pick none of the above

Test Taking Tricks: Good Guessing!

Hello! My university has some flyers in our testing center to help students on their exams, so I thought I’d share one of them. These particular tips are taken from "Where There’s a Will, There’s an A.“

Even when we do our best to study hard, we will inevitably encounter questions for which we simply don’t know the answer (boo). When this happens, don’t panic! Use the following tips to increase your odds when guessing. Remember to eliminate the choices in the question that you know are incorrect, then apply these methods.

  • "Multiple Choice” exams: When two out of four choices are opposites, pick one of those two as a best guess.
  • Non-answers (Zero, None of the above) are usually poor guesses.
  • In questions asking for the most or the least, pick the answer next to the most or the least (Most: 5 8 9 15 30)
  • “All of the above” is generally a good guess.
  • Longest multiple choice answers are good guesses.
  • If two out of four choices are almost identical, pick the longer of the two.
  • If a few questions have five possible choices instead of four, pick number five.
  • If a question asks for a plural (or singular) answer, make sure you pick the plural (or singular) answer.
  • When limiting words are used (all, never, always, must, etc.), “false” is usually the better answer.
  • When general terms are used (most, some, usually, could, might, etc.), “true” is usually the better answer.
  • Exaggerated or complex answers are generally “false.”
  • Answer every question, even with a best guess as you go. Identify those you’re not sure of with a mark. Review these on a second pass.
  • “Fill in the blank” exams: Never leave a question blank. Give it your best guess. You might guess correctly. Even if you don’t, you might get partial credit just for coming close.
  • “Essay” exams: Say as much as you can, use short paragraphs, and write legibly. Volume, quality, clarity, and neatness pay off.
  • Reread directions before turning in an exam. Did you define terms when you were asked to compare them? Use the entire period to double check.
  • Answers quite often pop up in other questions. Keep that thought in mind.
  • First impressions (initial guesses) are often best. If an answer comes to you from out of the blue, it’s probably your right brain at work. Don’t fight this intuition unless you’re sure it’s wrong.
  • When a question is difficult to visualize, draw it.
  • Assume a possible answer. Then work backwards to see if you’re right.
  • Sit in front of the class (if the exam is in class). Ambiguous questions can be cleared up when you’re near the instructor. 
  • Stay until the very end. Questions may be clarified by the instructor as an afterthought. 

awhile back, i wrote a post about clutter. and how we have so much of it. my dearest t-bag recommended that konmari method book to help me with my decluttering mission. it’s a quick, very useful read. and while i didn’t really agree with everything she says (for example, her biggest method of determining whether or not to get rid of something is to ask yourself if it sparks joy. and then she advises to basically get rid of all your books. well, piles of books spark all kinds of joy for me so i’ll be bending this rule), i did like her overall message.

the part that got me thinking the most was not the part about tidying in general. it was the advice about how to begin. here are some excerpts from the section “before you start, visualize your destination” (p. 36-38):

- think in concrete terms so that you can vividly picture what it would be lie to live in a clutter-free space. 
- your next step is to identify why you want to live like that…ask yourself “why?” again for each answer. repeat this process three to five times for every item. as you continue to explore the reasons behind your ideal lifestyle, you will come to a simple realization…before you start tidying, look at the lifestyle you aspire to and ask yourself, “why do I want to tidy?” when you find the answer, you are ready to move on to the next step: examining what you own.

i loved this exercise. this exercise of asking “why?” over and over again until you get to the root of your visual desires. and the exercise of thinking in concrete terms what you want your home to look like. she points out that our homes are really the only places that we have almost complete control over.  and that point, along with this “why” exercise, really hit me. i’m pretty sure i spent a little more time than normal thinking about this.

i scoured my pinterest boards (all pictures are from my “home” board) and picked out the pictures that spoke to me the most. none of the images above are 100% what i would want in our home. but they all have elements that really appeal to me. (luckily, matt and i are on pretty much the same exact page in terms of aesthetic preferences.)

