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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. You can actually change the background. On the top navigation bar where you see your name, + Create, etc., there's an icon that represents a picture (featuring a stylized mountain and sun). Click that and you'll see the options. From left to right they are Casterly Rock (I expect this is the one you have, as it acts as the default), the Eyrie, Harrenhal, Storm's End, Pyke, and Winterfell. As far as biggest castle, there's a couple of ways to look at it. In terms of largest constructed buildings above ground, Harrenhal is by far the largest in Westeros. But Casterly Rock encompasses kilometers of halls and chambers, dug into the stone, with fortifications and gates and so on added in certain places. Casterly Rock is a fantasy Gibraltar.
  2. Ran

    Black sigil

    It is a heraldic shadow cat (actually a heraldic tiger with colors reversed), a reference to the arms of Ser Randor the Exile who rode in the Ashford tourney in The Hedge Knight.
  3. As to the topic at hand, Whedon has not contested he has cheated. He has not contested that his wife's quotes of stuff he wrote to her are things he wrote. That said, I feel very strongly that the only people who can really provide any illumination on the matter beyond what we already know are Whedon in his own words and directly (because, to be sure, what someone may write during a difficult and emotional period may not exactly match a perspective at greater distance from whatever turmoil one's moral failures have caused), whatever they are judged to be worth, and those of the women who have had interactions with him. None of this makes me think he is or is not a feminist. Feminism is a movement, not an invariable moral code whose adherents are faultless or who practice their beliefs with 100% perfection. We're all fallible people.
  4. I've deleted some material because, frankly, it looks like false information being spread about -- I certainly cannot find a source for the claims. If you are someone who has had a post deleted, take it up with me in PM.
  5. Ran

    HBO's Sharp Objects

    Scared first -- I think that's the cuts she has on her wrist -- and then later it appeared as sacred for a moment. Have people noted the license plates outside of the house at the funeral? PUN ISH, TAN GLE, were two. I think one I could barely read was OBA JFK, not sure. I don't know what to make of that, but she did raise the specter of JFK when she referred to John's girlfriend Ashley as Jackie O. And of course she had the Obama poster in her office. I am just half way through ep 2, by the by, but have to same I'm very taken with it. Good on Marti Noxon!
  6. Ran

    Babylon 5

    Understanding is a three-edged sword.
  7. A few years ago Whedon was set to do a Victorian steampunk superheroine thing called Twist that never actually materialized. It was announced as a 6 issue miniseries with Dark Horse publishing, and I think they even had some art. It was supposed to be a female Batman type of character in that milieu. Wonder if, after that fell through, he cannibalized some of his ideas. Better this, in any case, than LoEG being made into a TV series.
  8. The Brexiters brought this on themselves. I'm kind of hoping Croatia goes all the way, but would not be displeased with France. Either way, the trophy stays in the EU.
  9. Ran

    Don’t pirate books, just don’t

    You absolutely can produce multiple copies. A blockchain is just a ledger of _authorized_ stuff, a database that says "this person has this stuff" (or maybe "this stuff belongs to this person" is the more correct way to phrase it). So it could record the fact that you legally purchased a legitimate copy of a book ... but it can't say anything about what you do with the book after, unless you make another transaction dependent on that exact copy. IF you make multiple copies and distribute them outside of the ledger, well, not much the blockchain can do about it. Cryptocurrency ledgers will, of course, be very robust when it comes to preventing creation of fake cryptocurrency getting recorded in the ledger. But that's because cryptocurrency are the base medium of exchange.
  10. Ran

    How do you think the series will end?

    "In fire."
  11. Ran

    More Things Star Wars

    Have to agree that Luke against Darth Vader in the throne room had a lot more stakes to it. The TPM fight is impressive thanks to Ray Parks more than anything, but the only standout moment in it for me is the moment Qui-Gon and Maul are separated by the force field, and we see the two react very differently to that pause in the fight.
  12. Hah. Didn't realize that until this season ended. Had no idea she had gone into acting.
  13. Ran

    More Things Star Wars

    TLJ really just focuses on her uber-Force abilities and I guess her hand-to-hand, so the other areas of her hyper-competence aren't thrown in one's face. But it's true, it was too fast. I feel like TLJ works better if we understand that Rey's storyline is happening in a substantial gap in time, in its own chronology, up until the point that her story interacts with that of the Resistance folks to pin it down. I think this could have worked if they hadn't given her the Force mind-meld with Kylo Ren so early, I suppose. Although, then again, who's to say the Force works in terms of normal time and space? Maybe present-day Ren was speaking to a Rey several weeks in the past... I really didn't have an issue with her being a skilled fighter and being strong in the Force, especially if one supposes Luke's methods were very well-suited to her. It's just that they threw everything and the kitchen sink into her in the first film. @La Albearceleste True, but usually it's hyper-competence that suits the environment. You get street smart kids in urban settings, you get woodcrafty kids in rural settings. A lawless junkyard desert planet feels like you should get, well, a scavenger who can fight her way out of a scrap. Or maybe you get a junkyard genius who can juryrig anything. Or perhaps you get an ace pilot who can navigate any sandstorm, any canyon run, any Imperial wreck to get you to the good stuff and out. Not all of those things at the same time. Rey is River, Wash, Kaylee, and Zoë rolled into one.
  14. Ran

    More Things Star Wars

    I have to say I do find it somewhat annoying as well. There certainly are assholes who are bothered only because Rey is female. Then there are assholes like me who think that her character is just badly written in that first movie (I think she's much better in TLJ).
  15. The Peasants Crusade was likely an inspiration for this event. Tens of thousands of people, largely untrained peasants, made it as far as Anatolia.