DrStone's recent activity

  1. Comment on Have you ever watched a zeitgeisty show a long time after it finished? What did you think? in ~tv

    DrStone
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    Cheers Originally airing September 30, 1982 to May 20, 1993, I watched it on Netflix only a few years ago. At a daunting 11 seasons and 275 episodes, I was hesitant to invest, but am so glad I...

    Cheers
    Originally airing September 30, 1982 to May 20, 1993, I watched it on Netflix only a few years ago. At a daunting 11 seasons and 275 episodes, I was hesitant to invest, but am so glad I did. The characters are all multidimensional, flawed, genuinely good people tackling problems and topics that are still generally relevant to life today, almost entirely on the set of a small neighborhood bar. Frequent chuckles, a number of laugh out loud moments, and some real tear-jerkers. Even the theme song is delightfully catchy and heartwarming.

    I hated the Diane Chambers character though.

    3 votes
  2. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    DrStone
    Link
    I've been playing Kingdom Come: Deliverance recently. You play the son of a blacksmith in feudal Bohemia. Your village gets ransacked, eventually a sword your father made for the local lord gets...

    I've been playing Kingdom Come: Deliverance recently. You play the son of a blacksmith in feudal Bohemia. Your village gets ransacked, eventually a sword your father made for the local lord gets stolen, and you have to go get it back along with vengeance.

    The setting is the strongest aspect. There's no magic or fantasy, only medieval life, politics, conflict, and the passage of time. When you discover new things, you'll get entries in your codex with real-world information and history. The world is alive and doesn't revolve around you. NPCs go about their business and events happen over time regardless whether you're around or not. Chance encounters are plenty. The quests are interesting, generally historically appropriate, and varied. It can be a little stressful, but fun to plan out how you'll tackle quests based on time, travel distance, nearby quests, etc.

    Characters and interactions are pretty well done. Every line is voice acted, from the main characters to the peasants, and there's a quite a bit of dialogue. Dialogue often has several options with different skill checks against different aspects of your character versus the NPC's priorities and your reputation with them.

    You start out terrible at everything, as would be historically accurate, and get better through use/practice and occasionally books/trainers/etc. For instance, you can't read and book text appears as gibberish until you learn how, and then you have to practice to read harder texts. Or how you are absolute garbage in combat and slowly get better. It's frustrating and a bit wonky, probably my least favorite part (similar to how I feel about The Witcher series).

    The save system is a bit annoying; you can only save by a) sleeping in certain beds b) reaching certain story/quest checkpoints and c) drinking a special in-game item. It's possible to be venturing home across the land after a bunch of more minor activities only to get ambushed on the road and killed, losing an hour of work.

    My real gripe is that it, at least what's available through the Epic Store, is a janky, bug-ridden mess and has been for years. There are so many loading screens, including every time you open the map. Every time I quit the game, it's a full system hard-crash (no other game does this). It often doesn't save graphics/window settings between launches. Sometimes the in-game save item doesn't work. Sometimes a save entry gets corrupted. Sometimes you get stuck in the ground and have to fast-travel to get out. Sometimes it stops responding to any of the menu-opening keys (including for the save/exit menu) while the movement keys are fine until a restart with task manager. Sometimes it completely hangs when opening a mode like the alchemy table. Sometimes a cursor icon shows up around the normal first-person recital icon and it moves as you look around. Then there's a bunch of more specific quest and item related bugs. Combine all of these with the weird save system and you can have some infuriating times.

    3 votes
  3. Comment on The problem with telling sick workers to stay home in ~health.coronavirus

    DrStone
    Link Parent
    Clicking around their homepage, it seems like a lot of the articles have a more reasonable, descriptive url and html (tab) title, and then a more clickbait visible title on the page" The...

    Clicking around their homepage, it seems like a lot of the articles have a more reasonable, descriptive url and html (tab) title, and then a more clickbait visible title on the page"

    • The Geopolitics of the Coronavirus vs The Coronavirus Is Exposing the Limits of Populism
    • How Biden Won Super Tuesday vs The Establishment Strikes Back
    • The Last Days Of Michael Bloomberg's Failed Campaign vs Why Michael Bloomberg Spent Half a Billion Dollars to be Humiliated
    • Review: Fergus M. Bordewich's 'Congress At War' vs Abraham Lincoln's Radical Moderation
    • Why Sexual Harassment Persists at Conservatories vs Classical Music Has a 'God Status' Problem
    2 votes
  4. Comment on What's the Coronavirus like where you are? in ~talk

    DrStone
    Link Parent
    Take it with a a big grain of salt, but I read that there was a rumor circulating on Chinese social media saying something like toilet paper manufacturers were being forced to make masks, which...

