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Incomplete Stories

sarcastic_cynic

I'm guilty of reading some, but I was just wondering if any thought they should be removed somehow?

I know, if you don't like those types, don't read, but that's not my point. Not meant to be rude.

Thx

richardshagrin

@sarcastic_cynic

There is always hope that they might be completed someday, by someone, and even if not, some of the incomplete ones are a pretty good read. As long as they are marked, and the site does a good job doing so, with the yellow badge of shame, so the reader knows its not wrapped up with a pretty ribbon at the end, I vote they stay. Somebody who needs something to read might like it.

jason1944

Plus, when you do a search, you can select "Don't show Incomplete and Inactive stories"

docholladay

@sarcastic_cynic

Part of the problem with that is some of those authors have died. Sure we find out about one now and then, but that is a rarity I believe in the online community. Many of their families either don't know about their story postings or don't care.

It boils down to who am I to decide what someone else will enjoy or find inspiring to read. Instead I enjoy those I like and read them knowing they will probably never be completed, but I read them any way. Others I skip for my own reasons (or hangups), nothing against the story or the author in those cases.

One nice factor is there is something to fit everyone's taste in reading materials on SOL and/or FS. Its why when I usually recommend the sites rather than a particular story or author. Although if I know the person's taste in reading materials well enough I may suggest a particular story or writer.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Wheezer

My first story on SOL languished under the yellow banner for a year before I finally wrote the last chapter. Some writers are noted for posting a new chapter about once a year. Let them stay.

Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

Part of the problem with that is some of those authors have died. Sure we find out about one now and then, but that is a rarity I believe in the online community. Many of their families either don't know about their story postings or don't care.

There are reasons for that. Even if the author's family knows about the kinds of stories they write, they're unlikely to know where to post them, passwords on account, the intricacies of online formatting and how to market the material. I find it surprising when a family member does post their works posthumously.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

There are reasons for that. Even if the author's family knows about the kinds of stories they write, they're unlikely to know where to post them, passwords on account, the intricacies of online formatting and how to market the material.


Or even if there are unfinished/unpublished stories. Even well known traditionally published authors have had unpublished manuscripts turn up decades after they died.

sarcastic_cynic

Thank you all for the replies. As mentioned by one, I too have read incompletes, and they were excellent reads. I also sometimes use the don't show incompletes, but rarely. In a way, one can imagine where the remaining story might end.

So, based on the above, I reckon' my topic was silly. Ooops.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@sarcastic_cynic

I don't think it was silly. We all need reminding of those who's work might never be completed for whatever reasons, but are still worth the time to read and think about. Who can ever say where the next idea for a story might come from for those with the gift to tell them, or what shape those stories might have.

docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

The main point of my comment was that there are many reasons for a story being incomplete. But there is also no reason that even an incomplete story can not be enjoyed and possibly completed in the imagination of the reader (of course probably not the way the writer intended). The reasons to keep them available probably out weigh the reasons to erase them.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

The main point of my comment was that there are many reasons for a story being incomplete. But there is also no reason that even an incomplete story can not be enjoyed and possibly completed in the imagination of the reader (of course probably not the way the writer intended).

That's the unwritten contract between author and reader. Until a story is published, where the story goes is up to the author. However, once he publishes it, the story belongs to the readers. My college literature analystics studying famous novels include a huge amount of material the author never intended, but the interpretation of the story is no longer up to him alone.

Dicrostonyx

In addition to the points above, it's worth noting that there are some stories which are based on, unofficial continuations of, or part of the same ongoing series as incomplete stories. In some cases these (hopefully themselves complete) stories may rewrite or make quick reference to those story elements which influenced them, but other times the new story simply says something like "this story is a continuation of X by Y".

In the latter case, it's nice to be able to find the original story on SOL rather than having to find it on some other site.

thedad49

Merry Christmas one and all. Just waiting for the family to wake so the caos can begin...

The one item re incomplete and inactive stories that bugs me the most is the lack of feedback from most authors...you are faithfully following a story then absolute silence. I'm not an author but can understand how real life can get in the way and that sometimes the author can lose the story line and not know where to go next... What I don't like is not taking the few minutes to post a quick blog to let us readers know it may be a while before they can post again.

With authors I am not familiar with, I usually bookmark the story but wait until the story is complete or until I have a a bunch of chapters banked before I start to read.

