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Time2Tabletop’s editor/audio magician, Valerie Holt, lays out some of the subjects we discuss into a full discussion of it’s own.

Episode Commentary

Welcome to the bonus material. I’m Valerie, everyone’s favorite editor, and inconsequential fact expert. If you listen to this week’s podcast guest starring Jeff Roivas, which hopefully you have before you jumped into the bonus material, then you probably hear about the Official Disney Princess list. As a self-proclaimed Disney expert, I am here to clear the air about what it actually means to be an Official Disney princess.

Let’s start with the basics, what is an Official Disney princess? Well, it’s pretty simple, a Disney Princess a member of the Disney Princesses. The Disney Princess also called the Princesses Line is a franchise built off of several Disney characters that spend moves from cross the Disney timeline. Not every Princess or female Disney member is part of the exclusive club.

So now you must be asking, who are the members of the Princess Line. As of 2018, the list of official Disney princesses includes Mulan, Snow White, Tiana, Cinderella, Belle, Merida, Rapunzel, Ariel, Aurora, Jasmine, and Pocahontas.

Wondering what it takes to be a member of this elite cub? Well, wonder no more! In case you are curious about the criteria to become an Official Disney, Princess is:

  1. Have a primary role in an animated movie own my Disney, in other words, they can’t be introduced in a sequel or be live action.
  2. Be human, or become human, like Ariel.
  3. Be royal, marry royal, or perform an act of heroism, like Mulan.
  4. Be a box office hit, which is where most potential princesses fail.   

Its import to remember that the Princes line its entirely own franchise started in 2000 with the intention to make the merchandise more profitable. The original line-up consisted of princesses Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan and Tinker Bell. Tinker Bell was soon removed from the latter category and the overall line-up. Disney

At this point they probably a few girls in your mind that fit the bill but aren’t in the lineup. Girls such as Anna and Elsa from Frozen and Mona, from Mona.

While there is a lot of debate about why Elsa and Anna aren’t an official princess, what it boils down to is money. Frozen makes them so much money marketing the girls on their own, they don’t need to be in the lineup to keep making money. There is also concern about the overshadowing the other members. Maybe one day they will join the other princesses, but that day is not today.

There is a whole other set up of problems with Mona becoming a princess.  In the movie especially, she said: “I’m not a princess”. There are good arguments on both sides for her. She meets all the criteria and yet her character as opposed to the idea. Only time will tell if Disney will put the girl through the coronation to be a Disney princess.

Now that the Disney Princesses are out of the way, let’s talk a little bit about the technicality of human senses. Contrary to what you learn in elementary school there is a lot more than five senses or a lot less according to other trains of thoughts.

What most people learn in school is that we have five senses: sight, taste, smell, touch, and hearing. Which is true, most humans do have those senses, but it’s not as cut and dry as that. As pointed out by guest star Jeff Roivas, taste and smell are so linked that if you lose one of them you really lose both. Touch is also a lot more complicated than just feeling something against your skin. When you touch you feel pressure, heat or the lack thereof, the texture of what you’re touching. I don’t know about you but that sounds like a lot more than just “one sense” to me.

And many scientists agree with me. The most common consensus on how many senses we have falls between nine and twenty-one.

Here is a short list of some of them:

