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About Altherion

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  1. How about... the oldest quarterback and oldest linebacker to ever play at this level try to win one more Superb Owl? Or perhaps: three teams who have never won a title battle the Evil Empire... but the Empire prevails.
  2. Yes. The same thing happens here too (for an example, see the article about New York City subway construction costs), but there are places which take this to a whole other level.
  3. Mainly because the inequality in poor countries is typically even worse than it is in the US and therefore the people at the top have even more means of making sure that resources within their countries are diverted to themselves rather than going to wherever they were meant to go. With the technology we have right now, the entire population of the world can almost certainly be supported at a comfortable level... but this requires an optimal distribution of labor and capital where the optimization condition is to maximize the welfare of all humanity whereas our current system mainly maximizes the welfare of the people at the top -- and this is more pronounced in poorer countries.
  4. Thanks! I've started reading the first one and it does indeed fit the bill. I don't think this counts as a love story: it's not enough for characters to get together or do something based on a stated love, there must be significant interaction between them. I'll take a look at Lyonesse next. And indeed, Bujold does this a lot -- the third book in the same world (The Hallowed Hunt) is an even more clear example. aceluby and williamjm, thank you for the suggestions.
  5. Technically, the Steeler defense only gave up 38 points (one of the Jaguar touchdowns was a fumble return) and 10 of those 38 were on a short field (7 due to an interception and 3 due to a botched onside kick). But yes, the Steeler defense was pretty awful. It'll be interesting to see which Jaguars offense and defense show up against the Patriots. Will it be the offense that only managed 10 points against the Bills or the one that put up 38 on the Steelers? And will it be the defense that allowed 42 points by the Steelers or the one that limited the Bills to 3? FiveThirtyEight gives the Jaguars a 19% chance of beating the Patriots which sounds pretty reasonable: it's certainly possible that they'll win, but it's not very likely.
  6. There are a few approaches to incorporating a romantic storyline into a work of fantasy and science fiction. The most popular by far (especially in film) is of the "token love interest" variety: there is a character who may or may not play some other role in the plot, but it is fairly obvious that her (and it is usually "her") principal purpose is to be the love interest of the protagonist. I personally don't find this too entertaining. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are works where the love story is the main plot in the same sense as, say, in Pride and Prejudice. That is, there is a plot separate from the love story, but it's fairly clear that this is just to give the lovers some obstacles and/or bring them together. This is more rare in fantasy and science fiction and it can be done well (see, for example, Captain Vorpatril's Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold), but it's not what I'm looking for in this thread. Do you know of any fantasy or science fiction books or series which have a main plot (and a good one) separate from the love story, but there is nevertheless a love story involving the main characters? Some examples: To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis The Black Company series by Glen Cook The Morgaine Cycle (or Stories or Saga) by C.J. Cherryh
  7. Extremely unlikely. Sanctions require the sanctioning party to be at least of comparable economic magnitude to the sanctioned one and typically the entity imposing sanctions is much bigger or it would be doing more harm to itself than to the entity it sanctions. The elites of the world don't like Trump, but the US is still a juggernaut and their dislike is not sufficient reason to hurt their own economies.
  8. The knee volleyball play made a difference: if he had intercepted that, the difference would only be 2 points and a field goal would have won at the end.
  9. The US does actually provide significantly subsidized education for the poor at the college level. It's possible to get at it in a few ways: The very best universities (e.g. Harvard) have colossal endowments and will pay all expenses for sufficiently poor students. To stick with the same example, a Harvard undergraduate whose parents make less than $60K per year pays nothing (not even room and board) and there are discounts all the way up to incomes of $180K per year. Of course, good luck getting into one of these schools. Every state has its own universities with subsidized tuition for people from that state and some of these are very good. In recent years, the subsidies have dried up somewhat and at this level it is probably best to hunt for the various need-based and merit-based scholarships, but they are still mostly affordable. There exist community colleges which generally grant 2-year degrees (although some of them now do the full bachelor's degree). The 2-year degree isn't very useful, but they usually allow transfer of credits to the state universities. The problem is that the US also has a variety of private universities which charge of order $50K per year and, even though they also offer subsidies, the post-subsidy price is still of order $30K per year... and it is not difficult to get a loan to attend. It is not necessarily a mistake for somebody who cannot afford it to take such a loan -- some people know exactly what they're doing, go into well paying careers (possibly after racking up even more debt in law, medical or other graduate programs) and pay all of the loans off in short order. However, there are plenty of others who simply go hoping for the best and end up with $50-100K of debt which they can't pay and can't even discharge in bankruptcy. Furthermore, there is a variety of scams masquerading as colleges. The most famous one is probably Trump University, but it is far from the biggest or the worst of them. And of course there are also accreditation-specific programs such as the commercial driver license described in the first post of this thread and these are also fully capable of ripping people off. In short, it's a jungle out there: there are opportunities for all sort of students (even the very poor), but there are also many people looking to fleece all sorts of students (and the poor are better targets).
  10. He pretty much has to keep topping his previous statements somehow or people will stop paying attention. I wonder to what extent he is alienating the people who still support him and to what extent he is moving the Overton window.
  11. I looked it up and it seems it was optioned around half a decade ago. Since there's nothing about it since then, I'm not holding my breath. That said, it could be done and possibly even done well. Without spoilers, these books are dark -- arguably darker than ASOIAF -- and with very little sexual content, but if the actress and actor portraying the two central characters are very good, it can be made to work. Yes, as Darth Richard pointed out, there were even stories about how it was meant to be a Warhammer game. They also borrowed quite a bit of the actual game mechanics from Dune II. These are pretty well documented though whereas I've never heard of the connection with the Morgaine Cycle before reading the latter.
  12. I suppose it is because the Morgaine Cycle is not very famous. Cherryh has more famous series, although if you like stories about a lady and her knight, this is a pretty good one. Thanks! So it looks like they do at least subtly acknowledge the book.
  13. Sure, a lot of stories borrow from others -- but when a story is famous enough (and Warcraft is certainly famous), it's usually relatively easy to find where they borrowed from (at least when it is this much). I had never heard of this book being Blizzard's inspiration and googling this doesn't result in any obvious connection. I know there are a lot of WoW players on this forum so I was wondering whether anyone has heard of Blizzard ever acknowledging this tie.
  14. I recently read C.J. Cherryh's Morgaine Cycle and the third book (Fires of Azeroth) has an uncanny resemblance to Blizzard's Warcraft universe. Wikipedia says that the similarities are coincidental and I could buy that if it was the name alone -- Azeroth is a pretty good name for a world -- but come on, look at the plot. Without spoiling too much, the novel's Azeroth is a peaceful land which is invaded by an army from another world who cross over via an evil-ish portal. To be fair, there are no orcs in the novel (the population of both sides consists of humans and a kind of elf analogues) and the conflict is only background to the real story, but it's still rather similar. Fires of Azeroth came out in 1979 and thus predates the first Warcraft game by a decade and a half. Does anyone know what the story is here? Did Blizzard borrow a bit from this book?
  15. I wonder if it will occur to anyone to sell Homeopathic Raw Water. Diluted 12 times with ordinary water for maximum effect! More seriously, I wonder what is it that makes people buy this sort of thing in sufficient quantities to draw the charlatans in the first place. A misplaced desire for something magical or at least pure?