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Symptoms i have experienced over the last week and a bit:

Stiff and sore neck
Nausea and light vomiting (1 night only, maybe mild case of food poisoning?)
Sore throat (scratch)
Sore throat (unable to swallow)
Goopy throat
Stuffy nose
Goopy nose
Headache
Swollen eyelids
Pink eyes
Goopy eyes

Not all of these symptoms have been happening at the same time though, so it's hard to say which, if any, are linked by a common cause and which are entirely independent =P Do i have a single sickness? Or do i have several different co-dependently opportunistic sicknesses? I don't know! The stiff/sore neck has been the only one that's been consistent the whole time, and what started out the whole mess. It was pretty bad at first. It's gotten a lot better since then, but i still feel twinges if i turn my head too much.

The weird thing is that everything below my neck feels just fine. So i don't feel like i'm sick so much as i just have a bunch of problems with me head.

If i'm actually sick with something i wish i'd just get all of it at once, get really sick, and just get it over with =P

Cross-posted from:
http://www.livejournal.com/users/donaithnen/1204644.html
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Final Fantasy 15: Bro-hood

So there was some kind of FF15 event and now there's more info out (http://www.rpgfan.com/news/2016/4613.html), and a new trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C05PC_dGjsw

So, um, yeah. Still not really interested in a very actiony looking Final Fantasy game featuring a bunch of bros going on a bro-trip in a bro-car. And no, turning Cid into bro-bait isn't really helping. (Female Cid, awesome! Female Cid in bikini and short-shorts... not so much.) The story also seems really bland. I'm not sure if they're not revealing the details that actually make it interesting right now or if those details just don't exist.

Also, the music switch at the halfway mark is... very not what i want out of a Final Fantasy game.

So this will be the very first "mainline" Final Fantasy game that i will not be eagerly anticipating on launch day since i got Final Fantasy 1.

Maybe reviews and commentary from friends will change my mind after release (is anyone else planning on getting it?) or maybe this will be the first mainline Final Fantasy game that i just don't buy period. 

Cross-posted from: http://www.livejournal.com/users/donaithnen/1204091.htm
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Zeynep Dilli's profile photoPamela Korda's profile photoMichael Hannemann's profile photo
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Yeah, we're in no rush either, which is sad. The joke I made to my wife about our then-hypothetical kids having to wait until Mommy finishes playing FF20 on the PlayStation Megasphere seemed very reasonable back when.
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Batman vs Superman - Non Spoilery 

We went to see Batman vs Superman over the weekend.

It's not good, it's not bad, it's just meh.

There are some individually good bits, there are some individually bad bits, but my overall impression was just that it was kind of dull. Also dark. Dark and dull.

If you want to see spoilery and very snarky text review, Rob Bricken has come to the rescue as usual with a Spoiler FAQ:
http://io9.gizmodo.com/batman-v-superman-spoiler-faq-of-justice-1767720335

If you want to see a spoilery but less snarky video review, there's this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE4YgpkRGtI

If you want to see a much longer spoilery review (an hour long, and i haven't actually finished it yet myself) you could check this out:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOupZ8luUwc

Here are my non-spoilery thoughts:

Good bit: The movie practically opens with Superman getting some comeuppance for inadvertently murdering thousands of people in Man of Steel.

Bad bit: It doesn't do a great job of making that comeuppance feel meaningful. After processing Rob's Spoiler FAQ, i suspect that Snyder still doesn't understand that Superman killing lots of people is bad, and therefore was unable (or possibly just unwilling) to invest it with as much emotional weight as it deserved.

Good bit: Batman was a kinda okay character.

Bad bit: But the movie actually opens with yet another goddamn retelling of Batman's origin story.

Bad bit: And Batman also murders a lot of people.

Bad bit: Also, Batman either doesn't seem insane enough or seems too sane, depending on which way you want to approach things.

Good bit: Wonder Woman was awesome.

Bad bit: Except for the part where she sits down to watch a trailer for the next movie in the series.

Bad bit: Also, there are way too many dream/vision sequences in this movie.

Bad bit: There are more jump scares than i want in a movie. (Correct number for me: 0)

Bad bit: The trailers are very intentionally misleading about the nature of the movie. (Big surprise, i know.)

TL;DR: Too many plot threads that weren't explained well enough and weren't integrated well enough, too many people doing weird things for insufficiently explained reasons, and too many weird things happening with no good explanation whatsoever. And some good action bits mixed in with all the other strange, dull, confusing stuff.