  • Touch:  This has been found to be distinct from pressure, temperature, pain, and even itch sensors.
  • Pressure: the Obvious sense is obvious.  
  • Itch:  Surprisingly, this is a distinct sensor system from other touch-related senses.
  • Thermoception:  Ability to sense heat and cold.  This also is thought of as more than one sense.  This is not just because of the two hot/cold receptors, but also because there is a completely different type of thermometer, in terms of the mechanism for detection, in the brain.  This thermoception in the brain is used for monitoring internal body temperature.
  • Sound:  Detecting vibrations along some medium, such as air or water that is in contact with your eardrums.
  • Smell:  Yet another of the sensors that work off of a chemical reaction.  This sense combines with taste to produce flavors.
  • Proprioception:  This sense gives you the ability to tell where your body parts are, relative to other body parts.  This sense is one of the things police officers test when they pull over someone who they think is driving drunk.  The “close your eyes and touch your nose” test is testing this sense. This sense is used all the time in little ways, such as when you scratch an itch on your foot, but never once look at your foot to see where your hand is relative to your foot.
  • Tension Sensors:  These are found in such places as your muscles and allow the brain the ability to monitor muscle tension.
  • Nociception:  In a word, pain.  This was once thought to simply be the result of overloading other senses, such as “touch”, but this has been found not to be the case and instead, it is its own unique sensory system.  There are three distinct types of pain receptors: cutaneous (skin), somatic (bones and joints), and visceral (body organs).
  • Equilibrioception:   The sense that allows you to keep your balance and sense body movement in terms of acceleration and directional changes.  This sense also allows for perceiving gravity. The sensory system for this is found in your inner ears and is called the vestibular labyrinthine system.  Anyone who’s ever had this sense go out on them on occasion knows how important this is. When it’s not working or malfunctioning, you literally can’t tell up from down and moving from one location to another without aid is nearly impossible.
  • Stretch Receptors:  These are found in such places as the lungs, bladder, stomach, and the gastrointestinal tract.  A type of stretch receptor, that senses dilation of blood vessels, is also often involved in headaches.
  • Chemoreceptors:  These trigger an area of the medulla in the brain that is involved in detecting blood born hormones and drugs.  It also is involved in the vomiting reflex.
  • Thirst:  This system more or less allows your body to monitor its hydration level and so your body knows when it should tell you to drink.
  • Hunger:  This system allows your body to detect when you need to eat something.
  • Magnetoception:  This is the ability to detect magnetic fields, which is principally useful in providing a sense of direction when detecting the Earth’s magnetic field.  Unlike most birds, humans do not have a strong magnetoception, however, experiments have demonstrated that we do tend to have some sense of magnetic fields.  The mechanism for this is not completely understood; it is theorized that this has something to do with deposits of ferric iron in our noses. This would make sense if that is correct as humans who are given magnetic implants have been shown to have a much stronger magnetoception than humans without.
  • Time:  This one is debated as no singular mechanism has been found that allows people to perceive time.  However, experimental data has conclusively shown humans have a startling accurate sense of time, particularly when younger. The mechanism we use for this seems to be a distributed system involving the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and basal ganglia.  Long-term timekeeping seems to be monitored by the suprachiasmatic nuclei (responsible for the circadian rhythm). Short-term timekeeping is handled by other cell systems.

The struggle that the scientific community is that it is hard to separate what is different sense and what is just a symptom of another sense.

Then you could go to the other extreme Don Katz, an associate professor of psychology at Brandeis University in the US claims that we only have one. believe that all our senses belong to a single system. He compares the brain to a computer fed an immense amount of data so it can generate a single, simplified finding. For the program to run, information must be gathered through all the senses.

He goes to say that we don’t realize this. We are only aware of program’s final result, which is the illusion that only one sense is responsible for what we experience. After all, when you boil anything down to the microscopic level, everything is a waveform and how we interpret that waveform depends on how big or small the wave is and how close we are to it and where it hits us. Yeah, I don’t really understand it that well myself.

If your curious to know more, google it (or better use a database from your local library, knowledge is out there waiting for you)!

Hey Off the Dice listeners, Valerie, the editor here to give you a brief lesson about a few things discussed in our latest podcast. In this episode, our guest, Michael, answered our famous “what is the opposite of a kola question?” with the answer of Quokka.

If you’re anything like me you must be wondering what in the world was a Quokka is. Quokkas, like kangaroos, are marsupials, which means they are mammals that carry and nurse their babies in pouches in their stomachs. They live in a small corner of southwestern Australia, according to my research they are pretty hard to find in the wild because they are mostly nocturnal. Contrary to their nickname “world’s happiest animal”, they aren’t as friendly as you might hope. While they will mostly ignore you unless you have food, they have been known to viciously attack people. They might be small, but it still hurt- like stepping on a forget lego in the middle of the night. Another fun fact, if the Quokka feels it must flee from a predator it will eject its baby from its pouch to make a better escape.

Interesting right? Well, another thing that I find interesting (and I hope you too) is the debate around whether one should pronounce the word often as often or often. As you know there is often a question regarding the correct pronunciation of often. Some people say that it should be said with the ‘t’ /ɒftən/ (ofTen) …and some say that the ‘t’ should be silent /ɒfn/ (oFFen). The argument is that if you think about the word ‘listen’, then the ‘t’ is silent. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary “the \t\ was pronounced in the past when the word began as a variant of oft (also spelled ofte in Middle English), which was the more common form until the 1500s. Oft is now archaic for most of the senses of often but is still used in compound adjectives like oft-repeated and oft-quoted. Ofttimes and oftentimes both carry that archaic flavor but are still in active use. After the -en suffix was added to ¬oft, the \t\ fell away in pronunciation, but remained in the spelling.”

