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  1. - Top - End - #301
    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    This is me hearing that apparently, Americans still pay bills and their rent by check. I've only seen a check once in my life, as a little kid in the eighties. They are kind of exciting.
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  2. - Top - End - #302
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    On the question of the check, consider that this is Beeps having this reaction -- Winslow tries to tell her that a check can be scanned in for deposit, implying that checks are still A Thing in the QC setting.

    That said, at least through the lens of his comic, Jeph still has mentally not progressed passed the point where "old fashioned" things are point-and-laugh territory.
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  3. - Top - End - #303
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    Griffon

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Maybe this is just a reflection on how naive Beepatrice is? I mean, Winslow is also an AI but he clearly knows what a cheque is and isn't phased by it no matter how quaint they are by modern standards.

    Maybe this is like, Hipster 2.0 - the AIs are intentionally seeking out things that are evenly remotely "old" and pretending that they're cute and funny to show off how cool they are by liking "old" things... Even though their definition of "old" to people like me, who has existed in 4 decades spread over two centuries, is laughable in and of itself?
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  4. - Top - End - #304
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    Maybe this is just a reflection on how naive Beepatrice is? I mean, Winslow is also an AI but he clearly knows what a cheque is and isn't phased by it no matter how quaint they are by modern standards.

    Maybe this is like, Hipster 2.0 - the AIs are intentionally seeking out things that are evenly remotely "old" and pretending that they're cute and funny to show off how cool they are by liking "old" things... Even though their definition of "old" to people like me, who has existed in 4 decades spread over two centuries, is laughable in and of itself?
    If that's the case, they may as well have fun while they can, because they have a good chance of ending up being far older than any human.
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

  5. - Top - End - #305
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    If that's the case, they may as well have fun while they can, because they have a good chance of ending up being far older than any human.
    Not if May's chassis is any indication. For it to be falling apart due to age, it would have to be one of the very first humanoid chassis ever created. Thats, frankly, a terrifyingly quick rate of decay (or, more likely, another victim of the likelihood that Jeph has forgotten that the first 1500 strips existed)
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  6. - Top - End - #306
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    That's because they want bodies that are complicated and fiddly, with lots of nonessential parts built in ways to make them more similar to human analogues, rather than built so as to be durable over a long period of time. I'll bet Mr. "I Make Bread Fun" is still going strong.

  7. - Top - End - #307
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    It's also that you can change your chassis, or do without it in some server.
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

  8. - Top - End - #308
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    Griffon

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    AI chassis aren't that important - as Corpse Witch demonstrated, the important bit is their minds which are safe inside a reinforced titanium harddrive case. You could literally drive a truck over them, plug it into a new body/server and away they go.

    That does, of course, leave room for even more horrible fates. For example, AIs reach maturity much faster than humans, a couple of years between crèche and independence maybe? AIs haven't been around long enough to see what really happens to an "old" AI - for all anyone knows, by the age of 15 or 20 an AI could be senile or otherwise losing its faculties.
    Can they be "backed up" and restored? Does that process cost anything in terms of money or in lost memories? What do you do with a population of prematurely aged people who are physically immortal apart from stick them in a server somewhere and leave them to it?
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  9. - Top - End - #309
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    This is me hearing that apparently, Americans still pay bills and their rent by check. I've only seen a check once in my life, as a little kid in the eighties. They are kind of exciting.
    America is about a decade behind on a lot of day-to-day things Europeans take for granted, particularly when it comes to money. Depending on where you live, it can be even further behind than that.

    In 2006, I was paying my rent by physically driving my check across town to hand it to my landlady in person. Electricity bill was paid by going to city hall and handing a check over. This was in a small town.

    By 2010 I was in a very nice apartment in a suburb outside Houston. Monthly rent payment was done via a standing order with my bank, who would fill out a paper check and mail it to the rental office of my apartment complex.

    By 2015 or so, that apartment complex had gotten the capability of paying by bank draft. They still didn't have the ability to take the exact amount out - I had to put a bit extra in to deal with fluctuating water fees, which I eventually got back a couple years later when I moved out.

    They still (to my knowledge) do not have "chip and PIN" credit cards or the ability to do contactless payments. When we visited London with my sister from California she had to borrow a credit card from my parents because her card was too primitive to be accepted by the London Underground.

    Checks are still pretty obsolete in the US, but I did have cause to write several checks per year. When I moved to the UK, the bank didn't even give me a checkbook.

  10. - Top - End - #310
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    America is about a decade behind on a lot of day-to-day things Europeans take for granted, particularly when it comes to money. Depending on where you live, it can be even further behind than that.

