March 29, 2020, 03:26:21 AM

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Messages - Nora

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General Discussion / Re: The Virus thread
« on: Today at 12:31:06 AM »
Do you know if there is a time limit on how  long we can have a walk/run/cycle outdoors for.

I’ve heard on the radio there is a 2km distance rule from your home. Not sure if that’s correct seems a bit short.
Heard a story from a person in France who was stopped by police while going for a walk and told that he was not to go more than a kilometre from his place of origin.

UK police used drones to shame people taking scenic walks in Lake District. It's a conflicting thing. Obviously they're completely alone in the wild. They're not transmitting anything. By coming there they're also not clogging the local park (and mine is a pretty busy place rn...), but also they have a point : everyone starts thinking that, and next thing you know everyone is doing it. it's hard to keep people from having fun, but if you leave some daring ones to do it, then more will come out, thinking it's ok. We're leggit surrendering freedom for the good of the people...

General Discussion / Re: The Virus thread
« on: Today at 12:02:07 AM »
With all due respect, scientists are inventing vaccines and medicines for covid.  The pandemic will not last 2 years

There are vaccines and medicines for plain ordinary flu virus. Yet it comes around and kills every single year for decades. Because it mutates. There's no reason at all to think this one is the non-mutating variety. After all, it isn't called Covid-1, it's called Covid-19.

There is reason to think it. Scientists think that's the case already. They believe it's a stable virus. They can't be 100% sure, but no need to be alarmist.

Covid 19 is not its real name either. It's actually called SARS-CoV-2. The 19 stands for 2019, not 19th in a row or whatever. (Xiagan beat me to that)

If you want to write anything about the virus, then please do your homework properly Skip, as posting such misinformation is bad for everyone all around. There are plenty of good channels I can recommend you if you want to keep up to date on the science day by day.

Also would like to point out the flu is an Influenza virus, and Coronaviruses are the ones behind the common cold. No point comparing chickens and cows, though the symptoms are in the same chest area.

With all due respect, scientists are inventing vaccines and medicines for covid.  The pandemic will not last 2 years

I hope not too, but it's happened before (Spanish flu in 1918-19), and it isn't certain that a vaccine or medicine will be developed by a particular date. Also, viruses mutate, so it may come back that way. It's very uncertain.

Please do your research on the Spanish Flu if you want to talk about it too.

This increased severity has been attributed to the circumstances of the First World War.[91] In civilian life, natural selection favors a mild strain. Those who get very ill stay home, and those mildly ill continue with their lives, preferentially spreading the mild strain. In the trenches, natural selection was reversed. Soldiers with a mild strain stayed where they were, while the severely ill were sent on crowded trains to crowded field hospitals, spreading the deadlier virus. The second wave began, and the flu quickly spread around the world again. Consequently, during modern pandemics, health officials pay attention when the virus reaches places with social upheaval (looking for deadlier strains of the virus).[92]

The fact that most of those who recovered from first-wave infections had become immune showed that it must have been the same strain of flu. This was most dramatically illustrated in Copenhagen, which escaped with a combined mortality rate of just 0.29% (0.02% in the first wave and 0.27% in the second wave) because of exposure to the less-lethal first wave.[93] For the rest of the population, the second wave was far more deadly; the most vulnerable people were those like the soldiers in the trenches – adults who were young and fit.[94]

It's a bad comparison, you shouldn't make it. Even then, it shows the people who'd survived the first wave were immune to the second wave. We're also in a genral worldwide lockdown, not a world war, so the likelyhood of the virus being in a situation where it can mutate is very unlikely. Think about it. Even if ms Jones sees the virus mutates in her, and she dies very suddenly, so what? The virus is very contagious, most likely her entire household already has or had a variant of it. Most likely she's isolating at home. Even if she makes it to hospital before she dies, by now she'd be taken through special triage, where there are other people with covid there, and every country is on full red alert, if a sub strain became apparent with people dying too soon, they'd be on it.

Even if it does happen and a deadlier second wave comes, having spent all the months prior worrying about it serves nothing but to stress you out, and stress is bad for the immune system, so leave N1H1 alone. It's like wondering if Ebola could become airborne. Unproductive stress. Be proactive : stay home, wash your hands, wear a mask/gloves outside to help limit how much you touch your face, stay away from people you don't share a household with, and if you're bored, reach out to local charities or your ministry of health to talk about volunteering, which can come in the form of calling people everyday who are at risk of loneliness.

I'm sorry if I come across as preachy, but I don't think a thread about covid-19 should be used to spread misinformation or fearmongering, however involuntarily that may be done.

