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-   -   Persistent, Niggling Questions (http://www.fiveminute.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1410)

Nate the Great 08-10-2009 06:54 PM

PNQ: When did the exclamation point become standard usage for denoting different versions of a person? Like, when John Doe meets his older self, you suddenly see Old!John and Young!John?

Wowbagger 08-11-2009 09:58 PM

I think, like many of the most recent advancements in the language of fiction, it came out of fan fiction communities on LiveJournal and FanFiction.net. It survived because it was successful.

I only heard about it earlier this year, but it seems to have been in common use for perhaps two or three years.

DISCLAIMER: IANA Linguist.

mudshark 08-13-2009 04:12 PM

I remember seeing the exclamation point used as much as five years ago (possibly longer) in the TBBS Enterprise forum among the Reed-Ragers and Tuckerites. Evil!Reed sticks in memory, but I know there were other examples. Whether this constituted standard usage at the time I can't say.

Nate the Great 08-20-2009 07:01 PM

So sfdebris is reviewing Red Dwarf. Aside from "smeg", I knew nothing about it.

PNQ: What is the allure of this show? A grunt, a copy of a pretentious peon, a cat that can talk, and a computer trapped aboard a starship three million years in the future?

I can understand British scifi/comedy, that's why I love The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. But this stuff is just too much.

Am I missing something here?

MaverickZer0 08-28-2009 11:08 AM

Yes.

The hilarity.

It's a seriously funny show. So long as you're watching the original, anyway. Give it a chance. If you like HHGttG, you'll probably like Red Dwarf.

Nate the Great 08-31-2009 06:44 AM

I can understand not listing hidden tracks on the back of a CD case, but WHY can't the information be part of the file's metadata for iTunes purposes? Why "unknown" or whatever?

Nate the Great 09-01-2009 08:19 AM

Disney bought Marvel?

PNQ: What? Just...what?

Nate the Great 09-11-2009 11:04 AM

For complicated reasons I was reading some lists of those movies considered the best of all time.

PNQ: What's with Citizen Kane? Whether or not it's a good movie is a discussion for another time; I'm just debating it's position as one of the best of all time. Have any of you ever watched the thing for entertainment? Or did you watch it for scholarly reasons?

Nate the Great 09-11-2009 02:14 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willis_Tower

PNQ: They renamed the Sears Tower? What? I kinda thought that this building had achieved enough notoriety to have an immutable name!

evay 09-15-2009 02:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 77123)
PNQ: What's with Citizen Kane? Whether or not it's a good movie is a discussion for another time; I'm just debating it's position as one of the best of all time. Have any of you ever watched the thing for entertainment? Or did you watch it for scholarly reasons?

Scholarly. And frankly I didn't get it and didn't really enjoy it. I think Citizen Kane is one of those movies which is famous more for being a First than for being a good film. I am not a film student, but Wikipedia has an overview of why the movie is considered "important" in film-making terms. The problem for modern viewers is that everyone after Welles borrowed all his tricks, so when we come to see CK after years of seeing his methods used as standard MO everywhere else, unless we know what to look for, all we see is a standard movie with a not-particularly-interesting plot.

Other examples of Firsts would be the kinds of films or TV shows which launched genres: "An American Family" plus The Truman Show and "Survivor" were the predecessors of voyeuristic reality TV. Halloween and Friday the 13th begat legions of mostly mindless horror flicks. Our own beloved "Star Trek" was one of the first TV series to treat scifi as intelligent adult drama rather than the kiddie-level "Flash Gordon" tripe from the '50s. I think "Hill Street Blues" was the first police procedural, IIRC. Again, whether any of these examples stand up to being "good" entertainment years later is in the eye of the beholder; I'm saying that these were the important, ground-breaking works. A different kind of First would be Pulp Fiction and Sixth Sense, as I would argue that those two movies have the added layer of being great First films for a director or writer who then can't come up with any other directing (Tarantino) or storytelling (Shyalaman) gimmicks and so keeps doing the same thing with every new movie.

So whether CK deserves the "best film of all time" label is dependent on what your definition of "best" is. Broke new ground? Categorically. Revolutionized the art form? Quite possibly. Engaging to watch a century later? Your mileage may vary.

Nate the Great 10-10-2009 01:16 AM

So I just saw the pilot of Stargate: Universe on Hulu...

PNQ: Is anybody else annoyed by this "you have to start off with a bang, then use flashbacks to show how people got here" thing?

I like events to occur in their proper order, except when necessary for exposition. If there is no valid reason to shuffle events out of order, I hate to see it. As simple as that.

P.S. Aside from that, I'm excited about Universe. Sure, I would've liked another season or two of SG-1 to finish the Ori storyline properly, and the cancellation of Atlantis ticks me off greatly. Well, any Stargate is better than none, right?