It's all about communications.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@thedad49

Part of the problem, is that after a story has been floating around in your head for a while, it begins to go stale (i.e. it's no longer a dynamic evolving story and becomes locked into place). Thus when real life intervenes, when you return to you, you're less able to return to it on the same grounds. Several authors here have mentioned being unable to complete a story after a specific life event. If so, they probably fully intend to complete the story, but simply no longer can complete the task. That's when it's better to jump ship, moving to a new target rather than wasting time paddling a lifeboat into the distance.

Sometimes, abandoning a story is the kindest thing you can do with it.

Replies:   silverhawk552000
silverhawk552000

@Crumbly Writer

I have experienced this problem with continuing stories, but for a different reason. Even when using a story outline from which to write, it's easy to arrive at a point in a later chapter where it would be convenient to re-write an earlier chapter in order to maintain the continuity of the plot or of the character(s). For this reason, I don't post stories with multiple chapters before they are all completed.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@silverhawk552000

Based on blog comments by Rifj for his current saga about Grim Reaper, up to about 64 chapters last time I looked, he frequently goes back a chapter or two already posted and adjusts errors (very minor ones as far as I can tell) on the fly as they get pointed out by his correspondents.

Recently our Australian friend had a story set in the past where he had dynamite appearing a little too soon, his blog indicated adjustments to the story were being made.

One of the virtues of SOL, compared to dead tree publishing, is that you can go back and change a chapter or chapters if you decide you want to. Find a misspelling or homonym or missing punctuation mark? Fix it if you want.

Other authors do a final final edit on their stories once they are posted. I believe Banadin did, or planned to, based on his blogs, for the Richard Jackson Saga, aka 10th Grade.

On the whole, I'd prefer authors keep writing new stories. The good is enemy of the best. Multiple good stories beat one perfect story hands down. If you don't write your story idea, it may slip away and never get posted.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

Recently our Australian friend had a story set in the past where he had dynamite appearing a little too soon, his blog indicated adjustments to the story were being made.


Yes I did, and I also make corrections of typos etc. These are all minor adjustments. However, in one story I was writing a few years ago I had a situation where I needed to go back and make a significant changes to a part of the story early on that affected the plot a lot, if I'd been posting it as I went I couldn't have done that. In a more recent story world events made a huge change to a story I was writing, the only way I could handle that was to cut what was a planned saga in half and post the first half as a novel then wait for the world events to stabilise a bit to complete the second half as a sequel novel - still awaiting a bit there.

There are advantages and disadvantages in both methods of posting, I choose to go with the wait until finished method while others go with the post as you write method. Sadly, that method leaves unfinished stories when something interrupts the author.

richardshagrin

@Ernest Bywater

Authors who write quickly or in Finnish are welcome to wait until their stories are Finished. There are some very good stories on SOL that for some reason or other, often illness or death, that didn't get wound up with a red ribbon tied around them. However I am glad to get what we got more often than not. Tycoon by Rubin Soule, stories by Voletrin, I could think of others that didn't lose their yellow ribbon that are still good reads. Lets discuss Cmsix, before you decide you don't want unfinished stories here. I am glad of whatever I get to read that I like. Its better than the back of breakfast cereal boxes.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

before you decide you don't want unfinished stories here


The main reason I like to finish a story before posting is because it greatly reduces the need to post amendments later; both in plot and typos.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
silverhawk552000

@Ernest Bywater

I don't have a problem with stories that are unfinished. If a significant amount of time lapses between installments, it is nice to have a sort of "re-introduction" to the characters and what happened in the preceding chapter.

The only issue I see with posting on the fly is from my own experience. I usually re-think the plot as I go, and at times have to re-write earlier chapters. It would be very disconcerting to me to be reading Chapter 5 and find something that didn't make sense because of Chapter 3. I'd have to be a really big fan of the author to read his/her blog to see if Chapter 3 had been "fixed".

I always write the entire story and then post it in segments.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

The main reason I like to finish a story before posting is because it greatly reduces the need to post amendments later; both in plot and typos.

That's an important consideration, but for me, I prefer amending a story to foreshadow elements introduced later, or to downplay story elements which subsequently get dropped. Being able to revise, based upon how the story ends impacts the story more than correcting a few minor typos. I prefer consistency in my stories, so ironing out the inconsistent bits it worth postponing a story.

sejintenej
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


Yes I did, and I also make corrections of typos etc.