General Discussion / Re: The Virus thread
« on: March 27, 2020, 04:45:44 PM »
Those are so funny ;D
And you look really well protected, hehe, it could be anyone under all those layers! Why do you need those shots now, were they essential? I hope you improve soon

Yes, they're essential because I had already started the courses. They don't recommend you stop mid-way, and that would also have meant me throwing several hundred pounds to the wind for nothing. No way I was letting this happen. I'm still going to Japan asap... And if everything conspires against me and I end up going somewhere else, I have a life time of rabies immunity (which means only two more shots after a bite/scratch, instead of a full course +immunoglobulin), and with boosters, I'll have 5 and 10 years of both Jap encephalitis, which will come in handy when I finally get to go to Japan! If somehow not next year... Then some other time, sadly as a tourist.
The mask isn't for particles so much as to keep myself from touching my face as I peal off the skin of my lips as a nervous tic, and I've been doing a lot of that.

England's Minister of Health also has Covid.  As well as 500 New York policemen

Bojo has it. Prime irony.

General Discussion / Re: The Virus thread
« on: March 26, 2020, 02:31:40 PM »
Had to go to the hospital for shots. It was odd... Main thoroughfares are deserted except for buses that run on a Saturday schedule :

Lots of people cycling, jogging, walking their dogs... It was surprisingly busy. Saw like 7 people in my usually deserted st. Two of them were lads playing cards in their front garden tbf.
Shots were devastating. My arm is swollen around the rabies one, and I got shivers, massive dizziness, total exhaustion... Had a real bad night, cannot wait to go nap!

Now though, gotta say, one great side of this is that the memes are fantastic quality!!

That last one still makes me chuckle.

General Discussion / Re: The Virus thread
« on: March 22, 2020, 02:50:35 PM »
Also, I woke up tonight due to some noise and had a mild scare: Felt there was a tightness in my chest, but apparently I was imagining it.

Most likely : you weren't. a tight sensation in the chest is a very common sign of anxiety. Don't know what woke you up, but you must have been anxious, and got that sensation, which made you more anxious, etc.
Trust me I had intercostal pains for years due to stress.

Yeah well... I'm isolating at home after a bad spell of coughing, and with the website down without much news, I didn't work on my story at all.

Sooo... yeah. Now I don't have excuses anymore xD

That is so far down my alley, one of my longest WIP is about a deity running people through mad borders, very roadside-picnic inspired, while undercover.
Damn it'll be hard to think outside of that, but I'm definitely giving this a try.

Edinburgh has a Candlemaker Row. A street that goes along the ruins of the historical wall of the city, where all candlemakers were forced to operate, because if their shit caught on fire, then it'd be over there by the kirk graveyard and the wall, as far as possible from the rest of the city.

Also, yeah bath houses were very often brothels.

Look at this 15th century King checking out this establishment!

Writers' Corner / Re: Unrepentant Characters
« on: February 18, 2020, 10:24:00 PM »
I have nothing to add to this topic at all. I think it has all been said. End of the day it boils down to homework. You want to write an anti-hero character, study good anti-hero characters and take notes. The one key thing with Hannibal though, is that he's not the main character. The main character is a poor dysfunctional lad.. End of the day the fanbase is rooting for him, and not for Hannibal. Hanni is impossible to empathise with, he can't help himself being a total menace. No one is actually team Hannibal, for all that we're watching him with a lot of interest. It's like watching a train wreck in slow motion, and the train does fantastic train wreck jokes as it goes too.

Hannibal does a lot of jokes only you and him get, it's part of his charm and the horror of the watcher. You know, he knows, and you can't tell any of them. It makes you more invested in the other characters.

But I don't think this show is a good example, since the gorgeous cinematography and sound design are a big part of what makes it good, besides the stellar cast. In a book, you can't have your characters charismatically played by Mads Mikkelsen.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Murderbot series: who’s a fan
« on: February 15, 2020, 04:55:58 PM »
I really love Murderbot. Read the first two. Managed to get them in my shop once but I think my manager chicked out of re-ordering because they're so damn expensive. It's a shame.

Jennie and Geoff post the main site articles on twitter, and sometimes some other things too.

I'd love to become the big link between the forum and the main site, but things seem to move at glaciar speed (although now I've got Marc involved too!)

Is there anything stopping any of us from posting on the FB page though? Posting threads there, saying "hey, we've been discussing this over there, come and join"? or even subtler, just start a conversation on fb saying "on the forum we've been arguing about this (link) what is your opinion on it?" even if unprompted a few people are bound to end up browsing the forum?

If done often enough, especially around the contest, then people will get to know the forum?

edit : as for answering your question. No. I don't tell people about this forum. Mostly because I don't talk to many SFF lovers anywhere. I've told my colleagues, especially around the time I won the erotica topic, I was checking on the vote results at work and having fun letting my friends read samples. I know they'd both completely lack the motivation to come and stalk me here and neither are a writer.
On the internet I simply don't interact with potential writers that much. Besides here, only on reddit.

Monthly Writing Contest / Re: Contest Theme Ideas
« on: February 07, 2020, 11:30:57 AM »
May I suggest "twist at the end" as a topic for next writing contest. It'll be judged by story ofc plus how surprisingly unexpected the twist at end was.

Was going to point out we already did plot twists... and checked. Sure enough it was my second entry ever... in 2015 though.

