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      Oathbringer Spoiler Policy   11/13/2017

      Oathbringer is out! Let's make our policy on spoilers clear! 1. You must preface topics with Oathbringer spoilers with the prefix [OB] in the front 2. You are only allowed to post spoilers and spoiler topics in the Oathbringer Spoiler Board, Cosmere Theories, and some select work-related forums. 3. For posts in the Oathbringer Spoiler Board you do not need to use spoiler tags inside a topic marked [OB]. For Cosmere Theories, you also do not need to put spoiler tags inside your topic if the topic has [OB] in the title. However, for Cosmere Theories, if you are adding Oathbringer stuff to an old theory without the [OB] tag, those must go in spoiler tags and you must make it obvious outside the spoiler tag that the spoiler is regarding Oathbringer content. 4. For select things that do require talking about OB spoilers, in Events, Coppermind, and Arcanum forums, those are allowed but keep OB spoilers in spoiler tags 5. Avoid and minimize spoilers in topic titles--even though those two boards will not appear in the Recent Topics ticker, topic titles still appear in Recent Activity and the forum home.  6. You aren't allowed to post Oathbringer spoilers in places other than listed, even with spoiler tags.  It will be nine months and then the Oathbringer board will be re-merged with the Stormlight board and you will not need to tag these spoilers. If you'd like to move something in the Stormlight Archive board to the Oathbringer board, to update it with new Oathbringer information, Report the post and we will happily move it to the Oathbringer spoiler board. Part-by-part Reactions Though the Oathbringer Spoiler Board will be very spoilery, very fast (maybe don't come there until you've read the book, as people do have copies that bookstores sold early), you'll have these five topics for reactions if you want to nerd out: Part 1 Reactions
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The Young Bard

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About The Young Bard

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    *insert witticism here*
  • Birthday 12/29/1999

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    Sydney, Australia
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    Reading, playing computer games, Reading, Hanging out on the Shard, Reading, Composing Music, Reading, Reading, Reading, listening to Music, and Reading. And a bit of reading on the side.

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  1. Doc and Alexis' game was QF21, IIRC. I have no idea how it's similar to this, though. Mainly out of curiosity to see how this will go, I'll sign up to this. Are the mafia permitted to confer in a doc? I'm guessing by the fact that each mafia will take turns deciding who to kill that the answer is no. In the spreadsheet of the results, do you plan on including whether the player was the first/second/n'th person to make that vote, and the order in which votes were made? May I request that you do, if you weren't planning on it? Also, potentially coloring votes green or red when the alignment of the player being voted on is revealed? A quick note on the expected distribution while I still have the opportunity to talk - The first few days will be random, and we can expect a high level of inactivity from this game once the exoticness (is that a word?) of the game wears off. As such, the size of the Eliminator team will be small, giving us longer to find them, but the disadvantage is that it will be a less obvious bloc of people operating with only a smaller group. There's more I want to say, but that's all I feel I can say without going against the spirit of the game, if not the letter. Suffice to say, this should be interesting.
