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User: schnee
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Fifty Shades of Schnee
Ding-a-ling-a-ling, hello! Oh, what a delicious quiche! I drive a pink miata!
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Welcome back my friends
To the show that never ends!
We're so glad you could attend
Come inside, come inside!

— Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Karn Evil 9 (1st Impression, Part II)

Hi there!

If you're reading this, you're probably just looking at my journal, perhaps even thinking about adding me as an LJ-friend; or alternatively, perhaps I just added you as an LJ-friend, and you're curious about me now. In either case, I I'd like to use this opportunity to say a few things.

Trevor: You're skating the edge.
Æon: I
am the edge.

— Æon Flux

First of all, I tend to write freely about topics everything that matters to me; more distanced, "professional" entries may directly be followed by more personal ones (and vice versa), and I will, generally, openly write about all sorts of things, including philosophy, sexuality, politics and more. Some of my entries will be friends-only, others will be publicly viewable, too, and unlike other people, I don't use <lj-cut /> tags or specific "topic filters" (i.e., custom friends groups dedicated to specific topics) to shield people from things they may not want to see.

Well, as long as it's text, that is; I will cut images that aren't safe for work etc. (at least if I remember, which I might not always do!), since I wouldn't want for people to get in trouble if their boss happens to be shoulder-surfing at work. Text, though, is a different issue, and if you'll get into trouble for reading about certain topics at work, you probably shouldn't be checking your friends page at work to begin with.

He said, "I am told that when men hear its voice, it stays in their ears, they cannot be rid of it. It has many different voices: some happy, but others sad. It roars like a baboon, murmurs like a child, drums like the blazing arms of one thousand drummers, rustles like water in a glass, sings like a lover and laments like a priest."

— Mike Oldfield, Amarok (liner notes)

Second of all, concerning friending me: feel free to. There is no need to ask if it's OK to do so; everyone's welcome to, as well as to post comments etc. (as long as they're genuine: spammers etc. will not be tolerated, but that goes without saying, anyway). I may add you back if your journal looks interesting or if I know you, too, but this isn't automatic. If you do want me to add you back, engaging me and talking to me is probably the best way to go about it.

Please don't ask about being added back if I didn't do so on my own, either, unless I already know you well and you want to be able to read my non-public entries.

If I already friended you but you don't know who I am and haven't been in contact with me before, that most likely means I became aware of your journal somehow, took a look, and decided I wanted to keep up with what you're writing — "I find your ideas intriguing and wish to subscribe to your newsletter", as it were. I don't expect you to friend me back or otherwise take an interest in me, but if you do — all the better.

If what it is to be furry you still don't comprehend
Then consider this advice, my curious friend
If you're willing to respect that which you don't understand
Then come take my paw and I'll take your hand.

— from "Furry", by Croc O'Dile of TigerMUCK with help from Tony DeMatio, June 1995

Regarding commenting, BTW, I'm always happy to receive comments. However, things like "lol" are not proper punctuation, and correct spelling and grammar would be nice as well. And of course, I expect people to not be insulting or rude, but that, again, should go without saying.

That's about all I can think of for now. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

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Quite a good episode, all in all.

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Elsewhere: discussion in broniesaremagic. Episode follow-up on EqD. Also, some background on the wheelchair pony.

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Wow... Mickey Rooney died.

Good-bye, Fallout Boy.

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Good episode. Spoilers!Collapse )

So yeah, all in all? Enjoyable episode.

Elsewhere: discussion in broniesaremagic. Episode follow-up on EqD.

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It's back, bitches (well, almost):

I can hardly contain my excitement.

EDIT: the new episode!

And also, bloopers!

I'll have to invest in a battle-axe for chopping onions.

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Very good episode. It's amazing what people can do when they don't know they can't, isn't it?

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I don't want to write a novel again, so I'll wrap this up here and say it again: very enjoyable episode. 10/10, would watch again.

Elsewhere: discussion in broniesaremagic. Episode follow-up on EqD.

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For those interested, Eurofurence 20's Guests of Honor have been announced: Ursula Vernon, the Sofawolf Press crew, and Kyell Gold.

The official GoH page also lists an additional mystery guest, stating only that "here be surprise to come".

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As useful as Wolfram Alpha is for mathematical legwork, I really wish there were alternatives. It's nice that it can tell me that the integral of x^2/(x^2+4) is x-2arctan(x/2), but it'd be nicer still to know just how it computed that so that I could perhaps learn something myself (I'm not very good at integrating). Oh, sure, it'll tell me if I get a Pro subscription for 7 USD/month, but do I really want that just for just one result every now and then?

