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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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76  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Was Mary Magdalene Jesus' wife? on: January 25, 2015, 06:03:41 pm
Probably not, and as far as I've seen the only reason this theory even exist is so that Anglo-Saxon atheist militants can say "gotcha" to devout Christians.
77  Forum Community / Forum Community Election Match-ups / Re: Which poster would the above poster choose as their Vice President? on: January 25, 2015, 05:45:27 pm
Sanchez.
78  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Unmournable Frenchies (reaction to Charlie Hebdo) on: January 25, 2015, 05:43:28 pm
I don't think this is an Anglo or a Francophobic thing so much as 'the far left are being terrible' thing.

It's not only a far-left thing. Somewhat surprisingly, when the Muhammad cartoons scandals of 2006 broke out, the firsts to denounce Charlie Hebdo for their "provocation" were often right-wing politicians, with Chirac leading the charge.

but Chirac wasn't calling them racist after they got killed.

That might have something to do with the fact he's gotten slightly senile since. Tongue Anyway, my point stands - the far-left isn't the only one of Charlie Hebdo's sworn enemies.
79  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: "Sick Privilege on: January 25, 2015, 05:38:12 pm
Oh come on Snowstalker, this is dumb even by your standards.

honestly i agree with him in this case. refusing to vaccinate your children definitely falls under the umbrella of child abuse.

Look, I'm not saying that's the right thing to do, but it's not like every child who doesn't get vaccinated is going to catch smallpox and die. As long as it's only 2-5% of the population that asks for exemption, it's really a non-issue and certainly doesn't warrants this hyperbolic language.

The problem with that statement: Let's say Jenny McCarthy moves into a town, she gets measles and luckily for this town, everybody is immune thanks to legal vaccinations, except for one person. Let's say her name is Ashley. Now Ashley relies on community immunity (everybody else is immune from the disease so she cannot get it) because she's allergic to the vaccine. Well at the "Stirring the Pot" book signing, Ashley comes into contact with Jenny, and she is infected with measles, and eventually dies.

The only reason Ashley was able to stay healthy was because all people were immune, until Jenny McCarthy came with her autism psuedoscience and led to her death.

How does this affect parents? Well their children must be vaccinated in order for them to stay healthy, for others to stay healthy, and it's completely irresponsible for these parents to recklessly hurt their children just for "religious purposes" or whatever. Unless a child is allergic to a vaccination, every child needs to be vaccinated (not just 95%) in order to protect everyone from these infectious diseases.

That's a legitimate point, but considering that the likelihood of such a situation occurring any given year is probably below 5%, I don't think it's worth making such a big fuss about it (OK, I know that would mean that a kid would die every 20 years or so, and that's horrible, but come on).
80  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Unmournable Frenchies (reaction to Charlie Hebdo) on: January 25, 2015, 05:34:30 pm
I don't think this is an Anglo or a Francophobic thing so much as 'the far left are being terrible' thing.

It's not only a far-left thing. Somewhat surprisingly, when the Muhammad cartoons scandals of 2006 broke out, the firsts to denounce Charlie Hebdo for their "provocation" were often right-wing politicians, with Chirac leading the charge.
81  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of ingemann on: January 25, 2015, 05:29:31 pm
SPD pre WW1 was no difference from their Nordic sister parties

That's actually not true at all. I encourage you to read Shari Berman's The Social Democratic Moment, it's an enlightening read (though the chapters on Germany are also soul-crushingly depressing).

You forget that the Nordic countries was not short of its incompetent politicians and they still came out on the top. The stable institution, the strong rule of law and the general stability, allowed the Nordic Social Democrats to use their large public support to gain power and imperial Germany shared those structures, so there are no reason that the Nordic countries wouldn't have served as model for the development of imperial Germany.

There is a material aspect to it but there is also a crucial ideological component to Nordic Social Democracy's success. They got their ideas right very soon, arguably by the end of the 19th century already. They were prepared to make a constructive use of political power before actually gaining it. Meanwhile in the 1920s the SPD was still struggling with Kautsky's pseudoscientific nonsense, and when they were handed essentially complete control of Germany's institutions they managed to alienate everybody.

