athelind: (Warning: Memetic Hazard)

Fill in the Blanks:



________ ________ ...
... what a wonderful phrase!



Boundary Conditions:

  • It's got to scan. Two three-syllable words, by preference.
  • Exampla gratis:

    1. Hakuna Matata, of course.
    2. Vagina dentata ...
    3. Cthulhu ftaghn ...
    4. Fajita tostada ...
    5. Zatanna Zatara ...


Additional lyrics optional.

Your turn.


athelind: (AAAAAA)
Last night's poll about "The Green Hills of Earth" inspired a wave of "Other" responses, all listing a different song in the Common Meter.

Some of them work for me; some of them don't. (The Yellow Rose of Texas? Seriously??)

But one thing's for sure: after a while of trying to sing these lyrics to all these different tunes, the tunes all start to run together in your head ...




athelind: (facepalm)
[livejournal.com profile] leonard_arlotte says, "Now the true test would be to enter some text from a particular author, and see if it comes back with that author's name"
[livejournal.com profile] athelind grauphs, "LOL!"
[livejournal.com profile] athelind grauphs, "I think it's just a very noisy algorithm with huge error bars. it's not ENTIRELY fatuous, since it tells me that I write like H.P. Lovecraft much of the time, in circumstances where, yes, I'm deliberately trying to write like HPL."
[livejournal.com profile] leonard_arlotte says, "My point is, does H.P. Lovecraft write like H.P.Lovecraft?"
[livejournal.com profile] athelind grauphs, "Indeed. And there's public domain HPL stuff online to use as a test case."
[livejournal.com profile] athelind grauphs, "... dammit. go to lunch. I'll test it."
[livejournal.com profile] leonard_arlotte says, "thank you."

Plugging in the text of "The Colour Out of Space", we find that H.P. Lovecraft ...

H.P. Lovecraft writes like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!



... writes like Stephen King.

I totally need an Athelind Rolling In the Hoard Laughing icon.


athelind: (Warning: Memetic Hazard)
[livejournal.com profile] wordslinger might find this amusing, as it's tangentially related to her much more rigorous project of stylistic analysis.

To be honest, I was going to blow this one off for two reasons:

One, because the results have been so varied that it's become a matter of parody;

And two, because I didn't think I'd produced a body of work with any degree of consistency in recent years. Certainly, I haven't cranked out any fiction in a long while.

I changed my mind for two reasons:

One, because [livejournal.com profile] leonard_arlotte reported remarkably consistent results from his LiveJournal entries;

And two, because I realized that my comics blog was a deliberate attempt to maintain a consisten "voice" throughout its long-form entries.

Out of ten long-form entries, I got the following results:

One J. D. Salinger:

I write like
J. D. Salinger

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!




Four H. P. Lovecraft:

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!




And five David Foster Wallace:

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!



...to which I can only echo [livejournal.com profile] leonard_arlotte's reaction: who?

Illiterate Philistine that I am, I've never read Salinger. The Lovecraft results, however, did not surprise me in the least; like HPL, I have a penchant for purple prose, archaic adjectives, and gratuitous grandiloquence. I suspect that if the algorithm were keyed to identify italics, my writing would have shown even more kinship to that of Unca Howard. One of the HPL-tagged episodes did, in fact, have several FULLY CAPITALIZED PASSAGES, though that was more in emulation of Jack "King" Kirby; I rather doubt that the meme-encoders included his Groovily Bombastic Scriptage in their algorithms.

Were I in a more frivolous mood, and had more respect for the underlying algorithms of random internettery, I might dig out some of my college papers (aside from the one that got repurposed as a KDDR entry) and see how they test out; even when I'm writing serious technical discourse, my florid style often bleeds through, and I can never resist a good chain of alliteration.


