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Thinking Outside the Box Workshop: Exercise #4 (Star Wars Tongue Twisters in Progress), Disc. #8

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by RX_Sith , Feb 26, 2008.

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  1. RX_Sith

    RX_Sith C&G Game Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Welcome everyone to another in the series of workshops. This will be a workshop on Thinking Outside the Box and I, RX_Sith will be your guide through this topic.

    Thinking Outside the Box is a unique but rewarding way to improve your writing skills. Everyone is encouraged to participate and discuss in this topic. If anyone has any questions or concerns you can always PM me.

    What to expect:

    1 - General discussion about thinking outside the box. What does it mean? How do you write it? When is it appropriate? Etc, etc..
    2 - Exercises to broaden our understanding of thinking outside the box - both reading and writing.
    3 - An open forum as to what the participants would like to work on.

    Ground Rules:

    1 - No-one is required to participate in both exercises and discussion. If you prefer one or the other, go right ahead.
    2 - Please do not link to works of fanfiction from either here or off-boards. We will be discussing them, but not promoting them. Off-site links to resources (articles, essays, blogs etc) are fine.
    3 - Keep it light, keep it friendly. Where constructive criticism is required, make sure it is tactful. I'm imploring people to remember that not everybody reacts the same way to concrit, so if you are the type to post blunt observations about people's works then please take an extra minute or two to ensure you aren't going to offend anyone.

    THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX

    (from wiki)

    Thinking outside the box is a cliché or catchphrase used to refer to looking at a problem from a new perspective without preconceptions, sometimes called a process of lateral thought. The catchphrase has become widely used in business environments, especially by management consultants and executive coaches, and has spawned a number of advertising slogans. "Out-of-the-box-y-ness" has also caught on recently, typically used to describe creative, wacky, smart ideas.

    ORIGIN

    The origin of the phrase is somewhat obscure; John Adair claims to have introduced the problem in 1969, management consultant Mike Vance has claimed that the use of the nine-dot puzzle in consultancy circles stems from the corporate culture of the Walt Disney Company, where the puzzle was used in-house. Both Martin Kihn of Fast Company and the Random House Word Mavens concur that the phrase relates to a traditional topographical puzzle called the nine dots puzzle.

    EXERCISE ONE

    [image=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1e/Ninedots-1.png/180px-Ninedots-1.png]

    Now, without searching for the solution, try to connect the above dots by drawing four straight, continuous lines, and never lifting the pencil from the paper.

    I will post the solution on March 1st, so you have until then to figure it out.
     
  2. MsLanna

    MsLanna Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Ooooh, sounds good to me.:D

    unfortunately, I know that one already.:( My dad has a soft spot for things like that so I grew up with those nifty challenges. Will there be more? [face_batting]

    I like sotires that are - different. The last I remember reading was 'Lyssophobia' which had a very unique structure. There should be more such fics.
     
  3. Persephone_Kore

    Persephone_Kore Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Ooooooh, I like this thread!

    I've seen the puzzle before. I can't actually remember if I figured it out before seeing the solution. *sheepish*

    Anyway, the thread sounds like a really great idea. Unique or unexpected plots -- or plot twists, unconventional structures, examining (or ducking) some of the assumptions we tend to make without realizing? Wherever this goes, I'll probably be watching it's career with great interest. ;)
     
  4. RX_Sith

    RX_Sith C&G Game Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Sure, here is another one for everyone. What familiar expression is represented below?

    [image=http://www.ahapuzzles.com/phrase_puzzle.jpg]

    Again, I will post the answer on March 1st.

    EXERCISE #2

    Give an example either in your own work or in a fellow author's story where they demonstrated skill in writing something outside the box. 500 word maximum. Please introduce the excerpt by pointing out what stands out to you most about the excerpt and what you think is outside the box.

    FOR EXAMPLE The following is an excerpt from my diary story.

    The main part of "Thinking Outside the Box" in this excerpt is the way that Obi-Wan (Ben) uses the Force to shape the sand into a surfboard. It shows a unique way to use the Force in a way that Obi-Wan had never thought of before.


    Still, the idea of solitude and loneliness does not entirely make me jump for joy. Qui-Gon tells me to be patient, "Obi-Wan," he teaches me, "You must still constantly hone your skills and abilities".