But it wasn't like SPD couldn't be pragmatic, their support of the War, was primarily a pragmatic policy, no matter how stupid, short sighted and immoral it may look it hindsight (but let be honest here, the Nordic Social Democrats have their own skeletons in the closet).

Oh yes obviously, but I don't think the issue was really about pragmatism vs. ideology. The SPD, in some ways, had the worst of both worlds. It operated under a theory that assumed that the exercise of power under a bourgeois State was essentially useless. Thus, because they lacked a theory on how to use their political power, they essentially went with the flow and just supported what seemed to make sense in the most shortsighted way possible. That's a form of pragmatism, but one which achieves absolutely nothing. On the other hand, the Swedish SAP was actually very ideological - but their ideology embraced the idea of using parliamentary power to improve the conditions of the working class.
82  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of ingemann on: January 25, 2015, 05:14:17 pm
SPD pre WW1 was no difference from their Nordic sister parties

That's actually not true at all. I encourage you to read Shari Berman's The Social Democratic Moment, it's an enlightening read (though the chapters on Germany are also soul-crushingly depressing).

You forget that the Nordic countries was not short of its incompetent politicians and they still came out on the top. The stable institution, the strong rule of law and the general stability, allowed the Nordic Social Democrats to use their large public support to gain power and imperial Germany shared those structures, so there are no reason that the Nordic countries wouldn't have served as model for the development of imperial Germany.

There is a material aspect to it but there is also a crucial ideological component to Nordic Social Democracy's success. They got their ideas right very soon, arguably by the end of the 19th century already. They were prepared to make a constructive use of political power before actually gaining it. Meanwhile in the 1920s the SPD was still struggling with Kautsky's pseudoscientific nonsense, and when they were handed essentially complete control of Germany's institutions they managed to alienate everybody.
83  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Unmournable Frenchies (reaction to Charlie Hebdo) on: January 25, 2015, 05:07:39 pm
Yeah, these kinds of vile, cowardly pieces of trash exist even in France, but they seem particularly prevalent in Anglo-Saxon countries. They all deserve to rot in hell.
84  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of ingemann on: January 25, 2015, 05:01:49 pm
SPD pre WW1 was no difference from their Nordic sister parties

That's actually not true at all. I encourage you to read Shari Berman's The Social Democratic Moment, it's an enlightening read (though the chapters on Germany are also soul-crushingly depressing).
85  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Atlas Ministry of Purity Crimes Self-Reporting Thread on: January 25, 2015, 04:44:09 pm
Ugh, America is friggin' cold. Sad I really hope I get admitted in a California university, or else I'll probably won't last the winter...
86  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of ingemann on: January 25, 2015, 04:39:29 pm
He's clearly the greatest Freedom Fighter on this board and I simply lack words for for how much I admire him.

He said Bismarck should have "broken" France in 1870. HP.

That was a stinker indeed and also rather unpatriotic considering how much hope Danes had in Napoleon 3. revenging our humiliation in 1864 and sticking it to those uppity Krauts.

Vive la France! and may Bismarck rot in hell, of course.

I of course respect Antonio's and yours reasons to disagree with me here. I too would have prefered a Denmark which including Altona. But I think a large stable Social Democratic imperial Germany in 1920ties and later to what we got, and that needed a France broken  and preferable without the massive losses of WW1.

There's one factor that would always have prevented a Social Democratic Germany (and that, in fact, did exactly that IRL): the SPD's utter incompetence and stupidity.
87  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Digimon thread (Top 11 favorite Adventure episodes) on: January 25, 2015, 04:18:24 pm
And seriously, would you rather hear this every time you get a digivolution, or this? Come on. Tongue That alone should disqualify the dub.
88  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Atlas Ministry of Purity Crimes Self-Reporting Thread on: January 25, 2015, 04:15:51 pm
I love this thread. Cheesy

It definitely exceeded expectations big time.
89  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Digimon thread (Top 11 favorite Adventure episodes) on: January 25, 2015, 03:18:04 pm
I watched episodes 48-49 both in Italian and in Japanese, and I don't really see what's in need of improvement. The battle against Machinedramon was pretty cool (OK, I guess the soundtrack did feel a bit out of place this time around). I know the children's English voices and I must say I didn't like them at all - though they're still slightly better than the French ones. But actually, I don't like the Japanese ones either and I admit I'm probably biased toward the Italian ones (which give childish voices to all the children except Joe - Matt's English and Japanese voice sounds much too adult for a 10-year-old). Etemon/Myotismon's voice was fine, but so were the Italian ones (though for Myotismon I have to admit I actually did enjoy the more suave tone that the French gave him).