what are those elements? well…i think there’s something about simplicity but not in that scandinavian, all-white way. more in that things serve a purpose while still being visually appealing way. i like a little bit of mess but not too much. i like dramatic, high contrast but not in an overwhelming way. i like a little bit of moodiness. i like the slight sense of humor that mid-century modern furniture has. i like a mix of modern sensibility with vintage-esque touches. i like jewel tones and wood. i like things that don’t quite belong. i like single dramatic pieces that don’t saturate the picture. i like for things to have a place and to serve a purpose (even if that purpose is just to sit there and look pretty). i love plants. i like things to be polished and aesthetically sharp while still being inviting and warm.

and then i asked myself “why?” a bunch of times to question why i want my home to have these elements. and i basically came down to: i don’t like to be bored but i also don’t like to have to process so much in my visual environment that it takes up too much brain space. i think this plays out in my affinity for slight tensions - between colors, eras, etc. i want people to feel welcome and visually pleased. which plays out in wanting things to be aesthetically pleasing without feeling too precious. i also think that’s why i like plants so much. and why i don’t like things to feel overly modern or minimal. 

basically, i feel like in my everyday life, my brain is always moving in a million directions at a million miles per hour. when i enter my home, i want my brain to feel calm but still engaged. i want to be reminded of sweet moments in our lives, past and present. so emmett’s books and toys strewn around the living room don’t stress me out. our bookcase stuff with books i’ve saved from all eras of my life makes me really happy. our window shelf crowded with family pictures is fine by me. our open kitchen shelf with the precariously stacked spices is kind of scary but also necessary (i tried to clean out spices we don’t use and got rid of two things). 

the book author asserts that knowing what makes us happy and having these concrete images of what we want extend to our lives. how we make our home and prioritize what stays and does not has repercussions for how we prioritize elements in the rest of our life. i like that idea a lot. we are in the slow process of getting rid of things and adding little elements to our home as we go along (having a rapidly growing toddler definitely helps with that “adding things” component). i’m trying to be more and more mindful of what we have exit and enter our home. and, more generally, the ways these choices reflect the kind of life we are creating for ourselves. 

Sonnet I

Lo, I grow roses on ocean’s floor:
what are its depths if I’m already one?
I doth not vomit and cry seeds on shore
because earth’s a dead garden I must shun.

Ocean’s a home I welcome no one in,
where the songstress in me sings through my spawns,
and I am here, boldy singing chagrin
until my own morning, on my face, yawns.

These secrets die when they think of breathing,
and I, too, while I hope for them to grow.
And if they, still they are not worth seeing.
None. None of these—none of me, you should know.

I’d pick one, grow them above, or swim down,
but up there in thick air, I always drown.

Why Art of Fighting matters

By itself, Art of Fighting/Ryuuko no Ken introduced more things to the fighting game genre that are considered standard, or at least interesting, than almost any other series:

Supers (“super death blows”)

In AoF1’s story/arcade mode you had to unlock these moves in a bonus game, an option you only got after beating your first 2 opponents, but it was there. Once you used the move, it looked and felt significantly more powerful than your regular specials:

The Haohshokoken super projectile was so huge that it was practically unavoidable, and even if blocked it would take a noticeable chunk from the opponent’s life bar. In return, it ate up practically all of your power bar.

And since you had to perform the motion correctly a few times to be able to unlock it, a few playthroughs let you figure out if it was within your reach, or if boosting your life or general power was a better use of your early bonus game attempts.