    "How, Master?" I ask him. "Go outside," he instructs me. I walk out into the blinding winds of the desert as the sand swirls all around me. It makes me want to itch myself from head to toe. "How do you expect me to practice my skills in this sandstorm?"

    "Calm yourself," Qui-Gon tells me as I relax myself in the Force. "Now, spread your arms out." I do as he instructs and I can feel the wind whipping at my tunic. "Now, calm the storm". I concentrate and the forces of the sandstorm suddenly start to cease in there violent intensity.

    "Now shape the sand," Qui-Gon instructs me. "What shape should I make?" I ask. "A surfboard," Qui-Gon states. "A surfboard?" I ask quizzically. "Yes, a surfboard," Qui-Gon reassures me.

    I extend my hands and start to shape the sand all around me into the shape of a surfboard. I complete it as well as I can. "Get on," Qui-Gon tells me. I get on the surfboard. Suddenly, the wind picks up again and the surfboard roars to life with me standing on it. I ride the hills of the dunes up and down. I slide the surfboard sideways on the sandy dunes as the sand rushes over my head. I continue this for a good five to ten minutes and then the storm subsides again. I step off of the board and look back at the sand dunes.

    I nearly faint when I see what I have carved into the sand dunes, "The Force Will Be With You Always". The winds pick up and the sand comes at me at fierce intensity. I extend my hands and the sand envelops around me but does not touch me. It coalesces around me as I walk into the blinding storm, but still the sand does not even touch me.

    "You see," Qui-Gon tells me as I walk back to my hut, "The Force is a powerful ally, and with constant use, it can help you to accomplish anything." I merely enjoy the basking sun for probably the first time ever since being marooned out in the harsh desert. I approach my hut and spread out my hands to clear the sand from the opening to my hut. I enter and as I turn to look outside, I see that the harsh winds will always be with me. Like my Master, they will never leave my side.

    [hr]

    I will give everyone until March 3rd to post your excerpt.>
     
  5. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Thinking outside the box is sometimes difficult and I'm not always sure what constitues it anyway. Does AU or a change in character or a different way of approaching something count? And just how far outside the box does it have to be before it's recognized as such?

    Your example of using sand that way was pretty cute. I'll have to see if I can find something.


    Here's an excellent example, not one of mine. Darth_Marr's Blue Sun Down, a Star Wars/Firefly crossover. In this example, we find out why River Tam (from Firefly/Serenity) is the way she is (crazy and powerful and deadly) - and it's not what you think! It's a Star Wars reason!



    The center of the room flickered, and in moments Vos?s image and statistics were gone, replaced by a shadowy figure with pale hands and a large robe with a cowl deep enough to hide all but his wrinkled chin.

    ?Hello, Master Vos,? a wizened voice said from the darkness of the cowl.

    The whole room fell into a deep, profound silence.

    Vos stiffened as he stared at the image. ?You must be Dooku?s master,? Vos said at last. ?Master Windu?s Sith Lord. Darth Sidious, is it??

    The figure merely stared at Vos. ?You are an anachronism, Jedi Vos,? the shadowy figure said. ?A man without a place. Without a time.?

    ?I am a Jedi,? Vos said.

    ?There are no more Jedi,? the figure said. His grin looked hideous and skeletal, with the gleam of metallic teeth. ?The battle in which you were captured marked the end of your Order. All the Jedi are dead.?

    Mal watched intently as Vos stared at the hologram, as if searching for a way to prove the statement was a lie. From the lowering of his shoulders, Mal guessed no such way was found.

    ?What are you doing with these people?? Vos demanded.

    ?I am saving their pitiful lives,? the figure said.

    ?From what? What evil could be worse than the Sith??

    ?Perhaps you shall live to find out,? Palpatine said. ?Then again, perhaps not.? Slowly the holographic shadow turned its cowl-covered head and looked at River. ?My child. We have not forgotten you. Soon, you shall be ready.?

    River stood frozen, like an animal caught in the gaze of a deadly predator. She shook her head with a whimper, but was not able to get any words out. With a beep, the hologram flashed away, leaving the room empty, but also somehow brighter.