As for the Tai/Sora ship, considering how it ended up, I'd rather it never happened. Tongue I like both of these characters, so it feels better to assume they always were nothing but genuine friends.
90  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: The last movie you've seen thread 2014 and 2015 on: January 25, 2015, 01:51:07 pm
Anyway, the last movie I've watched is actually Citizen Kane (online, obviously), and I wasn't disappointed at all. I usually have some difficulties enjoying really old movies, due to different storytelling convention from those I'm used to, but this one really kept me hooked up. It's produced a really fascinating and timeless character (who, BTW, is probably a far better person than the real William Randolph Hearst). I don't know if it's the best movie of all time (frankly I'm not sure it makes sense to even claim that there is a best movie of all times), but it's definitely an excellent film. Glad I've finally gotten around to watching it.
91  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Joe Republic Bureau of Funny Post Archival on: January 25, 2015, 01:40:07 pm
He regularly flirts with Tr'sawn, a 6'2' African American dancer famous around DC circles. Her extreme height help fuel his "I'm an oompa loompa" themed sex kink.
92  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Digimon thread (Top 11 favorite Adventure episodes) on: January 25, 2015, 01:20:37 pm
It's true that the Puppetmon arc feels like it lasts forever. Each Dark Master generally takes up 2 episodes, yet Puppetmon has 5! It's especially annoying because he's by far the least threatening of the four. Maybe that's actually the reason it lasts so long, the writers wrote him as more of a nuisance than a menace so that they could fit a bunch of stuff into his arc. Still, that doesn't bother me much because I choose to just ignore him and focus on that other stuff, which is pretty damn good.

And yeah, disguising Pumpkinmon and Gotsumon's death was the dub's most horrendous crime. But anyway, I despise the dub so much that I prefer to not even acknowledge its existence. Thank God the Italian dubbers were actually faithful to the source material, down to the soundtrack.

I'm not giving away my top 5, but you'll find out soon enough. Wink
93  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: "Sick Privilege on: January 25, 2015, 12:08:05 pm
Oh come on Snowstalker, this is dumb even by your standards.

honestly i agree with him in this case. refusing to vaccinate your children definitely falls under the umbrella of child abuse.

Look, I'm not saying that's the right thing to do, but it's not like every child who doesn't get vaccinated is going to catch smallpox and die. As long as it's only 2-5% of the population that asks for exemption, it's really a non-issue and certainly doesn't warrant this hyperbolic language.
94  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: The last movie you've seen thread 2014 and 2015 on: January 25, 2015, 11:51:12 am
I too really liked Her.
95  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of the Previous Poster's Signature: The Wrath of Khan on: January 25, 2015, 11:26:14 am
You seem to confident for your own good. You might regret it one year from now.

Haha, I highly doubt that. It's not exactly going out on a limb saying the person ahead 50 points is going to win. However, the people who have continued to preach Hillary's supposed vulnerability over the past 2 years will look very silly a year from now.

US primaries are the most unpredictable thing ever. Things almost never go as they seemed to be going a year from them. You have been warned.

Skip
96  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Harder state for Democrats? on: January 25, 2015, 10:47:40 am
Louisiana has the most solid Democratic base, but I also feel like it's become really inelastic and it's going to be really hard for a Democrat to reach 50%. I feel like Arkansas is still more open to "the right kind" of Democrat.
97  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Digimon thread (Top 11 favorite Adventure episodes) on: January 25, 2015, 10:43:55 am
#8 - The Ultimate Clash

This is another pick I expect most people to disagree with. Perhaps like many other episodes, this is one where most of what happens isn't that interesting, but one little element stands out and turns it into something special. Neither the fight between WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon (which gives this episode its title), nor the big infodump flashback scene are really top-11 material. I do like the latter quite a bit - I wish they had found a way to distill that information into something more gradual, but it does add a welcome layer to the overarching plot (which was badly, badly needed), trying to hint to something far more grand and epic than what we had seen so far. Still, it's probably not one of the highlights of the show - especially since it doesn't really deliver on its promise after that.

