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From a "big data" perspective, there are plenty of data points so far from which to make quite a few predictions.  Assuming you had the data sets to work with.  Probably enough for personal identification purposes too.

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13 hours ago, fractalnavel said:

From a "big data" perspective, there are plenty of data points so far from which to make quite a few predictions.  Assuming you had the data sets to work with.  Probably enough for personal identification purposes too.

That's probably mostly true, but I'm not sure anyone has the data sets to work with.  Basic demographic characteristics would not be hard to cull, for sure.  As far as actual personal identification goes, I'm not sure the data sets you'd need to do that actually exist.

 

This is a possibility that I thought about way back when I started this thread, and I'm OK with it (b/c of the lack of significance of anything I've done on these forums).  However, I would ask that we not discuss the prospects of doing it (nor do we actually do it) in this thread -- it's still a little bit creepy, and that will get me to end this project faster than anything else will.

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Your favorite fiction book

Your favorite nonfiction author

Your favorite and least favorite chemical elements.

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David Bowie

Your favorite Buffy episode

Your least favorite video game boss

Your favorite of Slarty's PDNs

Your favorite flower

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Colonialism as an explicit theme in games like Archipelago
Colonialism as an implicit theme in games like Puerto Rico
Colonialism being omitted entirely in games like Settlers of Catan

I'm not entirely sure what to do with these as I think the differences here are not very significant; I will however rate

Colonialism's relevance in board games: As the degree of its relevance far outstrips the nuance with which it is ever approached or ignored.

Lodges: Sorry, I just don't care about these at all really :(

 

Your favorite fiction book: A very hard pick, but on the basis of it being a common enough choice that I won't feel the need to redact its identity, I'll go with _Fahrenheit 451_.

Your favorite nonfiction author: Basically already represented in the redacted book, and would also be redacted, so there you go.

Your favorite and least favorite chemical elements:

Aluminium: "I own a tin foil suit, and I'm aluminum... it's extremely reflective, flashy and found in tacky products everywhere. It insulates itself from the external world using a layer of oxygen. And it tends to cause pointless linguistic flamewars."

Ruthenium: I suppose Ruthenium, because I *think* it was the first to start the annoying trend of naming elements after their place of synthesis, even if said place was irrelevant to the element itself.

 

David Bowie: There are some high highs and some low lows (and, of course, one very high Low), but in Bowie's case, it's very hard for the highs not to win out.  The sheer quantity of output, and the consistent pace of it, for so many decades; the modulation and remodulation of so many styles.

Your favorite Buffy episode: "The Gift" still makes me cry, and is an easy answer -- but there are so many runners-up.

Your least favorite video game boss: Hmm.... great question!  And choices: do I go with a painfully hard boss, or a painfully annoying/problematic boss?  After considering many worthy contenders (Lashiec, Baramos, etc.) I think I'm going to go with Garuda from the NES version of FF3, for a cluster of reasons:
- He's an incredibly difficult boss, far outclassing what came before
- He is most easily defeated with a single "just do this!" strategy, but that strategy is RNG-reliant, still requires grinding, and is easily handicapped by a probably unintended elemental resistance interaction
- His fight is immediately preceded by a long (especially for an NES game) scene you are forced to watch, which makes NO sense and involves both the PCs and NPCs doing obviously stupid things
- The transformation into Garuda makes no sense
- Garuda's sprite was lifted directly from a published resource which gives historical mythological information about Garuda, which seems to have been badly misunderstood by the designers
- At the time you fight him, you have recently been locked into a small area of the world map, losing access to all of your old shops (and grinding options) right at a time when they might be needed

 

Your favorite of Slarty's PDNs: Also a very tricky question.  The first one that comes to mind is "Opaque Obake" but then there's also "Displacer Iguana" and I still sort of love "TUXEDO MASH EDGAR SLAAAASH" -- and there are probably others I am forgetting that might take the cake, but, hoom, hmm, I'll go with the first one for now.

Your favorite flower: Let's go with Callistemon, which should please Callie at least.

