Guide to TV Tropes, Part 2: Navigating the Site

Know what you’re looking for before you go in

Pylon @constablewrites again! Last time, we discussed the various benefits to cultivating an understanding of tropes. TV Tropes is a phenomenal resource for that, but the site can be a bit, well, dangerous. It’s a sprawling web of intriguing titles, fascinating discussions, and in-jokes; it’s no exaggeration to say that I have lost weeks of my life at a time to that site.

(That’s setting aside the other way it’s dangerous: once you start to see these patterns, you see them everywhere and become much harder to surprise as a reader/viewer. Can’t help you with that one. Welcome to Media Studies, kids.)

That said, you don’t have to learn the site inside and out to find it useful. Here are a few tricks that can help you get in and out and back to your writing.

You know how they tell you never to go grocery shopping hungry because you’ll just wander and toss a bunch of stuff in your cart you don’t actually want or need? Same concept applies here. This, beyond anything else, is the golden rule for research, especially on TV Tropes. We’re gonna be referring to this a lot.

Are you writing a film paper and just can’t remember in which movie James Bond has a nice dinner with the bad guy so you can reference it properly? Are you starting to dip a toe in a new genre and want an idea of some of its prominent works? Are you trying to determine if there’s a historical basis for a certain trope? Set a goal before going in, even if that goal is just, “I have an hour to kill and want to read something interesting.”

When researching, you have to continually ask yourself, “This is fascinating, but is it relevant?” If the answer is no, set it aside.

A few site-specific techniques for doing just that:

-> Don’t read the examples. I recently directed an asker to the page on The Masquerade (where there’s a magical world hidden within the mundane one). The description and discussion of the trope is about 850 words. The entire text of the page including examples is 20,000 words. Obviously this represents a very different level of time investment! The first section of a trope page will usually give you a pretty good grasp of the concept and how it relates to other tropes.
If you do need examples, observe the Golden Rule. The examples are organized by medium and collapsed under headers, so only open up the headers relevant to you. For instance, if you want to find a real world example of a trope, just click the Real Life header and leave the rest alone.

-> Set a timer. This is critical for if you’re just poking around, because it is appallingly easy to look up and discover that about eight hours have passed. But even if you’re going in on a mission, still determine how long you’re willing to give yourself on a session and set some sort of reminder to bump you out when it’s done.

-> Be wary of tabbed browsing. I’m not saying I’ve crashed my computer with the combination of TV Tropes and “Open link in new tab”, but I’m not not saying that, either.
Here’s my trick: I open up the site in a separate window, so it’s easier to tell which tabs are TV Tropes and which aren’t. Then, if I still have tabs I haven’t hit by the end of my session (or if my tabs have just spiraled out of control), I’ll go to Bookmarks > Bookmark open pages… (this is for Chrome, other browsers likely have similar functionality). This lets me create a new folder in which I can dump all those tabs, and then I can close that window without fear of losing something potentially important. Along those lines…

-> Use bookmarks. I find bookmark folders extraordinarily robust for organizing information for later reference, especially if I’m juggling a couple of different projects. It’s particularly helpful for all those “fascinating, but not relevant” chestnuts, so you can peruse them at your leisure when you’re not on a mission.

-> Look for definitions. So you’re reading up on a trope that’s relevant to you, and it references some other trope you’re not familiar with and you don’t quite understand the point they’re making without that knowledge. Congratulations, you’ve just rolled out the red carpet to the entrance of the rabbit hole.
If all you need is a quick definition and want to avoid tangent temptation, look for a bubble at the top of the page that says Laconic. This provides a 1-2 sentence description, which may be all you need. If that bubble’s not there, the first paragraph or two usually provide a general overview, so you can read those and bounce back to what you were doing without getting into greater detail.
If you’re brand new to the site, I’d recommend looking over the Tropes of Legend page, which provides brief definitions for many of the most commonly referenced tropes. Otherwise you might find yourself making a whole lot of detours just to be able to finish one sentence in an article!

Assorted other tricks

Individual works usually have their own pages! The level of detail can vary (because wiki), but popular ones usually have a plot synopsis and a listing of tropes used in the work. This can serve as a sort of reverse lookup for trope names; if you don’t know what a trope is called but can think of an example, you can check the page for that movie/show/game/what-have-you and see if you can find the trope listed there. (You can also try the You Know That Show… link in the sidebar to get help from other site users.)

Many pages have a bubble at the top that says PlayingWith. This leads to a page that discusses variations on a trope: the different ways it can be subverted, invoked, deconstructed, reconstructed, and more. Can be very helpful in getting the creative gears going.

Like many other wikis, pages usually belong to various indexes, which are listed at the bottom. Indexes provide a bare-bones listing of related tropes without additional descriptions, so they can be useful for trying to navigate quickly.

