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Below are the 17 most recent journal entries recorded in communalschool's LiveJournal:

Sunday, July 25th, 2004
12:19 pm
[mayhemme]
hi *waves* first lesson from me
Hello, I'm Laura, and I'm here to instruct you in some of the finer points of writing in the English language. As a voracious reader of both professional and amateur writings, I've come to the rather unsettling realization that a lot of people need help with some of the basic technical stuff. So I'm here to help if I can.

Today's lesson will be about homonyms. Homonyms are words which sound alike but are spelled differently and mean different things. For instance, bear and bare; Rome and roam; bough and bow. The biggest problem with homonyms is that spellcheckers will not catch them, unless the spellchecker has a grammar check function -- which most of them do not.

There are some homonyms which are consistently mixed up with each other, so this lesson will simply be an overview of the worst offenders.

their/they're/there

This one bugs me. A lot. And it's one of the two most misused sets of homonyms. Here's the breakdown:

their -- Possessive. Meaning something which belongs to a group of individuals. "Their dog was barking all night."
they're -- Contraction of the words "they are." "They're going to the zoo."
there -- A location. "Put it on the ground over there."

The other big one:

to/too/two

Most people use "two" correctly, but mix up the others.

to -- Preposition. "Give the money to me."
too -- Meaning 'additionally.' "I want some money too!"
two -- Number, more than one but less than three. "I have two dollars."

By learning the difference between these sound-alike words and using them correctly, your writing will be taken that much more seriously by readers. Until next time!
Thursday, July 15th, 2004
4:07 pm
[_nakupenda]
Wednesday, July 14th, 2004
6:37 pm
[_nakupenda]
First post! - CRIMINAL LAW -
[clears throat] Ahh. Hello. [looks around] I really ought to post something, huh?

Well, my name's Liza, and I'm a twenty-year-old Criminal Justice major. I am studying to become a police officer. Most of the information that I'll be posting will be coming directly from my past and current lessons, so I must first apologize for not really knowing a whole lot just yet.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS UNITED STATES CRIMINAL JUSTICE.

[pokes mistacat] If I may make a suggestion while I'm here ... perhaps we should save the various lessons as memories, so that people can look up every entry on a subject all at once. If you do this, it'd probably be a good idea to make a note of it in the community info.

Anyway ... I'm going to start with some criminal law information from the seventh edition of Criminal Law by Joel Samaha. I hope no one sues me. I'm not making any money from this. [shuffles her papers]

Selections from Chapter 1: The Nature and Purposes of Criminal LawCollapse )

I'm out of time for now, but I'll post more later.
Thursday, May 20th, 2004
12:24 am
[adiligode]
Okay, does everybody remember katakana "ni"? It's:



Here is a new katakana: na



The horizontal stroke goes first, then the virtical, as seen here.

So, now we can write the name "Nina":



For some reason, Japanese pronunciation of Nina has a long "i", so there's an extra beat to it. Ni-i-na. So, I suppose I've been spelling my name wrong--I've been spelling it ko ri na, but I guess it's ko ri i na. Hmm.

Anyway, that's na. You can now read and write na, naa, ni and nii, and any combination of the above.
Saturday, May 15th, 2004
6:06 pm
[opticonite]
Setting Up your investigation team...
Setting Up Your Investigation Team
First you should determine the size of your team and match it up with the size of the place you are investigating. If you have 30 people on your team, you are not going to want all 30 members to go on an investigation to a house for example. Also if you are going to a place that is huge, for example a hospital site and ahead of time you have determined that there is lots of activity in certain areas and hardly any activity in others, you still want to split up your team members to try and cover the whole range of floors and rooms. Everyone is going to want to go to the areas with the most activity, so in order to help keep everyone happy, have it so that at a specific set time, you rotate your positions. Another thing to do would be to designate a leader or leaders for groups that are larger than 10 people that way everyone knows what their role is ahead of time.
Plan ahead of time where your equipment will be located. You aren't going to place all of your equipment in one room even if the one particular room is known to be active. You want to distribute your equipment as evenly as possible with more active areas taking priority but not taking up all the equipment at the same time. So for example, you may want to get some baseline EMF readings in active rooms, and use a recorder. In a less active area you may want to try using a compass, and tape recorder etc. Or you can even rotate the use of the equipment at certain intervals. Just use your common sense here.
It is also more productive to send small groups of 3 or 4 to areas and mix them up as much as possible. Although it's nice to let friends go with other friends, sometimes this is counter productive so if you notice this to be the case, split them up
A few weeks after the initial investigation you should hold a post investigation meeting. During this, you can go over the film that the individual members had developed, tape recordings, EMF results and anything else that you have.
Wednesday, May 5th, 2004
4:50 pm
[mistacat]
What Raw Wednesday Means
I was going to post this in my journal, but I realized it's educational. So it goes here;)