For the record, I analyzed this post, and got H.P. Lovecraft again. Given that I found myself deliberately emphasizing the Lovecraftian tendencies of my style as I wrote, that's not only unsurprising, but quite probably biased: "gaming the game", as it were. So, grains of salt all around, and 'ware your blood pressure, all and sundry.
If the meme-writers had my sense of humor, any text that referenced the "I Write Like" page itself would be weighted toward Douglas Hofstadter.

athelind: (Warning: Memetic Hazard)
Oops!

I was going to post the last answer to The Better Than It Sounds Meme a week ago, and I forgot.

For those of you still keeping track, the only description left unguessed was #2:

Two small children and an adorable puppy help a career police officer come to terms with the death of his wife.


I gave the following hints:

  • It's a movie.
  • This description spoils the last ten to fifteen minutes.
  • The police officer has drug issues.


And the answer is behind the cut! )


Please don't hurt me.
athelind: (no help whatsoever)
Okay, [livejournal.com profile] paka was wrong: posting my own version of the Better Than It Sounds Meme only made me feel stupider, when I realized how vague and general some of my descriptions were.

#8 is the worst. The problem, obviously, is that the description I gave could describe dozens of other movies; I think I described a full-on trope rather than a single movie.

I'll go ahead and post the rest of the answers tomorrow night, but for now, let's see if some hints will help: )

Have fun, and please don't shoot me when the answers come out!

"Please don't shoot me" could work as a hint for at least two of the really tough ones, come to think of it.
athelind: (WARNING: TV Tropes)
This one's going around:

Pick 20 movies/anime/video games/literary works/comics/etc and put their summaries from the TV Tropes entry, Better Than it Sounds, and have your friends guess what they are.


The original meme was to use entries directly from the page, but most everyone I read seems to be writing their own summaries. I agree with [livejournal.com profile] paka: this meme makes me feel stupid, and the best way around that is to do my own version!

(The original meme also specifies "No Cheating", but I hardly need to add that, since a) you can't look these up at TV Tropes, and b) the people who read my LJ, by and large, aren't assholes.)

Since this is the Do-It-Myself version, you only get eight (I may come back and round it out to ten). Movies, comics, short stories, novels, TV shows, whatever: they're all fair game. Be advised that there's at least one really egregious spoiler in this list.

Oh, and some of them may not be better than they sound....

I'll bold these as people get them, but I'll only put the answers behind a cut, so EVERYONE can play.

  1. An explosive encounter with a rebellious teen forces forces a repressed professional man to confront his inner demons in this Cold War allegory.
  2. Two small children and an adorable puppy help a career police officer come to terms with the death of his wife.
  3. A man with a debilitating medical condition risks his health, sanity and personal integrity to help a man in a dead-end job find a new direction.
  4. A long-haul rig, a cute teenager, and no gas stations in sight: Hilarity Ensues.
  5. A band of reclusive senior citizens pull the strings on an implausible series of events to bring a hard-headed cop and a stubborn nurse together. After the pair get hitched, their kids go into the family business.
  6. At the height of the Cold War, a stoic, implacable polymath and his scantily-clad companion stand against a cadre of terrorists who plot to turn advanced technology against the international diplomats of the Security Council.
  7. A beleaguered ad man neglects his family as he tries to save his failing company, but a clumsy, slobbering St. Bernard will make this summer one they'll never forget!
  8. An urban professional's civil servant's job performance becomes increasingly erratic as he becomes increasingly obsessed with his job.


Answers! )


If you do see some of these summaries on the various TV Tropes pages at some later date, remember that Your Obedient Serpent is a regular contributor to said wiki.
I am so going to hell for some of these....

athelind: (barcode)
Scramble Pattern Violet Iodine




India Foxtrot Yankee Oscar Uniform
Charlie Alpha November Uniform November
Delta Echo Romeo Sierra Tango
Alpha November Delta Tango Hotel
India Sierra Charlie Oscar Papa
Yankee Alpha November Delta Papa
Alpha Sierra Tango Echo India
Tango Tango Oscar Yankee Oscar
Uniform Romeo Lima India Victor
Echo Juliet Oscar Uniform Romeo
November Alpha Lima X-Ray X-Ray





Foxtrot Romeo Oscar Mike Lima
Juliet Uniform Sierra Echo Romeo
Echo Charlie Lima India Papa
Sierra Echo Golf Romeo Yankee
Papa Hotel X-Ray X-Ray X-Ray



athelind: (DRAGON!)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

It's Old English for "Noble Serpent".