    In 2006, I was paying my rent by physically driving my check across town to hand it to my landlady in person. Electricity bill was paid by going to city hall and handing a check over. This was in a small town.

    By 2010 I was in a very nice apartment in a suburb outside Houston. Monthly rent payment was done via a standing order with my bank, who would fill out a paper check and mail it to the rental office of my apartment complex.

    By 2015 or so, that apartment complex had gotten the capability of paying by bank draft. They still didn't have the ability to take the exact amount out - I had to put a bit extra in to deal with fluctuating water fees, which I eventually got back a couple years later when I moved out.

    They still (to my knowledge) do not have "chip and PIN" credit cards or the ability to do contactless payments. When we visited London with my sister from California she had to borrow a credit card from my parents because her card was too primitive to be accepted by the London Underground.

    Checks are still pretty obsolete in the US, but I did have cause to write several checks per year. When I moved to the UK, the bank didn't even give me a checkbook.
    Who is "they" in this example? Because plenty of people have "chip and PIN" cards, or contactless cards. Its mostly only older people who still pay with check, at least in my part of the States.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  11. - Top - End - #311
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    Checks are still pretty obsolete in the US, but I did have cause to write several checks per year. When I moved to the UK, the bank didn't even give me a checkbook.
    Sounds about right. You can request a chequebook if you want one - usually elderly people who feel that they can't or won't learn how to use electronic banking - but we reached the tipping point in the UK about 9 or 10 years ago where most people just didn't bother with them any more, so it was costing banks more to issue them than they were making from them.

    I still have mine in a drawer somewhere, I think - I've used it maybe 4 times in the last 20 years, but since cheques are technically still in circulation I haven't gotten around to throwing it out yet "just in case".
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  12. - Top - End - #312
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Who is "they" in this example? Because plenty of people have "chip and PIN" cards, or contactless cards. Its mostly only older people who still pay with check, at least in my part of the States.
    Well, I left in late 2017 and both contactless and chip and PIN were not available in any form. You couldn't get the cards, and even if you did the stores did not have the capability of accepting them. It was all swipe cards. A few of the trendier stores had Apple Pay, but universal contactless did not exist. This was in a upper middle class suburb of Houston, so we're not talking about the boonies here.

    My sister still did not have a contactless credit card as of December 2019, and she works in the gaming industry out of Los Angeles.

    Maybe things have changed a lot in the past 3 years, and my sister is just behind the times. Maybe it's just different where you live.

    A quick Google search indicates that my initial estimate of a "about a decade behind" is roughly correct. Contactless cards were initially trialed in the UK in 2007, and slowly started spreading in 2010 or so. By 2014 they were ubiquitous in Europe.

    Meanwhile, the US didn't start rolling out contactless until 2019. Hence my lack of knowledge on the subject, for which I apologize.

  13. - Top - End - #313
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Could AIs become senile by constant overwriting, to the point that files become corrupted?
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

  14. - Top - End - #314
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    Well, I left in late 2017 and both contactless and chip and PIN were not available in any form. You couldn't get the cards, and even if you did the stores did not have the capability of accepting them. It was all swipe cards. A few of the trendier stores had Apple Pay, but universal contactless did not exist. This was in a upper middle class suburb of Houston, so we're not talking about the boonies here.

    My sister still did not have a contactless credit card as of December 2019, and she works in the gaming industry out of Los Angeles.

    Maybe things have changed a lot in the past 3 years, and my sister is just behind the times. Maybe it's just different where you live.

    A quick Google search indicates that my initial estimate of a "about a decade behind" is roughly correct. Contactless cards were initially trialed in the UK in 2007, and slowly started spreading in 2010 or so. By 2014 they were ubiquitous in Europe.

    Meanwhile, the US didn't start rolling out contactless until 2019. Hence my lack of knowledge on the subject, for which I apologize.
    Hmm. That's an unusually late rollout; most cards I've seen/heard of have been issued with a chip for about 5 years now, and the card readers for processing them will actively reject trying to process them without using the chip. I've got a credit card that is supposedly contactless that was issued to me in 2016, although I've not actually gotten it to work in the few times I tried (I assume because I don't know roughly where the receiver for it is on the readers) and phone-based NFC/contactless payments have been available for at least as long.. although that's more dependent on retailers updating their card readers and POS platforms to something that can work with that. One of the things you can count on American businesses to do is absolutely refuse to spend money replacing something that still mostly works, no matter how good the case for updating is.