I think that's about as much as i can get into without spoilers, which i will save for the next (or technically, previous) post. 

Edit: Oh yes, i also think it made a bit too much use of quick cuts during action scenes and a bit too much shakey cam during non-action scenes. My tolerance for that kind of thing is pretty low though, so it may not bother most people. (Such things don't make me feel sick like some people, they just annoy me.)

Cross-posted from: http://www.livejournal.com/users/donaithnen/1203587.html
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The VCA contest wrapped up last week. If you've got an account you can see the results here. (http://www.animemusicvideos.org/members/amvvca/2016/) As expected, two well done videos that i personally did not appreciate from an artistic viewpoint managed to sweep up 7 awards between them. but a couple of videos i liked managed to sneak through. So how good a job did i do at influencing the outcome?

[Given G+'s lack of cuts, i'm gonna put all the boring data at the bottom]

I think it's worth reiterating, especially in this context, that just because a video wasn't my favourtie doesn't mean it was bad. The two the cleaned up at the awards were very well done, i was just personally annoyed by some of the themes and source material.

But in any case, the videos i really liked went on to the finalist round in 53/120 cases, or about 44%. The videos i voted for went on to the finalist round in 44/120 cases, or about 37%. The reason for the disparity is that in many categories there were more videos that i liked than slots i could nominate for. So in many cases what would have been my #6 choice or #7 choice or etc made it in.

As far as actually winning goes, videos that i really liked made it in 9/24 cases, or about 37%, and the ones i voted for won in 4/24 cases, or about 17%.

But wait! There's more! There were also the editor categories!

So for some reason i rocked in the editor section! I voted for 10 of the 20 nominees and 3 of the 4 winners! So 50% and 75% success rate!

Interestingly, if you eliminate the categories in which the two stellar videos won, then my "favorites got nominated" rate stays steady at about 45%, while the "voted for nominees" rate actually drops to 32%. However as expected the "one of my favorites won" and "voted for the winner" values skyrocket to 53% and 23% respectively. But obviously if i had the magical power to dictate the categories and/or results then very quickly my success rate would shoot to 100% :) 

Cross-posted from: http://www.livejournal.com/users/donaithnen/1203015.html

Now for the boring data!

Video section:

Best Action:
Nominees: Voted for: 2, Favorites: 2
Winner: Not a favorite

Best Character:
Nominees: Voted for: 1, Favorites: 3
Winner: Not a favorite

Best Collaborative Video
Nominees: Voted for: 2, Favorites: 2
Winner: Favorite, but not the one i voted for

Best Comedy Video
Nominees: Voted for: 1, Favorites: 3
Winner: Favorite, but not the one i voted for

Best Dance Video
Nominees: Voted for: 2, Favorites: 2
Winner: Not a favorite

Best Dramatic Video
Nominees: Voted for: 3, Favorites: 3
Winner: Favorite, but not the one i voted for

Best First Video
Nominees: Voted for: 2, Favorites: 2
Winner: The one i voted for!

Best Fun Video
Nominees: Voted for:0, Favorites: 3
Winner: Favorite, but not the one i voted for

Best Horror Video
Nominees: Voted for: 0, Favorites: 0
Winner: Not even remotely a favorite


Best Multi-Editor Project
Nominees: Voted for: 2, Favorites: 2
Winner: Not a favorite

Best Parody Video
Nominees: Voted for: 1, Favorites: 1
Winner: The one i voted for!

Best Romantic Video
Nominees: Voted for: 1, Favorites: 2
Winner: Not a favorite

Best Sentimental Video
Nominees: Voted for: 1, Favorites: 2
Winner: The one i voted for!

Best Short Video
Nominees: Voted for: 3, Favorites: 3
Winner: The one i voted for!