  2. As some of you may know, there was a discussion on Discord about a week ago about what several players perceive as problems in SE right now. A number of players have pointed out several things that they've been enjoying less and less about the state of SE as it stands now, mainly to do with how it's both harder and harder for new players to be able to understand the meta of SE and fit in with it's increasingly complicated plot, and, more directly relevant to a lot of the older players, an increasing lack of enjoyment with recent SE games. This was due to a number of factors, but in fair amount due to the reduced amount of camaraderie between players, which is what drew players into SE in the first place. (There are other reasons for this as well, which I intend to discuss below.) The Metanarrative and New Players In regards to new players and the increasingly complex meta, a number of suggestions were made about how the metanarrative could be made easier for new players to understand and begin contributing to. One of the ideas that was suggested was some sort of Wiki. This was one of the ideas I used to be a proponent of, going so far as to create the "SEncyclopedia" (which promptly failed due to me being busy and unable to properly work on it), but I've found more and more flaws in that idea as time goes on. The big problem is, new players have no investment yet towards the meta, and yet, in order to fit in, they'd essentially be forced to read a fairly long backlog on Shards, Snakes, Swords (e.g. (S)laughter) and basically everything else under the sun starting with S in order to understand the metanarrative and injokes of the games. As such, I no longer feel that this is the right way to approach how to deal with the metanarrative for new players, because it sets the bar too high for new players to be able to understand and fit in as a group, something which I feel is a steep learning curve already. A similar, yet slightly different proposal which I’ll quickly address is something more akin to metanarrative inspired stories you see in the SEAcropolis thread as a way of getting new players up to speed. While I think it has the potential to be more fun to read through if we direct new players to a relevant RP on Snakes or the history of Kiireon/Edaan, I think this would merely mitigate the issue, rather than dealing with it completely. A system like this would still mean new players would have an extremely steep learning curve in order to understand the meta of the community. Many of us in the conversation agreed that a system like this wouldn’t resolve a lot of the problems we agreed were there. A more extreme change that was suggested was a reset of the meta, and a new metanarrative that would be constructed out of the ashes of the old one, with a focus on making it easy for new players to have a low threshold to understanding the metanarrative as it stands at that moment. There are a number of ways this could be achieved, (and I’d love to hear your input on this) but the way I envisage such a system operating is an overarching metanarrative, which has 'arcs' or 'beats' to it. All a new player would need to understand in order to start contributing to the metanarrative is what's happened in the current arc/beat, which on its own is shorter and more free-standing in order to be easier to understand. Then, only if they decide that they're sufficiently invested and want to know more, would they dig into some of the older metanarrative arcs in order to understand the backstory, which is relevant but by no means necessary to understanding the current position of the metanarrative. I think a system like this could be useful. My main concern is that it arguably places too much structure on a system that I think some players like to be unstructured and freestanding, which is unfortunate, but I think a necessary step if the goal is to have a less steep learning curve for new players entering SE. I think this balance between structured and free-form meta-RP is something we’re going to need to focus on balancing if we go ahead with this plan, and is something I’d also love to hear your thoughts on, or if you have any alternative suggestions to deal with the issues I’ve raised. Camaraderie and the Desire to Win in SE There was also a lot of discussion around why a lot of older players were also finding it harder to engage with the more recent SE games. After a fair amount of conversation, this came down to a lot of issues. There’s a lot less camaraderie than there used to be, when a lot of the older players enjoyed the game because of the more social aspect of the game, to be able to enjoy finding Eliminators together, trying to read each other, and generally having a good time. An increasing focus that’s developed in players over time to focus just on winning, and less on the community of the game. Higher and higher levels of inactivity in games. We were discussing what might have caused these, and generally agreed that it might have come from a couple common issues. The way in which people play SE now is fundamentally different now to how it used to be played. Two of my earliest docs are also my two favourite docs of all time - the Shard Zero Doc in LG21 and the Venture Docs in LG23. What’s common between them - and what I haven’t seen as much in any of the later games, is the community and social aspect that is a large part of what a lot of the older players enjoyed about the game so much. Part of this, perhaps, is the Discord Chat. A lot of the social conversations moved from docs and PM’s to Discord round about LG24, when the Discord was created. As a direct result of that, less attention in SE was placed on the community and regular socialising, because we now had the Discord Server for that. Now, arguably, this isn’t a bad thing. It’s possible to say that these things simply develop, and that simply because there is an old way of doing things doesn’t necessarily mean that the new way is any worse, and that SE can still provide a fun setting for many, even if it’s not what a few of the older members originally came into the community for. However, I would argue that some of the ripple effects of this change have caused more, clearly negative changes in how SE is played. A natural consequence of people socialising less in SE results in people focusing more on winning, on achieving the goal, occasionally at the cost of what is fun, for yourself and others. An environment like that, with an increasingly competitive game, is more likely to lead to a less inviting and friendly community, and more likely to lead to people taking things too seriously, leading to clashes and arguments which might once have been avoided, as well as a higher amount of stress with the game overall, meaning people are less invested to want to play. This last part, especially, might attribute both to the number of older players who are considering not playing SE anymore, and the increasing number of inactives on a game to game basis. Which leaves the problem of how to resolve (or at least mitigate) these issues. Realistically, I think the Discord is here, and here to stay. Many people, including