     
  6. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    I think my most current example of "Thinking outside of the box" has to do with my diary challenge as well. In "In Absentia," Ive, an Imperial officer's wife, is raising her hearing-impaired 7-year-old daughter on Corellia. Two things that were definitely TOTB were when I took one of my favorite books (Number the Stars by Lois Lowry) and considered how it would be received in the Empire. It's a book about a family that takes a Jewish girl in Holland into their family to protect her from the Nazis. Beautiful book, but I mentioned in the story that the GFFA author was arrested by the Empire for sedition after having published the book because it encouraged sympathy for the Jedi who was being hid by the traitorous subjects of the Emperor.

    The second and more interesting to me is the kind of caste system that I have developed among the schoolchildren. They are all children of Imperial military officers.

    1/4 23 AI

    Another comm came from Edam, but this was a sound-only file. For us, that is the equivalent of "for your eyes only" and means that something is potentially wrong. I am grateful that I received it before leaving to the Mekthamas' because I might have not handled it well.

    As it turned out, my initial fear was mostly unfounded. Whereas the Avenger has always been in Darth Vader's fleet, Lord Vader has decided to form something of a splinter group. It is specifically designed for the discovery and elimination of the Rebels' primary base. That means that he will be involved in some of the more dangerous battles of the war. The stories of what the Rebels have done at places such as Yavin are the stuff of legend. I can only hope that some of the stories are exaggerations.

    The name of the new group is rather ominous--Death Squadron. I suppose that after hearing that the Avenger accompanies the Executor, I should not be surprised. Edam said that the nature of the group will become more public knowledge soon and wanted to prepare me in case Alys was treated differently for her father's association with the Squadron.

    I have no doubt that there will be something that she notices. Already, there is a kind of respectful distinction between the children whose parents are stormtroopers or infantry soldiers and those whose parents are fighting more impersonal battles in the navy. The distinction between gunners and officers is even greater. Alys is not the sort to be bothered by that, but I am not sure how well she will adapt to this new affiliation. I will have to remind her that Papa did not choose his placement, but is simply trying to do his best to win the war, just like any other soldier of the Empire.

    After work, I picked up Alys and made dinner while she did her homework. Since she is getting into a regular routine, I allowed her to watch some of the holoprograms as a reward after she had finished and I finished unpacking the last of the boxes that we brought with us.

    In the second-to-last box, I found the flag that we were given when Edam left the Academy and was given his first commission. It is a dazzling white piece of fabric that we hang from the front right window to indicate that one of our dearly beloved is away from home, fighting for the good of all those in the Empire. Since Alys has been old enough, I have allowed her to do the honors of hanging it. Tonight was no exception.

    The moment it was hung, she turned and told me that one of the children in her class had been given a black flag this morning. That means that one of her classmates has lost a parent to the war and that they will remain in the school out of respect to the fallen. Mr. Dumailnk, the headmaster, says that this is not uncommon, though there are many children who leave the school because the reminder of what they have lost is too painful.

    As always, I encouraged her to be sympathetic to this classmate, but to not fear too much. After all, her Papa is on one of the most indestructible crafts known to sentients. The Avenger has taken many beatings in battle, but never fallen. There is a chance that some day w
     
  7. MsLanna

    MsLanna Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Now that's mean. firstly expecting me to know anything that would pass as 'familiar expression' in English and then thinking I could solve it with an alphabet clue.:_|
    I'll do it anyway. No giving answer until March 1st, I assume?

    I think, I'll use 'Lyssophobia' again. The story telling is so unique.


    The story continues like that, alternating the recording and the events. In the end you get a complete picture of what happened, but the way that is achieved is something I haven't seen before.
     
  8. RX_Sith

    RX_Sith C&G Game Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2006

    DISCUSSION #1:

    Great observations and questions dianethx. These questions will be our first discussion topic.

    1. What are everyone's thoughts on what thinking outside the box constitutes?

    2. Does AU or a change in character or a different way of approaching something count?

    3. Just how far outside the box does it have to be before it is recognized as such?


    I will post my reply first. They are my opinion and everyone else is welcome to post their replies as well.

    1. To me, thinking outside the box is comparable to inventing or improving an invention. What I mean by this for example, think of something simple, like inventing the light bulb. The history of the [link=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incandescent_light_bulb]Incandescent light bulb[/link] shows the progression of what happened to the original invention. It was originally something that now is totally different because of others improving on the invention. We now have all different kinds of light bulbs from the familiar type that you put in a lamp to the ones that you put outside for Christmas decorations to every size imaginable.

