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 Post subject: Christmas Mailbag
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-19 4:34 am 
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Joined: 2006-May-24 10:14 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
It's time again for another Q&A article. Once again, all subjects are fair game--the format, stuff in my life, movies, music, school, literature, etc. I'm currently working on a research paper called "Coming to Terms: Un-Frenching the English in Henry V," so you can imagine what I'm spending my time reading. You can post questions in this thread and I'll answer them in an SCG article next week or the week following.

Speaking of stuff in my life, some of you who follow me on social media know that I was diagnosed with throat cancer just before Thanksgiving. The silver lining in this very dark cloud is that because I'm not a smoker (and never have been), doctors tell me that my chances of a cure are decent. I'm also lucky enough to live near one of the country's best treatment facilities. I tell you this mostly because the topic is not off limits--and also because I refuse to allow it to dominate everything I do. It is obviously going to be a very large part of my personal experience over the next several months if not years, but I will not be reduced to a single thing. Sure, there have been some dark days in the last month, but I have a remarkable partner in my wife Gretchyn and a superior support team of close friends, not to mention a great broader network of Magic friends. You will all help me get through what will no doubt be a difficult time. Thanks for listening and thanks in advance for your good wishes.

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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Mailbag
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-19 4:36 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Oh, shit dude! Sorry to hear that Sheldon. I wish you luck with your treatment.

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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Mailbag
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-19 5:18 am 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-02 5:25 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Costa La Haya, capital del ducado Holanda
That's bad Sheldon. I wish you and your family all the strength you need to overcome this.

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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Mailbag
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-19 5:20 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
I'm really sorry to hear you have cancer. Stay strong; we will keep you in our thoughts. I'll think some question to ask later.

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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Mailbag
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-19 5:24 am 
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Joined: 2012-Jan-06 10:25 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Seattle
Dang! 2016 kicking everyone in the teeth! Good on ya for not letting it dominate your everyday. You'll beat it with Commander damage! :D

What sort of card would you design if WotC asked you to do a guest design?

_________________
Glissa, the Traitor -> Voltron
Mayael the Anima -> Flopping Fatties
Phenax, God of Deception -> Grave Rats
Starke of Rath -> Wrath of Starke: MRC

Proving Grounds: Drawmia-maro, Titania When Lands Attack, Tromokratis Read it Again, Kaalia's Klerics, Hordes of Tribes.


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Mailbag
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-19 7:37 am 
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Joined: 2010-Jul-18 9:59 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Commander 2016 brought us Legendary Creatures with the Partner mechanic; what's your opinion on that? A good idea, executed well? A good idea, executed poorly? A cop-out idea because Wizards couldn't come up with more than one legitimate four-colour design?

Follow up: I'd assume you (like me) are going to build four-colour decks to fill out your roster; who's going to head those decks, and will you be using any Partners for it?

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"Degenerate, unfun decks generally come from degenerate, unfun players in my experience." - Cthulus Thrall

"- if this spell is played ten times in a given game then I suggest you warm up the tar and pluck some chickens" - tarnar

"I'm happy to serve as a quote machine" - Sheldon


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Mailbag
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-19 8:25 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Viperion wrote:
Commander 2016 brought us Legendary Creatures with the Partner mechanic; what's your opinion on that? A good idea, executed well? A good idea, executed poorly? A cop-out idea because Wizards couldn't come up with more than one legitimate four-colour design?

And branching off of those questions, do you think they open interesting avenues for decks which might have been previously difficult to construct?

What Magic creature best represents Christmas to you?

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Decklists are posted here. They can all be found in the Decklist Forum.


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Mailbag
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-20 4:32 am 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
Segrus wrote:
What Magic creature best represents Christmas to you?

Come now, it's obviously Fruitcake Elemental.

Get well Sheldon. Don't let this Season's Beatings make you buy into a False Cure or some Tainted Remedy. Here's hoping for a Miraculous Recovery.

_________________
"The President's job - and if someone sufficiently vain and stupid is picked he won't realize this - is not to wield power, but to draw attention away from it." -- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide tot he Galaxy Radio Transcripts predicting the future.


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Mailbag
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-21 2:14 am 

Joined: 2013-Jun-23 10:18 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Having had far closer experiences with cancer than I would like, I too would like to wish you the quickest recovery Sheldon.

My question: Has there been any uptick in chatter over the past 6-12 months on whether particular, specific cards should be banned? In other words, is there any particular card people are talking about much more now than they used to?

