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Dear Cia Column

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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by The_Glitch on Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:51 am

Dear Cia,
(please pardon my grammar for it is 11:50 pm, I have no clue why I'm still up :3) Though it may be a joke, on an almost daily basis it seems my father asks me what I would like to pursue as a profession, sure I like the arts, like writing, singing, acting, and drawing, but I probably wouldn't survive as an actor, singer, author, or artist so I would like to ask, when you were a bit younger did you go thorough a similar, dilemma, I guess, It's really just me looking ahead to plan out life, which, I already know is not a good thing to do.
Anyways, I'm going to drag myself to sleep before I drag this on too long
-Audrey
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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by a4955 on Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:37 am

Dear cia,
(a food question for you since you LOVE them soo much=P) Do you know of any tasty snacks (meaning like penut butter on a cracker or something) that are healthy (and unhealthy)? I know one where you take a cracker (not a salt cracker), put penut butter on it and then add a bunch of chocolate chips. Anyways, my computer is at 5 percent, I'm hiding under my sheets so my parents don't know I have the laptop and the charger is downstairs so I am going to send this now, thanks cia.
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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Sun Nov 09, 2014 4:17 pm

Dear Audrey, ^^

Ooh, a most curious question. Smile

I wouldnt say you'd "never" survive as an actor, singer, author or artist, but the main prerequisite to a successful life in those fields is to "know people" more than being actually skilled in them. Powerful friends, family connections, and acquaintences can help stack the odds in your favor, because as you assumed correctly these are not things that are easy to survive in, even if you are remarkably talented. As Hollywood, mainstream music labels and Justin Bieber prove, you can be a very successful and rich artist even if you act or sing like crap -- your media conglomerate "friends" will take care of actually glossing over the talent gap, much like make-up and surgery cover up physical imperfections. Razz

Even if you don't plan on becoming an artist, it's never a bad idea to gain more friends, especially RL friends -- it can be very nurturning now, and impressively helpful in the future. ^^

As for myself, hmmm...

I guess the answer to that is that I was just too dumb to even think about my future to that degree -- bear in mind that I lived with a perpetual brain fog up until I was in college, so life just seemd to pass me by like driftwood in a river. I kinda/sorta/maybe wanted to learn about the environment, and experiment with being sustainable and vegetarian and all that S.T.U.F.F. when I was younger, but even when I actually started majoring in environmental studies I didn't have any clue as to how to make money off it. By the time I "woke up", I just wanted to get a JOB and call it a day, and figure out the fine details later after I started getting some real money and paying off my debts.

I did have some general goals in life, though, not related to jobs. I really had no money goals in life, which is surprising given how big a saver and money-obsessed I was even when I was younger (I had so much money in my piggy bank, I'd often lend my PARENTS and OLDER BROTHER money rather than the other way around). Razz
Instead I mainly wanted family centric things in life, such as getting married and having kids of my own, or interacting with my older brother more, or buying a proper house for my parents to live in, since our own apartment was so so tiny and not necessarily in the best neighborhood. And of course I wanted to be smarter and healthier, and not quite so... sickly and slow. AND I wanted to be able to eat whatever I want, whenever I wanted, gorge myself in delicious foods! XD

So I in a way I accomplished nearly all of those, minus the "my own family part", but I guess there's still time to do that properly. And so far I've not had want for money, and ironically money always seems to find me even if I don't try all that hard. >.>

So I guess for me at least it was a good thing I didn't think about those things when I was a kid, because ultimately I accomplished what I set out to do, without being a terrible, back-stabbing person desperate for fame or fortune. Through my years observation it seems that life seems to reward those who ask for things the least, or perhaps having such low expectations helped ensure that I would be content with any outcome.

OR I just got lucky, who knows.