I've been using it since the early '80s, originally assembling it from a "Random Old English Name Generator" table in an early issue of Dragon Magazine. If I recall correctly, "Lind" (serpent) was only on the prefix table, not the suffix, so from a gamer standpoint, I "cheated" -- no idea how well or poorly it may work on a grammatical standpoint.

The original "Athelind" was actually a Champions character, a centuries-old dragon who decided to take up superheroing as a lark.* A decade or so later, when "The Boojum Snark" decided that it would be more comfortable for the rest of alt.fan.dragons to address him by a name rather than a title, he adopted it as his nom de guerre.

And the rest is history.


* At almost exactly the same time, a comic called The Southern Knights, and that Atlanta-based superhero team included a centuries-old dragon who also decided to take up the crimefighting trade. Needless to say, my fellow players immediately brought it to my attention.
athelind: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

It's Old English for "Noble Serpent".

I've been using it since the early '80s, originally assembling it from a "Random Old English Name Generator" table in an early issue of Dragon Magazine. If I recall correctly, "Lind" (serpent) was only on the prefix table, not the suffix, so from a gamer standpoint, I "cheated" -- no idea how well or poorly it may work on a grammatical standpoint.

The original "Athelind" was actually a Champions character, a centuries-old dragon who decided to take up superheroing as a lark.* A decade or so later, when "The Boojum Snark" decided that it would be more comfortable for the rest of alt.fan.dragons to address him by a name rather than a title, he adopted it as his nom de guerre.

And the rest is history.


* At almost exactly the same time, a comic called The Southern Knights, and that Atlanta-based superhero team included a centuries-old dragon who also decided to take up the crimefighting trade. Needless to say, my fellow players immediately brought it to my attention.
athelind: (Eye of the Sky God)
Fasten your seatbelts, kids; this post starts talking about current Pop Culture, then veers into politics, philosophy, personal development, and metaprogramming.

It all started when I was doing something I normally avoid: reading comments on an internet blog. Unmoderated comment boards are usually overflowing with ill-considered, insulting, infuriating nonsense that can completely ruin an article I may have otherwise enjoyed.

In this case, however, the opposite occurred.

The io9 Blog's review of James Cameron's Avatar is the same blah-blah-blah-Mighty-Whitey-IN-SPACE critique that I've heard over and over. Nothing new here. The comments, on the other claw, are full of feedback from non-whites and non-Americans that undercut that as a being a white-Americans-are-the-center-of-the-universe interpretation that's at least as insulting, if not moreso.

I think my favorite comment thus far is this one:
All stories are about someone leaving a group or joining a group, it's just that some of these groups are a racial group. Outsider Luke Skywalker joins the rebels and becomes their number one gun. That's a heroic journey story, but if Luke was the only human and all the rest of the rebels were aliens suddenly it becomes a white guilt story? I don't buy it.


And now, Mood Whiplash. This shook some things out in my head, and I think they're worth sharing:

I've been sorting through the cognitive baggage cluttering my mind lately, and you know what? I think that "White Guilt" is a particularly toxic meme. To be more specific, there's a pervasive idea that any action that may have "White Guilt" as a motivating force is automatically invalid, or just more cultural imperialism. This is bullshit. It is an invitation to inaction.

