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Thursday Open Thread

by Fran Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 10:12:47 AM EST

An open and warm thread for a cold day!


Display:
<warms hands by fire>

Nice place you've got here!

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 10:23:28 AM EST
Well, enjoy the fire - I have to go out into the cold now. :-)
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 11:05:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
shame if something happened to it [moves elbow menacingly]

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 11:36:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
'ere, mind that elbow!

(Sounds like you're chippier!)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 12:19:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks but it's all relative with no guarantees I won't be worse tomorrow. Sorry if that sounds pessimistic but that seems to be the way of it at the moment.
2 steps forward, 1 step back
followed by
1 step forward, 2 steps back

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 02:12:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Beat me to it.


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 10:11:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This'll warm y'all up!



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 11:15:14 AM EST
Malware attacks spike against Apple OS X users in China enclave

Researchers are reporting a spike in hack attacks targeting Mac OS X systems for the purpose of surreptitiously monitoring users' e-mail and chat contacts and maintaining persistent control over their computers.

"With these attacks, we continue to see an expansion of the APT capabilities to attack Mac OS X users," wrote Costin Raiu, director of Kaspersky's global research and analysis team. "In general, Mac users operate under a false sense of security which comes from the years-old mantra that 'Macs don't get viruses.'"

Attacks exploit an old vulnerability.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 11:40:13 AM EST
Note however, that the attack uses an MS Word vulnerability...

the MS product being the Trojan horse in this case.

Interesting that it seems to be a Chinese state-sponsored attack, targeting Uyghurs. Does this ethnic group have a specific affinity for Macs, one wonders?

If Mac use in China follows a similar sociological profile to the west (artists, high tech artisans etc) then that would make them an interesting specific target for the central-government control freaks.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 11:50:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
eurogreen:
Does this ethnic group have a specific affinity for Macs, one wonders?

Have ye never heard of the Highland clan MacUyghur, laddie?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 12:17:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i never used Word on a mac without it sucking mightily, causing me to wipe it.

b-a-d software...

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 08:46:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In fairness, Word sucks full mightily on WinTel machines as well.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 12:16:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A whole generation of people now think that "Macintosh" is the name of an apple.
by asdf on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 10:38:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Katrin on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 10:29:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps a nice McIntosh?

My Fuji tree stubbornly refuses to bloom. Last spring I got about a dozen flowers and four apples, which fell off early in the season. I think it needs more water, or maybe the soil has too much clay for it to cope with.

by asdf on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 03:15:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you have a pollination partner?

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 03:59:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you have a pollination partner?

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 04:06:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now that's strange.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 04:06:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He wouldn't have had 4 apples otherwise: it would have been zero.
by Katrin on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 04:18:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By pure chance bees will sometimes, serendipitously, pollinate self-sterile plants.  

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sat Feb 16th, 2013 at 04:18:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, you thought of pollination by wind. It's theoretically possible, but unusual with apples. I had to look it up: 2% of the flowers are pollinated if you have no insects to do the job. Asdf's pitiful tree had 25% of the flowers pollinated, so I assume there are pollination partners growing nearby and there are bees or other insects carrying the pollen around. It's just that the damned plant doesn't want to flower. There are apple sorts that can cope with clay (don't know anything about Fuji), but he mentioned lack of water. Apples don't like that. If you don't have water, grow something else. He has to decide if he wants to keep the apple tree as a purely decorative plant, or if he plants an apple tree that is better adapted to local conditions (if any exist). I experimented with pears a few years ago. Same result. Off with the pear trees.
by Katrin on Sat Feb 16th, 2013 at 05:11:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Meanwhile, my four small raspberry plants, stuck in the ground 3 years ago, have taken over the entire garden...
by asdf on Sat Feb 16th, 2013 at 11:43:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How old, how big, has it previously produced?

Apple trees tend to want to produce one year out of two.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 16th, 2013 at 06:09:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not flowering reliably, so pollination doesn't have anything to do with it. The tree is somehow not healthy enough. Mostly likely a combination of insufficient water and poor clay soil.

The tree is about 8 years old now and has never flowered properly. It appears to be perfectly healthy otherwise. Grown from a bare root stock (20 cm high originally) and now around 5 or 6 meters high.

I think it's probably the lousy soil more than anything. I live in the bottom of an alluvial plain, which means it is 100% clay. When dry, it has the consistency of a brick.

by asdf on Sat Feb 16th, 2013 at 11:42:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If it's grown to 5 or 6 metres in 8 years, it's not exactly suffering. You could improve the soil with compost (on the surface) and water in summer, but perhaps the tree needs annual pruning to produce flowers and fruit.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 16th, 2013 at 11:52:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've tried conventional pruning, aggressive pruning, and no pruning. None give the right results, although the pruning most of last year's new growth seems to work best... Maybe it will just have to be "a tree" without expectation of fruit. I have had good luck with fruit trees in several previous situations. One gardener friend says it is possible to get dud trees...
by asdf on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 12:22:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Meanwhile, back in England,
A cider store owner has been forced to change the name of his business - after The Apple Shop was inundated by callers asking for phone and computer repairs.

[...]

In one call, an elderly man contacted him to say he had "been silly and bought his first computer", an Apple Mac, at the age of 87.

Mr Fisher agreed he had been silly and told him: "Give it to your grandchildren".

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 02:07:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He should rename his brands and then sell some unsuspecting donks $300 worth of undrinkable filth.

Always maintaining on his website he sells cider

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 02:14:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And I hope y'all are feeling better.



Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?

by budr on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:51:14 PM EST
Has anyone got a copy of the Liberation editorial on the pope. Apparently, besides having the title quoted above, it was in latin.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 08:38:24 AM EST
Here.
by Bernard on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 01:04:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Papus interruptus" was the front page headline on the February 12 edition. The "Cogitatio" editorial ("Songe" in French) was on page 3.
by Bernard on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 03:48:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Independent
Findings come as former Schools Minister says he believes axing compulsory langyage lessons was a mistake
Not to mention spelling.
The study of language skills in fourteen European countries reveals for the first time that even those pupils who study a foreign language up until the age of 16 in England fare worse than pupils from almost any other country in the Continent.
I know what you are thinking. Almost? Who is worse?
In French, English pupils were the worst performers in both reading (90 per cent of pupils failing to progress beyond the level of basic user) and maths (where 75 per cent of pupils only managed to reach the basic standard).
I never knew French math was different from English math.
England's performance in writing was similar - but this time it was equal with Portugal.

In German, English and Polish students were the worst performers in all three disciplines.

With all those invasions, you'd think the Poles would know German better by now.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 09:00:32 AM EST
"The report also exposed a significant gap between English pupils from better-off homes and those from disadvantaged backgrounds."

Breaking: Pope still Catholic.

So which of these countries have an elite v proles system like the English one? I know Sweden is getting there, despite calls for renationalisation.


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 10:29:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interestingly, the old elite schools in Sweden - the three boarding schools that has always been there - are currently under fire for cheating with government funds (as well as institutionalised bullying, but it is the money that gets them in trouble). It is a bit amusing as those who go there are natural members of Moderaterna, but it is the liberal (and more academic middle class) Folkpartiet that holds the education minister seats and they don't mind poking these old institutions (while promoting a clearer hierarchy throughout the rest of the school system).

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 04:42:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France doesn't mimic the British system, but has a system that faithfully reproduces the social hierarchy.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 16th, 2013 at 01:42:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd say the difference is that the French system is intellectual, while the British one is anti-intellectual.

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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 07:54:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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