opticonite and I have started Raw Wednesday.

This is what it means.

* * *

Raw means nothing frozen, and nothing heated above 106F.

No frozen vegetables. No frozen drinks. No frozen fruits. Nothing frozen.

No coffee. No tea. No cigarettes.

Nothing pasteurized. The pasteurization process heats the product to more than 140F, thus killing most of the nutrition. This means no commercial fruit juices, no commercial wine, no commercial dairy. All of these things are pasteurized. Be careful when picking out honey; it is often pasteurized. Look for 'raw, unfiltered'.

Alcohol is very easy to make. So is yoghurt, which brings the milk to life again.

Only cold-pressed oils.

No refined sugar. Raw sugar is okay.

No refined flour. No breads.

No chocolate. No flash-dehydrated herbs. Nothing in tins.

No canned tuna. No anchovies. Nothing in tins.

Pickled things, if not heat-sealed or boiled in the brine, should be okay.

No gum. No candy. No cookies.

No cereals. No chips. No crackers.

I think my point is: Don't assume that just because you haven't heated it yourself, it's raw. Most things in this country are not raw. The FDA doesn't like raw.

MC doesn't like the FDA.

Hardest exclusions for MC: Coffee, tea, chocolate. Pasteurized vinegars and heat-processed olive oils. Semi-cooked eggs. Baked garlic. Canned tuna. All dairy.
Monday, May 3rd, 2004
5:22 pm
[mistacat]
Astrology Lesson 2 - Taurus
I'm not going to continue with the Aries post, aside from the two things under 'glyphs'.

Glyphs
I should have mentioned the glyphs before.

This is the glyph that means Sun:




This is the glyph that means Aries:



I didn't say that Aries is a fire sign, did I...? That was stupid of me. Okay: Aries is a fire sign.

Fire signs are, well, firey. They tend to be more aggressive than the other signs. More about the elements here.


Taurus as a Sun Sign

April 21 through May 21
The constellation of Taurus is a bull, stubborn, strong, steady, and slow to anger.

Taurus is an earth sign. Earth signs are rocks. Well, obviously.

Taurus' ruling planet is Venus. Venus is the Roman goddess of beauty and the arts, pleasure, and emotion.

Taurus rules the neck and the throat. This tends to produce fine singing and speaking voices. Taurus is prone to ailments involving the throat.

As I am finding it difficult to find my own words (as usual. sigh.), I will again quote The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need:

'Taurus is a fixed sign, which means its natives are not fond of change. You simply cannot be rushed into anything new. A different approach creates anxiety in you. You are most comfortable with the familiar, and your attitude might be summed up as "If everything is working fine the way it is, why try something new?"'

Please, fill in my monstruous gaps...
Friday, April 30th, 2004
5:47 pm
[cforrester]
Creating VCDs
This lesson is about VCDs. (Since MC requested one. ;)) I'm going to explain what VCDs and SVCDs are, how to make them and different techniques to learn. As I've said before, I'm not going to hold your hand through the whole process. I put it behind an LJ cut because there are images.