    (One of the reasons we were so far behind adopting chipped cards is a chicken/egg issue on that - retailers refused to invest in new card readers to support them, which meant there wasn't any place for customers to use them, so customers didn't demand them from their card issuers, so retailers didn't have a lot of incentive to invest in replacing them.. eventually their hands were forced when the consortium of payment processors/the people who set the rules for card security told them 'guys, if you don't use the chips, we're going to rule in favor of the customers on every card dispute because we can't guarantee that it wasn't a fraudulent transaction.')

  15. - Top - End - #315
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    America is about a decade behind on a lot of day-to-day things Europeans take for granted, particularly when it comes to money. Depending on where you live, it can be even further behind than that.

    In 2006, I was paying my rent by physically driving my check across town to hand it to my landlady in person. Electricity bill was paid by going to city hall and handing a check over. This was in a small town.

    By 2010 I was in a very nice apartment in a suburb outside Houston. Monthly rent payment was done via a standing order with my bank, who would fill out a paper check and mail it to the rental office of my apartment complex.

    By 2015 or so, that apartment complex had gotten the capability of paying by bank draft. They still didn't have the ability to take the exact amount out - I had to put a bit extra in to deal with fluctuating water fees, which I eventually got back a couple years later when I moved out.

    They still (to my knowledge) do not have "chip and PIN" credit cards or the ability to do contactless payments. When we visited London with my sister from California she had to borrow a credit card from my parents because her card was too primitive to be accepted by the London Underground.

    Checks are still pretty obsolete in the US, but I did have cause to write several checks per year. When I moved to the UK, the bank didn't even give me a checkbook.

    I don't consider any of that "behind", it's just a change that happened one place but not in another place, or happened more slowly. There seems to be this assumption that "change" and "progress' are synonyms...

    I got the "chip and PIN' card from my bank with a standard replacement cycle a while back, it's supposed to be standard in the US now.
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    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    It was about a year or two ago, chip cards were made mandatory in the US. It was a whole big thing in the bank where I work.
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    I indeed wondered if this sort of late adoption isn't actually due to regulation, rather than interest or capabilities.
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    I indeed wondered if this sort of late adoption isn't actually due to regulation, rather than interest or capabilities.
    In the particular case of de-materialized money at least, the fundamental reason, imo, is that the technology was invented somewhere else, and deploying it was seen as too expensive and/or difficult to sell in the US market. In France, all credit cards have been equipped with chips since the early 90s.

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Is it just me, or are the numbers not really adding up for this charity drive?

    We have a possible 20 bucks from Bubbles, 20 from Marten, 80 from Dale and Marigold.

    At that rate, if we include the entire cast of QC from the start of the comic they might crack $1000. Out of a required $30K. If a used body market does exist it's probably more like $10K for a "old but in decent condition" body.

    Either the charity drive is going to wind up bigger than we expect or Jeph forgot what he established the price of bodies is.

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    Griffon

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    I think its implied that the non-profit group are doing a 'proper' fundraising effort, and that this is just the immediate reaction of the main cast.

    Although let's face it, to go back to an older metaphor; I could go out and buy an okay-ish car for $1000 if I needed to. It wouldn't be GREAT, but it wouldn't have to be - it just needs to be better than the one she's got and that would probably keep going for the next 2-3 years until the legislation kicks in and she can claim a new one.

    I guess the human equivalent would be a GoFundMe for someone who doesn't have insurance but needs a transplant - they're still going to be sick even after they get the money, but the idea isn't necessarily to invent a cure, just to keep them alive and functional until a more permanent solution is available.
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    It might be possible for a body to be purchased on some kind of installment plan, in which case they only need to raise down-payment level money, especially if the non-profit can co-sign on May's behalf.

    Once May is in a new body her maintenance costs should drop by something like 90%, and since said costs are presumed to consume essentially the entirety of her discretionary income the money freed up by this change out to be able to cover further payments.
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    I indeed wondered if this sort of late adoption isn't actually due to regulation, rather than interest or capabilities.
    Might also be a question of population density and existing infrastructure? There are still places in the US without proper internet, due to low population densities and high investments required, so itm ight just not be viable to do all payments electronically.
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Might also be a question of population density and existing infrastructure? There are still places in the US without proper internet, due to low population densities and high investments required, so itm ight just not be viable to do all payments electronically.
    Something that is often ignored (or just not known) by Europeans and even by some metropolitan Americans while shaking their heads or looking down their noses at the US for some of the differences is that much of the US is just not suited for heavy centralized infrastructure. See also, rail service, carless society, etc.
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Something that is often ignored (or just not known) by Europeans and even by some metropolitan Americans while shaking their heads or looking down their noses at the US for some of the differences is that much of the US is just not suited for heavy centralized infrastructure. See also, rail service, carless society, etc.
    A lot of it is cultural though. The US is a very car-centric society and many places just assume you have a car. Where I lived near Houston there was no public transportation at all, not even for going around the suburb. In the UK I live in a far more rural location and yet I have three bus stops within 5 minutes walking distance of my house, and those stops are served by ~5 different routes and multiple types of bus. One for going around town (so the old folks who cannot drive are not trapped at home), several going into the nearest city center, and an express bus going to the touristy spots along the coast.

