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Author Topic: miscellaneous musings  (Read 236121 times)

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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3050 on: 10 Dec 2019, 10:37 »

I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this.

~ Emo Phillips
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3051 on: 11 Dec 2019, 01:56 »

I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this.

~ Emo Phillips

People come up to me... concerned... that I'll reproduce.
~ Emo Phillips
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3052 on: 11 Dec 2019, 06:55 »

I don’t believe in astrology; I’m a Sagittarius and we’re skeptical.
~Arthur C. Clarke
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3053 on: 11 Dec 2019, 07:16 »

I’m not a member of an organized political party. I’m a Democrat.
~ Will Rogers
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3054 on: 11 Dec 2019, 21:17 »

Just imagining the world a hundred years hence - in some soft-sci-fi future where we get contacted by Aliens.....

"You know, it would probably be easier to build healthy diplomatic relations with the Reticulans if Reticulan pirates, crooks, and smugglers hadn't been using Earth as a hideout for decades before we were officially discovered.  And as if that's not bad enough, some of them developed a sex tourism side business abducting people, drugging them, and pimping them out to be raped by weird little butt-sex freaks with anal probes.

Anyway, that's all in the back of people's heads, right?  Our first impression of them was made by some of their most vile crooks.  So when these English farmers bring their relatively minor class action suit for crop damage, it's going to be a bit hard to find a venue capable of giving them a fair trial...."





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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3055 on: 20 Dec 2019, 11:02 »

I would absolutely love an AHS style Lovecratian show where its set in 1920s and each season is a different Lovecraft tale. Like one season could be Herbert West: Reanimator, then the next season would be Shadow Over Innsmouth (I would rip the plot straight from the Call of Cthulhu Xbox game though with the detective story), then maybe an episodic season "Tales of Miskatonic U" where we can cover Dunwich Horror, Whisperer In Darkness, Call of Cthulhu,  Mountains of Madness, any anything else that has Miskatonic University characters. Different actors every season with different tales. Then again Whispers in Darkness could probably be its own season.
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3056 on: 05 Jan 2020, 17:47 »

In the Warhammer Fantasy Battles universe*, Elves come in 3 flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate, and Mint. I think about this a lot.







*And many other fantasy settings
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3057 on: 05 Jan 2020, 18:28 »

Meanwhile Orks in 40k operate entirely on a "Clap your hands if you believe" scale. And don't realise it.
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Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart but I am street smart.", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I am imaginary smart."

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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3058 on: 12 Jan 2020, 16:59 »

This must have been asked many times before I came up with it.

Was the author of "The Never Ending Story" paid by the word?
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3059 on: 17 Jan 2020, 07:06 »

There's a post on Twitter where people are telling their Bad Teacher Stories. I've got a bunch but it reminded me of good? surreal? experience from when I was nine in primary school.

There was a substitute teacher and I don't know how but they realised I had read ahead on the book the class was reading and I was instantly apologetic and upset because I had got in trouble for this before for some reason. The sub was like, "No it's okay. It's good you like to read. Has anyone else read ahead?" and while we had that teacher he kept us in groups depending on what chapter we'd read to. Including people who were "behind" without judgement.

I think the book was Charlie and The Great Glass Elevator.
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3060 on: 17 Jan 2020, 09:09 »

Very similar to me. We had a teacher when I was in 4th class (about 9-10) who would shout and roar at everyone, until one say he saw me with my head down. He thought I was messing or something, stormed over and demanded to know what I was doing. As it turned out, I was reading ahead in one of our English books. When he saw that, he apologised and then took every opportunity to encourage me to read. It even got the point where during a Parent-Teacher meeting, he told my parents that he loved how much I'd read, even comics if I had them.
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3061 on: 19 Jan 2020, 10:40 »

I read my entire biology textbook by week three... same with history, now that I think about it.

I might have been a wee bit bored in class.
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Case

Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3062 on: 26 Jan 2020, 05:35 »

This must have been asked many times before I came up with it.

Was the author of "The Never Ending Story" paid by the word?

I was unable to find details on Ende's contract on the Germanophone interwebbertubes, but I think it unlikely. The title may (partially) be a pun on his surname - 'Ende' meaning '(The) End' in German - as well as the book's genesis. Ende had originally announced to his publisher that he had an idea for a story about a boy who literally becomes a part of the story he reads, but that he expected to not be able to wring more than a 100 pages from the idea. The publisher replied "You do that - write a short book for once".

According to Ende, what happened next was that once he started taking the idea seriously "the story exploded in my hands".