Worse, anytime I'm using Wolfram Alpha, as a subscriber or not, I'm giving the company data about what I'm calculating (granted, as long as it's just random integrals etc., that's probably no big deal). And then there's Wolfram's claims that the company owns the copyright to the results the site produces, which is as troubling as it is outlandish (there is no "creative spark", after all; the site merely processes data that YOU provide according to a set of – admittedly complex, and secret and closely-guarded – rules).

So are there alternatives? Maxima is a free (as in beer/freedom) CAS that, despite its rustic interface, seems capable enough, certainly capable of computing such integrals as the above, but it doesn't seem to be able to do step-by-step solutions. (I'm not even gonna complain about the Windows build lagging three versions behind right now.)

Other good resources (how-tos, tutorials etc.) on integration would also be appreciated, but since I'm interested in more than just symbolic integration, a general tool that provides step-by-step solutions without Wolfram Alpha's drawbacks would really be nice.

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Quite an intense episode.

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Elsewhere: discussion in broniesaremagic.

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As reported by Equestria Daily, Jan Animations (creator of, among other things, Button's Adventures, Don't Mine at Night etc.) has received a C&D from Hasbro.

As a result, all the videos have been taken down from Jan's Youtube channel; what's more, there won't be any further episodes of Button's Adventures. ShadyVox (Button's VA) is apparently answering questions on /mlp/, and Jan's also replied to a bunch of queries on his Tumblr.

Furthermore, ShadyVox has put up a voice recording with some updates. A transcript follows:

OK, people have got a lot of questions, so I need to answer what I can, and in case anybody doesn't think that it's me: (BUTTON'S VOICE) Hey guys, what's going on!

OK! Ah— so we've had to take down the videos obviously through Hasbro's claim and a lot of people have argued that hey, you could fight against them because it's under Fair Use and it's Parody, so therefore you would be OK to, ah, have the videos up! Yes, that would be true, and we would be in the right, but let's also understand that Jan has a lot of, ah, future wishes to possibly work in this team, and I don't wanna possibly ruin that for him, so we both think that it's better if we just comply, take down all the videos and don't risk the opportunity of getting on Hasbro's side and therefore possibly get blacklisted.

What we're going to do is we're going to make an information video, giving all the details about what's happened and where we plan to go from there. Ah, unfortunately, because of the circumstance, Button's Adventures is going to have to stop entirely. Though we do own Button's Mom, we don't own the style in which she was drawn. Take that away, and we'll lose most of the appeal of what she was made for in the first place.

So, we're gonna make a video explaining what's gonna happen and what our next step is going to be. We intend to make a new IP and go from there. That way, we will be in complete full creative ownership about everything that we do in that. It won't be Button's Adventures, what we're going to do is that we're going to take the scripts that we made for BA and then adapt them so that they work in this new IP. We own the character for Button, we don't own the design or the style; so what we're going to do is take off what we wrote together, what we believe is our best material, and give that a shot into our new IP. Just keep a look out from[?] new video and we'll get that out soon.

I gotta say, all this is a real shame. And personally, I think what Hasbro should do is simply hire Jan and ShadyVox and launch Button's Adventures as an official spin-off of the main series — not that I think that that's going to be very likely to happen.

I hope you all grabbed copies of Jan's videos, too.

(And here's an earlier post on Fighting is Magic's C&D.)

EDIT: Hasbro's VP of Development Mike Vogel promised he'd look into it. Maybe there's hope yet.

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So, Fred Phelps died on the 19th. And in line with the above aphorism, I'll not say anything further about that.

Here's some recent news (pre-mortem) on his condition, though, and an article on his passing from CNN.

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Thinking of Maud you forget everything else.
— Nethack 3.4.3

Now that was a fun episode.

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All in all? Very good episode; not as intense as others, but I enjoyed it regardless, or perhaps also because of that. And I hope this won't have been the last we've seen of Maud.

Elsewhere: discussion in broniesaremagic. Episode follow-up on EqD.

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Another one from the "words-that-don't-exist-but-should" department:

couch·po·tate /ˈkaʊtʃpəˌteɪt/ v intrans
to make like a couch potato

Another cromulent one.

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From the "rare-gems-unearthed" department — a mention, in passing, of one of the most remarkable words I've heard in a long time, "Katzenkristierer":

klystierer, m. subst. zu vor., eigenthümlich in farbenklistierer Fischart groszm. 78 (Sch. 608), zwischen metallenketzer und mercuriusplager genannt, also von alchymisterei. es erklärt sich wol aus klystieren 2, angewandt wie ketzern 4 (vgl.gemartert wein, gefälschter Alb. Nn 2b). noch bair. kristierer, katzenkristierer, quälgeist, quäler.

I'm at a loss for words, I really am.

