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How To End A Season

2017/08/06 Leave a comment

I’ve been watching through Supernatural lately (which is fun, and I’ll probably write a post about that show specifically some time), and it’s led me to think a bit about the structure of television shows.

In particular, the nature of the season.  (And not The Fifth Season, mind you.)

Note: I’m not going to bother marking spoilers, since I’ll be referring mostly to older TV shows, or earlier seasons of them.

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Categories: Fiction In General Tags: ,

Science Fiction Round 74: Lockstep

2017/07/23 Leave a comment

Some science fiction is harder than the rest.  Lockstep is one of the relatively few “big-scale” space-opera novels I’ve read that actually handles a no-faster-than-light reality relatively well.  It has a few plot holes, and I’ve got some quibbles about the setup, but it’s worth a read.

Also, the Goodreads ratings are… kind of funny, in that there are complaints about the story being too hard sci-fi, or too complex, too hard to easily understand.  I guess if you’re not into complex worldbuilding blended with some science-y stuff, this might not be a good book for you.

As ever… this review contains some spoilers.

The two people in this image are probably intended to be our two main protagonists, Toby and Corvana.

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Categories: Clement's Game Tags:

Fantasy Round 55: Chronic Backstabbing Disorder

2017/07/09 Leave a comment

The Traitor Baru Cormorant is a highly accurate title, and the character definitely suffers from one of the variants of the tvtropes malady in this post’s title.

The book is a fascinating ride — although I don’t recommend it if you’re looking for something cheerful and uplifting.  Major spoilers below.

The cover is fairly clearly symbolic, and likely references the colloquial name of the empire in the story — The Masquerade — and the fact that all its officials wear masks.

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Superheroes Round 24: Wonder Woman

2017/06/25 Leave a comment

This movie was fun.  It was high time we had a Wonder Woman movie, and I’m reasonably convinced that it’s the best movie that DC has put out for a good long while.

In other words, I’m about to do some analysis and spoil the whole plot.

Wonder Woman, aka Diana, is definitely the central character of the story.

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The Beige Diet: Panacea or Preposterous?

2017/06/16 Leave a comment

San Francisco — There’s a new fad in town, and it doesn’t come with a shiny aluminum case or a logo in primary colors.

It comes in beige.

“The Beige Diet: A Balanced Approach to Food” is changing the color palette of the nation’s meals.  The book became an overnight sensation following its release in May.

Author Leo Bennet, an independent entrepreneur, struck on the idea while eating a restaurant meal.  “It was too complicated, too colorful.  I found myself longing for a simple bowl of chicken noodle soup.”

“The Beige Diet” focuses on a simple diet of soothing foods.  He advocates eating whatever you like — if it comes in a light-to-medium brown.  “Easy on the eye means easy on the stomach,” writes Bennet.  “Black coffee is too much, but add a little cream to mellow it out, and there you are.”

The book itself includes a pair of paint strips in shades of tan and brown, allowing readers to easily determine what foods count as “beige”.

While Bennet’s educational background is focused on mechanical engineering, he emphasizes the scientific basis for the diet.  “There’s a connection between the gut and the brain, after all.  If the colors are too bright, or too strange, then that’s going to make your gut say, ‘whoa, I don’t know about this.’  It’s the cause of a lot of problems.”

The book claims that the diet cures indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome, among a host of other maladies.  Bennet himself claims that he’s “never felt better” since going on the beige diet.  However, the long-term effects have not been studied in the medical literature.

When asked about potential vitamin deficiencies, Bennet commented, “There are vitamins that come in beige.  Also cantaloupe is kind of brownish.”

Consumers love it anyway.  “It’s made shopping so much easier,” says Jennifer Easterly, of Oakland.  “I just whip out the color swatches, and I know if I’ve got it right.”

People like Easterly have state officials paying attention.  Reportedly, the California Department of Agriculture is working with farmers to manage the increased demand for almonds and other nuts, chicken, potatoes, and similarly hued foodstuffs.

Meanwhile, mainstream dietary experts are not impressed.

“You could make your entire diet milk chocolate and coffee ice cream,” Monica Delores, a professor of medicine and human nutrition at Telegraph Hill College.  “There’s no call for reasonable balance.  Or fruits and vegetables.  This is the worst diet plan I’ve ever heard of, and I’ve seen them all.”

In response to a question about whether the medical profession should examine the beige diet’s potential effects, Delores said, “No, because it’s nonsense.  What kind of unethical industry shills do you think we are?”

Another nutritionist, who asked to remain anonymous, said, “Oh, f*** that bulls***.  And yes, you can quote me.”

***

In case you hadn’t noticed, the above is really, truly satire.

(But, apparently only so much — if you’re curious, Google “color diet” and then… well…)

Kyle, Dan, and Thomas: I blame you guys for this.