    Each successive improvement was done by thinking of other ways for the use of a light bulb. Some are useful while others not so much. Eventually, the original becomes obsolete because of the various improvements due to technology and other factors. All of these improvements are a part of "Thinking Outside the Box", or thinking of other ways or uses for the original product.

    2. For fan fiction, to me it means telling a story that has not been told before or improving upon the original story. Whether it is AU or EU or a parody or a song-fic or whatever, it is your story; your interpretation of what you are writing about. You are "Thinking Outside the Box" by telling a different story that has never been done before, or writing whatever your particular story is about. It is unique in its own way and that is the most important part about it. No one else has done exactly what your story is about.

    3. I do not believe that it has to be that much different from the original to be considered "Outside the Box". You obviously can't tell the exact same story, but just one variation; like Anakin not turning to the Darkside; is enough to make it "Outside the Box". It may be similar in some parts, but you are telling a different story than the original, and to me, that is enough to make it "Outside the Box".

    [hr]

    Again, this is my opinion. What are everyone else's? Discuss away.>
     
  9. Alexis_Wingstar

    Alexis_Wingstar Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2006
    I can't figure out the solution to the first excercise, but the second one is easy. I won't say what it is 'cause I don't wanna ruin it for everyone else. :p

    I have trouble thinking inside the box. When I take a challenge, I see what the challenger expects, but I always twist it in some way. Take the latest Dare Challenge in which my dare was to write an AU where Anakin doesn't join Palpatine, helps Windu kill Sidious, but is injured and carries the injury with him. Well, I couldn't just give Ani a normal injury... he isn't normal after all [face_mischief] This excerpt is from "He Ain't Heavy, He's My...?"


    Anakin barely had time to see what happened to Master Windu when Sidious jumped him and they fell. Grabbing the young knight by the shoulders, the withered Sith lord let loose his force lightening directly into the one he had hoped to turn into his newest and most powerful apprentice to date. ?You should have joined me when you had the chance, you whiny jedi brat! Now will you not only be unable save Padme, but I shall kill you then torture her before taking her life!?

    ?NOOOOOOOO!?

    Suddenly, something very strange happened. Sidious not only was unable to pull his hands away from Anakin?s shoulders, he was being drawn like a magnet towards his opponent. ?What? what are you doing??

    ?I was going to ask the same thing of you! Get off me you old geezer!?

    Anakin tried to force push the would be emperor off, but they both kind of just skidded across the floor. The jedi received a nasty rub burn on his back as a result. As painful as that can be, however, the electrical current of the force lightening and something else he could not understand made the rub burn feel as good as making love to Padme in comparison. Both he and Sidious screamed in agony. The Sith lord?s lightening stopped just before both he and Anakin passed out.



    A little later in the story?

    The next morning, Anakin woke with an excruciating headache. Rubbing his head, he turned with his eyes still closed. ?Padme, I just had the worst dream? Ahhh!? He had opened his eyes to see Darth Sidious? hideously wrinkled face too close for comfort. Realizing suddenly that it was not a dream, but not realizing it had been hours since they both past out Anakin tried once more to push the Sith lord off him. ?Get off of me!?

    ?I can?t, OUCH!?

    ?Ouch, hey, what the?? Anakin paused in his struggling and looked under the covers. ?Oh, crap!?

    Sidious started cackling loud and hard. ?It looks like you joined me even though you didn?t want to!? He continued his insane laughter as Anakin rose from the bed and wrapped the blanket around them like a cloak.


    Later in the story?

    ?I was hoping to find out what?s going on, Master.? Anakin looked at Mace Windu and bowed. ?I?m glad to see you alive.?

    ?I am grateful to be able to return the sentiment.? The Korunnai master acknowledged the young knight then looked pointedly at the back of Sidious? head? it seemed the merging of Anakin and the dark lord made it so they looked like a Troig, only with the Sith facing the opposite way of the jedi and his legs dangling uselessly since Anakin was the taller of the two.


    A little later?

    Ignoring the brief conversation between the joined, Healer Te-Kurk spoke. ?We never saw any instances where someone was touching their victim while using force lightening before. We believe that the lightening magnetized your bodies so that you came together and melded? your combined force sensitivities and midichlorians allowed the two of you not only survive, but to integrate into a viable whole. We?re not sure if we can separate you without killing you both.?

