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12:24 AM
I'll be honest, guys, sometimes when I write the Hidden Almanac, I just start going and have no idea what I'll do next.
I invent large pillars of the narrative universe just to explain why, for example, a turkey is attacking a voting machine.
@Randal'Thor And done.
12:54 AM
There, proof that you can send yourself a notification.
1 hour later…
2:14 AM
Best book nobody has heard. Even YouTube has stifled and fuzzed it out. I sniffedat it first time in a bookstore but have sent copies to almost everyone I know:
"If you lose the key, throw away the door!"
2:45 AM
happy birthday, Lucille Clifton!! https://t.co/puCW7W5y9E
2 hours later…
4:34 AM
@Ash It looks different on Twitter. Click the link in the timestamp (or here) to see what it looks like there.
@Randal'Thor Windows XP??
@Randal'Thor You mean this Shakespeare question?
Oh dear. +14/-12??
4:53 AM
Q: Guidelines for good story-id questions?

HamletI can't remember a particular story, and I would like to ask a story-id question to get help finding it. What can I do to make my story-id question a successful and high-quality one? When answering, it would be helpful to include examples of good and bad story-id questions.

5:37 AM
@Shokhet I know some twitter clients do link previews, but the tweet should still stand on its own and not require the question title in the preview to give me context, not if you want to attract eyes that aren't, well, already here in some form.
Depending on people to search for context on their own and to pay attention to the preview is...not the best way to go about this, not if you actually want to attract outside views.
6:19 AM
Beatrix Potter, illustrator and author, who was also a mycologist, creating many scientific studies of fungi… https://twitter.com/i/web/status/879946211578568704
> It is one of their customs to write in books what they have done and seen, instead of telling them in their villages, where the lie can be given to the face of a cowardly boaster, and the brave soldier can call on his comrades to witness for the truth of his words. In consequence of this bad fashion, a man, who is too conscientious to misspend his days among the women, in learning the names of black marks, may never hear of the deeds of his fathers, nor feel a pride in striving to outdo them.
(Mohicans is a fascinating study in what we might now call intersectionality, both in text and meta-text.)
6:45 AM
Just posted my first question on the new iteration of the site!
Cool! We'll see it in the feed soon(er or later).
It already got it in the SFF room, so it should be here soon
Q: Which items from Elliot S! Maggin's novel "Last Son of Krypton" mirror the Superman mythos of the comics in the same era?

TMLIt's a well-documented fact that the character of Superman has undergone many shifts over the decades. In 1978, Elliot S! Maggin's first Superman novel The Last Son of Krypton was published. Now, you might be looking at that timeline (or the cover art from the book) and thinking to yourself "Oh,...

It was the only question that came to mind after a glance over my current "slush" pile.
(Probably because that's the only book in the pile I've already read over once)
Can you please add some more tags, like the author and title? (mobile. Otherwise I'd add 'em myself)
6:53 AM
Heh. The Childrens Section. :P
@TML thanks
Anyway, @TML, I'm glad I mentioned pinging you to come to see the new site ;)
1 hour later…
8:03 AM
Q: The Silmarillion: Before or After The Lord of the Rings?

PeterI spent an extensive amount of time as an undergrad writing about and researching The Hobbit, especially in terms of Tolkien's famous essay on Beowulf. Getting a sense of what inspired Tolkien greatly enhanced my understanding of and appreciation for The Hobbit. Despite those efforts, I have yet...

