Why Reagan?
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scott_sanford
Conservatives have been praising Ronald Reagan for a few years now, as their model of what a president should be. Lately it occurred to me to ask why.

If our current conservatives like Reagan's policies they should approve of our current president's similar positions, and they don't; many dislike him because he's of the wrong party, and some because he's the wrong color, but overall it doesn't sound like a policy choice at all. It's not that Reagan had a great presidency, either; he didn't. Americans saw corruption charges, an exploding deficit, etc.

Eventually it occurred to me that they're pushing Reagan because he's the only one they've got. Look at the Republican presidents over the last fifty years: the crook, the nobody, the actor, the spy, and the drunk. Of course they're going for the actor. Let's break down their options. Read more...Collapse )

Creativity and fan participation
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scott_sanford
I found, mostly through luck, this well reasoned and articulate commentary about creativity and becoming active within a fan community. The part about pastel colored talking cartoon horses is optional.

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OryCon Whovians
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This was just one of several regenerations of the Doctor who attended in 2013.


NaNoWriMo explained
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scott_sanford
In the off season, when we are less obsessed with the act of writing and have more time to think about the art of writing, we often think about what we might do, what stories would interest us to read or that we would like, in retrospect, to have written.

Consider an automotive metaphor. Some people enjoy a big loud 4x4, crashing through the mud and underbrush in a grand exaltation of noise and prosthetic testosterone. Others want a luxury model, gliding gracefully from beginning to destination, with no rough machinery or unexpected noises disturbing the beauty of the trip. Still others don't care much for appearances and will quite happily putter along in their Volkswagon Beetles, content to know they'll get there eventually.

Nanowrimo isn't like that.

Nanowrimo is putting on a crash helmet and strapping yourself into a rocket sled pointed vaguely at the finish line. On November first you hit the ignition and, God willing, blast across the New Mexico desert leaving a flaming trail of screaming and broken parts, hoping the thing doesn't come apart on you.

If you're lucky the rocket engine doesn't burn out early or explode halfway through the run, and your carefully planned route doesn't suddenly take off for Utah without consulting you. At the end you coast gently across the finish line, smouldering but intact, thankful to have made it through alive and in one piece.

It's not very practical but it can be a lot of fun.
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Gaming session 2 Nov 2013
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scott_sanford
Of no interest to anyone outside my RPG group...Read more...Collapse )
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Age of Sail 19 Oct 2013
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Note: irrelevant to anyone outside my RPG group.Read more...Collapse )
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Slow glass, without the glass
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An interesting science demonstration on youtube; these fellows have a laser and a very fast camera...


Watching this, I realize I am not used to considering lightspeed delays over distances of a few centimeters.

</bird>
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scott_sanford
I was out walking the other day on an ordinary suburban street and I heard a soft quiet thump from just behind me. Puzzled, I looked back - nothing had been there a moment ago. Once I thought to look down all was explained; there was a small bird in the grass, on its back with its legs sticking up in an overly dramatic way. As I watch it twitched several times, getting less energetic over time. The situation was pretty obvious.

This shouldn't be too surprising, given the number of birds and their short average lifespan - but we rarely see it happen right in front of us.
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Gay marriage: another perspective
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scott_sanford

Like all good satire, they make some good points.
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Bagpipes, wizard, unicycle.
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Really, it's just another day in Portland. Doesn't this stuff happen in all cities?

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