Your Obedient Serpent, when he's not a dragon, is a middle-aged Anglo-American, raised in a middle-class suburb, who's seriously considering an opportunity to teach middle school science in a "high-need", inner-city environment. The very idea of standing in front of a classroom is a massive paradigm shift for him, and coming to this decision has involved jumping over a lot of mental hurdles.

You know what? True Confession Time: One of them was "Mighty Whitey".

"What right do you have to come swooping in with your degree and your laptop and your melanin deficiency, to try and "save" these kids? That's no different than England coking along to "civilize" India!"

Sounds really stupid when you verbalize it, doesn't it?

But people keep saying this, over and over: these stories are bad, they're unprincipled, they're just new and different ways for the privileged to lord it over everyone else. And if these stories are morally suspect, and your life-choices parallel them, why, then, those must be bad choices, right?

Once again: it sounds really stupid when you verbalize it. Stupid and arrogant. The only thing more arrogant than casting yourself as The Great Savior is to walk away from helping people because you're afraid people will think that's what you're doing.

That's part of the point: there are a lot of unexamined assumptions that mass media promulgates on an entirely sub-verbal level. It's good to examine them, it's good to scrutinize them -- but it's an iterative process. What unexamined assumptions are the critiques carrying with them?

One of the big ones, in this case, is the assumption that any real person's real life is simplistic enough to use fiction as a valid model. This isn't the first time I've fallen into that trap, and I'm sure it won't be the last -- but at least now I'm aware that trap is out there.

Or in here.


athelind: (Eye of the Sky God)
Fasten your seatbelts, kids; this post starts talking about current Pop Culture, then veers into politics, philosophy, personal development, and metaprogramming.

It all started when I was doing something I normally avoid: reading comments on an internet blog. Unmoderated comment boards are usually overflowing with ill-considered, insulting, infuriating nonsense that can completely ruin an article I may have otherwise enjoyed.

In this case, however, the opposite occurred.

The io9 Blog's review of James Cameron's Avatar is the same blah-blah-blah-Mighty-Whitey-IN-SPACE critique that I've heard over and over. Nothing new here. The comments, on the other claw, are full of feedback from non-whites and non-Americans that undercut that as a being a white-Americans-are-the-center-of-the-universe interpretation that's at least as insulting, if not moreso.

I think my favorite comment thus far is this one:
All stories are about someone leaving a group or joining a group, it's just that some of these groups are a racial group. Outsider Luke Skywalker joins the rebels and becomes their number one gun. That's a heroic journey story, but if Luke was the only human and all the rest of the rebels were aliens suddenly it becomes a white guilt story? I don't buy it.


And now, Mood Whiplash. This shook some things out in my head, and I think they're worth sharing:

I've been sorting through the cognitive baggage cluttering my mind lately, and you know what? I think that "White Guilt" is a particularly toxic meme. To be more specific, there's a pervasive idea that any action that may have "White Guilt" as a motivating force is automatically invalid, or just more cultural imperialism. This is bullshit. It is an invitation to inaction.

Your Obedient Serpent, when he's not a dragon, is a middle-aged Anglo-American, raised in a middle-class suburb, who's seriously considering an opportunity to teach middle school science in a "high-need", inner-city environment. The very idea of standing in front of a classroom is a massive paradigm shift for him, and coming to this decision has involved jumping over a lot of mental hurdles.

You know what? True Confession Time: One of them was "Mighty Whitey".

"What right do you have to come swooping in with your degree and your laptop and your melanin deficiency, to try and "save" these kids? That's no different than England coking along to "civilize" India!"

Sounds really stupid when you verbalize it, doesn't it?

But people keep saying this, over and over: these stories are bad, they're unprincipled, they're just new and different ways for the privileged to lord it over everyone else. And if these stories are morally suspect, and your life-choices parallel them, why, then, those must be bad choices, right?

Once again: it sounds really stupid when you verbalize it. Stupid and arrogant. The only thing more arrogant than casting yourself as The Great Savior is to walk away from helping people because you're afraid people will think that's what you're doing.