Finally, if you create an account on the site, you can utilize the default display options in the sidebar. I’m particularly fond of night vision, especially if you find yourself in the rabbit hole at 3am.

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There we have it! Now you can go forth and explore with confidence and pride. If you need further advice/help on using TV Tropes, feel free to drop me an ask on my personal blog. Happy troping!

Hi everyone!

This is an illustrated guide I made as part of my co-admining work at The Middle Eastern Feminist on Facebook! It will be published there shortly. 
The technique that is displayed here is a genuine one used in psychology - I forgot the name and couldn’t find it again so if you know about it, feel free to tell me!
Some could say: “Yes but you can use that technique for instances of harassment other than Islamophobic attacks!”, and my reply is: Sure! Please do so, it also works for other “types” of harassment of a lone person in a public space!!
However I’m focusing on protecting Muslims here, as they have been very specific targets lately, and as a French Middle Eastern woman, I wanted to try and do something to raise awareness on how to help when such things happen before our eyes - that way one cannot say they “didn’t know what to do”! 
I’d like to insist on two things:
1) Do not, in any way, interact with the attacker. You must absolutely ignore them and focus entirely on the person being attacked!
2) Please make sure to always respect the wishes of the person you’re helping: whether they want you to leave quickly afterwards, or not! If you’re in a hurry escort them to a place where someone else can take over - call one of their friends, or one of yours, of if they want to, the police. It all depends on how they feel!

For my fellow French-speakers: I will translate it in French and post it on my page as soon as I can :)

Please don’t hesitate to share this guide as it could push a lot of people to overcome bystander syndrome!!

Lots of love and stay safe!

PS: I you repost this cartoon of mine on twitter or instagram, please add me in the post so I can see it, with @itsmaeril :)

🌙 Making Moon Water 🌙

🌙 how do i make moon water?

get some water, leave it out under the moonlight, for as little as an hour to as long as all night, as long as it feels charged. bottle it before it touches direct sunlight, keep it in a shadowy place. 

🌙 what can i use moon water for?

moon water is called for in a lot of spells, but it can also be used in potions, cleansing, bath spells, anything you might need the moon’s power for.

🌙 does it have to be done during the full moon?

it can be done during any phase, but keep in mind, each phase will rend different properties. full moon water will have different magical properties than moon water made during the new moon or a quarter moon, or a waxing or waning moon. here’s a quick guide on each phases’ meanings

🌙 what can you put it in and what can’t you? 

you can put herbs in it if you like, i would avoid putting crystals in it because that can damage them and make them dissolve and it could make the water toxic, etc. most edible herbs are fine though!

🌙 does it need direct moonlight at all times?

it does not need to be direct moonlight constantly, after it’s charged, if you don’t need to recharge it unless you can’t feel its energy anymore.

🌙 does being in the sun negate the moon water’s magic?

according to some witches it doesn’t, but according to others being in the sun will make it sun water, or sun&moon water. ultimately this is up to you.

🌙 there’s light pollution/something blocking the moon, will it still work?

thankfully light bounces off stuff, including the moon’s! it might not be as possibly potent as you could make it, but in which case you could leave it out a little bit longer. 

🌙 can you use snow/rain/storm/etc water to make moon water?

you can use whatever kind of magical water you want to make a combination of waters, snow-moon water, storm-moon water, etc. however, keep in mind it may give the moon water a bit of an extra magical quality. 

🌙 do i have to use a clear bottle/jar? 

if the light can shine through it, it’ll work.  you can make it with whatever kind of bottle you like as long as the light can touch the water in some ways.

In the wake of the election of Donald Trump, we are all faced with uncertainty about our future. Minorities’ basic rights, that were obtained through many struggles, are now at stake.
Now more than ever, it is important to know how to be an ally.

Allyship won’t be cut down to “listen and educate” anymore: we need to protect those who don’t have the privilege of not fearing for their lives from now on. We have to expect violence.
Following the model of my first guide about how to help when witnessing Islamophobia, here is a guide on how to be an ally to minorities in general: POCs, LGBTQIA+ people, people with disabilities, people with mental illness… for everyone whose life and choices are threatened by these dark times, you can apply these 4 steps.
Of course, the recommendations I made in the first guide remain applicable to any kind of harassment, too.
I hope it’s clear and can be shared easily, I wanted to make sure you could understand everything quickly. Don’t hesitate to tell me what you think.

Please, take care of each other. If we don’t have any support in the authorities, we must at least have each other, and stand strong in the face of adversity. I believe in you.

