Phaedrus' Street Crew
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Everything posted by Gwardinen

  1. TNG's first season is... not strong. It's probably my overall favourite of the Star Trek series, but it definitely takes a bit to find its footing. I saw an episode from the first season again the other day and the acting was actually outright bad.
  2. Forum theme woes

    Yeah it's mostly that the super dark gray around other much lighter colours makes everything look really disconnected.
  3. Supergiant's Pyre: Wizard (NBA) Jam

    This sounds kind of entertaining. Do you remember the name?
  4. I'm not trying to wade into the rest of this argument, but since I did listen to the podcast I'll clarify this point. It actually is like Dan's literally unaware that Wal-Mart does bad stuff - or at least, that's how it's presented in the podcast. He says Wal-Mart is great and he won't hear a bad word said about them, and when the others say that actually Wal-Mart is very problematic and it would take only a cursory search to learn some of the ways in which that's true, he says he doesn't want to know in case it would tarnish his enjoyment of the brand.
  5. I don't think it's that he doesn't know that's the problem. Ignorance is a temporary and solvable state that we're all in about many things. It's that, when confronted with the fact that Wal-Mart isn't universally adored, and counselled by his friends and colleagues that if he looked into it even just a tiny amount he would see why, he said that he would rather continue to enjoy its low prices guilt free than find out anything that might change his opinion of the company.
  6. Movie/TV recommendations

    I recommend the Netflix Castlevania animated mini-series. It has great visuals and voice acting, and even manages to be funny amongst the bleak gothic horror by way of Warren Ellis' entertaining writing style. It's only four 25 minute episodes, so the opportunity cost on trying it is pretty limited, but be aware that that means that if you like it you'll be left feeling like it was just a teaser for a broader story (which thankfully does appear to be coming).
  7. Game of Thrones (TV show)

    So this has started up again. It's difficult for me to be too excited about any show's seventh season, but after watching the first episode today I'm at least pleased that some of the broad storylines we've been waiting for (the White Walkers, Dany coming to Westeros, Arya's revenge) appear to finally be coming to fruition. The Ed Sheeran cameo was a bit weird, though.
  8. What Remains of Edith Finch

    I'm surprised I haven't seen a thread for What Remains of Edith Finch up already, because it seems like a lot of people around here would enjoy it. Also having just watched the credits, our own Chris Remo and Jake Rodkin were among the playtesters (not to mention Brendon Chung and a number of other industry vets). Has anyone else played it yet? I'm not 100% sure what my thoughts are on it yet, other than that it's one of the most creative creative works I've seen in quite a while. The shifting ways it tells its stories are incredibly imaginative, and I suppose imagination is one of the main themes of the game. While playing it I thought it would be an amazing thing to show people who aren't "gamers", but I don't think I could play it all through again in front of someone right now, and you'd definitely lose something by not being the one exploring that strange place. I had very similar thoughts after finishing Gone Home, which is definitely kin to this game. Spoiler tags are a must if discussing any specifics of this one, though I'd note to anyone interested or concerned about having something spoiled for them; the game is only 2-3 hours long - so you can probably get to that part/finish the game pretty easily.
  9. The Witcher 3: What Geralt Wants

    Agreed, but you can see how that might come through a prickly, wounded pride from having him (seemingly) ignore her and run off with her friend for the last two games.
  10. Glow (TV Series)

    Another if you're into podcasts is the host of WTF with Marc Maron, whose name I forget.
  11. Glow (TV Series)

    Yeah, I watched and enjoyed it. It's one of those shows which, if I were to describe the premise and plot, would not seem at all worthwhile, but when you experience the implementation is actually very well done. The writing and performances are genuinely good, and while I was never Blown Away by any scene or episode in particular, I was never bored or uninterested in watching more.
  12. Penny Dreadful (TV series)

    I watched the first season and definitely had the up and down relationship you described. I didn't end up watching the second season because from the first episode I still felt so unsure of whether I actually liked it.
  13. Movie/TV recommendations

    Which one?
  14. The threat of Big Dog

    That's oddly hypnotic. I presume they're remote control and this isn't some terrifying sumo AI proving ground?
  15. American Gods (TV series)

    I've been watching it but I had no idea that was the season finale. They're really stretching this out. I'm enjoying the ride, because I still dig the style I mentioned earlier in the thread. I do hope they've got a good plan for where this is going, though, because it's definitely a story that could meander around to no purpose otherwise.
  16. Life

    I don't have advice or anything to share but I just wanted to say to both of you, SecretAsianMan and neonrev, that your recent posts resonated with me. In your case, SAM, I totally get the feeling of the state of the world being a permanent stressor and trying to find a work/life balance while still accomplishing what you want or need to do. I've definitely been reading the news less and less over the last year or so (Brexit decreased my desire to consume news and Trump decreased it further), and sometimes I feel guilty about not engaging as much with the world but it's just so fucking bleak any time I do that it's hard to want to be a part of all that. Neonrev, you summed up such a complicated situation so well at the end when you said this must be one of the dreams that motivates him, and I get the sense that you feel like you owe it to him to try to do this, but you just don't think you'll be able to (and don't really think it would be for you anyway). That's a shitty situation to be in, but I think it's to your credit that you're so sensitive to his state of mind and that your problem exists mostly for unselfish reasons - especially because you mostly don't plan holidays so those with families can. Again I don't really have any advice, but I hope things work out for both of you in at least a not horrible way. Hopefully it helps to know you're valued members of the best internet community there is, and that we wish you the best. This is one of the threads that constantly reminds me how special this place is and how lucky I am to have found it.
  17. American Gods (TV series)

