packbat: Wearing a open-frame backpack, a pair of sunglasses, and a wide, triangular grin. (hiking)

Are you a boot person or a shoe person? Why?

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I prefer lightweight shoes for everyday purposes - I like the aesthetics of boots, and I like the practicality of boots, but if I were going to go all (warning: TV Tropes!) Limited Wardrobe, it would be with a well-made, comfortable pair of leather shoes.

Since I'm not, I wear trainers, mostly, and boots when it's raining. Or I'm out hiking.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

Do you believe that a higher power controls our fate or that we choose our own destinies?

Submitted By [livejournal.com profile] adorlee_malfoy

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"No" is the short answer. I don't believe that there is such a thing as fate or destiny - the world is far more chaotic than that.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (quarter-rear)

Given the choice, would you prefer to be a world-class (visual or performing) artist or an intellectual genius? Which, in your opinion, would facilitate a more fulfilling career and social life?

Submitted By [livejournal.com profile] numbartist

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Why, this is perfectly straightforward. "Intellectual genius" and "world-class artist", respectively.

...what?

Oh, the contradiction. Yeah, I just have to own that one. The thing is, somewhere in my head, I have this driving principle which seeks out knowledge rather than pleasure. "Socrates dissatisfied", as they say. The thing is, though, I do so even though I dispute John Stuart Mill's thesis: I would be more content, not merely happier, if I chose to subordinate my intellectual drive and took up the paintbrush. I just choose not to. I prefer to choose the less pleasant when offered the choice of truth or happiness, or even truth and safety, or truth and pride - I would rather know the truth, though it tear me to pieces.

Which, to disgress, may be part of what I find so compelling in Bruce Sterling's Islands in the Net. And that may be as satisfactory a conclusion as any to the post.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (quarter-rear)

Given the choice, would you rather sleep in or eat a delicious breakfast? Is there any food you love so much that you'd wake up at dawn or travel a great distance just to eat it?

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Given the choice (which I never am, as I am asleep): breakfast. Breakfastfood is the business.

...which is why I would go along with my roommates in the wee hours of the morning to Denny's, I suppose!
packbat: Wearing my custom-made hat and a smirk. (hat)

What are the three best books you have ever read and what are the three worst? What made them so good or bad?

Submitted By [info]crazylove16

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With the caveat that I'm just naming books off the top of my head, and I might miss something perfectly obvious, and the further caveat that I only include books that I've read straight through:

Best:

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome

One of the best English humor books ever written. Three English blokes (and a dog) decide to go on a trip up the Thames river. What makes it hilarious is J's writing - he is a brilliant raconteur with a poetic, charmingly digressive style, and he finds exceptional material in his reminisces.

(Conveniently, it is available online in several places.)

Islands in the Net by Bruce Sterling

You could describe it many ways, but it feels to me a bit like film noir Twenty Minutes in the Future (as they say on the Tropes of the TV). Remarkably, it's still Twenty Minutes in the Future despite being published in 1988 (five years before the Eternal September), which should give you an idea of how strong Sterling's SF chops are. In any case, this stands out for its skilled worldbuilding (of course), characterization, and pacing. Events occur kinetically yet vividly, which is a fine line to walk.

Watership Down by Richard Adams

Reportedly, somewhere in the television series Lost, a character named Sawyer says about this: "Hell of a book! It's about bunnies." It would be difficult to describe it more eloquently in less space.

Taking advantage, then, of having more: this is my very first favorite book, and I'm proud to say that it's held up well for more than half my life, reading it again and again. Richard Adams possesses the most fluent descriptive voice that I have ever encountered, and paces it with a master's grace. There is a simply beautiful passage where Hazel (the protagonist) pauses at the mouth of a burrow to check the surroundings before going out in the field, and Adams takes this moment of time to describe in lyrical terms the sights, smells, and sounds of that instant. It is a beautiful trick of the writing art, and Adams wields it with virtuosic skill. A true classic, in the sense of a work which survives the test of time.

And fun to read! Hell of a book, like the man said.


Some books which I considered, but did not include in the top three:
  • Shardik by Richard Adams
  • A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
  • A Woman of the Iron People by Eleanor Arnason
  • A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will by Robert Kane
  • Fooling Some of the People All of the Time by David Einhorn
  • The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
  • Seven Days in May by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II


Worst:

Caveat: I enjoyed most of these. All of them, if I'm honest. I (mostly) don't finish books if I don't. That said...