Whatever happens however, I think you best temper your expectations Bender, the contest seems to be on hold until things are decided, and usually there is a pre-arranged list. Looks like it might change, but please don't expect the next topic to be Twist at the end.

Monthly Writing Contest / Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« on: February 07, 2020, 11:25:59 AM »
Since this Thread is still going, I'd like to argue against everyone who has offered to make this a flash fiction contest.
The rules stipulates a maximum of 1,500, but nothing stops anyone from doing an 800 or 1000 submission. I've rarely managed to fit my stories under 1500, and I'm not good at flash fiction. I genuinely feel that if the maximum cap fell down to 1k I would simply stop participating. It would be too much of a struggle as a writer.

I think keeping it a free format with a minimum and maximum word count is the best option. Others may disagree, it's just my opinion on this specific matter.

Monthly Writing Contest / Re: What to do about the writing contest?
« on: February 06, 2020, 02:42:30 AM »
I personally dropped out of the forum for a variety of reasons. Some people I didn't get along with and put me off entire threads, I reached a point where I felt I didn't have much else "to say" in talking about SFF in general, and have never been one much to talk about books in specifics.
This has been wildly accentuated by my job becoming an SFF specialist bookseller. I talk about books with book lovers 7h a day and have tended to come home wanting to think about something else.  I've also decided to teach myself 3D art as a way of making my work situation bearable throughout Xmas, and this new hobby has pushed writing to the corners of my creative time (and what little I write these days mostly goes to a Star Wars fanfic I'm doing for kicks and giggles with a mate as a pissoff middle finger to the end of the trilogy).

Now there is nothing that can be done about any of that.

However, a few of the topics also did not appeal to me, and that will always be the case, but I do agree that either voting on topics or releasing 4/6 months of topics ahead of schedule might be refreshing. It'll let people who need more time plan ahead on topics they like.

There is also the lack of goal. I get frustrated when I see that some writers post yet don't vote, which carries a ton of weight when there are 5 voters tops. The stories aren't posted on the website, they're not getting exposition, so in the end 4 people read me here, I may never get feedback. So if I don't get an official publication, I may as well post the story on the sf writers subreddit, where I'll get dozens of reads and a handful of reviews. (spoiler alert, I don't do that a lot, I'm too busy animating weird shit these days, but I have done so in the past instead of writing here).

The forum does feel a bit tumbleweedy. We're far from the glory days where Jaymack recruited out new writers the breath after welcoming them to the forum. I don't have any ideas about that. I came to this place on a feverish quest for human company and help at a weird, dark time in my life when I was going insane having a bunch of horses for main company for days on end.
I highly doubt that's the main stream of newcomers. But yeah, if the fb people don't know about us, then what gives? It'd be nice to have the winning stories posted on fb too!! It's sad but true, there is no perks in winning besides patting oneself on the back and the gratification of beating someone else by a single vote.
I can't wait for Bea to get a hand on the staring wheel in that department. She's been relentlessly helping with the contest and always ready to step forward for more while other mods did less and less (for perfectly natural and justified reasons), I'm just chagrined that she hasn't been offered more sooner. The contest has been let to fade from the main site for years, so I suspect this is a negative feeding cycle where the neglect from higher up drips down to lower down, where all the main party involved decide to all go do other things somewhere else.

Which is why I voted for the first and last entries both. It'd be ideal imo for Bea (or anyone, at this point), to work the backlog on the main site, and the powers that be to beat the drum to remind our apparently large community that the forum exists and has a cool contest that is officially back on track.
The contest itself could use a little revamp, with either a thread for topic votes (maybe through likes, each person submitting an idea, and we simmer the best down to a pol, establishing the next 2/3 months that way?) or an open list.
This of course has the perk of being temporary. We could go back to a month by month system if the other doesn't stick.

I have to point out it's something I'm really behind. Sometimes I know from day one I have zero interest in trying the topic and I despair because I have the writing juice but really dislike the topic (like every single fanfic month), could have seen me instead spend two months polishing the next topic if it's more to my taste.
Of course I realise participation might end up even patchier than it is if 5 writers are each writing for a different month... Which is why getting fresh blood is number one.

Erff. Sorry. Might be rambling a bit, it's so late!

Don't take my words or advice too much to heart. I don't feel like I've been participating enough to get much weight in the topic.

My last word is this : please don't stop the contest if there are other options! It is fantastic and is what kept me writing all these years and I'd never have fucking guess I could write a compiling romance in 1500 words in all my life if it weren't for it, and for you guys making this fun. This is just a bump in the road. Please stay strong.

Links, Competitions and 'Stuff' / Re: The Peat's Blog thread
« on: January 04, 2020, 06:58:56 PM »
A review of Marie Brennan's Turning Darkness Into Light -
Yay, I've been looking at this book for ages, so glad to see that Marie continues to write great books :D
Hey @Nora, have you read this one?

Nope! haven't yet! Hope you enjoy it, and hope it holds up to the original series.

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