But if there's ever any commonality to take into consideration, remember that your life is not just your own to experience. We are social creatures, and we need the companionship of friends, family and acquaintences to strengthen us, inspire us, and help keep us going when all seems bleak. So if you want to plan out anything, plan on something you can genuinely begin today, such as your social and family life. Smile


--Cia


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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:18 pm

Dear a4,

Lol, well ingame you said you knew peanut butter with crackers and chocolate chips was unhealthy, but based on your question it almost seems like you're passing it off as a health food.  Razz

In any case, let me start off by saying that no, that is definitely unhealthy, although perhaps not for the reasons people say.  Your standard health advice will say that the peanut butter and chocolate chips are too blame for the unhealthiness because they add some fat content to the snack, and that you should replace these with a dab of miracle whip and maybe some celery or carrots or whatever else tastes blend and boring on your healthywholegraincracker.  And they'd be half right... most store-bought peanut butters do indeed have lots of fat, albeit in the form of polyunsaturated fat from the gobs of industrially-processed vegetable oils they use to emulsify it, and any harmful hydrogenation they do to ensure the oil never separates.  Unlike healthy oils, these fake industrial byproduct seed oils (some variants of which are known as "trans fats") can cause a lot of inflammation in your body as it's trying to use these heavily-oxidized and rancid oils for natural body functions that are expecting normal unoxidized fat. On top of that, peanuts are not true nuts, but in fact legumes... they do have some fat, but not much compared to true nuts, and instead they have loads more carbohydrates than true nuts like almonds, pecans, walnuts and macademia nuts.  They're not terribly unhealthy on their own, but you can do a lot better eating true nuts.  And regular dark chocolate/cacao is fine (actually a bit healthy for us) -- the problem is when they start adding sugar and special additives to make what's known as "milk chocolate".  So when you're enjoying chocolate chips, what you're really eating is chocolate-flavored sugar bits.  Razz

And unlike the standard health advice, we won't take as truth that the cracker, be it a "fatty" Ritz cracker or some organic sprouted healthywholegrain cracker, is inherently healthy, or at least healthier than other normal foods.  Crackers are made of flour which is made of wheat which is a "grain" which is an indigestible grass baby that we as humans have not been eating until only about a few thousand years ago.  Heck, in fact no animal other than birds have the digestive capability to eat the seeds of grasses, and those that try (like cows) can get very sick.  We only eat these because we can heat these grains, pulverize them, and do some additional processing to render them edible, but compared to normal foods that human beings are designed to eat, they offer very little nutritional benefit other than some extra insoluble fiber, and in fact they do tremendous harm to our bodies, minds and even our teeth.  Grains, in combination to sugar, can be considered as humanity's first junk foods, eaten only for addictive pleasure, not out of necessity.  Wink

So for snacks that are unhealthy, you can assume that that encompasses any snack that is made out of grains and excess sugar, which basically eliminates 80% of all supermarket goods -- ironically, all the aisles of processed junk foods such as crackers, cookies, breads, wraps, pasta, TV dinners, frozen snacks, candy, and some canned goods.  Most of these also contain processed junk seed oil, MSG, high-fructose corn syrup, allergic food colorings and preservatives, and all matter of artificial additives that help commoditize these fake foods at the cost of your own health.

And as for snacks that ARE healthy and tasty, stick with whole or single/simple ingredient foods that encompass food groups outside of the realm of grains and sugar, regardless of what some of these foods are accused of doing to your body.  For instance, I consider that the best, easiest, nutrient-rich, and most convenient healthy snack food is: hard-boiled eggs.  These are easy to make, cheap to purchase (although it pays to spend extra on humane-certified eggs), keep well outside, require no additives or preservatives, have no carbohydrates, offer a substantial source of high-quality fat and protein, and provide you with many essential vitamins and minerals, including choline which has few animal sources (other than organ meat) and virtually no plant ones.  

Fruits are still a viable snack food, albeit not in the ridiculously-high amounts that today's health advocates recommend.  Fruits are still high sources of natural sugar (in the form of fructose); and although fruit sugar doesn't digest as quickly as table sugar or grains, preventing the same kind of abnormal blood sugar spikes, it CAN do so if you overrun your system with excessive fruit consumption and don't have anything to burn off that excess energy (such as doing athletics).  So unless you're an athelete that needs the energy, eat sugary fruits (like pineapples) or starchy fruits (like apples or ripened bananas) in moderation.  Your safest snack fruits to eat are berries, which are delicious, portable, relatively low in sugar, absurdly high in essential vitamins and minerals (cranberries and blueberries being a better source of antioxidants than oranges), and a wonderful garnish for various dishes and desserts.  

