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Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Thursday, July 22, 2021 5:15:40 PM
Number of Posts:
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Last 10 Posts
MIT Predicted the Collapse of Today's Society in 1972. And We're Right On Track.
Thursday, July 15, 2021 7:24:26 PM
MIT Predicted the Collapse of Today's Society in 1972. And We're Right On Track.
What is the appropriate response to this information? Should one experience preemptive mourning, smirking schadenfreude, grim satisfaction or some sort of apocalyptic religious euphoria? Does ‘the-collapse-of-todays-society-in-1972’ represent a hyperbolic headline characterization of a 49 year-old prediction that much will have changed, or is it a prediction that a remnant human population numbering only a few tens of thousands will be reduced to scavenging the ruble in a futile attempt to stave off extinction?
Monday, March 15, 2021 4:53:18 PM
Yes, it's an informal way of saying that the clothes match, go well together, or otherwise look good together. Merriam-Webster's list of synonyms for "chime" (a sort of bell or sound from it) include "agree, blend, coordinate, harmonize". When you're talking about clothes, of course it's agreement, blending, coordination, or harmonization that you
, rather than
...but you get the idea.
Might work particularly well for certain synesthetes, that is, for people who experience certain stimulations as if more that one sense were involved. Synesthesia sometimes involves the association of color with sounds or scents.
Too many parasites?
Monday, March 15, 2021 4:39:30 PM
Oscar D. Grouch wrote:
Be like a sea slug, tear off your body and start over!
Scientists Discover Sea Slug That Can Regenerate Body After Being Decapitated
March 13, 2021 8:00 AM ET
A researcher finds some types of slugs can completely regenerate their body after self-decapitating as a method of surviving disease.
SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Look; we've all heard of extreme makeovers, but slugs take that idea to new levels. Sakaya (ph) Mitoh, a researcher in Japan, discovered a slug in a lab a few years ago that was somehow separated from its head, but that head still moved around almost as normal. The body also squirmed around, as slugs do, with a beating heart and every other slug organ. Sakaya Mitoh watched as the slugs began to grow whole new bodies - no workouts, no tedious keto diet. The findings were published this week in Current Biology, and that caught the attention of Susan Milius.
SUSAN MILIUS: It kind of resonated with me because - I may be the only person on Earth this is true for, but there have been times when I have looked in the mirror and thought, you know, from the neck down, let's just start over, can't we?
SIMON: She's written about sea slugs for Science News. So how does this regeneration process start?
MILIUS: Well, it takes them a couple of hours. And they just sort of tear their heads away from their bodies. And then the head crawls around on its own, even though the bodies have the hearts in them. And the hearts are still beating.
SIMON: Sounds like a rough process, I got to say. The head can survive weeks without its body. We can't survive even one week without BJ Leiderman, who writes our theme. The slug body remains active for a little while, looking like a little green leaf just wafting around. But it is doomed to die.
MILIUS: The bodies can't regenerate a head. But the head, which is only 20% or so of the animal, can regrow a whole, much bigger body.
SIMON: That includes regrowing the heart, the kidneys, intestines, everything that goes into a slug.
MILIUS: It's a big thing if you're a little, tiny sea slug. But they manage to do it.
SIMON: How do these slugs survive without any organs? Well, scientists venture the guess that it's because the slugs are what they call kleptoplasts. They steal chloroplasts from the algae that they eat, and that's how they can survive from energy that's drawn from the sun.
Now, why would a sea slug voluntarily divest itself of its entire body? Shedding a body part and regrowing it happens in nature on a small scale with limbs, though humans shouldn't try it at home. But with these slugs, researchers believe there's another cause.
MILIUS: The slugs can get terrible parasites. The parasites take over their reproductive system, so the slugs themselves can't really reproduce. And the parasites use a lot of energy. So basically, the sea slug is reproductively pretty much dead.
SIMON: So when they realize their bodies might be just too parasitic for reproduction, the slugs shed them and grow new bodies, parasite-free. Whatever the actual cause, Susan Milius thinks the marvelously complex sea slug has spent just too long out of the biological spotlight.
While not applicable to individual humans, the concept might be seen as having merit on a societal basis. Consensus on the determination of which parts of a society are healthy and vital and which parts constitute the unsurvivable parasitic load is probably unattainable.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 7:24:35 PM
Orson - have you been back since then? If not, I'd advise you NOT to do so. Keep those beautiful memories intact. Thailand is still a beautiful, entrancing country containing miles of unspoilt beauty & beaches. But Chiang Mai has become a tourist destination.
The last time I was there - about 7-8 years ago, we only stayed overnight and then moved on: hordes of drunken Aussies; night-clubs and bars jostling for room, topless tourists prancing around the beaches...and all the usual sharp practices associated with tourist hot-spots.
Thailand is my favourite place on that side of the world, and Thai people the highest on my list of wonderful, generous, kind and friendly people. I wouldn't say that tourism has ruined it in the way Bali has been - but it has most certainly changed certain places, and it saddened me to see Chiang Mai turned into Australia-on-sea...and stocked with bloody Fosters!!
