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12:00 AM
Or rather, making it not work, I guess.
 
@nitsua60 You would probably have liked Babbage's error message protocols.
 
@nitsua60 Just curiously, what are your feelings on the sin^2 x notation?
 
Sorry =(
It destroys young minds.
 
[tsk]
 
@nitsua60 Hey, we all have our triggers.
 
12:01 AM
@Miniman Reminds me of the importance of the Oxford comma
 
Compare sin^2(x) and sin^-1(x) and tell me how we don't expect kids to hate trig.
Neither of those ever grace my notes; only (sin(x))^2 and arcsin(x).
 
@nitsua60 That is a pretty compelling point (though I don't like using that notation for inverse trig functions.)
 
@nitsua60 yeah, trig and algebra I find are annoying because they're rules-memorization classes, there aren't neat theories underlying what's going on and condensing it to a few key theorems
@SirTechSpec did you get my invite to the not-a-bar?
 
@Shalvenay There are, though =) They're just not dispensed to hoi polloi by the high priesthood.
 
@Shalvenay Yes there are! The majority of basic trig can be extrapolated from the first rules we learn.
 
12:03 AM
@nitsua60 therin lies the problem XD
 
@nitsua60 aaah :P that I actually think is a problem
 
@nitsua60 Also, I was going to say something bad about sin^-1, but I got beaten to it twice and gave up.
 
> If however any mistake had been made by the attendant, and a wrong logarithm had been accidentally given to the engine, it would have discovered the mistake, and have rung a louder bell to call the attention of its guide, who on looking at the proper place, would see a plate above the logarithm he had just put in with the word "wrong" engraven upon it.
[...] The Engine will always reject a wrong card by continually ringing a loud bell and stopping itself until supplied with the precise intellectual food it damands.
 
I'd also drop the argument whenever talking about some function generally. If we're just talking about the properties of the sine function, let's write "(sin())^2 + (cos())^2 = 1" and call it a day =)
Everything I learn about that man makes me love him more and more.
Including the things I've learnt about having to actually interact with him in person, which make me love living centuries away from him =)
 
@nitsua60 But...but...the proof deriving that is so beautiful!
 
12:07 AM
@Miniman Which one of many?
 
my problem isn't math classes per se though, it's math classes which masquerade as engineering classes (I'm looking at you, Field Theory/Signals) -- they wind up basically with lectures that have no connection to reality :/
 
@nitsua60 The one with a triangle :P
 
@Shalvenay I'm sorry your reality feels divorced from abstract mathematics. Come join us over here, where we can barely even tell the difference between 2D and 3D objects =)
@Miniman I might need to translate "the one with the triangle" into Latin and make it my family motto.
 
@nitsua60 it's a pain in the arse specifically in those classes because they're engineering classes -- it's like "how in the world are you intended to use this stuff when you're at the workbench?"
 
@nitsua60 Google says, Una cum triangulum.
 
12:10 AM
@Shalvenay Yeah, no, I can actually sympathize. I was just quipping =)
 
@nitsua60 If you want me to be more specific, though, I mean the one that follows from the basic definition of sin and cos in a right-angled triangle combined with Pythagoras' theorem.
 
(I think there's some nuance the auto translation is missing, though, as it re-translates to Together with the triangle.)
(Which may be a pretty good motto anyway.)
 
afk
 
12:39 AM
@Miniman want to spot-check a few sharpshooter/GWM numbers?
 
@nitsua60 Hit me.
 
Pick an (attack bonus, expected damage from dice, damage modifier) tuple and tell me what threshold AC you get?
(With advantage, that is)
Hiya, @LexK
 
@nitsua60 Attack bonus +9, damage 1d12 + 5, threshold AC 20.
(Interestingly, +2 damage from rage doesn't change the result with these numbers.)
 
@Miniman Hmm... 24 is definitely not the right number. (Hard to imagine how I could have made a mistake somewhere in loops nested seven-deep....)
 
@nitsua60 Ouch. What language are you using?
 
12:47 AM
MATLAB. Loop on attack bonus, damage dice, damage modifier, ac, die roll 1, die roll 2... oh, it's only six loops =) Definitely one too many "end"s, then, and I'm ending everything at the wrong time =\
 
@nitsua60 Can I haz codez plz?
 
(3.04 seconds)
 
(I don't know MATLAB at all, but I'm curious and bored.)
 
@Miniman How should I get it to you?
 
