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Nature is awesome.

Some birds in the already insane birds of paradise species have been found to have "ultra black" feathers specially evolved to suck in the maximum light particles. The purpose is to create a backdrop for a colorful display f feathers that will really pop against the black.

I love the part where the males are seen as doing this so they don;t actually have to work as hard to produce truly brilliant colors. Lazy men.  :P

Work smarter, not harder, man.

So you're saying men are smarter than women?


This was just so cool to watch yesterday, I literally fist pumped when this happened:

Also I couldn't get enough of watching this guy "driving" in space!

I kind of wish there was the technology available so that they could have video streaming on the car as it orbits just so I could go back every so often and watch a dummy drive a car in space.

Speaking of space stuff, my daughter has started to ask me a lot of questions about space recently, mostly because I'm being an awesome dad and keeping bringing things up in order to try to brainwash her to love this stuff early.  Last night as she was getting ready for bed she asked me how the solar system was formed and I'm trying to tell a four year old about supernovas and the theory of gravity and just watching her not understand a single word of it but still acting interested for my benefit.  And then when it came time to tell her a story last night I had to talk about how her two dolls were trying to get away from a galaxy sized werewolf.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« on: February 02, 2018, 06:22:07 PM »
Wexler's Shadow Campaign series is one of my favorites of the newer series out there (probably going to start reading the last book this weekend).  Xiagan's points pretty much mirror mine although I would add I do like the military aspects within the books as well.

I didn't even notice, I actually thought I had gotten there awhile ago.  But yes I agree, any reason to have cake is a good reason.

Whoop! Whoop!

SB — should anyone who reaches Master Namer have the privilege of picking a Forum title for a member of their choice?  :o ;D

As one who is titleless themselves I would be pretty bad at changing any titles other than adding Oxford commas as appropriate.

Oh, Iceland.

A few days ago we had a particularly brutal freeze. The kind that saps your strength and slows your mind.

It was followed by a couple of days of a strangely warm thaw, which made the streets incredibly slippery.

Which was then followed by a freeze that was technically milder, but now the air was very humid.

Today we're hovering around zero. Tomorrow we're having another big thaw, accompanied by very high winds.

Not sure if you're describing Iceland or Indiana.  Last week at this time it was 50F, today its 9F with a wind chill in the negatives.

Reports coming that Ursula Le Guin passed away.

I feel you, although not so severely these days. Mrs. Gem and I are looking to relocate locally - not going far, but we're looking to move up a bit. We're getting our financials and approvals in order and hopefully slipping into this:  https://www.trulia.com/property/44681759-4738-Wildwood-Dr-Evans-GA-30809

The Northerner in my shudders at seeing an unattached garage but down there its not going to be a problem.  I really like the gazebo and the backyard area but the feature in the driveway is throwing me a little.  Overall its pretty nice and I wouldn't say no to living it in myself (although I'm not planning on ever moving again until the kids move out and/or I get tired to going up the stairs).

No wonder that when americans come to Europe (but mainly UK) they're speechless at the combination size/price of houses ::)

Whenever I watch one of those house hunters shows when they're in Europe I almost always wonder where the rest of the house is with the price they are asking.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: January 19, 2018, 03:12:26 PM »
Finished Red Sister last night and really enjoyed it, it is easily my favorite Lawrence book and probably the best book I have read in the past year or so (which considering how much I didn't read last year that may not be that high of compliment).  Eagerly waiting for the next book now to see where the story goes.

Not sure what I'm going to read next, I have several books on hold so probably will just wait for those rather than to find something else right now.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Writers' progress
« on: January 17, 2018, 02:03:11 PM »
On point B I tend to notice this a lot with music.  When I look back at my favorite artists its almost inevitably their first album or two that (or at least the first one that I heard) that I tend to love and aside from a few exceptions most of their newer stuff likely doesn't do much for me.  I think the first time you discover something that you really really like you put it more on a pedestal so high up that its really hard for anything else to match it even if it may be technically better that what came before.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: January 17, 2018, 01:57:28 PM »
I might have finally found a match between myself and Mark Lawrence with Red Sister.  I have enjoyed his writing and world building in his previous series but the main protagonists for both of those never did anything for me and so those series never really did anything for me.  I'm about 1/3 of the way through the book so far and its shaping up to easily be my favorite Lawrence book.


It's a solid sanderson book. Boring at the start, and confusing as well, there is just so much to remember and I'd forgotter... But it picked up and the last third is probably the best.
I just don't like Shallan. Spent way too much time with her unrealistically angsty self... Dalinar was okay to spend so much time with though I skimmed through a few of his bloodbaths battle memories. Sometimes you don't need to spend four pages on a shardblade duel that can be summed up by "I turned the other guy into mincemeat".
It's an enjoyable series despite everything.

I am currently struggling with this one. I just can't seem to get into it and I loved the first two. I am maybe 25% in...

I struggled as well, some due to the book and some due to other things.  I wish I could have read one of the first two for the first time at this point in my life to see if they felt any different or if it was just Oathbringer that was kind of meh for me.  This was the 2nd Sanderson book in a row that I didn't love (was not a big fan of Bands of Mourning) which makes me wonder if his writing has changed or my tastes have just a little bit.

Jmack,  ;D

Today when I left home it was -5 C!!! I spent AGES removing the ice from the windscreens, including inside the car >:( >:(

Oh, you're just adorable.  :)
;D you forget this is England, hehe
And I bet you with -20 or something, don't have the car issues I do ::)

If we had a whole winter that never got colder than -5C I would consider it a pretty good winter.

I picked up a game called They Are Billions this weekend and loving it.  It's an RTS but instead of going out and trying to destroy the enemy on the map you actually have to defend your base against attacks and it can be tough, one little mistake and you're all done.  In a way its frustrating but for me its a fun sort of frustrating that I enjoy.  The game is in Early Access on Steam right now with just the survival mode available at this point.  They are going to have a campaign when it gets to 1.0 but honestly at that point it will be a bonus, I will get my money's worth just with the survival mode.

3-- I usually don't rate the book at all b/c I don't want to hurt the author's star rating.  It was meh
2-- I usually just don't rate this book at all either... unless it was really close to a 1 and had a single redeeming

I know you're coming at it from a different angle than I would since you are an author but as a reader if its a 3 then I rate it at 3 regardless of the author's rating or not.  I mostly don't look at ratings much anyways, they always seem higher that what I would do (and don't even get me started on rating a book that hasn't been released yet), but I think they should be how you truly feel about the book.  If there were enough people who rated this way a book could be rated a 4 instead of a more accurate 3.something which can potentially mislead readers and possibly make the author miss something that needs to be improved in later books.

Nope its not social media and I'll hopefully poke around a bit more. 

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