View the lessonCollapse )
2:06 am
[mistacat]
Food!
Things always to have in the kitchen*:
Potatoes (any)
Onions (white or yellow)
Rice (Arborio, white long grain)
Flour (unbleached all-purpose)
Cornmeal (any)
Sugar (preferably raw, but I won't bite your nose off it it's refined; white granulated; also brown sugar)
Honey (raw)
Garlic
Dried pasta (MC's choices: linguine, capellini (angel hair), penne)
Salt (table salt is fine, but sea salt and kosher salt are better)
Herbs: Basil, marjoram or oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme.
Spices: Black pepper, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground cumin, garam masala.
Eggs
Frozen meats (chicken is simple)
Frozen vegetables
Canned tomatoes
Canned tomato paste
Mushrooms, fresh or canned
Vinegar (distilled white, and balsamic)
Baking powder
Baking soda
Unsweetened cocoa powder
Chocolate (bittersweet)
Dairy: Milk, yoghurt, butter.
Cheeses: Mozzarella, cheddar, parmasan.
Canned beef, chicken, and vegetable broth, or stock cubes
Soy sauce
Worcestershire sauce
Mustards: Prepared yellow, prepared dijon.

Fresh and raw is /always/ preferable, in any food.

Everything is subject to your own tastes, of course. Lazy fish-eating vegetarians, regular vegetarians and vegans know what to leave out, or substitute. (Okay, I suppose I shouldn't leave out the fruitarians, paleodiet people, and raw foodists. I can leave out the breatharians, though, right?) Vegetarians will want to omit the Worcestershire sauce, as it contains anchovies.

On herbs: It is best to have fresh herbs, but unless you grow them yourself, this just isn't practical. Dried is fine.

On cheeses: These can be frozen, and are still easy to use if first grated.

Don't let this seem overwhelming. Much of the food will keep for a long time, and once you have them, you have them. They will eventually be useful.

*with an Italian/English/Southern US/Indian bias because MC <3 Italian food and is fairly English, definitely has southern US influence, and Indian because MC occasionally cooks for/with adiligode.



More astrology coming soon... sorry for the delay, I suck at commitment...
Thursday, April 29th, 2004
7:08 pm
[adiligode]
Katakana
I'm going to start Japanese lessons with katakana. Katakana is cool because even if you don't know any Japanese words, you can read some Japanese. It's the alphabet they use for foreign-borrowed words, and they generally borrow from English.

I'm going to steal some notes from Japanese: The Written Language by Eleanor Jorden and Mari Noda before we begin. They mention that katakana is also used for Japanese words intended to stand out, a bit like putting something in italics. It's also used often in onomatopoiec words, like "gatagata" for a rattling sound.

To quote from JWL: We can make a general statement to the effect that it is possible for the Japanese to use katakana to represent English . . . katakana-style guddo-mooningu "good morning" represents English pronounced as if it was Japanese.

So in writing English words in katakana, you have to think of them as said in a Japanese accent. Aside from the actual symbols of katakana, there are a few little things you can add in to help produce this pronunciation (such as the lengthening symbol and the "small tu" which lengthens consonants). I'll introduce those sometime too.

JWL points out that the main problem in using katakana to represent English is that it's a syllabic system instead of alphabetic. Each symbol represents a sound that we'd generally use two letters for. Here's what JWL says:

For example, if we take the names "Nina and "Lisa" as examples, English speakers hear 4 sounds in each. We also hear similar vowel sequences in the two names and use the same letters "i" and "a" to represent them. What is more, we hear the consonant "n" twice in the first name, and therefore expect the same letter to occur twice in its spelling.

But what about the katakana representation? Each name is written by mora (the syllable-like Japanese units that each represent one beat) and therefore no symbol will occur twice in the writing of these two names: nothing in the writing will suggest either the resemblance in the vowels or the occurrence of "n" twice in "Nina". The first symbol for "Nina" will represent "ni" and the last, totally different symbol, will represent "na".


I think I'll just introduce a few katakana symbols and their approximate pronunciation in roman characters. They won't be exact--for example, katakana "ra" isn't English pronunciation of "r". It's a little like a combination of r, l and d. But I want to be especially clear about the vowels. There are only five vowel sounds in Japanese, but each of them can be lengthened. That doesn't change its actual sound, but just the time that you're saying the sound for. (It also has an effect on the meaning; for instance, "obasan" means "aunt" while "obaasan" means "grandmother".) I've included the lengthening symbol at the end.

