Friday, 21 July 2017

Tips for UK PonyCon-goers 2: Ch-ch-change!

Time for the next tip for those attending UK PonyCon this October, especially people who haven't been before and don't quite know what to expect:

Tip 2: Take lots of change!

Cash is king at conventions. Some vendors might accept cards or PayPal or AppleThing, but you really can't count on any of them. Don't blithely assume there'll be an ATM ten yards away, either – the nearest permanent cashpoint is roughly a 15-minute walk away at Asda.

So take actual, old-fashioned money. And try your best to make sure that some of it is in change. If you buy a small badge or something costing £1.50 and can actually hand over £1.50 rather than a £20 note, the vendor will love you for it. Don't worry too much if you can't make up the exact money, but do your best.

Note that most buses in Bristol will give change, unlike in many big cities, so if you get any from that source, hang onto it.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

I like the way the fandom thinks

Note: this post itself is not spoilery, but the comments might be!

Equestria Daily has a poll running asking people what they're most looking forward to about the forthcoming movie. There are eight choices. Since it's not spoilery, I can mention here that the current numbers are:

1. Story (37%)
.
.
.
8. New Big Name Actors (2%)

Admittedly the fandom probably doesn't have entirely the same priorities as Hasbro, but never mind!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Ponyfic Roundup 166: Derpy Edition!

For those who know about such things: is there any significant difference between the type of stories you find on the AugieDog account and those you find on the Baal Bunny one? I'm probably missing something really obvious, but that's what I do.

Read it Later story count: 404 (-4)

This was planned and the stories read well before my recent Derpy-related post – yes, even the first story below – but it's a nice coincidence. I thought it was about time I had a themed edition of PR again, and Derpy was the winner of the Great Pony Lottery. Which was not in any way fixed. *cough* Here's this week's bunch o' fics:

Too Good For Us by Skeeter The Lurker
The Corners of (Our) Eyes by Daemon McRae
Let a Smile be Your Umbrella by Pascoite
Beep, Boop, I Will Destroy You! by NightWolf289
Insufficient Postage by Razgriz57
Today, Tomorrow, and Forever by ChoppersTopHat

★: 0 | ★★: 2 | ★★★: 3 | ★★★★: 1 | ★★★★★: 0

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Tips for UK PonyCon 1: Shoes, Shoes, Shoes!

Now that we're well inside 100 days until UK PonyCon 2017, I thought I'd actually do what I keep saying I will and put up a few little hints and tips. These are mostly aimed at people who haven't been to a convention before – they're the sort of stuff I'd have found useful when I first went to one – but of course I'm glad if anyone at all finds them helpful. Let's start with the one that tops every list:

Tip 1: Wear comfortable shoes

You can wing it with some things at a convention, but not this one. Unless you actually have wings (or Twilight-level teleportation ability) you're going to be doing a great deal of walking. Probably plenty of standing around as well, especially if you spend much time in queues.

Note that "comfortable" is far more important than "smart". When I went to BUCK 2014, I wore brand new shoes that hadn't been properly broken in. Mistake! I had to kludge things with tissues stuffed inside on the second day to stop myself from being in total agony. Don't be like me.

If you wear shoes that pinch or rub or are full of holes, you will regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Writer slams poor research, but how much did he do himself?

Over on Gizmondo (and that's not a way I want to start too many posts here!) a guy named Rhett Jones has posted an article entitled "Researchers Are Sorry They Used 'Derpy' in a Research Paper". I tend to agree with Jones that it's generally a bad idea to use non-standard language in research papers. However, seeing a massive picture of our Derpy at the top of the article, I read on to see whether there was any My Little Pony content. And here's what I found:
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic reinforced the association between derpy and language mocking people with disabilities when it controversially renamed a character previously called “Derpy” that was clumsy and had crossed eyes. Fan boys petitioned to “save Derpy,” failed, and the term officially became part of the war on “politically correct” language.
So, Mr Jones has written an article complaining about poor research, yet has clearly done almost none himself, at least where the MLP fandom is concerned. Why does life have to be so ironic?

Note: having read Oilyvalves' comment below, I wonder whether I might have been unfair here. Feel free to tell me so if you think I have.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

How the Telegraph covered the very first UK PonyCon. (Badly.)

Way way back many centuries ago in 2004, the inaugural UK PonyCon took place in Morecambe. There are still a few people around who've been to every one of the convention's iterations, but the fandom was inevitably a rather different place in those far-off pre-brony days.

Recently, I discovered that the Telegraph had written about the con, and that its own archive gave free access to this report by Rebecca Tyrrel. It's an interesting window into the past, but one that's sadly marred by the patronising tone with which many of us are all too familiar.

I'm not one of those people who thinks it would help for fans to snub the mainstream media entirely, and there have been good pieces – for example, the BBC's piece on bronies from 2013. It's just a shame to see that the sneery attitude was around even long before G4.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Pony Music Library 44: "Shy Heart"


What? "Shy Heart"

Who? Ponyphonic (full credits at end of post)

Which? Original song

When? November 2016

Why? Because it's one of the most wonderful Fluttershy tracks I've had the pleasure of hearing – and I've heard a lot! It's no surprise that a Ponyphonic song would be excellent, but this one got to me emotionally in a way very few Fluttersongs can do. The singer (Ponyphonic's sister!) has a lovely voice that suits the character perfectly, and she gives the piece a fragile beauty without taking things over the top. The other parts match the vocals excellently, too; for all I'm impressed by what can be done with computers these days, there's no substitute for real instruments. I could easily imagine this on a film soundtrack. I went to the YouTube video of this to check I was linking to the right one – and I ended up listening to the whole song. That says it all. This is Fluttershy, and I can give a song no higher praise.

Full credits
Vocals: Christina Ellis
Guitar: Don Larson
Violins: Brittany Davidson and Emilio Vazquez
Viola: Seth Willey
Cello: Gillian Kuroiwa
String Recording: Mark Lanus
Writing/Arrangement: Dane Larson