    That's not exactly the usual type of injury you'd think about.

    DISCUSSION #1:

    Great observations and questions dianethx. These questions will be our first discussion topic.

    1. What are everyone's thoughts on what thinking outside the box constitutes?

    Thinking outside the box to me is to be able to give a common theme a twist that
     
  10. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    1. What are everyone's thoughts on what thinking outside the box constitutes?

    I think it's defying convention or what's in your comfort zone. When I was 20, I was in a choir where we were 300 white college students singing old African-American spirituals for a concert. We really had no idea how to loosen up and sing it the right way, so our teacher made us do an Out-Of-Box experience once a week for eight weeks. It could be changing our fundamental study habit or doing karaoke for the first time, but we had to do something that went completely against what we thought of as our grain.

    2. Does AU or a change in character or a different way of approaching something count?

    Not necessarily. I have been doing AUs for years, but the first thing I ever considered to be truly out of the box was "To Cast Away Stones." I wrote that as an AU in which Luke, Leia and Han travel through time to kill Darth Vader. The people were drawn in by the AU, but by the end of Episode III, not a single on-screen fact had been changed. The perspective of it had, however. The same can be said of "Turning into myself," which has Mon Mothma turn out to be Padme.

    3. Just how far outside the box does it have to be before it is recognized as such?

    See my answer to question 1.
     
  11. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Turning into Myself by Shaindl was a good example, Ish.

    1. What are everyone's thoughts on what thinking outside the box constitutes?
    To me, thinking outside the box (OTB) takes a situation or a character and twists it into something completely different while remaining true to the essence of the situation/character.
    Marnie's Redemption was a time-travel story based on what Dooku said to Obi-Wan in AOTC. The way things were twisted around really made that story and yet the characters remained true.

    But I also like changing one thing only and seeing where it goes. How far it's pushed takes it from AU into OTB.

    2. Does AU or a change in character or a different way of approaching something count?
    It can. It really depends on how AU it is. To me, if it's AU where Anakin doesn't turn, then that's not outside enough for me. However, if Mace turns into a Sith because of it, such as in Souderwan's story (damn I can't remember the title), then that would be outside the box.

    Some people seem to be more suited to writing OTB stuff. LuvEwan and JediNemesis are both excellent examples of authors who do that. Almost everything they write is OTB, either in situation or the way they approached it with their writing style. LuvEwan's The Broken Cadence Rolls is a gorgeous example of it.

    3. Just how far outside the box does it have to be before it is recognized as such?

    It has to push the limits for me or twist it into something surprising. I remember a poem by Elana (again I've forgotten the title :( ). She did the AOTC fireplace scene in Shakespearian form and it was one of the best things I'd ever read. The scene itself wasn't OTB but the way she did it was brilliantly OTB. If Lucas had used her story for that scene, no one would have complained!
     
  12. RX_Sith

    RX_Sith C&G Game Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2006
    I want to thank everyone who is participating for their excellent responses to our Exercises and Discussions.

    Discussion #2:

    Taco Bell's ad to "Think outside the Bun" is in reference to the buzzword "Thinking Outside the Box". But, really, are they? Besides with having all different kinds of tacos and other related foods, they are a specific kind of food chain. So, are they "Thinking Outside the Box"?

    I would say, no, not really. All they are doing to me, is coming up with different varieties of the same food that they already have.

    1. What does everyone else think?

    2. Does changing a menu constitute "Thinking Outside the Box"?

    3. What change from a fast food restaurant is "Thinking Outside the Box"?
     
  13. Lilith Demodae

    Lilith Demodae Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 1, 1999
    No, I don't think they are 'thinking outside the box'. I just think it was a mildly clever advertising catch-phrase.

    'Think outside the bun' was to sort of make people stop thinking 'burger' when they think about fast food. They didn't even change their menu when this campaign started. Like I said, just mildly clever advertising.
     
  14. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    1. What does everyone else think?
    Clever ad campaign. Not even close to being outside the box.
    I would say that one of the best OTB thinking in corporate America was the beginnings of McDonalds. There was nothing really like it around.
    Another would be ANH where Lucas used computer technology to make his ships fly. Nothing like it before. Revolutionized the industry!

