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Theodora Goss
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2004 - 12:32 pm:   

Someone mentions Survivor: R'lyeh and you think it's the funniest thing you've heard in weeks.

(You can also look for the "Miskatonic University" sticker on your car. I first saw one of those in a parking lot at Harvard, and loved it . . .)
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2004 - 10:12 pm:   

You stare at the computer screen, sometime after midnight, wondering if there is such a word as "eluctably."

(And what it would mean. Avoidably? Escapably?)
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2004 - 08:21 am:   

...and you know that if you ever find out, you'll be gruntled.

(I've decided that "gruntled" is the state my 2-month-old nephew's in when he's fed and contented and snuggling into my sister's lap with these babyish grunting sounds...)
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Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2004 - 09:42 am:   

I saw a picture of someone wearing a Miskatonic University sweatshirt once. Come to think of it, I believe it was Michael Chabon in an author photo.

The funniest bumper sticker I've seen: "Where are we going? And why am I in this handbasket?"
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Sunday, December 26, 2004 - 04:37 pm:   

I like gruntled!

I would also be thoroughly gruntled if people stopped using "disinterested" incorrectly. And "it's." If only the disintegration of literacy were evitable.
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Sunday, December 26, 2004 - 08:38 pm:   

Sometimes the incorrect "it's" creeps into my typing and I don't know why, because I DO know better. I also got teased this weekend for letting "like" creep into my speech. (That happens, like, way too often, y'know?)

I algo got to watch my nephew be gruntled, though. ;)
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Wednesday, January 05, 2005 - 09:38 pm:   

I'd like to be combobulated. Sometime in this century.
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Saturday, February 05, 2005 - 08:46 am:   

For fun on Friday night, you have a Kate Beckinsale marathon. (Emma, Shooting Fish, Cold Comfort Farm)
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Monday, March 07, 2005 - 10:37 pm:   

You refer to nanotechnology as a "sexy" science.
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Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Monday, March 07, 2005 - 11:03 pm:   

You know that Beckinsale also starred in _Underworld_, don't you?
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2005 - 04:26 am:   

Yes, but I'm afraid I try to erase that memory. The only character I liked in that movie was the city of Budapest.

Though I think it could have been a decent movie without the male lead.
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jeff ford
Posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2005 - 05:20 am:   

If you like Kate Beckinsale, check out this movie, Haunted. She's great in it and it's a really cool and creepy ghost story.
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Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2005 - 09:34 am:   

"Yes, but I'm afraid I try to erase that memory. The only character I liked in that movie was the city of Budapest. Though I think it could have been a decent movie without the male lead."

Yeah, all the men in _Underworld_ were either jerks or wusses. But they're not the reason I watch the movie. Heh.

Of course, KB was also in _Van Helsing_. If you haven't seen it, don't bother--unless you _want_ to see how bad it is. (I've heard that's why many people saw _Battlefield Earth_.)
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AliceB
Posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2005 - 11:22 am:   

"You refer to nanotechnology as a "sexy" science."

I always thought plate techtonics was... Oops. My nerd slip is showing.
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2005 - 09:56 pm:   

But I thought plate techtonics was the sexy science . . .

Better a nerd slip than a freudian slip! :-)
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2005 - 10:02 pm:   

(Once, Kendrick told me a long, elaborate joke that he obviously thought was uproriously funny. When I looked at him blankly, he said, "Don't you get it? It's a brain chemical!" That was when I wondered if I would have to hand in my Nerd Card, for insufficient nerdiness.)

(You didn't know about Nerd Cards? How nerdy are you . . . :-))

(You used to be able to get them when you picked up the latest Elfquest, but that was in the 1980s . . .)

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Theodora Goss
Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 09:20 pm:   

You're insanely happy that they're doing a movie version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, despite the fact that The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen [deleted by the FTC].
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 09:23 pm:   

Oops. FCC. I wonder what the FTC would delete?

This is why one should never, ever try to write anything after midnight, no matter how much mint chocolate chip frozen yogurt is coursing its way through one's bloodstream.
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Minz
Posted on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 11:20 am:   

Ah, but Dora, I'm willing to hold out hope. Not much, but some. Where do I find such inspiration? In Shakespeare, of course.