Born to Run by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon

Cheesy modern fantasy. It makes this list less out of any flaw than out of general lack of merit.

War of Honor by David Weber (Book Ten of the Honor Harrington series)

The Honor Harrington series follows a very simple formula. That formula has worn paper-thin by Book Ten. The new elements Weber introduces to liven it up do precisely the opposite, except where they introduce a little excitement by being profoundly stupid. I had enjoyed the first two books in the series, continued reading the series out of intertia, and ran out on this one.

In truth, this is probably the worst of my three-worst list. But I feel obliged to bump it from that slot in light of...

The Radiant Warrior by Leo Frankowski (Book Three of the Conrad Starguard series)

...which features censored ) trope. The first four books are pure fluff otherwise - time-travel wish fulfillment fantasy of the most elemental sort - but the misogynistic aspects are utterly grating. Fortunately, the most epochal Crowning Moment of Awesome for the series is in Book Two. Unfortunately, as far as respect for women is concerned, the aforementioned censored ) is more a dip than a chasm in the narrative.


(I will not include a near-misses list here - I have too much respect for NAME REDACTED and NAME REDACTED, and TITLE REDACTED wasn't supposed to be good in the first place.)

(Edit: Actually below all three books on the list is a Dean Koontz book I read ages ago, my former copy of which my mother decided should be dismembered and recycled rather than continue to exist. I take pride in not remembering the title - it featured incest, Body Horror, thoroughly horrible people, and was written in a loving style which cannot reflect well on the author.)
packbat: Leaning on a chain-link fence, looking to my left (your right) with a neutral expression. (spectator)

What three items would you place in a time capsule to help future generations understand you?

Submitted By [profile] mausengeist


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...oh, wait - it's future human generations! That makes things simpler!

I'd say the following would be quite informative of my personal habits and development:

  1. Imre Lakatos, Proofs and Refutations.

  2. Turn 10 Studios, Forza Motorsport 2.

  3. Hergé, The Adventures of Tintin: Red Rackham's Treasure.


If the videogame is out, substitute Abramowitz and Stegun.
packbat: Leaning on a chain-link fence, looking to my left (your right) with a neutral expression. (spectator)

Have you ever participated in a seance? If not, would you consider it? What spirit would you summon and what question would you ask them? Do you believe we can get messages from the dead?

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I haven't - I might attend one as a favor for a close friend if they wanted me there. If I did, though, I wouldn't be planning on trying to summon any spirit at all, or expect to get any message from the dead. I'm fairly sure that death is the end.

That said, I wouldn't object having a chance to have a real conversation with my maternal grandfather. I just think it's impossible.
packbat: Leaning on a chain-link fence, looking to my left (your right) with a neutral expression. (spectator)

If you're trying to create something, like a story, a composition, or a design, etc., do you find yourself imagining how others will react to it? Does that impede or enhance the creative process?

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Oddly, I don't usually think of other people when I'm working on an aesthetic endeavor (as opposed to a practical matter, such as a user interface). Perhaps I should - when I judge it purely for myself I rather come off poorly.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

When you take a class or attend a big meeting, where do you prefer to sit? Up close or way back where you can make a speedy get-away? Can you force yourself to focus even when you're not interested?

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I usually want to sit near the front and far from the exits - near the exit if I have to leave early, but I rarely do. As for paying attention, I have trouble when I'm sleep-deprived, but boring material is rarely an obstacle: you can always treat it as an anthropological expedition when all else fails.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

If a magic genie told you your calories wouldn't count for 24 hours, would it change what and how much you ate that day?

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If a bonafide, JREF-certified magical genie I could trust to be truthful said my calories wouldn't count for 24 hours ... I'd try something which [info]filthspigot mentioned in the commentary to A Girl And Her Fed: a milkshake with a stick of butter in it.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (quarter-rear)

If an online psychic warned you not to leave home, would you cancel plans to attend a party? Would you refuse to date someone with a clashing astrological sign?

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If, today, someone online proclaimed to have discovered through psychic powers that I should not leave home, I would consider three possibilities:

1. They were trolling in an attempt to disrupt my life.
2. They knew something, and were hiding that knowledge behind the excuse of "psychic powers".
3. They had a strong feeling that I was in danger, and interpreted it as a warning.

