apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Amy "Oh Dear!")
Bashfic / Character bashing.

It's banned from nearly every fic exchange. It's against the rules in most communities. If you want to speak ill of a show or its characters, you're going to have to start your own comm dedicated specifically for that purpose. Fans are so scared of the ramifications for speaking negatively about a fandom's characters or canon, they retreat to memes where they can bitch about the things they don't like under the cover of anonymity. You'll see "character bashing" listed as a squick alongside cannibalism, incest, and noncon.

Why such a strong reaction?

READ MORE )
Nearly everyone can agree that the Negative Nellys who just can't resist the urge to slip in a snide remark everytime their least favorite character is mentioned are annoying. But what about the fans who need to "defend" a character's virtue everytime they detect a real or imagined slight? Some fans just cannot psychologically deal with people who disagree with them about how the canon should be interpreted, and the general fandom opinion seems to be that they shouldn't have to. And what I want to know is: why shouldn't they?

(Or am I totally off the mark, and most fans' negative view of character bashing attaches to the wank that it eventually stirs up and not the bashing itself?)
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Doctor Who...the hell cares?)
You are the Seventh Doctor
You are the Seventh Doctor
Take The Doctor Who Personality Test and Horoscope today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
You are very smart and have a certain amount of fashion sense, except you always carry an umbrella. You are attracted to jail bait, but genuinely care for them as a parent. You enjoy bursting into places as if you own them and quickly becoming the center of attention. You also enjoy reading, especially mysteries and get excited when danger is near. You are not someone anybody would want to cross. After your last teen-aged companion dies horribly, you will get caught in the crossfire of a gang war.


Snagged offa [livejournal.com profile] housemaid79.

This description is eerily accurate, except for the part about the umbrella. I always forget to bring an umbrella!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Triplets of Belleville)
The POLL to accompany my post about languages. As usual, I cut myself off because I ran out of time, and not necessarily because I finished asking everything I wanted. So take note: there may be follow-up questions! XD

For the purposes of this poll, we will use the following definitions from Wikipedia, that bastion of academic rigor and accuracy: (Also see this article on multilingualism.)

Language fluency is used informally to denote broadly a high level of language proficiency, most typically foreign language or another learned language, and more narrowly to denote fluid language use, as opposed to slow, halting use.

Conversational means able to carry on a casual conversation, but not necessarily without halts in speech, or gaps in vocabulary.


Skip any questions that don't apply. Pretend that it's not weird I spend so much of my free time coming up with meaningless LJ Polls written in unneccessarily-academic language.

THE POLL! )

Please leave any details you're willing to share about your language abilities and experiences learning foreign languages in the comments below!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Math Nerd)
In the end, I had twelve respondents to my survey on fanworks exchanges. (If you haven't taken it and feel you'd like to, please do go ahead: I won't close it.)

I really, REALLY had to fight the urge to pimp it out to other comms and beg for more responses; as I said, I am a social science geek who loves surveys, statistics, and data. However, coming up with a "representative sample" of fandom on my journal is just impossible. And no matter what I like to pretend, I am NOT a legitimate researcher!

So, anyway: 12. Thank you to that twelve! (And to the thirteenth person who expressed her opinions in the comments.) The results of the survey are naturally skewed, as all of the respondents came from my flist, and let's face it: you guys are most definitely a better class of fan than the average rabble! However small and skewed my sample was, I did draw a few conclusions.

Take a gander, if you're interested. )

CONCLUSIONS: To me, the most telling piece of data is the revelation that NO ONE from this survey cited receiving a gift tailor-made to their interests as their most enjoyed aspect of the exchange. While a few people admitted they expected their author to adhere pretty closely to the scenarios they provided, most people were just happy to receive a gift that showed a little effort on the author's part. This is good news for those of us who stress ourselves out trying to come up with a story to please our recipient! The fun comes from taking part and having a batch of new stories to read, not in receiving THE PERFECT STORY. Everyone gets stressed out participating in an exchange, and so giftees are likely to be understanding so long as an author tries their best.

