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12:28 AM
@Gallifreyan You just want your tag badge progress for the non-CW answer, don't you? ;-)
It doesn't matter though, since all answers that lead to successful challenges will probably end up deleted.
(At least, that's the way we've been doing it over on Puzzling.)
@Emrakul At the risk of starting another holy war ... I think all the very long discussion we had about CW a few weeks back was mainly about CW answers, and that SE says questions should "almost never" (whatever that means) be CW. The problem with a CW question is that it forces all answers to be CW, whether they want to be or not.
@Shokhet Definitely.
@Mithrandir So you don't want to hear about integration of holomorphic complex functions around keyhole contours using the residue theorem?
1:05 AM
A: Can I ask about Sherlock Holmes books?

Rand al'ThorNot here ... As other answers have already pointed out, pretty much none of the Sherlock Holmes have any science fiction or fantasy elements whatsoever, making them firmly off-topic for this site. ... but on Literature! On the newly created (around two months old) Literature SE, Sherlock Holme...

^ plug for Lit on SFF
hey I know that asker
Very quick acceptance too!
16 seconds, wow.
That's hardly enough time to click on and read the answer.
helka's on PPCG almost 24/7
Oh, Helka Homba is the former Calvin's Hobbies?
Pretty sure I've met him on Puzzling.
Also, +1 for a username inspired by Lord of the Rings and Watership Down.
@Randal'Thor yeah
1:32 AM
@BESW if you don't propose it I will :)
@Hamlet I'm considering proposing Sergei Lukyanenko's Watch series for a topic challenge, on the grounds that it's a non-English work (with a good translation into English), but I'm not really sure how popular it is, either in Russia or in the English-speaking world. DVK and I seem to be the only ones around here who know the series, but we might not be a representative sample.
It's also fantasy, which you at least didn't want to see in topic challenges. But Watch questions tend to go quite unnoticed over on SFF, for whatever that's worth - again, pretty much just me and DVK participating.
Ugh. I want to improve my answer to the Twain question and also post a meta inspired by it, but both will have to wait.
@Randal'Thor I know of it, have plans to read it, just haven't yet
@Ash Do. It's really good.
I very rarely find a book which appeals to me on a moral level, but the portrayal of Light Ones and Dark Ones, and the way our perception of them changes over the course of the books, is very well done and fascinating.
It's also very Russian.
@Randal'Thor [shrug] The truth is, I don't really actually give a crap whether it's CW or not. It's meta, it doesn't matter anyway.
If people really want it to not be CW, I'd be happy to change it back.
1:46 AM
@Randal'Thor I'm not sure if you mean that as a reason I should or shouldn't. I took a lot of Russian language in university, along with some Russian lit and Russian culture stuff :)
@Ash Neither: it was just a comment (and, from me, something of a compliment). But if you already know a fair bit about Russian culture, that will only add to your appreciation of the Watch series.
@Randal'Thor Awesomesauce :)
Right now I'm reading a romance novel but the first Night Watch book is on my ereader, so I will get to it sooner rather than later :)
(I've read 108 books this year so far)
@Ash Dear lord, how do you have time?
1:53 AM
I read 800+ wpm, and I read a lot. :)
@Ash In 2017, or over the past 365 days?
@HDE226868 Since January 1st
@Ash . . . Wow.
@Ash Wow.
Tell me your secrets, O Ash. [pricks myself on the blood-altar]
1:54 AM
This should hopefully list everything I've read
@Ash Ask more questions about them! :-)
Crap, nope, only works for me when I am signed in