The first implies nothing. The second is extremely unlikely, but implies danger. The third implies almost nothing.* Whatever the true facts, I would not let it interfere with my plans (although I might be marginally more alert to unusual circumstances).

As for astrological signs ... frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

* I am aware that there are individuals on my friends list that would dispute this. Such persons should trust their own judgements on the matter as far as they feel justified in doing so - I shall trust my own judgement likewise.
packbat: Leaning on a chain-link fence, looking to my left (your right) with a neutral expression. (spectator)

What's the most-played song in your music library?

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Weirdly, not Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Tracy Chapman, Suzanne Vega, R.E.M., Shawn Colvin, Dire Straits, Tom Petty, Patty Griffin, 10,000 Maniacs, Counting Crows, Spoon, Peter Gabriel, Regina Spektor, Alanis Morrissette, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Doors, The Police, or even The Be Good Tanyas. Remarkably, the track in question is "Nowheres Nigh" by Parts and Labor, a track off the Jagjaguwar 2008/2009 Sampler Amazon.com had as a free download a while back.

It's pretty kickin' when you crank the volume, though, so that's cool.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

Do you believe in fate? Why or why not?

Submitted By [livejournal.com profile] and2c_hersmile

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Assuming the author meant, "Do you believe fate exists?" - no, I don't.

Quick definition: fate is that which must happen regardless of any person's choices, regardless of any person's actions, regardless of any conceivable action by any conceivable person, ever. You know how Oedipus killed his dad and married his mom? Yeah - fated, had to happen.

Well, the universe doesn't work like that. If Oedipus had confronted his foster parents about the prophecy, none of it would have happened. Heck, if the weather had been a little different and he'd died of exposure on the road, none of it would have happened, and the weather is chaotic - anything you do can change it a month down the road.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

Robert Frost speculated about the world ending in fire or in ice. Which do you think is likely to end us all: meteorite, global warming, nuclear weapons, zombies, or the superflu?

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"All" is the key word in that question. Nuclear weapons or meteorite. None of the others have the pure biosphere-warping powers of those two.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

Are you worried about catching the swine flu? Do you have a plan for avoiding contagion or dealing with quarantine?

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The problem with the swine flu isn't that it's deadly, but that it might spread easily through the population. It probably kills something like one in two hundred who catch it, if previous outbreaks are any measure - but if very few people have resistance to the disease, that could become a two-hundredth of hundreds of millions of people, so it's worth taking precautions.

But nah, I'm not scared. I'm not even convinced it'll go pandemic.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

The first LiveJournal communities began in December of 2000, and now there's a community for any and every topic possible. What is your all-time favorite LJ community?

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As blatantly [livejournal.com profile] community_promo as it may seem, it's [livejournal.com profile] nomicide - the Livejournal Nomic community I manage with [livejournal.com profile] active_apathy. It's one of my favorite games, and I'm thrilled to be playing it, still.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

Do you volunteer your time or donate money to any charitable organizations? Which ones, and why?

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I donate a lot of blood to the American Red Cross. Mostly because of Hal Clement.

No, I'm serious. I was reading Hal Clement books all the time as I grew up, and the biography always mentioned that he donated a lot of blood.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

Out of all of your favorite books, pick just one you'd recommend everyone read. As a bonus: why did you pick that one?

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Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. Picked it for two reasons:

  • It's well-written.
  • It's funny.


Seriously. If you can read in English, I think you will enjoy this book. J. is one of the greatest raconteurs of all time.

P.S. It's out of copyright - 1889 - so it's available everywhere online.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

Would you ever go on a silent retreat? How long do you think you could go without talking?

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Assuming no emergencies arose, assuming textual writing was prohibited ... the first day and the first week would be the hardest, but I could do it. It would be an interesting experience, I am sure.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

It's Tax Day in the U.S., a day when the mind might be too occupied with deductions and long lines at the post office to think about poetry. But let's try: what's your favorite line of poetry? Song lyrics count.

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But I, being poor, have only my dreams ...

(No appropriateness intended.)
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

What is your favorite old-school video game?

Submitted By [livejournal.com profile] 2hated2care

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Mega Man 9!