Some games give you a choice of supers, but not many let you pick “none of the above” and let you boost something else in exchange.
Speaking of something you can boost…

Power bars (“spirit bars”)

Under the characters’ life bars you’d have another bar that would affect the moves available to you - this may be standard nowadays, but it wasn’t always so.The extra bar affected AoF more than it does most modern game, in that it wasn’t just for supers but was also consumed by the use of specials, which meant these had to be used carefully to make it count - a notion that appears to have been entirely dismissed during the past decade, where physics-defying attacks that do block damage in exchange for commands unguessable by beginners are treated like a part of the game that’s taken for granted by everyone else.
In AoF, if you lack the power bar to use a special, it will either came out in a very weakened state or not at all, which means no fireball spamming for applicable characters, since that’s not sustainable over time (also, regular attacks can destroy projectiles if timed right). You’re better off mastering your basics, and leaving the specials for actual special occasions when their particular properties are an actual advantage. The bonus game that let you boost the bar consists on trying to chop off the top of a bunch of beer bottles, like Mr Miyagi in Karate Kid, further illustrating how unusual the abilities it powers are supposed to be and the focus they’re meant to require:

The bar starts out full each round, and slowly refills itself over time. It’s spent by using specials and supers, and by being taunted by the opponent. You can refill it manually with a charging command, and you can increase the bar’s maximum size in one of the bonus games.
This bar is the heart of the series’ gameplay, and its effect on the use of specials to prevent over-reliance on some moves is something I’d like to see more often - instead of a standard “1 level of power bar = 1 super”, using different smaller fractions of a level of bar to pay for the use of some moves, and tweaking those values over time with patches if needed is something I could get behind.

(Relevant) Taunting

As mentioned above, these were used to drop an opponent’s power bar - to break their concentration, so to speak. Doing so at the right time could not only be the difference between an opponent being able to threaten you with a move that could counter your tactics, it could also annoy him in general - other series would mostly stick to the 2nd use in their own implementations (meaning it’s practically never used in an actual fight in those), but it was nice to have the option of the 1st one.

It was also a nice way to provide a bit of characterization to characters outside stuff like victory poses, endings, stages and limited dialogue, which were among the very few sources of lore in the genre back in the day. Dan Hibiki’s reputation exists because of this.

“Super supers” (“desperation move”)

They could have settled for inventing supers and be pleased with themselves, but then that would just be an maximum power special. SNK didn’t settle for that.

AoF was a fighting game, but it was also a story, and a story could always use a few dramatic moments. Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat with a desperate special attack that only works when your life is really low and consumes all the power bar you should have probably used to avoid reaching that point sounded dramatic enough to them. The Haohshokoken, however, was a projectile you first use in the controlled environment of a dojo against a distant and stationary target before you get to use it on opponents - it’s nice to have, but had its limits as a dramatic battle event, so an entirely different move was made for the occasion: a dash into just about every regular move the character had unleashed at an incredible speed - the Ryuuko Ranbu.

In later games of the series different characters would have other very different moves for the same circumstances. In AoF3 beating a character with this move or its character-equivalent would decide the fight - the Ultimate KO feature, meaning if you won a fight using it in round 1 there would be no round 2, since the move was meant to be so overwhelming - this particular feature never returned in any games I’m aware of, which is understandable - it destroys the possibility of a comeback off a match that must have been pretty close, but it was interesting that they decided to try it anyway… something perhaps best left for single-player games, but nowadays most story modes in the genre only make you fight 1 round per character anyway (the MK9 fails at this and many other things in its story mode, despite all the praise rained on it).

It was also a nice way to make use of the game’s zoom feature, if you started the move some distance away, as it would proceed into a nice view of the aggressor and victim’s pretty huge sprites, so speaking of which…


Back when fighting games were strictly in 2D there was a bit of a conflict between graphical detail and functionality, especially when projectiles and other aspects involving distance were involved - enough space to move freely and the sprites can’t be too big, make them too big and you’re practically fighting in a phonebooth.
SNK was all like “why not both?”, and made huge incredibly detailed sprites, detailed enough to see bruises on the characters’ faces if they were hit hard and often enough, and used their hardware’s abilities to just zoom everything out if the characters moved away from each other.
It did the trick nicely before 3D brought concerns like camera angles to the genre, and even if AoF’s implementation wasn’t the best, it paved the ground for that and other games that followed, both from its own company as well as the competition’s - this applies to a lot of what this game did, really.

