1391: "Darkness"

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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:08 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
Zylon wrote:No matter what your wishes, you immediately go into a permanent coma where you spend the rest of your life lucid dreaming how it would have played out with those wishes, because there is no public record of people suddenly gaining inexplicable magic powers.


What do you think Aladdin is?

Or maybe someone made a wish that no-one would notice the effects of wishes as anything weird.


Oh, you mean "The Lathe of Heaven."

ETA: how much trouble do I get myself into by declaring myself Page Pope? :oops:
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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby Klear » Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:23 pm UTC

Vahir wrote:
eviloatmeal wrote:"Genie, I wish for all my wishes to come true."

After that, you don't need the genie or his quota.

"I wish all my wishes would come true within seconds" so you don't have to add "right now" to the end of every wish.

Then you can start wishing for some interesting stuff. "I wish the discovery of the Higgs boson DID create a small black hole that tried to eat part of Switzerland and that everyone involved would be OK." "I wish all computers became trinary and that they weren't always that way." "I wish all straws had a third hole in them." "I wish I could have a bottomless pool due to suction and that it were large enough to swim in."


Then you spend the rest of your life trying desperately not to say "I wish you were dead!". Have fun.


If only there was a way to prevent that by supernatural means...

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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby Rai » Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:45 pm UTC

peregrine_crow wrote:You can't beat evil literal genies that are deliberately interpreting your wishes in the worst possible way


I wish you would grant all of my wishes, including this one, as I intended them instead of how you interpreted them.

Vahir wrote:
Then you spend the rest of your life trying desperately not to say "I wish you were dead!". Have fun.


I wish I couldn't wish people to death. I wish that my wish to be unable to wish people to death and this wish were irreversible.

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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:04 pm UTC

Wait, don't we need to start with "I wish that you [genie] understood English." <-- So will that wish be granted or not?
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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby Flumble » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:35 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:Wait, don't we need to start with "I wish that you [genie] understood English." <-- So will that wish be granted or not?

All genies speak English, dummy, just like every other person! I heard so in Aladdin, so it must be true.
Spoiler:
Actually I didn't, since I was very little back then and had to watch the Dutch dubbed version due to a lack of fluency in English. But that was dubbed, so it doesn't count!

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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby Moose Anus » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:39 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:had to watch the Dutch dubbed version due to a lack of fluency in English.
All genies can Double Dutch.
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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby Sunidesus » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:48 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:Alternative reaction:

I read this one as only the newscasters forgot about day/night. All us 'normals' were still aware of the cycle, and are once again dumbfounded at the idiocracitic level of TV news programs. (I think I just made up a word there...)


That's how I read it too.

Probably because I work on the technical side of TV news (I have nothing to do with content, I just make sure it gets on the air). I am frequently completely flummoxed by what the newsies do and how they react to things.

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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby Mikeski » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:50 pm UTC

peregrine_crow wrote:"Genie, I wish that for the next hour I am omnipotent1, omniscient2, posses unlimited cognitive computing power and am capable of granting myself any number of wishes without any possible limitations that you might be under. If this wish would otherwise alter my sense of morality or sense of self3 it instead does not."

That fails under typical Dungeons-and-Dragons wish rules, where any "and" starts a new wish. (Otherwise, wish for a billion dollars and a supermodel girlfriend and a unicorn and world peace and...)

So if the genie could do it, you'd get omnipotence, omniscience, and unlimited brains. The brains are probably redundant with the omnipotence, though. Avoidance of genie rules or self-altering (which probably invalidates omniscience) get dropped.

And all three violate thermodynamics (each requiring an infinite amount of energy to attain) so if they don't fail outright, you just nuked the universe with your brain.

(...of course, you could immediately recreate the universe in its current state without the universe-nuking aspects of you, depending on whether your omnipotence causes you to survive that.)
Last edited by Mikeski on Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:58 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby da Doctah » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:54 pm UTC

"I wish that this wish would not be granted."
-- Bertrand Russell

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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:19 pm UTC

peregrine_crow wrote:"Genie, I wish for the wisdom to make the most of my next two wishes."

"I wish for whatever a version of me who was all knowing and incapable of error would conclude that he should wish for if he were to find himself being me."