    2. Does changing a menu constitute "Thinking Outside the Box"?
    No, not unless you are eating the menu.

    3. What change from a fast food restaurant is "Thinking Outside the Box"?
    I think gourmet food in a fast food restaurant might be considered thinking OTB.

     
  15. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2005
    My excerpt is from a story of mine called "A Prisoner In Two Spaces". Why do I think it's out of the box? Well, start with the weird version of life after death that I portray. Then add in the fact that Anakin isn't having a very peaceful postlife existence. I decided that the whole notion of him being forgiven because he renounces the Dark Side moments before he dies doesn't work. I'm not the first person to think that, and there have been a couple of fics about Anakin getting judged I believe. But how many of them take his soul and split it in half? Yeah, didn't think so.


    [i]?This is death.?[/i]

    His name still remains forgotten. All names here were to remain forgotten and unknown, except for the name of this place...The Dark Valley, a space in the Netherworld where he has been since...how long? How long had he been here, doing nothing more than wandering the shores of Bittersweet Dark, trapped in by the high mountains of black dust, swallowed up by the sky with no stars?

    And where was the beginning? What made this happen? What in event in time brought him here?

    Time...it felt vaguely familiar. Moments forming years...different links in a chain binding together that was called...

    [i]?Only death is true now.? [/i]

    The Mistress spoke. Her voice was made of softness and sadness. She was a form of twisting darkness, deeper than the lightless water of the river he could not cross.

    [i]?Look at what your sins have brought you.? [/i]

    It was raining. The rain of living essence...life? That was what moments bound together were called!

    The Mistress whirled about his head. [i]?Death is the only reality for you, Ani. It is your only truth.?[/i] She swam down past his shoulder, and spread out above the dark grass of the dead field. [i]?You are to remain here in this valley, until your two selves can be rejoined.?[/i]

    His two selves? What did that mean?

    The Mistress ascended into the midnight sky with no moon or any other celestial light to illuminate the scene.

    He did not care. There was nothing to make him aware enough to give him a reason to care about anything. The Dark Valley was the place of loss of care. Nothing existed but the darkness and the river and the smoky sky and the Mistress.

    And his name did not exist. But the Mistress had called him something...Ani. Nothing, it meant nothing. It felt like a name...and she had called him that word, so it must be his name.

    If he could remember his identity, then why he was trapped here might finally be revealed.

    [i]?Redemption is not absolution.?[/i] From the farthest shore the Mistress spoke once again. [i]?You are here for atonement.? [/i]

    Atonement, another word with no meaning.

    [i]?Think of sins, Ani.?[/i]

    That word again, ?Ani?. And now yet another one that was not familiar...but there was a feeling...sins. Blood. Sins. The living essence pours out from the body at the end of life, that state which is called death, when all sins have been committed. Death comes most painfully to those who have created the most heinous sins.

    ?Pain is my truth. My sins are the reflection of my pain.?

    [hr]

    Now for the recent discussion questions:

    1. What does everyone else think?

    Of course that's not thinking outside the box. It's an ad agency's idea of being clever. Which is rarely clever or original or amusing. (All those monkeys that could type Shakespeare took up advertising to pay the bills).

    2. Does changing a menu constitute "Thinking Outside the Box"?

    No, but going somewhere else to eat is thinking outside the box. [face_tongue]

    One of the few commercials I actually find amusing is the one for Citibank (?) where the couple goes to the fancy restaurant and is presented with plates of the tiniest food imaginable. So they make a run to a convenience store and stock up on junk food.

    3. What change from a fast food restaurant is "Thinking Outside the Box"?

    Cleaner floors, better service, food that's actually edible, no health code violations, better prices.
    >
     
  16. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    See, I don't think that Taco Bell is thinking outside the box/bun at all. It is trite to claim that the individuality of a pseudo-Mexican restaurant actually doesn't sell hamburgers. It would be like McDonalds advertising their unique habit of not selling kung pao chicken. It's exploitation of the obvious. If they lowered prices or offered really high-quality food, that would be a different matter.
     