Ah, there we go, that works
@Randal'Thor definitely sounds interesting. My hesitation is that we already have one Russian book challenge that's been highly upvoted: I would probably prefer to focus on another region for now.
1:55 AM
@Randal'Thor A lot of them so far haven't really prompted questions but I should noodle on it some
@Hamlet Yeah, that's another reason I'm holding back. I guess I'll keep it in reserve and maybe post it at a later date.
FYI if you didn't see Ash's link here it is: goodreads.com/user_challenges/6987377
(Fair warning, some of those are erotica. Just as a heads up.)
I need to know how you reach 800 wpm, though.
@Emrakul speed reading, I'm guessing. I've tried it but I always get tired.
2:01 AM
I've always read really fast since I was a kid
@Ash advice?
Do you experience any noticeable drop in content comprehension at high speeds?
I don't know how I do it, I just do
@Emrakul I read at the same speed all the time.
I don't do anything special, I've never like trained for it
2:01 AM
I just read
Huh. Quick question: do you have a voice in your head reading words as you read them?
@Emrakul I would be shocked if Ash does
@Emrakul Sometimes
It depends on the book.
How does one measure one's wpm?
I'm curious now about what mine is.
2:03 AM
@Randal'Thor Reading speed tests online will do it.
Hey, would that be an on-topic question for the site?
I passively read ~300-400, and around 400-500 if I'm trying to read something quickly (when I've had enough sleep).
It's about reading skills, which is kiiiiiind of about appreciating literature?
@Randal'Thor in my mind, no. The productivity stack exchange is a better place. And they probably already have a question about it
@Emrakul What is this "sleep" of which you speak?
2:04 AM
@Randal'Thor About four hours.
in Mos Eisley, Dec 13 '16 at 19:28, by Rand al'Thor
Jun 25 at 11:34, by MannlyMann
@steelerfan sleep is for the week
900 words, 85% comprehension according to that test
510 wpm, 100% comprehension
900 is insane, esp. on a computer
2:13 AM
@Emrakul Eh. I get 345 wpm (and 82% comprehension), but a) I'm tired, it's past 2am, and b) that text is not the easiest to read - dry and full of figures and statistics. I could feel myself reading a lot slower than normal.
@Randal'Thor That's reasonable. 2 AM isn't a great time to take a cognitive processing test.
I'll try again with a different test some time when I'm more awake.
Makes sense!
> Research shows that reading is around 25% slower from a computer screen than from paper.
Really? Why?
I would've guessed that I'm faster at reading from a screen than paper, at least these days after all my practice on SE.
Possibly sans serif. Sans fonts are harder to distinguish.
2:59 AM
That sounds pretty reasonable. It seems way more comfortable to read from paper.
2 hours later…
5:28 AM
@BESW we have a course called "Physics for Poets", based on the book of the same name
5:58 AM
@BESW and now I have added more things to my to read list..
6:24 AM
@Ash bweheheheh.
Also I started Digger tonight, it's absolutely fantastic so far. I'm only 75 pages in, but I'm having fun.
3 hours later…
9:55 AM
Should vague ramblings written on loo rolls be on-topic? Just askin'.
Feb 13 at 9:35, by BESW
If a napkin scrawl question is otherwise answerable, the napkin don't matter to me.
2 hours later…
11:50 AM
Hah, I'm epigrammatic.
12:19 PM
Mos Eisley is having a movie night for Starship Troopers this Saturday. Thought people here might be interested, even if the film is not really based on the book. If you're interested in attending, you can register here or just turn up on the night.
@Hamlet Do we need two pinned messages about how meta >> chat?
1 hour later…
1:31 PM
@Randal'Thor it might help drive the point home. :D