@nitsua60 Email incoming
 
12:49 AM
got it
 
Awesome
 
@Miniman [whoosh]
 
@nitsua60 Lex says hi but doesn't have enough rep to post in chat :P
 
@SirTechSpec aah. Cool. Lex is a RL acquaintance?
 
My meatspace roomie, yes.
...dot tumblr dot com
 
However, we have replaced "in bed" with "with this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station!" as the phrase to tack onto the end of fortune cookies.
 
@nitsua60 Is that a list you're curating?
 
@BESW This raises important questions about how I make new friends.
 
@BESW HAH! That's pretty great. Need to try that.
 
@Miniman hmm... mail delivery subsystem failure. It was 4847430, right?
 
1:00 AM
@nitsua60 With a u on the front.
 
@SirTechSpec Enjoy.
 
Step 1. Get off the Internet.
Step 2. Realize that meatspace is full of non-nerds and immediately get back on the Internet.
 
Dec 12 '14 at 8:47, by BESW
> New Besties: Because I have a fully armed and operational battle station, I can use Shoot instead of Rapport to make friends.
 
@BESW It's mildly disturbing that you had that one ready.
 
@SirTechSpec It's possible that one night I really didn't want to do dishes and, instead, trawled through transcripts grabbing every good band, great band, good song, good album, good talk show, good hoity elf... and copying htem into a spreadsheet. It's possible.
 
1:02 AM
@SirTechSpec lol
 
@nitsua60 Highly improbable, of course. I mean, who would do that? But still possible. :DDD
@BESW (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧.
HOkay, my computer is about to shut off to remind me to go to bed. Pleasant $TIME_OF_DAY_DESC, everyone!
 
@SirTechSpec $ADJECTIVE $TIME_OF_DAY to $SUBJECT too!
 
ttfn
 
@Miniman aah. I scratched out the little squiggle at the front of my scratchpad, thinking I'd double-written the first '4'. Also, I realized I left out critical misses, so gimme a minute to fix that and they'll be on their way.
 
1:12 AM
@nitsua60 Awesome, thanks!
 
@BESW Strange and Norrell was a pretty good 400 page novel stuck inside a 1000 page tome, IMO
 
@JoelHarmon Agreed. The TV series is in some ways better for the shortening.
 
@Miniman Sorcerer Points can get you multiple level 9's between short rests by cannibalizing most of your other spells
@BESW haven't started the series yet. A friend really loves that book, mostly because he's extremely interested in interpersonal relationships, but I found it very dry to get into.
 
@JoelHarmon Ooof, good point. There's always someone - I remembered to check the Warlock capstone, but that only applies to their Pact Magic slots.
 
[whoosh]
 
1:19 AM
@nitsua60 [splat]
 
then there's the warlock/sorc insanity
but let's ignore that....
 
Yeah, never remembering that again would be awesome.
 
With the Big T, why not just spam polymorph until it's a bunny? Then, in bunny form, hit it with a L9 sucker-punch?
 
...why not cut out the middleman and just polymorph a bunny into the Big T when you need one?
 
@nitsua60 Oh yeah, I saw that comment with my early morning checks, but forgot to reply. It's a solid strat - polymorph is about the lowest level thing that Big T can't afford to be hit with.
@BESW You can only polymorph things into things as powerful as themselves or less in 5e.
So you can polymorph Big T into a bunny, but you can only polymorph bunnies into other harmless creatures.
 
1:23 AM
So... polymorph a bunny into a very realistic cardboard cutout of Big T, and hope nobody's stupid enough to get close and notice?
Or, yanno, build a city on it.
 
hey there @JoelHarmon
 
[insert Buffy reference here]
 
@nitsua60 But then, why not just polymorph the bunny into a rock the size of the city? (Yes, you can do this, because True Polymorph is dumb.)
 
Honestly, is there a L9 that isn't totally Tippy?
 
@nitsua60 Meteor Swarm maybe? If only because the only thing you can do with it is what it says on the tin.
 
1:28 AM
ugh. Windows Server 2012. Let's take a UI designed for touch screens, and use it for servers.
 
@nitsua60 Or, actually, Foresight. Its effect is simple enough that I can't think of any way it could be abused.
 
Okay, @Miniman, so sanity-check my pseudocode:
`foreach (attack mod, expected damage from dice, damage mod) tuple`
` loop over AC; when you first get "regular" damage better than "-5/+10" damage, record current AC-1.`
That's all it should be, right?
 