What I love about this episode is the way we see the group both literally and figuratively break up under the weight of their stress, frustration, anxiety, and conflicting philosophies. If you ask me what is the darkest hour, the lowest point hit by the Digidestined, my immediate answer would probably be the time when Tai is away and the group splits, but after some reflection I'd have to go with this episode. The reason I think this works much better in my view is because, in the former case, the group is in disarray because they lack a leader. They go their separate way only in order to find Tai. That's a fairly interesting and believable situation, but it's not nearly as complex as what we see with the Ultimate Clash.

Here, we see the group split up because, quite simply, they begin lashing out at each other (and this is actually built up really well throughout the previous two episodes), find themselves in a position where they can't agree on the right course to follow, and are unable to overcome their divergences. Not only is that a believable situation (hell, try to put a group of adults with clashing personalities through the same stress and see how long they last!), but it also really heightens the drama. It's just a great plot point to add complexity to the setup. We have just spent 45 episodes being used to the DigiDestined being an unbreakable team, capable of surmounting any difficulty through their combined abilities and mutual support. And suddenly, all this falls apart, and we actually see the children having to deal with a totally new situation.

The character dynamic between Tai and Matt is just pitch-perfect. Although I think the way Cherrymon manipulated him in the previous episode is a bit forced out, Matt really manages to convey the full extent of his internal conflict and emotional torment (and I say that as someone who has never liked Matt's character one bit). Tai really proves himself a genuine friend and a competent leader - all he's been trying to do is getting the group going, trying to focus their energy on something productive - but he can only take so much of Matt's bullsh*t and eventually tries his best to snap him out of this confusion with a good punch. But in the end, despite his best efforts, he doesn't succeed, because Matt still needs to figure things out on his own. I think it's a really clever way of showing that sometimes, even if you do everything as best as you can, things can go wrong. And even if your friend is well-meaning and you do your best to try and avoid conflict, sometimes conflict is bound to happen nonetheless.

I also like that they tried to give Mimi some depth beyond being a whiny little brat. I don't necessarily like the outcome (I hate pacifism in shows where fighting is obviously the only solution) but it makes things a bit more interesting, and it makes the clash within the group multidimensional instead of binary. The scene where they each go their separate way in the end is one of my favorite in the whole show, it's really poignant. So, in short, it's a great episode for character dynamics and drama, less so for advancing the plot - overall, it still deserves the 8th position in my view.


#7 - Flower Power

No, I'm not exactly blow away by Togemon digivolving to Lillymon. As most things involving Mimi, it's unfortunately pretty lame and rushed in. Actually, it's almost funny to realize how her character-revealing moment that triggers the crest's activation basically consists in her whining again! I mean come on guys, do you really have nothing else for her to do? Yeah, I get that it's supposed to know she's a sweet innocent kid who can't stand the sight of violence and suffering (and that comes across a bit better in the Dark Masters Arc), but it still does nothing for me. Lillymon is alright, I guess (certainly a huge improvement over her champion form!). The way she prevails without having to fight is pretty clever, if also pretty cheesy. Still, that's far from the highlight of this episode.

No, what I really love and enjoy in this episode is the atmosphere and setup. You have Myotismon finally coming out of the shadows, surrounding Odaiba into an impenetrable fog, and mobilizing the full strength of his monster army in the city to find the 8th child. This episode feels big - it feels grand, epic. It feels like what's going on is much more serious than everything we've seen so far. The Digimon invasion plays out like a real invasion, it has a decidedly militaryish feel to it. The part when the Bakemon go around each house in the neighborhood and kidnap parents and children alike is just breathtaking. I guess one of the nice things about these events is that it breaks the routine of "monsters are everywhere but nobody seems to notice them" which had been so overused in the previous episodes. Now, monsters are there and they can't be ignored.

I like how the Digimon aren't just the children's problem anymore, but that everybody has to deal with them in some way. Especially since it turns out the adults can be surprisingly competent in adapting to this new mind-boggling reality. Matt's father is pretty damn cool, and Sora's mother proves surprisingly badass too. I also like how (with a few exceptions) each kid is in a different location and has to deal with the situation in different ways. Most of them hold their own pretty well, they are able to think fast and react to unforeseen situations with basic but still clever ideas. Sora using the recorded Sutra against the Bakemon is a nice continuity nod and works well, the scene where Tai finds Matt is really good, and even Mimi does fine, everything considered.