Nate the Great 10-12-2009 10:55 PM

So once again I see a YouTube video with the annotation "all negative comments will be deleted."

PNQ1: Does anyone else think that posting this is grounds for deletion of the video? If you can't handle criticism you should NOT post the video!

After all, one of the guiding principles of democratic countries is freedom of speech, right? As long as you're not making threats or making judgments based on race/religion/gender/etc. everything should be allowed.

PNQ2: And a lot of these videos really are of low quality! Why bother posting something that you know will garner a negative response? Why torture yourself like that?

Nate the Great 10-15-2009 03:40 AM

Forget it...

NAHTMMM 10-15-2009 07:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 77132)
PNQ: Is anybody else annoyed by this "you have to start off with a bang, then use flashbacks to show how people got here" thing?

Not much, but if I kept seeing it be done over and over again, I expect that it would get old fast.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 77138)
So once again I see a YouTube video with the annotation "all negative comments will be deleted."

PNQ1: Does anyone else think that posting this is grounds for deletion of the video? If you can't handle criticism you should NOT post the video!

After all, one of the guiding principles of democratic countries is freedom of speech, right? As long as you're not making threats or making judgments based on race/religion/gender/etc. everything should be allowed.

Well, some people are really sensitive to criticism or just overly defensive in general, I guess. I agree, you should be able to take that, but it's YouTube's site and they have decided to allow people this much latitude in handling their uploaded videos, and they have that right. *shrug*

And KJ just brought up the point that they may not be warning off negative comments in general, but senseless flaming in particular. Insipid little bits like "this iz dum" really aren't much good to anyone anyway.

(I should probably say something about that here, shouldn't I?)

Anyway, this brings up a PNQ: How much server space would it save YouTube if all those ridiculous "chain letter" comments suddenly disappeared entirely?

Quote:

PNQ2: And a lot of these videos really are of low quality! Why bother posting something that you know will garner a negative response? Why torture yourself like that?
You know, it occurs to me that some of these people may be uploading it to show a particular group of friends, not to show the world in general (although if they actively wanted the world in general to not see it, they wouldn't put it on YouTube). If I did that, it would certainly annoy me if random strangers kept stumbling upon it and leaving derogatory comments. I'd feel like "This isn't for you in the first place, so why do you care?"

Nate the Great 10-16-2009 10:02 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_Mickey

So there's a new Disney game coming out. I'm kinda proud that I remembered that the sorcerer from Fantasia was named Yen Sid, the existence of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the Phantom Blot, and so forth.

PNQ: Opinions? Fresh new take, or horrible abomination?

Nate the Great 10-24-2009 02:03 AM

From a review of And Another Thing (AKA Hitchhiker's Guide 6):

"'Frood' isn't a verb! Zark is spelled with a lower-case z! Did this guy even read the first five books?"

PNQ: Are these allegations valid? 'Cause if so, this guy needed to do more research before writing a Hitchhiker's Guide book. I don't expect a 100% fit, even Frank Baum had to tweak the rules of Oz as the sequels were written, but "frood" and "zark" are simple enough to be considered immutable and very easy to use properly.

NAHTMMM 10-28-2009 03:06 AM

Well, I only recall "frood" being used as a noun, and I think "froody" as an adjective. But hey, technically, fish aren't designed to go in your ear, either. *shrug*

Nate the Great 10-28-2009 03:22 AM

The point is that certain grammatical rules were set up by Douglas Adams for radio/TV/books, etc. and were followed consistently. These rules exist and there is no reason for this guy to change them without appearing either presumptive or negligent.

Nate the Great 10-29-2009 11:39 PM

So RandomGuy has made another video to promote a comic book convention, and Marvel is maintaining their policy of asking him to not use action figures based on the movies for these convention videos. And it appears that you can't used DC figures for these either.

PNQ: What's the logic?

Both Marvel and DC know of RandomGuy and the Marvel guys at least like them. They could sue, yet they don't. What is the point of saying "you can use our characters for convention videos, but you can't use the movie versions"? Seriously, PLEASE explain this logic to me!

Every single time RandomGuy posts one of these videos he has to say "no, we're not changing our action figures, Marvel asked us to not use the movie versions for convention videos." Every. Single. Time. Doesn't this create animosity toward Marvel?

Nate the Great 11-01-2009 07:27 PM

Current iPod Classics can hold 160 GB.

PNQ: Does anyone actually have 160 gig of stuff that you have the need to carry around with you? Does anyone really take the bus/train/plane enough to sit down and play all that media? When do you find the time to use it?

