Once In A Blue Moon

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About Once In A Blue Moon

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  1. Once In A Blue Moon

    My thoughts about when characters don't face their consequences

    Didn't they? Diamond Tiara had a pretty rough time in Crusaders of the Lost Mark, and one thing that episode tried to do was put a perspective on why she's a bully. She was clearly pressured by her parents and didn't have a happy home life and so she made bad choices. It's not the whole 'karma' thing about always getting your comeuppance, it's about recognising that someone is influenced and shaped by their environment and might not deserve a punitive response. That's not to say there aren't cases where actions lacking consequences does rather annoy me, but perhaps consider that contrition is an action that should have a consequence too - and Diamond Tiara's realisation and subsequent choice in Lost Mark should have positive consequences. My view is that a genuine desire to change merits forgiveness. Idealistic? Definitely, but perhaps a children's show can indulge in some idealism from time to time. ... @BasementSparkle definitely put that in a better way than I did.
  2. Once In A Blue Moon

    How old are the Mane 6 now?

    The guess I would make is largely centred on Twilight; if leaving Canterlot and defeating Nightmare Moon was graduation that would put her in the 20 to 23 age range. Becoming an alicorn princess would be her PhD in Friendship, so at least another 3 - 4 years. Starlight's graduation would be another 2-3 years after that, so my entirely arbitrary estimates put her at anything from 25 to 30 as of the start of season 7. The rest I would guess to be roughly similar, based on the events shown in The Cutie Mark Chronicles - I think Applejack is a bit older, as she mentioned being the last to get her cutie mark, plus she was leaving home to live with her aunt and uncle at the time while we know that Fluttershy is older than Pinkie (albeit not by much) and she does look longer in the leg than Rainbow Dash. Based on that, I'd put them in order, from oldest to youngest: 1. Applejack 2. Fluttershy 3. Pinkie 4. Twilight 5. Rarity 6. Rainbow Dash Again, rather arbitrarily - I'm working on the assumption that the brasher Rainbow Dash might be a bit younger and Rarity was working on a quite junior-looking school play, leaving Pinkie and Twilight somewhere in the middle.
  3. Once In A Blue Moon


    I'd suggest thinking about what story you want to tell. You can include original characters, settings and events if they're important to the story*, but you can also include characters from the show if you have a good idea of how to represent them - more than one otherwise promising fanfiction has been undermined by characters acting out of character. Regardless of how many canonical or original characters you include, I'd suggest starting with something short^. *perhaps the most extreme case of this is The Lunar Rebellion by Chengar Qordath, which features (as far as I can remember) only a single canonical character (Celestia) as it occurs hundreds of years before the events of the show. ^so NOT like The Lunar Rebellion. A Moment in the Sun, by the same author, is a good example of a shorter and self-contained fiction (albeit one they tie into their later fictions.) An although I say it's short, it's still 26,000 words, which is no trivial amount, so perhaps consider writing something comparable to first chapter, which works by itself, and see how that goes.
  4. Once In A Blue Moon

    Why do some cultures glorify death?

    Most do glorify sacrifice - at least in the context of giving one's life for some greater good. Admiral Nelson is the case that springs to mind for - he won a huge victory that kept Britain safe from Napoleon but was killed in the process, and now he's got a statue on top of a truly massive column in the middle of London. I'm sure other countries have similar examples. As to why they are so glorified; it's in society's interests to do so. It's an inspiration to give more in service to that society and put its need above their own, which helps it endure and prosper.
  5. Once In A Blue Moon

    How long is the Equestria railroad ?

    By 'how long' do you mean the greatest distance between two connected points, or the total length of track laid? If even a small town like Ponyville has a train station, then it's not unreasonable to assume that the rails run to every town and city in Equestria - if we work with that assumption then it would simply be a case of finding the two most distant towns. If you want the total length of rail then that would require taking the surface area of Equestria and multiplying it by the density of railway track length*. To do that, my thoughts would be that you would need to divide Equestria up into similar regions and then estimate the density for each of those regions - Canterlot, for example, as both a central city and the capital, would have quite a high density while the Everfree would have a density of 0. An alternative take on it would require looking at how often railway lines need to be replaced. If you assume a certain rate of degradation then you can look at how much replacement track is laid down per year and use that to estimate the total length of track. Ideally you would divide Equestria into areas based on how fast the track degrades (heavy usage or damp conditions would mean that track requires replacing more often), but as the data would (most likely) already be divided into rail administrative areas you could make an estimate for each area. The third option I can think of would require aerial (or satellite) photography of all of Equestria and computers to run machine learning programs that you would teach to identify railway tracks from the air. Given Equestria's (admittedly convoluted) technology level (if you were trying to solve this 'in-world') and the lack of detail on all provided maps (if you want to solve it with 'out-of-world' knowledge), that doesn't seem to be an option. If you want a numerical value, I'd look at early-industrial records of rail length vs country size and estimate a density from that. *the length of track per unit area.
  6. Once In A Blue Moon