I have given up pointing out typos to authors. Just read three recently posted chapters and there were TO ME a host of typos such at timber where I would write timbre (referring to someone's voice) but I merely assume it is because the author is not a Brit.
Prior to my "conversion" I had plenty of replies from authors where I raised questions about facts but nobody acknowledged messages about typos

richardshagrin

@sejintenej

Type O blood is the universal donor. If you have typeOs and don't want to give anything away, you don't talk about it.

Replies:   sejintenej
Ernest Bywater

@sejintenej

nobody acknowledged messages about typos


I know I'm not the only one who replies to all emails I receive, with the exception of the last of an exchange. However, I sometimes take several weeks to get around to replying to all my emails due to real life interfering with my writing.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
sejintenej

@richardshagrin

Type O blood is the universal donor. If you have typeOs and don't want to give anything away, you don't talk about it.

ROTFL
Trouble is that I had to be blood typed for a job when I was a teen (and yes, I am O but you forgot the rhesus monkey). Many many years later in Africa I had a visitor who asked me to stay close by because they had a casualty who might need blood and I was one of three people in the country who had some weird extra bit in my blood that thy needed. How they traced me I don't know.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@sejintenej

How they traced me I don't know.


Blood bank, when they type you they record all the relevant facts, such as blood group, positive or negative, and a dozen other factors. It's all in their records.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I'm pretty anal about replying to all my email, usually fairly extensively. My readers are often surprised, so I take it, it's uncommon. But we do exist, and many of us encourage reporting of corrections. If we can't apply one (or think it's wrong), we'll explain why we don't.

But then, each author is different. Many don't like revisiting older stories, while others simply don't check their author emails often.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Blood bank, when they type you they record all the relevant facts, such as blood group, positive or negative, and a dozen other factors. It's all in their records.

Is that our "permanent record"? When my grade school teachers told me something would be placed there, I always rolled my eyes, not believing it. But it sounds like Uncle Sam (or Cousin Bobby) aren't the only ones keeping track of everything we do and say.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Is that our "permanent record"?


Depends on the organisation and the paperwork they get you to sign when you first go there. Mind you, if it's far enough back in time they may not have needed your approval to record it then.

When I started giving blood, back in the 1970s, they did some tests, made some records, and I got approached about giving blood for a special reason based on those results nearly 20 years later.

sejintenej

@Crumbly Writer

Crumbly Writer
@Ernest Bywater

Blood bank, when they type you they record all the relevant facts, such as blood group, positive or negative, and a dozen other factors. It's all in their records.

Is that our "permanent record"? When my grade school teachers told me something would be placed there, I always rolled my eyes, not believing it. But it sounds like Uncle Sam (or Cousin Bobby) aren't the only ones keeping track of everything we do and say.


Yes there is a permanent record of sorts.
In the UK our health record is maintained from birth to death. Some items are hopefully highlighted (but sometimes forgotten)- serious reactions to drugs, blood classification, serious and chronic illnesses etc. but everything else is there too.
This follows you from registered doctor to doctor and they are trying to institute a system whereby your record can be electronically accessed at any time by any health professional (for example if you are taken to Accident and Emergency).

Only one problem for me in A & E; I have one of the most common combinations of names (there are three of us in this street alone), I do not have any form of ID card (the state confiscated it), driving licence gives access to no usable data and my wartime ID number ABCD 123 was replaced by some anonymous American by an unknown combination of numbers stretching from London to DC. ICE on my phone does tell them to whom to deliver my corpse.

Dominions Son

@sejintenej

I do not have any form of ID card (the state confiscated it)


Why would the have confiscated your ID?

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej

@Dominions Son

I do not have any form of ID card (the state confiscated it)

Why would the have confiscated your ID?

They existed originally to show you were not a German spy (some hope!) and also to show that you were entitled to buy food and clothing (which were rationed). This rationing continued until about 1953 or 1954.

1946 when Atlee started the national health service you used the ID card to prove who you were when you registered with a doctor.

Eventually doctors collected the cards when you had to change doctors (if you moved or your doctor died etc). I do have a document showing my ID number but it is potentially so critical that I keep it in the safe. I don't know of anyone else who does it but I have a photocopy of my passport ID page in my wallet - the best I can do

Crumbly Writer

@sejintenej

Yes there is a permanent record of sorts.
In the UK our health record is maintained from birth to death. Some items are hopefully highlighted (but sometimes forgotten)- serious reactions to drugs, blood classification, serious and chronic illnesses etc. but everything else is there too.
This follows you from registered doctor to doctor and they are trying to institute a system whereby your record can be electronically accessed at any time by any health professional (for example if you are taken to Accident and Emergency).