Godspeed. 💞

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IV Breeding Guide: Pokemon Sun and Moon

Here I have written out in detail how to get started with IV breeding in Pokemon Sun and Moon! If you’re new to IV breeding and want to learn how to get it going, then this is the guide for you!

Save the pictures as you want, they’re available to anyone! I’ll have a text post out with the same information separately.

If anyone has any questions, comments, concerns, please let me know! I’d love to have feedback!

Please reblog this, everyone! I’d like to get this one out to as many people as possible. It’s all very appreciated!

SOS Battles for Dummies

Why should I chain SOS battles?

1. Some Pokemon (e.g. Mareanie) are only obtainable this way.
2. Increased shiny rate
3. Increased chance of Hidden Abilities
4. Increased chance of high potential Pokemon (maximum of 4 perfect IVs)

…Basically, this is Gen VII’s version of the DexNav

It should go without saying that Legendary and other one-of-a-kind Pokemon (including those you encounter via Island Scan) are unable to be chained.


What do I need?

The first thing you’ll need is a Pokemon to hunt with! This Pokemon will need to learn:
1. False Swipe: for whittling down the first target, and eventually for capturing the goal
2. A status move: no matter what, there will be turns when the wild Pokemon’s cry for help goes unanswered. You’ll need something to do during these turns that won’t knock out the Pokemon
3. A high-PP damaging move, to knock out any helpers that you don’t want to catch.  Note that Pokemon won’t call for help while frozen, asleep, or paralysed - so avoid moves that may inflict these states.

My favourite ‘mon for this is Absol, which can be caught outside of Tapu Village. It can learn False Swipe via TM (tick!), already knows Swords Dance when captured (tick!), and can also learn Thief via TM (with STAB), so you can possibly pick up some rare items while you’re hunting.

You’ll also need some Adrenaline Orbs, which increase the chances of the wild Pokemon calling for help. However if you’re using False Swipe adequately, this step is optional, because once you get the Pokemon down to 1HP it will call for help on most turns even without the orb.


Cool, now what?

1. Choose your target

2. Use False Swipe until it’s down to 1HP

3. Use your Adrenaline Orb

4. Knock out any Pokemon that are called in to help (optional: use Thief to pick up some swag along the way)

5. If there are any turns where help doesn’t arrive, buy time by using your status move

6. Keep an eye on your PP - if you’re running low, the wild Pokemon probably is too. The last thing you want is for it to Struggle and make itself faint. If you’re concerned about your target’s PP, you can “switch” the chain to another Pokemon of the same species and continue on (no need to use another Adrenaline Orb when switching).

7. Profit!


Anything else?

Yep, GameFreak likes to keep us on our toes. As well as the standard SOS battles, there are also some Pokemon which are exclusive to SOS battles that occur during weather (e.g. Castform and the Goomy line).

Contrary to some rumours that are circulating, you don’t need to have “natural” weather in order to trigger these Pokemon to appear; it works just as well with in-battle weather triggered by moves and abilities. If it seems like it just isn’t happening for you, that’s because the chance of these ‘mons spawning is ridiculously, frustratingly, extremely low.

Absol comes to the forefront again for these battles - it can learn Rain Dance!

Undertale Butterscotch Cinnamon Pie


Yields 8-10 servings

The things you’ll need

Ingredients
Dough
  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ vanilla bean
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup salted butter, ice cold
  • ½ cup butter flavor shortening, cubed and ice cold
  • 6 tablespoons buttermilk, chilled
  • Egg wash
Filling
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup salted butter
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • ½ cup butterscotch chips
Equipment
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Pie plate
  • Rolling pin
  • Plastic wrap
  • Dry uncooked beans
  • Small bowl
  • Small square cookie cutter

Let’s get started!

Dough
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, vanilla bean, and salt.
  3. Add butter and shortening and then work between fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  4. Drizzle in ice-cold buttermilk and continue working to form dough.
  5. Form the dough into a disc and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then chill for 2 to 24 hours.
  6. When dough is set, roll it out to ¼ inch thick and place into pie pan and remove the excess.
  7. Roll out dough excess and cut out small squares using the square cookie cutter.
  8. Brush egg wash along the edges and then arrange the dough squares in a pixelated design.
  9. Prick the bottom and inside edges of the pie crust with a fork.
  10. 10. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and then fill it with uncooked beans. Wrap the beans with the excess plastic.Egg wash edges of the crust.
  11. 11. Bake for 35 minutes until golden brown around the edges.
  12. 12. Remove beans and allow it to bake another 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and let cool.
Filling
  1. In medium bowl whisk cornstarch, salt and egg yolks until smooth. Add the milk.
  2. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat and add dark brown sugar, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Cook 3 minutes.
  3. Whisk in cream to the sugar mixture and then slowly whisk in egg mixture.
  4. Add salt and cinnamon and then bring to a boil, whisking constantly.
  5. Once thickened remove from heat and then whisk in butterscotch chips.