Veggies, especially leafy green veggies, are remarkable foods on their own, and often excellent snack foods, but with one important caveat... you MUST eat them with fat.  Minus fiber and some water-soluble vitamins, the most essential nutrients that veggies have to offer us, such as Vitamins A, D, E and K, are all fat-soluble.  If you eat some steamed brocolli without butter, rather than being a healthy dish, it will in fact be nutritionally-incomplete and bland, and you will have suffered the prospect of eating "healthy" for nothing. Same goes for plain boiled spinach or lifeless carrot sticks.  So pairing a good healthy source of fat not only makes these foods very palatable, but they also help you absorb the full spectrum of nutrition, and adding more to it via the nutritional benefits of your healthy fat source (a good grass-fed butter, for instance, can offer some Omega-3, and various other helpful fatty acids).

On that same token, fatty plant foods such as nuts, avocados, coconut and olives are all remarkable foods, extremely low in carbohydrates and high in amazing fats.  These you can eat almost without abandon, save for any allergies you may have or for any cost considerations (since these can also be very expensive).  Oils derived from these, especially coconut and olive oil, are wonderful sources of healthy fat, so long as you make sure they're cold-pressed (industrially-processed coconut and olive oil are much cheaper, but barely any healthier than processed junk seed oils).  A good homemade nut butter, guacamole, tepenade or pesto (teaming with delicious olive oil, pine nuts and cheese) are the best snack spreads that plant-kind can offer to you.

For good gut biome health, and in case you really do need a hearty serving of carbohydrates (if you're an athelete or need a lot of energy), you can definitely feast on a whole host of healthy starches.  These include potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, green bananas and plantains, chestnuts, beans, lentils, and chickpeas.  Hummus and baked potatoes especially make great snack foods, but if you're interested in reducing carb consumption, it's best to eat these cold as that ensures that you eat intact fibers.  And just like with veggies, do NOT skimp out on the healthy fat.  And likewise, try not to be tempted to eat potato chips as constant snack foods, as these are often made with junk seed oils, or may contain other harmful additives that degrade the health potential -- most of what I describe to you is best eaten homemade. Wink

So long as you're not allergic to it, dairy products are great supplementary sources of nutritious fat, albeit these are still some of humanity's earliest "junk foods".  Milk, yogurt and cottage cheese, for instance, offer great nutrition EXCLUSIVELY if eaten in their whole fat form (no lowfat or non-fat), but the higher lactose and casein content can cause problems in some people, so proceed with caution.  Butter and cultured cheeses are your best bets since these are naturally lower in lactose and casein, and are almost pure healthy fat.  Avoid lowfat cheese snacks such as string cheese, and aim for aged hard cheeses that are high in complex flavors, or grass-fed butter which is both nutritious and delicious.

And lastly, don't skimp out on meats, poultry and fish -- these are the most nutrient-dense foods we have, offering you a range of incredibly healthy fat, amazing high-quality protein, and even some carbohydrate content (through the consumption of some organ meats).  Sadly these are foods that don't often make good snack foods due to their perishability, which is why processed snack foods are centered so much around unhealthy "healthywholegrains" which can keep outside without refrigeration for months or years.  Still, you definitely have some options.  Canned fatty fish such as sardines or anchovies, in water or olive oil, are a great source of essential fatty acids and calcium; short of that, tuna fish is good enough.  Most chicken snacks are in the form of breaded nuggets or fried chicken which are not good because of the breading... but fried or baked in its own skin, it can be delicious and good for you; and that of course includes the previously mentioned eggs.