EDIT: in case you're wondering how I chanced upon this one in the first place, I was talking to a friend about Mozart's Bäsle-Briefe[1], specifically the part where he writes:

Also kommen sie gewis, sonst ist ein schys; ich werde alsdan in eigner hoherperson ihnen Complimentiren, ihnen den arsch Petschieren, ihre hände küssen, mit der hintern büchse schiessen, ihnen Embrassiren, sie hinten und vorn kristiren, ihnen, was ich ihnen etwa alles schuldig bin, haarklein bezahlen, und einen wackeren furz lassen erschallen, und vielleicht auch etwas lassen fallen.[2]

Several of these words are not in common use anymore; "petschieren" apparently roughly translates to "to close/mark with a seal", but "kristieren" had me puzzled. When looking it up in the Brothers Grimm's dictionary (which identified it as a variant of "klistieren", I came across the above entry and aforementioned word.

  1. Regarding Mozart's letters, there's a funny bit in P.D.Q. Bach and Peter Schickele's[3] The Jekyll and Hyde Tour, specifically the "Introduction to the Four Next-To-Last Songs", a spoken interlude in which the following bit of dialogue occurs:

    Peter Schickele: Now those of you who have read Mozart's letters — ah, how many have read the complete letters of Mozart?
    Audience: *talking, clapping; apparently quite a few hands go up*
    Peter Schickele: Ah, yeah right.

    He goes on to talk about how Mozart's letters were often rather scatological in nature, contrasting 18th-century German/Austrian off-color humor (scatological) with contemporary US-American/English off-color humor (sexual), which is quite interesting; as for Mozart's letters, anyhow, they're indeed not as well-known as you might think. For instance, Wikipedia, in its article on Mozart and scatology (yes, that actually exists) relates the following anecdote, apparently quoted from "Hall's preface to Amadeus (Shaffer 1981)":

    For example, when Margaret Thatcher was apprised of Mozart's scatology during a visit to the theater to see Peter Shaffer's famous play Amadeus, director Peter Hall relates: "She was not pleased. In her best headmistress style, she gave me a severe wigging for putting on a play that depicted Mozart as a scatological imp with a love of four-letter words. It was inconceivable, she said, that a man who wrote such exquisite and elegant music could be so foul mouthed". I said that Mozart's letters proved he was just that: he had an extraordinarily infantile sense of humour ... "I don't think you heard what I said," replied the Prime Minister. "He couldn't have been like that." I offered (and sent) a copy of Mozart’s letters to Number Ten the next day; I was even thanked by the appropriate Private Secretary. But it was useless: the Prime Minister said I was wrong, so wrong I was."

    Of course, one could also say that this simply says about Thatcher: first, she hoots her mouth off talking about things she doesn't know anything about, and then she refuses to acknowledge that she was wrong. OTOH, what's a baroness to do when a dirty commoner gets uppity, right?

  2. For the benefit of those who're not sufficiently well-versed in the German language, I'll reproduce here a translation that Wikipedia quotes from Solomon's Mozart: A Life:

    Come for a bit or else I'll shit. If you do, this high and mighty person will think you very kind, will give you a smack behind, will kiss your hands, my dear, shoot off a gun in the rear, embrace you warmly, mind, and wash your front and behind, pay you all his debts to the uttermost groat, and shoot off one with a rousing note, perhaps even let something drop from his boat.

    Not quite as funny, but it preserves both meaning and rhyme.

  3. You may recall Schickele from when I last mentioned him.

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Solid episode.

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Anything else I missed?

Elsewhere: discussion in broniesaremagic. Episode follow-up on EqD.

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Crossposted from learn_icelandic.

Sæl, kærir vinir, ég á bara ein lítil spurning í dag. Mig langar að vita hvernig hryssunöfn sem enda á "-faxa" eru beygt — nöfn eins og "Gullfaxa", "Snæfaxa", "Skinfaxa", "Hrímfaxa" o.s.frv. Hvað eru þol-, þágu- og eiginföllin þessara nafna?

Hvernig segir maður t.d. "he rode his horse Skinfaxa — "hann reið hesti[num?] sínum henni ..."?

Smá hjálp? Takk. :)

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Who says that art is dead? Here's a Japanese guy playing an improvisation on a carrot to a video loop of a cat walking across an electronic piano:

I rest my case.

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Just to let y'all know, the Newgrounds store will be closing on March 6th — so if there's anything you want to buy (say, a plush Penicorn), act now.

Myself, I would perhaps have been tempted by the Newgrounds Writing Anthology — but I'm not sure I'd actually have read it, and I don't want to collect obscure books just for the sake of it. But then it turns out that it's sold out already anyway.)