@Gallifreyan Apparently right now on here, George Orwell is the most asked about author, and 1984 is the most asked about book.
2:18 PM
1 hour later…
3:40 PM
@BESW ugh, we really need help with our reading challenge. Most people are interpreting it as "obscure scifi from a western country that's not English speaking", which doesn't really fix the underlying problem the reading challenge is trying to address.
3:51 PM
What's wrong with meta? Can't reach it
Ah, now I see. They're moving. Most inconvenient.
4:08 PM
@Randal'Thor There's at least 2 more interested users on SFF. And I suspect @Gallifreyan might be interested in The Watches
@Gallifreyan I said "ugh, we really need help with our reading challenge. Most people are interpreting it as "obscure scifi from a western country that's not English speaking", which doesn't really fix the underlying problem the reading challenge is trying to address."
@Gallifreyan I think the challenge you proposed is a good one, and I upvoted it
@DVK-on-Ahch-To you're here! Valorum is in Mos! It must be Christmas!
Quiz: what's your record (how long since you started) for a book you have STARTED reading, didn't finish reading, but genuinely intend to finish reading at some point
@Hamlet Didn't it have ~9 upvotes? I didn't see any negative comments either
But I think most of the subsequent challenges aren't very creative
4:10 PM
@Gallifreyan It feels like Chrstmas weather wise. I feel like that squirrel from Ice Age (i haven't actually watched the movie, but I like it on general principles because it makes me think of @steelersquirrel)
@Gallifreyan I literally just said "I think the challenge you proposed is a good one, and I upvoted it"
@DVK-on-Ahch-To I want to read them after everyone pinned the films, but I genuinely don't have the time
@DVK-on-Ahch-To probably 10 years (the book is the bible)
@Hamlet I know! :) Thank you for that. I just didn't see any interpretations yet, neither in chat nor in comments
@Gallifreyan and had you let me finish, you would have heard me say "But I think most of the subsequent challenges aren't very creative"
4:11 PM
@Hamlet OK, I should probably narrow this down to works that can be realistically read within a week. I don't think it's feasible to read entire Bible in under a year.
Which I stand by. It's good to have one "obscure scifi-style-book from a western country that's not English speaking", it's not good to have 10.
@Hamlet mine isn't creative, it's just the only book I could think of that is 1) translated to English and 2) isn't a well-known classic
I wanted to propose an O. Henry challenge, but I think everyone already knows about him
@Randal'Thor - sorry, I'm definitely not in for your movie night. (1) IRL stuff usually prevents me from participating in most SFF ones given their typical scheduling; (2) I'm not showing up in Mos after Wad threatened me; (3) I can't stand The Bug Hunt: The Movie; as you can surmise from my SFF posts :)
@Gallifreyan you were the first person to propose an "obscure scifi-style-book from a western country that's not English speaking", therefore you are creative.
@Hamlet I like that logic
4:15 PM
@Hamlet I though The Fastest Gun in the West is only applicable to SE rep; not to getting kudos on chat :)
Lemme propose the Witcher series and Alan Moore
@Gallifreyan in my mind, those are still "obscure scifi-style-book from a western country that's not English speaking" (I see fantasy as being very similar to scifi)
@Hamlet Just so you know, I've deleted that unsatisfactory answer. I think I'll refrain from answers until the question of whether references are required is resolved. I was under the impression that they weren't.
@Hamlet Alan Moore is from UK, if that is of any relevance
4:36 PM
@DVK-on-Ahch-To A week.
Q: Is there any connection between the TombQuest books and the associated game?