    Take it with a a big grain of salt, but I read that there was a rumor circulating on Chinese social media saying something like toilet paper manufacturers were being forced to make masks, which might result in a toilet paper shortage.

    5 votes
  5. Comment on Suggest me an anime - just finished Dr. Stone in ~anime

    DrStone
    Link
    Here's a few Hataraku Saibou ("Cells at Work!") - Cells and pathogens personified in a city-like representation of the body. They do a good job with scientific accuracy while still being humorous...

    I like the idea of learning interesting stuff through anime.

    Here's a few

    Hataraku Saibou ("Cells at Work!") - Cells and pathogens personified in a city-like representation of the body. They do a good job with scientific accuracy while still being humorous and entertaining.
    Yuru Camp ("Laid-Back Camp") - School girls in an outdoors club go camping around Japan. Interesting camping/outdoor info and some light Japan travel info. Cute, light, feel-good, and educational.
    Shokugeki no Souma (Food Wars!) - Intense is an understatement to describe the culinary high school this show follows. Everything is settled in cooking battles. Super over the top, but the dishes are great, they talk about techniques and culinary info to varying degrees of detail, and there's full recipes in the manga (i've made a few, they're good). Also quite funny.
    Yakitate!! Japan () - Kid pursues his dream to create a bread of Japan. I imagine Shokugeki took a lot of inspiration from here. This one can be very over the top, but the bread-baking principles are sound (one episode even had a live-action recipe demonstration for breadmaking in a rice cooker).
    Haikyu!! - High school volleyball. Super intense. Great characters and animation. I learned a lot about the game.

    2 votes
  6. Comment on Anti-vaxers are not evil in ~health

    DrStone
    Link Parent
    Preface: I am pro-vaccine and think they should be mandatory. You have some chance to get infected by the disease and, if infected, have some chance of dying from it, making for some smaller...

    Preface: I am pro-vaccine and think they should be mandatory.

    You have some chance to get infected by the disease and, if infected, have some chance of dying from it, making for some smaller overall chance of dying from the disease in a lifetime. If you believe that chance is low enough and the (believed) chance of becoming autistic from a vaccine to be high enough, then vaccinating won't seem worth it.

    For an exaggerated example, if there's a 0.001% lifetime chance of an average individual dying from the Placeholder Flu, but a (believed) 50% chance of becoming autistic if a vaccine is administered, the choice not to vaccinate makes more sense.

    6 votes
  7. Comment on Andrew Yang drops out of presidential race in ~news

    DrStone
    Link Parent
    Is this assessment relative to the USA historically or to the world (or simply "at the highest levels of power, corruption exists right now)?

    Right now in the USA, corruption is at its highest level.

    Is this assessment relative to the USA historically or to the world (or simply "at the highest levels of power, corruption exists right now)?

    2 votes
  8. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    DrStone
    Link
    This past week I started and finished Horace, having gotten it for free during one of the Epic Store giveaways. Steam lists reception as "very positive" and the opening screen of the trailer has...

    This past week I started and finished Horace, having gotten it for free during one of the Epic Store giveaways. Steam lists reception as "very positive" and the opening screen of the trailer has all of these 9+/10 scores. Talk of great platforming, well written and funny, interesting and refreshing plot, gorgeous art style, metroidvania gameplay, earthbound-level quirky plot and characters, and more. I had high hopes.

    It was awful.

    First, the gameplay. Metroidvania accumulation and upgrade of new powers to get into new places, fine. The main power is the ability to walk on most surfaces and have the camera rotate to make it the new "ground". In concept, a neat mechanic. In practice, frustrating, as it's done entirely automatically. Want to walk off a ledge? Nope, world rotates. Jump a little too close to a ceiling or a wall? World rotates, often putting you in a trap. There were plenty of buttons unused even on a controller that making one a "hold to activate" would have been fine. The movement itself was ok, but since you have to hold "run" to move above a snail's pace or to get over an obstacle bigger than a grain of sand, the forward momentum on landing becomes frustrating. Hollow Knight, this is not. Hitboxes on enemies and obstacles were also unpredictable. It all made it feel like deaths and difficulty were from fighting the mechanics, particularly during the boss battles (ugh, the giant robot ones are the worst), rather than lack of skill.