myself, get something worthwhile out of the community we have there - however, I don’t want that to come at the expense of the community here, and I feel that we can do more to at least mitigate some of the effects mentioned above. On top of that, I don’t think that the Discord chat is the sole source of these issues (as much as some of what I’ve said above might have unintentionally implied that), so much as it has aggravated and revealed some of the issues that I think we would have eventually had to deal with anyway. Many of the suggestions in the Discord Chat were centered around the ideas of introducing (or rather, reintroducing - some of these ideas existed a while ago, but weren’t carried on) ways to promote a more open, friendly, environment. One idea I think works as a good start is the ‘paper plate awards’, like you’d see in Cross Country Tournaments, or Model UN Debates. These awards essentially are a way to promote open, friendly gameplay, features less dedicated to competitiveness such as roleplay, and whatever else is fun, memorable or fitting for that game. For example, you could have awards for the best RP, and you can also have awards for things such as nearly being lynched the most times. I went digging, because I know I’d seen them on the old site before the great overhaul, and I found some examples that on Alv’s profile, if you’re curious to see the kind of thing that I mean by this. As I said before, I think this is a good idea, at least as a starting point. I’m worried that on it’s own, it might not do much, as it deals with some of the symptoms, instead of addressing the root of the problem itself, but I believe this definitely works as a starting point in changing the focus of the community away from a purely competitive game to a more social one. Another idea that was suggested had to do with the revival of Cosmetic Roles. I’m… less certain this will be effective, though I’m interested to see the argument in favour of it. Cosmetic Roles, to me, seemed like a way of prompting people into RP’ing more, if they hadn’t really thought of it as an option. Personally, I feel that if people are going to RP anyway, then Cosmetic Roles will be unnecessary, on account of the player having their own RP ideas, and those who weren’t planning to RP probably wouldn’t anyway. I’m not so sure it’s likely to very many players attitude very much, unfortunately. Perhaps I’m missing the point of this, and if so, I’d love to hear the perspective of other people when it comes to cosmetic roles. The Role of the GM The final point I’d like to ask people about is what role the GM has to play in dealing with the issues I’ve mentioned above. So far, I’ve placed a fair amount of focus on what the community as a whole is doing that is potentially causing problems, and what the community could do to fix it. However, that’s only one side of the coin, and I think there are a few things that GM’s have done that have potentially aggravated the problem, and a few tricks the GM’s could use to potentially mitigate or resolve them. The elephant in the room with this topic is broken games. Sadly, I think that these have been on the rise. Partially, I think this is due to GM’s want to experiment with more outside-the-box games in an attempt to make something new, different, and exciting. (One could make an argument that this is the response to players being more and more focused on the mechanics of games in an attempt to win instead of more socially based games as it used to be. Or, perhaps that’s a stretch too far. I don’t know.) Sadly, in their attempt to achieve the first two of those, they sometimes fail at the third. However, I’m not going to talk about this a great deal right now, because only recently, the GM’s created the Balancing Committee, and I’m optimistic that this will be an effective strategy in reducing the number of broken games. As such, there’s not a lot I’m going to say about this, though if this continues to be an issue I may create a follow up post about this later. That said, if anyone else had something they feel should be added to the conversation about broken games, I’d encourage you to do so, because it certainly forms a piece of the overall problem. What I am going to refer to is the tangentially related issue of non-standard games that I touched on in the paragraph above. To this day, I love non-standard games, as they’re different, and fresh. However, I love them because they are the exception to the rule, so I wonder if it’s a good thing that they become the rule itself, as, more and more, it seems to be becoming. Is there a responsibility of GM’s to try and make sure that non-standard games are the exception to the rule, not the rule itself? Is that the responsibility of someone else, like the new balancing team, or the mods? Should we let things be, or is that going to aggravate the problem of broken games and place an overly strong focus on mechanics - at the cost of making people view SE as a social game instead of something that’s interesting solely because of its mechanics. I’m divided on this issue - on the one hand, I like the relative degree of freedom that GM’s have in creating games, but I can also see the issues that might arise from it, so I’m hoping to hear everyone else’s thoughts on this before I make my mind up one way or the other. Finally, I do think that GM’s definitely can and do have some responsibility in this area. The first games that come to mind when I mention this are MR17 and LG30, both of which were run by Aman, and both of which had incentives placed on posting RP. These games were highly successful, and I think struck a perfect balance between incentivising RP and not making it absolutely necessary for those who really weren’t interested in RP to participate. I think something like this is another solution to reducing the focus of winning at all costs in SE, though I’m interested to hear your thoughts. If you have any other ideas about what role the GM has to play in influencing the focus of games, or any of the other issues I’ve discussed, I’d love to hear them. I’m currently planning for my upcoming QF, and I do intend to take on what was discussed here and in the Discord Chat when planning for my game, and experiment with what works in creating a fun game, and I would be interested in hearing your suggestions as well on what else a GM could do to tackle these issues. Conclusion I’ve written up a fair amount by this point, but I’m only one person, and I’m sure there’s a lot I haven’t considered, or might have wrongly dismissed out of hand. If you have anything else you feel needs to be discussed surrounding the SE environment, or have alternative suggestions, I’d encourage you to post your thoughts and opinions - even just your two cents on the ideas presented here if you don’t feel you have anything to add - as it would be help us understand what the major issues SE players are finding with SE, and how they can potentially be resolved. If you have any concerns with the direction SE is heading, now is the time to voice those concerns, so we can hopefully make the SE experience better for all involved going into the future.