I'll be using roman characters to explain pronunciation of the katakana, so here are the sounds that the vowels make:

a - the "a" in "father"
i - the "ee" in "knee"
u - the "oo" in "goose"
e - the "ei" in "eight" --however, cut the sound off shorter than we generally do in English. We often let it glide into an "ay" sort of sound--leave the "y" off
o - the "o" in "cocoa" --like with e, cut the sound off shorter. We tend to end the sound with a "w" sort of thing--leave that off.

One more thing to mention is that, in writing Japanese, stroke order and the direction in which you write the strokes is very important. It isn't like in English where the writing books tell you how to form letters, but you can really write them in any order you'd like. If a Japanese person (or maybe it's just teachers) sees you write the strokes in the wrong order, you haven't written it properly, even if the end result looks the same. I think counting strokes and getting them in the right order becomes particularly useful when writing kanji, but it's good to get in the habit with katakana. Also, each katakana symbol takes up the same amount of space, both written and spoken. Each katakana fits neatly into the same sized square as the others, just as each one is held out for the same length as the others in speech.

All this having been said, I present katakana, in no particular order (at first):

Here is "ni":



And here is the page on how to write it.

See, now you can write it! You can write it as many times as you'd like. Ni! Ni! Ninini!

Katakana can be written horizontally, like English, or vertically. If written vertically, the katakana look the same--they're not flipped over or anything. So "nini" looks like this:





I'll add one more quite important symbol, and that's the one for lengthening a syllable. If you want to draw a vowel sound out for an extra mora (syllable, or beat), then put the lengthening symbol after the katakana. A mora is only ever lengthened for one extra mora. In horizontal writing, that symbol looks like this:



and is written from left to right. In vertical writing, this is written like a line from top to bottom--it's the only symbol that changes depending on what direction you're writing in. You add this symbol on to any katakana to lengthen the vowel sound, so ba+lengtheningsymbol=baa. So for example:



Is pronounced like "niniinini".

In learning "ni" and the horizontal lengthening symbol, you've also learned two kanji. (Kanji are the Japanese characters borrowed from China that you can't read phonetically, but have to memorize individually.) The kanji for the number "one" looks like the horizontal lengthening symbol and is often pronounced "iti" (where "ti" sounds like "chi"), while the kanji for "two" looks like "ni" and is often pronounced "ni". Kanji are completely different from katakana, though, and I don't think I'll be mentioning them again for awhile.

After next lesson, hopefully we can write something meaningful :) Let me know if you have any suggestions or corrections.
Tuesday, April 20th, 2004
10:18 pm
[mistacat]
Astrology Lesson 1 - Aries, Part 1
I'm mostly going to be cobbling together information from books, the scattered knowledge in my head, and maybe my own observations on the single Aries I know well. I want to use this forum to further my own knowledge of astrology, which is fragmentary. For these reasons, please, please discuss the subject and correct me. I know adiligode, seakittym and ravencall all know more about this subject than I do. opticonite knows an Aries very well, and I ask for her observations on him, too.

I'll try to be simple, to reinforce my own knowledge, gain new knowledge, and make it understandable to anyone who wants to read. If something seems convoluted or strange... it's probably how I remember something. Ask for explanations, I'll try.


The Zodiac Signs
Aries - March 21 - April 20
Taurus - April 21 - May 21
Gemini - May 22 - June 21
Cancer - June 22 - July 23
Leo - July 24 - August 23
Virgo - August 24 - September 23
Libra - September 24 - October 23
Scorpio - October 24 - November 22
Sagittarius - November 23 - December 21
Capricorn - December 22 - January 20
Aquarius - January 21 - February 19
Pisces - February 20 - March 20

[Footnote: The dates are an approximation, though usually a good one. There are charts (such as the ones in The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need, by Joanna Martine Woolfolk) and computer programs that can tell you what the exact dates are.]


The Significance of Sun Signs
The sun sign, determined by which zodiacal constellation the sun was in when a person was born, is what the world sees of that person.


Aries as a Sun Sign
March 21 through April 20
The constellation of Aries is a ram, an animal that likes to fight. And butt its head against brick walls. I haven't observed an actual affinity for fighting in my Aries mother, though--just a real skill at it.
The ruling planet is Mars, named for a god of war.
Aries rules the head. Aries is prone to headaches and facial injuries. (My mother has headaches all the time. Tension from butting her head against brick walls. Ha.)
As a personal observation, Aries seem to always have arched eyebrows.