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I'm quite tickled by the fact there's a Mount Remarkable in Australia. Probably right in the vicinity of Mount Astounding, Mount You-Don't-Say, and Mount Why-I-Never. :)

Even more amusingly, drhoz informs me that there's also a Mount Buggery. As this page explains (quoting the article the Melbourne Walker and the 1992 book No end to walking, both by Alan Budge):

There is circumstantial evidence that the name was first applied by a member of the Melbourne Walking Club, Stewart Middleton. During the 1934 Christmas period he and five other members of the club walked along the Buckland-Buffalo divide to Mt Selwyn, fought their way through dense scrub on the Barry Mountains to Mt Speculation, followed the Cross Cut Saw to Mt Howitt and finished at Merrijig via the Howqua River. There were no tracks of any sort until they reached Mt Howitt and Stewart, perhaps not quite as fit as he could have been, was finding the going tough after the descent from Mt Speculation. Faced with the prospect of yet another laborious climb he exploded with the words 'What another bugger! I'll call this mountain Mt Buggery.'

There was general agreement amongst other members of the party that the name was appropriate and within the Melbourne Walking Club it came into general use. Other walkers used it and eventually it appeared on maps and official acceptance followed.

There was also a Mount Arsehole — later renamed, alas, to Mount Arthur to make it more palpable to industrial development. I reckon that must be the proverbial place where the sun don't shine, then.

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So, this was Fluttershy's "key" episode. And to be honest, it was not the best episode ever.

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The final verdict? Sure, it was an OK episode. It had its moments; there was fun, there was cuteness. But it didn't add much to Equestria, and both the breezies and the Mane Six's transformation made me wonder if opportunities for new toy lines didn't play a role with this one as well. Still, ponies are always good, and the episode wasn't bad. All in all, I'm not complaining.

Elsewhere: discussion in broniesaremagic. EqD episode follow-up.

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Apparently I've been drafted into the #FlankArmy:

(And just in case you're wondering...)

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Always nice to see a CMC episode. Spoilers!Collapse )

Elsewhere: discussion in broniesaremagic. Episode follow-up on EqD.

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I'm often surprised by how many visual designers don't take color blindness into account for their designs. I have a mild form of red/green color blindness myself; usually I only have difficulties telling certain colors apart, requiring a second or third look, but today I encountered a particularly striking example where I literally could not distinguish some colors.

The following image is from the game Dynetzzle, level 9:


Image: Dynetzzle

Note that each field is marked on at least one side by a colored bar, and that there are three colors used on the left side of fields, grayish magenta as well as light brilliant gamboge and moderate olive.

The latter two are completely indistinguishable to me in-game; I can see a difference when they're put next to each other, but it's not large enough for me to be able discriminate small patches that have a certain distance between them.

Of course, it's obvious even to me that the colors are different if you darken the image:


Image: Dynetzzle

I used this image as a reference in order to solve this level, but I couldn't help but think that this shouldn't be necessary. When you create a design, no matter whether it's a game, presentation, chart, diagram etc., that uses color to convey information of any kind, please, do not solely rely on color; also use hatchings, shapes, or something similar so that color-blind people won't get tripped up.

Oh, and as for Dynetzzle — it's a great game, so check it out. The only other complaint I have is that it's not longer!

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Wonderful episode, one of the best of the season so far.

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Elsewhere: discussion in broniesaremagic. Episode follow-up on EqD.

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Here's a great example of an intriguing German sentence:

War jetzt morgen eigentlich Probe?

It actually works in fairly well in English, too: "did we have a rehearsal now tomorrow?". That's past, present and future, all in one and the same sentence. Neat!

On a side note, you can shorten this one further to, say, the following:

War morgen Probe?

I.e. "was [there a] rehearsal tomorrow?", which is also rather intriguing. German, like English, is a language that lacks a proper future tense and resorts to auxilliary verbs to form it; in practice and in colloquial German, especially spoken German, however, the present tense is employed instead (so-called futurisches Präsens). But this sentence goes a step further and uses the past tense to talk about the future, which I think is fairly remarkable.

(On could of course say that it merely desugars to "War es in der Vergangenheit geplant, daß morgen Probe sein wird?"; but then one could note with equal justification that the futuric present tense in the equivalent example, "ist morgen Probe?", desugars to "Ist es jetzt wahr, daß morgen Probe sein wird?", so the futuric past is as valid IMO as the futuric present.)

Side note: I'm torn between translating "futurisch" as "futuric" and "futuristic", respectively. The former appears to be virtually unknown/unused in the anglophone world, but while the latter's much more common, it strikes me as simply wrong, or at the very least misleading. Thoughts?

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