That's part of the point: there are a lot of unexamined assumptions that mass media promulgates on an entirely sub-verbal level. It's good to examine them, it's good to scrutinize them -- but it's an iterative process. What unexamined assumptions are the critiques carrying with them?

One of the big ones, in this case, is the assumption that any real person's real life is simplistic enough to use fiction as a valid model. This isn't the first time I've fallen into that trap, and I'm sure it won't be the last -- but at least now I'm aware that trap is out there.

Or in here.


athelind: (Eye of Agammotto)

Pessimism is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
So is optimism.


-- distilled from Robert Anton Wilson,
"Ten Good Reasons to Get Out of Bed in the Morning".




My thinking is broken. I've assimilated unhealthy memes.

Taking control of my life means, first and foremost, taking control of my head.

Re-Reading List:
  • Robert Anton Wilson, The Illuminati Papers
  • S.I. Hayakawa, Language in Thought and Action
  • R. Buckminster Fuller:

    • Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth
    • Utopia or Oblivion
    • Ideas and Integrities
    • Critical Path (Have I actually read this, or has it just been sitting on my shelf for years?)

  • Sun Bear, The Path of Power
  • Alan Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity
  • Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • Richard Bach:

    • Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah
    • Jonathan Livingston Seagull (Hush. It's my metaprogramming list.)




athelind: (Default)

Pessimism is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
So is optimism.


-- distilled from Robert Anton Wilson,
"Ten Good Reasons to Get Out of Bed in the Morning".




My thinking is broken. I've assimilated unhealthy memes.

Taking control of my life means, first and foremost, taking control of my head.

Re-Reading List:
  • Robert Anton Wilson, The Illuminati Papers
  • S.I. Hayakawa, Language in Thought and Action
  • R. Buckminster Fuller:

    • Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth
    • Utopia or Oblivion
    • Ideas and Integrities
    • Critical Path (Have I actually read this, or has it just been sitting on my shelf for years?)

  • Sun Bear, The Path of Power
  • Alan Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity
  • Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • Richard Bach:

    • Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah
    • Jonathan Livingston Seagull (Hush. It's my metaprogramming list.)




athelind: (Warning: Memetic Hazard)
Got this one from [livejournal.com profile] leonard_arlotte, who in turn imported it from Facebook.



Leave a ONE WORD comment that you think describes me. It can only be one word. No more. Then copy and paste this on your LJ so that I may leave a word about you.


athelind: (Default)
Got this one from [livejournal.com profile] leonard_arlotte, who in turn imported it from Facebook.



Leave a ONE WORD comment that you think describes me. It can only be one word. No more. Then copy and paste this on your LJ so that I may leave a word about you.


athelind: (Eye of the Sky God)
From a significant fraction of my f-list, including [livejournal.com profile] the_gneech, [livejournal.com profile] pyat, and [livejournal.com profile] leonard_arlotte:

  • If you like, post this meme and your current wallpaper.
  • Explain in no more than five sentences why you're using that wallpaper!
  • Don't change your wallpaper before doing this! The point is to see what you had on!




This is an image from NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day site, which I read every evening.

I regret to say that I can't remember just what this image is. I know that it's a false-color image of... something. I do remember that I chose it because a) it's wide enough to extend across two wide-screen monitors (which I am not currently using), and b) because it's orange and purple, and vaguely, sinuously dragon-like in the way that clouds and fractals can be.


(If anyone recognizes this image, or has better search-fu on APOD than Your Obedient Serpent, please let me know and put a link to the appropriate APOD page in the comments!)
athelind: (Eye of the Sky God)
From a significant fraction of my f-list, including [livejournal.com profile] the_gneech, [livejournal.com profile] pyat, and [livejournal.com profile] leonard_arlotte:

  • If you like, post this meme and your current wallpaper.
  • Explain in no more than five sentences why you're using that wallpaper!
  • Don't change your wallpaper before doing this! The point is to see what you had on!