When the deadline approached, he had to admit to said publisher that he found himself unable to get the damn brat out of Phantasia again - "Bastian doesn't want to come back again" - and he strongly implies that he habitually refused to employ cheap author's trick to resolve plot problem. The boy would find a way out on his own, and everybody - publisher, printer, readers - had to have patience until he did (he remarks that at the time, appointments with printers ahd already been made, "the paper was ready (to be printed)")

He found that his original Bastian - a much more asocial, reticent, withdrawn kid than the one in the published version, who lacked the latter's desire for community and social interaction - didn't work, as that Bastian would have no reason to want to come back to his real life again. So Ende ended up rewriting much of his draft (By his account, the book represents about a fifth of the source material). He handed in the draft more than a year past the original deadline.

https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_unendliche_Geschichte

TL;DR - I guess the title may, in part, be an in-joke between Ende and his publisher. And the discrepancy between his original estimate of a hundred pages for a book that grew to nearly five times that length (480 pages) ... dunno how length figured into his remuneration. Ende was not one to suffer indignities in silence - he famously sued (and lost) to have the production of the eponymous movie halted, or the title changed, and insisted his name be withdrawn from the credits - but there is no report about any disagreements about his payment for a book that deviated in many ways from what was initially agreed upon (granted, this would also be congruent with his being paid by page number). What he did seem to have cared about - fanatically so - were his characters and the artistic integrity of his work, and by '79, he seemed to have been in a position to afford such devotion (Previous novels, like Momo, or the Jim Button series, were already bestsellers in Germany in their own right. Methinks Ende occupies a place in German YA fiction similar to Stephen King in the US, though the latter is, of course, much more prolific, and, more importantly, still alive).
« Last Edit: 27 Jan 2020, 05:40 by Case »
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3063 on: 26 Jan 2020, 18:02 »

Was there ever a myth about a virgin goddess (or god) that was know for their purity but came across someone they found so irresistible that they were willing to give that up, only for that person to reject them out of fear from the past stories of the diety murdering people that accidentally stumbled onto them bathing in the woods?
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3064 on: 27 Jan 2020, 00:37 »

That sounds a bit like the story of Artemis and Hippolytus, though that was more out of his devotion to purity, than about fear, if I remember correctly.
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3065 on: 27 Jan 2020, 09:30 »

In the US, the states of Michigan and Ohio fought a battle over who got ownership of the city of Toledo. The armies couldn’t find each other in the wilderness but stumbled onto each other in a bar that night. The only injury was when someone was stabbed with a butter knife.

Some people suspect that the soldiers and their commanders probably thought the idea of going to war against the other state was really stupid and that might be why they "couldn't find" each other.  But nobody ever got in trouble for it.  Except, oddly enough, the one guy who stabbed one of the 'enemy' soldiers with a butter knife.  He went to court on assault charges.

But apparently Austria has an entirely different approach to these things.  Once their army attacked itself and lost ten thousand men.
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3066 on: 27 Jan 2020, 09:56 »

But apparently Austria has an entirely different approach to these things.  Once their army attacked itself and lost ten thousand men.

Not one of our proudest and brightest moments.

On the other hand, Liechtenstein went to war with fifty people, but 51 returned. No casualties, and IIRC someone from Italy joined their side.
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3067 on: 28 Jan 2020, 17:52 »

Dinosaur-killer level meteor strikes only happen once every hundred million years or so, but when they hit, they hit everybody who’s alive at that time.

Therefore the odds of getting killed this way are the odds of everybody (or at least almost everybody) alive getting killed this way at once.

Because it’s more likely for a K-T sized meteor to hit during any one lifetime than lightning is likely to kill any one individual, it’s actually more likely for each of us, as individuals, to get killed by a KT-level extinction event caused by a giant meteor, than it is to get killed by lightning.

You may have heard this as a reason not to worry about lightning bolts.  But that would be a misinterpretation.  I've had lightning bolts hit uncomfortably close to me, and I think it's a good reason to fund Spacewatch, asteroid observatories, and space exploration. 
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3068 on: 29 Jan 2020, 11:13 »

  I've had lightning bolts hit uncomfortably close to me, and I think it's a good reason to fund Spacewatch, asteroid observatories, and space exploration.

This has happened to me enough times that I'm pretty sure my superpower is not getting struck by lightning.
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3069 on: 29 Jan 2020, 11:19 »

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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3070 on: 10 Feb 2020, 09:24 »

Hot take on the first hobbit movie:
The Elves are not vegetarian, they just don't know what dwarves eat. They live underground where there is nothing to hunt, so they just assumed anything that grows is edible for them and just gave them fresh plants from their garden. In solidarity they chose to have salads themselves.
« Last Edit: 10 Feb 2020, 10:39 by LeeC »
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3071 on: 05 Apr 2020, 09:18 »

Was the author of "The Neverending Story" paid by the word?
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3072 on: 07 Apr 2020, 17:03 »

Reflecting on the discussion here about firearms, about the pandemic, about the US elections, about prison policies, about... well, a lot of things.

All countries struggle with the balancing act between personal freedoms and weird and dreadfully socialist concept of collective responsibility. But in the US, the concept of 'freedom' is so heavily ingrained into the culture that it seems to almost always win.
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3073 on: 08 Apr 2020, 01:00 »

I don't know, it seems to win, but I'd seriously question the definition of FreedomTM.