While we all have our personal favs among his plays in the written form, varying widely I imagine, in terms of actual performances, the comedies are much better than the tragedies or histories (for the most part). They seem to have done a credible job of casting THGttG, and the source material is friggin hilarious. I'm holding out hope. (And expecting to be disappointed...)
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2005 - 10:11 pm:   

And the website is very good! I have to admit that lots of things look different than they do in my head when I read the book. Marvin, for instance. I thought of him as taller, and not nearly so clean. But I have hopes as well.

I saw the Earthsea DVD the other day, and wondered if I should see it, just to have seen it. I imagine it's wretchedly awful. I just don't know--can I stand Ged the Surfer Dude for two hours?
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Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2005 - 11:22 pm:   

Dora,

The Earthsea miniseries is *worse* than awful. LeGuin herself roasted it on her website (I forget the URL).

What the screenwriter seems to have done is take the first two books of the Earthsea Trilogy and a script from Xena: Warrior Princess, ripped out the bindings on all three books, and shuffled the pages together like a deck of cards. (And once again, I ask the world in general, how did Snidely Whiplash become king of the Kargad Lands?)

The gebbeth talks *way* too much. The dragon speaks in rhyming couplets (I kept waiting for him to put on a baseball cap with the bill turned to the side). And I kept expecting the archmage Nemmerle to say "ALA PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICHES!" every time he cast a spell.

And the ending is of the "and there was peace, love, and happiness all over the world!" variety.

Ick. Major league ick.

I wouldn't get the DVD unless you wanted to give it the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment.

Anyway, that's my two cents.

Jason
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Minz
Posted on Friday, April 01, 2005 - 06:56 am:   

From what I've heard and read, Jason is being too kind. Seriously. Avoid it at all costs. Everyone I know who's seen it thought it was an abomination, and one not even worthy of MST3K treatment. FWIW
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Friday, April 01, 2005 - 08:04 am:   

Ah, but then a statement like this:

"(And once again, I ask the world in general, how did Snidely Whiplash become king of the Kargad Lands?)"

makes me think I should see it, just to join in the general condemnation! But your warnings are appreciated, and I will certainly be careful, if I do see it, to have some sharply sarcastic commentators, and something sustaining like chips, on hand. :-)

(I do find the prospect rather frightening. I loved the books. Really, really loved them. I was even angry at LeGuin for Tehanu, which seemed at the time like a rewriting of the Earthsea story motivated by politics. Another thing I have to go back and reread . . . In the meantime, I noticed beautiful new editions of her short story collections in the bookstore!)
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Friday, April 01, 2005 - 08:07 am:   

Another indication that you're a nerd:

Your husband says, "Did you know that you can get a gas chromatograph on ebay for only $50?"

On the theory that nerds marry other nerds. (I had to tell him that we really don't have room for a gas chromatograph. That was, after all, why we had to get rid of the manual typewriter collection.)
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Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Friday, April 01, 2005 - 09:58 am:   

"From what I've heard and read, Jason is being too kind. Seriously. Avoid it at all costs. Everyone I know who's seen it thought it was an abomination, and one not even worthy of MST3K treatment. FWIW"

I was being _kind_?

Dora, have you read _Tales from Earthsea_ and _The Other Wind_? I liked those, especially the novelette "Dragonfly".

And what exactly is a gas chromatograph? Sounds like something a Victorian mad scientist would like to get his hands on. :-)

"We had to get rid of the manual typewriter collection."

My friend Hilary (Clarion 1999) inherited a collection of forty-some-odd antique chess sets from her father. I am so jealous of her.
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AliceB
Posted on Friday, April 01, 2005 - 04:48 pm:   

You got rid of the typewriters?

