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About Ran

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    King o' the Board
  • Birthday 05/06/1978

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  • Blood of Dragons
    Balerion (Admin), Aidan Dayne, Rhodry Martell

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    Westeros! History (ancient and medieval), SF/F, adventure and strategy gaming, MUSHes and MUXes (but not MUDs), Linda.

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  1. Ran

    US Politics - Primary Numbers

    I mean, JFK was pretty good, but it's worth noting that his campaign was not primarily funded by himself or his family (although Papa Joe did contribute substantially), and in reaction to the high spending of both sides during his campaign he commissioned studies into how to limit campaign spending and funding, which in turn laid the ground work for Federal Election Campaign Act, with its establishment of public funding for candidates and so on. There never was a system in place n the U.S. in which someone could buy himself endorsements, a campaign machine, etc. until... well, now, basically, as money has flooded back in facts to Supreme Court decisions undermining things to the point where most people will no longer blink at any amount of or source of money for a campaign.
  2. Ran

    US Politics - Primary Numbers

    Yeah. If Bloomberg manipulates his way into the nomination, fine, I'll have to vote for him. But he's more or less dead last for me in the primaries, IMO. I'd almost consider pulling the lever for Gabbard ahead of Bloomberg, that's how much his choice to try to buy his way to the nomination (adopting Trump campaign-like tactics while he's at it) bugs me. No matter what the merits of his substantive policy positions are, this is a road we should not need to go down and will encourage more rather than less of this. It's only the unique awfulness of Trump that makes voting for Bloomberg for president acceptable, but I'd really urge people to vote for those genuinely running within the framework of the Democratic nomination than folks like Steyer and Bloomberg.
  3. On the off chance anyone might be interested, thought I'd update by noting he's released the 20th chapter (well, 18th proper chapter, plus a two-part prologue) today. I believe Smylie has indicated he had 50-odd done so far, and his updates have been at a good and steady rate. Plus he's been releasing maps, a cleaned-up hand expanded istory of the world, and other things, as well as interacting with patrons in the comments. It all comes together to make me feel like this is one of the most thoroughly built fantasy worlds of recent vintage. He has an enormous amount of stuff figured out, especially as regards the cosmology and history. As to the story itself, I won't lie, Smylie still over-describes things -- I still think his having started as a visual artist makes it impossible for him to not convey all the details he'd put in if he was drawing something for the comic, and his having so much world building done means he can't but help reveal it when he can -- but Black Heart is flitting around characters in an interesting way, giving a broader picture of the setting. And one chapter, for Artesia fans, is noteworthy as it brings Daradja and some of its (very) notable characters back on the stage (it is also a very NSFW chapter, because, well, of course it is, given who features).
  4. Ran

    Hugo Nominations and Awards - Onwards to 2020

    Put in whatever English language publisher you want. It's more to help them figure it out if there's any reason that there may be confusion. Won't matter unless it happens to seem similar to some other work, which is unlikely. Yes. I would think so. Even if the different series have different overarching titles, the administrators generally trust that the WSFS members who vote are choosing appropriate works.
  5. Ran

    Trailer Thread VI

    Stephen Week's first try at Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (with Murray Head -- of "Last Night in Bangkok" and brother-of-Anthony-Stewart-Head fame -- as Gawain) ... which Weeks then re-made ten years later in 1983 as Sword of the Valiant (with Sean Connery as the Green Knight, and Miles O'Keefe as Gawain although Weeks had wanted to cast Mark Hamill until the producers overruled him). Never quite understood the hows or whys of that, but then I never quite understood the hows and whys of Weeks' career.
  6. Ran

    Trailer Thread VI

    This is opening wide in the US today, and because of the sort of film it is it probably isn't going to be long in the theatres, so if the trailer at all interests you I highly recommend going to see it. My favorite foreign film of last year, a travesty it didn't get any acknowledgment at the Oscars: I believe it opens on the 28th in the UK.
  7. Short for "Quick Bites", it's geared to short mobile video content. They're creating shows that are going to be 10 minutes or less per episode. Pretty sure it's US only. I recall the new owners of HBO, AT&T, talking about how they wanted to move into that space as well.
  8. Ran