  3. I'll be doing it again this year. My final exams end in the early part of November, so I'm hopeful that I'll have the rest of the month free to work on NaNo and perhaps win it this year.
  4. Spoilers from the sample release chapters (link will download a Microsoft Word file) of the Liar of Partinel (an unpublished novel by Brandon).
  5. If you have less than... say, 18 players, by the time this is due to start, you can sign me up for it. It sounds really fun, but I'm hesitant about clashes with RL, as I'm the middle of my final exams right now.
  6. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who found Voidbringers playing Magic to be odd, to say the least. This theory will probably be disproved within 24 hours (because I'm lazy and couldn't be bothered typing it out last Tuesday/Wednesday), but here goes... The white and red marbled Voidbringers that Kaladin saw are different to regular Voidbringers. Their job is to act as strategists, advisors, and tacticians in the Desolations. That's why, when they transformed, they were less immediately aggressive than you'd expect from the Voidbringers, choosing not to attack their local village, but instead band together and begin a strategic march to somewhere (possibly Kholinar, but that's outside the scope of this theory). It's also why they play a Magic-esque strategy game when Kaladin observes them. They are performing their duty as they've been made to do, but that isn't to slaughter and kill all those around them, but to organise and strategise. It explains their - at first glance - less terrifying appearance and strange behaviour patterns, their strange movements, as though they're going for a subtler, yet more devastating, way to kickstart the Desolation whenever they arrive. I don't have any idea yet what their goal actually is, though I think this theory could begin to explain why they're not immediately attacking those around them, like had been expected. The 'strategist' Voidbringers, I believe, are also responsible for why the ships were stolen from Thaylen - crippling its economic ability, and caused the Voidbringers to negotiate with the Azish - allowing them to be kept out of the conflict and preventing a united front from forming among the peoples of Roshar - a much more cunning approach than it seems they'd take from the brief experiences with them on the Shattered Plains.
  7. Well done fRR for a very entertaining mystery! I'd love to see more games like this in the future. I found trying to work out the puzzle intriguing, even if I did go on a red herring right up to the point I died.
  8. I understand if you don't want to add names. If there are any roles that the thread doesn't know about, could you at least name what the role is and tell us what you know about what they do? That could still be enormously helpful.
  9. Ha. I knew it was a risk, but as I'd already tried everything obvious, so I was prepared to try it. I... doubt that. Either the player would die - and that would mean the activated doll would pass randomly to the next player, meaning that someone random gets it, and nullifying the efforts of the person who activated it in the first place, or the player survives, and immediately gets lynched again the next round, or becomes invincible if the player is immune to the lynch. I've asked in my PM if me receiving the Doll Cycle 4 and not Cycle 3 was down to some sort of GM error. Otherwise, I'm more inclined to believe that there are multiple dolls.