I remember you saying somewhere on Salvation that Iona had been a more popular topic of discussion recently, but I might be just wishful thinking.

_________________
Current Commanders: 6/32.

Daretti, Scrap Savant (Red Artefacts).
Prime Speaker Zegana (Simic Voltron).
Rubinia Soulsinger (Bant Polymorphs).
Kess, Dissident Mage (Grixis Treasure).
Sek'Kuar, Deathkeeper (Jund Apostles).
Tariel, Reckoner of Souls (Mardu Judo).


Last edited by Swmystery on 2016-Dec-21 5:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Mailbag
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-21 4:54 am 
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Joined: 2010-Dec-10 12:16 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I'm sorry to hear about your research paper, sounds like a tough time (and the throat cancer too; but man, that research paper).

Seriously though, be safe and be well. I hope you can enjoy your holidays despite everything that is going on.

As for questions:

If you were to turn Shakespeare into a Commander deck, what General and theme would you use. Also, from which works would you draw inspiration?

_________________
V/R

HK

Hazezon Tamar - Manland theme
Seshiro the Anointed - Snake Tribal
Jedit Ojanen of Efrava - Cat and Warrior Dual Tribal
Doran, the Seige Tower - Wall Tribal
Progenitus - Hydra themed Proliferate Deck
Karona, the False God - Backstabbing Hug


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Mailbag
AgePosted: 2017-Jan-13 2:29 pm 

Joined: 2011-Apr-28 9:58 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Damidhol, Tuhel
Sheldon wrote:
It's time again for another Q&A article. Once again, all subjects are fair game--the format, stuff in my life, movies, music, school, literature, etc. I'm currently working on a research paper called "Coming to Terms: Un-Frenching the English in Henry V," so you can imagine what I'm spending my time reading. You can post questions in this thread and I'll answer them in an SCG article next week or the week following.

Speaking of stuff in my life, some of you who follow me on social media know that I was diagnosed with throat cancer just before Thanksgiving. The silver lining in this very dark cloud is that because I'm not a smoker (and never have been), doctors tell me that my chances of a cure are decent. I'm also lucky enough to live near one of the country's best treatment facilities. I tell you this mostly because the topic is not off limits--and also because I refuse to allow it to dominate everything I do. It is obviously going to be a very large part of my personal experience over the next several months if not years, but I will not be reduced to a single thing. Sure, there have been some dark days in the last month, but I have a remarkable partner in my wife Gretchyn and a superior support team of close friends, not to mention a great broader network of Magic friends. You will all help me get through what will no doubt be a difficult time. Thanks for listening and thanks in advance for your good wishes.


_________________________________________________________________________

Sheldon:

It may be providence that I logged in and read this post at this time after not being here for literally YEARS. I, too, was diagnosed with throat cancer, in 2012. But I did a lot of research on it, and because of that (and because of what I learned) I decided to buck the normal mainstream BigPharma treatment route even though I have a free ride via Kaiser through my current government job. To be sure, I do not know what your exact diagnosis is, but maybe relating my story will help.

After getting my initial diagnosis, I decided to get a second opinion - from a Chinese acupuncturist/herbalist, because I have had much success with this previously. Now, I am NOT advocating this mode of treatment for you, that is not my intent. However, this doctor told me something that proved crucial: PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BODY REACTIONS WHEN YOU EAT, and if you have any adverse reactions to foods, note them, and see if they repeat - because, according to Chinese theory, 90% of health lies in *what you eat*.

When I did this, I discovered that *every time* that I ate (GMO) corn or wheat products, I felt like crap. In fact, after a time, *every time* I ate anything with corn or corn-derived products, my throat hurt and skin sloughed off the roof of my mouth. And sometimes I would get blood blisters on my tongue or other areas in my mouth immediately upon eating these foods. After a while, I also discovered that I had the SAME problems when I ate meat - ANY meat that was not raised organically.

After researching this more, I discovered that the problem was GMO foods, *especially* corn and wheat. And the irony of it was: the thing that made me the most sick, was a bacteria from which a gene was taken and put into GMO corn that was THE SUBJECT OF MY MASTER'S THESIS: Bacillus thuringiensis, which is nearly 100% identical to ANTHRAX at the chromosomal level, and from which the gene coding for BT toxin was taken and put into corn, supposedly to fight Lepidoptera (moths) in the wild, but which has been shown to cause severe problems in humans with chronic exposure (BTW: I have a master's degree in genetic engineering from UT Houston). And also, a pesticide that I tested for in my previous stint as a lead chemist in an environmental lab: RoundUp, is a MAJOR cause of cancers, and it is present in nearly ALL wheat products.

