Thursday, April 26, 2007

ConBestiary #6

Intellect Devourer: I don't actually know what this is, but it's whatever causes people to walk up to guests at cons and ask them where the bathrooms are. I mean, come on, people, he's Marv Wolfman! He wrote 'Crisis on Infinite Earths'! He's not the freaking information booth! Peter David does not know where the dealer's room is, and he probably doesn't care, either! Ask a volunteer, not the man who helped create MAD Magazine! Pretty much every guest is way too nice to tell you this, but it really irritates them, and you can tell if you're paying attention.

I'm just saying, is all.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Gotta Disagree

Despite what the old saw says, I actually think "of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are, 'Oh, no! That bus full of puppies just crashed into that maternity ward!'"

...but I suppose that wouldn't scan very well.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Finn's Limit

I was feeling a little torn on what to write about today, because it seemed like an appropriate time to discuss the Tarantino/Lucas Index...but on reading some discussion about the Don Imus controversy, I felt like it was a better time to discuss Finn's Limit.

Finn's Limit, which is named after the amazing and spectacular Finn Clark (who is hopefully honored and not irritated by my naming this after him) is the point at which any message-board discussion between two or more people with fundamentally opposing points of view ceases to be an exchange of information and opinions and transforms into people repeating themselves in an effort to get in the last word. Finn himself set Finn's Limit at about three posts per person; I named it after him because he never bothered posting more than three times on a topic, figuring if he hadn't convinced the other person by then, he never would.

Internet debates beyond Finn's Limit have interesting sets of behaviors you can almost invariably find if you look for them; for example, a post-Finn's Limit tactic is the Judo Last Word, wherein the person posts that this will be their last post on the subject and that the other person can, if they want, have the last word, because they're no longer worthy of attention. Of course, as soon as the other party responds, they become worthy of attention again.

One question that has yet to be settled is whether or not multiple parties grouped into two camps increases or decreases Finn's Limit; it does, however, undeniably increase the length of discussion beyond Finn's Limit. This "zombie thread" effect occurs when a subset of posters on either side continues the discussion beyond the interest levels of the majority of the posters. People drop out of the discussion, frustrated at their inability to convey their point of view; however, since the discussion continues, they can find themselves dropping back in when a particularly interesting or infuriating point comes up. This, in turn, prompts other people to jump back in, and the discussion continues.

Some long-standing discussion topics permanently pass Finn's Limit; that is to say, even if they die down completely, the next time they're brought up, the exchange will begin beyond Finn's Limit and stay there. A partial list of these topics would have to include "UNIT Dating", "Lives Before Hartnell", and "It's Season Twenty-Seven, Not Season One." (If you're not a Doctor Who fan, you might not understand these references. Count your blessings. If you are a Doctor Who fan, please don't fill the comments section with your personal views on these topics. They're past Finn's Limit.)

Finally, I'll point out the useful aspect of Finn's Limit (because this isn't just a snarky post about message-board forums.) I use Finn's Limit myself, in everyday life--when I've posted three times about something, and I see that the same person who's responded to my post the first three times is disagreeing with it again...I just let it go there. Life's too short to keep talking just to get in the last word. It's frustrating for a minute or two...and then I forget about it.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Meet 'N Greet #2

It's, um, still Thursday, right? (Seriously, yes, I know this is late. Had some stuff to deal with that couldn't wait and took up a good chunk of time. But it's not every day one gets a free car.) So, only two days after it was supposed to be up, the origin of another fabulous super-hero/villain!

Karin Colbert was out jogging in Paragon City one bright spring morning when she had the seeming misfortune to turn down the wrong street at the wrong time. As she rounded the corner, she heard the sounds of chanting, and spotted an eerie green light--all of which stopped as she practically bumped into a group of three men in dark robes, their eyes glowing under the hood.

"So," one of them said, "the prophecy is true! Our ritual has, indeed, been interrupted by the legendary Champion of Light!" He raised his sacrificial dagger. "Speak, mighty Champion! Tell us the name of the hero we are slaying this morning!"


"Very well, Eep, prepare to die!"

Karin flung out a hand, attempting to block the dagger...and was stunned when a mass of whirling cinders flew out from it into the face of the cultist. He collapsed, choking, and the other two cultists quickly fled. The would-be victim stood up, and walked over to her.

"Congratulations, Champion," he said. "From this day forth, your karmic destiny is set. You shall battle evil. You shall fight the darkness. You shall be our Champion of Light. You shall be...EEP!"

"But I don't want to!"

"Too bad. Sucks to be you." And he vanished.

And ever since that fateful day, Karin Colbert has accidentally run into evil wherever she has gone, unwillingly fighting it with magical powers that she doesn't know how to use and doesn't want to, as...EEP!