Alice... speechless.
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Monday, April 18, 2005 - 09:56 pm:   

Well, after being told repeatedly not to see either Van Helsing or Earthsea, I just had to, so I rented both and made a Bad Fantasy weekend of it. I actually thought Earthsea was interesting, from a writer's point of view. It's what Le Guin's novel would have looked like if she'd followed all the "rules" quoted at one. Every gun on the mantlepiece is shot by the end of the movie. Every character has an arc, so clearly that you can say "Oh, look, Ged is now learning X, which he needs to learn to grow into the hero who will save Earthsea etc. etc." Jason, sorry, I thought it was infinitely less clever than any given Xena episode. But I would assign it to a writing class, along with the Earthsea books. And the students could decide for themselves what kind of writer they wanted to be.

Dora, have you read _Tales from Earthsea_ and _The Other Wind_? I liked those, especially the novelette "Dragonfly".

I've read some of the Earthsea short stories, but not the collections.

And what exactly is a gas chromatograph? Sounds like something a Victorian mad scientist would like to get his hands on.

"A machine used to examine component chemicals of a liquid solution." Says Kendrick.

You got rid of the typewriters?

Yeah. There was a baby expected, and we weren't sure where to put her exactly, in this small Boston apartment. They take up more room than one would expect, judging from size. So we cleaned out a lot of things, including a skull from a 1960s anatomy class and two dead hand-grenades (bought that way from an Army-Navy store, back when such things were buyable) that Kendrick had to drive to the police station. And two English saddles that hadn't been used for over a decade. And an upright piano with ivory keys. But we still don't have enough room. It's all the books. I think they multiply . . . (How else did we end up with three copies of 1984?)
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Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Monday, April 18, 2005 - 11:38 pm:   

"Jason, sorry, I thought it was infinitely less clever than any given Xena episode."

Fair enough. But do you agree about the Snidely Whiplash part? :-)

I saw the miniseries again myself just recently. And I can't believe I forgot about Amanda Tapping's cameo role as the Princess Elfarran. When Ged summons her from the underworld, she turns around and says, "Hey look, I'm a dead princess, eh?"

Not that I have anything against Ms. Tapping, who I think is a very attractive and talented actress. It's just that, when Ms. LeGuin envisioned the character of Elfarran, I'm pretty sure the words "Bleach Blonde Canadian" were nowhere near her thoughts.

And since this thread is supposed to be about how to tell if you're a nerd...well, I've been told that I'm a geek because I've programmed my graphing calculator to play Rock, Paper, Scissors. Heh.
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AliceB
Posted on Tuesday, April 19, 2005 - 11:15 am:   

Oh Dora, my sympathies... I'm a recovering pack rat, thanks to a ruthless but much loved husband, but I couldn't give up my 1950 Adler which is gathering huge quantities of dust in our basement. I wrote every paper in college, and most of the ones in law school on it. I still remember the fateful group assignment where a small seminar was divided into four groups of three, each group had a computer or functioning electric typewriter except mine. We used the Adler--and finished several days before anyone else, doing, as our professor announced, the best job of the lot.

Maybe, in true nerd form, I should return to writing stories on my manual... hmm.

Alice
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 09:19 pm:   

Well, I don't actually know who Snidely Whiplash is, although I have an idea of the sort of character you mean, since I played Purity, the heroine of Pure as the Driven Snow, in a middle school play. It was melodrama, and had a villain in black mustache. I eventually escaped the villain and married the hero, whose name I don't remember--but I remember that he wore overalls, and was a farmer, and as honest as the day was long (assuming it wasn't around the winter solstice).

Alice--I have to admit that I was the ruthless one in this case, since Kendrick is a worse packrat than I am. But I do still have some fountain pens, with which I used to write. Now someone will jump in and say that he or she writes with a quill pen, and make us both look modern! :-) (But I think all writers feel affection for whatever it is they write on, at least if they use it for a while. I was devastated when I had to give up WordPerfect 5.1, which I still think is the best word processing program ever. That lovely blue screen . . .)
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Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 11:25 pm:   

"Well, I don't actually know who Snidely Whiplash is, although I have an idea of the sort of character you mean, since I played Purity, the heroine of Pure as the Driven Snow, in a middle school play. It was a melodrama, and had a villain in black mustache."