A second assignment in Thailand kept me there for several years in the late 80s and early 90s. Though the liaison office that was my base was in Bangkok, the work involved extensive travel in Thailand’s border areas (Cambodia, Lao and Myanmar borders). The Thai soldiers with whom I often traveled would occasionally plan trips that included ’inspection’ stops at places that were of some significance in earlier Thai history, in the history of the Khmer Empire (the Khmer ruled much of the area before the Thai moved southward into the region) and even in the area’s pre-history.
Recent trips have been to visit family in Ayutthaya (my wife’s hometown), Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima. We did make the overnight train trip to Chiang Mai a few years ago to meet with friends who lived there. Chiang Mai had obviously been touched by prosperity and growth, but was still recognizable as the same friendly small city.
Tuesday, January 19, 2021 6:37:33 PM
It is, perhaps, an odd thing: At the first sight of the word ‘mistyping,’ in my mind I was transported back fifty years, to the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai, nestled against the mountains and astride the Ping River, is liable to temperature inversions which occasionally trap clouds and smoke against the mountains, leading to misty, foggy or smoggy mornings during the rainy season (July to November) and the cool season (December and January). Thanks for deploying 'Misty Ping' and bringing to the fore memories of that much-loved place.
to fall trees
Saturday, December 5, 2020 7:17:33 AM
This used to be 'a buck' before we got 'loonies' ($1 with loon engraved) and 'toonies' (two $)
Always thought that Canadians missed a trick with the two dollar coin. '
' is a properly evocative moniker, but '
,' while it sounds benignly cartoonish, could have been '
Saturday, December 5, 2020 6:53:17 AM
Is 'stealthy' correct?
He went to her room
Your basic sentence is 'He went.' Went is the verb and the only modifier in the longer sentence would be an adverb, a word which describes the way that he
: therefore the sentence would be 'He went to her room
.' The adverb stealthily could be moved to be adjacent to the verb which it modifies without changing the meaning, thus 'He went stealthily to her room' or 'He stealthily went to her room.'
to fall trees
Thursday, October 8, 2020 9:50:15 AM
I have been watching some industrial chemical accident videos (the moral seems to be
never to do maintenance
- the accidents almost always happen during maintenance or when plant is being started up again after maintenance) and got referred on to accident reports from the accident investigation organisation in British Columbia, and I see they use 'to fall trees' as a transitive verb, and the lumberjacks are 'fallers'.
Obviously I can understand what they mean, and it is the correct term used here - I am just interested in whether that is the common term, a technical term, and if it is also used in AmE or other variations.
To me, you fell the tree, (and the tree falls). And the person who does it is the tree feller.
To fall a tree is new to me, and I am slightly surprised I have never heard it if it is that common in Canadian English.
This half-Canadian American (U.S. born) has never seen nor heard ‘fall’ used in that way, that is to take trees down or to cut trees, or to intentionally cause a tree to fall. To fell or felling has always been the version heard in my seven decades of American English usage (with frequent and early exposure to Western Canadian usages). Cutting is probably used rather more frequently than felling, and lumberjack more common than tree-feller. That said, in the spirit of Norma Loquendi (“
Consuetudo, jus et norma loquendi
…” : The right method of speaking and pronouncing is established by custom... ), using ‘to fall,’ 'falling,' or 'faller(s)' in context, as a transitive verb or as a noun, does, as you noted, effectively convey the intended meaning.
Assuming that ‘falling’ a tree is not the newly identified process of ‘
’ or ‘
preparing the tree(s) to face the rigors of Autumn, the form will, henceforth, have a place in the anteroom of my passive vocabulary.
Cookie made of people
Sunday, September 27, 2020 1:52:49 PM
Then there is the Stoney Scone, a formerly doughy baked good, perhaps a petrified biscuit, almost certainly lithified in the happily very long time span since the chair in which it is kept was put to its prescribed use.
Saturday, September 26, 2020 6:23:11 AM
‘Sir Anthony [Sherley] himself in rich cloth of gold, his gown and his undercoat, his sword hanging in a rich scarf to the worth of a thousand crowns, being set with pearls and diamonds, and on his head a turban according, to the worth of two thousand
, his boots embroidered with pearl and rubies’. (George Mainwaring, ‘"A True Discourse of Sir Anthony Sherley’s Travel into Persia"’
This text is dated to 1599. How much is a dollar worth in old English money system?
The 1599 date might point to the Joachimsthaler, a silver coin which was minted in Joachimsthal, a region in Bohemia (modern Czech Republic) in the 16th century. The modern word dollar is derived from German word ‘thal’ or ‘tal,’ meaning valley. One could, in a somewhat obscure jest, refer to dollars as ‘valley money.’ The designation ‘Thaler,’ ‘Taler,’ and the derivative ‘Dollar’ came to be associated with a number of coins minted in various German states, in Hapsburg Austria and in other Hapsburg lands, including the Spanish Real. Without specific information, it may not be possible to know which sort of dollar was meant. Two thousand of any silver coin does sound like a fantastically high value for a turban in 1599
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