New Quest Available!

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Elomin Sha
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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby Elomin Sha » 14 Jun 2015, 09:21

Don't think you can talk to me. I haven't forgiven you yet.
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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby I X » 14 Jun 2015, 09:32

I'll take Lord of the World as recommended by Elomin, I suppose. Silly me, forgot to post until now.
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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby Valkyrie-Lemons » 14 Jun 2015, 16:44

So I read the Great Gatsby. I've never read it before, but I kinda of know the story and themes, so I kind of knew what was coming/what is was eluding to before it happened. However, I still enjoyed it.

The one thing I'm still undecided if I like or not (and this doesn't just apply to this book) is stories told in the first person that just seem to start halfway through another paragraph. As in, there is no introduction.

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.


Like, I understand it's better than "Once upon a time," and all that; but at the same time it makes me feel I'm missing part of a page.


But that's a minor gripe, still enjoyed reading it.
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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby 2stepz » 14 Jun 2015, 17:10

WRT 'Snark' I read the first two 'chapters' and while it is interesting in concept and structure, I wasn't as absorbed in the story as I would like to be. The lyrical pattern, while interesting and unusual, got old quickly.
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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby I X » 14 Jun 2015, 23:22

Lord of the World is a very strange book. It's good, though. I'm going to keep reading about it. It's interesting to hear about an alternative future (which is more an alternative present at this stage).
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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby Elomin Sha » 15 Jun 2015, 01:19

So Dracula is a interesting one as in seeing how far writing has come. It is a bit of a slog because of the first person narration. I did this then I did that. The descriptive writing about the area Harker was going to was informative but a little to dry. I was hoping that Eddie Izzards orchestra was going to pop up at one point going "neer neh, neer neh."
I'll give it a few more pages to see if it loosens up a bit more and decide if I'll continue.
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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby fantôme » 15 Jun 2015, 02:30

Started reading A Christmas Carol - its funny, clever, engaging and wonderfully meandering. Will definitely finish, thanks for the recommendation Valkyrie!
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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby JustAName » 15 Jun 2015, 08:20

I'll admit I only just cracked the surface of Three Men in a Boat, but it seems quite amusing, and I'll probably keep going with it.

Just 40 minutes left, guys! Get your impressions in!
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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby Lord Hosk » 15 Jun 2015, 08:52

I read the book that that one person posted, I liked it its good.

;)
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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby JustAName » 15 Jun 2015, 09:00

QUEST #22 IS NOW CLOSED

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Quest #23

Pick a topic that you're not that familiar with, and take an hour to learn about it. I'll accept the use of Wikipedia for this, but recommend also using other sources - consider SciShow, Khan Academy, or other free instructional sites. Or just do some digging! Then update us on the general outline.

Quest starts at 10 AM Pacific Time on Monday, June 15, 2015, and ends at 9:59 AM Pacific Time on Monday, June 22, 2015.

Good Luck!
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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby My pseudonym is Ix » 15 Jun 2015, 09:33

...can I cheat and say I'm learning about rocketry propellants?
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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby JustAName » 15 Jun 2015, 09:36

No. :P
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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby Master Gunner » 15 Jun 2015, 11:05

Elomin Sha wrote:So Dracula is a interesting one as in seeing how far writing has come. It is a bit of a slog because of the first person narration. I did this then I did that. The descriptive writing about the area Harker was going to was informative but a little to dry. I was hoping that Eddie Izzards orchestra was going to pop up at one point going "neer neh, neer neh."
I'll give it a few more pages to see if it loosens up a bit more and decide if I'll continue.


An interesting thing is that after the first act of the book, the writing style changes significantly as I recall, as it turns out that "in-universe" what you're reading is the collection of several different people's journals of the events. So as the characters get together and start describing what each other are doing, rather than just themselves, it gets a bit easier to read and more closely resembles later literature.
Depending on whose perspective you're reading though, it can still be a bit of a slog.
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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby Ptangmatik » 18 Jun 2015, 11:09

The Art of War. I've seen it quoted here and there, but never actually read up on it. Seems full of fairly straightforward, insightful advice for beating the snot out of your opponents, or judging when running away is prudent.

Also its true that Dracula takes a little bit to really get going, I'd forgotten about that. It really hooks you in when it does get off though.
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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby MinniChi » 18 Jun 2015, 12:40

I'm learning all about ADHD and non-medicinal methods of managing it. Also all the government byways and pathways to get access to the therapies and help the Ontario health and school systems provide.
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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby Master Gunner » 18 Jun 2015, 14:24

When my brother was diagnosed with ADHD, the principle at his school "didn't believe" in it. Hopefully you have better luck with the Ontario school system then we did (their attempts to provide speech therapy to me also ended up giving me impediments I didn't start with). This was 20 years ago, though.
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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby Rikadyn » 19 Jun 2015, 04:46

My pseudonym is Ix wrote:...can I cheat and say I'm learning about rocketry propellants?


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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby Lord Chrusher » 19 Jun 2015, 09:09

That is no where near interesting or efficient enough of a rocket fuel.
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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby Ptangmatik » 19 Jun 2015, 09:19

Yes, the most interesting propellant ever designed was a series of nuclear explosions that would go off underneath the payload, propelling it into the atmosphere.
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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby Dutch guy » 19 Jun 2015, 10:24

You'd think that was the most interesting, but that book I linked contains some other rather harrowing liquids tried as propellants. Including some that can set fire to materials not normally known as flammable. Like sand, concrete, asbestos and rocket propellant researchers.
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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby Master Gunner » 19 Jun 2015, 10:46

There are some...mind-bendingly dangerous substances out there. Especially in the area of rocket propellant research.
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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby Lord Chrusher » 19 Jun 2015, 11:14

The book Ignition only deals with liquid fuels. Some solid fuel rockets, in particular military ones, straight up use high explosives as parts of their fuel mixes.
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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby Dutch guy » 19 Jun 2015, 11:35

Lord Chrusher wrote:The book Ignition only deals with liquid fuels. Some solid fuel rockets, in particular military ones, straight up use high explosives as parts of their fuel mixes.


