caska's forum posts

#1 Edited by caska (138 posts) -

@octaslash: What system are you and others using? Aside from the cutscene issues and the annoying no F5 if using a controller, the game has been pretty smooth on my oldish regular gtx760 and i5-4670.

#2 Edited by caska (138 posts) -

@hunter5024 said:

@mirado said:

@hunter5024 said:

I feel like you could say the same thing about fantasy though, provided you're in a setting without magic. Admittedly it's not a super well explored concept but there's some fantasy that's basically just historical fiction set in a medieval analogue.

You are probably right, although I think we're drifting from the original sticking point: that some sci-fi can be explained, whereas any elements you'd call fantastical are by definition not grounded in reality (and can't have a believable explanation because of that). That distinction doesn't bother me like it apparently bothered the duder who originally made that statement, but now that you've brought up the idea of historical fiction that isn't really historical, I'm kind of intrigued. Do you have any examples of something you'd consider to be fantasy without actually having fantastical elements? So no spells/dragons/elves/enchantments, but something medieval feeling without it taking place in Earth's medieval time frame/geography?

I'm interested in the idea of a fictional story that takes medieval trappings and applies them to an author's original setting, something like Conan without the monsters or Lord of the Rings without the...rings, I guess.

Guy Gavriel Kay is the author I had in mind when I said that. I only know of him secondhand though, having never read his stuff, so I can't speak to how well it matches the definition, let alone quality. It always sounded interesting to me though.

Guy Gavriel Kay is amazing! Most of his books are slow to start but holy crap are they all worth it. He has books covering a bunch of different time periods too so it's not all just medieval England but a whole bunch of other cultures. And yea, dude writes his books like poetry so that every word is on the page for a reason. It also has little elements of the fantastical, so there may be snippets of magic or the supernatural but it's all in service of the story instead of just being there to kill people. A good place to start might be A Song for Arbonne which uses tropes from troubadour culture. If you can I'd definitely recommend getting the audiobook version by Euan Morton. Amazon has the sample of him reading the first chapter or the prologue I can't quite remember but it gives a great idea of what Guy's writing is like.

In terms of the actual thread question I'll say that I'm more of a fantasy person myself but every now and then I'll read some Sci Fi on the side. I'm definitely drawn more towards fantasy because I love the escapism and just being able to be fully immersed in a whole new world. I'm not really a fan of basic kinda pulpy fantasy though so it's takes effor to find the good stuff but I think it's worth it.

#3 Posted by caska (138 posts) -

I know you asked for iOS but if anyone comes in here wondering about Android then the answer to that is PocketCasts (Which is also available for iOS). It just works! They have some weird way for updating the podcasts so they update when they're released instead of pinging the servers every few hours/days/weeks etc. checking for new podcasts. I can't remember how they do it but it made sense when I read about it :P.

Also one of their big things is that it syncs between devices. You do have to make a separate account but it's really neat to be able to listen to a podcast in my car and then be able to pick it up at the same spot on my laptop or tablet or something.

#4 Posted by caska (138 posts) -

I really liked the combat in Kingdoms of Amalur, although I might be alone on that front. Seemed to me that they did a good job of blending magic and melee and give it that sense of power that most games miss.

#5 Posted by caska (138 posts) -

So I've done some reading up on this and these are my thoughts on it all.

The key thing that these guys did is their use of olfactory ensheathing cells (pretty much just cells in the brain close to the nose) to promote the dead nerves at the site of the spinal injury to actually start growing again. These cells have actually been used in a bunch of rat studies since 1998 that have shown improvements after spinal cord injury and are only just starting to go through trials in humans.

A similar experiment to what happened in this article was done last year by the same (or at least similar) group of people. What they did last year though differed in the fact that they didn't include any kind of vehicle or scaffold for the dead nerves to regrow through. They essentially just injected these crazy olfactory cells into the broken bit of the spinal cord to see what would happen [as an aside, this might sound easy but it's really really really hard, all surgeons really know what they're doing]. Turns out a little bit of regrowth occurred and lessened random muscle spasms and improved sensory transmission as well as a bit of motor control. In my reading of the paper I couldn't find anything fishy with their methods so everything's looking great so far. They have yet to publish a paper about this most recent experiment but it looks like they used other random nerves that no one needs to provide that 'scaffold' for nerve regeneration.

The only thing is there's not really any nerves that no one needs and it's still not the best environment...So that's where the search for the ultimate scaffold comes in.I just noticed that wikipedia calls it a 'nerve guidance conduit' which actually sounds a lot cooler. This is kinda where you realise that it's no perfect cure. Not yet. To get complete regrowth what we really want to do is stick these olfactory cells that promote nerve growth (neurotrophic factors) into a matrix that lets the nerve grow while blocking all the annoying other chemicals and enzymes and stuff that want to inhibit that growth.

If anyone wants to read up a little more on all of this then I've got a few links:

Wiki link on nerve guidance conduits

2013 experiment by the same dudes

Scientific review article on biomaterial scaffolds

The last two links might be a bit too sciency to dive into if you have no background in the area.

#6 Posted by caska (138 posts) -

@do_the_manta_ray: I've got a few things to write up tonight but I'll scrounge around a little and post some stuff here in the next couple of days! Personally I was working on how touch sensation was transmitted through the spinal cord so my background is a bit different but I'll see what I can do.

#7 Posted by caska (138 posts) -

This has been a thing for a while now. The main struggle with this method was kinda alluded to at the end of that article and it's to do with making the scaffolding or 'clearing the path' for nerve regrowth. Our lab was trying to synthesise nanofibre scaffolding to house the nerve fibres. It's a pretty cool area of research except really really frustrating.

I guess this is a cool step forward though, someone may have finally figured out an easier way to do it. I've been out of the loop for a year or so now so this is the first time I've heard of it being done with great results.

PS as a side note, I don't think anyone in neuroscience has thought of nerves as being static for at least 20 years now. A bit of sensationalism on his part but completely understandable. It's the things you have to say to secure funding these days.

#8 Posted by caska (138 posts) -

@stryker1121: They don't necessarily have 'guidelines' that they follow for every single game but they do decide what specific games they want to cover. And if they cover games too closely, like Bastion for instance, then they won't put out a formal review for it. Plus they make any bias really obvious since most of their content is video/ audio

#9 Posted by caska (138 posts) -

@viciousbearmauling: Haha awesome. Kill La kill just rubs me the wrong way with its scantily everyone. That said I've heard it gets better and I'll try it again soon enough just not in the mood right now. This however sounds like just what I'm in the mood for right now!

@saik0u: ok cool, I'm definately going to give it a look! I only just got around to watching gurren lagann and I'm a huge fan of that show but I think I'm in the mood for something a little more grounded :P

#10 Posted by caska (138 posts) -

I just rewatched the Cowboy Bebop movie the other day! I'll definately look into this!

PS It's not like Kill la Kill is it? Because man I only just managed to finish the first episode of that show and reeeaalllyyy didn't want to continue.