NAHTMMM 11-02-2009 04:51 PM

It's probably just a matter of not wanting to keep transferring tracks onto and off of the device every time you're in the mood for a different genre. Alternatively, it's nice to not have to worry about hitting the capacity limit.

evay 11-04-2009 01:33 AM

plus it's also possible to use the iPod as a drive to carry files around, and if you do a lot of photoshop work, those suckers get really big really fast. You can never have "too much" hard drive space.

Tate 11-05-2009 05:52 AM

Judging by the fact that my 2GB mp3 player is perpetually full, I can imagine that a lot more storage space than 2GB might be desired. 160GB seems way more than anyone would need, but I can imagine filling it up, particularly with all the audio-books I listen to.
Whether I would actually use all those files is another matter. The iPod would probable end up like the computer I use; filled with a lot of stuff that seemed like a good idea (or even important) at one point, but are completely unused for the most part.
As it is, I'm satisfied with 2GB. If I want to listen to something besides what's currently on the player, I just delete a few files and copy some new ones over. It may not be the best arrangement, but its good enough for me.

By the way, I noticed the message editor underling misspelled words in red as I wrote this post. PNQ: How long has this been going on? Or is this a feature of Firefox that I haven't encountered before because I only recently switched from IE?

Zeke 11-06-2009 12:52 AM

I use my PSP as an mp3 player fairly often these days (still prefer actual CDs, but this is convenient for individual tracks). I find 1 gig a little tight, but that's because the music has to share space with everything else I use the PSP for. I can't even conceive of filling 160 gig with just mp3s. Hell, that's nearly as much space as my (admittedly old) computer has.

On the other hand, I have no trouble at all keeping my 60-CD stereo full. But that's because I mentally divide it into sections and fill some of them with a band's whole discography, for when I'm in a mood to listen to that particular band. (Sometimes these are albums I know well, but more often it's a band whose albums I've picked up used and haven't yet given a proper listen to -- putting them in the stereo prods me to do so.) I would guess most people who use the full 160 gig are doing something similar. They probably don't listen to all of it regularly; some is current and some is "archives".

Nate the Great 11-16-2009 07:47 AM

It's Star Wars Prequel Day in the PNQ thread, partially inspired by confusedmatthew's reviews:

1: Was the definition of a "Sith" ever explained in the movies themselves?
2: Was what they were getting revenge for explained in the movies themselves?
3: So is the Trade Federation part of the Republic or not? If so, why are there these disputes in the first place? If not, why do they get a representative in the Senate?
4: Is Anakin and Padme's marriage really a secret? All the Jedi seem to know about it, so why is Anakin still a Jedi, and why wouldn't they tell everyone else about the marriage?
5: If the age at which a Padawan can enter training has passed for Anakin, and yet Anakin still got in, what's the point in having the age cutoff?
6: If Qui-Gon can't teach Anakin, why is Anakin still allowed to accompany him? Are Jedi really allowed to adopt children on a permanent basis without training them to be future Jedi?
7: We have loads of cartoons and novels about the space between Episodes II and III, but what about the space between I and II?

Nate the Great 11-21-2009 11:28 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESHN0...eature=channel

Part One of SFdebris' review of The Outrageous Okona

PNQ: Why does this episode keep getting a bad rap? It's certainly not classic Trek, but I liked it, and there are far worse episodes available (Shades of Grey comes to mind immediately).

Nate the Great 11-23-2009 04:00 PM

I was just pondering this "every decision splits off a new parallel dimension" thing...

PNQ: Where would all this matter and energy come from to create zillions of new timelines each and every second?

Nate the Great 11-23-2009 06:23 PM

PNQ: Is anyone else ticked by people using up the first post in ANY online conversation with nothing but an announcement that they are indeed the first poster?

Nate the Great 12-13-2009 01:51 PM

http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/vid...jg/14644-ep005

So That Jewish Guy has posted a video about some Hanukkah misconceptions...

PNQ: Why hasn't the Jewish community put their foot down and said "THIS is how you spell Hanukkah in English"? I mean, it's not like English-speaking Jews haven't been celebrating this holiday for hundreds of years or anything!

I just don't like multiple transliterations; it's annoying.

evay 12-14-2009 08:23 PM

As I learned the rule, as long as it has eight letters (for the eight-day festival), any reasonable combination of the consonants and vowels is acceptable.

Chanukah
Channuka
Chanukka
Hannukah
Hanukkah
Hannukka

all fair game.

Nate the Great 12-14-2009 10:24 PM

PNQ: But why? What purpose does it achieve to confuse all of the non-Jews in the audience every single year? And if no particular spelling is any more or less proper, than it shouldn't matter which the Jewish High Council (or whatever) deems to be "official."

NAHTMMM 12-16-2009 10:53 PM

Well, remember "chutzpah". The H-sounding C-H seems to be a pattern.