@nitsua60 Yep!
 
(line breaks break markdown... duh.)
 
I was just looking at your code, but kept getting distracted.
The core function is pretty straightforward, and looks good.
The "setup" code (if you see what I mean) is harder to understand, never having used Matlab.
 
1:36 AM
Gosh, I'm an idiot. Trash that code. Forget I ever wrote it. Why the hell am I six loops deep in a language that's optimized for array operations?
(I mean, I still don't see where the error could be, but I'm at least three layers more-complicated than's necessary.)
 
@nitsua60 Because loops are easier to write, since they allow you to think about the problem one step at a time, whereas arrays require you to think about the whole problem at once, even though array-based code ends up being simpler than loop-based code?
 
@Miniman Yup. The first little six-line block creates the list (2.5, 3.5, 4.5, 5.5, 6.5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 9.5, 10.5, 11.5, 12.5, 13.5, 13, 14, 15...). It's d4, d6, d8, d10, d12 + up to 10 sneak attack dice, then also 2d6 + 10 SA dice.
[take 3]
 
Wow, Matlab is not interested in making it easy for people to trial it.
 
@JoelHarmon -- you there?
 
@Miniman Not that I know of. But with your .edu address I'll bet you can get a full copy for something like $50 or $100. (At least, in US that's what educational copies cost.)
 
1:50 AM
I mean, I'm perfectly OK with being told "No trial for you." But asking me "Do you intend to have an Internet connection at all times while using this software?" and then refusing me a trial when I say "No" seems a bit unreasonable, especially since there was no indication that this was a requirement, and even more so since I went back and answered "Yes" and got the trial.
@nitsua60 Yeah, but I'm not a student anymore :(
 
@Shalvenay yes, sorry; also, hi. My wife came home and I talked to her for a bit before getting caught up here
 
@JoelHarmon is now a good time to pick up from earlier, or start something new instead? (also >> NAB?)
 
both
 
Anyway, lunchtime. I'll be back later.
(Although I'll still be checking here occasionally on my phone as always.)
 
2:21 AM
@Miniman [whoosh] again; much cleaner, and something's changed, 'cause I now get a match to your one example. I'm going to work on trying to reduce dimensionality by 1; if you get some time would you mind generating a few more thresholds to spot-check? How about (+5, 42, 11) and (+20, 2.5, 3)? First one does enough damage that I'd expect we never want to use -5/+10, second is so likely to hit but does so little damage when it does that we really want to use -5/+10.
 
2:33 AM
@Miniman I was wrong about sorcerers - can't create a slot higher than level 5
and since warlock caps at 5th level as well, I think you were right about that
 
Anybody here have any experience with Danger Patrol?
 
Alright, @Miniman, I've got 8064 AC thresholds for you, any time you want them =)
I've convinced myself they're right, and am nowhere near figuring out how one might present them in a neat-and-tidy table. Or, yanno, nine neat-and-tidy tables =\
 
I'm wondering what would happen if I reduced the abilities from 4/4 to 3/3 or 2/2.
 
@nitsua60 consider graphing an always-use line and a never-use line for each build, though 18 will get rough on one graph
for that, consider a 'good builds' and 'other stuff' with a same-line reference
@Miniman I skimmed the full casters, and I think the only bet for multiple level 9s in one day is Cleric with a 9 and then a Divine Intervention to fake another one
 
@JoelHarmon So, the challenge is that once advantage enters the picture there's a huge spread between some of those lines. Like, maybe 10 AC points. I think that knowing the "real" threshold for your situation lies somewhere in that large an envelope isn't very useful.
 
2:48 AM
yeah, (dis)advantage would triple your data sets
 
Without (dis)advantage the three inputs of attack bonus, expected damage from dice, and damage bonus algebraically reduce to one "mixed" variable, basically. With (dis)advantage, it's... ugly.
 
So, adding more factors complicates things? You don't say.... :)
I suppose you could merge expected damage from dice and damage bonus into just expected damage
 
I did that! Which gave me nice, clean graphs. Because they were wrong =(
The tiny errors introduced by ignoring how crits care about dice vs. modifiers was enough to, in some cases, bump an AC threshold up or down by 1.
Consider the single d20 roll, and its outcomes:
 
ah, crit.
 
