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So.. the finale of S3 of FiM? Egad! Not exactly an episode you can just walk away from. The big concern I had was, of course, the pacing - it felt so much as if we'd just been dropped into the middle of an ongoing saga, and only got to experience the latter half of the tale. The outcome itself? Eep! Well, we'll have to see - I'd hope things won't really change very much, cute as the princess hoofboots are. ^_^ The songs were a particular highlight, being perhaps the best of this season. Now, maybe I'm just being dense, but - what would Star Swirl the Bearded's original intent for the spell have been? (We shan't dwell upon the point that perhaps it should've been accompanied by some DO NOT USE warning - but perhaps having it presented as a challenge was Celestia's intent all along, feeling Twilight up to the task)

marko_the_rat will be participating in the Million Paws Walk, in aid of RSPCA Queensland. If enough people pledge, he'll do so in full fursuit. Bear in mind the kind of climate Queensland sees.. this is no idle promise. ^_^; Go on. Show him what we can do. =:D

Delia Derbyshire will be celebrated in Doctor Who's 50th anniversary, with a 90 minute special, filming now, airing in November. 'Working from 1963 to 1972 for the Radiophonic Workshop, a unit created to provide sound effects and music for programming across the BBC, Derbyshire was responsible for many of the futuristic sounds that were to fill living rooms across the nation. She and fellow Radiophonic colleagues were denied credit for their work because the BBC deemed them to be "engineers". Ron Grainer, the composer of the Doctor Who theme, which Derbyshire "realised", fought for dual credit for her, but was denied. On hearing the piece, Grainer is said to have remarked, "Did I write that?" Derbyshire replied, "Most of it."'

And if you're in or near London, there's a season of events in Nonclassical's Pioneers of Electronic Music, between March 6-17 2013, ranging from a cinematic double bill of The Day the Earth Stood Still and Forbidden Planet, introduced by Dr Miguel Mera of City University, to an evening of documentaries, including The Delian Mode, a short examining our favorite pioneer, Delia Derbyshire.
what would Star Swirl the Bearded's original intent for the spell have been?

That's what everyone is wondering about. :) Perhaps some sort of Saturnalia celebration, only that instead of masters serving their slaves, you'd have ponies switching their cutiemarks? OK, I'm REALLY going out on a limb there.

Word has it that S4 will bring more explanations, at least, and that Twilight, like bronies, will struggle with her change instead of just saying "oh, so I'm an alicorn now, no big deal".

That's all I can really think of - that the transposition was intentional, but not quite as definite, perhaps being simply temporary, or having others' talents overlaid, rather than entirely replacing their own.

It's quite a gamble they're taking, shifting the power balance like this, but I dare say it'll work, especially if they do indeed take that as a new dynamic to play with in the writing. After all, hereon, it won't be just six equals, but five, plus one notably distinct - yet she'll likely not want to be quite so different, beyond simply being herself. (And, of course, it gives their corporate masters a new toy to sell =:)
And, of course, it gives their corporate masters a new toy to sell =:)

Aye, and that's what brought on this change in the first place. :) You gotta applaud DHX for taking the directions they're given by Hasbro and making them work, though — incorporating such drastic changes into the show without breaking it requires skill and care, and I think so far, they've demonstrated an abundance of both. :)

But yeah, it'll be interesting to see how it'll all play out.