Time to decorate!

  1. Pour the filling into the pie shell and then smooth the top.
  2. Place the pie on a cooling rack for 1 hour and then place pie in the fridge to completely cooled.
  3. Remove Pie from fridge and cut a slice, serve with whipped cream and cinnamon stick garnish.
a guide to stim toys!

trying to decide what stim toy you want? i’m here to help !!

(note: this is based off me n a few others’ experiences)

Fidgets

  • tangle toys
  • fidget cubes
  • spinners
  • bike chains
  • other moving part toys

Pros:
-easy to get your hands on
-typically not expensive
-wide variety

Cons:
-not very discreet

a popular, well-liked type of stim toy! good for keeping focused, self regulation, and they’re pretty fun to play with ! there’s quite a variety of them out there, some may not even be marketed as stim toys (ex: plastic toys from stores).

Chews

  • chew jewelry (necklaces/bracelets)
  • chew toys
  • teether rings

Pros:
-meant for chewing! you won’t break em
-no more chewing on wires/fingernails/etc
-jewelry can be designed nicely to look like regular jewelry

Cons:
-actual chew jewelry/toys are harder to get and can be pricey
-teether rings aren’t discreet

many autistic people never outgrew the instinct/need to put thing in their mouth or chew on things! and some other nd people chew for other reasons! that’s what these are for! plus, they can also help with anger management!
tip: if you don’t want people to see your chew necklace, tuck it under your shirt and chew when you’re alone/no one’s looking!

Squishies

  • stress balls
  • moni moni animals
  • stretchy rubber toys

Pros:
-fairly easy to get
-inexpensive
-stress balls are a “normal office toy” (less chance of judgement)

Cons:
-monis and rubber toys aren’t as discreet

a calming stim! very soothing, good for relieving stress and anxiety. i like to roll my moni moni animal between my hands a lot!

Weighted

  • weighted blankets
  • weighted lap pads
  • weighted stuffed animals

Pros:
-fantastic sensory input
-good for insomnia

Cons:
-harder to get
-pricey
-not discreet

i LOVE weighted stuff!!it’s a great feeling. super calming and soothing. really good for helping you sleep!!

Plushies

  • stuffed animals/plush toys

Pros:
-very easy to get
-varying prices

Cons:
-not discreet
-seen as immature and babyish (unfortunately)

plushies!! super important. super good. soft, huggable, lovable things. many people have them as comfort items!! it’s so good to hug them and pet the fur

Textures

  • bristle brushes
  • spiky toys
  • fur
  • many more

Pros:
-wide variety
-there are good textures in a lot of places!
-spike toys are slightly painful and can leave little indents, which is a good alternative to self harm!

Cons:
-spike toys are harder to get

textures!! we all know n love our textures. my favorite is fur!! sometimes i stim by petting my pets! (my hamster is especially good, she’s so soft!). textures are everywhere and everyone likes different things! but there’s also specific toys/tools that can help! like bristle brushes and spiked things!

Visual

  • stim jars
  • glitter containers
  • fish tanks
  • online videos/gifs

Pros:
-wide variety
-easy to make
-there are a lot of gifs online

Cons:
-no tactile stimulation

popular!! easily found online, and easily made irl! fun things to watch. i especially love to watch fish tanks!

Slime, Sand, and Orbeez

  • slime
  • kinetic sand
  • moon sand
  • sandbox
  • orbeez
  • jelly/gelatin

Pros:
-really fun
-unique textures

Cons:
-a stay-at-home toy
-needs to be kept in a safe dry space
-harder to get
-messy
-fancy slime is expensive

these things are the most popular in stimboards and videos, because they look so cool!! if you make your own, you can do whatever you want with it! they’re all really unique textures and feelings and super fun to play with!
tip: be careful when using borax! it’s toxic

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i hope this helps!! feel free to add on if you have anything!

youtube

Happy hacking, y'all 🌟

Thanks to @pigeoncoffee for her soundhax guide! Links to her guides and other links mentioned in the video are in the description box! 💕

youtube

Hi guys! This week Rosie and I discuss what it’s like being gay in school! OUR NEW MERCH STORE GOES LIVE TOMORROW! That’s Valentine’s Day, so if you’re stuck for ideas because you’re shit, there’s your answer! Make sure to leave a comment below about your experiences in school!

Fun fact: I’m not even gay.

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20th december, 2016 | a rushed-yet-okay-looking-for-the-first-time infographic (??) on stress and stress management! reminder that it’s perfectly okay to feel stressed at times; but don’t let it get to the best of you! ☆彡