    Hmm That HUD Could Be Improved... | MLP:SH Devlog #9

    Some advice I had* once was that you can use up to three numbers in a paragraph before people just switch off and it all blurs together in a haze of meaningless figures. If you were to apply that to different sections of the HUD then the last image is the most accessible, and certainly that's the one that I think is easiest to look at. Have you tried putting anything around the cursor? I've seen a few games (especially fast-moving shooters) put ammo or energy around it - if you then tinted it the colour of the element you're using then you needn't have the elements on-screen at all. Scroll through with the mouse wheel for on-the-fly element changes without losing tracking on your target^. One other question I have is why is Twilight's head there? It looks very nice, but if you're having crowding problems in the HUD then maybe it needs to go? Needless to say, don't attribute too much weight to this; I am no expert on displaying information effectively, although I do think that well-displayed information is a thing of beauty"". *about how to write technical stuff for non-technical people, rather than game design, but the idea should still hold ^I'm trying to remember the games that did this. I know Half Life 2 did it with ammo, and I'm sure there have been a few top-down shooters that used it to good effect as well. ""One need only look at the magnificent graphs of the late Hans Rosling to get an intuitive grasp of what is a vast array of data points.
  7. Once In A Blue Moon

    Talking to inanimate objects

    Rubber duck debugging (in which one explains one's code, line by line, to a rubber duck) is a reliable means of sorting out problems with your code, and one I use frequently (accompanied by grumbles of 'wretched machine'.)
  8. Once In A Blue Moon

    Misunderstood episode(s)?

    I think that Newbie Dash got quite a poor response (I thought unfairly) despite what I thought was actually a good message. On reflection I suppose if there appears to be a negative message, and that's what people take from it, then the criticism is fair in that the episode failed to communicate the intended message properly, so perhaps I shouldn't judge the response as 'unfair' - though that would put it solidly in the 'misunderstood' category.
  9. Once In A Blue Moon

    Food What types of cereal do you eat?

    Never both at the same time? Weetabix and bran flakes are my personal favourite, although any mix of rough fibrous cereal and something a bit lighter works quite well. Still, most of the time I have porridge for the sake of portability and as it doesn't need milk.
  10. Once In A Blue Moon