MithrandirLet us take the book series TombQuest, by Michael Northrop. This book series is published by Scholastic, and they have a website for it. This series is a multiplatform, which means that there is a game associated with it. Like the-39-clues (which is also a multiplatform). In that game, the connec...

5:03 PM
How to get 58 upvotes with 6 words:
A: How do I show my wounds to Robbie?

Swagmaster420boiiiiTake your clothes off, my dude.

Q: What is a Pooh?

SkoobaWinnie the Pooh is our favorite ball of fluff that likes to eat honey in the Hundred-Acre Wood... but where does he get his name from? Specifically, where does "Pooh" come from? I know that Winnie comes from a real bear that was the pet/mascot of a Canadian Army that was named after Winnipeg tha...

@Hamlet May I ask then what is obscure enough for you?
5:19 PM
@NapoleonWilson I'm sorry, but when did I say that the problem with these books is that they aren't obscure enough?
The problem is that all of the proposed challenges are science fiction and fantasy books from western countries.
The author retweeted my tweet about this question!
@Hamlet Never, I guess. I'll reformulate my question into "What kinds of works do you expect then?".
We have our first question on Literature Stack Exchange about #TombQuest, by @mdnorthrop! Do you know the answer? http://literature.stackexchange.com/q/2079/58
And the author retweeted it.
So maybe he'll come answer it now ;)
@NapoleonWilson I would like to see proposed topic challenges about a diverse group of genres and cultures.
Not a bunch of topic challenges about science fiction/fantasy books by western authors
5:34 PM
@Bookworm if someone wants rep they can probably tugs on some strings here..... youtube.com/watch?v=1mgXbzJzIZE
He was named after a swan.
@Mithrandir Goog...*Good*... follow the rabbit hole...
Don't, you'll get stuck...
> If you happen to have read another book about Christopher Robin, you may remember that he once had a swan (or the swan had Christopher Robin, I don't know which), and that he used to call this swan Pooh. That was a long time ago, and when we said good-bye, we took the name with us, as we didn't think the swan would want it any more. Well, when Edward Bear said that he wanted an exciting name all to himself, Christopher Robin, without stopping to think, that he was Winnie-the-Pooh. And he was.
5:45 PM
3 views and 3 upvotes... thats a good rate of return :P
@Mithrandir what about the arms getting stuck and having to blow flies off his nose?
2 hours later…
7:34 PM
@Hamlet [gasp] You mean the site's attempt to solve its diversity problem is running into trouble because of its diversity problem?
7:50 PM
@BESW it's a little disappointing, but I shouldn't be surprised.
I just thought that maybe, just maybe people would take time to understand what Emrakul was saying instead of just seeing "topic challenges" and ignoring the rest of his post.
@BESW what are some good Pasifika stories?
And I thought that maybe, just maybe, people would think critically about their constant diet of western science fiction and fantasy.
@Hamlet Not Moana. [wry]
@BESW duh
Oh come on, meta is still down
@BESW you can use meta? I cna't access meta for some reason
8:01 PM
I'm special.
@BESW thanks, appreciate it
@Gallifreyan some people can, some people can't. Try going directly to literature.meta.stackexchange.com
@Hamlet I'mo think about how to suggest Albert Wendt's works. He's a famous, respected, but increasingly controversial figure in Samoan literature.
(Mostly controversial just in the sense that his work decades ago paved the way for new writers who, in the process of building on his legacy, can see further and think more grandly than he could.)
@Hamlet What about an autobiographical account of a KGB agent's life and defection?
I feel like there'd be material for questions there, but I'm not sure exactly what.
Hmm. My Uncle Napoleon draws from the Persian well, but is sufficiently different, I think.
There's already a Story of Your Life question.
The SEA is Ours.
8:24 PM
> Good question! (I often use the London gear from Book 2 & the flaming sword from Book 3 in the game.)
Actually, @Hamlet, do you think The SEA is Ours qualifies for the challenge's goals?
It's an English-language anthology of steampunk stories by and about Southeast Asian folk.
ooh, Neither Wolf Nor Dog.
@BESW is it easily accessible (either online or through a library)
@BESW what about more recent Samoan authors?
Should I ask the author to come write an answer here?
@Hamlet Amazon has it in Kindle and paperback.
8:51 PM
@Hamlet Maybe some of these women? Most of the contemporary Pasifika authors I'm familiar with are unfortunately difficult to get access to outside of very localised publications.
It'd hardly be fair to suggest that people try to get their hands on a copy of a magazine issue with a single print run of less than 500 and no digital options.
9:08 PM
It turns out I couldn't go to meta because of HTTPS Everywhere plugin
Ah, right. That's what they were saying in TL.
@Mithrandir I guess the plugin is useless now on SE anyway
9:44 PM
@BESW makes sense
The problem that most literature about Pacific Islanders isn't by Pacific Islanders is an ongoing one, though places like Samoa have been working to change it for a few decades longer than places like the Marianas.