  10. Hmmmm... Yes. It probably would have. In a way that would have ended with me dead, and my attempts to activate the doll unfinished. I had wondered if the activation of the doll would alter my win con - and if it did, being lynched so I wasn't able to play to that win con probably wouldn't have helped. This is quite possible. I just looked up Flash's votes in Cycles 2 and 3, Cycle 2 they didn't vote, and Cycle 3 they voted to lynch the doll, which also counted as a no vote. Wilson, in Cycle 1, voted for Roadwalker, who wasn't lynched in favour of Eternum, unless I missed her changing her vote. Except Rebecca didn't try to lynch anyone, and they're still alive. I'm thinking Budgie's theory that there's a good doll that does... nothing, or nothing malevolent, and a bad doll, that means you have to kill someone or it will kill you, is plausible. So, if you received the doll on Cycle 5, you have nothing to worry about - it might even do something benevolent like protect you from the lynch. If you got the doll this Cycle... Perhaps not so much. We've had half a dozen people claim a no-role rather than an actual role. Which, lets us know something about the distribution, I suppose, but not so much about whats going on in the game itself. From Cycle 3, DA's post: I took this to mean that they could only do their thing once, before they became a normal villager and weren't able to Teach multiple times. The rest is basically new information to me. Thanks! Huh. Interesting. And, sorry, that must suck... :/ If you do vote, is the vote just not counted, or is there a penalty applied against you? So, all of these roles need something to activate them. Including, apparently, the Teacher role. Which is strange, seeing as I'd hypothesised that the Teacher might be the Activator. Hmmm... The other thing to consider is whether its the same something or different somethings that activate all the roles. I just don't know. Also, I'll go digging around in previous Cycles, but didn't someone claim in PM's that they'd become a Magistrate role, that then got announced to the thread? I'd kind of assumed, perhaps prematurely, that that was down to the Teacher. Unless that's yet another hopping role that got passed after a certain amount of cycles or on death...
  11. Bugger. I suspect the rest of the thread will be less than satisfied with me saying this now, but I had the Doll in Cycles 4 and 5. (No, I don't know why I received the doll on an even Cycle, not an odd one. My personal suspicion is that there may be multiple dolls - one that passes on odd cycles, one that passes on even cycles.) My reaction to having the doll was basically a scattergun approach - try everything, and see what happens. The results? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Not a single thing did anything to activate the doll, or make it do anything at all. I asked around a dozen questions, basically all of which were answered with a PAFO in all but name by El (remind me to post their responses after the game is over. It's an amusing read in the number of ways El can tell the questioner nothing and be so gleeful about it... ). I also submitted actions to - kill a player, scan a player, revive a player, pass the Doll to someone else (Alv, since they asked so nicely ), and activate the doll. I was informed that my submission of all of these actions were successful, but was not informed as to the status of the action itself. However, it's fairly easy to see that experientially, all of these actions failed. In Cycle 5, I knew I had one cycle left to try and activate the doll if that was my goal, so I came up with a crackpot theory that the doll might require some sort of sacrifice from the lynch or something similar for it to activate, based on the vaguely creepypasta/horror vibe I was getting from some of the writeups, hence why I voted on Roadwalker, as an attempt to make them some sort of 'sacrifice' for the doll. And... nothing. The doll passed on this cycle, without, to the best of my knowledge, ever activating or doing anything but sit there. Bugger. The one thing I never got the opportunity to try was for a Teacher to try and target me with their action - that could be a balanced mechanic - you can give a vanilla villager a role, but you also have a risk of targeting the doll holder, in which case the doll is activated, and, presumably, bad things happen for the village. The only flaw in that plan is that my understanding of the teacher role is that they can only submit their action once. I'll be interested to know if anyone became a Teacher in Cycles 3 or 4, when the old Teacher used their ability, which might help to make this theory a bit more valid (I see this as feasible because there appear to be a lot of roles which shift from one player to another in these games - the scapegoat is one, the doll holder is another. Perhaps the Teacher is a third.) If that's the case, I would recommend the Teacher choose someone to provide with a role, but be confident that that player isn't a doll holder. Perhaps I'm biased in saying this, but I believe Rebecca and I might make good candidates, because I agree with - whoever it was, I've forgotten (sorry) - that previous doll holders are unlikely to receive the doll again. I'd also prefer if you'd claim to someone who can pass on the fact that there's a new Teacher to the thread so I could help to confirm my theory, which could be of help