(Or more algorithmically, though this would waste wishes: make me omniscient and inerrant; then from that perspective I'll know what I should have wished for instead, and wish that I had instead wished for that, unless as it turns out what I should have wished for all along was to be omniscience and inerrant).
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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby Klear » Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:10 am UTC

da Doctah wrote:"I wish that this wish would not be granted."
-- Bertrand Russell


Lucky for him, his wish came true without being granted.

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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby peregrine_crow » Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:41 am UTC

Mikeski wrote:That fails under typical Dungeons-and-Dragons wish rules, where any "and" starts a new wish. (Otherwise, wish for a billion dollars and a supermodel girlfriend and a unicorn and world peace and...)

Then just make up a new word that means all those things, "I wish I was ultraawesome, where ultraawesome is defined as..". Or make up a fictional character that has this exact powerset and wish to have that characters powers.
Mikeski wrote:And all three violate thermodynamics (each requiring an infinite amount of energy to attain) so if they don't fail outright, you just nuked the universe with your brain.

That's a fair point, maybe also add immortality (for that one hour) into it so you are guaranteed to be able to recreate the universe.
Pfhorrest wrote:"I wish for whatever a version of me who was all knowing and incapable of error would conclude that he should wish for if he were to find himself being me."

That does work better, but isn't quite as elegant, nor is it quite as likely to get you brownie points with a hidden test of character like genie.
Rai wrote:
peregrine_crow wrote:You can't beat evil literal genies that are deliberately interpreting your wishes in the worst possible way

I wish you would grant all of my wishes, including this one, as I intended them instead of how you interpreted them.

This doesn't work as it still requires the genie to interpret this wish in the way you want. I'm not sure if there are any obvious loopholes in this specific wording, but worse come to worse a genie could always "assume" that you uttered your wish in a version of English where the position of the operands of the word "instead" is swapped such that the wish means "I wish you would grant all of my wishes, including this one, as you interpret them instead of as I intended them".
Last edited by peregrine_crow on Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:55 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby Klear » Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:50 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
peregrine_crow wrote:"Genie, I wish for the wisdom to make the most of my next two wishes."

"I wish for whatever a version of me who was all knowing and incapable of error would conclude that he should wish for if he were to find himself being me."


What would the other guard wish for if he was omniscient and incapable of error?

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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby da Doctah » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:55 am UTC

Sidestepping the wishing component for a moment, the "darkness" thing reminds me of something that bothers me every time I see Michael Jackson's "Thriller":

Darkness falls across the land.
The midnight hour is close at hand.


Unless they're near the Arctic circle, there's something seriously wrong here.

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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby peregrine_crow » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:15 am UTC

da Doctah wrote:Sidestepping the wishing component for a moment, the "darkness" thing reminds me of something that bothers me every time I see Michael Jackson's "Thriller":

Darkness falls across the land.
The midnight hour is close at hand.


Unless they're near the Arctic circle, there's something seriously wrong here.


See also: "The night is darkest just before the dawn" and similar phrases.
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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby Klear » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:56 am UTC

da Doctah wrote:Sidestepping the wishing component for a moment, the "darkness" thing reminds me of something that bothers me every time I see Michael Jackson's "Thriller":

Darkness falls across the land.
The midnight hour is close at hand.


Unless they're near the Arctic circle, there's something seriously wrong here.


Where I live sun will set at 21:12 today, and the night will be getting more dark some time after that. I'd say that's close enough to midnight to say it's "close at hand", though your mileage may vary for that expression.

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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby HES » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:33 am UTC

Sunset peaked at 21:49 here. You don't have to be that far north.
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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby cellocgw » Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:05 pm UTC

HES wrote:Sunset peaked at 21:49 here. You don't have to be that far north.


Yeah but was that zulu time or DoubleSummerDaylightSavingsTime? :mrgreen:
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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby HES » Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:10 pm UTC

Well that just works in the song's favour. It's always midnight somewhere. Maybe the darkness is falling across the land over there, meanwhile it's already dark and nearly midnight here.
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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby orthogon » Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:44 pm UTC

All the same, midsummer isn't the spookiest time of year.

Is it wrong of me to be glad that MJ escaped criminal conviction because it means we can still listen to his wonderful music? There was a piece on the radio at the weekend saying that Rolf Harris's Two Little Boys is a beautiful ode to brotherly love complete with a hint of an anti-war message, and what a shame it is that nobody will be able to play it any more.
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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby Carteeg_Struve » Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:52 pm UTC

This reminds me of my favorite serious weather prediction from the Lowell Sun (a Massachusetts paper) when I was young.
"Tonight: Partly Sunny"

I'm pretty sure our weatherman wasn't far off from the newscasters in this comic.