Meats snacks are often found in the form of cold cuts, sausages and beef jerky -- these all can be potentially good (or certainly "better") for you due to the fat and protein offered, and the fact most sausages help make organ meat palatable to consumers not used to eating things like heart or liver.  Still, always bear in mind that like with processed junk foods, most of these are also made using an industrial process full of added chemical preservatives, sugar/flour fillers, junk seed oils, and lots of added pain and suffering to the animals and the workers that handle them.  Fresh alternatives from a single animal, such as fresh homemade sausage, jerky or cracklings, lose out on the convenience of getting these from the store,  but are far more nutritionally-helpful to you, devoid of potential diseases and harmful additives, and a lot more respectful to the animal source that feeds you.  

I could say more, but it's all irrelevant because utlimately the tastiest snack you can have is knowledge.  You have to want to know what is a healthy tasty snack because true health is a lot more work, and requires more thinking, than it seems.  Simply telling you to eat this or that won't cut it -- the second it begins to be inconvenient, you'll want to give it all up and return to those convenient grain products which fill you with fake happiness and satiety at the cost of your very real health.  Even eating healthy may begin to open doors you never once opened, and you may begin to obsess over sources of eggs from untortured chickens, or lettuce grown where there is no industrial run-off polluting a river, killing off native fish and plants.  This is not a road travelled lightly, prepare yourself to take food seriously and give it the respect it deserves.  If you do so, the rewards will be high satiety, a positive outlook on life, a new instilled faith in yourself, and a respect for all the things in the world that literally make you "you".  


--Cia

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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Night_Lord123 on Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:54 pm

Dear Cia

what would happen if i put a torch next to a pile of gunpowder? (I hope something good)
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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Mon Nov 10, 2014 12:41 am

Dear Tex,

Well in-game, nothing. You'd get a forever-burning torch and a whole bunch of gunpowder spinning round and round waiting for you to pick up, until it ultimately despawns.

IRL... a splattered Texan? >v>


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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by a4955 on Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:45 am

Dear cia, xbox one or ps4? I have an xbox 360 and a few games for it but I don't have any play station console. Please try not to be biast against Microsoft. I know that I am getting one of them for Christmas, but I don't know which one I want more
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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:24 pm

Dear a4,

Nice try, but I'll never stop blasting Microsoft -- I won't ever support a criminal organization  Wink
[it's bad enough they slimed their way into Minecraft]  :<

Granted Sony pulled that crap with OtherOS a few years back and are a pretty fiendish organization, but when faced between death by sledgehammer and death by being run over by a steamroller, you have a fighting chance with a sledgehammer (PS4).  Razz

Not to mention the XBONE was pretty blatant about pooing on its playerbase with all those unnecessary surveillance features, up until they were forced to remove them after that PR snafu -- in line with the "me too" mentality of a console that's only second best and is very successful at hemorrhaging money for its company (ooh, in that case... YAY XBOX!!! KEEP DRAINING AWAY THOSE RESOURCES!!!).  XD

As for games, who cares... I don't play them, and their only claim to fame are those gawdawful FPS shooters that train you to murder and that keep getting recycled every year with ever stupider plot points.  I heard the PS4 is much easier to develop for, so that might ensure more games in the future.

Left unmentioned is the Wii-U, which at least gets points for trying to slap on SOME creative elements, but ultimately is the "bust" of the ever-chronic "boom-and-bust" cycle of Nintendo -- after every successful product, they release garbage and then rinse and repeat later.  Wink
Plus they sure do milk those franchises to death... except those that they really SHOULD milk, but don't and instead offload them to the idiots at Team Ninja of all thing (*cough cough* Metroid *cough cough*)

So just in case you wondered why I don't have any modern console (aside from the regular Wii, which i never play), I hate them all very much, although XBONE certainly makes the grade for most hateful. The folks at Redmond can go suck on a toad. Wink

If you want my personal opinion....

Best console:  STEAMBOX!!!
Best portable:  ANDROID GAMING!!!!