The vertical axis is "AC at which or below you'd be better using -5/+10"
Horizontal axis is (attack bonus - expected damage/2)
(conflating damage dice and modifiers, basically)
Note that as expected damage gets high relative to attack bonus--moving to the left--we're generating vertical spread.
In other words, in those cases it matters where the expected damage's coming from: damage dice vs. damage modifiers.
But, actually, that's only when you're looking at something like a 2d6 greatsword + 8d6 from sneak-attack dice; the imbalance between dice-damage and mod-damage starts to spread the AC calculation. (Or, conversely, a STR24 character wielding a dagger+3.)
So this reduces nicely to AC = floor(attack bonus - expected damage/2)+16, which is correct except in some really extreme cases.
But look at the same chart when the attack is advantaged:
That ^^, my friends, is why I'm going to bed =)
(@Miniman: look upon what you have wrought, and tremble.)
So I've got to try to find a better dimensional reduction to get (attack, dice damage, damage modifier) down to at most 2 inputs. I'm not expecting to get to 1 this time.
 
3:08 AM
@nitsua60 Sorry, those three numbers are attack bonus, average damage from dice, and damage modifier?
 
@Miniman Ayup.
 
@nitsua60 Ok, first one I find the threshold AC at 3.
Second one, I find the threshold AC at 27.
Wait, that was with advantage. Not sure if you just wanted the flat cases.
With a straight d20, I find the threshold AC for the second one at 25.
The first one, with a straight d20, I find the threshold AC at 2.
 
3:24 AM
hey there @Reibello
 
hola
 
how're things going?
 
Reasonably well, and you?
 
@Reibello alright here
 
3:57 AM
Hey @nitsua60 I know you went to bed, but I found that file you wanted - goo.gl/xn6lK6
 
@Adeptus Are you about?
 
4:22 AM
yep
 
in Not a bar, but plays one on TV, 18 mins ago, by Joel Harmon
((@Miniman if you get a chance, I'd be curious to get your take on the Simpsons episode wherein they visit Australia))
Not having seen it, I didn't feel qualified to answer.
 
Oh right
@JoelHarmon I haven't seen it for a while, but I remember the reaction of most of us at the time being, "Why did they make up all this ridiculous stuff, when there's enough real ridiculous stuff they could have made fun of?"
 
 
3 hours later…
7:20 AM
(I waited for it to appear in the RSS feed, but it hasn't, for whatever reason).
With that, we have 2 posts scheduled, covering the Botch Blog till next Tuesday. After that: darkness, wind, wolves howling.
 
The RSS checks periodically; I'm not sure exactly how frequently.
 
I'm contemplating writing an entry on "the time my backstory was too specific".
 
I'd read that.
 
Ayup, sounds good.
Stories for Botch Blog don't need to be profound or unique or widely applicable. They just need to be true.
2
 
Thinking further, I might get the player who didn't make the same mistake to co-write it with me - both because she's a better writer and because I'd draw heavily on the contrast between the two to demonstrate how it was a mistake.
Either way, I'll send it to one of you if I get it written out.
 
7:31 AM
@Miniman Sure, if that's easier for you, I can post it.
 
@Magician If it's easier for me to join/be added/I have no idea how WordPress works, that's cool too. I just assmed the simplest option was for one of you to post.
 
It's very easy to register. I'll need your email address (which you can send me via the Contribute link in the top right corner, if that's your preference), so I can invite you to be a contributor.
 
@Magician Awesome, done!
 
Invited :)
 
@kviiri There it is!
 
7:42 AM
Well that's a game changer - fixing my profile image on wordpress also fixed it on data.SE.
 
huh
just that one?
 
It's because SE uses gravatar by default - beyond that, I don't really know.
 
@Magician Oh, yeah. I'm right there with you.
 
@Adeptus Yup. I thought this one might resonate with quite a few people.
 
I have managed to avoid the creaky shelves. I have a dusty HDD though.
 
7:53 AM
@Miniman ah, maybe I turned that setting off or something, or just never noticed it
 
My version of that is scaled down to "I have all these free PDFs I'll never have time to read."
 
At least free pdfs don't take up space and didn't cost you anything...
 
I could maybe write something about making "one-trick-pony" characters. Specifically, my Gnoll-hating Ranger who I retired not long ago. He was great at shooting Gnolls; not too good at much else.
 
