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The Secret Return of Alex Mack

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Review of chapter "Confrontations" from SirLee
Review:
I might note that we don't *know* if Alex's dad and/or Ray would eventually learn to control their abilities -- they took the antidote before finding out.

Many of the cases of undesirable GC-161 consequences could be summed up as lack of control over the abilities gained, but we don't know how much control they could eventually get with practice. A few (like Barb) apparently suffered mental effects of a more direct sort, but this seems to be rarer.

We have:
- Vic Cready aka "Flamey the Wonder Ouchy": major power control issues
- Barb: mental problems
- George: control issues, unknown if could get better eventually
- Ray: control issues, unknown if could get better. No issues from "replacement" powers.
- Marsha: control issues, got better with practice.
- Andy Botswell: control issues (apparently can't stop his hands from flaming) - dealt by using flameproof gloves.
- Jennie Sliff: control issues (apparently can't stop her laser-vision) - dealt by somehow finding sunglasses that block it.
- Azure Crush: minor deformity (changed colour to blue), no control issues
- Four other neighbors who apparently had no trouble hiding their powers, so no control issues.
- Alex: no control issues
- Atron: no major control issues. She lacks Alex's finesse, but that may be just a matter of practice.

I count fourteen people, with one mental issues and three-to-five power control issues.

Note also that Ray's DNA had already been altered when they used the antidote/GC-161 trick to change his powers to something manageable; so, it might be possible to use the same tactic to improve the lives of the people who have the more disabling changes, such as Cready or Andy Botswell.
Review By [SirLee] • Date [25 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Return" from fanreaderonetwo
Review:
" suppose you'll have to re-read that part really carefully, but what North Korea was getting was mostly other chemicals, including radioactives, so they mostly got Dr. Deemer type effects. And deaths. They got other teratogens as well. But they only got a little bit of GC-161, and they got typical results out of that.

And there may be a mention of Paradise Valley medical issues later on."

*****

Note the adult Mack's experience when they when they were kidnapped and used top quality GC. All three of them had _severe_ mental and power control problems.

Maybe kids or early adolescents might have better track records, tho that ~13 y/o Alex had various "odd" problems early on indicates otherwise.
But I would suspect that the percentage of adults and elderly with "good" results (no mental problems, and getting their powers under fairly quickly) from GC dosing (even weak, heavily diluted doses) will be fairly low.
Image of a "Mrs Laser Eyes" burning down her entire neighborhood, and possibly slicing up several people, in her first few hours.
Review By [fanreaderonetwo] • Date [25 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Confrontations" from hysteriumredux
Review:
I've read a lot of fanfiction, but your story if easily my favorite. Kudos.

Having said that, I find one major inconsistency in the plot. The attempt by North Korea to create an army of "teras" established the high morbidity rate of GC-161, with only a small percentage surviving use, and an even smaller group manifesting powers. Terawatt's website cites this when cautioning those who desire the drug to gain powers.

However, Danielle Atron also speculated that perhaps 10% of Paradise Valley was probably exposed to the drug. This estimate seems confirmed by the many "secret teras" among the neighbors in Alex's neighborhood. If so, shouldn't Paradise Valley also have a corresponding high mortality death rate among the GC-161 failures in the town? There's been no mention of a high local death rate ("shades of Sunnydale!"). Does this mean the Danielle manipulated the formula to create a deadlier strain that she then sold to North Korea, or is there something local about Paradise Valley that mitigates the lethal percentages of the drug?
Comments from author:
Thanks for reading, and thanks for the review. (I like recommendations too, if you're up for it. :D )

I suppose you'll have to re-read that part really carefully, but what North Korea was getting was mostly other chemicals, including radioactives, so they mostly got Dr. Deemer type effects. And deaths. They got other teratogens as well. But they only got a little bit of GC-161, and they got typical results out of that.

And there may be a mention of Paradise Valley medical issues later on.
Review By [hysteriumredux] • Date [25 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Return" from Zeviz
Review:
Fpb, I think this is the program I was talking about: http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/ (I am not sure exactly, since it's been about a decade, but that page looks familiar.)