I have to quote this, from The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need:

'The amusing little prayer, "Grant me patience NOW!" is typical of the Arien attitude.'

That's my mother. I don't do yoga with her anymore because when you're supposed to be lying down and breathing, she grabs a set of weights and starts lifting them, or does leg stretches. "Mom. You're supposed to be relaxing." "I don't have time!" "Arrrrrg."

Aries is the birth of the cycle; I've always found this interesting, myself. I don't know if it's significant, but I think it's worth mentioning. Birth, beginnings...

Ah--I've run out of time and attention span. I apologize. I will continue this tomorrow. Meanwhile, correct me;)
Sunday, April 18th, 2004
8:44 pm
[opticonite]
Paranormal Investigation [how to]




First

WHERE TO LOOK

These are some ideas for places where you may have luck finding something, when starting an investigation.

Alot of people will tell you that a cemetery is likely to be haunted. In my opinion, i think that is VERY unlikely. Iv read alot of material that will tell you this is true but theres alot of material that will tell you that theres no reason for a cemetery to be haunted. Nobody dies in a cemetery most of the time. Spirits often haunt the places where they dies or a place that had significance to them when they were alive. A cemetery probaly isnt haunted unless somone was buried alive there and dies, or killed there, or some freak accident like that. Another theory is, that there is sometimes a guardian spirit , the first person buried in a cemetery. Im not sure if thats true either.

Schools- Schools and former sites of schools may have the build up of psychic energies and imprints of all the highly emotional events that have happened there.

Theaters- The actors have run the gambitof human emotions inside the walls of a theater plus many have interesting hauntings attached to them.

Battlefields- These are great locations simply because of their nature. Many violent deaths in one area will always hold some spirits and psychic energy there.

Churches- There is a long history of the faithful returning to the church they worshipped at.

Also, Hotels, and Historic locations.

but anyplace could be haunted of course :)

Current Mood: sick
Saturday, April 17th, 2004
8:57 pm
[mistacat]
Turning today's lesson over to Ann Wigmore.
I'm going to forgo everything else and ask you all to read Living Food Wheatgrass.

To opticonite and lisdude: Thoroughly memorize the Italian alphabet, rules of pronunciation, and pronouns.
5:30 am
[cforrester]
Computer Lesson 1 - Updating
Before I begin, I want you to know that I'm not going to hold your hand through the entire thing. I expect you to be able to figure out how to do some things yourself, and how to make decisions for your computer based on your needs. I'll explain things in a language that everyone can understand (And if you don't, let me know and I'll clarify for you) and I'm only going to direct you as to how things are done, not exactly how to do it. Computers rarely work in exactly the same way each time, so you need to learn how to adapt to what the computer is doing and work out a solution.

My first lesson is going to be about keeping your computer up-to-date. This includes the latest patches for your copy of Windows, the latest device drivers and the latest versions of programs that you use. Please note that if, for any reason, following anything in this guide screws your computer up, I'm not replacing anything for you. I'm willing to help you fix any problems that arise as long as you're polite about it. (I'll just tell you to fuck off if you bother me with "OMFG YOU STUPID FUCKING IDIOT TRYING TO UPDATE DRIVER BROKE MY COMPUTER OMG HELP ME FIX IT THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT YOU STUPID MORON".) Nothing should cause problems if you read the lesson completely before doing anything. If you're using Windows XP, make sure that you make a System Restore point before doing anything else. (Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools and click on System Restore.)

Updating


It's important to always keep your computer up-to-date. This includes the latest patches for Windows (or Linux, but if you can use Linux, you probably don't need to read this) as well as the latest device drivers for your hardware. The latest versions of all your programs are always a good thing to have, as well.


Windows Update


One of the things you should be doing most often is visitng the Windows Update site. (http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com) You should always check for the latest updates. (The critical ones. The regular ones aren't that important and should be installed on an as-needed basis.) Make sure that you have the latest service pack! Service packs are extremely important. The latest service pack for Windows XP (Service Pack 2, not released beyond beta form yet) will include tons of little security updates as well as an updated built-in firewall.