@trogdor To be more specific - SE uses gravatar by default, so until you set your profile image, it's something like @kviiri 's. data.SE, however, only uses gravatar, so you can't change it. But changing it for wordpress changes it for gravatar, so now gravatar knows what I look like, and by extension, data.SE does too.
 
Yeah, I'm pretty good about not spending lots of money on this sort of thing. And since our FLGS's version of "lots of games" is "We have some 5e expansion books!" there's not much opportunity for impulse buys anyway.
 
7:55 AM
@Miniman ah ok, so that is why everyone has that fractal thing to start with?
 
(I replaced the Ranger with a Cleric. Much more universally useful now.)
 
It's a little weird that @kviiri's image is different in the chatline and the sidebar.
 
@trogdor Yep, it's based on your IP.
 
(and of course, some people keep it, which is fine)
 
@trogdor Are you saying your face isn't fractal?
 
7:56 AM
@BESW That's been happening with Shalvenay's too.
 
@Magician nope, rare non-fractal disease
 
@Magician That's what comes of not moisturising.
 
veeeeeery rare
 
@BESW I recalled my random art being more light blue, not the darkish-purple I see now.
Huh, it looks more blue than purpish on my phone.
I'm too fond of it to pick a proper avatar :)
 
Did it... did it just change color?
 
8:00 AM
@Magician It switches back and forth between a brighter and darker blue and a slightly different pattern.
 
It looks black&white now, and purple half a page before.
Weird!
 
Only one of them is the real kviiri.
 
Dark greenish blue, and a heavier saturation purple-blue.
 
Wow. My avatar is the new #thedress
 
8:03 AM
@Magician @doppelgreener has been conspicuously absent lately.
Perhaps he's become a doppelkviiri.
 
Creepy.
 
@kviiri I suggest you screenshot the one you like, and make it into a proper gravatar.
 
@kviiri Nah, your avatar isn't unwholesomely ugly.
 
Zing!
 
Anyway, I gotta go do some meatspace gaming - cy'all later!
 
8:08 AM
@BESW, I've been reading Fate Core materials from the page you linked. It sounds terribly fun. I like the idea of aspects, it sounds like a better-executed version of Savage World Edges and Hindrances.
 
@kviiri My group certainly enjoys it.
 
Or well, more like Hindrances in particular, since they're the ones that are more about roleplaying while edges tend to be more focused on mechanical benefits.
 
I'm not very familiar with Savage World, but I've seen a number of different systems that use "phrasal truth" mechanics and they tend to succeed in proportion to the freedom given the group in adjudicating them.
 
Well, basically characters can buy, at character creation, extra skill points or edges in exchange of hindrances. Hindrances range from largely mechanical to largely narrative ones, and players are simply expected to roleplay them. They do get "bennies" from the GM for good roleplaying, though.
My character in Deadlands:Reloaded, for example, was once attacked by a huge cat monster. This left my character a Minor Hindrance of Phobia pertaining to cats. It gives me a small roll penalty whenever there's cats nearby.
But aspects sound more fun because they're more closely tied to the narrative.
And also because one can define them themselves, of course, instead of picking from a list.
Also, compelling sounds like a good way to formalize the idea that people should strive to roleplay their characters' weaknesses too.
 
Yeah, making them up can be a lot of fun--although when I first started playing Fate, I kept trying to get too fancy and clever with my aspects.
 
8:24 AM
Holy macaroni!
The Final Preview for Apocalypse World 2e is here!
/me does the Snoopy dance
 
Link? I'll put it in the pin.
 
@kviiri well, except the same people see both colors XD
 
Raah, we backed a 4-pack with some friends and apparently I can't access it directly, need to wait for a friend to open it for me.
@trogdor Well the dress was notorious for tripping people into seeing it differently at different times too.
 
oooh really?
I thought it was a whole thing where everyone saw it as the same thing, but there were two different versions
 
8:37 AM
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinning_Dancer kinda like the spinning dancer, who some people see as going clockwise, others as going counterclockwise, and yet others as going in different directions at different times.
@trogdor Yeah, that's about it. But some people were further confused by seeing it differently at different times.
 
ah
 
8:49 AM
@BESW going through all the necessary processes has been a bit time-consuming. preparing to usurp kviiri's entire life and identity and become a doppelganger of them is not simple.
 
hello
 
9:05 AM
how's stuff?
managed to get yourself sorted over the long weekend?
 