to the thread as a whole. Or any other role we don't know about, for that matter. In this, I agree completely with Hero. But... that still doesn't settle how Wilson and Flash died, which is a large part of these whole games. I wonder if the doll being an 'evil doll' as Lopen put it was a bit of a misnomer - the only thing that seemed to point to the doll being evil is it provided me with a vague feeling of unease. (I can't remember the exact term used, but it was something along those lines.) Certainly, nothing pointed in the PM to it being related to the killings (not that there were any killings while it was in my possession, but my point remains), so I assume that there's another role, possibly being passed around either after a set number of cycles or on the death of a player - that is very obviously evil and therefore nobody's willing to claim it. It may have ended up with an inactive or inactives these last couple cycles, hence why there was no kill. But, there are as many holes in this theory that I could pick apart, and create a new theory without those holes. Except, that theory would also have holes in it, and I'd end up in a really long train of thought that gets away from the point, I think. The point being - having had the doll, and trying to use it and utterly failing as an item of evil, I believe it can't possibly be that, and the thing causing the killings is basically separate from that. At least, not in its current state - who knows what it will be like when it activates. (I don't. Trust me. I tried to work it out. ) ...This post is more disorganised than I'd like it to be. But, I'm also exhausted - it's been quite a long and tiring week. If people have questions, tomorrow is the weekend (thankfully), so I should have plenty of time to answer them then. For now, I'm going to bed.
  12. Possibly. Or, possibly, it might be better for them to say safe and not risk being targeted, and claim when they have actual useful information to divulge along with just their role. And that wasn't the only reason I voted either. There have been three games (one of which was a rerun) I remember where information wasn't divulged in the writeup about the role/alignment of a player - MR10, LG26, and MR19 (MR10 rerun). In all three of those games, there has been some sort of scan role (in fact, I believe it was multiple in all of these cases) to reveal the role and alignment of these players. At a certain point, players need a base amount of information to go off in order to progress and maintain interest - something which just isn't possible without a scan role of some kind.
  13. We don't need to. I think we should, for the reasons I outlined in my post.
  14. According to my friend, the best piece every for timpani is Mars, by Gustav Holst. Having played the bassoon part (which doubles the timpani for a fair amount of the piece), I can definitely agree with the sentiment. It is an enormous piece of fun to play.
  15. Hero, you first asked people to start claiming to help information in Cycle 3. They've had more than enough time to do so - the fact that it hasn't happened suggests to me that people either don't intend to, or aren't paying attention in the game. Personally, if I were a scanner role, I probably wouldn't reveal myself unless I felt I had some piece of information I felt would be helpful to the the thread from my scans. And, supposing they were a player that scans dead players (something I think must happen in a game where roles or alignments aren't revealed - it's just too difficult to have anything to go by otherwise), we can't really help them if we're not killing anybody. With the high level of inactivity in this thread, even killing inactives at this stage could provide both incentive for players to be more active, potentially driving discussion and revealing information, as well as potentially allowing more information about roles and the game as a whole to be given to a dead-player scanner. All that in mind, I'm going to vote for Roadwalker. They haven't posted since Cycle 3, and of all the posters in the early cycles, I found the tone of their posts to be strange and suspicious. Plus, they've publicly claimed a vanilla villager, so there's no particular harm in lynching them even if they are a villager. I'm willing to swap to another lynch candidate if there's a particular reason why Roadwalker isn't a good lynch candidate (Hero, I'm particularly looking at you in case I try to lynch a Lover...) That said, here's everyone who hasn't posted in this cycle - I understand if you're busy, but at least let us know if that's the case - I believe Jondesu is the only one who specifically said they would be busy (except for Hael just now), unless I forgot about someone, in which case, I apologise: @Darkness Ascendant, @Straw, @Julio, @Roadwalker, @Megasif, @DroughtBringer, @Sony, @Mark IV, @BrightnessRadiant, @Dani, @RippleGylf, @Ecthelion III, @Rebecca, @Amanuensis (Aman, I know you said you were keeping quiet because you didn't feel you had any new information to provide, but I wonder at this point if the same isn't true of all of us, so perhaps it's still worthwhile picking your brain for any leftover crackpot conspiracy theories you might have and join me in my crazy speculations... ) Sorry that this is later than I intended to post - I was distracted by RL events. Hopefully people will still have plenty of time to respond to this post.