Okay, okay, I'll choose a real one: Mega Man 2. Or, if I have to choose something Older Than The NES (warning: TVTropes), Moria.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

Who do you think it is easier to talk about your problems with: your friends, your family, or strangers?

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Strangers. Why do you think I have a Livejournal?

But in all seriousness, many of my problems are things I have shame over - but if I embarrass myself in front of someone three states away, that doesn't really bother me. I'm more open about being an atheist here for the very same reason.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

Scenario: For exactly 1 minute, you get access to all the databases of all the intelligence agencies in the world (CIA, FBI, KGB, MI-5, etc). What do you want to find out before time is up and you're caught and jailed forever?

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I'd find the full list of secret detainees around the world and send it to all the papers.
packbat: Coming into the finish line after a mile race - the announcer can be seen behind me. (running)

What was your favorite subject in elementary or primary school? Does it have anything to do with your life now?

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As a homeschooled kid, "elementary or primary school" is a bit ill-defined, but at a guess ... mathematics, probably geometry and algebra.

Engineering is pretty math-heavy, I must admit.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

You finally have an excuse to use it—what userpic do you not get to use very often but can't delete because it's just that awesome?

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Well, it's not that awesome, but I hardly ever use my X-Box-Live-avatar icon.

Note on Dreamwidth: On the original entry, the icon in question is this:

packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

What is your favorite macro? Why?

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Do you have to ask?

(I am so setting myself up for disappointment...)
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

If you knew that a friend's significant other was cheating on him or her, would you tell your friend the truth or keep it to yourself?

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I would confront the S.O. before anything else (not the least because some people are in open relationships). Then I would talk to someone I trust, to make sure that I'm not being utterly stupid. But if I did that and still knew, I would tell my friend - it's what I'd want.

(See, that's the thing with lies - it's much easier to think lying is okay if you don't put yourself in the shoes of the lied-to. I know - I read it in a book!)

(But seriously - it's true, and it's a good book: Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life by Sissela Bok. I recommend it.)
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

Do you think people deserve second chances?

Submitted By [livejournal.com profile] drea12301994

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Yes. Sometimes right away, sometimes not for a long time, but should they live long enough to learn how they erred and learn better, I would give as many chances as are in the world.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

Do you behave differently online than you do in real life?

Submitted By [livejournal.com profile] tinysaur

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A bit - I am sometimes short-tempered and often inarticulate in the meatspace, where real-time factors weigh much more heavily. To employ a bit of catachresis, in the parts of online that I inhabit, I am free to compose myself and my replies.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

What was your favorite movie when you were a kid? Is it still your favorite now that you're older?

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The first favorite movie I can recall is actually Twelve Angry Men. For a brief time, Pieces of April displaced it as my favorite, but it has resumed the throne.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

Do you think stem cell research is good, bad, or dangerous? Should it be funded by the government?

Submitted By [livejournal.com profile] srkfanatic15

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Stem cell research is a highly promising field, and no more 'dangerous' than carbon nanotube research. Further, the chief objection to it - that embryonic stem cells cannot be acquired morally - is baseless: the blastocyst is a barely differentiated bundle of cells, lacking even sensory organs, much less intellectual capacity.* There is no legitimate reason for this research not to be funded by governments.

* Certain religious Christians may object to my argument in this line, on the grounds that the blastocyst - undeveloped as it may be - nevertheless has a soul. I refer them to [livejournal.com profile] bradhicks Christians in the Hands of an Angry God series, which, in Part 4, demolishes the claim that the Bible puts the beginning of life at conception.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

Do you prefer texting or talking on the phone?

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I prefer texting to answering machine messages. But if the call is going to get through, I'd prefer the call.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

You're packing your bag for that magical desert island that happens to have electricity, a TV, and a DVD player—what five DVDs do you take with you?

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In order by increasing cheerfulness:

  • The Third Man (1949)
  • 12 Angry Men (1957)
  • Crank (2006)
  • The Rocketeer (1991)
  • Enchanted (2007)


Crash would have made the list, but I wanted two cheerful movies on the list, so...
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

Describe your morning routine.

Submitted By [livejournal.com profile] its_miley

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As the man says:

Morning Routine

After that, shower, chat with Mom, go to school. (I brush my teeth in the evening, before bed.)
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

If you won the lottery, what would you do with your newfound riches?