@doppelgreener lol
also, I hope you are settling in well
 
@eimyr @trogdor getting myself reasonably settled :)
 
9:36 AM
cool
 
9:58 AM
Tonight's dinner is take-out, because I sliced my thumb up pretty bad on the onions.
[types one-handed]
 
ouch
 
oof. sorry to hear that.
 
10:11 AM
@BESW Blade kisses. I hope it was freshly sharpened and will leave no scar
 
Freshly but not assiduously sharpened.
Scars are eh, I'm mostly worried about how this is going to complicate my design work; that was my modifier-key thumb.
(The same thumb already has a scar from a cheese slicer.)
 
Tense, uneven or nerve-dead scars are bad. It's likely not to be either of these.
 
I've got scars from pencils, doors, a split bamboo fence... my life is not adventurous, but rather accident-prone. Luckily only the bamboo fence needed stitches.
 
The most visible scars I have are all from a single tumble I had with my bike.
 
The scar on my head (which was harder than the car it hit) has almost faded with time, but the one on my arm (from breaking it) is quite prominent, though also quite recent.
1
Q: What happen when a creature possesed by an intellect devourer is true polymorphed?

ChepelinkLet's asume that a new party member, alredy possessed by an intellect devourer, is true polymorphed into a dog by the wizard as part of his initiation ritual (and a big message that said "don't mess with me"). What would happen to the intellect devourer and/or the possessed member? Keep in mind ...

^Asking the important questions
Semi-annual reminder that ID Odds is there for all your intellect devourer-related needs, wants and desires.
2
And one day I will write the intellect devourer romance story you never knew you needed. Fifty Shades of Grey Matter?
 
10:30 AM
I think many pulp romance stories qualify as intellect devourers in their own right.
 
It's a slight impediment to my plan that I haven't read Twilight or the like. But I won't let that stop me.
 
10:47 AM
@Magician No superb romance author ever let a lack of research stop them from writing the best-worst romance series of their generation.
 
@doppelgreener My thinking on the topic hasn't progressed much further than the title, but I feel the title is strong enough to carry it.
 
@doppelgreener Twilight being a case in point, actually; Meyer claims to have known nothing about vampires except what she'd absorbed through pop cultural osmosis.
(Which makes it so fascinating that the more you know about the history of vampires in pop culture, the more her vampires make sense.)
(Her lack of research on Native Americans, on the other hand...)
 
11:05 AM
@Adeptus That seems like a reasonable reaction to a show that's fundamentally parody, but I'm certainly not expert enough to say how well it was done in the case of Australia. On the other hand, I don't recall a single mention of anything poisonous. :P
 
Swooping. Season.
 
Swooping season isn't poisonous
 
Don't give it any ideas.
 
TIL
Is there anything there that's not trying to kill you, even if it lack the means to do so?
 
Me.
 
11:08 AM
@eimyr Everybody talks about how Australia is so dangerous and such, and the Aussies say "Oh, it's not that bad!" and I'm just "Swooping season" and they have to go "well, okay."
 
FWIW the videos about swooping season are probably the most sensational bits
 
...I feel I didn't get enough credit for being an Australian resident who's neither venomous nor murderous.
3
 
You still may be poisonous.
 
You'd have to be murderous yourself to find out.
I don't even swoop!
 
BTW, do you come from Australia?
 
11:16 AM
@doppelgreener Yeah, see, when the Wall Street Journal said that Guam's snakes "hang from trees like fat brown strands of cooked spaghetti," we could say "No. No, they do not." We didn't have to say "Well, only sometimes."
 
Because if not, you may be an invasive species and that sorts itself out.
 
@eimyr Nope. I'm Russian, originally, though I've lived in Au for a while now.
 
OH BOY don't make a Polish guy make a joke about invasive neighbours.
 
Swooping season to me is this: each year, there's a chance that for a few weeks, somewhere along a walking and/or cycling route I use, there might be a magpie with a nest set up guarding a 10-20m stretch. It will swoop by and clack its beak near my ear. It's kinda scary. I don't get hurt. It is enough for me to want to change my route slightly if I can.
Like are there 2 paths I can use to get to the place? ok, I'll use the other one for now.
In general, while most of the world has very large carnivores who might hunt you, or very large herbivores who might kick your ribcage in, Australia just has a whole lot of moderate-to-small marsupials happy to mind their own business but with decent defence mechanisms if they're not able to. You don't see these unless you're out in the bush.
Spiders are harmless and the dangerous ones make themselves obvious.
(The huntsman people freak out about is awesome for pest control.)
 