I'd recommend that you check for new Windows updates at least once a week. If you're forgetful, you can set Windows to automatically update for you. Press Start, go to the Control Panel and then open the System panel. (If Control Panel isn't viewing like any other folder for you, just press "Use classic folders" or something. I'm not sure what it is anymore.) In that panel, click the tab marked Automatic Updates and make sure that the box marked "Keep my computer up to date" is checked on. You can set the options to what you think is best. Personally, I recommend having it notify you before downloading any updates that way your bandwidth isn't being used up when you need it for something important. If you choose the last option, I'd recommend having them install when nobody is using the computer so that you don't disturb anyone.

However, if you think that you'll be able to remember how to update, just leave Automatic Updating disabled as it will mostly be a nuisance.


Device Drivers


It's important to always keep your drivers up-to-date as well. Drivers are one of the core components involved in using your hardware. Windows ships with a set of "generic" device drivers that work with most hardware, but most of the time, you'll want to (or even need to) use manufacturer-supplied drivers. What drivers do is similar to what language translators do. When your computer is trying to send data. (For example, to display a picture on your screen) the device driver "translates" that data in to a form that the hardware can understand so that it can process it. (System -> Driver -> Hardware) Sometimes it's the opposite. For example, a mouse. You move the mouse and it sends a signal that there is movement, in which direction and at what speed. The driver tells the system this, and the system moves the cursor appropriately.

Examples of things that you'll want manufacturer device drivers for:
- Motherboards
- Video cards
- Sound cards
- Keyboards (If they're one of the ones with extra buttons)
- Mice
- Modems (If you're not using windows 2000/XP)
- Game pads and joysticks
- Monitors

If what you're using is a peripheral, (Keyboards, mice, joysticks, computer monitors...) you can usually figure out what manufacturer it is and what model it is by looking at the back or the bottom of the peripheral, or by looking at the manual for it. (You did keep the manual, right? Always store those in a box somewhere.)

If what you're using is internal, (Sound cards, video cards, modems...) you can see who made it and what model it is by going to the Control Panel, going to System, to the Hardware tab and then clicking on Device Manager. From there, you can look for your hardware. (For example, my video card is under "Display adapters" and is marked "RADEON 9000 SERIES". If I were to search Google for "RADEON 9000", I would discover that it was manufactured by ATi Technologies.) If it's listed as just a generic device, you should refer to your hardware manual.

Once you know what hardware you want to update, you'll need to search for the manufacturer's website. It can usually be found on Google by searching for either the manufacturer's name, or the model of your hardware. (Example: Google Search: "ati" and Google Search: "radeon 9000" both return results that link to ATi's website.) Once you find the manufacturer's website, you should look around for a "Downloads" section or a "Drivers" section and try to find drivers that are compatible with your hardware. These are usually easy to find, but if you have trouble, you can use Google. How handy. For example, searching Google for radeon 9000 driver site:http://www.ati.com returned a result for ATi's Drivers page, where I can find the latest version of the Catalyst drivers for my video card.

Once you've located drivers for your hardware and downloaded them, it's just a matter of installing them and rebooting your computer. If you got the correct drivers, everything should function fine. Otberwise, you'll have to uninstall them and try again.


Programs


As always, you'll want to update all of your programs to the latest version. Especially if that program accesses the Internet, because the latest version may have fixed exploits that could be abused by outsiders to access your system. (mIRC is an example, there are tons of program exploits that keep getting fixed with each version as they are discovered and abused by virus authors and by crackers.)


If I made any mistake in this lesson at all, make sure you leave a comment and let me know so that I can fix it.
2:59 am
[lisdude]
Well, I'm still up. So I've decided we're going to make a spifftacular penguin! I really enjoy color, so expect me to have a whole bunch of completely random colors here and there. Good times!