 

 

Dogs

Square One Television

Alphabets

Fahrenheit 451

A nonfiction book (identity redacted)

Subtle, tasteful symbolism

Chrono Trigger

Cyberpunk

Bilbo Baggins

Waving Hands

Titus Andronicus

Hamlet

Lord of the Rings

"Zombie" (Cranberries song)

Pet Sounds

"Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote"

Spirited Away

"The Gift" (Buffy episode)

Cait Sith

Exile II: Crystal Souls

Nethergate

Billie Holiday

"Nephil's Gambit"

 

Kierkegaard

Gilgamesh

Slartibartfast

The Tarot Deck

Madeline Kahn

Hades

Storm (X-Men)

Hugs

The deck of many things

Seinfeld

Egizia

Coffee

Public libraries

Thai food

Croissants

"Opaque Obake"

 

Les Misérables (novel)

Text search functions

David Bowie

Bossa nova

Disco

Jiji (character)

Mice

Upton Sinclair

History

File compression

Sliced bread

Bagels

Subways (transit)

Sailor Moon (first anime)

Marie Curie

 

Medusa

P-zombies

Ducks

Deontology

Aluminium

Willow Rosenberg

Prossis-Bok

Working out

Russian literature

Simon & Garfunkel

Nina Simone

Sea slugs

Samuel Clemens

 

Ninjas

Circular saws

Jiji (in Nikki's lap)

Inanna

Ziggurats

Reality TV

AD&D 2nd Edition

Maggie Simpson

Callistemon (flower)

Shamhat

Ghosts

Frankenstein (novel)

Tiki drinks

Snakebird

Ice cream

Vancian magic

 

Utnapishtim

Juvenalian satire

70's cars

Georg Cantor

Shanti

AD&D 1st Edition w/ UA

—Alorael

C++

Good grammar

Macbeth

Cor Blok's Tolkien art

Bacon

Falafel

Fall

 

Black Panther Party

Henry Wallace

OK Computer

Catharism

Cookie Monster

Minotaur (Knossos)

Zombies (necromantic)

Romeo and Juliet

The Northern Lights

The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Speedy Gonzales screenshot

Saunas

Vinyl records

Trumpets

Chainsaws

Linux

Sans serif fonts

The aesthetic qualities of the Greek alphabet

The Queen is Dead

Schuyler Colfax

Gargoyles

Roguelikes

Chess

 

Geneforge 1

Lady Gaga

Video games

Super Mario series

Lawsuits

Wine

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Robert Heinlein

Heracles

Jeff Vogel

Ravens

Smartphones

Whiskey

Hydra (Lernaean)

Heathers

Xanth series

Isaac Asimov

The Evil Overlord List

Arthur C. Clarke

Match Game

Liches

Exile III: Ruined World

The Cranberries (band)

Bartenders

Forum lurkers

 

Black Panther (character)

Sock puppets

The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog

Flamingos

Cluny the Scourge

The Chronicles of Narnia

"Mr. Green Genes"

Muppet Babies

Paul Simon

Penguins

TLC

Rhinos

Civilization (human phenomenon)

Beer

Frodo Baggins

Mexican food

 

Bob Dylan

Richard Garfield

Ontology

Chimera (Lycian)

Science museums

Achilles

Ella Fitzgerald

Pelicans

BitTorrent

Nevermind
Tom Waits

70's prog

Sliths

Rats

Avernum II: Crystal Souls

Slarty Ranks Everything

Ranking lists

"...Gottfried Reads Fifty Shades..."

Heavy-handed symbolism

Princess Peach

 

Elephants

Donuts

Cats

Trombones

The Muppets

The Eiffel Tower

Solidarność screenshot

Civ II

Helen of Troy

Zorro

Revolutions

Casablanca

Avadon series

Goldfish (snack)

Gilbert Gottfried

Football (American)

Nephils

Star Wars original trilogy

James Garfield

Jury nullification

Avernum 4

Batman

Cinnamon rolls

Hubble space telescope

 

History museums

Pegasus

2001: A Space Odyssey

The Beatles

Aretha Franklin

Homestar Runner

They Might Be Giants

Sherlock Holmes

Tennis

Posting games

Inspector Peanut

Subinfeudation

Solitaire

Werewolves

The Big Lebowski

Nelson Rockefeller

Goldfish (fish)