In the U.S., there is no such law. In fact, privacy laws forbid it. Instead, each time we switch doctors, each doctor begins a new record from scratch. Even when we do authorize a transfer of records, the new doctor will review it, possibly make a note of a couple points, and then toss then entire 200 page document. In fact, most doctors periodically purge their own patient records, keeping only a set time, rather than any complete history.

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


In the U.S., there is no such law. In fact, privacy laws forbid it. Instead, each time we switch doctors, each doctor begins a new record from scratch. Even when we do authorize a transfer of records, the new doctor will review it, possibly make a note of a couple points, and then toss then entire 200 page document. In fact, most doctors periodically purge their own patient records, keeping only a set time, rather than any complete history.


Sorry; I think that that is crazy. Your doctor MUST know your medical history because injuries and illnesses can have side effects even 50 years later and, with some, speedy treatment is critical

I had an injury in 1962 which precludes me from certain activities for life - my doctor needs to know that because it created certain weaknesses which could flare up at any time.

If I suddenly present with sweating, a temperature of 102°, possible unconsciousness; of a host of tropical complaints the doctor immediately knows how to treat me - that illness goes back to 1964 and relapses have been rare but could be fatal.

My wife suddenly presented (only 2 years ago) with a painful skinrash - a condition resulting from a childhood illness which made diagnosis easy.

I take medicines daily prescribed by a consultant but renewed by my family doctor simply because the consultant's letter absolves him of blame if something goes wrong.

Replies:   JohnBobMead
JohnBobMead

@sejintenej

Sorry; I think that that is crazy. Your doctor MUST know your medical history because injuries and illnesses can have side effects even 50 years later and, with some, speedy treatment is critical

I couldn't agree more. But a permanent medical record requires a structure to maintain it, in general such a structure would be governmental, and in the United States it just isn't going to happen. Our conservative members would consider it far too interventionist, or an entry to discussing universal healthcare, or other subversive socialist concepts. Our radical conservative religious would look at it as a sign of the apocalypse, just as they fear the Social Security Number and anything else that could be looked at as a universal identifier. Personally, I'm all for a permanent health record, it would have made such a difference when I was applying for Social Security Disability.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@JohnBobMead

A major factor from my personal experience is controlling access to that information. Its fine as long as only your doctors and you have access, but when others have access it can cause major problems. I found that out the hard way.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@docholladay

If you have a history of heart disease forget about getting a new job. I had a quad bypass when I was 60 (59 and about 11 months) and was unable to attract any employers once the doctors said I was healthy. I worked in a clerical type job at a desk, but to provide medical benefits to a "heart patient" the employers insurance costs would increase. Stay employed after 50 or so, or stay healthy. Otherwise figure on retiring earlier than you expected.

Replies:   docholladay  sejintenej
docholladay
Updated:

@richardshagrin

Tell me about it. I was fired from a job when the company had decided to promote me. Problem was the new position required me to be covered under an individual insurance policy. Insurance company told them to "FIRE HIM or lose all your coverage". My boss was too damned afraid to testify so I couldn't file a claim against the insurance company. Somehow they had illegally obtained my hospital records from that mental hospital I was in as a teenager.

Edited to add: There was no signed release of any kind for those records. The grounds the insurance company quoted came directly from those records.

sejintenej

@richardshagrin

If you have a history of heart disease forget about getting a new job. I had a quad bypass when I was 60 (59 and about 11 months) and was unable to attract any employers once the doctors said I was healthy. I worked in a clerical type job at a desk, but to provide medical benefits to a "heart patient" the employers insurance costs would increase. Stay employed after 50 or so, or stay healthy. Otherwise figure on retiring earlier than you expected

Over here don't worry about your health record. In the field I was in it was almost standard practice to "retire" staff at about 52. Take your choice from: cannot stand the stresses, a younger person is cheaper, too expensive on insurance, pension etc. I was lucky - lasted until nearly 60 when the company closed down and headhunted 3 months later.

docholladay: yes - security is a major problem; they are worse than a leaky hose but on top of that new employers can demand your permission to see your health records, Facebook and other internet passwords etc or refuse employment

ustourist

@sejintenej

on top of that new employers can demand your permission to see your health records, Facebook and other internet passwords etc or refuse employment

Maybe I was lucky that the NHS lost all my medical records (twice) when transferring from one county to another since I have brain damage causing intermittent problems (which has never been detrimental to work) as a result of a serious accident. I didn't know that about passwords though, as the last time I sought employment there social media was restricted to ICQ. Doesn't the Data Protection Act cover snooping online on someone else's restricted information?