I rest my case.  ^^


--Cia

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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by a4955 on Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:46 pm

Dear cia,
As I, sorry let me re-phrase that, as we all know, you have a very umm, lets just say a very strong opinion about big companies that scam you into paying for things too much like Microsoft. But you like minecraft (I should think) so how do you feel about Microsoft buying mojang? What do you think will happen? Do you think it will be bad? (Lets be honest, I think we all know the answer to that last question =P) Anyways, what do you think the worst thing Microsoft could do to minecraft is?
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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:20 am

Dear A4,

Normally I don't answer two questions from a single person in one day, but to answer your question I will proceed to go into a little corner, roll into a ball and cry. And then maybe take up voodoo magic. XD

Anyway, it's not the first time that Microsoft has spread its ghastly tentacles over things I love... up until recently when it's patent racketeering is being exposed, it's been happily trying to mess with the rise of Android in order to bring down the competition to favor its POS mobile offerings. Usually it fails, but not before doing unbearably stupid things that make me hate them more. Razz

Granted now they have a new CEO (who also laid off tons of people >.>), and so far they're not planning to do anything overly stupid with the Minecraft IP. But I'm not letting my guard down. >.>

The worst that could happen is that they make free servers like ours (or free Mods like Gulliver) extinct due to some TOS change. While I don't plan to keep the server running longer than 3 years (we all need to live our RL lives, lol), I'd hate for it to end prematurely thanks to Microsoft being Microsoft. But we will have to wait and see -- considering they have lost tremendous marketshare and mindshare in the last few years, they might have finally learned to not push their luck.


--Cia

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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:19 am

Dear Piggy,

Eep, well this one is a bit of a doozy since I'm not an athelete or bodybuilder, and as such have never even tasted protein bars or shakes or what not. -.-

In general though, I'm not a fan of heavily-processed foods, and protein bars are as procressed as you can get with little control over the quality of the ingredients. You could get chemically-extracted protein fortified with nutrients from unnatural sources and some cheap chalkboard fiber, and maybe mixed in with sugar or flour depending on the brand, and you get the athletic-equivalent of junk food. The same goes with shakes and sports drinks. When it comes to foods, whole high-quality foods are best because you get the full nutritional complex.

And while you probably WILL get obscene amount of protein from these foods [as advertised], this isn't necessarily a good thing... we're not dogs or other full-fledged carnivores that use protein as their primary fuel source. Instead, we use protein to build muscle and specialized protein molecules like hemoglobin; but we can only use so much of it at a time, so eating more of it isn't necessarily going to immediately make more muscle. Any protein not used gets sent to the liver to have part of it converted to a useful body fuel such as glucose or ketones, but the rest of the unusable parts are sent to the kidneys to be excreted. This is why kidney problems can arise from excessive protein consumption, and I suspect protein supplementation can be an easy way to get dangerously close to this condition. There could also be a risk of constipation or diverticulitis depending on the composition of the rest of your diet

I still believe that anything in excess, even dietary fat, isn't necessarily a good thing, and in that respect I would side with you and your parents in sticking with good dietary sources of protein.

As for why your friend thinks you need these supplements, I wouldn't know if he's doing so because he feels you need to be bigger and stronger. If you're comfortable with where you are and feel it can get you in-the-game, keep doing what you're doing. If you do feel the need to supplement, you can give me a description of what your stable protein diet is and I might be able to suggest some additional foods that may be able to help. All in all, for superb health and weight training, you can definitely lean closer to what's called a Primal or Paleo Diet: essentially free of grains, soy, sugar, artificial fats, and processed foods, but with concessions for dairy products for fat and flavor, and safe starches for good quality carbohydrate sources for athletic routines. Wheat and soy elimination are especially important because they often contain lectins, trypsin inhibitors, and other anti-nutrients that prevent proper nutrient absorption in your intestines, including protein absorption (part of me wonders if protein supplements are necessary if people are still eating a lot of anti-nutrients).