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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Tue Jul 08, 2014 1:37 pm UTC

Zylon wrote:No matter what your wishes, you immediately go into a permanent coma where you spend the rest of your life lucid dreaming how it would have played out with those wishes, because there is no public record of people suddenly gaining inexplicable magic powers.


Actual spoiler for
Spoiler:
Supernatural
(name of show spoilered because together with the message I am replying to it is also a spoiler for it)
Actual spoiler:
Spoiler:
As with the Genies of Supernatural. They can not grant wishes. They can put you in a dream state where it seems to you that your wish was granted.
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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby Thieh » Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:52 pm UTC

Envelope Generator wrote:Alt: This was actually wish #406. Wish #2 was for him to lose the ability to remember that each new wish wasn't my first.


I would have thought if the genie does not get a wish-space expansion the older wishes got overwritten? Kind of like your computer's storage/memory space?

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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby armandoalvarez » Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:05 pm UTC

Zylon wrote:No matter what your wishes, you immediately go into a permanent coma where you spend the rest of your life lucid dreaming how it would have played out with those wishes, because there is no public record of people suddenly gaining inexplicable magic powers.

You don't think a good genie is capable of hiding their work? And generally people wish for things that wouldn't appear magical. "I wish for wealth." (Win the lottery; find gold.) "I wish to be married to X." ("Well, isn't it weird that X suddenly agreed to his advances?") "I wish for a new car." (As long as nobody else sees it appear from thin air, who's going to assume that Al over there has a genie?)

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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby Moose Anus » Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:12 pm UTC

armandoalvarez wrote:
Zylon wrote:No matter what your wishes, you immediately go into a permanent coma where you spend the rest of your life lucid dreaming how it would have played out with those wishes, because there is no public record of people suddenly gaining inexplicable magic powers.

You don't think a good genie is capable of hiding their work? And generally people wish for things that wouldn't appear magical. "I wish for wealth." (Win the lottery; find gold.) "I wish to be married to X." ("Well, isn't it weird that X suddenly agreed to his advances?") "I wish for a new car." (As long as nobody else sees it appear from thin air, who's going to assume that Al over there has a genie?)
I wish for a public record of me suddenly gaining inexplicable magic powers!
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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby peregrine_crow » Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:28 pm UTC

armandoalvarez wrote:You don't think a good genie is capable of hiding their work? And generally people wish for things that wouldn't appear magical. "I wish for wealth." (Win the lottery; find gold.) "I wish to be married to X." ("Well, isn't it weird that X suddenly agreed to his advances?") "I wish for a new car." (As long as nobody else sees it appear from thin air, who's going to assume that Al over there has a genie?)


Then those people have a horrible lack of imagination (Really, unlimited cosmic power at your command and you want a new car?). I agree that a genie should be able to make the result of a wish appear unremarkable, but I have a little more faith in the ability of humans to come up with creative uses for reality rewriting abilities.
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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby moody7277 » Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:30 pm UTC

Neil_Boekend wrote:
Zylon wrote:No matter what your wishes, you immediately go into a permanent coma where you spend the rest of your life lucid dreaming how it would have played out with those wishes, because there is no public record of people suddenly gaining inexplicable magic powers.


Actual spoiler for
Spoiler:
Supernatural
(name of show spoilered because together with the message I am replying to it is also a spoiler for it)
Actual spoiler:
Spoiler:
As with the Genies of Supernatural. They can not grant wishes. They can put you in a dream state where it seems to you that your wish was granted.


Continuing spoiler
Spoiler:
Of course the rest of your life in that case is three, four days tops.
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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby armandoalvarez » Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:14 pm UTC

peregrine_crow wrote:
armandoalvarez wrote:You don't think a good genie is capable of hiding their work? And generally people wish for things that wouldn't appear magical. "I wish for wealth." (Win the lottery; find gold.) "I wish to be married to X." ("Well, isn't it weird that X suddenly agreed to his advances?") "I wish for a new car." (As long as nobody else sees it appear from thin air, who's going to assume that Al over there has a genie?)


Then those people have a horrible lack of imagination (Really, unlimited cosmic power at your command and you want a new car?). I agree that a genie should be able to make the result of a wish appear unremarkable, but I have a little more faith in the ability of humans to come up with creative uses for reality rewriting abilities.