    The art wasn't great, both in style and design(?). "Pixel" backgrounds and sprites that looked maybe generated from higher res assets (not as crisp and intentional pixel color/placement as one would expect), mixed with some pixelated 3D things, mixed with some I-found-the-radial-gradient-tool looking 3D assets, mixed with some realistic fire, and then zooming in on most of these things for a good portion of the game due to cutscenes. Significant reuse and in-your-face copy/paste of assets. A bunch of mini-games that absolutely sucked (bad implementations based on real games) but were necessary to progress.

    The story and writing, which everyone said was the best part, was probably the worst. Everything is written as Horace (main character, you, a robot) recounting his life over cutscenes. Everything is narrated by Horace, so it's all "and then Bill said 'blah blah blah' and sandy explained 'blah blah' and then Bob lit a cigarette and went outside" during the cutscenes with horace's voice and other lips moving and people are doing exactly what is stated. Because you're a robot, of course it's read excruciatingly slowly and monotone, along with equally bad paced cutscenes. Most of the "jokes" are people making a pop culture reference or exhibiting an emotion, since you're a robot, you saying "but I didn't get it". The plot itself was predictable with random things thrown in for no good reason. The whole thing felt like some early elementary school kid's creative writing short story being read aloud for the class.

    I'm just glad it was only ~10-15h.

    4 votes
  9. Comment on Bread pudding and the comforts of queer baking in ~food

    DrStone
    Link
    The queer aspect seemed like barely a footnote and largely irrelevant to the primary story of growing up and the cross-cultural dessert of bread pudding that the author told. It's not until the...

    The queer aspect seemed like barely a footnote and largely irrelevant to the primary story of growing up and the cross-cultural dessert of bread pudding that the author told. It's not until the fifth paragraph that it's first mentioned, as not a casual conversation topic among friends at gatherings (unsurprising?) where everyone would enjoy the bread pudding. It's not spoken of again until the last paragraph, where he as a single sentence with "[...] the role of queer bakers: we often end up providing comfort to those who may not have given it to us" without having set the reader up with any real examples for context (plus the same description can be equally applied to anyone who bakes or cooks). The two - queerness and baking - may have been more connected in his life, but I didn't get it at all from what was written here.

    6 votes
  10. Comment on ‘Forever chemicals’ are in your popcorn—and your blood in ~health

    DrStone
    Link Parent
    Have you tried an air popper? My parents had one when I was growing up and it was great.

    Have you tried an air popper? My parents had one when I was growing up and it was great.

    4 votes
  11. Comment on Scroll: a subscription service partnered with major websites that removes ads and many trackers, and pays sites based on your usage in ~tech

    DrStone
    Link Parent
    Spotify added a lot of value and convenience here though. It brought instant streaming, always available, guaranteed legitimate tracks, high quality, additional images and data about tracks,...

    “It was kind of the same question Spotify had: ‘why would anyone pay for this when you had Limewire and Napster,’” he said. “It worked out pretty well for them.”

    Spotify added a lot of value and convenience here though. It brought instant streaming, always available, guaranteed legitimate tracks, high quality, additional images and data about tracks, legal, etc while also paying (at least something to) the creators. This was significantly better than pre-downloading things you might want, hoping someone was sharing the track you want, only finding out after download if it's a legit and decent quality version, hunting down album art and info separately, worrying about legal letters showing up, not supporting the creators at all. Further, Spotify offers all of this for free with ads, hooking end users on the service before trying to convince them to pay.

    Here, the effective legal (afaik) and end user experience barely changes compared to the dead-simple free ad blockers already available. Sure, paying the creators is good and noble, but that alone doesn't usually move the masses, especially when doing so is more expensive.

    6 votes
  12. Comment on How do you find flights? in ~tech

    DrStone
    Link
    Usually a combination of SkyScanner, Google Flights, and my credit card's booking portal. One thing to note when using SkyScanner, and any service that either is or aggregates third-party booking...

    Usually a combination of SkyScanner, Google Flights, and my credit card's booking portal.

    One thing to note when using SkyScanner, and any service that either is or aggregates third-party booking services, is when you find a good deal try to find and book it directly on the airline/hotel website. It will save you a lot of headache and give you some confidence that it was booked correctly. If it's more expensive on the first-party site, at least confirm the flight/room is still available before using the third-party.