  17. RX_Sith

    RX_Sith C&G Game Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2006
    [image=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1e/Ninedots-1.png/180px-Ninedots-1.png]

    Alright, here is one of the solutions to the Nine Dots Puzzle above:

    [image=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3b/Ninedots-2.png/180px-Ninedots-2.png]

    The other solution I will post later on today.

    Here is another exercise.

    Exercise #3: Can you move one matchstick and take away another to turn this cat into a dog?

    [image=http://www.ahapuzzles.com/cat_to_dog.jpg]

    I will post the solution for it on March 5th.

    Discussion #3:

    Name one part from each Star Wars movie that you consider to be "Thinking Outside the Box".

    Post your replies in the original order that the movies came out; i.e. Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith. P.S. Use the original versions (not the lame enhanced ones) for the original three movies. I will give everyone until March 6th to post their replies.
     
  18. Alexis_Wingstar

    Alexis_Wingstar Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Discussion #3:

    Name one part from each Star Wars movie that you consider to be "Thinking Outside the Box".

    Post your replies in the original order that the movies came out; i.e. Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith. P.S. Use the original versions (not the lame enhanced ones) for the original three movies. I will give everyone until March 6th to post their replies.


    Star Wars: A New Hope

    Combining elements of sword and sorcery (lightsabers and the force), westerns (Han Solo and the cantina... heck, all of Tatooine had a western flare), and science fiction (lasers, spaceships, droids, etc.) into a coecive whole had never been done before... at least to my knowledge. Also, none of it took place on Earth... it was long ago in a galaxy far far away... the box hadn't been invented yet! :p

    Empire Strikes Back

    The Wookie (all fur) petting the Human. [face_laugh]

    Return of the Jedi

    IMHO, this was the weakest in terms of thinking outside the box, but I do remember an argument I had with a childhood friend, who was male, about Yoda's comment that there was another in whom they had hope. I had said it was Leia, but my friend was adamant it couldn't be, because after all, Leia is a GIRL. With the revelation that Leia was Luke's sister, I guess it was thinking outside the box to imply that if something should happen to Luke, Leia would be the one to save the galaxy.

    The Phantom Menace

    Having a rather lighthearted plot (with Jar Jar as the court jester) to 'begin' the story showing the fall of Anakin to the dark side surprised many.

    Attack of the Clones

    Showing a non-force sensitive and his young son (Jango and Boba Fett) can best a Jedi Knight (Obi-wan).

    Revenge of the Sith

    The jedi, with their rule of no attachment, became so attached to their traditions they couldn't think outside the box. If they did, they could have seen their allies... the clone troopers... were strategically placed to wipe them out.


    On the subject of thinking outside the box, my son is in the cub scouts, and his pack is having the blue and gold banquet tomorrow. The banquet will be having a "Chinese New Year" theme, and each scout is bring a side dish. He and his father are making ratatouille for it... because it's the year of the rat.>
     
  19. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Does Lucas even know how to think inside the box???

    ANH - the technology and use of computers to make the ships fly in outer space. Never, ever done before

    TESB - using a puppet as a major character in a dramatic series and making it work and making us think it was a character worth watching

    ROTJ - The least OTB thinking of the entire series. Throwing the lightsaber away, maybe. I think the way he cut the film in order to get that fast-paced look had not been done to such an extent before. Introduction of Mon Mothma as the leader of the Rebels. Americans tend to not accept strong women in leadership roles even now. It was startling in the late 70s.

    TPM - the title. Had everyone scratching their heads about why he called it that. Some people still don't get it. Also completely animated creatures that looked real

    AOTC - the drive through Coruscant. I kept thinking that I couldn't figure out how they did that.

    ROTS - and when I thought he couldn't top the technology, he did it again with the opening scene. Also the scene where Anakin and Padme are looking at each other across the city just before he leaves for Palpy's office. A long slow scene with no dialogue that could have fallen flat but only upped the tension!
     
  20. LifesAStage-Director

    LifesAStage-Director Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Oh... another thing about the whole series that was outside the box was using the soundtrack to enhance the scenes without distracting from what was going on. The music on all the movies was great and enjoyable w/o watching the movies as well, but until Star Wars, in most movies the soundtracks tended to be rather distracting... or perhaps it was just that until SW came, I was too young to go to anything other than kid's movies which always had corny songs...

    oops, it's me, A_W. [face_blush]
     
  21. RX_Sith

    RX_Sith C&G Game Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2006
    What familiar expression is represented below?