Ernest Bywater

@sejintenej

on top of that new employers can demand your permission to see your health records, Facebook and other internet passwords etc or refuse employment


a lot depends on where it is you're applying. In some countries and states if they ask and your refuse, then fail to get the job, they have to prove to a tribunal that the refusal wasn't the reason.

Even in states where they allow them to not employ due to social media stuff, many don't allow them to ask for passwords.

Crumbly Writer

In my case, since I have a fairly extensive medical history, I physically walk the records from one doctor to another. (That also gives me a chance to review them for any errors the doctors won't mention to you.) I also sign releases with each doctor, so each test performed gets sent to each of them so they know what's happening, and I carry a list of medications on my phone, so I can call it up any time.

As stupid as this system is, the abuse of patient privacy (where there are SO many laws restricting the release of said information) is so rampant, the U.S. will never adopt permanent medical (or any other) type of records (aside from criminal records, which we don't seem to care about).

Virtually anyone can do anything with medical records, and scammers dig through electronic medical records all the time, with little penalties for anyone purposely releasing them. It's a chaotic, unholy mess!

That's precisely why the U.S. needs a universal health care system, because our current non-system is so non-functional. If you're rich, you get what you pay for. Otherwise, you take whatever they hand you and don't ask any questions.

Replies:   ustourist  docholladay
ustourist

@Crumbly Writer

The UK system is now fast becoming dysfunctional, but one of the initial 'growing pains' it went through was when the National Health was first started it was totally free - including prescriptions - and people were going to the hospital for aspirin, sticking plasters or whatever on the basis it was there to be used and it was a right.
Now it is more of a service for non-citizens and health tourists, and nothing like the original intent. Don't have any illusion the US system would improve with universal healthcare, it will just exponentially increase the cost for a lower coverage and service, and unless prescriptions are also included at fixed fee, it will still be a rich vs poor system. The UK system covers about 80 million and is the highest single cost of the national budget.

docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

The laws only work for those with the money to afford the expensive lawyers who will sue at the drop of a hat. My hospital records were in America, where supposedly I had to sign a release form. I did not sign any release form so the reason the insurance company used for having me fired actually was quoted from those damned records. I had gained access myself without permission while in the hospital. A very nice 10 year old kid could pick any lock in that place and would for the price of a candy bar or a coke. I had him open the doors and such for me.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@docholladay

I did not sign any release form so the reason the insurance company used for having me fired actually was quoted from those damned records.


I think that the so in the quote above should be despite this or something along those lines.

The way it's phrased makes it sound like they quoted the reason for firing you from your medical records because you didn't sign a release form.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Dominions Son

The reasons used came directly from those records. Without a signed release from me, how did they get legal access to the records. If that employer had been willing to testify, I could have owned an insurance company for the illegal access and usage of those records. The people I was working for had not requested any kind of release for my hospital records.

But like the police they are Above the Law and the Law does not apply to them or their activities. I found out about the police being above the Law in 1968 when a Police Detective on the Atlanta Georgia police department was caught in the act molesting a young girl. His punishment Early Retirement and records sealed.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@docholladay

The reasons used came directly from those records. Without a signed release from me, how did they get legal access to the records.


That's what I thought you meant, but the way you phrased it using so between not signing a release and them using the medical records against you implies a causal relationship between you not signing a release and them getting the records, which is backwards.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Dominions Son

Well I have to admit my lack of formal education does bite at times. My formal education stopped after the 9th grade. I spent the next 4 years in that damned mental hospital where my only learning was by experimentation. I loved playing games with the psychiatrist and psychologist and even 1 college professor who used the patients as lab rats to teach his classes. I played that professor like he was a dummy for almost 4 years before he caught me. My only recorded violent acts were all technically and legally Self-defense, but like I was told one time after a point its no longer self-defense. I went to that damned place to try and learn how to avoid the damned fights. I was very very STUPID for trusting the so-called experts. I will never trust them again and I trust the police in the same way, I was one of that policeman's victims. (he got me when I was 12)

As a result if I see a cop bleeding to death I will just stand and watch while laughing. I will not even call for any assistance for the cop. I admit in some things I am very hard core and will never forgive those wrongs done me.