@Bookworm woo, my efforts this morning were successful... Although it's generally recommended to read TS after LotR.
4 hours later…
11:43 AM
@Shokhet Huh? What about Windows XP?
@Shokhet Yep. And: closed, reopened, closed, deleted, undeleted, deleted, undeleted, deleted, undeleted, deleted, undeleted, deleted, undeleted, deleted, undeleted, reopened.
12:24 PM
@Randal'Thor I think he noticed your scrollbar indicates you're on Windows XP
Well, I'm not :-)
12:41 PM
@Bookworm There, posted my answer anyway, despite Voronwe's pile of excellentitude.
1:02 PM
@Randal'Thor that was fun.
Nice, 12345 rep.
1:23 PM
@Bookworm I'm wondering if that's going to HNQ.
It did.
I don't know how he managed to write papers about The Hobbit without reading LotR, though.
@Randal'Thor : thanks for that input, I was really hesistant to do so as I thought there was a consensus on the other order ^^ I just did post it (not very well written, and a bit 'wall of text' even though I feel there was so much more to say.. I may edit it later to make it better, but I don't have time right now) — Olivier Dulac 35 secs ago
@Ash Thank you for the tips; they're appreciated.
I honestly don't know all that much about building an SM presence; I meant to take a free course from Hootsuite (one of the scheduling services that @StackLit uses), but never found the time. I have my own Twitter account that has a fair amount of followers, but that kinda happened by accident. If you have any other tips to share, or would like to take part control of the StackLit account, please do let me know! :)
@doppelgreener @Randal'Thor Yes, that is what I thought.
Good job on getting out of an OS that is no longer supported by Windows :p
@Randal'Thor Roomba!
1:43 PM
Isn't Britain's new battleship running XP?
@Shokhet Well, I have a relatively new computer.
@Randal'Thor Okay
I'm just confused why you have the XP scrollbar...did you change the settings to show everything as it was in XP?
RE: creating a blog: I think a blog could be successful if we did one minute reviews.
1:45 PM
@Shokhet I'm honestly not sure what my settings are. I copied over a theme file from an older computer. Probably something even older than XP; I've had a lot of people exclaim over how "classic" and "retro" it looks.
They wouldn't take long to write and people would want to read them.
@Hamlet Do you think we have enough volume and interest to sustain a blog at this point?
@Randal'Thor if we did one minute reviews once a week, yes.
I'm already worried that the last couple of topic challenges haven't attracted much engagement.
They could be in the format of:
good: two sentences about what you liked about the book.
bad: two sentences about what you didn't like about the book.
1:46 PM
@Randal'Thor I personally like the Windows 10 look, but if it works for you...
SFF sustains a blog with reviews, but they have a much larger user base than we do atm
ugly: two sentences about what spoiled the appearance of the book.
@Mithrandir They claim they're good on security with that one. I really hope so...
@Shokhet There's a Windows 10 now?
@Randal'Thor Has been for almost two years
@Randal'Thor OK, no offense to you, but the Icelandic Sagas challenge didn't get any engagement because it was an incredibly boring story for a modern audience, not because the topic challenge is flawed.
1:49 PM
They skipped 9, but yeah.
@Shokhet A much larger user base, and (most of the time) a very slow trickle of new blog posts, despite now having three blog admins.
The Windows philosophy right now is that 10 is the last version of Windows -- the operating system as a service, not a product. From here on out, they'll just be updating 10 periodically.
Nothing wrong with both long and short reviews. Both might attract new users looking for a review of an obscure book that nobody else has reviewed ;P
@Randal'Thor yeah, I'm hoping that if blog posts were limited to four sentences, people would post frequently.
@Hamlet Yeah, true. I was hoping for some interesting cultural questions, but I overestimated the readability of the stories.
1:50 PM
@Randal'Thor Good to know. I don't read any of the Stack blogs, so I used a conservative word like "sustain."
And The SEA is Ours was probably just too difficult to acquire.
@Randal'Thor I just didn't try at all because I thought I didn't have time.
I'm just throwing this idea out there. But I think a tumblr could be a good way to promote the site, since a lot of lit people are active on tumblr.
@Randal'Thor Maybe someone should do a saga rewrite, a la Gaiman's Norse Mythology.
1:52 PM
@Hamlet Didn't we have a meta post about how to promote the site?
@Hamlet If you start it, I'll tweet the posts, sure.
There's probably a way to set that to go automatically
2:11 PM
@Shokhet @Randal'Thor, what do you think of revision 5? literature.stackexchange.com/posts/2842/revisions
I've edited your question in an attempt to make it a better fit for this site. Please check to ensure that I haven't changed it too much; if I have, you can always edit the question to fix it. Good luck! — Shokhet 12 secs ago
@Shokhet Looks great!
(But I already upvoted and voted to leave open.)
@Randal'Thor Thank you :)
@Randal'Thor As did I.
Hm. Here is a list of Newspeak words, but I don't think there's a list (on WP) of which of those "made it" into English.
@Randal'Thor This one, by @Hamlet? literature.meta.stackexchange.com/q/683/17 (See also )
@Shokhet You forgot the link, but yes :-)
@Hamlet You could post your blog/Tumblr ideas as an answer there maybe?
@Randal'Thor Nu-uh! :p
(Or edit my answer, if we want to turn that into a canonical list rather than just one user's suggestions.)
2:22 PM
@Randal'Thor Can you make another of these for Q2? It's useful for finding old-but-great posts to tweet.
@Shokhet Definitely. I may also post an answer of my own to the Q1 thread, if I can gather together enough good posts. But I'm a bit worried it may have too much self-promotion :-P
I also still need to read @Gallifreyan's answer to the story-ID quality question, and see if I have anything more to add.
@Randal'Thor That's fine; I tweet some of my own posts. Will be glad to tweet yours :p
Some great answers here! Could you actually go around the world in 80 days? https://literature.stackexchange.com/q/1811/481
@Feeds That was pretty fast, Feeds. Nice work :)
@Shokhet I forgot to mention, @Ash, that as a moderator, you already have access to the control room, where you can send a tweet by starring a chat message.
@Randal'Thor why are there so many removed posts in the Twitter control room?
2:32 PM
@Justwinbaby When changes are made to the room, the software automatically posts a message. Those can be tweeted by starring them, so we remove them for safety reasons :)
@Justwinbaby So that things like "this room has been frozen" and "this room has been unfrozen" don't get tweeted by mistake.
I see.
Cool idea, that room.
Yep :)
3:32 PM
@Mithrandir so am I - thanks!
@Shokhet @Randal'Thor Added 2 examples to the meta answer.
Damn it! I tried to get I Am a Cat from my library, but someone took it already! Argh. The only things left are volumes II and III.
There should be a possibility illegal link on the starboard
wanna see some math humor?
That may be better appreciated in the Mathematics room.
ok np
4:07 PM
I remember in middle school when everyone was reading LoTR, and there was this barrier when they get to Elrond's where some would abandon the book at that point because the council just goes on and on and on....
3 hours later…
7:00 PM
On Deep Magic and Deeper Magic in #Narnia https://literature.stackexchange.com/q/1878/481
1 hour later…
8:03 PM
Q: What is it with British occultism and Brussels sprouts?

