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Don Edwards

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Everything posted by Don Edwards

  1. NP Wednesday, May 16, 2018

    It was discovered that most of their stock was actually chicken, drenched in such a strong sauce that one can't taste the meat.
  2. NP Wednesday, May 16, 2018

    Considering how tiny Buffalo Wings are, it's unsurprising that flying buffalo are virtually extinct.
  3. Story Monday May 14, 2018

    Yeah. For something like a magical golem, without any knowledge of how to build one I'd consider dismembering a good start, followed by sequestering the parts in separate sealed containers. Maybe later I'd encounter someone with sufficient knowledge to tell me that such measure are unnecessary... but better unnecessary and done, than necessary and not-done.
  4. Story Monday May 14, 2018

    Abraham had already been persuaded to not kill Ellen, was surrounded by mages capable of dealing with him, and was submitting to arrest - and thus was no longer an enemy - when Magus declined to assist in killing him. The golem was apparently incapable of continuing to fight, but that might have been a temporary condition. Never turn your back on a dead enemy, unless you've made sure it's really dead.
  5. Story Wednesday May 9, 2018

    For those not that familiar with details of the western US or of US interstates, I'll summarize some non-obvious info: * they probably don't have surveillance-camera footage of the place the body was found. Those rest areas (one for each direction on I-90) are forested. * random people enter and leave rest area at all hours of the day and night, without any log of who they are or what vehicles they are in other than whatever the surveillance cameras pick up. (The main, and consistent, feature of interstate rest areas is a convenient chance for people on the interstate to get out of the vehicle to stretch their legs and use a restroom, without any expectation that they will spend money. Most rest areas are not accessible from local roads, only via the interstate.) * most people who drive on that part of Interstate 90 and don't live in Coeur d'Alene (living there would mean they rarely use the rest area) don't even live in Idaho. The Washington state line is only about 15 miles away, and Coeur d'Alene is part of a metropolitan area most of which is on the other side of that line (in the other direction, Montana is only about 60 road miles away but the intervening distance and the first hundred miles of Montana are mostly national forests and the like); and I-90 is a major cross-country route, its ends being within a couple miles of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, so there's lots of traffic from considerably further away. Combine the above and there's a pretty low chance of identifying the killer, unless he/she voluntarily steps forward. If they DO identify the killer... * without surveillance-camera footage or quite-substantial other evidence, prosecutors would have a difficult time disproving a "self defense" claim. Idaho recently enacted a stand-your-ground law under which if they charge the killer for killing this person and in court the killer successfully claims self-defense (resulting in acquittal on those charges), the prosecutor's office gets to pay for the defense. So the prosecutor is unlikely to bring any charges for the killing per se. * there is an excellent chance that the killer legally possessed and carried the firearm used to kill this person. So probably no weapons charges either.
  6. Story Wednesday May 9, 2018

    I'm stalking you with obvious intent to kill you, and have made several indisputable attempts to do so, in a situation where you cannot escape to safety. (Maybe we're way out in the desert on a hot day, and the only water bottle and the keys to the only vehicle in the area are on my person. If you just run away, and manage to elude my pursuit, you die of dehydration and/or heat exhaustion.) Yep, you're justified in killing me from ambush. Aside: Let's see, yeah, call our hotline... we can't be bothered stating the number... now for the weather... Do ya really think they care who killed this guy?
  7. Story Friday May 4, 2018

    You could still shake your cane at them.
  8. Story Wednesday May 9, 2018

    And Magus's battle magic has, so far, appeared to be more controllable (in terms of what is damaged and how badly) than the golem's. In some circumstances that's kind of important.
  9. Story Wednesday May 9, 2018

    The thing is, Magus' belief on the matter is simply not a matter of science. It wouldn't matter if the top 100 battlemages in his universe were all female, he could still assert "they'd be even more powerful if they'd been, and trained as, male 99% of the time" and there would be no way to prove him wrong. (And the same claim with the sexes reversed would also not be disprovable.)
  10. Story Friday May 4, 2018

    Oedipus completely gets a bad rap for that stuff. People who've read the actual story have a much different take on it... First, he didn't "kill his father". He killed a random stranger who attacked him on the road for no apparent reason. Then, he didn't "marry his mother". He arrived at a city in a double crisis. He resolved one crisis, a sphinx threatening to destroy the city, by correctly answering the sphinx's riddle (sphinxes are big on riddles, although there are alternative ways of dealing with them). The second crisis was that the king was missing and presumed dead, with no heirs. The leaders of the city offered Oedipus the throne, with the condition that he marry the presumed-late king's widow to create more of an appearance of legitimacy. He accepted the deal, even though he and his new wife had no knowledge of having met before. Some time later Oedipus found out that the attacker he had killed on the road was both the missing king (so the presumption that he was dead, was correct) and his own father, and his wife was his mother. In response to this knowledge his mother/wife hanged herself, and he blinded himself. An accurate "Oedipus complex" would be a bad reaction to learning, after the fact, that you've accidentally married a close relative, and/or to the fact that the person you've quite justifiably killed was a close relative. Not a desire to kill or marry a close relative. Narcissus, on the other hand, totally fit the common image.
  11. Story Friday May 4, 2018