Best Storytelling
Nominees: Voted for: 2, Favorites: 2
Winner: Not a favorite

Best Trailer or Commercial
Nominees: Voted for: 2, Favorites: 2
Winner: Not a favorite

Best Use of Instrumental Music
Nominees: Voted for: 3, Favorites: 2
Winner: One of my nominees, but not the one i voted for and not really a favorite

Best Use of Lip Synch
Nominees: Voted for: 3, Favorites: 3
Winner: Not a favorite

Best Use of Multiple Anime
Nominees: Voted for: 2, Favorites: 3
Winner: Favorite, but not the one i voted for

Best Use of Single Anime
Nominees: Voted for: 3, Favorites: 3
Winner: Not a favorite

Best Use of Special Effects
Nominees: Voted for: 2, Favorites: 2
Winner: Not a favorite

Most Artistic Video
Nominees: Voted for: 3, Favorites: 2
Winner: Not a favorite

Most Original Video
Nominees: Voted for: 3, Favorites: 2
Winner: Not a favorite

Video of the Year
Nominees: Voted for: 1, Favorites: 1
Winner: Not a favorite

Editor section:

Editor of the Year
Nominees: Voted for: 2
Winner: Not a favorite

Most Helpful Member
Nominees: Voted for: 3
Winner: The one i voted for!

Most Improved Editor
Nominees: Voted for: 3
Winner: The one i voted for!

Rookie of the Year
Nominees: Voted for: 2
Winner: The one i voted for!
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Donaithnen Keir

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Many years ago (around 2003 or 2004 i think?) i bought a new camera just before Anime Expo so i could take decent pictures. After a minimal amount of review i decided to go with the Canon PowerShot A610.

I don't know if it was the best choice or not, but it served me well for many years. Then 3-4 years ago it started having trouble moving the lens in and out. Which might have been okay if it just meant no zooming, but it also meant that when you turned the camera on it had trouble moving the lens out from compact mode. Then the LCD screen got scrambled and would only work if i flipped it out, as opposed to flipped over and folded back. (Something was wrong with the rotation mechanism, when it got to the point where it would have had to flip the image upside down it just bugged out.)

It was still usable as long as i was willing to have the LCD flipped out or just use the viewfinder, but the problem with the lens movement gradually got worse. It never quite got to the point where i couldn't get it to work at all, because before that point the batteries inside exploded. In fact the leaking acid cause some kind of reaction strong enough to break the shutter button mechanism off of the main camera body (since it's located directly above one of the batteries.)

So some people these days say that all you really need is a camera phone, and after living a couple years on that philosophy it's not working out so well. I don't need a great camera (as evidenced by my previous choice) but the phone on my camera really sucks. You can see noticeable differences in quality between my unlocked T-Mobile Moto X phone and Avalyn's Verizon Moto X phone. The zoom in particular is horrible and grainy. I'd be kind of surprised if there was that much difference in the camera drivers between them, so i suspect there may be some kind of defect with mine.

So my phone is sorta okay if i need to snap a quick non-zoomed photo of something to post on twitter, but not so good for capturing good photos of events i'm at. Like Anime Expo. Which happens next week.

So here i am again, considering buying a camera at the semi-last minute, and i'm wondering if anyone has any advice.

I don't really want to spend more a couple hundred on it. I generally only use the zoom and brightness settings. The old camera had a couple automatic modes (indoors, outdoors, landscape, etc) but even with those i had a tough time telling which would actually be better in what situation. So moderately priced and simple is probably best. I think i would like a little better zoom though. I think the old one was limited to 8x, which wasn't that great if i was sitting in the middle or rear of a concert. And of course as previously mentioned the zoom on my camera phone is practically useless.

Based on 5-10 minutes perusal of Consume Reports i'm leaning toward either the Canon PowerShot SX710 HS ($280-300, 30x optical zoom) and the Nikon Coolpix S7000 ($200-$280, 20x optical zoom.)

So do any of the people i know who do camera stuff have any opinions about either of those, or have something better to suggest?

Cross-posted from:
http://www.livejournal.com/users/donaithnen/1205376.html
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Rachel Schwartz's profile photoMichael Hannemann's profile photo
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One more link / roundup / summary of "consumer superzoom" cameras: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/2016-roundup-consumer-long-zoom-compacts/10
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Donaithnen Keir

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First: I wrote the rest of this post down on Friday and meant to post it this week. But then i checked YouTube today and discovered that the new season of Epic Rap Battles of History just started, and the first video is George R R Martin vs J R R Tolkien. And it is awesome. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAAp_luluo0

Second: If you remembered to come back from the video, this is my interpretation of the Middle-Earth creation mythos[1]:

Eru, to the other gods[2]: "Despite some initial unpleasantness we've got the world mostly worked out now and filled with plants and beasts[3], so we should get down to the important stuff, the sentient races. Since I'm the firstest and bestest of the gods i shall create the Elves, and they shall be the Firstborn."

