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      Welcome!   03/05/2016

      Welcome, everyone, to the new 910CMX Community Forums. I'm still working on getting them running, so things may change.  If you're a 910 Comic creator and need your forum recreated, let me know and I'll get on it right away.  I'll do my best to make this new place as fun as the last one!

Don Edwards

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Everything posted by Don Edwards

  1. This Day In History

    Wouldn't that be "buildings in general"? Granted, some more so than others - churches and warehouses and shopping malls tend to have huge open areas where fire can spread unimpeded, apartment buildings not so much.
  2. This Day In History

    I must say I don't like the new decor of the place... Renovations were in progress and the suspicion at this time is that the fire is an accident relating thereto. A bunch of art had been removed from the cathedral for temporary safe storage or its own restoration, but there was still a bunch in the building - some of which they managed to safely remove even during the fire.
  3. Q&A / Story Friday, Apr 12, 2019

    Fletcher Smith, with an affinity for musical magic.
  4. Q&A Wednesday April 10, 2019

    I don't see the problem. OF COURSE someone could name their kid something intended to help create a name-based magical affinity - that's true in this world too. There's no statement about whether this is likely to work, or if it does work they'll get the specific affinity they were hoping for. That's why I was pointing out that "Catalina Bobcat" could plausibly have a name-based affinity for magic relating to sailing or automobiles. Heck, she's named after (your choice) two sailboat-makers, or two automobiles (among other possibilities).
  5. Q&A Wednesday April 10, 2019

    This. Consider: "Catalina" and "Bobcat" are both model names for automobiles. They are also both model names for boats. (In both instances, "Bobcat" is used for several much-different things in the category. For that matter, they are both names of companies that make boats, while companies named "Bobcat" also make automobiles and construction equipment.) So Catalina Bobcat could easily have had a name-based affinity that is distinctly non-feline.
  6. Q&A Wednesday April 10, 2019

    But this only definitely applies to name-based affinities, and there's no way to be certain that your child will have one. Or perhaps causality even goes the other way - Magic influenced Catalina's parents toward a cat-like first name because she had an affinity for cat-based spells. (I believe it's established that even pre-reset Pandora didn't have a complete understanding of how Magic works. Maybe Heka does better, but he apparently has limited contact with humans so could easily skip over details of application.)
  7. Q&A / Story Wednesday, Apr 3, 2019

    No, it's a causality violation. But gods can do things like that. Even minor deities can be paradoxical:
  8. NP Monday, Apr 8, 2019

    A top predator, such as a dragon, that's a really difficult question. A defenseless creature, such as a butterfly, it's easier. Monarch butterfly larvae mostly eat stuff that renders them - and the adults they change into - sickening to many insect-eaters. Of course, the monarch that gets eaten doesn't benefit from this - but most insect-eaters who share an environment with them have learned to avoid them, so the benefit to the eaten ones' siblings and descendants is clear.
  9. Q&A / Story Monday, Apr 8, 2019

    Over on Scribophile there's a discussion of whether the characters are the author. I'd post a link but it's a members-only forum. (Of course, you can sign up to be a member.) My own position on the subject is that a "yes" or "no" answer is wrong. Clearly "yes" is wrong because every writer writes characters that are unlike themselves - true-crime novels are not normally written by the criminals they document; science-fiction stories are not written by people from other planets; fantasies are not written by thousand-year-old dragons; "furry" stories are not written by mice; males write female characters and vice versa; modern people use computers to write stories of stone-age cave-dwellers... But "no" is also wrong because those characters come from inside the author's head. Even if they are writing a character who actually exists in the real world, what they write - beyond what's documented fact - must come from their internal image of that person. So in some sense and some degree that character-as-written is the author. ----- Pharoah, the best way to get better at writing characters is to keep trying. Also read a lot - and every now and then stop and imagine being that character. Try to predict characters' reactions to stuff. For that matter, throw situations at them that are unlike anything in the story. The Emperor's five-year-old granddaughter has invited Darth Vader to share a tea party with her dolls... what does he do?
  10. Q&A / Story Wednesday, Apr 3, 2019

    I'm writing a story with a physician who is also a Healer. She can magically sense, distinguish, and manipulate living tissue. At the moment she's repairing a guy's heart (he was shot) by integrating the blood vessels, and nerve pathways of a slice of muscle taken from his shoulder with the tissue around the exit wound in his heart. (She had a cardiologist stitch the patch in place - having the muscle tissue fully integrate can wait.) There's a Mage working with her. Not being a Healer and having no medical training beyond having once been a combat medic, all he can do that is directly helpful is shove things around. But he also established a link whereby her Sight - meaning all her senses including her magical senses - are shared with the other physicians, neither of whom is at all magical as far as we know. The cardiologist is utterly amazed at what he can see through this link and what the Healer is doing. (The other doctor regularly works in the paranormal wing of the hospital and is used to this sort of thing.) She's going to explain to him that when conventional medicine can fix things well enough and quickly enough, it's much easier, and leaves the magical energy available for other cases. Such as this one, where the guy would have died in seconds without magical intervention. And where she's going to arrange to go directly from the OR to the cafeteria - in a wheelchair, because she won't have the energy to safely walk that far.
  11. NP Monday, Apr 8, 2019