    I suspect that the effect would be the opposite of helping.
  12. Story Friday May 4, 2018

    My impression is that this is a problem with legislatures (and legislators) in general.
  13. Things you have no idea how to feel about

    If I had ever heard of that entity, I would not have thought "Japanese" from the name.
  14. Story Friday May 4, 2018

    When my father worked at Boeing (medical retirement in early 1970s, so the large majority of paperwork was physically on paper) the word was that if the paperwork on an airplane (by which they meant *each individual* airplane, not just a design) didn't outweigh the plane, it obviously couldn't fly yet. A 747 weighs approximately 600,000 pounds. Empty. That's about 3.6 *million* square meters of standard US 20-pound copy paper. There are about 16.5 pages per square meter. So, just under 60 million pages, assuming they don't use any other size of form (and in fact they routinely used several smaller forms, some of them considerably smaller). The tale may have been an exaggeration - but maybe not. Each individual part, including the rivet fasteners, takes at least two signatures - one from the person who installed it, and one from the quality-control person who checked that it was installed properly. (Dad was on the quality-control side. Including on 747s, his last few years.) Some parts - not rivets, which Boeing buys by the ton - take considerably more than two signatures before they even get to installation. Oh, and if there's a problem with how a part is installed, but it can be fixed, there are two MORE signatures, one from the guy who fixes it and one from a quality-control guy. (I'm not sure how you'd want to count things when the QC guy says "take it out, throw it away, put in a different one" - but it definitely generates extra paperwork. And yes, the QC guys can and do say that.) There are about 1.5 million rivets on a 747. Along with a similar number of other fasteners. And another 3 million or so other parts.
  15. Story Friday May 4, 2018

    Speculation: the Uryuom that the golem is remembering spoke Old Uryuom, not Modern Uryuom, and either withdrew from Earth or died out here. The modern Uryuom are a much more recent arrival.
  16. Story, Monday April 30, 2018

    Columbus put on his map of what turned out to be the Caribbean, an island which he did not claim to have ever been within sight of. There's an island pretty much where he put it. He got the shape of the island about as close to correct as he did the islands he had actually explored, except slightly rotated relative to a north-south line. Columbus named this island Saint Brendan's Island. Brendan was an Irish monk from a couple centuries earlier. He disappeared from Ireland, and several years later returned with a story (which he wrote down) about being out fishing in a coracle when a storm came up and swept him out to sea. Surviving by fishing and trapping rainwater in the coracle, he (claimed) eventually came to a tropical island, where he lived for a few years before another storm launched him on a repeat of the process taking him back to Ireland. His story described the island in some detail. This is one of several reasons to think that Columbus *knew* he would reach some sort of land well before reaching China. But the promise of riches, that would be believed, would be from a safer trade route to China, not from exploring unknown islands that most people didn't believe existed.
  17. NP Monday April 30, 2018

    I'm less than happy with the non-consensual transformation of random relatively-innocents, and I am REALLY not happy with the non-consensual MENTAL transformation of random relatively-innocents.
  18. Story, Monday April 30, 2018

    Abraham's responsible for the enchantment on the now-blown-up-and-evaporated diamond. Not necessarily for the existence of it. Alternative theory 3, compatible with either of the prior two: The golem wants to deny the power of the wooden core to humanity, because it's a wand with a particular spell that was anathema AND blasphemous (and a few other really bad things) according to the golem-makers' culture. That spell is... ... now what comic are you reading? Isn't it obvious? ... sex-change magic.
  19. NP, Friday April 27, 2018

    Goonmanji2 is a very elaborately-strangely shaped wand with an odd way for the users to pick which of its spells to cast (some of which have odd restrictions on whom they can be cast on). But it's ultimately *completely* under the players' control - they can walk away from the game, they can decide not to play, they can read the cards to get an idea of what might happen *before* deciding whether or not to play... Definitely empowering with a light touch of guiding. What Voltaire did to Dex was closer to take-over... but the way immortal law works, Voltaire had to convince nobody but himself that it was okay.
  20. Story, Monday April 30, 2018

    Alternate theory 1: the golem made the diamond, in order to seal up whatever magic was in the wooden core. Alternate theory 2: someone/thing else made the diamond in order to hide the core from the golem.
  21. This Day In History

    That's exactly why I gave up on the pun...
  22. This Day In History

    ... trying to make a pun about just how serious she might have been, without getting too overtly political ... ... giving up ...
  23. Changing Medications (Level of Trust Required)

    WOOT! Good goin' Prof!
  24. Story Monday 4-23-2018

    Possibly the Endless Barrel of Exposition is disguised as a wand, and has been dubbed "Kevin".
  25. Story Friday April 20, 2018

    As useful for detecting wizards. No comment on other sorts of current and potential magic-users. And perhaps not as instantly annoying, but I suspect he's even more annoying in the long run. The detection wand, after all, isn't self-activating.