From what I can tell, the important rules to follow for fic exchanges are these:

  • It's important to be specific in what you will or won't write in order to avoid an awkward matching.
  • When making a request, be specific about what you don't want, and give several options/scenarios for what you DO want.
  • Read your recipient's request thoroughly, and make an effort to include at least the characters they like and to avoid at all costs the things they don't like.
  • Effort is the key point, so even if you can't come up with an idea that perfectly matches everything on your giftee's request, start writing your story with enough time to polish and perfect before turning it in. A well-written story that misses some of the marks is better than a hastily cobbled-together one that matches the request exactly.
  • When you get your gift, be sure to say "thank you" and provide a list of aspects you enjoyed. If you're so inclined, it's OK to exaggerate a little; if you prefer to be completely honest, get creative in your praise! (More enthusiasm is better.)
  • If you want to complain about the gift you received, be careful where you do it: remember, you're talking to fellow fans who know how stressful writing for someone else can be! Unless your story was clearly a rush job that included details you specifically asked your author to avoid, people aren't likely to be sympathetic to your whining!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Fanfic Nerd)
You all realize that I see you as a ready pool of research subjects, don't you? I've spent far too long studying the social sciences. While I can appreciate the qualitative approach, when it comes down to it, I want DATA!

Feed me? Please???

The season of fic exchanges is upon us. This is my first year both writing fan fiction, and participating in these exchanges. While overall the experience has been fun, there's still some issues I'm trying to wrap my head around. Behind the cut I've compiled a poll about fanworks exchanges, and fic exchanges in particular. If you've participated in any at all ever, even as a spectator, I'd like to hear what you think. The results are viewable only to me, so feel free to be honest. (I'm not in a position to judge!)

Give the circle thingies a tick, and then we can have a lovely chat in the comments. :) What sort of exchanges do you do? Do you stress over them? Are you generally happy with your gifts, or do you get your hopes too high? Ever have a nightmare gift/recipient? Bad/good experiences? (I PROMISE SOME DAY I WILL WRITE A BOOK WITH ALL OF THE USELESS KNOWLEDGE I'VE TORTURED OUT OF YOU, MY DEAR FLIST! All shall not be for naught.) ;)

Zee poll! )

ETA: There's one more thing I'd like to get opinions on! Is MPreg something you need to warn for? I want to archive my 10, Donna, Jack fic, and warning for MPreg kinda ruins the ending. It works out fine here, where I can hide the warning under white text, and leave it up to sensitive readers to highlight for the warning if they're worried about being squicked, but that method wouldn't be an option in other places.

I know warning for MPreg is the convention in a lot of communities, but is that because it's a serious squick or because a lot of people just don't care for it? Any thoughts would be much appreciated.
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Default)
So, Delicious is most likely going the way of the Dodo, and fandom is abuzz. WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO WITHOUT IT?

I know that, in the months to come, a preferred alternative to the service is going to emerge, and fandom will all migrate there, and peace shall be restored. In the meantime, I don't want to mess around getting used to a new service if it's not going to stick. So, I've created a poll to gauge an idea of which new service people are leaning towards.

For a discussion of you options, [livejournal.com profile] bookshop has a run-down of the current candidates here. Go and read the article, then come back here to vote! And if you know of anyone on your flist with an opinion, send them here to cast their vote: the more participants we have, the more valid the data!

[Poll #1657929]
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Default)
Had a lovely day today: I spent it thrift store shopping for my Halloween costume. At the salvation army in Redford, I found a wedding dress that would be ABSOLUTELY PERFECT for dressing as a Calvierri girl from Doctor Who. It was of a thick, satiny ivory fabric with a swirling french pattern, long sleeves, and a very full gathered skirt with long train. There were a few too many sequins on the bodice, but overall, they were tasteful and would have blended in perfectly. The best thing: it FIT me! Perfectly! The one problem? It was $70.00. I'm sure that's a very good deal for a wedding gown, but it's a little pricey for a Halloween costume.