    US Politics - Primary Numbers

    I don't know about all that. A lot of DoJ watchers are dubious that Barr's statement is anything more than show, and the fact that Jim Acosta just reported that they've been told Trump isn't upset by Barr's remarks is kind of telling (if it holds). The proof in the pudding will be if Trump stops tweeting commentary on the DoJ and its cases. I suspect he will not, and Barr will just shrug and disclaim any responsibility or means of counteracting.
  9. Ran

    Trailer Thread VI

    I recall trailers for this in Russian floating around a couple of years ago. It was originally slated for a 2018 release. Also, it's a sequel to a Russian film from 2014, one that was loosely based on a horror novella by Gogol.
  10. My recollection is that the "Martians" did not have the physical stack technology at all, and that humans developed it entirely on their lonesome.
  11. Ran


    I think it very likely the highly chlorinated water caused this. See this: Further down it notes that in acute cases (in humans, in any case) medical personnel should anticipate seizures. You can dechlorinate water using a carbon water filter or by boiling it for 20 minutes.
  12. Ran

    Small Questions v. 10106

    Abraham would have weekly lunches with George in which they discussed the scripts for the comics, so maybe he ran that by George and George was fine with it. But then again, maybe they didn't. That said, the comics are an adaptation of an existing work, and by definition can't be canonical. Same with the TV show.
  13. Ran

    Trailer Thread VI

    What. A. Cast. Will be seeing this in the theatre.
  14. Ran

    Watch, Watched, Watching: Hindsight in 2020

    Have it on my Netflix list.
  15. Ran

    Watch, Watched, Watching: Hindsight in 2020

    I thought Snowpiercer was visually interesting, but too overtly allegorical and not very cohesive as a story. Parasite is much more sharply and cohesively directed, but I felt like the last act was over-obvious and let down the careful work that came before. I appreciated the flooded Seoul scene and its aftermath much more than the conflict in the house when the former housekeeper returned, and certainly more than the explosion of violence that occupies the last fifteen minutes or so. I'm more okay with the Best Director win (because it is really well done) than I am with Best Picture. That said, I watched Memories of Murder and that was ... not entirely what I expected from people comparing it to Zodiac and saying it's Bong's best film, but that said I quite enjoyed it and the last few minutes of that one were quite the turn. Loosely inspired by South Korea's first serial killings (a case which is even now going through the courts, as a man convicted for one of the murders is seeking a retrial after the police determined that the actual serial killer -- who was, indeed, caught in the end, though by the happenstance of being caught for a murder long after the initial spree -- was responsible), what I enjoyed was the initial satire of these bumpkin police officers entirely unequipped to handle this case going around trying to beat confessions out of people, and bumbling their way from one clue to another that a straightlaced cop from Seoul was able to get. Kang-ho Song is great as Inspector Park, and his flying double kick at what he believes is a would-be rapist (but is, in fact, the big city cop) was hilarious. And yet while there's this discordant humor there, it never loses sight of the fact that there's this terrible toll of women being rmurdered, and as the story progresses the humor starts to give way as the country detectives slowly start to see that their methods aren't right, while the detective from Seoul finds himself increasingly troubled as they find a good lead that they can't close on. It ends quite darkly. The rhythms of the film and the sense of oddball humor reminds me of Takeshi Kitano's films like Sonatine (the interpersonal stuff, not the crime stuff) or Kikujiro (which also has some similarities to Parasite or Koreeda's Shoplifters in subject matter), while the violent Inspector Cho who loves nothing better than roughing up suspects and getting confessions out of them reminds me quite a bit of Sam Rockwell's character in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. I suspect that's a coincidence, but found it so obvious the way they were portrayed as figures to be made fun of, unlike (say) Russell Crowe's brutal Bud White in L.A. Confidential.