You hit the nail on the head, Dora. Snidely Whiplash was the archnemesis of Dudley Do-Right of the Canadian Mounties (from the makers of "Bullwinkle & Rocky"). Snidely liked tying women to railroad tracks, and shouting things like "You meddling fool!"
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AliceB
Posted on Friday, April 22, 2005 - 06:36 am:   

Do you think anyone writes in cuneiform?
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Nanoc the Sumerian
Posted on Friday, April 22, 2005 - 06:49 am:   

There's nothing so refreshing as the feel and scent of damp clay as you write...
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AliceB
Posted on Friday, April 22, 2005 - 09:11 am:   

Getting nibs for the stylus must be a total pain.
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Snidely Whiplash
Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2005 - 10:40 am:   

You meddling fool!
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Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2005 - 11:18 am:   

Accursed mountebank!
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MCisco
Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2005 - 12:06 am:   

Ponderous pewter celtic knotwork adornmentations ... not to mention the ubiquitous crystal-ball-brandishing wizard statue ...

Battered Rush LPs (nota bene: battered *Marillion* LPs = "Nerd of Nerd Hall.")

Presence of discount katana beneath bed/under car/strapped to back of fringy leather vest = "Nerdsign the likes of which even God has never seen."

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Theodora Goss
Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2005 - 07:11 am:   

Presence of discount katana beneath bed/under car/strapped to back of fringy leather vest = "Nerdsign the likes of which even God has never seen."

Amen, brother.

Back from Readercon, which was wonderful but through which I wandered in an exhausted haze. Still in exhausted haze. (How did the haze get so tired? Has it been staying up late? Going to wild parties (without me?)?)

More soon . . .
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Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 09:45 am:   

You might be considered a nerd if you wear a T-shirt that says, "There are only 10 kinds of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't."

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Em Tersoff
Posted on Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 04:44 pm:   

*giggles* My brother has that shirt. -Em
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Monday, August 01, 2005 - 08:25 am:   

Also, if you want to be a ninja when you grow up.

You might be considered a nerd if you wear a T-shirt that says, "There are only 10 kinds of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't."

It took me six hours to figure that out. (I was describing it to Kendrick, and then said, Oh! I get it.) Does that mean I lose my nerd license? Because I'm willing to go to remedial D&D classes, or whatever. Join the SCA (which I loved when I was in high school, because it was about the only way to meet college guys!). Reread Elfquest. Train to be a ninja.



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Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Monday, August 01, 2005 - 09:10 am:   

"It took me six hours to figure that out. (I was describing it to Kendrick, and then said, Oh! I get it.) Does that mean I lose my nerd license?"

No, it just means that you're not a *math* geek. If you were, you would have said it took you 110 hours to figure it out. :-D

Tell you what: we'll forego the math requirement on your nerd license if I don't have to read Elfquest. I've seen it in the bookstore, and just looking at the cover made my eyes hurt.

Jason
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jilli
Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 07:43 pm:   

"Train to be a ninja."

Hey, if you know any real ninjas, there's a job listed on Craigslist for them.

Personally, I prefer pirates, but that's just because I fence, and have mad, if limited, swashbuckling skills.

-jill

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Luís
Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 08:56 pm:   

Ninjas are awesome (proof).

Ninja pirates are even better.
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 11:30 am:   

If you were, you would have said it took you 110 hours to figure it out.

Yeah. Kendrick had to explain that one. He just built a radio out of wires wrapped around an oatmeal box. I think that makes him a nerd. (It actually works! I listened to it.)

If you're a pirate, I bet you get great tax deductions. You should be able to deduct the boat, and the eyepatch, and the parrot, and everything.
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Sarah Miller
Posted on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 06:41 pm:   

We had a welcome back dance the other night (I'm in college in Western Massachusetts now, by the way) and four of my friends came dressed as pirates.

We are a very silly, nerdy liberal arts school.
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Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 11:31 pm:   

How am I nerdly? Let me count the ways...

1) I have committed Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" to memory.

2) I have an Edgar Allan Poe action figure (complete with raven).

3) I made Transformers out of cardboard when I was in high school (and yes, they actually transformed).

4) I have invented a chess variant that is played on a board of six squares (and it works).

5) I have programmed my graphing calculator to play Rock, Paper, Scissors.

So, what do you say? Am I qualified?