Dicrostonyx
Updated:

@sejintenej


Many many years later in Africa


Of course, the flip-side is that you may now be unable to give blood in North America. I lived in Ghana in the '80s, and while I fortunately never contracted malaria (we were on chloroquine), I have since been informed that just having lived in a malaria zone means that I can only give blood in some jurisdictions, and only after filing a complete blood work-up so that they know which parts of my blood cannot be used.

Replies:   ustourist  sejintenej
ustourist

@Dicrostonyx


Of course, the flip-side is that you may now be unable to give blood in North America

Since sejintenej lives in the UK he would be prohibited anyway in the US unless there has been a recent change. Last time I offered I was advised that the Red Cross will not accept donations from people who lived in the UK for more than 6 months because of CJDv (mad cow disease).
Obviously people who go there for six months or less don't eat - and carnivore or omnivore is irrelevant, as by percentage many more vegetarians have had CJDv than carnivores.
The same as having lived in a malaria zone - do the mosquitoes only suck from permanent residents and not visitors?

Replies:   Capt Zapp  Dicrostonyx
Capt Zapp

@ustourist

... by percentage many more vegetarians have had CJDv than carnivores.


Must be something in the veg that causes it then. They just blame it on the cows because 'mad turnip disease' just doesn't have the same ring to it. LOL

Replies:   TDydl
TDydl

@Capt Zapp

mad turnip disease


Sounds like something Baldrick would have.

richardshagrin
Updated:

@TDydl

Turnips are exceptionally level headed. They don't get mad, they get even.

Now potatoes have eyes, they see things they don't like, they go underground.

ustourist

@TDydl

Sounds like something Baldrick would have.


Love it! I got an instant visual.
Thanks!!! :0)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@ustourist

Love it! I got an instant visual.


I had to use Wikipedia to find out who the hell Baldrick is! Still don't get the joke, because I never watched Blackadder.

Replies:   ustourist  Grant
ustourist

@Ernest Bywater

It is quite difficult to describe Baldrick.
Small and wiry, but intellectually challenged and dubious personal hygiene. Continually coming up with 'cunning plans' of dubious practicality, but it became his catchphrase. A character people either love or just can't see any humor in. Likeable because he is totally harmless and well intentioned, but - to use an Oz parallel - makes Gillard look like a diplomatic and intellectual genius.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@ustourist

to use an Oz parallel - makes Gillard look like a diplomatic and intellectual genius.


Now that would take a major miracle! After all, she made Rudd seem smart.

Dicrostonyx

@ustourist

The same as having lived in a malaria zone - do the mosquitoes only suck from permanent residents and not visitors?


Actually, that's precisely why I'm prevented from donating blood. Even though I personally never contracted malaria, it can be assumed that I have been bitten by mosquitoes, and thus probably do (or at least did at one point) have some of the malaria microorganisms in my blood. My exposure was thirty years ago, but malaria can remain dormant and reoccur after several years, even with patients who have been successfully treated.

Grant
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

because I never watched Blackadder.


You really should watch the series if you get a chance.

The one set in the First World War (Series 4) was the best, but they are all good (if you appreciate English humour such as Red Dwarf).

Replies:   ustourist
ustourist

@Grant

if you appreciate English humour such as Red Dwarf


The UK series had brilliant casting, but if you have a few seconds to spare, watch the US pilot (you probably won't last more than a few seconds). It is the ultimate example of how to take a comedy and remove both character and humor. Dave and Holly totally lose personality and Rimmer loses his arrogance.
Even the canned laughter seems forced.
If you do watch it, I give my apologies now, but you were warned....

Replies:   Grant
sejintenej

@Dicrostonyx

Of course, the flip-side is that you may now be unable to give blood in North America. I lived in Ghana in the '80s, and while I fortunately never contracted malaria (we were on chloroquine), I have since been informed that just having lived in a malaria zone means that I can only give blood in some jurisdictions, and only after filing a complete blood work-up so that they know which parts of my blood cannot be used.