    From a practical standpoint there's no reason that they couldn't implement a similar bus service. They don't because they (likely correctly) believe that nobody would use it, thanks to how stigmatized bus use is in the US. I traveled between cities once on Greyhound buses (technically twice, there and back again) and swore never to do so again.

    And it varies from place to place. LA has a very well established bus system, and they have since put in rail service. My sister keeps a car for emergencies and in case she needs to drive out of town, but between mass transit and Uber she is otherwise car-free.

    It all depends where you live.

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    A lot of it is cultural though. The US is a very car-centric society and many places just assume you have a car. Where I lived near Houston there was no public transportation at all, not even for going around the suburb. In the UK I live in a far more rural location and yet I have three bus stops within 5 minutes walking distance of my house, and those stops are served by ~5 different routes and multiple types of bus. One for going around town (so the old folks who cannot drive are not trapped at home), several going into the nearest city center, and an express bus going to the touristy spots along the coast.

    From a practical standpoint there's no reason that they couldn't implement a similar bus service. They don't because they (likely correctly) believe that nobody would use it, thanks to how stigmatized bus use is in the US. I traveled between cities once on Greyhound buses (technically twice, there and back again) and swore never to do so again.

    And it varies from place to place. LA has a very well established bus system, and they have since put in rail service. My sister keeps a car for emergencies and in case she needs to drive out of town, but between mass transit and Uber she is otherwise car-free.

    It all depends where you live.

    In contrast, take a look at the vast swaths of geography in the US where there's just not enough density to support mass transit, and people need some form of individual transportation just to get to work, stores, etc.

    What's the old saying? In the US, 100 years is a long time... in Europe, 100 miles is a long distance...
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    In contrast, take a look at the vast swaths of geography in the US where there's just not enough density to support mass transit, and people need some form of individual transportation just to get to work, stores, etc.

    What's the old saying? In the US, 100 years is a long time... in Europe, 100 miles is a long distance...
    It depends on what sort of mass transit you're talking about and just how little density there is. High speed rail doesn't exist in Texas because there's nowhere worth visiting between the major metropolitan areas, and said areas are a loooong way apart. Similarly, a town like China, Texas (population ~1K) probably doesn't need a bus service.

    However, there are a lot of places with significantly larger populations (20-50K) that don't make any provisions for people without a car - not even sidewalks. Not having rail is unsurprising, but no bus service? My village is only 7K people, and it has a bus specifically for taking people to and from the town center and shops. It's not a big bus, it probably seats only 20 people or so. But it's there.

    Again, it's cultural. There are different expectations between the two countries. Density explains the lack of heavy mass transit like a national rail network. Car culture explains the lack of other forms of travel such as buses, cycling, and provisions for pedestrians. And even within the USA that varies from place to place, because the USA is flipping huge.

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    It depends on what sort of mass transit you're talking about and just how little density there is. High speed rail doesn't exist in Texas because there's nowhere worth visiting between the major metropolitan areas, and said areas are a loooong way apart. Similarly, a town like China, Texas (population ~1K) probably doesn't need a bus service.
    Dallas to Houston looks like the perfect place for a high speed railway (and, indeed, it's at least planned to be built).
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

  28. - Top - End - #328
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    Again, it's cultural. There are different expectations between the two countries. Density explains the lack of heavy mass transit like a national rail network. Car culture explains the lack of other forms of travel such as buses, cycling, and provisions for pedestrians. And even within the USA that varies from place to place, because the USA is flipping huge.
    It's also historical, actually, especially with regard to rail. Unfortunately forum rules prohibit discussion of the details.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

  29. - Top - End - #329
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ElfMonkGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Houston, TX
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Wow, that's Sven? I thought this was Hanners trying to get a random customer to donate. He practically looks 20 years younger.

  30. - Top - End - #330
    Titan in the Playground
     
    tyckspoon's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Indianapolis
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by mythmonster2 View Post
    Wow, that's Sven? I thought this was Hanners trying to get a random customer to donate. He practically looks 20 years younger.
    Yeah, he's basically just Brown Haired Martin now. Jeph seriously needs to revisit his character designs, he's getting really close to only actually drawing like 4 people with different outfits (Next up, Marigold and Faye will slowly morph into a single 'busty larger girl' design.)

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