Art museums

King Arthur

The aesthetic qualities of the Hebrew alphabet

Zeus

Windows 3.1

Summer

Carmen McRae

Richard Cheese

 

Bark spider

Spiders

Mummies

Dolphins

Metahumor

Nixon's foreign policy

Sparkling water

Grant Wood

Paprika

Spam (meat)

Cabaret (film)

Harry Potter series

Peanuts

The White Rabbit

Standard playing cards

Norman Rockwell

The electoral college

Nick Cave

MMORPGs

Table saws

Horatian satire

"This is a Trent Reznor Song"

 

Google

Odysseus

Xian Skull (item)

Spam (e-mails)

Running

Dead trees

Puggsy

Checkers

Facebook

Runtz

Pineapple pizza

The LP rendition of Slarty's voice

Gilmore Girls

Hockey

Wheel of Time series

George Clooney

Film noir

Abugidas

Ruthenium

Vitamin C supplements

 

Twelfth Night

Blazing Saddles

Louis Armstrong

Discarded chewing gum

Art Garfunkel

The Trojan Horse

70's movies

New York City

Abjads

"Lackadaisical"

The March Hare

 

Dick van Dyke's accent as Bert

"Mr. Tambourine Man"

The Matrix

GIFTs (Spiderweb)

Godwin's Law

Poseidon

The aesthetic qualities of hierogylphics

Russian

Bimetallism

Beowulf (character)

Angry Birds

Alf screenshot

Colonialism's relevance in board games

Jackalopes

 

Pyramids with eyes on them

Centaurs

Moderate rain all day

Korean food

Microsoft

Phantom stair step (bottom)

Word Rescue

Elvis Presley

Minecraft

Galactic Core

Bumper stickers

Novelty mugs

 

Apple

Ferris wheels

Mechanical pencils

Vultures

John Wayne

Amazon

The post that asks me to rank itself

Virtue ethics

Roller skates

Greek yogurt

 

KISS (principle)

Agamemnon

Salty liquorice

Westerns
Friends

Getting a triple word score in Scrabble

Phantom stair step (top)

Turkey/cat video

Dieselpunk

Life of Brian

AOL

ELIZA

 

Zombies (infectious)

80's fashion

KISS

Hipgnosis

Expensive wristwatches

Salt lamps

Cologne

My Little Pony

Whaling

Rudyard Kipling

The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom

The War on Drugs (band)

Queen (band)

Fifty Shades of Grey

Jane Austen books

The Byzantine Empire

The Let's Play series

Stubbing your big toe

Basketball

Baseball

"Acceptable in the 80's" (song)

Halloween

 

Garuda (FF3)

Bertrand Russell

Cats (musical)

Stubbing your little toe

Pirates

Elfpunk

Ennui

Charles Dickens

"Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros" (song)

Hercule Poirot

The Easter Bunny

Ferrets

Soccer

Robin Hood (character)

Star Wars prequel trilogy

Tess of the d'Urbervilles

Thomas the Tank Engine

Freefall (webcomic)

"2500 things Mr. Welch..."
Fedoras

Johnny Cash

 

Deconstructivism

The Microsoft Office Assistant

Steampunk

Cyclops (X-Men)

Kitten/rat box

Athena

John Calhoun (politician)

Mr. Toad of Toad Hall

The Xavier Files

BGG Top 10

Ethical intuitionism

Sock puppets (fake accounts)

Birthdays

 

The Barber Paradox

Turnips

Anchovy pizza

Wasps

U2

Wings (band)
Fictional names that use a lot of apostrophes

Twilight Saga

Deconstructionism

 

Final Fantasy VIII

"Stuff from the 90's!" (song)

The Olympics

The Big Bang Theory (TV show)

 

Consequentialism

The Crusades

King Leopold

Handlebar mustaches (i.e., thin and spindly ends)

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4 hours ago, 'Probably' said:

 

Ruthenium: I suppose Ruthenium, because I *think* it was the first to start the annoying trend of naming elements after their place of synthesis, even if said place was irrelevant to the element itself.