PS While looking for the original program, I found this article: http://www.nature.com/news/publishers-withdraw-more-than-120-gibberish-papers-1.14763 So it looks like by now the program is widely used both by people investigating conferences with loose editorial policies and by unscrupulous people who want to boost their publication histories.

EDIT: Thanks for explaining how conference paper selection works.
Comments from author:
Catching fake papers written by researchers who were testing out other conferences is not the same as catching fraudsters who are trying to fake their h-index. And frankly, sometimes a conference chair or section chair cannot tell from a small abstract whether a paper is going to be good or garbage or nonsense, especially when the author does not appear to speak the language all that well. I've had conference speakers who turned in a reasonable abstract, and then did not speak on what they had proposed, and I've had conference speakers turn in a reasonable abstract and then a crappy 'paper' to fulfill the 'paper must be submitted by due date to be accepted at conference' and then do just fine in the conference. I've seen all sorts of permutations. It's even more of a problem when a section chair gets papers covering areas in which he or she does not know enough to judge paper quality.
Review By [Zeviz] • Date [24 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Return" from fpb
Review:
Zeviz, so it was nothing to do with the hoax I had in mind: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_affair
Comments from author:
In the words of Terry Pratchett, "It's all quantum." :D
Review By [fpb] • Date [24 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Return" from fpb
Review:
Sorryl I keep forgetting that I can't let just anyone into my Facebook page. This is the link:
http://thinkprogress.org/culture/2014/10/23/3583347/felicia-day-gamergate/

And my comment:
Beneath contempt. What can anyone do the scarcely-human objects who would do this to one of the brightest, most talented, best educated and most charming persons on the Net, just because she is female? And I am neither a gamer nor a feminist - just someone who loathes cruelty and cowardice. Those people should be hunted down like the criminals they are, and jailed beyond reach of anything more high-tech than a plastic spoon.
Comments from author:
#gamergate could be something fundamentally useful, but it's being destroyed by these misogynistic sociopaths who probably make up less than 1% of the total.

The thing with Felicia Day is making it to more mainstream media, due to her status.
Review By [fpb] • Date [24 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "The Gathering Storm" from fpb
Review:
It occurs to me that the unexpected applause for Buffy has something in common with the applause that the Canadian Parliament's Sergeant-at-arms received yesterday from the gathered House of Commons. In both cases, hero and heroine had been seen taking on and stopping people whom everyone knew to be threats.
Comments from author:
Yes. Ordinary people may be ordinary, but that does not mean they cannot recognize the extraordinary when they see it.
Review By [fpb] • Date [24 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Return" from fpb
Review:
AS you are a fan of Felicia Day, I thought you might want to know this. Mind you, I did not say you might like to. https://www.facebook.com/fabiopaolo.barbieri/posts/10203141942652556?comment_id=10203141969093217&;offset=0&total_comments=1&notif_t=share_comment
Comments from author:
That seems to be unavailable, at least to me. Oh well, maybe I'll just go watch Season 1 of 'The Guild' again to make up for it. :D
Review By [fpb] • Date [24 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Return" from fpb
Review:
I don't know whether the hoax article other people have mentioned is the Sokal hoax, but it does not sound like it. Beneath its hilarious surface, the Sokal hoax was an act of war. It intended to prove - and as far as I am concerned did prove - that postmodernism was rubbish, and that specifically the notion of a post-modernist approach to science and mathematics was TOTAL rubbish.
Comments from author:
That may have been the paper mentioned, but it is *not* the only possibility.
Review By [fpb] • Date [24 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Confrontations" from bookworm
Review:
Here are a couple screenshots of Vince from the first episode, since the only ones Google comes up with are pretty dim and poor quality: https://www.dropbox.com/s/oxchpu0n1qqy83r/Screenshot-2014-10-23-21.42.png?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/7vfgqnymp2qmq69/Screenshot-2014-10-23-21.44.png?dl=0 It's possible he bleached his hair to start with and it's gotten darker (I've only watched the first season and just into the second, since starting to read this story), but those look blond to me, or at least light brown. I feel like the relentless paleness (especially of his eyebrows) is part of what made him so menacing.