(I live in the Marianas.)
To the best of my knowledge, for example, nobody --not even limited local press-- has published Peter Onedera's Nasarinu, a theatrical script portraying the Tumon leper colony.
I only know it exists because I saw it produced at the University of Guam Theatre.
10:11 PM
@DVK-on-Ahch-To That's a good question. I tend not to leave books unfinished, but now I am trying to think if I have anything that would fit that...
@BESW I really want to read that at some point :)
But I keep running out of book money because of your recommendations ;)
10:52 PM
@Hamlet I'm not seeing that, tbh. I think once again you're worrying too much about something which is only seeming to be a problem for a short period - like that time not long ago when you were fretting about the site being overrun by ID questions because we'd had two or three in just a couple of days.
Don't worry, I have a few more topic challenge suggestions up my sleeve - better than Blake.
Including one author who ... well, I wouldn't be surprised if nobody else in this room a) has heard of him and b) can pronounce his name.
@Randal'Thor Now I'm curious :)
@DVK-on-Ahch-To I've only started doing that recently. Until the last few years, I'd either finish a book or discard it altogether. Now I have a small pile of books I've set aside to possibly return to at some point, including Dostoevsky's The Idiot and Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge.
@Hamlet Agreed. (But you must be using a very unusual definition of "western" if you're calling Russia a western country.)
@DVK-on-Ahch-To Fair enough. But to point (2), I will say that Wad is not only no longer a RO of Mos but hardly even comes in there any more. I've only spoken to him about twice in the last several months.
Well, I guess it's "western" in the sense of that diffence between "established literature" and "stuff the "elites" deem inferior" that's discussed here so often.
Russian is certainly not too far away from the "treaded path of literature taught in western cultural elites", or not as far away as African, Oceanian or otherwise indigenous literature would be.
@Gallifreyan joke?
@Hamlet Starred. That's the whole point of the topic challenges. But again, I don't think we're really having a problem with this (at least not yet).
@NapoleonWilson True.
11:19 PM
@Ash The only trouble is, his works probably aren't going to be easy to get hold of :-/
@Randal'Thor I'm still curious though :)
That's the spirit ;-)
I mean if you're not going to tell me, that's fine.
I'm just going to let the suspense build up.
So that when I actually post it as a suggestion on meta, everyone will upvote it.
11:35 PM
@Randal'Thor maybe I should wait. But it certainly seemed like the topic challenges were trending that way, and maybe this discussion will convince people to reverse course
@Randal'Thor Using meme's from things you haven't even seen? That's the true spirit of a Star Wars abstainer! ;-)
@Randal'Thor Or be disappointed by it underwhelming the expectations. "Oh, that guy? Meh, heard about all his stuff in school. And that name's totally spellable!" ;-P
@Randal'Thor I think I remember someone saying something about never finishing Wheel of Time
@NapoleonWilson I just got it from Valorum's movie night announcement meta post.
@NapoleonWilson Or that. (But I said pronounce, not spell!)
@Hamlet That's the disadvantage of letting the community choose their challenges. Either you want to guide the site in a certain direction and thus select the topics yourself, or you let them vote on their stuff. Trying to guide them by telling them what the challenges should be about is a nice idea and a noble goal, but it doesn't guarantee the community doing the "right" thing.
@Hamlet I'm still in the middle of it, yes.
@NapoleonWilson There's also no guarantee that the highest-voted topics will actually be picked for the challenges.
11:42 PM
I guess.
@Randal'Thor Ah, I see. But shouldn't that be even easier then?
@Randal'Thor I won't be selecting the challenges FYI
@NapoleonWilson Some names are easier to spell than to pronounce. E.g. if they involve letters which are pronounced differently in that person's language from how you might expect.
Hmm, also true, I guess.
Then there's names like Skrzypczyk which are hard either way, unless you're used to that kind of name.
Now I'm really pumped for that guy's weird name and unearthly oeuvre.
@Randal'Thor I'd say the trick is not worrying too much about all the consonants and just letting it flow, like scripchik, but that's more of a gut feeling that genuine knowledge about stuff like that. But once you leave away those vowels too, things are completely fair game for anyone not versed in that language.
Like Krk.
11:50 PM
@NapoleonWilson Almost right. "Skzhip-chik" is closer; there's actually no "r" phoneme in there.
Hmm, that's indeed interesting. If anything I would have thought the "z" to be superfluous.
@Ash Newest book on my list is Neither Wolf nor Dog, which is notable as a white man's novel about Native Americans which was received well enough by First Tribes that it's been turned into a movie produced entirely by them and heralded as one of the first films to ever capture the contemporary Native American reality.

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