I know it's only anecdotal, but last time my US cousins came to stay, their reactions to what we think are quite normal conversations, really led me to believe that speech, and opinion, in the US, is all but free.

Are you truly free if a lot of things you do or don't are inspired by fear?
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3074 on: 08 Apr 2020, 01:27 »

Distinguish carefully between "Freedom to" (do what you like, maybe even regardless of others) and "Freedom from" (disease, fear, oppression, etc).
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3075 on: 08 Apr 2020, 01:44 »

I was speaking of 'freedom to.' I suspect Cornelius was as well.
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3076 on: 08 Apr 2020, 01:48 »

Exactly.

Besides, if there is no freedom from, is there really freedom to? If, for instance, there is the freedom to carry a gun, and that makes it so that you are on your best behaviour on the off chance someone might take exception to something you say, and go for theirs: is it not so, that the freedom to (have a gun), takes away the freedom from (fear of lethal violence), and hence, the freedom to (speak freely)?

I'm just picking this example, as the result of a "polite society" is often used as an argument in favour of bearing arms. To me, however, that's not so much a polite, as a frightened society - which can only come to grief.
« Last Edit: 08 Apr 2020, 01:55 by Cornelius »
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3077 on: 08 Apr 2020, 17:35 »

I wonder what Gabriel Garcia Marquez would think to know that the title “Love in the Time of Cholera” would go on to inspire millions of COVID-19 headlines.  :roll:
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3078 on: 29 Apr 2020, 09:09 »

Every time I read about the 'progress'  the late Pablo Escobar's herd of hippopotami are making in taking over most of the rivers of Colombia (and now expanding into neighboring Venezuela and Brazil) I keep thinking....

Hippopotami are edible, and a lot of hungry people live there.... but the darn things are an order of magnitude more dangerous than any livestock we've ever raised so far.  Still, one day, some town or village that can't fish those rivers any more is going to be desperate enough to say, "challenge accepted."  Setting up those pens and slaughterhouses is going to be a real adventure.

Maybe someone ought to publish a hippopotamus cookbook to start gradually infiltrating the idea into the culture.....
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3079 on: 03 May 2020, 01:44 »

I read the 'know your meme' entry for the 'literally no one:' meme, and for the first time, I finished feeling more confused than before deciding to look it up.

It made some kind of vague sense before, and now it makes no sense to me at all.
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3080 on: 03 May 2020, 08:03 »

Is there any kind of actual content at knowyourmeme.com?  I'd never heard of that one so I popped over to look at what they had to say, and ... it looks like they don't say anything? There's just a bunch of mixed advertising and social-media links, no actual content?
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3081 on: 03 May 2020, 15:04 »

The entry that I read was:

Nobody

Whether this rates as "content" is perhaps up for debate.  :lol:
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3082 on: 11 May 2020, 22:42 »

Doesn't the word "pangolin" sound like it should be the name of a musical instrument?
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3083 on: 12 May 2020, 03:56 »

The nearest I can find is:

Pagolo or Pangolo:
polyheterochord musical bow of New Britain, East New Guinea, and New Ireland, with 2 strings and tuning loop, but no resonator.  In New Britain it has been obsolete since the 1880s, when it was supplanted by the Jew's-harp.  In New Guinea it is played by women only.

(Sibyl Marcuse: Musical Instruments, A Comprehensive Dictionary, 1964)
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3084 on: 12 May 2020, 04:08 »

Although your guess is lexicographically closer, I'd guessed that he was thinking of a mandolin.
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3085 on: 12 May 2020, 04:27 »

Sure - but mine was more fun!
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3086 on: 12 May 2020, 05:46 »

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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3087 on: 16 May 2020, 20:01 »

I grilled today.  cooked up some whole sweet corn.
but I dropped the butter knife with a huge dollop of butter on the ground.
Wife wasn't amused.
but as I went back inside for another knife and more butter...

...did I just "butter up" Mother Earth?
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3088 on: 16 May 2020, 20:36 »

That reminds me... I'm going to need to find a source for sweet corn this summer. The farmers market here has been cancelled for this year...
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3089 on: 17 May 2020, 11:55 »

but I dropped the butter knife with a huge dollop of butter on the ground.
Wife wasn't amused.

One of the reasons to have cats is that they are uncritical about our mistakes. 

Especially where the mistakes involve dropped butter.
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Re: miscellaneous musings
« Reply #3090 on: 14 Jun 2020, 18:08 »

One of the problems with these forums predominantly consisting of left-leaning opinion is that it allows us to be sloppy in the expression of our opinions because most people will not criticise your logic if the conclusion is one they agree with.

We need to sharpen our thinking in these grounds so that we can put our best foot forward in more hostile territory.
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