    [image=http://www.ahapuzzles.com/phrase_puzzle.jpg]

    Answer: Thinking outside the box. :p


    My answer to discussion #3:

    1. HAN SHOT FIRST! (No need to explain about that).

    2. "I am your father". (Greatest line ever).

    3. "No, there is another." (Leia.)

    4. Using a CGI character (Jar Jar) as a main character. (Unfortunately, wrong character choice).

    5. Turning Yoda into a CGI character. (At least this works better in the storyline).

    6. The fight between Anakin and Obi-Wan. (The former Jedi against his Master).

    [hr]>
     
  22. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    Discussion #3

    ANH: Elite fighting forces that can't aim!

    ESB: A frog who talks backwards and thinks that wars not make one great, FTW!

    ROTJ: Luke's ultimate button to be pushed, threatening the sister we never knew he had.

    TPM: Though I don't like it, the Force as a bacterial infection!

    AOTC: Obi-Wan's new DEA policies--"You don't want to sell me deathsticks. You want to go home and rethink your life."

    ROTS: Hey, look! We've got spaceships and lightsabers and basketballs that can blow up a planet and a chick can die from a broken heart after having twins she didn't know she was carrying!
     
  23. RX_Sith

    RX_Sith C&G Game Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Once again, excellent responses all around. Now consider this article from [link=http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/95/debunk.html]fastcompany.com[/link].

    "Outside the Box": The Inside Story
    By: Martin Kihn

    Our Debunking Unit takes on the mother of all consultantese: the box, and how to think outside of it.

    Some specimens of consultant-speak are so cliched that they have long lost any real meaning and have turned into the conversational equivalent of an "ummmm." The most common of these may be the hoary exhortation to "think outside the box."

    Examples abound. To name but a few: In The Art of Innovation (Currency, 2001), author Tom Kelley encourages "thinking outside the box." Variety publishes a blog called "Outside the Box," and a USA Today headline intoned: "Muzak Thinks Outside the Box."

    "It is," says Jesse Sheidlower, editor-at-large of the Oxford English Dictionary, "about as cliched as it gets."

    The phrase means something like "think creatively" or "be original," and its origin is generally attributed to consultants in the 1970s and 1980s who tried to make clients feel inadequate by drawing nine dots on a piece of paper and asking them to connect the dots without lifting their pen, using only four lines:

    (Hint: You have to think outside the -- oh, you know.)

    Since then, books have been committed on topics from Kids Who Think Outside the Box to Evangelism Outside the Box. And this box isn't closing: In the past year, the phrase has appeared an average of once every nine or so days in The New York Times alone.

    We wondered whether thinking outside the box really does enhance creativity. To find out, we checked in with Dr. Peter Suedfeld, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia and an expert in human cognition. He told us that creativity is a "very mysterious thing" that "exists in pretty much everyone" -- but that there are indeed ways to improve it.

    One method he has studied extensively is what he calls the Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique (REST) -- putting people into places with no light or outside stimuli. "What I've found," he said, "is that far from making people crazy, moderate deprivation lowers blood pressure, improves mood, and makes people more creative."

    Does that mean a person wanting to be creative is better off thinking, say, inside a box?

    Dr. Suedfeld considered this a moment, and then said, "To the extent the box keeps the outside world away -- then, yes, it is better to think inside the box."


    [b]Discussion #4:[/b]

    Do you agree with Dr. Suedfeld here or not? Explain.>
     
  24. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    I think Dr. Suedfeld is correct most of the time. Look at how many people talk about writing far into the night and being tired makes them more creative. Tiredness gets you to focus more inward, keeping the outside world at bay. I don't know about the brainwaves but I bet they go in the same direction as the REST experiment. I also am more creative when everything is quiet. When I write, there is no music playing, no kids talking, no tv blaring - just me and my computer.


    However, that being said, we need input from outside stimuli in order to decide where we are going to start in our creativity adventure. In an hour or so, I'm going to a quilt show to try and reenergize my quilting ideas. Seeing what others do with cloth gives me lots of directions to go. But I'll then take those nuggets of ideas and go into a quiet room and let my creativity take over.
     
  25. MsLanna

    MsLanna Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 2005
    But, but is is ina box still.8-}
     
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