I was writing on the fly, but I agree, that's an unsatisfactory example. From my knowledge of wish-granting stories, there are three basic ways the genie appears unremarkable.
1. People have a natural tendency to seek a naturalistic explanation (related to Douglas Adams' Somebody Else's Problem cloaking device). So when the guy suddenly appears on the Super Bowl field, everyone assumes it's a trick of light or a hoax or something.

2. The wish-granting-entity is constrained by the laws of physics. A wish for a perpetual motion machine will be treated as a null wish, like a wish for a fourth wish, but anything short of that will be granted. To outside appearances, it's just a strange string of coincidences. (Ex. "I wish I were president." Wisher gets a call from the president. "The VP just resigned. I'm appointing you in his place. The Senate's just confirmed it. Now I'm resigning." There's no inexplicable magic for people to witness.)

3. The wish creates an alternate universe where the wish has always been true and everyone else thinks the wisher is acting weird when he doesn't remember that this is the way it's always been. (See the 2000 version of Bedazzled [I haven't seen the original], where Brendan Fraser wishes to be rich and powerful and everyone else thinks he's always been this rich and powerful drug lord.)

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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby The Moomin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:30 pm UTC

peregrine_crow wrote:
armandoalvarez wrote:You don't think a good genie is capable of hiding their work? And generally people wish for things that wouldn't appear magical. "I wish for wealth." (Win the lottery; find gold.) "I wish to be married to X." ("Well, isn't it weird that X suddenly agreed to his advances?") "I wish for a new car." (As long as nobody else sees it appear from thin air, who's going to assume that Al over there has a genie?)


Then those people have a horrible lack of imagination (Really, unlimited cosmic power at your command and you want a new car?). I agree that a genie should be able to make the result of a wish appear unremarkable, but I have a little more faith in the ability of humans to come up with creative uses for reality rewriting abilities.


This reminds me of our office.

One hot summer day years ago, a broken fan was sitting on the shelf looking down at us all.
One lad said "I wish that fan worked"
Another lad said "That's a shit wish, why wouldn't you just wish for a new fan?"

I laughed.
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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby orthogon » Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:30 pm UTC

armandoalvarez wrote:To outside appearances, it's just a strange string of coincidences. (Ex. "I wish I were president." Wisher gets a call from the president. "The VP just resigned. I'm appointing you in his place. The Senate's just confirmed it. Now I'm resigning." There's no inexplicable magic for people to witness.)

With apologies to Arthur C. Clarke: Any appointment to a sufficiently senior position in business or government is indistinguishable from arbitrary cronyism anyway.
BTW is that what happens if the Veep resigns? POTUS just appoints someone?
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby Moose Anus » Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:33 pm UTC

armandoalvarez wrote:2. The wish-granting-entity is constrained by the laws of physics. A wish for a perpetual motion machine will be treated as a null wish, like a wish for a fourth wish, but anything short of that will be granted. To outside appearances, it's just a strange string of coincidences. (Ex. "I wish I were president." Wisher gets a call from the president. "The VP just resigned. I'm appointing you in his place. The Senate's just confirmed it. Now I'm resigning." There's no inexplicable magic for people to witness.)
I think something like this happened in King Ralph: the British royal family got electrocuted and Ralph happened to be the next in line. They skipped the whole genie part but I'm pretty sure that's how it went down.
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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby orthogon » Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:58 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:
peregrine_crow wrote:"Genie, I wish for the wisdom to make the most of my next two wishes."

"I wish for whatever a version of me who was all knowing and incapable of error would conclude that he should wish for if he were to find himself being me."


What would the other guard wish for if he was omniscient and incapable of error?

That's easy: a sheep, a wolf and a cabbage. And a boat. Damn. Can I start again?
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby armandoalvarez » Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:59 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
armandoalvarez wrote:To outside appearances, it's just a strange string of coincidences. (Ex. "I wish I were president." Wisher gets a call from the president. "The VP just resigned. I'm appointing you in his place. The Senate's just confirmed it. Now I'm resigning." There's no inexplicable magic for people to witness.)

With apologies to Arthur C. Clarke: Any appointment to a sufficiently senior position in business or government is indistinguishable from arbitrary cronyism anyway.
BTW is that what happens if the Veep resigns? POTUS just appoints someone?