Aule: Uh, when exactly were you planning on doing that?

Eru: I don't know, I figured I'd get around to it sooner or later. Maybe another couple Ages. No rush.

Aule: So, uh, i already kinda created the Dwarves.

Eru: Damn it! I'm first! I get the Firstborn! I'm not going to grant your Dwarves sentience until after I've created my Elves! Go stick them in the freezer for now or something!

Manwe: Would this be a bad time to mention the Eagles I made? Cause i thought it would be cool if there were giant sentient Eagles.

Eru: Eagles aren't real people! They don't count! In fact maybe I won't even give them souls, that'll show you! But stick them in cold storage for now just to be safe and we'll figure it out later. AFTER the Elves are created!

Yavanna: So about that... I can already tell Aule's Dwarves are going to be trouble, so I made Ents to protect the forests from them.

Eru: What is wrong with you people?!? You can't just go around creating races willy-nilly! That's my job!

Yavanna: It's Aule's fault for creating such a stupid race first!

Eru: Fine! Whatever! The Ents are going into cold storage with all the rest! They can just be trees for now, and the Elves, the FIRSTBORN, will wake them up AFTER I'VE CREATED THEM FIRST! Because THEY'RE THE FIRSTBORN!

[Tom Bombadil wanders in from somewhere]

Bombadil: They're first? But what about me? I'm here, I'm Eldest, I've already seen the first raindrop and the first acorn, so technically...

Eru: ARRAAARRRAAAGHHHHHHH!!!!!! *retroactively smites Tom Bombadil from existence

And that children is why Tom Bombadil did not appear in the Lord of the Rings movies.

1: The bit about the Dwarves and the Elves seems to be generally accurate. Information about the nature and origin of Ents is vauge, the information about the Eagles is even vaguer, and the information about Tom Bombadil is vaguest.

2: Ainu, whatever.[4]

3: "Years of the Lamps" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Arda#Years_of_the_Lamps)

4: I'm sure steuard will correct me on all the whatevers.

Cross-posted from:
http://www.livejournal.com/users/donaithnen/1204747.html
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In happier news, the description claims to be an April Fools joke but the way they reworked the dialog in this video is genius :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4TSALVyT2g
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This was originally a response to Scalzi's review of Superman vs Batman:
http://whatever.scalzi.com/2016/03/29/my-review-of-batman-v-superman-and-its-reviews

However it got long enough that i decided to repost it here.

I've seen a couple responses saying things along the lines of "You know what Zack Snyder does, so why are you surprised that he modeled Superman and Batman in that style" and the closely related "if you don't like that style then just don't watch it, why do you care so much?"

I think the problem is that Superman and Batman are very old characters with a lot of history behind them that a lot of people have known for a long time, many of them having grown up with the characters.

And those characters are completely under the control of DC. And because the movies are such a big investment DC is not going to muddy the waters by having two different Superman or Batman franchises in film at the same time. You get (very approximately) one interpretation of a superhero in film per decade. If it does well you get a couple movies in that series before a reboot. If it does poorly they may reboot it early, or they may just forget about it for awhile.

Which means that if you don't like the interpretation of your favorite superhero in their latest movie you have to give up on that entire "generation". If you don't like Snyder's style then not only has he made a movie that you happen not to like, he actually has "ruined" your chances to see a Superman movie you do like for at least 5-10 years. And the more successful the movie is the more likely there will be sequels and the longer until it gets rebooted into something you might possibly like.

So not only are you unhappy with Snyder for "ruining" it, you're unhappy with the people who do like it for validating that stylistic choice, and you're unhappy with the financial success. Because all of that means that there won't be an early reboot. There will be more Snyder-esque DC movies that you don't like instead of possibly DC movies in some other style that you might like.

On the other hand no one really cares if the latest movie to reinterpret Snow White does so in a way they don't really appreciate. They may not like the movie, but they don't accuse the studio of having ruined Snow White. Because in another year or two (and in some years in just another month or two!) there will be another Snow White movie with a different interpretation.

Under any kind of sane copyright system Superman and Batman would be in the public domain by now. In such a world DC would still be making tentpole "official franchise" Superman movies, because why wouldn't they? But if you didn't like what DC was doing then some other studio would be doing their own interpretation of Superman that you might like better.