And while it's important to eat good quality dietary proteins, it's also important to consume good quality dietary fat, which IS your body's primary fuel, the essential buiding block for brain, nerve and immune system cells, and vital for the absorption of many essential vitamins. It is also needed to make many of your body's hormones, including testosterone which, as you probably know, is a hormone which promotes strength and muscle mass. If you're concerned about any cardiac-consequences from eating fat (via the deadly cholesterol myth), be sure to choose healthy, unprocessed sources of fat that are rich in anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids, or at least low in pro-inflammatory Omega-6 fatty acids. Ironically, the "heart-healthy" polyunsaturated seed oils are insanely rich in Omega-6's, and thus quite possibly the TRUE perpetrators of the heart disease epidemic that began in the 20th century when these sludge oils were invented -- so embrace saturated and monounsaturated fats from either cold-pressed fruit/vegetable sources or humanely-raised animals [and their milk/eggs] that are fed their natural diets of grass, bugs, fish or algae (but NOT grain). It's no coincidence that in nature, high-quality protein is typically found alongside high quality fat. Smile

Lastly, if you are not already following a weight-training regime or one supplied by your football team, I might recommend researching the benefits of slow-motion powerlifting that focuses on compound lifts, heavier weights over fewer repetitions, slower speeds (to eliminate assistance from inertia), and decent rest and recovery times. This is a very efficient form of weight training that, when combined with an excellent diet, well improve strength more through metabolic and hormonal changes in your body rather than simply through repetitive stress.

But again, take of all of this what you will since I really don't know enough of your situation, or even athletics in general, to give you bulletproof advice -- but hey, at least you have more possibilities now. Smile


--Cia

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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Night_Lord123 on Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:24 am

Dear Cia

Why do some bad Hollywood directors *cough* Micheal Bay *cough* continue making the same bad mistakes in there movies even though the fans specifically tell them whats wrong with it? Why don't they learn from there mistakes like normal people?

-Tex
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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:54 am

Dear Tex,

As with schools, I feel the primary purpose of Hollywood is to indoctrinate, not entertain; ergo the reason why Hollywood directors will still continue to make terrible or even offensive choices, such as revelling in racial stereotypes (stupid Mexicans or evil Russians), intentionally casting foreign characters with actors of different ethnicities (a la Memoirs of a Geisha), and promoting arcane representations of women.  I also mentioned in a previous answer that there seems to be an overall dumbing-down of character IQs, so characters representing common people are shown as being helpless, stupid and indifferent (a la War of the Worlds 2005), a far cry from the proactive intellectual characters of yesteryear (a la Twelve Angry Men).


This is the reason why directors and actors rarely change -- once they have the foot in the door, nothing short of a scripted scandal will get rid of them.  I believe this is the case because, far from being good or talented, they are simply willing to agree to do any crap they're instructed to produce for the masses (although there are some exceptions, of course, who make even crap look good).  So fans can try and cry all they want, and they can pretend to listen -- but when push comes to shove, it is the vicious underworld of Hollywood that dictates what gets put on the big screen and how.


This is why you can have an amazing book like World War Z butchered into a fearmongering propaganda piece, or why despite a really good and cinematic fan story in the form of the original Aliens vs. Predators comic was simply tossed aside in favor of one of the stupidest scripts known to human kiind in the form of "AVP".  XD


But on a more down-to-earth note, this is definitely not unique to Hollywood, although in the case of non-Hollywood mistakes other factors may certainly be at play, from the scope of the director's ego, to the simple understanding that everyone likes different things. In the case of the latter point, depending on how polarizing the movie is, half the fans will love it, the other half will hate it like the plague.  Such was the case with the Star Wars prequels, and assault to the eyes and ears fans of the original, but a dazzling array of awesome "pew pew" for the younger generations (although at least we can mostly agree that Jar Jar Binks had to be ejected out of an airlock). XD








--Cia

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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Mimi on Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:55 pm

Dear Cia,  Very Happy

Hello. I have two questions.
What do you do in your free time?, and secondly What are your goals in life?