At any rate, this is a very minor detail without much impact on the story as a whole, but it stuck out for me.
Comments from author:
Hmmm... Why do I think of him as having black hair? I must contemplate this subject...
Review By [bookworm] • Date [23 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Return" from fanreaderonetwo
Review:
"About scientific journals, sometimes you have the opposite problem. For example, there was a scandal a few years ago when some people submitted a computer-generated paper to a bunch of CS conferences, and the paper was accepted. (The idea was to prove that those conferences were just a way to get money from attendance fees.) Then they wrote a real paper, presented at a more reputable venue, about their program that generated grammatically correct papers confusing enough to be accepted to these kinds of conferences. :)

And of course the "vaccines cause autism" article that has been disproven dozens of times, but keeps getting quoted by people who make a nice living scaring people about vaccines.

Comments from author:

There are tons of submitted - and accepted - papers which have then been shown not to hold up to proper evaluation. That's how science works."

*****

Recalling the prank/experiment where some _real_ scientists subbed a paper to a journal in another field. It was accepted, then they revealed that it was deliberate gibberish.
Comments from author:
Once you have a language parser good enough to sound like stilted English, you can do pretty much anything like that. All you have to do is write your grammar rules and feed in your vocabulary lists for nouns, pronouns, verbs, etc. Heck, I did something like that (although vastly simpler) for a comp sci class in the 70's. Nowadays, Siri can parse spoken speech and MS Office can grammar-check better than most people.
Review By [fanreaderonetwo] • Date [23 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Confrontations" from Zeviz
Review:
About scientific journals, sometimes you have the opposite problem. For example, there was a scandal a few years ago when some people submitted a computer-generated paper to a bunch of CS conferences, and the paper was accepted. (The idea was to prove that those conferences were just a way to get money from attendance fees.) Then they wrote a real paper, presented at a more reputable venue, about their program that generated grammatically correct papers confusing enough to be accepted to these kinds of conferences. :)

And of course the "vaccines cause autism" article that has been disproven dozens of times, but keeps getting quoted by people who make a nice living scaring people about vaccines.
Comments from author:
There are tons of submitted - and accepted - papers which have then been shown not to hold up to proper evaluation. That's how science works.
Review By [Zeviz] • Date [23 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Confrontations" from DieselDriver
Review:
What a MARVELOUS neighborhood watch they have there. The Macks probably live in the safest neighborhood in the world.

I'm really looking forward to what you have planned for Alex. It's bound to be fun. (Fun to read, not to be involved in...)

Edit to comment reply to dcarson: "the plate tectonics arguments, but I have seen important paradigm shifts" and I thought "hmmm a paradigm shift for some continental shift". Then I thought, "hmm. Continentals don't have manual transmissions so their drivers must be 'shiftless' ".
Comments from author:
I pity the next burglar who tries to break into a house in that neighborhood.
Review By [DieselDriver] • Date [23 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Confrontations" from SilverWave
Review:
Good old fashioned fun :-)

I would have went with a very large numbers of Nukes - you would only need one to get through.

Of course you would probably lose New York Or Washington in a retaliatory strike by empire sleeper squads, but thats why you have Vice Presidents.

:-)

Also anti-ICBMs are probably very unreliable - IMC snake oil salesman.
"So Ivan, how many of these things have successfully taken down an ICBM..."

Or if you are not playing games:
Massive series of conventional explosive missile strikes mixed in with nerve gas delivery, followed by cruise missiles loaded with nukes ending with a massive ICBM strike.
Comments from author:
Somehow, I feel that a large number of South American countries might object to that approach. And there is no way Alex would go along when Jack and Willow were in there!

But yes, that is probably some country's secret back-up plan in case the heroes lose.
Review By [SilverWave] • Date [23 Oct 14] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Confrontations" from Difdi
Review:
I love it. Some towns have cancer clusters, Paradise Valley has GC-161 clusters!
Comments from author:
:D I have been warning everyone for some time about this.
Review By [Difdi] • Date [23 Oct 14] • Rating [10 out of 10]
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