I think there might be a lot less acrimony about the whole thing in such a world. 

Cross-posted from: http://www.livejournal.com/users/donaithnen/1203945.html
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Donaithnen Keir

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Batman vs Superman - Spoiler Post

This is the spoiler post! The non-spoiler post should be right above this!

*

SPOILER SPACE

*

This is the spoiler post! The non-spoiler post should be right above this!

So they not only start with Batman's origin story, they have to make it a weird mishmash of flashback and fantastic dream, just to get the whole movie off on a WTF? note.

Then they go to Bruce Wayne rushing into Metropolis on the day Superman and Zod had their throw down in Man of Steel. Here's there because he owns a building in Metropolis and he's worried about the people in there. He's especially worried about some manager there, but we really have no idea who he is or why Bruce cares about him so much, which makes it kind of hard for us to care about him. Of course he gets killed, and lots of other people get killed, and some people get maimed.

This is supposed to be the starting point for Batman's desire to take down Superman. But it's not very well articulated. His journey from "maybe we should be concerned about Superman" to "maybe we should do something about Superman" to "let's kill the fucker" doesn't seem to have the clearest motivation. It seems like we're supposed to believe he was manipulated into it, but the evidence of that manipulation is pretty scarce. One of Batman's defining characteristics is supposed to be his intelligence, but he doesn't seem to be demonstrating a lot of it in this regards. One of Batman's other defining characteristics is that he's frequently considered to be at least a little mentally unbalanced, but he doesn't seem to be crazy enough in this to fall into the anti-Superman paranoia without asking more questions than he does.

The biggest factor in favor of the slide into madness is the dream sequences. You know all those scenes in the trailers of Superman being a total asshole, accepting homage from fascist-looking soldiers and such? All the things meant to make you think that maybe Batman wasn't a total loon for wanting to fight Superman? Surprise! Those were all figments of Batman's imagination!

Or maybe not! Because there are hints that maybe they're prophetic? After one dream he sees some kind of rift in space and/or time and someone that may be the Flash or might be someone else who maybe came back in time to warn Batman about maybe Superman or maybe someone else. But that also turns out to be a dream... maybe?

Or since we learn later that Lex Luthor has (probably?) been setting up the confrontation between Batman and Superman then maybe Lex Luthor somehow caused those dreams? But if so then there's no explanation at all about how he might have done so. However if Lex was pushing Batman towards fighting Superman he either knew that Batman was suffering weird dreams about him (if he wasn't causing them himself) or he thought that Batman was much more manipulatable than he actually was.

Meanwhile Batman spends a lot of time trying to hunt down information about the "White Portuguese", which he thinks is a person and he wants to discover for... reasons that aren't really explained? He's apparently lied to Alfred about why he wants to find "him", but we're not told what the excuse is, so it's all kind of weird and confusing. Then he discovers it's a ship, which is apparently a big surprise to him but kind of an "okay whatever" from the audience since we had no real idea what he was expecting to find in the first place.

So while this is going on Superman is getting framed for murder. Lois Lane is tricked into going into a terrorist military camp to interview their leader. But she's being used by the CIA, who (maybe?) planted a tracker in her cameraman's camera (the cameraman happens to by Jimmy Olson, but we're never told that in the movie) which is discovered by some of the terrorists who are actually mercenaries who were secretly inserted into the camp by, we later find out, Lex Luthor.

The terrorist leader takes her into a building, where she attempts to convince them that she didn't know about the tracker, and as soon as they're gone the mercenaries kill everyone else. Both the terrorists and the rest of the news crew, including Jimmy Olson.

Superman shows up and rescues Lois Lane, presumably killing the terrorist leader in the process, and then gets blamed for the murder of everyone else in the camp. Because either forensics thinks being shot by automatic weapons is indistinguishable from being punched by Superman, or they figured Superman was running around with an AK-47.

So Lex Luthor has decided that the world needs a deterrent against Superman, or at least that's what he's claiming when he asks the US Government to let him import some Kryptonite from the second alien crash site (the big terraforming thing that Superman destroyed in the... Indian Ocean?) But clearly he actually wants to kill Superman, except it's never made clear exactly why.

The government decides that making weapons that could kill Superman is a bad idea, so Lex Luthor smuggles the kryptonite in on a ship named.. the White Portuguese! So since Batman also wants to murder Superman at this point he tries to steal the kryptonite, and in the process murders a lot of other people. But he's inadvertently stopped by Superman, who's there to tell Batman to stop being Batman and murdering people.