Personally, I would like to point out that there is not just one standard accent (or dialects) to English. Wich each accent (even more so with dialects) comes different pronunciation, with none being any more correct than the other think of the two different ways of pronouncing wash. In the south, it’s typically pronounced “warsh” while in most other places its pounced “wassh”.

I believe in most English dialects soften is pronounced without at sound. In some dialects, often is similar, but in others, at sound is quite evident in often. In the American dialect I grew up with, the t was silent, but in the last 10 or 15 years it seems to the ‘t’ sound has become frequent. It may even have become predominant, but perhaps my brain has only been registering the pronounced-t instances since they are dissonant to my ear. My impression comes mainly from American broadcast media.

Hello again dear listeners, it’s me, Valerie, your favorite Off the Dice editor here to thrown down some knowledge about our most recent podcast. This time we had Ruth Sparks as our special guest.

If you haven’t yet listened to this podcast, spoiler alert!, Ruth Sparks pet peeve word was trust and our amazing cast tried to nail down the origins. I’m here to set the record straight. Turnt is a variation of the word “turned” used only to describe when someone is excessively excited, drunk, or prepared for the current event. In its entirety, it is used in the phrase “turnt up,” as in “turned up.” Recently shorted to just “turnt”.

The first appearance of “turnt” appeared on UrbanDictionary on August 2, 2005(NSFW language). However, the phrase has risen to prominence by being featured in a number of hip-hop songs, beginning in 2008 with Lupe Fiasco’s “Turnt Up” through 2014 when rapper Lecrae released “I’m Turnt.”

If you made it this far than you might be interested in langue. And if you are you might like to learn a bit more about the science of speech that Scooter brought up in the episode regarding which is easier to say, ask or aks. While scooter said, “It scientifically harder to pronounce “aks” over “aks”, that’s not necessarily true. While I’m sure it true for him, personally,  there is no conclusive scientific evidence proving this to be a universal rule.

There are only four things that are inevitable: death, taxes, the eventual heat-death of the universe, and language change. All (living) languages are constantly in a state of flux, at all levels of the linguistic system. Meanings change, new structures come into being and old ones die out, words are born and die and pronunciations change. And this is where this debate comes to. The switch from “ask” to “ax” takes a word with two consonants and pronounces it as if it only has one consonant. Metathesis is when people switch the order of consonants when pronouncing something. Classic examples include little kids pronouncing “spaghetti” as “pisketti” or regional dialects that pronounce “foliage” as “foliage.” In this respect, “ask” to “ax” is a metathesis because the “s” and the “k” are flipped to say “aks,” although it gets spelled as “ax.”

Now, why is this phenomenon mostly heard in Black English (the dialect often used by African Americans in the Midwest and west coast)?  According to the Wikipedia page on the history of consonant clusters in English [1], “axe” was an acceptable variety of the word “ask” in literary English as late as the 1600s.  At that time period, “axe” could be found in Chaucer as well as English translations of the Bible. This piece of evidence might suggest that the reason for using “ax” as “ask” in Black English is a result of African-American slaves who were exposed to an obsolete pronunciation of the word “ask” in the 1700s, and segregation from whites ensured that Black Americans held on to the obsolete pronunciation.  Since Ulster Scots sometimes pronounce “ask” as “ax,” it’s possible that African Americans were exposed to the “ask”/”ax” pronunciation from Ulster Scots who might have been overseers or white indentured servants who interacted with the slaves.

Another possible cause is consonant cluster simplification in creole languages found in the Caribbean.  The basic theory behind this cause is that, when slaves were gathered from tribes of Africa, they were often herded into slave ships with other slaves who did not share their language.  While being shipped to America, the African slaves had to develop a creole to both talk with other tribe members and the slave masters. Some of these creole languages, which still survive in the Caribbean region today, also have consonant cluster reductions, just like Black English.

In other words, as far as we know (which isn’t much), the reason for pronouncing “ask” as “ax” is a combination of exposure by African-American slaves to both Caribbean creoles and Ulster Scots who held onto obsolete English pronunciations.