This is an image from NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day site, which I read every evening.

I regret to say that I can't remember just what this image is. I know that it's a false-color image of... something. I do remember that I chose it because a) it's wide enough to extend across two wide-screen monitors (which I am not currently using), and b) because it's orange and purple, and vaguely, sinuously dragon-like in the way that clouds and fractals can be.


(If anyone recognizes this image, or has better search-fu on APOD than Your Obedient Serpent, please let me know and put a link to the appropriate APOD page in the comments!)
athelind: (Warning: Memetic Hazard)
The song title meme!

Answer the questions with song titles from a favorite group.

Repost as "My Life According to Whoeverthosedudeswereanyway."

Read more... )

Ganked from [livejournal.com profile] paka.
athelind: (Default)
The song title meme!

Answer the questions with song titles from a favorite group.

Repost as "My Life According to Whoeverthosedudeswereanyway."

Read more... )

Ganked from [livejournal.com profile] paka.
athelind: (ewd3)
1. You can ONLY answer 'Yes' or 'No'.
2. You are NOT ALLOWED to explain ANYTHING, unless someone comments you and asks.

Read more... )
athelind: (Default)
1. You can ONLY answer 'Yes' or 'No'.
2. You are NOT ALLOWED to explain ANYTHING, unless someone comments you and asks.

Read more... )
athelind: (number six)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

Can't really say normally, but this is an Eeyore morning. This is an especially Eeyore morning. Could be any number of things, or all of them at once. Not that it matters. Went to bed last night feeling Especially Eeyore, and woke up the same way this morning. It's only to be expected, I suppose.

"After all, one can't complain. I have my friends. Somebody spoke to me only yesterday. And was it last week or the week before that Rabbit bumped into me and said 'Bother!'. The Social Round. Always something going on."

It's only on the Especially Eeyore Mornings that I feel like I'm usually Owl: someone who sounds like he knows a great deal about a great many things, but doesn't actually contribute anything useful.


athelind: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

Can't really say normally, but this is an Eeyore morning. This is an especially Eeyore morning. Could be any number of things, or all of them at once. Not that it matters. Went to bed last night feeling Especially Eeyore, and woke up the same way this morning. It's only to be expected, I suppose.

"After all, one can't complain. I have my friends. Somebody spoke to me only yesterday. And was it last week or the week before that Rabbit bumped into me and said 'Bother!'. The Social Round. Always something going on."

It's only on the Especially Eeyore Mornings that I feel like I'm usually Owl: someone who sounds like he knows a great deal about a great many things, but doesn't actually contribute anything useful.


athelind: (hoard potato)
The Literary "I Spy" Meme

Comment on this post. I will give you a letter. Think of 5 fictional characters and post their names and your comments on these characters in your LJ.

[livejournal.com profile] snobahr gave me "U".

  1. Ulysses. Or "Odysseus", if you prefer (I do). Smart and savvy, he prevailed by and large by outwitting his adversaries rather than out-muscling them. Julian Jaynes considered him the first truly conscious man.
  2. Undine, the water nymph of Paracelsus. Not one of the Sirens against whom Ulysses strove.
  3. Urizen, William Blake's "Ancient of Days", the God of Conventional Reason and Law embodied as as Malicious Constraint. While Ulysses is Reason as the Trickster, side-stepping the expectations of his adversaries, Urizen is the Binder, creating the stifling Order to crush the free spirits of the world.
  4. Uriah Heep, from Dickens's David Copperfield. Uses his reason and his insincerity to blackmail and exploit his way into power. Lent his name to an English Prog-Metal band.
  5. Ultra Boy: Jo Nah, of the Legion of Superheroes. He has all of Superboy's powers, but can only use one of them at a time. Lent his name to a game mechanic in Champions that gives a character similar restrictions. Ulysses connection? Got his powers after being swallowed by a sea space monster.

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