Submitted By [livejournal.com profile] kimbereli09

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Assuming it was the proverbial million-dollar jackpot, I would, in order of increasing frivolity:

1. Pay off my parents' mortgage.

2. Buy a nice, new, reliable, environmentally-friendly car (but probably not a Mini - it's a splendid vehicle in all four respects, but the back seat is cramped and my parents already have one); let them drive it, but learn to drive.

3. Get all our bicycles repaired to fighting trim; get a new bike helmet that's designed for freakishly oversized heads like mine.

4. Have a nice family dinner at a good restaurant.

Whatever remains, I would invest.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

Do you consider yourself an optimist, a pessimist, or a realist?

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I would love to meet the person who did not consider themselves a realist. Excluding that option, however, I have to say I'm pessimistic in particular and optimistic in general.

When I am called upon to make a quantitative guess, my natural tendency is to exaggerate the odds of the worst plausible outcome. When I am called upon to complete a task, my natural tendency is to exaggerate the difficulty of completion to the point of paralyzation. And when I am called upon to describe what I have accomplished, my natural tendency is to understate my claim as much as possible.

On the other hand, I honestly expect things to turn out for the better. I think the world is a fine place, that a century ago it was worse, and that a century from now it will be better. I am appalled at those who speak of needing to compromise their principles - "have they no faith in the power of Good?", I think. When I meet a friend coming out my front door, he gives me a ride to the Metro just in time to catch the train, and both transfers come within the minute, I am not even perturbed - I just look at my watch and say, "Hey, I'm almost on time today!"

All that said, though, I reject the words, let alone the trichotomy. They are useful ways to describe the inaccuracy of estimates (a la "You don't think a month to finish the book is optimistic?"), but dispositions don't divide along those lines.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

The boogeyman, global thermonuclear war, being forced to eat broccoli—there's a lot to be afraid of when you're a kid. What was your biggest childhood fear?

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Falling, most likely. I remember being terrified of jumping out of a treehouse only five or so feet off the ground. And even standing many feet from the edge, climbing up stories past all the high diving platforms at the rec center to get on the waterslide - very nerve-wracking.

I'm mostly over the irrational fear, I think.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

What do you want done with your body after you die?

Submitted By [profile] crunch_crunch

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I'll be dead - it doesn't make a difference to me. I would prefer it be treated in a way which those alive find satisfactory.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

Have you ever ruined the ending or given away plot developments in a book, movie, or tv show by telling someone who hasn't seen or read it what happens? Has anyone ever done this to you?

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Indeed I have, and have been! Most memorable of the former regards "Just Cause" (1995), starring Sean Connery and Lawrence Fishburne, where I in my effusive state blurted out a major plot twist (fortunately to an individual who didn't care, or at least so professed), and most recent to my recollection of the latter regards "Wall-E" (2008), which I still haven't seen.

As a rule, I avoid spoilers assiduously from both ends, regardless of the age of the work. I firmly believe I benefited greatly from seeing "The Sixth Sense" (1999) without knowing even the tagline, for example, and I would have been quite peeved if someone had blurted out the solution to the mystery in "The Woman in White" (1860) before I reached it. For other people, though, I generally do not voice any objections if the work is at least thirty years old.

(I'm still mad about the widespread disregard for this rule with respect to "The Sixth Sense", actually. I didn't suffer from it, but only because my mom sat me down and made me watch it before I had the chance.)

(By the way, if you get the DVD, after you've seen the movie, check out the alternate ending in the deleted scenes - it's worth seeing.)
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

Have you ever spontaneously hugged someone you didn't know? Or received an unexpected embrace from a stranger?

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Dude, it might even have been that guy!
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

A lot of resolutions, from the mundane to the truly ambitious, are being made today. What are your New Year's resolutions? Do you think you're likely to stick to them past the month of January?

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Oh, I should make some of these!

1. Practice being calm when being calm is the best strategy - most prominently, when receiving unwanted advice. (I was going to say "senseless courtesy", but civility sometimes requires rudeness.)

2. Ride my bicycle more, building up to commuting to school on it.

3. Reclaim time from those pleasures which do not give me much pleasure, and gather up fragments of time, lest they perish.

4. Work out the list of things I need need to pay attention to (my financial status, my health care coverage, my health, my...) and pay attention to those things.

...okay, those seem like good ideas. I'll leave them there.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

Whether you believe in the paranormal or not, you've probably experienced something that you couldn't explain. What was it?