I'm not terribly fond of multiple trans-whatevers myself. But if they don't mind, neither do I.

Nate the Great 01-07-2010 12:03 AM

I've now heard two British video game reviewers pronounce NES as "nezz."

PNQ: Is this a common thing in places other than the U.S.? Here it's always "en-ee-es."

Nate the Great 01-09-2010 09:01 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ok_VQ...eature=channel

First off, a plug for the Commoncraft Show and their "X in Plain English" series.

PNQ1: Why is a strict popular vote for President of the United States unfeasible? Why do we need electors again?
PNQ2: What's this "#electors=#senators+#representatives" business really all about? Doesn't this give smaller states a bigger voice than usual, with larger states getting a smaller voice? How is this fair?
PNQ3: How is it fair that some states allow multiple candidates to split the electors, while others are strictly "majority winner claims all electors"?

Tate 01-09-2010 09:18 PM

It all boils down to the way things were when the Constitution was written. At that point, the States considered themselves to be sovereign entities, entitled to make their own decisions. The Constitution was framed so that the States and their populations would be fairly represented in the federal government. The legislature, for example, was divided into two bodies, with the Senate representing the States and the House of Representatives representing the population.

Likewise, the electoral collage was devised with the same number of electors per State as the total number of the State's Senators and Representatives, so that the States are each fairly represented in electing the President. So, yes, the smaller States get a bigger voice in the electoral process than they otherwise would have, because the framers of the Constitution were concerned about fairly representing the States, not just the people.
As time has gone on (especially after the American Civil War), the States have become less autonomous and the federal government has become more important, so the idea of representing States equally has become less relevant, but the Constitution's rules for presidential elections stay the same.

As for why some States give all their electors to one party while others split the electors, that goes back to the days of the Constitution too. The States were each given the right to choose their electors however they wanted. Originally, I believe, the State legislatures chose the electors directly, without consulting their populations at all. As time went on, democracy became more popular and the States started to choose their electors by popular election. Some let the majority party take all the electors, while others split the electors, just because they individually decided how to choose the electors.

I wish more States would split the electors according to the proportion of the popular vote each party received. My own State of California has 55 electors (over 10% of the electoral college) and these days they all go to the Democratic party. There's not much reason to vote either way, because there's a large enough Democratic majority to make it unlikely that the State would ever go to the Republican candidate. If the electors were split, there would be more of a contest and more reason to vote. But that's just my opinion.

Nate the Great 01-10-2010 12:51 AM

I just find it unfair that there's such blatant hypocrisy in the selection. If I belong to Party A and live in a state where not only is it guaranteed that Party B will win the popular vote but all of the electors will go with the majority, why should I vote at all? What's the point? Seriously, what is the freakin' point in voting if the way the system is set up guarantees that my vote will be rendered utterly meaningless?

Chancellor Valium 01-11-2010 07:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 77283)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ok_VQ...eature=channel

First off, a plug for the Commoncraft Show and their "X in Plain English" series.

PNQ1: Why is a strict popular vote for President of the United States unfeasible? Why do we need electors again?
PNQ2: What's this "#electors=#senators+#representatives" business really all about? Doesn't this give smaller states a bigger voice than usual, with larger states getting a smaller voice? How is this fair?
PNQ3: How is it fair that some states allow multiple candidates to split the electors, while others are strictly "majority winner claims all electors"?

It exists solely to confuse foreigners.

Nate the Great 01-11-2010 10:43 AM

It can't solely exist to confuse foreigners, 'cause there are plenty of confused natives, too.

Nate the Great 01-15-2010 08:02 PM

Now that tgwtg.com is letting anybody post a blog for posterity, it's becoming far too easy for wannabe reviewers to put up drek without any regard for quality control.

PNQ: Why isn't there some quality control in there?

Major complaints:

1. There are far too many two-paragraph blogs that basically amount to "I am about to start a blog series. This is what it'll be about. See you next time!" Too bad I can't see any other posts by you on any topic; thanks for wasting time and bandwidth.
2. Far too many "part one" posts where I can't see where the "part two" post is, if one was ever made. Again, thanks for wasting time and bandwidth.
3. Rehashing topics that have been done to death already. Superman 64 stinks? I never knew that!
4. Incessant follow-the-leader tactics. If you're not going to differentiate yourself from a preexisting reviewer, why should I follow your stuff when the preexisting reviewer is better at doing his own style than you are?

Let me make myself clear. It's one thing to open up a forum to wannabe reviewers; it's quite another to allow anyone to post an entry on the real site without quality control.

Sa'ar Chasm 01-15-2010 10:36 PM

Quote:

far too easy for wannabe reviewers to put up drek without any regard for quality control.
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