We only had paludrine when I was there in the 60s; it only reduced the effects. I can give blood but they use only one bit of it.
Interesting point about the US Army; Italy was a malarial area until WWII when the allied forces killed the mosquitos; I have to assume that the US banned soldiers who saw service in Italy from giving blood.

ustourist refers to mad cow disease - I haven't heard anything about it for a decade! As for mosquitos biting, the other variant (well, they called it that) of malaria is blackwater fever which is said to be fatal.

Replies:   Dicrostonyx
Dicrostonyx
Updated:

@sejintenej


We only had paludrine when I was there in the 60s


I don't recall too many of the details, but I do remember that when we were there each of the US, UK, and Canada was using a different drug, and they tried to change every few decades. The worry was that mass usage of the drugs was leading to accelerated evolution of the parasite's immunity-resistance.

the other variant (well, they called it that) of malaria is blackwater fever which is said to be fatal


Today, blackwater fever is considered to be a complication of malaria, rather than a variant, and it's much less common than it used to be. While it does have a higher mortality rate than regular malaria, cerebral malaria is even worse. It's thought that quinine might be a trigger for blackwater.

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej

@Dicrostonyx

The worry was that mass usage of the drugs was leading to accelerated evolution of the parasite's immunity-resistance

It has got crazy I had to go to Manta in Ecuador - one set of anti-malaria pills for Guayaquil (where the plane landed), a different set for the mountains (on the way to Manta) and a third set for Manta itself. Of course it was the reverse coming home!
I hear that at last they might have an inoculation.

Grant

@ustourist

The UK series had brilliant casting, but if you have a few seconds to spare, watch the US pilot (you probably won't last more than a few seconds).

I can't imagine Americans attempting Red Dwarf.
Another good example- Absolutely Fabulous. The English one was; I heard that the American attempt defied description.

Ernest Bywater

@Grant

I can't imagine Americans attempting Red Dwarf.


I shudder at the thought of what the US TV moguls can do to Dwarf. When you think of how they took such a great comedy as 'Til death do us Part and created such a crappy show as All in the Family you have to wonder why they didn't just buy the rights to play the original show.

At one point I saw a report that some Canadian TV stations were transmitting the UK show at the same time as the US rip-off, and their best rating came from US listeners near the border tuning in to get the UK show instead of the US one. It was total crap. What's frightening is how many of the US viewers liked the crappy US version, but then, they may never have seen the original and not had anything to compare it with.

Crumbly Writer

@Grant

I can't imagine Americans attempting Red Dwarf.

I can relate, but Red Dwarf was incredibly popular with U.S. audiences on the Sci-Fi channel.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Red Dwarf was incredibly popular with U.S. audiences on the Sci-Fi channel.


Then why screw with it, just replay it as is!

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Then why screw with it, just replay it as is!

Because American producers don't make a dime through repeats of something someone else wrote, and their not creative enough to write something original. Instead, they look for ideas to steal so they don't have to create something on their own. The 'crappy' results are because, while they understand action and flashy effects, they've got no clue how to write/create decent stories.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

The 'crappy' results are because, while they understand action and flashy effects, they've got no clue how to write/create decent stories.


They generally have a crappy sense of humor too. Which is why they need laugh tracks, to let the audience know when they are supposed to laugh.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

They generally have a crappy sense of humor too. Which is why they need laugh tracks, to let the audience know when they are supposed to laugh.

Humor is an incredibly difficult target to hit, especially because what's hilarious to some, will be stupid and insipid to others. It's also why some shows are phenomenal hits, while most get flushed within a season or two. Quality writing makes a difference, but there are only so many decent scriptwriters. It's cheaper hiring low-wage employees and hoping for a 'surprise' hit!

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

It's cheaper hiring low-wage employees and hoping for a 'surprise' hit!


When they do get a surprise hit, after a while the original writers start wanting more money so they get replaced with new low-wage writers who have no idea what made the show a hit in the first place and it all goes in the crapper.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

When they do get a surprise hit, after a while the original writers start wanting more money so they get replaced with new low-wage writers who have no idea what made the show a hit in the first place and it all goes in the crapper.

Or, more commonly, the writers for a hit show get better offers to write for a new up-and-coming show, since there are so few exceptional authors. That means, great shows have a short lifespan unless they can entice the original writers to remain, while most new shows only tend to survive for a short time before they peter out.

(My brother-in-law worked as a script writer for a time, so he observed how the industry worked and where the best writers of the time were.) If a show is a hit, they can afford to keep it a hit. However, producers and network executives are always interested in the 'next great thing', rather than maintaining existing products.

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