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Something I haven't bothered to explain.

For cripes sake, coincidence, people! Weird stuff happens all the time! Grow up!
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

German has a word for everything, like ohrwurm. Translated literally as "earworm" in English, it's the word for songs that get stuck in your head and won't go away. What earworm of a song do you most dread burrowing into your head?

Submitted By [livejournal.com profile] willard41

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Most painful for me is the Beatle's "Yellow Submarine" - one, it's pretty catchy, two, it's so popular that it'll even enter my mind without prompting, and three, it drives me up the wall.

The flip side: I love it when 10,000 Maniac's "Planned Obsolescence" or Maxïmo Park's "Apply Some Pressure" gets loaded in the mental sound buffer. Actually, on the whole, songs I like earworm much more often for me, and for the joy those bring me I'll gladly take the risks.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

Some people spend their whole lives preparing the answer to this question: What albums are on your personal all-time Top 10 list?

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Don't know. Here are a few likelies, though:

  • Graceland, Paul Simon.
  • Blue, Joni Mitchell (probably #1)
  • Jagged Little Pill, Alanis Morissete
  • Matters of the Heart and Tracy Chapman, Tracy Chapman
  • Recovering the Satellites, Counting Crows
  • Revolver, The Beatles
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Whether it's a canary in the coal mine or a waitress in the weeds, idiomatic expressions can sometimes stump us even in our own language. What common expression puzzles you the most?

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"Your money's no good here" is a pretty confusing one - took me a while to twig to that one. (It means, "It's on the house". Edit: Okay, so it's ambiguous.)

(That said, I totally had to look up the waitress in the weeds.)
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Now that the election is over, we can get to the important stuff. Why is there a light in the refrigerator but not in the freezer?

Submitted By [livejournal.com profile] vivichick

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As an engineer, I would bet on condensation and ice deposition. Unlike in the refrigerator compartment, freezer compartments tend to accumulate water (generally solid) on the interior surfaces. If this water is melted by the heat of the lamp, it can short out the system. (Further, the obvious way of avoiding this problem - having the light behind an insulating shield - fails, because the shield develops ice and obscures the light.) In addition to this problem with the light, the switch that would turn on the light when the freezer opens is vulnerable to icing and the resultant clogging.

A light in the freezer would be handy. Unfortunately, it's not practicable.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

It's hard to ignore the fact that today is Election Day in the U.S. If you went to the polls today, tell us what it was like. Long line? Free stickers? Hanging chads? We want the details.

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At Woodlin Elementary School in Maryland, lines were much like last election's - about an hour at 7 a.m. opening, according to reports from my siblings and mother, and forty minutes or so around nine a.m. when my dad ([livejournal.com profile] zhurnaly) and I went. Campaigning was light - other than road signs, there was only a representative from the teachers' union (I think) with a slate of endorsements. ([livejournal.com profile] zhurnaly asked her about the local slots initiative - creditably, the union had no stance and she didn't feel too good about it.) (Oh, and I took one of her sheets to help me decide on the school board race where I was still dithering.)

Attitudes were cheerful. The PTA had a bake sale running. The electronic voting machines read my touchscreen inputs correctly (and thank goodness they'll be gone next election!). It might start raining later, but it was fairly nice when we went.

Oh, and we got free stickers. [livejournal.com profile] zhurnaly gave me his as a joke.
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Prying eyes are everywhere, from pesky younger siblings to the Patriot Act. What steps do you take to protect your privacy, on or offline?

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Like most people, I use the incredible power of not doing anything worth invading my privacy for. It's dumb, but I don't really worry about people invading my privacy most of the time.
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'Tis the season for scary movies. Some rank The Evil Dead as the best horror film of all time. What is your favorite scary movie?

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Darkness Falls is my favorite. Definitely Better Than It Sounds fuel, and well, well done.
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In their heyday, The Beatles were the center of the pop universe. Many groups have been hailed as the next Beatles, but does pop music even have a center anymore? Who represents the core of pop music to you?

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Britney Spears.

Really, though, the nature of the modern music scene is that people are choosing to be more idiosyncratic in their tastes, now - there's a reason why people turn to classic rock songs when they want commonality. Spears may be the biggest figure in pop right now (or in the recent past), but 'big' is smaller now.

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