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Profile: Amber Gray
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User Name: Amber Gray
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Joined: Saturday, September 26, 2015
Last Visit: Saturday, December 12, 2015 8:18:06 PM
Number of Posts: 16
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: what does "a turpentined cat" mean?
Posted: Thursday, December 10, 2015 12:19:42 PM
I wonder if the kerosene actually got rid of the lice. Either way, it sounds really dangerous, and on children's skin no less. Good thing there are much better alternatives these days.

Yeah, I didn't find the turpentine cat story very pleasant at all, but the worst part is that back in those days they could've done far worse and it wouldn't have been a problem at all (socially, that is.)

I'm from Florida, which isn't considered the "deep South," but it's geographically the most Southernmost state, as far as I can tell. What I never really understood is why the South was so predisposed to condone or encourage acts of cruelty -- not just to animals, but also to humans -- despite the positive reputation of Southern hospitality. Hm, I guess it's yet another example of the dualism that exists in Western cultures, especially ones dominated by religious tradition.
Topic: Film censorship in India
Posted: Monday, November 30, 2015 10:08:08 PM
I do feel bad for Indian filmmakers who have to comply with these frivolous and stifling rules. I also feel bad for the audience being shorthanded by being shown a watered-down, "politically-correct" censored version of a film and denied access to the original,regardless of country of origin.

These censorship rules remind me of the 40s and 50s, back when American movies weren't allowed to use benign swear words like "darn," or any reference to copulation/reproduction, like "pregnant" or "birth," and this was in the United States.It was like the Victorian era all over again, and I'm afraid that is what is happening in India right now.

I respect Indian culture and its people. However, these new censorship rules are clearly unreasonable, and it's clear that neither filmmakers nor Indian citizens are happy with them at all.
Topic: Don't talk unless you can improve the silence
Posted: Tuesday, November 24, 2015 5:45:28 PM
I agree with foolofgrace. Improving the silence, in this expression, would mean saying something important or pertinent enough to be worthy of attention, or worth breaking the silence. A similar expression might be, "If you have nothing nice to say, then don't say anything at all." This one is commonly told to children to discourage them from making negative comments or insults. The connotation of the Borges quote, in my interpretation, has a similar meaning, in that something positive, important, or brilliant that is spoken out loud is better than silence, whereas something negative, boring, irrelevant, or outrageous is better left unsaid, and in that case, silence would be preferable.

I hope my interpretation was not too long-winded.
Topic: A self-study web site for Japanese beginners
Posted: Monday, October 26, 2015 8:36:04 PM
Thanks for sharing everyone.

I study the language myself (well, on and off), and I've found virtual flashcards to be excellent for daily practice:

https://ankiweb.net/shared/decks/japanese

I started studying Mandarin Chinese with both traditional and simplified characters a few months ago, and learning characters in Chinese actually made it easier for me to recognize or relate the meanings in Japanese Kanji. Of course, the characters don't always translate exactly, but written Chinese has had a profound influence on the Japanese language -- because without Chinese, Japanese would most likely not have been written down. (Maybe eventually it would have, but it would look totally different.)
I like to think of it in a similar way to the strong influence of Latin, French, or German on the English language. You don't necessarily have to be fluent in Latin/French/German to learn English, and you don't have to be fluent in Chinese to learn Kanji, but by learning the root or parent languages, it becomes a lot easier to remember words/ideograms or use context clues to remember what they mean.
Topic: Anton van Leeuwenhoek (1632)
Posted: Saturday, October 24, 2015 5:01:13 AM
I think it's cute that he called the microscopic organisms, "animalcules." :3
Topic: The value of old age depends upon the person who reaches it. To some men of early performance it is useless. To others, who...
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 6:56:24 PM
I agree that old age -- that is, the interpretation of or feelings around it -- are subjective in nature. There is the chronological and biological aging, and there is the psychological and spiritual aging.
Depending on the person, old age can be positive, negative, or anywhere in between.
There are so many different types of people each at their own pace of life, that defining old age concretely from a philosophical standpoint is impossible. It is a subjective experience influenced by a great number of personal and environmental factors.
Topic: Everybody is so talented nowadays that the only people I care to honor as deserving real distinction are those who remain in...
Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2015 9:14:23 PM
I interpreted his quote as having moreso to do with the fact that the masses tend to celebrate people whose fame or accomplishments are rather fleeting or vapid in the grand scheme of history. A great example of this is Austria's music history: the Austrian composers that we celebrate as geniuses now were not given such praise and distinction in their own time, but were instead passed over for more popular contemporaries of the time. This is why I don't equate popularity with greatness, and seeing that Thomas Hardy celebrated the obscure instead of the popular and supposedly "talented," he probably didn't either.
Topic: Reason or cause or are they interchangeable?
Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2015 4:43:29 PM
Sometimes "cause" and "reason" can be used interchangeably.

However, "reason," in my opinion, tends to imply that there was a conscious or logical motive for the action or result.
A "cause," however, can be entirely coincidental or accidental, and may not necessarily be a circumstance from a conscious source.

For example, "the cause of an earthquake." An earthquake is an uncontrollable natural phenomenon, so no conscientious reason/logical motive can be attributed to it (unless religious belief/explanation is brought into the subject, but that's another matter entirely.)

As another poster mentioned, it sounds more natural and less accusatory to say, "The reason for your delay," or "The cause of your delay."
Topic: The Ming Dynasty
Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 6:58:06 PM
I read the article after accepting the "read the article of the day" challenge, but even after visiting the page multiple times, the website has still not credited me for achieving my goal. Is there a bug in the website?

Update: Never mind, it says I need to complete the challenge tomorrow, not today. Anyway, I love to learn about Chinese history and culture.
Topic: He thought me horned him.
Posted: Monday, October 12, 2015 11:28:29 PM
Quote:
"He thought me horned him." I told my son in the car.

Does it make sense?

Well, not really.

In this case, it sounds much more natural to say, "I" instead of, "me." Also, adding "at" connects the object and verb more smoothly, although the extra preposition may be excluded in colloquial speech, but for formal writing, prepositions are expected, if not required.

Example sentences that match this one:
"He thought I honked at him." ("honk" is another way to refer to the sound of a horn. In this case, a car horn.)
"He thought I horned him."
"He thought I horned at him."


English sentences have a basic "subject-verb-object" structure, such as "I eat apple." ["I" subject, "eat" verb, "apple" object.] To make it more complex, "I eat an apple," with "an" being a preposition.
Using this rule in a variation of the corrected sentence, it works something like this:
"He [subject] thought [past tense verb of subject] I [object] horned [verb of object] at [preposition] him [subject restated]."

I hope this helps. :-)

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