The president does appoint someone, but I was wrong-they have to be approved by both houses, not just the Senate. That's how Gerald Ford became president. Nixon's first VP took bribes as governor and resigned, Nixon appointed Ford, he got approved by Congress, then Nixon resigned.

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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby chris857 » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:53 pm UTC

HES wrote:Sunset peaked at 21:49 here. You don't have to be that far north.


Sunset is 21:51 today where I live. And I live about 5 degress south of you.

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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby HES » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:00 pm UTC

This is why UTC was invented
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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby eviloatmeal » Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:55 am UTC

Mikeski wrote:That fails under typical Dungeons-and-Dragons wish rules, where any "and" starts a new wish. (Otherwise, wish for a billion dollars and a supermodel girlfriend and a unicorn and world peace and...)

"I wish to be in a peaceful world next to my supermodel girlfriend holding a briefcase containing a billion dollars while riding a unicorn. AND I wish for a sandwich, and keep the change."
chris857 wrote:Sunset is 21:51 today where I live. And I live about 5 degress south of you.

I don't know what you're talking about, but up here (69° North) there's no such thing as "sunset".

(Also, why does ø break url tags on here? That's no good! Luckily WolframAlpha is good at interpreting stuff.)
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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby chridd » Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:22 pm UTC

eviloatmeal wrote:"I wish to be in a peaceful world next to my supermodel girlfriend holding a briefcase containing a billion dollars while riding a unicorn. AND I wish for a sandwich, and keep the change."
The current world stays at war, and you're transported to a different world that's peaceful (but doesn't contain anyone or anything you liked from this world). Your supermodel girlfriend is holding a briefcase with a billion dollars and riding a unicorn, and she won't share with you.
(Also, why does ø break url tags on here? That's no good! Luckily WolframAlpha is good at interpreting stuff.)
Try http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=Troms%C3%B8+sunset (though it would be better if it just worked). In at least the version I have of Firefox, you can get the URL with character codes like that by copying the URL from the address bar to the clipboard or dragging it to a text file.
~ chri d. d. /tʃɹɪ.di.di/ (Phonotactics, schmphonotactics) · she · Forum game scores
mittfh wrote:I wish this post was very quotable...

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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby eviloatmeal » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:34 am UTC

chridd wrote:The current world stays at war, and you're transported to a different world that's peaceful (but doesn't contain anyone or anything you liked from this world). Your supermodel girlfriend is holding a briefcase with a billion dollars and riding a unicorn, and she won't share with you.

"I wish this world were as it is, except for the fact that I had a generous supermodel girlfriend holding a briefcase containing a billion dollars while riding a unicorn. AND I wish I had a cinnamon bun to dip in my coffee."

chridd wrote:Try http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=Troms%C3%B8+sunset (though it would be better if it just worked). In at least the version I have of Firefox, you can get the URL with character codes like that by copying the URL from the address bar to the clipboard or dragging it to a text file.

Yeah, I was changing the various symbols to that format haphazardly, and then I realised it was the ø, and that WolframAlpha would handle the anomalous, yet very common, spelling "Tromso", because WolframAlpha is awesome.
Last edited by eviloatmeal on Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:00 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:49 am UTC

moody7277 wrote:
Neil_Boekend wrote:
Zylon wrote:No matter what your wishes, you immediately go into a permanent coma where you spend the rest of your life lucid dreaming how it would have played out with those wishes, because there is no public record of people suddenly gaining inexplicable magic powers.


Actual spoiler for
Spoiler:
Supernatural
(name of show spoilered because together with the message I am replying to it is also a spoiler for it)
Actual spoiler:
Spoiler:
As with the Genies of Supernatural. They can not grant wishes. They can put you in a dream state where it seems to you that your wish was granted.


Continuing spoiler
Spoiler:
Of course the rest of your life in that case is three, four days tops.

Spoiler:
Yeah, but if you don't pierce through the illusion you'll think it was a full life.
Mikeski wrote:A "What If" update is never late. Nor is it early. It is posted precisely when it should be.

patzer's signature wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:I'm being quoted too much!

he/him/his

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Re: 1391: "Darkness"

Postby eviloatmeal » Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:59 am UTC

Neil_Boekend wrote:
Spoiler:
Yeah, but if you don't pierce through the illusion you'll think it was a full life.

Spoiler:
Sort of like that thing from 4400?
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