When I was in Tanzania, I kept two spiders in my room safe from the cleaning lady. They occasionally caught mosquitoes in their webs, which I appreciated.
 
11:20 AM
@doppelgreener Huntsmen may be harmless, but I'd rather not have a giant hairy spider hiss at me in my own house, thankyouverymuch.
 
They were pretty bad at it though.
I think, in retrospect, that I shouldn't have had fed them the corpses of the ones I caught myself. Maybe they needed more pressure to work well.
 
I'm okay with wolf spiders so long as they aren't in the kitchen, my bed, or my face.
I put them out when I can catch them now, though, because our new apartment isn't a good place for them to live.
 
I'm very arachnophobic. I can't handle even small spiders if they have thick legs.
 
...and it was admittedly startling to get a plate-wide leg span at eye level on the screen door when I went out to the back porch.
But they hunt roaches and even baby rats, so yey!
 
Wolf spiders look sort of cute up close. upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/29/…
 
11:25 AM
While I generally appreciate spiders for what they do, I am unable to coexist with them peacefully. That's why I probably shouldn't move to countries like yours.
 
Come to Finland, the most dangerous wild animal we have is the moose.
 
We also get teensie little jumping spiders in various colours, which are adorable but kinda bitey at night, and that's itchy.
 
And even mooses are dangerous only for their habit of jumping in front of cars, which is a non-issue if you stay in the city.
 
@BESW That is precisely what I do with huntsmen and why.
 
I know people who've lived here their entire lives and never seen a brown tree snake, because they live in the more developed areas.
I, on the other hand, grew up in the boonies.
 
11:28 AM
@BESW It's pretty much like that here. Like, people can point at all the deadly fauna and flora here, but they're not all in the one place, right? And they're not in the cities.
 
@doppelgreener Well, except the spiders.
Venomous spiders freak me right out.
 
I have a running total of 3 funnel webs and 2 (maybe 3?) redbacks seen in my life and all of them were killed.
Those do show up in the cities from time to time.
 
Age has made me worse with insects. I used to be quite fine with horseflies and mosquitoes when I went out to country. Nowadays I'm just so offended in principle that an annoying parasite could lay eggs made of MY hard-earned proteins that I simply can't tolerate bites.
 
@kviiri Don't you have brown bears in the mountains?
 
And I have to give Australia credit for letting the Americas invent the manchineel.
 
11:33 AM
pretty sure machineel outdoes even gympie gympie
 
@eimyr We hardly have any mountains (just fells in the Lapland), but bears are quite common everywhere except urban centers. They tend to avoid humans though. There's been like one recorded fatal bear attack during the past 20 years.
Bear alerts happen once or twice per Summer, when young bears get lost when foraging and wind up in urban areas.
 
@kviiri honestly given modern medicine's abilities, when someone mentions a statistic about fatal attacks I'm given to wonder how many attacks there were involving grievous bodily harm.
 
@doppelgreener Fair point.
 
the fatal attacks are still a good indicator though
 
Well, kids in school are taught how to handle bears. Make a decent amount of racket when walking in the woods --> bears be like "o shit, not humans again" and vanish.
 
11:37 AM
hahaha
just don't go carrying a pick-a-nick basket as well
 
haha
 
Humans - we run fast, taste bad and kill you first.
Well, we don't run fast enough to outrun a bear, except maybe if one'd go in a zig-zag pattern.
 
@kviiri I had to teach a bunch of kids to do that last time we went hiking in the early morning; wild boars are generally not a problem unless you startle them or fall asleep looking particularly tasty.
 
@BESW Wild boars eat people? Wow
 
pigs will eat anything
 
11:40 AM
Not regularly, but pigs are opportunistic omnivores and wild boars can hit 90 kg.
Hungry pigs will turn cannibal.
 
I see.
 
A single wild boar probably will leave a human alone unless it feels threatened.
 
Same with bears, yeah.
 
@kviiri i'm told the primary advantages of bipeds over quadrupeds in terms of running is sheer acceleration. quadruped movement is more complex to get going, so we can get going a bit quicker. once we're going though, quadrupeds can move much faster.
 
But if you fall asleep in the jungle and a herd of six or eight boars comes across you? They're gonna start re-evaluating their choices.
 
11:42 AM
@BESW Any pigs will turn cannibal, newborn piglets often bite each other looking for iron. Yes, licking off others' blood. That's what they do.
 