Jason


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Richard Parks
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 06:06 am:   

I once wrote a short story entirely in pseudo-code. If that doesn't qualify, nothing does.
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 06:22 am:   

Your secret decoder rings are in the mail! :-) (Or, in Richard's case, a pseudo-decoder ring.)

Jeff VanderMeer once wrote a story in real code. Does that make him a nerd, or just very smart?

Sarah, what college are you going to? And congratulations on starting college! I remember how different college was from high school, and how grateful I was for that difference. (But I think your high school was considerably more interesting than mine.)
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Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 09:45 am:   

"Jeff VanderMeer once wrote a story in real code. Does that make him a nerd, or just very smart?"

Depends on whether it got published or not. Besides, making up a code and writing a story in that code is easy. It's breaking the code with no prior knowledge of how it works that's hard.

Jason

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Sarah Miller
Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - 04:08 pm:   

"Sarah, what college are you going to?"

Simon's Rock College of Bard. It's kind of an odd school; most people transfer after two years. They transfer to Ivy League schools, though, so it's not a bad thing.

The academic and social bits are much better than high school, certainly, but I suddenly have no time/energy for writing despite a sudden influx of material. Which is depressing, because I got a personal rejection from GVG a couple of weeks ago. Just when I have a reason to be really motivated, life gets in the way.
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Luís
Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - 06:30 pm:   

Wow. Now I want an Edgar Allan Poe action figure. (And I had "The Tell-Tale Heart" memorized, myself.)

Dora: "Jeff VanderMeer once wrote a story in real code. Does that make him a nerd, or just very smart?"

It makes him an Insane Genius [TM]. (Though not as insane as the people who went ahead and decoded the thing for fun, despite having the decrypted version handy. I'm not naming any names, but one of them is writing this post. It does give you a solid appreciation of all the work put into the story, not to mention that it greatly enhances the experience of reading it.)

Jason: "Depends on whether it got published or not."

It did. Several times, too, if you count all the deluxe editions the book had.

Cheers,
Luís
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Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - 11:20 pm:   

"Wow. Now I want an Edgar Allan Poe action figure. (And I had "The Tell-Tale Heart" memorized, myself.)"

I got mine at Dreamhaven Books in Minneapolis, but you can go to www.accoutrements.com/actionfigures

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GabrielM
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 09:04 am:   

>>Though not as insane as the people who went ahead and decoded the thing for fun, despite having the decrypted version handy. I'm not naming any names, but one of them is writing this post.


DESPITE having it handy? I don't know about Jeff, Luis, but that makes you, officially, a nerd. :-)
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JV
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 09:21 am:   

Hey! I wrote the story and THEN created the code, using bits of other stories to decode. That makes me insane, but not necessarily a nerd.

You know what makes for even more insanity? The French publisher even considering re-encrypting the story for the French language edition. Oy. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.

JeffV
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AliceB
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 11:07 am:   

Hm. What's French for nerd?
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:-)
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 02:12 pm:   

Jerry Lewis...
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Luís
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 02:19 am:   

> DESPITE having it handy? I don't know about Jeff, Luis, but that makes you, officially, a nerd. :-)

I know. Jeff sent me the solution in a sealed envelope. The whole thing was great, and I didn't want to ruin it by ripping it open.

Besides, the seal said that if I broke it, I'd be a fool and a drunkard. I simply wouldn't be able to live with the shame.
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 09:26 pm:   

DESPITE having it handy? I don't know about Jeff, Luis, but that makes you, officially, a nerd.

But a nerd of great courage and perseverence.

And yes, Jeff is an insane genius of the highest caliber. :-)
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Luís
Posted on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 01:12 am:   

Tell me honestly, would you open this envelope?

Spoilers inside!

(And remember: every time you masturbate, God opens one of these.)
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GabrielM
Posted on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 07:26 am:   

That's the literary nerd equivalent of never opening one those Star Wars action figure boxes. It's still mint!

You're just digging yourself in deeper... ;)

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Luís
Posted on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 07:53 pm:   

Well, I never said I wasn't a nerd. :-)

And may the Giant Squid be with you always!

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