Sheldon, *the* reason why I sort of gave up playing Magic and posting here, is I have taken it upon myself to try to awaken people to the evils of GMO foods. If you wish to know more, I can send you a TON of information. What I *can* tell you is, once I changed my diet to eliminate ALL wheat/corn/dairy and to eat ONLY organically raised meats, MY CANCER DISAPPEARED!!

Anyway, I hope you read this, and if you are interested, just reply here and I can send on what I know. And no matter what, I wish you well.

_________________
Former StarCityGames.com writer.

Most famous article: Breaking Phage

http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/misc ... Phage.html

Personal Favorite: pWN3D: Recollections of Spectacular Defeats in Multiplayer Magic

http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/mult ... Magic.html


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Mailbag
AgePosted: 2017-Jan-14 3:34 am 

Joined: 2015-Jan-14 2:58 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
As a geneticist, you must realize both the anthrax and Bt toxins are coded on plasmids and not the single chromosome, so similar chromosomal makeup is irrelevant to the comparison. There are... other problems with your diatribe, which I'd be willing to discuss by PM if you want.

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Antis wrote:
I'm seriously suspicious of any card that makes Doubling Season look fair and reasonable.


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Mailbag
AgePosted: 2017-Jan-14 7:42 am 

Joined: 2011-Apr-28 9:58 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Damidhol, Tuhel
Spectrar Ghost wrote:
As a geneticist, you must realize both the anthrax and Bt toxins are coded on plasmids and not the single chromosome, so similar chromosomal makeup is irrelevant to the comparison. There are... other problems with your diatribe, which I'd be willing to discuss by PM if you want.


Yes, that's true. Anthrax has two plasmids that produce a tripartite toxin, while B.t. has a different plasmid coding for BT toxin. However, these bacteria (and B. cereus) are nearly 100% identical on the chromosomal level, and these plasmids can move from one organism to another, via a viral intermediary. I should know because my master's thesis was on the lysogenic bacteriophage TP21, which exists as an extrachromosomal plasmid for most of its life in B. t. until induced, and my work proved that this plasmid can transfer genetic material - including other plasmid DNA - between the two species. (I got my master's thesis at UT Houston, in the lab of Dr. Theresa Khoeler, in 2000.)

But the whole gist of what I wanted to say here, is that anthrax produces a known toxin; B. cereus produces a known toxin; and B. thuringiensis *also* produces a toxin - and knowing this, scientists STILL took this gene from this dangerous family of bacteria and placed it in to corn.

As for what I said about GMO foods, I can back up every word I said, and provide links to published material if you want to read any of it.

Let me tell you, there is no bigger shock to one's system than to learn that you became sick due to something you worked on. I didn't believe it possible either at first, but once I started researching this I had to let go of almost everything that I thought I knew. One thing that I realized right away though: the studies done on GMO foods are ALL faulty. Every last one of them. And once you realize that they were all funded by the people who produced the foods to begin with, and that these same people also own the scientific magazines that publish these studies, things become VERY clear in a hurry. Just look at the Seralini study and what happened to him for proof of what I am saying.

_________________
Former StarCityGames.com writer.

Most famous article: Breaking Phage

http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/misc ... Phage.html

Personal Favorite: pWN3D: Recollections of Spectacular Defeats in Multiplayer Magic

http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/mult ... Magic.html


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Mailbag
AgePosted: 2017-Jan-14 1:28 pm 

Joined: 2015-Jan-14 2:58 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I'd be interested in seeing the links by PM. I have looked at the Seralini Study and it has its own flaws, but we've sidetracked the conversation long enough.

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Antis wrote:
I'm seriously suspicious of any card that makes Doubling Season look fair and reasonable.


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas Mailbag
AgePosted: 2017-Jan-14 2:37 pm 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Yes, please peddle that antiscientific nonsense somewhere related to antiscience nonsense. ugh.

What card is the closest to getting banned? (regardless of how close, i understand it doesnt mean it will or will not happen ever)

What do you think is the (or several) best card in the format?

IS THERE SECRETLY A WATCHLIST?


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