Tru dat.

(On the subject of dangerous liquids I'll quote from Ignition! about Chlorine Trifluoride: ”It is, of course, extremely toxic, but that's the least of the problem. It is hypergolic with every known fuel, and so rapidly hypergolic that no ignition delay has ever been measured. It is also hypergolic with such things as cloth, wood, and test engineers, not to mention asbestos, sand, and water-with which it reacts explosively. It can be kept in some of the ordinary structural metals-steel, copper, aluminium, etc.-because of the formation of a thin film of insoluble metal fluoride which protects the bulk of the metal, just as the invisible coat of oxide on aluminium keeps it from burning up in the atmosphere. If, however, this coat is melted or scrubbed off, and has no chance to reform, the operator is confronted with the problem of coping with a metal-fluorine fire. For dealing with this situation, I have always recommended a good pair of running shoes.”)

If chemicals are you're jam or you understand some basic chemistry the entire series of Things I won't work with is also highly entertaining. (Don't forget to read the comments here. Some of this stuff is just mindbending.
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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby Elomin Sha » 19 Jun 2015, 12:47

Prepare for a knowledge dump.
I've been meaning to do research for a game/history idea I've been doing on and off where I mix gaming history and how it relates to history in real life.

This seed of this knowledge hunt came from Hani in the Sky and Hani on the Road. Hani is also known as Hanii, Hany or Honey.
ImageImage


Hani in the Sky was developed by Sankindo and published by FACE in 1989 as a vertical scrolling shoot 'em up. The sequel, Hani on the Road, was published the following year, this time as an action platformer. The new genre was not the only change as Arc System Works now took the reigns in developing Hani's new adventure. Arc is also responsible for the BlazBlue and Guilty Gear series.


In both games the player takes the role of a sentient haniwa figure called Hani. Meaning 'clay circle' in Japanese, the haniwa are unglazed terracotta figures formed using the wasumi technique. The wasumi technique involves coils of clay being layered upon each other and joined by clay plates to form a desired figure and being fired in an oxygen-reduction kiln. Similar layering techniques are used today in 3D printing.


Their origin came in the latter part of the Yayoi period. From here they were used throughout the entire Kofun period and into the early years of the Asuka period where after the Battle of Shigisan Japan went through a major change in religious culture.
Set atop megalithic funeral mounds known as kofun, the haniwa were used in funeral rituals and buried with the Japanese elite.


Haniwa existed mainly during the Yamato-jidai (400-300 BCE until 250 CE) when the Japanese Imperial court ruled in the Yamato Province (Now Nara prefecture). This period (jidai) also contained the Kofun (c.250CE-538 CE) and Asuka (538CE–710 CE) periods. The exact start of rule for the Yamato is currently in dispute.


Haniwa could be between 1 to 5 feet in height and were made in various forms including: houses, boats, horses, chickens and people. As the haniwa developed in complexity they were relocated toward the outer edges of the burial mounds, possibly used as retaining walls and setting the borders of the grave site.


The megalithic structures had several styles including: Square (hofun), circular (empun), keyhole (zempo koen fun) and square keyhole shapes (zempo koho fun).

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The use of kofun and the haniwa went into decline at the dawn of the Asuka period due to the adoption of Buddhism in the 6th century. At this point there were two warring clans: Mononobe and Soga, the former against the adoption of a new religion. At the Battle of Shigisan Mononobe no Moriya and his clan lost. With that there was open support of Empress Suiko (One of eight women to become Empress Regant of Japan and daughter of the reigning Emperor Kimmei) for Buddhism to be adopted.
The building of temples took the place of the building of kofun and as such the need of haniwa as funerary objects faded away as cremation was taken instead. However, haniwa still maintained a presence by commoners and the elite in outlying regions as they continued to build kofun until the late seventh century.

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In the current modern era (Showa and Heisei periods), haniwa are seen as art and have made their way into popular media including video games (Kirby, Animal Crossing) and films (Daimijin trilogy, Onmyoji).

The purpose of the haniwa were to be used in funerary rituals of the Japanese elite. Originally they were set atop megalithic burial mounds known as kofun which the jidai, or period, was named after. Found on the islands of Kyushu, Shikoku and the southern areas of Honshu they remained in popular use from c250BCE to 250CE when Buddhism was adopted as the official religion.

Since no more mounds were being built, there was no longer any need for haniwa. They were no longer manufactured after the Kofun period.
With the dawn of the Asuka period the use of elaborate kofun tombs by the imperial family and other elite fell out of use because of prevailing new Buddhist beliefs, which put greater emphasis on the transience of human life. Commoners and the elite in outlying regions, however, continued to use kofun until the late seventh century, and simpler but distinctive tombs continued in use throughout the following period.
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Re: New Quest Available!

Postby betsytheripper » 21 Jun 2015, 08:52

I took this quest as an opportunity to finally start to learn Russian, as I've wanted to do for years now. So far, I'm just using a site called russianlessons.net, but I spent about 45 minutes yesterday learning the alphabet and the sounds, and I've spent about half an hour this morning getting down basic phrases, such as "Hello", "Goodbye", "Please", "Thank you", etc, all those first lesson phrases.

My goal is to get to the point where I can mostly read it pretty reliably, which is where I am with French. I'm actually having a lot of fun though, so thanks for the impetus to get this going!
-betsy

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