Projectile abuse prevention

I already mentioned the power bar limiting the overuse of projectiles, but it can’t be overstated that SNK’s finest efforts always had some way to prevent projectile-based characters from dominating: Fatal Fury had the place shift system, in Samurai Shodown most projectiles required the use of weapons (which could be lost) and some projectiles could be cut with weapons mid-flight, King of Fighters had dodges and rolls, and SvC Chaos failed in part because it had neither, like the competition it tried to do justice to.
Like I said, the power bar meant if you tried projectile spamming your way through a match, you’d soon run out of power to do so. Additionally, projectiles could be destroyed with a properly timed attack like a regular jab, long before parrying came along in SF3.
Beginner Ryus would find themselves in need of learning their basic moves under this game’s rules.

A balance between action and story

The NeoGeo was both an arcade and home console system, so it had to walk a fine line to cater to both environments - while the arcade focuses on the action, with its owner preferring to see players spend their time trying not to lose so they’ll spend more money, the home environment allows for a more contemplative attitude, which is why narrative-heavy genres like RPGs thrive in it.

AoF took on the challenge, even if it meant going for a classic plot device:

But that was just the part that was visible in-game:

Within that limited frame, SNK did a fair amount with the genre for its time:

  • It told you the plot in the opening
  • Mentioned South Town in that opening, connecting it to Fatal Fury
  • Added dialogue before each fight, providing a little world-building from that dialogue, the information you extracted from defeated opponents and the protagonists’ musings as they traveled between them
  • Included that infamous ex-secret of King’s which still echoes into KoF XIII
  • Left a cliffhanger in the ending for the following game.

And in that following game, Art of Fighting 2:

  • South Town was given an even bigger map that included the old one
  • Every character had dialogue against every other character, with body language to match that was only ever used in those scenes
  • Ultimately it was revealed that the game took place a decade before Fatal Fury by showing us a young Geese while he was still working for the police, hinting at an off-screen story of his own - not to mention you could see his men in suits spying from corners in just about every stage in the game.

Lots of information with minimal interruption in the action.

AoF may not be the best or most fluid fighting game out there, but without it the genre would be a whole lot poorer.
Nowadays it seems unlikely that its principles will be taken out for a new spin, but I’ll always welcome new chapters on how Ryo Sakazaki is following his father’s legacy, and in general how the tale of South Town has more to do with Sakazakis and Howards than it does with Bogards.

anonymous asked:

Heyyy loved your latest mini fic. Can you write another one where Chloe comes back and she sees beca and Dixie. And after that they get together pleaseeeeeeeeeee I love your mini fics you're a great writer :) Ps it's totally okay if you don't want to

Part One of this fic is here

Beca woke up less than a half hour later to the loudest yip she’d heard Dixie make and a quickly sobering up Chloe exclaming, “Oh shiiiiii–what the ff”. 

Her desk lamp turned on immediately, spraying the room in tinted blue. “Chlo?” 

She watched Chloe move her hand from where it sat clutching her chest to the straps on her heels. “What the hell are you doing in my bed, Becs? You nearly gave me a heart attack.” 

Dixie pressed her front paws into the bed, sticking her tail in the air to stretch before jumping off the bed and landing at Chloe’s feet. She quickly began to scratch at the redhead’s legs until Chloe reached down to pick her up. 

“You shouldn’t reward her for doing shit like that,” Beca mumbled, throwing Chloe’s comforter aside and sitting up. “Makes her think she can get away with things like yipping at the door every time you leave.” 

Barely paying attention, Chloe scratched the back of Dixie’s ears, “And that’s why you’re breaking your golden rule of ‘Personal Space Above All Else’ by sleeping in my bed?” 

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“Galaxy Quest” TV series in the works

Okay, remember when you were complainig about AbramsTrek, and said  it was time for a Star Trek series to return to TV? Yeah. Then remember when you   argued online for days about which Universe it should be in? 

Well, looks like Paramount  read the arguments, decided to pick “none of the above”, and, according to Deadline, have greenlit a TV series based on “Galaxy Quest”. 

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