    Yeah I'm still not 100% convinced but after two episodes I'm still willing to see where it goes. I really like the direction and production sensibilities - Bryan Fuller has pulled over the sensuously sinister vibe Hannibal had. Also the casting just seems really on the money.
  18. Jeff Goldblum

    Jeff Goldblum is somehow a national treasure in whatever country he's currently standing in.
  19. The McElroy Family of Products

    I've often thought about this in the context of authors - there's a saying that most people have a book in them, but almost no one has two. An author's debut work being fantastically well realised because they basically spent years to decades writing it in their head before it was ever close to being published, but then having following works be much less novel (pardon the pun) and interesting because they had to scramble to come up with something new within a year or two is a well recognised syndrome. I recognise that podcasting, especially when it's as improvised as with the McElroys, is a pretty different endeavour to writing a book, but I think the principle of a critical mass of creativity birthing an initial work and then struggling to maintain that energy long-term may still apply. I suspect it's especially difficult when you're putting something out every week with no off time, like for example a TV show would have, and now they're actually all putting out multiple podcasts/other projects a week + most of them having day jobs. That said, while I definitely don't adore MBMBAM as much as I did initially, I still find it amusing enough most of the time. And while I'm not 100% sure everything Griffin has set up with the Adventure Zone will really pay off, as someone who has been a GM for roleplaying games before I can say he's definitely put some effort in and at least tried some interesting stuff, and I really can't fault him for that. Those are the only McElroy shows I actually engage with, with the exception of Sawbones which is a pretty different animal, so if there's been a downturn in their other stuff I won't have noticed it.
  20. Masculinity

    I haven't looked into this much myself, it was just a tangent a genetics professor of mine went off on, but the XYY trisomy and the hypothesis being (I think) that people with it suffered from impulse control issues didn't really relate to testosterone. I don't know how much about that research, but the higher prisoner numbers thing is true as of last time I heard it. You're right that testosterone ≠ aggression, which I gestured to in my post, but as I said, gonadal hormones and sex chromosomes do appear to contribute to aggressive/non-aggressive responses in many mammals, including us. I'm nowhere near qualified to explain how (even if there is scientific consensus, and I'm not sure there is), but my point was simply that aggression has biological components that can relate to male/female physiology, as well as cultural components that can relate to gender.
  21. Masculinity

    For the record, this isn't a great example because aggression actually does have a number of biological links to sex. It's not quite as simple as "testosterone makes you aggressive" (although there is a correlation), but there are a number of interactions between gonadal hormones and sex chromosomes that relate to the control of aggression. As an example, it's hypothesised as contributing to the unusually high number of prisoners who have a sex chromosome XYY trisomy. However, behavioural science is complex, and there's a lot we still don't know about why people do things. Neurochemistry is a part of it, but the influence of cultural and social pressures are undeniable. I don't point out the biology to take away from your point, but rather to reinforce the idea that sex and gender and the many connotations they evoke are complicated, multifaceted concepts. Some of it is purely physiological, some of it is purely cultural, but actually there's a whole mess of stuff in the middle that is a bit of both. Which is to say: is a pretty reasonable place to be with the whole thing, in my opinion.
  22. Does anyone know of a good beginner's guide that's been updated for the recent patches/DLC? I'd quite like to try to jump into this game properly but I've no idea where to start on making a functional empire.
  23. Mass Effect Andromeda - Thumb Drive Engaged!

    This may be a case of a game companion dilemma whereby if the writers try to create a companion who is not immediately likeable, but has an interesting arc or backstory, they'll never get the chance to show it off because players will simply not hang out with the unlikeable character. Unfortunately while I haven't had the reaction of profound distaste some have towards the writing in Andromeda, I certainly don't have a great deal of faith that they can pull something that tricky off if I put the effort in to look for it. Also as Bjorn mentioned, there are characters that are interesting and I'm happy to talk to on the ship, who nevertheless never seem to contribute anything worthwhile or entertaining in a squad. Vetra's the main example, but Cora definitely falls into that category too. I'm not actively avoiding talking to her, but she's never in my mind to have around.
  24. Mass Effect Andromeda - Thumb Drive Engaged!

    Yeah I agree with your summation of the companions, and I'd add that Jaal is sort of an auto-include most of the time for story reasons. The angara are just so damn pervasive in the plot, at least early on, that it would feel strange to not have him along. Which I'm actually beginning to kinda resent, because it means I only have one actual rotating squadmate - which rather than "rotating" is now mostly just alternating between Drack and Peebee for the reasons you mentioned.
  25. The Last Guardian

    I thought that story hypothesis was interesting, but by comparison to other story analysis videos for other games it wasn't particularly well supported. The example that comes to mind is VaatiVidya on YouTube who makes similar videos about the Souls games - his videos are full of references illustrating how and why he came up with his theories. By contrast there are only a couple of brief spots in that video where the author mentions anything in the game that gave him the impression he's talking about, and much of it (like the people being split into two souls) doesn't appear to originate from anywhere in particular. Also I find it very hard to buy into the idea that the Trico are constructs, partly because of how strongly the robotic armour suits are contrasted with the organic, vulnerable and emotional Trico, but also partly because the entire intro video to the game is of a taxonomy document that seems to imply the Trico is another natural species.