To begin, we'll want to make a child of generic thing. To do that, we will use the @create command. The arguments for that are:

@create [parent] called [name, alias, alias, etc]

The [parent] is going to be what the object will be a child of. This becomes important when you want your object to inherit verbs. As a $thing, it automatically inherits certain verbs such as get, drop, throw, put, etc. The name is how you refer to the object in the MOO, and aliases are just other ways of referring to it. So to begin, let's issue this command:

@create $thing called Penguin, pen
Note: You can add any alias that you want, but be aware that some may be ambiguous. If you have a pen in the room and your penguin, the MOO won't know which is which. Also, click here for an amusing penguin-related video.
Note Note: You can rename an object at any time using the @rename command. '@rename [object] to [name, alias, alias]' or add aliases to objects using the command '@addalias [alias] to [object]'

Okay. So we have a penguin. If you want your penguin to look special, you can make excellent use of the @describe command. To use it, you follow this general format:

@describe [object] as "[description]"

So let's make our penguin look like something.

@describe penguin as "This sleek penguin doll looks just like the real thing! In fact, you could almost... no, that's silly."

You may be thinking "Well, this is boring. When can we program anything?"
To that, I respond "Right now!"

We want to be able to hug our penguin. First, let's make a simple little hug verb.

@verb penguin:hug this

This means that we want to add a verb (action...) to the penguin. The verb will be named 'hug'. So you have @verb OBJECT:VERB. But what about that other stuff? This? Well, verbs can have a direct object, preposition, and an indirect-object. We'll go into this in more detail at a later time. For now, just know that adding the this makes the penguin become the direct object. Thus to hug him, the MOO would match "hug penguin" to the hug verb on our new penguin. I promise I'll explain this better later.

Now that our verb is added, let's make it do something. This is very similar to lesson one, but much less fun.

@program penguin:hug

player:tell("You hug ", this:title(), ", who makes a [penguin sound].");
player.location:announce(player:title(), " hugs ", this:title(), ".");
.


Now:
hug penguin
Ahh, your penguin is now all hugish.

Next time: Properties, lists [arrays], random()... bwa haha.
12:12 am
[lisdude]
C& Lesson One
C&, or more commonly, MOO, is a programming language that was invented (adapted?) by Pavel Curtis. It is the spiffiest of all things on Earth. For an example of a MOO, please visit: http://www.lisdude.com:8881/ or LambdaMOO telnet:lambda.moo.mud.org:8888

Anyway! Since I'm a very tired teacher, I'll explain the most simple verb I know. (if you don't know what a verb is, I'll tell you tomorrow.)

[thing]:tell([message]);

is replaced by whatever you want to tell. Most of the time, you would put player here. And message is just a message enclosed in quotation marks. Or a message with variables... but I'll explain that later as well.

player:tell("This is my first message. Woo.");

Anyway, that's all. If you need more explanation, comment. I'd like to improve my teaching methods. WE ALL LEARN HERE! ;)

Current Mood: sleepy
1:07 am
[mistacat]
Welcome to Communal School!
The first two lessons for Communal School were posted in my personal journal. I will recreate them here, for convience.

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Please, I beg for corrections. They will not offend.

Italian
Alphabet and Pronunciation
Little Italian Pronunciation Guide.
At AskOxford. - with soundfiles

Italian: Non so.
English: I don't know.


Spanish
Spanish: No sé.
English: I don't know.

I'm assuming lisdude knows the pronouns (and probably the conjugations of ser and estar? if not, comment, I'll do those next), so, skipping those... here's a word I like:
Quíen - Who
Quíen es? - Who is that?

Gaseosa bebidas - carbonated drinks
azucar - sugar
sin - without
Gaseosa bebidas sin azucar - diet soda


Quote
"The only way to atone for being occasionally a little over-dressed is by being always absolutely over-educated." - Oscar Wilde, Phrases and Philsophies for the Use of the Young
I think that's an appropriate beginning;)


Astrology
I'll ask opticonite to say where I should start here, which thing she wants to know first/more. Profiles of the sun signs (starting with Aries), or the importance of rising signs?

And I feel the need to comment, myself, that Taurus/Gemini is an extremely strange cusp. Extremely hard-headed, seems to not have a mind to change, and then suddenly changes it--and is just as solid in that decision.