On the one hand, this is true (Yttrium, Ytterbium, Erbium, Terbium)... on the other hand, is this actually worse than Samarium, named after samarskite, embarrassingly named after a minor Imperial Russian bureaucrat, Vassily Samarsky-Bykhovets?

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Posted (edited)

hey let's rank marvel events with "secret", "war", "infinity", or "vs" in the title

 

Secret Wars / Secret Wars II

Infinity Gauntlet / Infinity War / Infinity Crusade

Civil War

Secret Invasion

Avengers vs. X-Men

Secret Wars

Civil War II

Inhumans vs. X-Men

Secret Empire

 

dc's simpler, let's just do the ones with "crisis" in the title

 

Crisis on Infinite Earths

Zero Hour: Crisis in Time

Identity Crisis

Infinite Crisis

Final Crisis

 

(you could do the "countdown" ones as well, but then the lines get blurry)

 

EDIT: i don't want to bias your scoring, so i'll save a rant for later

 

EDIT 2: oh hey world war hulk qualifies let's throw that one on too

 

don't feel obliged to rank all of these

Edited by Dintiradan

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No no please share your rant.  I assure you that I will be happy to agree, and equally happy to disagree.  I just enjoy intelligent rants.

 

(EDIT: Giant Intelligent Friendly Talking Rants?)

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Also you've been a bit inconsistent about what does and doesn't count as an "event", so I may make a few additions as well as deletions (Kree-Skrull War, anybody?)

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Oh, yeah, make more work for yourself if you want. I'm less familiar with the Marvel storylines, especially earlier ones, but I know you lean more towards Marvel, so I put more Marvel stuff on it.

 

I was re-reading/finishing Gotham Central a while back. Got the elements of a great procedural, very character-driven, all while being set in Gotham -- would recommend very highly (and it's what I was hoping the Gotham TV show would be based on, alas). Aaaand suddenly here's a Red Skies Crossover, because hey Day of Vengeance and Infinite Crisis is on and we gotta do something about that. So now Captain Marvel is fighting the Spectre, and the Rock of Eternity is blowing up over Gotham, and Gothamites are being possessed by the Seven Deadly Sins, and isn't this what you wanted from a series where the previous issue focused on when it's justified to compel a journalist to reveal their sources? No? Well, good news for you, the events of the crossover are never relevant again for the series. Next issue's all about fruit of the poisoned tree, you'll love it.

 

I remember Starman being especially bad when it came to stuff like this. At the climax of an issue when -- whoops! -- Godwave just hit and everyone's depowered. Don't worry, we'll just deus ex machina things on the next page and forget this ever happened. At the end of an arc when... hey, didn't we deal with you already? Oh, Neron gave you a power-up. Don't know who Neron is? Too bad! Oh, and Blackest Night is happening, so we gotta have someone fight a Black Lantern.

 

It's possible to do crossovers/references well, provided authors have time to integrate it with their own storylines. Sandman had an arc where a bunch of people throughout time and space had to wait out a "reality storm", and they passed time by telling stories Canterbury Tales-style. It's something that fits with the rest of Sandman, even if you know nothing of Zero Hour. But usually it's... well, read the TV Tropes link.

 

As for the events themselves... it varies, but usually it's thumbs-down. Events usually come from corporate down, rather than authors up, and that's not a good recipe. And with one author writing scores of characters means you're going to be disappointed with at least one character's portrayal. I find that the "enormous ensemble cast dealing with Big Thing" itch is better scratched by turning to Elseworlds/What If stories (where the goal is telling an actual story) than main universe events (where the goal is usually changing up the lineup).

 

Could do a event-by-event dissection, but I'll save that for Dintiradan Ranks Slarty Ranks Everything.

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Yeah, I think that is mostly true today.  But it wasn't always.  Some of it is inevitable, as the role of "corporate" expands everywhere.  And some of it I blame DC for.  I mean, just look at the table of contents of this wikipedia article:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crisis_(DC_Comics)

 

In fairness to DC, Marvel had alternate earths too, and Marvel probably did more nutty things with alternate timelines (#thanksxmen).  But it was DC that became obsessed with constantly rebooting all of its characters, and using these pan-universe crossover events to do so.  This forced them into every nook and cranny of every title.  It took Marvel longer to go down that road.