@doppelgreener True, but lower mass gives humans an advantage in sudden turns (less momentum to undo) and also humans are among the best endurance runners in the animal kingdom.
 
lesson learned, run from a bear in zigzags.
 
@Kviiri but we also have less footing area, so balance is an issue
 
@doppelgreener I've heard that advice apply to elephants, at least. Not 100% sure if it's enough against bears, but definitely better than straight line.
 
@doppelgreener if it's brown, lie down. If it's black, fight back. If it's white you don't need to remember this little poem because there's nothing you can do.
2
Brown bears do not eat carrion, not even a very fresh one. Try to fart or soil yourself while palying dead.
 
11:44 AM
so around brown bears you just play dead and try to get ignored?
 
Of course the canonical advice they give is not to run at all unless totally out of other options. They taught my generation to lie down and play dead, but nowadays they tell one to back off, making calm but loud sounds, without making eye contact. Maintaining that one's a threat without being aggressive, sort of.
@doppelgreener I think this is falling out of favor, which makes sense because brown bears forage on carrion, too.
 
And if it's a cougar, try opera.
 
@doppelgreener depends. Do you have food on you? If so, it will NOT leave.
If you don't you might consider playing dead, because fighting the thing is a bad idea, and you're in mountains, there's no way you can outrun a bear.
 
@kviiri i've read that wolves need to be responded to by moving away, neither particularly facing toward or away from them. (so like, sideways-ish.) if you run, you're telling them you're viable prey. if you walk toward them you might threaten them. if you walk away you're taking your eyes off them, which isn't a wise move.
 
While they will not climb up trees, they can happily topple one.
 
11:46 AM
@doppelgreener Wolves hunt in a similar manner to human civilizations - they try to work their prey to exhaustion. That advice makes sense.
 
...huh. I did not expect a Thunderbirds history question to hit the HNQ.
 
@BESW do benefit us with a link to it?
 
4
Q: Thunderbirds F.A.B

ScottIn Gerry Anderson's 'Thunderbirds'(1965-66), the Tracy brothers (Scott, John, Virgil, Gordon and Alan) would respond on the radio "F.A.B." meaning 'affirmative' or 'understood'. There are many theories as to the meaning to this acronym. While watching 'The Right Stuff', I noted that V...

 
@doppelgreener If you're attacked by wolves it means that you are in the mountains, it's winter, you're in the woods and they are truly desperate. That means you are a local aware of their presence and you take your gun with you or you're stupid tourist and you'll die of exposure without their involvement anyway.
 
@eimyr Or, according to Russian paintings, you're in a troika and must throw someone out to distract the wolves while everyone else gets away.
 
11:57 AM
Apparently in polish paintings if you're in the same situation (troika, wolves, etc.) you shoot your gun.
 
This seems like it might hint at a significant difference in cultural paradigm.
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In Finland we have like 200 wolves. Enough to bother some.
Some people get very worked up about the possibility there's a wolfpack living nearby, despite never even knowing anyone who has ever seen a wolf.
 
I found that Russian stories much more often portray a hero as only superficially empowered and his struggles are more often thwarted by lack of knowledge or imperfect understanding of the situation. In Polish stories if the hero loses, it's usually because of overwhelming odds and sheer power of the enemy.
 
I feel Finnish mythological heroes tend to be thwarted by their petty vices. Like women, wine or hubris. But my sample size is rather small.
Aww, my GM is disappointed by the new AW2e book. He was hoping for more new stuff, I guess.
 
12:23 PM
@eimyr If I haven't yet mentioned Gary Saul Morson's Narrative and Freedom: The Shadows of Time to you, consider it mentioned.
 
@BESW what's it about?
 
@SirTechSpec The idea that many of us consider our lives as forms of story.
It uses various forms of Russian literature and philosophy as examples of different kinds of story (or rejection of story) on the level of cultural identity, and its impact on personal and societal choices.
(The concept of "narrative time" is particularly interesting to me because it touches on issues of identity related to my faith, but I think it's generally an interesting read. I don't agree with all of it, but often disagreement sparks more thoughtful attitudes in me.)
 
12:57 PM
We left 3D printer running overnight to finish this dog. It seems to have deviated from the program. #librarylife https://t.co/Esb2SbBiaj
 
uurrrrRRRGGGGHHHH [rolls eyes] 3D printing
 
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