To be frank, this seventh spot should belong almost as much to the following one, "City Under Siege", which has the exact same feel and continues most of the storylines. Episodes 34 to 37 should really count as a single, four-part episode, considering how well they flow together. While I don't agree with JesuOtaku's claim that the Myotismon Arc is far superior to anything that precedes or follows, I have to admit that these episodes are unquestionably the show's peak in terms of storytelling. They just make you hold your breath waiting for the continuation, never giving you a rest. If I was ranking the story arcs, then this one would win the first spot comfortably. Thus, as an individual episode "Flower Power" is still awesome, though it obviously lacks a real climax.


#6 - Out on the Town

To remain in the Myotismon arc (just two episodes before, actually), here is another obvious one. I have to say, for me, Pumpkinmon and Gotsumon's death is the friggin' saddest moment of the entire show. Yeah, I know most people feel that Wizardmon's fate is even more heartbreaking. But Wizardmon (as well as Whamon, Leomon and most of those who are offed in the Dark Masters arc) at least died for a purpose: he sacrificed himself to save Kari and allow Gatomon to fulfill her destiny. There is nothing more tragic (or, in the true sense of the word, pathetic) than dying for nothing, and that's exactly what happened to these two guys.

What's especially stunning is that we're not even made to particularly care for Pumpkinmon and Gotsumon before their death. We just see them spreading chaos and doing all sorts of goofy stuff that are more annoying than actually funny. You do begin to wonder "what the heck are these two doing in Myotismon's army?", but that doesn't make them particularly sympathetic. The shock really comes from the contrast between their benign and carefree attitude and Myotismon's cold-blooded cruelty. The scene where he confronts them and eventually kills them is so damn dark (both visually and emotionally) that it gets pretty daring for a kid's show. They're just punished for the crime of wanting to have fun. Christ, that's f**ked up.

That one moment is what really sticks out, but - contrary to what I've said about a few of the previous one - the entire episode is consistently good in all its aspects. The first part of the episode develops the relationship between Matt and TK in a really well-crafted way, it's really one of those moments that makes the characters come to life. And the fight scene that occupies most of the final segment is actually one of the best fight scenes in the entire show (though obviously that's not saying much). What finally nails it for me is one of the last scenes, when we see Matt and TK looking at the store where Pumpkinmon and Gotsumon use to play and they imagine them being there. That scene is really heartbreaking, and really captures the meaning of death in a simple yet clever way.

So yeah, that episode was carefully crafted to convey emotion and establish Myotismon as a sadistic monster - and boy, did it work! It didn't do much to advance the plot (apart from getting Angemon back, which is nice) but it creates an atmosphere of darkness that wasn't really there in the beginning of the Myotismon arc, and that, from then on, would endure until the diabolical vampire is finally defeated.
98  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Harder state for Republicans? on: January 25, 2015, 09:33:22 am
New York is harder in statewide races but Massachusetts is harder to find winnable local or (especially) congressional races in. Voted New York because of the way the poll question is worded.

Well, it's easy to have more winnable congressional races when you have four times as many congressional districts. Tongue Still, it's undeniable that New York Republican have done a good job at preserving their strength in the State Legislature, while the MAGOP is in permanent minority status.
99  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Atlas Ministry of Purity Crimes Self-Reporting Thread on: January 25, 2015, 09:29:53 am
Why has nobody ever proposed using "it" as a neutral pronoun? I mean, that's exactly what it is, the singular neutral pronoun! English is lucky enough to actually have it, so why not use it when you're referring to an unspecified person? I guess the reason is that "it" is usually used to refer to inanimate objects and that it has assumed a bit of a negative connotation, but I still think it's preferable to contrived alternatives like "(s)he", or "they".
100  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Lief Reservoir of Simple Truths and Smart One-Liners on: January 25, 2015, 07:42:15 am
Yes, eventually, as well as it can work anywhere. The idea that there are Certain Cultures where folks Just Can't Rule Themselves, as something that renders democracy somehow permanently unworkable always and forever rather than just making it difficult to get off the ground, strikes me as inherently racist.
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