 

That said, Marvel's top heroes were much more likely to (a) be in a group, and (b) be strongly identified with that group rather than as their own title character.  The sprawling X-Men, Avengers, and Fantastic Four properties simply had more tendrils than Justice League ever did.

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I'm trying (and failing) to find the Bendis(?) quote where he says that a crossover with 616 would be the surest sign that the Ultimate universe writers had run out of ideas.

 

Marvel's relative cohesiveness has always been its biggest strength, and it has its history to thank for that. I think that other than Namor and Cap (I dunno if the first Human Torch is still a thing) it was designed from the ground up to be a shared universe. Whereas DC's a bunch of different properties that merged together. I suppose DC started the shared universe thing with World's Finest and the JSA, but not to the same extent that Marvel did.

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I don't think you can blame history; it wasn't an accident that things ended up this way.  Marvel was designed from the 60's up to be a shared universe, but it wasn't because there weren't any golden age characters other than Namor and Cap (and the original Human Torch and Vision, etc.) -- those were just the only two they pulled forward.  Whereas DC pulled a lot more forward, and their trappings too, like the fake cities that made it clear they were not part of our world.  Two very different strategic approaches.

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DC got worse because they acquired Fawcett which brought in the Marvel Family and other companies that they have tried to merge into the mainstream after years of alternate Earths. Now they do crossovers with Loony Tunes characters and Power Rangers that add to the mess.

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DC did not acquire Fawcett.  Rather they sued them and ruined them; then, years later, licensed the rights to "Shazam" (Fawcett's trademarkless Captain Marvel) and associated characters; then, eventually, they purchased those characters outright.

 

However, nobody cares about Shazam one way or the other, so it's hard to see how that ruined DC.

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It's not that people care as much as the editors at DC keep trying to force everything together whether it fits or not. You had the Zero Hour crossover to collapse the DC Multiverse into fewer worlds. Since then there have been several crossover events to rewrite history and merge worlds with the last being the Rebirth into 52 worlds and Earth X for the Nazis winning.

 

I've pretty much given up on trying to follow the overall DC universe with all the changes and now using Alan Moore's Watchman as part of the revised history. I'm not sure that these changes will last long enough to even be worth following before the next revision.

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Posted (edited)

Fiddlesticks

M103 Heavy tank

De Tomaso Pantera

McDonalds

Jesus

Edited by Puksis

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6 hours ago, [ Multiverse Munchers ] said:

I don't think you can blame history; it wasn't an accident that things ended up this way.  Marvel was designed from the 60's up to be a shared universe, but it wasn't because there weren't any golden age characters other than Namor and Cap (and the original Human Torch and Vision, etc.) -- those were just the only two they pulled forward.  Whereas DC pulled a lot more forward, and their trappings too, like the fake cities that made it clear they were not part of our world.  Two very different strategic approaches.

Point. Though the whole setting approach is very much a matter of taste. I've got zero attachment to New York -- in fact it's usually a point against Yet Another New York Cape in my books. Whereas Metropolis, Gotham, Opal, whatever can be anywhere.

 

(On a side note, could we put "relevance of urban superheroes when violent crimes in urban areas have been dropping for several decades" on The List?)

 

5 hours ago, [ Multiverse Munchers ] said:

However, nobody cares about Shazam one way or the other, so it's hard to see how that ruined DC.

:(

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While I am loathe to bump this topic, I find myself in the midst of a schism; only Slarty, the ultimate authority on all things everything, can mend it.

 

Muffins with bits of fruit in them.

Muffins with bits of nuts in them.

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10 minutes ago, Meriecury said:

OK so by "TONIGHT" I clearly meant "probably Saturday" but it is going to happen then.  Really.

Just go to a supermarket and get the types from the same manufacture so you have some consistency from being made the same way. I'd do it, but I don't like nuts, so i'm biased against that type.

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2 hours ago, Meriecury said:

OK so by "TONIGHT" I clearly meant "probably Saturday" but it is going to happen then.  Really.

sTr0AO9cmr.png

 

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