Random Facts
Hugh Laurie's first novel, The Gun Seller, is about terrorism, and is hilarious on every page.
The first five US presidents were: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe.


Extra Credit, Optional
Otherkin.net : Articles : Tolerance versus Gullibility - this article has some good advice on how to think, how to educate yourself.
Bisclavret, an old French story about a werewolf.
(Chris, is that pronounced bees-klahv-ray?)

Tomorrow's lessons will include much rambling about garlic, and possibly memory palaces.

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Memory and Learning
To understand that tarot cards, astrology symbols and animals, and pretty much everything else to do with high magic, are tools, not the things themselves, you must understand memory palaces.
Memory palaces are structures you build in your head, to remember things. Other people can explain it much better than I can; I will link to articles. Read them.
The pictures on tarot cards, the symbols of astrology--these are the pictures from inside someone's head, they're memory tricks. If you understand them this way, it's all much easier to remember. I'm not saying you have to build memory palaces yourself (though this is a good idea, and is probably easier for some of you than for me. My mind is so fragmented...), just that it helps to know that this was/is the method of memory used by magicians and scientists (astrology was a science at one time).
Matteo Ricci, a mathematician who built an elaborate memory palace, converted many Chinese people to Christianity by assuring them that with God, they would have the strength to build palaces of their own.
Further reading: Mappa.Mundi Magazine - Memory Palaces, The Memory Palace (at the Hannibal Lecter), The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci by Jonathan D. Spence, very short biography of Matteo Ricci.


Italian
Pronouns
io - I
tu - you, informal
Lei - you, formal
lui - he
lei - she
noi - we
voi - you, plural, informal
Loro - you, plural, formal
loro - they

Memorize these! I'll skip Italian tomorrow to give the alphabet and pronouns a chance to sink in.


Spanish
Pronouns
yo - I
tú - you, informal
él - he
ella - she
Usted - you, formal
nosotros - we
vosotros - you, plural (Spain)
ellos - they, masculine
ellas - they, feminine
Ustedes - you, plural (Latin America)

Ser - to be (permanent)
yo soy
tú eres
él es
ella es
Usted es
nosotros somos
vosotros sois
ellos son
ellas son
Ustedes son

Estar - to be (temporary)
yo estoy
tú estás
él está
ella está
Usted está
nosotros estamos
vosotros estáis
ellos están
ellas están
Ustedes están

Spanish: ¡Demasiado, por favor!
English: Slow down, please!

Spanish: Ella lleva la llave en una bolsa amarillo.
English: She carries the key in a yellow purse.


Food
Garlic, Allium sativum
Garlic is antibacterial and antiviral; it is the main ingredient in Four Thieves' Vinegar, a useful guard against flu, plague, and pretty much anything else. For this purpose, it is, of course, best taken raw.
As a seasoning, garlic should be first peeled, sliced (or cut into chunks or halved or whatever), and then salted. The garlic cells react in some strange way, trying to make themselves saltier, I think, and this all makes the garlic taste much better. My favourite way of enjoying garlic is to then bake it in olive oil and butter, and then just eat the garlic like candy. Or put it on bread. Or on pasta.

Here's what I've already written about garlic, from Kronophagia MOO's Herb Room:

--- Listing for: garlic ---
Allium sativum

Garlic is anti-bacterial and anti-viral. It boosts the immune system, and, in small doses, aids in digestion. In larger doses, it can impede digestion.

Dosage is fresh, in food, or in tablet or capsule form; fresh is best, but sometimes hard to handle, for obvious reasons.

The oils from garlic can irritate sensitive skin. This said, it is good to endure the sting and press cut garlic against a wound, for its anti-bacterial properties. Finish the treatment with a bit of honey (to stop bleeding and speed healing) and a bandage.
--- End of informational listing. ---

Further reading: The Garlic Information Centre, The Gilroy Garlic Festival, MC's file on Four Thieves' Vinegar.


Quote
"You are neat." - Sati, by Christopher Pike


Extra Credit, Optional
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in Latin
Mica, mica, parva stella,
Miror quaenam sis tam bella.
Super terra in caelo,
Alba gemma splendido.
Mica, mica, parva stella,
Miror quaenam sis tam bella.
(source)
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