I am very unsure at this point about whether Lex Luthor actually expected/wanted Batman to steal the kryptonite at that point. He looks perplexed when the kryptonite shows up at his lab, but i couldn't tell if that was because he wasn't expecting it to arrive, or just because the convoy had been decimated by Batman before Superman intervened.

As the film progresses Lex starts acting more and more unhinged, and again it's not clear why this is happening. Was he always unhinged and just doing a better job of covering it up before? Or is he gradually going insane over the course of the film? I can't say.

He manages to blow up a Senate hearing that was going to conduct an investigation of Superman's actions... but i'm not sure why. If he intended to frame Superman for the explosions it was a total failure. Apparently some people (including Superman himself) wondered why he didn't or wasn't able to stop the explosion, but no one blamed him for causing it. The panel was headed by the Senator who refused to give him the import license for the kryptonite he wanted, but if it was intended as revenge for that slight it seemed rather... petty. Especially since he had no trouble getting the kryptonite anyways. (In fact given that Batman was searching for the White Portuguese from practically the start of the movie implies that that was Lex's real plan all along.) If it was just intended to rattle Superman it seems to have been ineffective.

So Superman goes on walkabout (again) and has a dream vision of his dead dad.

Batman breaks into Lex Luthor's labs and steals the kryptonite (Is Lex surprised? Thankful that his plans are back on track? I have no idea) and makes a bunch of weapons out of it. Mainly gas grenades and a spear.

Meanwhile Lex has convinced the military to give him Zod's body and access to the first crashed alien ship (still sitting in the middle of Metropolis.) He slices off Zod's fingertips so he can access the ship's systems. How did he know that would work? I have no idea. He then accesses the library in the biolab. How did he know he could do that? I have no idea. He then uses the biolab to combine his blood with Zod's body to create a giant kryptonian monster. How did he know he could do that? I have no idea. You could say he learned it from accessing the library, but if so then it's very coincidental that he learned from the library that he could use the body he already had to create the tool he needed as the culmination of the plot that he'd already put in motion before the start of the movie.

So then he kidnaps Martha Kent and Lois Lane. He drops Lois Lane off of a tower so that Superman will come rescue her. Where was Superman when Lois Lane was dropped? Last we saw him he was in some mountains, presumably hundreds or thousands of miles away. Yet somehow he heard her screaming at the point she was first dropped of the building and was able to get there before she hit the bottom. Or perhaps he was already back in the city and was just being really lax about Lois Lane getting kidnapped up until that point. Whatever.

So when Superman confronts Lex he shows them that he has Martha captive, and will kill her in an hour unless Superman fights Batman.

So Superman flies over to Batman who VERY COINCIDENTALLY had decided that was the night to challenge Superman, by lighting up the Bat Signal and waiting. (I'm 80% certain Lex had already started his ahem Doomsday plan before Batman lit the signal, so i don't think this was cause and effect.)

Superman then makes half an attempt to explain to Batman what's going on. Batman interrupts him and Superman then decides that any further attempts at explanation are useless until they've fought. Superman doesn't actually want to kill Batman of course, so he drags the fight out until Batman is able to bring his kryptonite gas grenades into play an even the odds.

Once Superman starts losing the fight he still doesn't make any attempt to explain what was going on.

Finally, when he's pinned to the ground and about to be stabbed by the kryptonite spear, he gasps out something along the lines of "save Martha."

SHOCK! THAT IS THE SAME NAME AS BRUCE WAYNE'S MOM!

Batman goes "what?" and Superman says something more about Martha needing to be saved.

Now Batman, the guy who at this point has been insanely fixated on killing Superman for no really good reason except his somewhat psychotic dreams suddenly goes "well our mom's had/have the same name, i guess that's a good enough reason to be best friends!"

I would almost be willing to accept the notion that Batman was just shocked out of his insanity by the sudden realization that hey, Superman has a mom too! Except just a few minutes earlier Batman was berating Superman, saying something about "Did your parents tell you you were special and had to save the world?" (Horribly paraphrased and possibly way off, but definitely involving his parents.)

So Lois Lane shows up and helps negotiate the truce. Batman runs off to save Martha while Superman runs off to confront Lex. Meanwhile Lois Lane takes the spear, the one weapon on the entire planet that we know can hurt Superman, and finds a deep watery hole to drop it in.

WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?

If you have a single weakness you don't just leave it lying around somewhere hoping that no one else will find it! You hold on to it until you can stick it someplace as safe and well guarded as you can make it! Even if you're not aware of the impeding plot!

So Batman rescues Martha, murdering a lot more people in the process. Superman shows up at Lex's place just as Doomsday is hatching.

So did Lex expect Batman to kill Superman? If so, what was he planning to do about Doomsday? Did he think because it had some of his blood in it that it wouldn't hurt him? Given how Doomsday immediately went after the only other Kryptonian on the planet it throws some doubt on that "blood is thicker than water" notion. And if Lex didn't expect Batman to kill Superman why did he even bother setting up the fight? I understand the notion of arranging things so that "all paths lead to victory", but not so much so that "all paths lead to getting smooshed by one super-powered Kryptonian being or another."

Anyways, one way or another Superman ends up temporarily incapacitated while Doomsday is blasted out of the city limits. Then Batman realizes that they need the kryptonite spear to kill it, and instead of fetching the spear himself or sending someone else to do it, he decides to lead Doomsday back into the city. There's some kind of comment made about "the port is abandoned at night", but that seems like a very vague and handwavey justification.

So at this point Wonder Woman shows up. Prior to this she'd been wandering in and out of the film in her mortal disguise. Oh yes, but just before this she stopped to take a minute or two to watch the trailer for the next Justice League movie. The trailer itself was kind of dumb and poorly timed, and also the point at which they decided to show that trailer in the movie seemed rather dumb and poorly timed.

But ANYWAYS, Wonder Woman is here now! And she kicks ass! Then Superman shows up! Then Superman and Batman have an aside a brief about which of them is responsible for the presence of Wonder Woman <_<

So then they get into classic trailer formation and the movie goes into classic 300 slowmo so the audience can go "HEY LOOK IT'S THAT POSE FROM THE TRAILER!" Then the fight happens.

They aren't making much headway until Lois Lane makes a poor attempt to retrieve the spear and gets trapped, and Superman has to go rescue her, and in the process realizes "Hey! We could probably use this spear to kill Doomsday!"

So he gives the spear to Wonder Woman and she kills Dooomsday. The end!

...no, wait. He decides to use the spear himself, even though he realizes that just being near it significantly weakens him and will probably get him killed. Lois Lane also realizes this, so they have a tearful goodbye. Then Superman stabs Doomsday with the spear and gets stabbed himself, and they mutually die. (Strangely, Doomsday doesn't actually die until the spear goes all the way through him and the kryptonite is removed form his body. You'd think having the kryptonite still impaling his heart would be more damaging, but whatever.)

So now Superman is dead. But it was so dumb that i don't really case. Also we know that Superman has died and come back to life before (in the comics, after he was killed by... Doomsday.) Then even though we've seen sunlight provide miraculous healing power to Superman before, instead of sticking him under a sun lamp they decide to bury him in a grave.

We then get to sit through a couple long slow funeral scenes. (For both Clark Kent and Superman of course.)

And then just before the credits, we see the dirt on the coffin start to levitate, just like when Superman is about to fly... cut to black.

And there was no post-credits scene. You're going to give away that Superman isn't really dead (shock! surprise!) and you're not even going to save it for the post-credits scene? WTH?

Edit: Oh yes, one last thing. Why is Gotham right across the river from Metropolis? Putting two such large and distinct, er, metropolises right next to each other seems weird. And how does the canonically massive amount of crime in Gotham not spill over into Metropolis? And why was there a giant Wanye Tower in Metropolis? Do corporations headquartered in Kansas City, MO also have large buildings in Kansas City, KA and vice versa?

Also, you know that scene in the trailer where Batman is holding a gun and lots of people freaked out about the fact that Batman was holding a gun and Batman doesn't use guns?

You can relax, that wasn't a real gun. It was just a launcher for the kryptonite gas grenades. Batman is only murdering people with guns in all the other scenes.

Also Edit: And at the end, Luthor knows about someone who those in the know say is almost certainly Darkseid, another major Superman villain. How does he know this? When did he know this? Is knowing about Darkseid what was causing him to go gradually insane over the length of the movie? Or did he only learn about it when he accessed the kryptonian computer? Is he intentionally serving Darkseid or did he think what he was doing would somehow help? It seems like it was really just a clumsy plothook thrown in for the sequel(s) without any real attempt to tie it in with the rest of the movie.