    The critical mass is the smallest amount that can go critical. Its concentration also matters - if all you have is the critical mass, it needs to be pure and in one spherical lump. A dragon whose scales are made of plutonium might merely need to be sure it never curls up in a tight ball; if the scales are of compounds that include plutonium, it might be incapable of going critical (in the radioactive sense - try raiding its horde and you'll find it's quite critical of your efforts). A uranium dragon is rather more probable though, in a logical universe. Of course, in a logical universe dragons in general are improbable. I haven't spotted any nuclear dragons in any games I've played, but then I haven't played many so that isn't saying much. (I do remember some titanium elementals and chlorine elementals in the webcomic Order of the Stick).
  12. This Day In History

    It's good to see you back, /me.
  13. This Day In History

    /me's list is of the incorrigible punsters he's puncilled in for punishment 'pun some future occasion which he hasn't punned down. Like all anti-pun measures, it seems to only incorrige them us.
  14. NP Friday, Mar 29, 2019

    No, it is the curse.
  15. NP Wed March 27 2019

    Nah, there'd still be a lot of need for self-help books... but not exactly the same need.
  16. For most humans, the way to get more magic power is to use whatever power you have frequently. We don't KNOW that this is also true for wizards, but it's the way to bet. And Kevin did mention how low-powered a wizard Ashley is. It's reasonable to think he'd want her to have more power... in which case, frivolous but harmless use of it is something he should be in favor of.
  17. Things You Find Amusing

    That's a good one. I've heard of people setting the password on their wifi network to things like "I already told you".
  18. Story Wednesday March 20, 2019 Q&A

    Missoula's in the process of building a new library. The old one, built when the city had less than a third its present population and the metropolitan area was proportionately even smaller, has a Makerspace crammed - and I do mean crammed - into a room on the lower floor. (The building's on a hill and thus has two ground floors.) There are two or three 3D printers, several computers with 3d modeling software, a rack of assorted electronic kits including a couple different models of Arduino-type computers, a few soldering stations, and shoved into a corner and blocked with tables so you can't get to it is a bandsaw (if I remember correctly - might be a drill press). But it's ok that you can't get to the bandsaw, because the ventilation system is seriously inadequate for a wood shop with tools spraying sawdust everywhere - it was, after all, designed for a library. Not directly relevant but worth mentioning anyway is that outside the door of this floor, under the protection of the larger upper floor, there's a rack for hanging a bicycle such that most of the workings are about at eye level, with a bunch of bicycle-maintenance tools on cables attached to said rack, and next to it is a vending machine with commonly replaced bicycle parts plus an air hose. The people who run the Makerspace were heavily involved in the design of about 2/3 of the lower floor of the new library. And the ventilation system. (They don't actually get that much space, but activities in their space will affect adjoining areas & vice versa.)
  19. NP Wed March 13, 2019

    Circe doesn't need to be continuously present. She can have a magical alarm that notifies her when someone reaches a certain point in her crypt.
  20. Q&A Wed March 13 2019

    So if you have sort of figured out something about how magic works, you have a rule of thaum?
  21. Story Wednesday March 06, 2019

    I see no evidence that Edward knows, and no particular reason to think that he knows. (Also, no particular reason to think that he doesn't.) I'm still waiting for the first in-comic confirmation. This isn't it. It occurs to me that if Edward thinks Tedd is transforming to hide from who he is (the person who caused his parents to break up, for example), Edward's attitude toward the transformation makes a fair amount of sense and isn't all that bad. In that context, the transformations would be unhealthy in the long run. (Operative words there being "if Edward thinks".) Every indication we have, though, is that Tedd's transformations are an expression of who Tedd is - not a way of hiding from who Tedd is.
  22. Story Friday, March 1, 2018

    One definition of "chaperone", courtesy of Heinlein if I recall correctly, is a person who makes sure that no unauthorized sexual activity is detected.
  23. NP, Monday March 4, 2019

    Either that, or she's familiar with the trope of Victoria's Secret Compartment.
  24. Notice: Temporary absence

    You need a nap? I think somebody left one on your bed.
  25. Story Monday February 25, 2019

    That was because U don't want to go anywhere near them.