-Mimi Smile


Last edited by Elmira_ on Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:23 pm; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : Spelling mistake)
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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Thu Nov 13, 2014 6:33 pm

Dear Mimi,

*hug* Always love when you ask questions. So deep and insightful.  Smile
I don't typically answer two questions, but given I like both questions (and one is rather personal so I can't really offer a good answer), I will make an exception. ^^

For the first one, well that's easy. You see me here, playing Minecraft, running a server, and doing fun things on its forums (like answer this question), and all that happens to be in my spare time. So this is the more obvious answer. ^^

But not-so-obvious activities include walking, going out with friends (usually to drink or eat), cooking (which I've done a lot more of since joining this server), watching Youtube videos (usually educational ones these days, like the ones I post on the Food 101 thread), and reading books/ebooks (or if I'm walking or tired, audiobooks).  I especially do a lot of reading about lifestyle and nutrition, my new favorite subjects. <3

As for my goals in life, well I guess most of them have already been met, except for getting married.  Once I do, I will officially have everything I could ever want.  ^^

After that, I just have lots of dreams.  I dream, for instance, to be at a point where I no longer have to worry about having some mundane job, and can focus all my energy and talents on something revolutionary and creative. I'd dream, for instance, of being able to reclaim deserts or areas wasted of their top soil, so they can support grasses, trees and animals again if they once had them.  I remember in my old home there was a half-finished courtyard that was covering up a former garden, and when I took out all the bricks from that courtyard the soil underneath was clay-heavy and barren.  But with the right techniques, with the right soil nutrition, and with the right amount of non-intervention (letting "weeds" and bugs do their work), the area became living and vibrant again, with insects, birds, squirrels, trees and plants growing happily in such a dense space.  It was a beautiful feeling to free even just that tiny bit of nature, and it was nice to wake up to see that mini forest every day.  Smile

I also had a peach tree there too, so I would be able to harvest some fresh peaches every summer, though the birds and ants took the other half.  Razz

I would love to do that again some day, only on a bigger area of land, and armed with more knowledge than I used to have.  ^^


--Cia

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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by MoaOxii on Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:31 pm

Dear Cia,

I just need some advice: Can you give me some tips and tricks at building in Minecraft? If you can give me some advice, I would appreciate that a lot. Smile

-Super
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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Night_Lord123 on Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:39 pm

Dear Cia

When you started MC did you go through multiple skin changes or did you start out with the blacksmith as your first skin?

-Tex
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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:22 am

Dear Super,

Wow! A question that doesn't involve crazy Youtube links. Are you feeling okay? XD

Anyway, not sure if I'm the best person to ask given I'm sort of a mediocre builder, and in fact I'm very bad at internal details (hence why so many of my builds are empty inside). Plus there's no real right or wrong way to build, as we're all motivated by things that interest us specifically -- I like realistic builds, and most of my creativity will lie in creative arrangement of realistic elements, such as roads and bridges, underwater thingies, airships or other big-but-natural-looking things floating in the sky, skycrapers, sewers, walls, shipyards, industrial settings and markets. In short, I like my builds to have a certain narrative that adds lasting interest beyond just looking nice.

I also like to use uncommon materials, so no cobble and wood planks unless they're really really needed for realism. And because I try to focus on realism, I look through pictures of the kind of buildings I want to build on Google Images, and see if I can recreate them to scale and using Minecraft blocks... it doesn't have to look exactly like the buildings in the picture (and in fact they shouldn't), and this is largely how I helped build the Japanese castle in Jammy's town of Yamamachi.

So as you're building, you should ask yourself if what you're building can tell a story, one nicely intertwined with the area surrounding it. Dragon's Roost seems to want to, and you'd do well to add more stuff of interest to that town. And if you need help, reference pictures can be valuable building aids. ^^


--Cia

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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:33 am

Dear Tex,

LOLNupe!  XD

I've always been about consistency and creating a kind of "brand" for myself, so I never changed skin often.  In fact, I'm essentially the same character, just dressed differently (and in my bwitch form, with added contact lenses).  Razz

From the very beginning, for all of Gunia, and for the longest time on this server, I've used my default Green Villager skin, which is my official skin and the one you'll see in my Giga Statue....