But seriously, i am nowhere near as good at snarking as Rob Bricken, you should go read his (also spoilery) version instead:
http://io9.gizmodo.com/batman-v-superman-spoiler-faq-of-justice-1767720335 

Cross-posted from: http://www.livejournal.com/users/donaithnen/1203380.html
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Donaithnen Keir

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My brain seems to run into the same difficulties with Stardew Valley that i do with boardgames.

I will come up with elaborate long range plans. And sometimes those plans will come off perfectly and everything will be great! Especially early on in the game when my resources were limited and therefore the range of possibilities were limited.

But other times, especially now that i have plenty of resources to work with, i will have a plan to do tasks W, X, Y, and Z during a day. And then i'll discover that there are some prerequisites for W that i forgot about and i need to do tasks Q and R first. And then i'll realize that you can't do both X and Y at the same time. And then i'll realize that in doing X i've used up some of the resources i needed for Z. And then just to make things complicated a mini-quest will pop up that adds in task G. And finally at the end of the day i'll realize that i entirely forgot about task D which i really ought to have been doing instead.

So aside from that i just made it through the first year of the game and things are going pretty well.

State of the Farm:

My farm management has definitely gotten better. My late summer/early fall i'd gotten my crop system worked out.

During winter i got down to level 100 of the mine, got my pickaxe and watering can upgraded to gold, acquired 1 large sprinkler and 3 medium sprinklers, and planted my first couple fruit trees. Oh, and unlocked the quarry and secret forest. (My axe is still at steel, and upgrading it further seems to be pretty low priority.)

I also managed to get up seven each of preserving jars and kegs before the nerf came in on patch 1.6 (They new require somewhat difficult to get tree extracts.) and managed to make jelly or wine out of almost my entire cranberry crop.

With the watering can improvement plus the sprinklers i believe i've now got 114 squares under cultivation. Which meant that the first couple days of spring were very frantic trying to get that all hoed and planted. (I have not upgraded my hoe at all, since you really only need it once a season. Of course that one time you do need it...)

I was lucky enough to find an Ancient seed during the winter as well, so one of my sprinkler patch is the "special" patch that has my one Ancient fruit plant and my one strawberry plant.

So in retrospect, stuff i wish i'd done differently/plan to do better on this year.

Really should have bought more strawberries at the spring festival last year. I kind of wish i'd planted more Blueberries during the summer and really wish i'd planted more Hops. (Beer does not sell for as much as wine, but you can produce it much faster.)

I also really wish i'd known that i should have been building lightning rods during the summer! I'm not sure if i actually knew the recipe before the end of summer, but if not that i should have pushed that skill more until i did. I actually have a small supply of Iridium now but i can't build any more Iridium (Large) sprinklers because i don't have any batteries. The one Iridium sprinkler i do have i bought directly from the traveling merchant. And speaking of which, i wish i'd started checking the traveling merchant on every single Friday and Sunday a lot earlier in the game. (Though to be fair, for a significant chunk of the time before i did start doing that i wouldn't have had the money to buy what i really wanted anyways.)

I definitely need to build more kegs and preserving jars. During the winter, before patch 1.6, i was running out of coal. (I could have made more with the charcoal thing, but 20 wood per coal means an 160 wood per vat, which seems ...excessive.) Now that i've got a moderate surplus of coal however patch 1.6 has been released, which means i need to set up more tree taps for resin. And i need to figure out where i can put those kegs and jars without it looking incredibly ugly.

I am definitely glad that i didn't bother with animals the first year, but i probably ought to look into it now. I did just order construction of the stables so i'll have a horse to ride around on. Hopefully that will allow me to get more stuff done during the day since i'll theoretically spend less time walking. 

Cross-posted from: http://www.livejournal.com/users/donaithnen/1202793.html
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Donaithnen Keir's profile photoLaura Parkinson's profile photo
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Hmmm... looks like generally about how much I have, although I'm starting to run into the problem of having too many animals and they're starting to over throw the grassy order again. I would though start the grass early and give it a chance to start spreading before putting in a bunch of animals. And later on if you want all the animals you'll want at least some bare earth for Reasons.

I was gonna go into more details, but I dunno how much you want in the way of spoilers/advice, so I'll shut up. :3
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