I’d also argue that the pronunciation of “ask” as “ax” isn’t really slang, but more a consequence of dialect, specifically the same kind of dialect variations that lead old school Bostonians to drop their “r’s” when they “pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd.”  If you watch the video clip above, when the black students in the class say “ask,” you can hear the “k” sound pop very distinctively, which suggests that the students really have to overcompensate to say “ask” according to the standard English pronunciation.  The black students don’t say “ax” out of ignorance or to cut themselves off from the mainstream, but because they’re so used to their own dialect that it’s actually difficult for them to get the sounds out of their mouth with the standard pronunciation without being hyper-self-conscious about it.  

The contemporary Black English pronunciation of “ask” as “aks” or “ax” is often used as an example of bad pronunciation by prescriptive language critics. However, the “aks/ax” form of “ask” is just as old — if not older, than the “ask” form — and dates back to Old English.

If you’re looking for a citation. The best source is the Oxford English Dictionary (second edition 1989) which gives the usage.

Hello again my dear listeners – and in this case readers. Our latest podcast with Jim Goodnight brought up so many wonderful things to talk about. After much deliberation, the two topics that we’ll be discussing this week include the include that leads Kelly Marie Tran to leave Twitter and Arthur Sinclair.

If you aren’t following what’s going on in the Star Wars, then fear not, I will fill you in. Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion in 2012, it gave Disney ownership of the “Star Wars” franchise. Since then Disney has done a lot of experimenting with the franchise. Cartoons, abolishing the EU, and most recently- creating new major motion pictures to the main franchise.

One of these major motion pictures was the 2017 Star Wars: The Last Jedi. This movie caused a lot of controversies after it released. Some fans were angry that the movie was progressive with the main hero being a female, the blatant humor, the plot, and last but certainly not least, Kelly Marie Tran. Kelly Marie Tran a Vietnamese-American actress starred as mechanic-turned-Resistance fighter Rose Tico. Side note she the first woman of color to play a lead role in the iconic series.

While it is not uncommon for actresses to get hate mail, the Star Wars fan base has been particularly bad to her. Kelly Marie Tran experienced a fierce backlash from some fans, have fiercely criticized her Star Wars character and directed their hate at Tran personally. They took aim at her ethnicity, sex, and appearance on social media. Rose Tico’s character page on Wookieepedia, an online Star Wars encyclopedia, was changed so that she was renamed using a slur used to mock the East Asian accent.

US internet personality Paul Ramsay also tweeted a photo of Tran making fun of her appearance. Others took aim at her ethnicity and appearance – with numerous comments that were critical of her weight. 

After months of abuse, Kelly Marie Tran deleted everything off of her Instagram account in June of 2018. Tran is not the first Star Wars star to be a victim of cyberbullying- but hopefully, she is the last. Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley also deleted her Instagram account temporarily in 2016, reportedly due to the abuse she received online. Only time will tell if the Star Wars fan base will become less……. toxic.

The next topic I wanted to share with you all is the mysterious identity of Arthur C Clarke (or Arthur Sinclair) that Jim oh so briefly touched on in this week’s podcast. While I can’t entirely be sure which Arthur that Jim was talking about, I can tell you a little bit about both.

Arthur C Clarke is famous for his science-fiction writing and hopefully be tickled pink at his theory being used to detect aliens smart enough to launch stuff into orbit but perhaps not clever enough to get rid of it. In a 1945 paper proposed using a geostationary orbit around the Earth for satellite communications. He even has a planet named after him.

The other Arthur, Arthur Sinclair was a Scottish-American soldier and politician. he served in the British Army during the French and Indian War before settling in Pennsylvania, where he held local office. During the American Revolutionary War, he rose to the rank of major general in the Continental Army but lost his command after a controversial retreat from Fort Ticonderoga. After the war, he served as President of the Continental Congress, which during his term passed the Northwest Ordinance. He was then made governor of the Northwest Territory in 1788, and then the portion that would become Ohio in 1800. In 1791, St. Clair commanded the American forces in what was the United States’s worst ever defeat against the American Indians. Politically out-of-step with the Jefferson administration, he was replaced as governor in 1802.

Which Arthur was Jim talking about? That’s is something that we might never know. That’s all for now, see your time. In the meantime pull up a chair and let’s talk off the dice!

About The Editor

Hi, you can call me V. I’m the current sound editor for the Off the Dice podcast. Self-proclaimed jeopardy expert, animation lover, and chocolate enthusiast.  My life goal is to be a jack of all trades and an expert on everything. I currently fill my days with board games, video games, and random art projects.