The only time I changed it was during Christmas in which, for such a peaceful time, I swapped to the Priest Villager skin for a few days, but then reverted back to Green Villager skin.  I only began using the Blacksmith skin during my "Dark Cia" phase after we had gone through a lot to get through a terrible crisis, only to lose two of our moderators.  This was also prior to my diet change, so I was more prone to depression, so it was a time I seriously lacked confidence as an owner.  It would be around this time where any lesser owner would simply crawl into a ball, and announce the server would close down because NO ONE WUVS ME, WAAAH, but luckily I slugged through it mainly by temporarily switching to another hobby, which lead me to a rekindled interest in health, which lead me to learning about nitrolisides, which lead me to experimenting with nitroliside-rich foods including archaic grains not consumed much anymore, which lead me to accidental wheat elimination in a kind of one-month experiment, which lead me to shock and dismay that I was dramatically improving in health and mood without really knowing why, which then lead me to my favorite book and more search for knowledge, and the rest is history.  Smile

But back to skins, I kind of enjoyed using the alternate skins, so I'm planning to cycle through them for long stretches of time.  I still need to wear the Priest skin for a bit longer and the basic villager skin for some time after that, but eventually I'll get back to my beloved Green skin.  ^^




--Cia

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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by The_Glitch on Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:12 pm

Dear Cia,
Now, as you may know, I go to a private school, meaning I have to wear a uniform, now, in our class students have been debating if it was a good thing or not, I fell under the small group of those who like the uniforms, now, I would like to hear your opinion, and I'll give you a quick summary of it, A maroon sweater over a white button-up shirt, with a grey-ish plad wool skirt, and your choice of Maroon, Black, or grey tights or knee-socks, and black dress-shoes.

Also, I have to say, just because of the hair your villager skin really reminds me of
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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:58 pm


Dear Audrey,

Actually, I didn't know (or didn't remember) you went to a private school, I only know you wear a school uniform (hereafter referred to as "seifuku").  From a socio-economic standpoint I was always a bit mixed about seifuku, since on the one hand you save your family from having to buy lots of different expensive clothing, but on the other hand you make the purchase of a seifuku compulsory.  Granted this is more an issue wherever public schools mandate seifuku, whereas you half-expect it in a private school where one's parents may already be paying up to their eyeballs... but then it becomes an issue of accountability for the money you're paying for, when apart from the cost of the school you also have to pay for cost of a seifuku and, if it's like college, possibly textbooks.  Do these schools really have the gall to make you pay for the privilege of being taken advantage of?!  Ugh. >.<

Buuuuuut I'm getting ahead of myself, because we're not talking about implications of compulsory seifuku (the concept of which is at least kinda cool), but rather the aesthetics of YOUR seifuku.  Well I can only do so much given I don't know how the clothing is styled (styling is hugely important, especially with the skirt and sweater, but the color selection is.............. conservative.  I mean it sounds cute and no doubt it is pretty, but with that color palette I'd have to consciously refrain from calling you "Granny Audrey".  XD

But again, if the design is bold and creative, I'm sure I would love it to bits.  And no doubt debating over it is meaningless anyway because the school is probably going to make ALL you kids wear it whether you like it or not, so best to be in Camp Audrey and make the most of it.  The alternative is hating it, and going to school all unhappy and bitter for the next few years or so.  In the vicious, heartless school world, you either adapt or die trying. >v<

Nothing short of a lot of civil disobedience or a horde of angry parents would change that.  XP

[maybe I should've added the disclaimer that I have very strong opinions about school] ^^;

Anyway, so that's that.  As for that picture... ugh... T_T
I swear to GAWD, I hope that's not from that silly country anime... XD


--Cia


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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by lizeli9 on Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:35 pm

Dear Cia, 

What is your job in real life? You've said some bits and pieces about it already but not what you actually do.
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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:02 pm

Dear Liz,

That... is... a... secret. ^_-
(But it has to do with computers, although I kind of landed the role by accident. ) ^^:


--Cia

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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by a4955 on Sat Nov 15, 2014 12:32 am

Dear cia,
On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your favourite colour of the alphabet.
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Re: Dear Cia Column

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