Calvierri girls, Vampires of Venice

What I ended up buying instead is a long black and white formal gown, the kind one might wear to prom or to be a bridesmaid. It was only $15.00, and just a little bit too big; it only needs a few tucks in the bodice, and it should fit perfectly. My plan is to be some sort of Zombie Miss America. Stay tuned for pictures.

Now here comes the dilemma:

Cut because I'm going off on a tangent again )

I welcome your input.
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Winged Pi)
One of the courses I'm taking this semester is Social Research Methods. I'm a little peeved that I have to take this course, considering I already have lots of experience and have even presented my research at symposia, but whatever, I have to take it, it's fine.

Our major assignment for the semester is a review of literature on a topic of our choosing. I need to choose a topic, do some preliminary research, and write up my proposal by Wednesday. And I still haven't picked a topic.

I can think of plenty topics I'd like to cover, but either they're psychology and not sociology-related, or they're so obscure that it's unlikely I'll be able to find enough research. Some ideas I'm DYING to use: Cut for extremely long and boring musings on topics that may or may not be of interest to anyone other than myself. )
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Masquerade Mask)
From this article in the New York Times: (commentary and bolding is mine)

Basic Religion Test Stumps Many Americans (Well of course it does!)

Americans are by all measures a deeply religious people, but they are also deeply ignorant about religion.

Researchers from the independent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life phoned more than 3,400 Americans and asked them 32 questions about the Bible, Christianity and other world religions, famous religious figures and the constitutional principles governing religion in public life.

On average, people who took the survey answered half the questions incorrectly, and many flubbed even questions about their own faith.

Those who scored the highest were atheists and agnostics, as well as two religious minorities: Jews and Mormons. The results were the same even after the researchers controlled for factors like age and racial differences.


Knew it! Here are some of the questions from the survey:

Among the topics covered in the survey were: Where was Jesus born? What is Ramadan? Whose writings inspired the Protestant Reformation? Which Biblical figure led the exodus from Egypt? What religion is the Dalai Lama? Joseph Smith? Mother Teresa? In most cases, the format was multiple choice.

Without the benefit of multiple choice (or Google) my answers: Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Ramadan is an Islamic holy month, Martin Luther inspired the Protestant Revolution, Moses led the exodus from Egypt, the Dalai Lama is a Buddhist, Joseph Smith was a Mormon, Mother Teresa was a Catholic.

How did I do? (Meaning, do feel free to correct me on any wrong answers.)

I'm telling you: atheists ROCK Bible trivia!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Sparkly Water)
I've done research on the psychological phenomenon of memory, and the average age of a person's first verifiable memory is about 3.5 years, with about 90% of people dating their first memory to between 2.5 and 4.5 years.

The first memory I can independently date and verify comes one month before my 2nd birthday, when I was hospitalized over Christmas for asthma. I have a couple other memories that might or might not have occurred earlier, but I can independently verify the date I was in the hospital and the age I was at the time.

Here's what I remember:


  • I remember the giant crib that I slept in while I was there. (When I retold this to my dad, he laughed and said, "Giant crib?" I then realized that the crib only seemed giant because I was so small, which is a very weird thing to realize in retrospect! At the time, it seemed massive.)

  • I remember it being dark, and me still being awake, and looking out the bars of the crib. (According to my mother, I drove the nurses and the other parents on the ward crazy staying up all night talking and singing to myself. I couldn't sleep because of the steroids they gave me for my asthma.)

  • Since it was Christmas, Santa came to visit us, and he gave me a plastic wind-up radio that played "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."


The parts I don't remember are coming home the day after Christmas, and my parents putting the presents under the tree and pretending that day was Christmas.

So, I'm curious: what is everyone else's earliest memory? Can you verify the age/date it took place? Have you always remembered the incident, or was the memory spurred by a story told to you by family? Do you have lots of memories before the age of four, or just a few?

And more lines of scientific inquiry: were you an early talker? Were you a talkative child in general? What were your favorite games to play when you were little: imaginative role-play? Active, physical play? Solitary activities? Building/modelling?

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