Random Questions


I don’t know if this is what that is, but someone did ask me for your address recently. They gave me no info beyond that. They are obviously an FRC person and I didn’t give your address out to some rando stranger.


The mystery has been solved. It was from awesome people for me being an awesome person. I feel loved and appreciated. :smiley:

What is funny, literally minutes after I posted on various internets, I get an IM “Did you get a package today?”

And found the perfect use for it:


So if we took all the fish, boats and stuff like that of the ocean would its level go down at all?


If you remove all the things listed on the Wikipedia biomass table larger than plankton using largest the estimates, using an ocean surface area of 510 million square kilometers, assuming all living things are made entirely out of water, the ocean will go down 743.14118 nm. Although I possibly messed up my decimal place somewhere.

I imagine boats probably matter even less.


Fermi calculations are the best calculations.


But how much gelatin would be needed to turn the entire ocean into Jello? And what flavor would each ocean and sea be?



Long story short, there’s more boats in the ocean than fish.


Well thank you for that!


So I finished my paralegal certificate program with excellent grades. Yay! Now I have to look for work with nothing but my degrees and retail support work to put on my resume. Boo. Any suggestions for how to make it look good?


You learned from retail how to deal with asshole customers and as paralegal dealing with asshole lawyers can’t be all that different.


Oh for sure. Or asshole clients for that matter.


I don’t know about where you are, but around here you can find a social group for basically any career, make some friends and do the linkedin thing.


Does Magic: The Gathering have a story?

I played magic for all of about two months back in 1996 or so. None of my friends played it, so I never really got into it. Also, I hated the random booster pack idea, and still do to this day.

I was reading some various articles online yesterday though, and came upon this Kotaku article about the new Magic set being set in Ravnica again:

I’ll be honest, I have no idea what that means. Reading through the article though, the author keeps talking about the story and setting and how it drew him into the game. Having never really gotten into Magic, I never thought it had any kind of coherent or narrative story.

I guess I was wrong? What’s the story behind Magic?


It’s a multiverse. That’s why there are planeswalkers.


You have Internet and can learn it all if you want. Probably not worth it, though.


In a nutshell there are powerful mages from different dimensions - the Planeswalkers Scott mentioned - who have different goals and fight each other. You are one as the player of the game actually. Each dimension has different themes and tropes. Ravnica is magic biopunk, Innistrad is European Gothic Horror, Kamigawa is high fantasy !Japan etc… Every cycle of sets has a different story running through it with the Planeswalkers squabbling and meddling in the dimension’s problems for good or ill. There’s comics and novels and online supplemental stuff that covers all of that.


I found a perfect way of putting that on my resume “I mastered effective and cordial communication under pressure.”


Basically what panfriedmarmot said, though I disagree with describing Ravnica as “Biopunk”. It’s far more of city-government infighting and a bit of political intrigue. Ravnica is extremely popular because it revolves around 10 guilds, each represented by a pair of colors. Each of those guilds have a specific themes, goals and mannerism, and thus the players have taken to identify with those colors and under the name of those guilds.

I would also like to mention that there is a clear break between two stages of Magic storytelling, which is known as “The Mending”. While both revolve around the actions of Planeswalkers (powerful wizards which can move from one plane in the multiverse to another), early stories portray Planeswalkers as godlike beings far too powerful to be measured inside a card. Inside the story they would function less like characters, and often more like “deus ex machinas” and story would focus on more mortal characters and be told through their eyes.

The biggest storyline in early Magic is the Phyrexian Invasion, which including backstory spanned around 5 years of Magic products. A race of biomechanical monsters want to take over the multiverse via the central plane in it, Dominaria, and a Planeswalker by the name of Urza puts together a grand master plan stop it by utilizing a band of heroes (which he basically bread for that over generations) as well as several powerful artifacts. This leads to a gigantic devastating war.

After this the story meanders around, telling smaller stories from various other places in the multiverse.

Then in Time Spiral block we return to Dominaria and find that its still suffering the devastation from the Invasion and some other events from another block. This has lead to trans-temporal rifts opening, which is all kinds of bad news. A group of Planeswalkers fix those rifts, but depower themselves as well as all other Planeswalkers in the multiverse with that. This is called “The Mending”.

After The Mending stories focus more closely on Planeswalkers and make them the central characters of the stories. While they are still powerful, they are far weaker than before that event. Because WOTC also wanted to make the game more marketable by giving it overarching, recurring character they also introduced a group formed around a common purpose in keeping the multiverse a relatively safe place. They are called The Gatewatch and basically function as Magic’s version of the Justice League, though a lot of players dislike them because they are constantly the focus of the story now. One of the bigger throughlines in the story are the machinations of Nicol Bolas, an ancient, evil Dragon-Planeswalker who wants to regain the might he possessed before The Mending. The Gatewatch was dealt an unequivocal defeat during their only encounter so far during Amonkhet block.


I am happy that Urza is actually a big deal. I remember as a kid I had a lot of cards titled Urza’s this or Urza’s that. I remember a power plant, a mine, a tower. Those cards were way cool. I always wondered what the deal with Urza was. They must be pretty powerful and important to have all this stuff. I bought a M:tG novel at one point hoping it would tell me something, but it didn’t. Same for Mishra. I really liked the card Mishra’s factory, mostly for the artwork.


Urza and Mishra are brothers who were both artificers and came into conflict and started a war utilizing ancient forebearer technology of the Thran. Their meddling with those artifacts also lead to a planar portal between Dominaria and Phyrexia to reopen. In short, Mishra gets corrupted by the Phyrexians, and while Urza wins the “Brothers War” he suffers traumatically which leads to both his “Planeswalker spark” igniting and him forming a plan to completely eradicate the Phyrexians. With the events of the Invasion he is only mostly successful. While the Phyrexian invasion is stopped and their forces destroyed, a bit of “Phyrexian Oil” survives and they manage to reform and take over another plane in the time since. This also literally cost Urza his head after he gets captured, stripped of his Planeswalker abilities and forced to fight one of his bread heroes to the death.


Thanks for the explanation. This seems like a pretty detailed and cool story.

Is that story primarily told through flavor text on the cards or through other media like novels and other things?

I guess what I’m asking, and which goes back to my original question, is that if you didn’t read/watch any other tie-in Magic material, and just played the card game, would you be aware of this overarching storyline?