GallifreyanTerry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's Good Omens is set in England, and one of the characters is Madame Tracy, who makes he living by doing "occult" seances, either by using a crystal ball or a Tarot deck (which doesn't contain any Major Arcana because their sight was upsetting the clients). The foll...

Q: Trying to find a quote: Salt on top of the mountain, instead of snow

BenGoogle has failed me. I am trying to recall a quote I read once, which goes something like this: "I have reached the mountain peak I saw in my youth, but it is not snow here; it is only salt." Meaning, I guess, that he had found the success he aspired to but it was not meaningful as he had believ...

8:21 PM
Tagging advice for a question about a song written by two people, but sung by a different group?
@Shokhet Two people, I would guess.
@Gallifreyan Hm. But (I'm pretty sure) no one knows this song by the writers' names, only by the performers.
When you said "two people," did you mean the two writers, or one writer and another tag for the performing group?
@Shokhet Who cares? They know the name of the song, for sure.
@Shokhet I mean the two original writers.
@Gallifreyan Okay.
I guess I'll mention the performers in the body (and maybe the title).
Wise choice.
8:28 PM
Thanks for the advice, Gallifreyan :)
8:57 PM
Do we have a tag for or similar? The only things that come up in a tag search for "word" are and .
Q: On the use of the word "thief" in Imagine Dragons' "Thief"

ShokhetThe chorus of Imagine Dragons' "Thief" (from the deluxe version of the album Smoke + Mirrors), written by Clare Reynolds and Natalie Maree Dunn, goes like this: So take me back When I believed Back when I was unafraid Just like a thief And all the heights That I could reach Back w...

Beats me.
9:12 PM
@Gallifreyan Me too :p
9:46 PM
As an Anglophile child growing up in Mexico (if not Peru) , these books still mean so much to me. Ave atque vale http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-40432946
Gorgeous obit by Veronica Horwell. Paddington born in Bond's "memories of evacuee children in WW2, luggage-labelled… https://twitter.com/i/web/status/880079650139099136
1 hour later…
11:11 PM
@Justwinbaby I like (and produce) maths humour.
No idea what this "math humor" thing is though.
@DukeZhou But that's where it starts to get interesting!
@Randal'Thor The calculus of Tolkien probably hits a sweet spot between disciplines.
Ha! Nice.
And of course Funny Methods of Mathematical Proof have a lot of rhetoric in common with the problems found in critical arguments.
Q: Is Tolkien's Middle Earth flat?

xaxaIn the first introductory chapter of his book Gravitation and cosmology: principles and applications of the general theory of relativity Steven Weinberg discusses the origin of non-euclidean geometries and the "inner properties" of surfaces. He mentions that distances between all pairs of 4 poin...

Oh my goodness.
Whenever I work with a "flat" world, I make it a convex shield instead.
That way line of sight and horizons and all those maths still work in ways similar to our real-world experience.
11:19 PM
A concave world would be interesting.
I'm sure Worldbuilding has some questions about that.
A concave worldbuilder can probably crib a lot of work from creators of spherical and cylindrical habitats.
The inside of a space station could work as a starting model.
Last year I ran a game in a spherical worldship with many onion-like layers, each a different habitat. But gravity was manipulated to orient away from the center, so that to get to the next-innermost layer one had to go through the sky of one's own layer and come up out the ground of the next one.
This meant, for each layer, the ground was concave and the sky was convex.
The "horizon" was where the ground curved up so high the sky blocked it.
@BESW That's just unnatural.
It took me a couple of minutes to get my head around why that really would be what happens.
That was the point, yes.
The main characters were coming from Earth and a major theme of the adventure was having basic assumptions challenged.
They weren't in Kansas anymore, and the conclusion of the storyline was to bring Weirdness to Earth in a major way.
(The general scenario used the Masters of Umdaar concept, a thematic homage to Thundercats/He-Man. I put it on a Weird worldship myself, though.)
11:49 PM
@Hamlet What do you think of this question? I'm hoping for an answer based on a thorough close reading of the poem - which is quite short, making the task of close-reading it perhaps less daunting.
Q: Who is the speaker in "The Unreturning"?

Rand al'ThorWilfred Owen's poem "The Unreturning" (full text here) seems remarkably free of context - it never says explicitly what it's about, what's happening, which "dead" are being talked about, who or what are "unreturning", or what the point of the poem is. Therefore I'm hoping that this is a poem whic...


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