    For example, recently, I tried to book a round trip ticket (from A to B, then B to A) on Jetstar using one of the SkyScanner listings. The booking service said everything was good at checkout and in the confirmation email, but I only got a followup with ticket info for A to B. Checked with Jetstar directly using the reference code and they only had a one-way booked, no record of a round trip, and the return flight the booking service said I had was already full. The booking service then had the audacity to try and charge me a $50 cancellation fee. After this, I did some more research and found that this sort of thing isn't that uncommon.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on After visiting a topic's comments, that topic will show when it has new comments since your last visit in ~tildes.official

    DrStone
    Link Parent
    I think, more so if and when the site grows in activity, it will be useful to ignore particularly hot topics but want to come back to them later. It could be to declutter the topic list while a...

    I think, more so if and when the site grows in activity, it will be useful to ignore particularly hot topics but want to come back to them later. It could be to declutter the topic list while a few are really dominating in activity. It could be to cool off in an argument without being tempted to jump back in early by seeing it or getting @-mentions. Maybe there's a live event type thread and you'd prefer to wait until things settle to read the updated article and comments. Maybe there's a back-and-forth argument or near-live discussion on a particular reply thread that you don't care about, so you'd rather hide it for a bit until things settle down and "x new comments" becomes a more relevant indicator of new content you want to read again.

    6 votes
  14. Comment on What Americans Know About the Holocaust: fewer than half can correctly answer multiple-choice questions about the number of Jews who were murdered or the way Adolf Hitler came to power in ~humanities

    DrStone
    Link Parent
    RT.com Wikipedia page

    RT.com Wikipedia page

    RT (formerly Russia Today) is a Russian international television network funded by the Russian government.

    7 votes
  15. Comment on What Americans Know About the Holocaust: fewer than half can correctly answer multiple-choice questions about the number of Jews who were murdered or the way Adolf Hitler came to power in ~humanities

    DrStone
    Link Parent
    This is how the US public education system portrays it in my experience. The other groups get lumped together in a passing mention, comparatively.

    It portrays Jews as [...] the most important group targeted back then.

    This is how the US public education system portrays it in my experience. The other groups get lumped together in a passing mention, comparatively.

    4 votes
  16. Comment on You can now ignore individual topics, which will stop showing them in listings for you in ~tildes.official

    DrStone
    Link Parent
    Maybe there could be a "Snooze" in addition to the "Ignore". Snooze can either eventually fall out of the database like read-comments data or have some explicit value like "Snooze for [1 day, 1...

    Maybe there could be a "Snooze" in addition to the "Ignore". Snooze can either eventually fall out of the database like read-comments data or have some explicit value like "Snooze for [1 day, 1 week, 1 month]". Then "Ignore" can, on first usage, come with some sort of warning about how it will keep track of that (possibly) forever. Users can decide, much like enabling read-comments, what they're comfortable with.

    3 votes
  17. Comment on What are your unpopular movie opinions? in ~movies

    DrStone
    Link Parent
    If you haven't yet, I agree with @mundane_and_naive that Land of the Lustrous has been one of the best examples of CG used well in anime. Instead of treating CG as a way to cut animation costs...

    If you haven't yet, I agree with @mundane_and_naive that Land of the Lustrous has been one of the best examples of CG used well in anime. Instead of treating CG as a way to cut animation costs while trying to fit a hand-drawn style, they embraced what CG brings to the table as a method. Smooth dynamic cinematography and action, more realistic and detailed lighting with the gemstones and fluids, etc. It's also a great show underneath the technical aspects.

    3 votes
  18. Comment on An active user count in ~tildes

    DrStone
    Link Parent
    Let's say it's 5am and morning site traffic doesn't pick up until 7am. I want a response quickly. There's two possibilities: (Current) I post a topic now, it sits unanswered until 7, at which time...

    Let's say it's 5am and morning site traffic doesn't pick up until 7am. I want a response quickly. There's two possibilities:

    1. (Current) I post a topic now, it sits unanswered until 7, at which time discussion hopefully starts.
    2. (Proposed) I see active count is low, I wait until 7 and post a topic, discussion hopefully starts.

    In either situation, I have to wait 2 hours for a response. Knowing the active count doesn't get me a quick response. Even the best possible situation where I see active count is high, it may not be a set of users who can/want to discuss my topic, so I still wouldn't be able to safely expect a quick reply.

    4 votes
  19. Comment on What's good to air fry or dehydrate? in ~food