    Loss of Hope

    Breaks help; be it from the internet or the business of normal life. I remember finding university very intense, so a few weeks to decompress should really help. My suggestion would be to start putting together a reading / watch / listen list of stuff you've been meaning to get around to; spending some time on a little light planning might help a bit in the meantime (or it might not.) It's interesting that you seem to be highly analytical of your shortcomings; I've seen plenty of people criticise themselves (myself included), but looking into the science behind why you buy is good... to a point. I'd suggest two actions: 1. Find another source of dopamine. Exercise is supposed to be quite good for that, but it's hardly the only source. Gambling is infamously destructive, and I wouldn't suggest that, but I have found a nifty way around that in Roleplaying Games. A beloved character running a blockade with a starship packed with black-market weaponry in search of a big pay day was a huge adrenaline rush, as was exchanging laser fire with pursuing mobsters in a grav-truck as they tried to escape with a shipment of stolen medicine. It's gambling with the life of the character, but if you're invested that's quite a big stake with no financial or health implications if you lose it. 2. Try not to solve everything. Accepting that you aren't perfect and will act in sub-optimal ways for the sake of your mental health is important; recognise that you only have limited capacity for problem solving (and for acting on those solutions) and target it where it will achieve best effect. Willpower can be viewed as a resource*, so if you can't find the will to do everything then prioritise and see if you can do the things that you think matter most. I can identify with the anxiety issue - thankfully I've found the workplace induces far less anxiety in me than academia, but whilst I was studying for my degree it was quite rough. It was fear of the consequences of failure rather than failure itself that tended to get to me, which spurred countless contingency plans and a deep knowledge of pass / fail thresholds and fallback mechanisms for failed exams. I found cooking helped me relax; I'd put on a comedy podcast and spend the next 30 minutes not thinking about what happened next or what I should do. Scheduled distractions calibrated to make you focus on the task (cooking) and the environment (comedy podcast) rather than planning is the more generalised form of that solution; I couldn't think about anything else because all of my brain was already focused on one task or another, and that gave it the break it needed. With regards to worrying about the world, politics and all that... I'm not going to lie and say that there aren't worrying things happening, but you can't take all that on yourself. What you expect from yourself is something you'll need to work out yourself, but with your current resources and influence you shouldn't expect yourself to have the grand strategic overview of the world and what course should be set through the storms and obstacles facing your country and your world^. It also looks like you've only had a particular economic viewpoint - there are other schools of economic thought that suggest that spending on benefits can pay off in the medium and long term. For example, if a few hundred dollars of unemployment benefits can prevent someone turning to crime, and so avoiding the damage their crime causes and the expense of incarcerating them, then that has saved the government and society money despite the initial outlay. Now I don't pretend to know which one is right (I'm a statistician, not an economist), but it is worth understanding the other viewpoints and the case studies their supporters use to support their positions. I'd suggest a rather good podcast called 'Economics with subtitles', which goes through current events and examines them commentary for non-economists - one example they look at is the link between fertility and inflation in Venezuela, which is an excellent example of how interconnected the market and society are. That... was a bit longer than I originally intended. Ho hum. Also... errm... *it's an imperfect model, but one I find easy to work with. I've also heard it explained as 'like a muscle' - so exercise is good, but you can push too hard and damage it. ^it's worth noting that whilst having the broader perspective is useful, having a detailed understanding of what and how the current situation applies to you is what will allow you to maximise your impact. Certainly I see this in the workplace - I don't see the big picture in the way the senior management do, but I have a good knowledge of my area and have been able to suggest improvements to it to my manager. They then made the judgement on whether that fitted with the overall goal or not, and as I have faith in their competence I accept when they reject my ideas.
  11. I have just learnt what the romanisation of Russian for 'Channel One' is. 

    That I found it rather amusing and possibly not suitable for printing on this site should tell you enough; search for a romanisation English-Russian translation.

  12. I've played a few computer RPGs, but it pales to nothing in comparison to the number of books I've read. I won't say I haven't learnt anything, but I don't think that it did much more for my vocabulary or reading skills in the grand scheme of things. Now, games have done a fair bit for my knowledge of history (from the Greek and Roman Empires to the cold war.) Face-to-face RPGs have done a lot for my social skills too, but the meeting of the two hasn't done a huge amount for either.
  13. @Soren Peregrine, @Duality I think you've covered it pretty well there; I could throw in a few suggestions about rough terrain, the type of wagon* and that the ponies would get fitter (and so able to pull for longer) over time, but as I can't suggest how to model those that doesn't really help that much. If we had time between two points over a variety of terrain then we could build a statistical model, which would be my preferred approach, as I think it would better account for unknowns and would allow us to produce a confidence interval to show how much weight can be attributed to the estimate. As an interesting aside, apparently J. R. R. Tolkein kept meticulous notes about his world - they go over travel times on the BBC radio program More or Less (an excellent program that I would recommend to anyone interested in mathematics & statistics.) *there was a general who won a campaign based on the ability his supply wagons had to go off-road, allowing him to consistently out-manoeuvre his opponent.
  14. I saw a car with a dreamcatcher hanging under the rear-view mirror today.

    I can't help but feel that if you're asleep at the wheel of a car then perhaps you have bigger concerns than bad dreams...

    1. JonasDarkmane


      Saw the same a few weeks ago near the parliamentary building in downtown Reykjavík. It is a strange place to have your dreamcatcher. 

  15. Once In A Blue Moon

    Gaming Do you still play video games from your childhood?

    I guess if it never worked properly then yes, that would probably be a bit challenging to run on a modern computer. I'm curious, though - what game are you referring to?