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Thursday Open Thread

by afew Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 12:13:36 PM EST


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Don't let it bring you down.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 12:14:07 PM EST
Alice is my heroine, even if Scott Adams is a complete prat

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 12:46:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you think he's bad, read one of the books about "how great I am" by the kid and stuffed tiger guy, Bill Watterson. Talk about being full of himself...
by asdf on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 01:21:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Damn, I love Calvin and Hobbes too.

Still, being a rock fan you have to learn to separate the art from the artist cos most rockstars are real putzes. I mean, I love Led Zeppelin but I everything I read about Pagey suggests he's quite a nasty bloke and you didn't want to be around Bonham when he'd had a drink.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 01:28:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Double Damn. That's why I hate how nearly-inescapable celebrity information is. I don't want to think about the actor/writer/singer's crappy self when I enjoy their entertainment; it takes me out of the creative work and into real life, breaking the (third?) wall.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 02:37:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fourth, I think it is. The one that isn't there to allow the camera to see into the room...
by asdf on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 04:25:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Tribune:
12.10pm - In South Eleuthera teams are out assessing the damage and government administrator Charles King said he will be able to provide an update in around two hours. Around 100 people from various settlements in South Eleuthera spent the night in shelters and remain there as winds continue to blow at 55-60 knots, Mr King said.
(...)
11:53am - Elizabeth MP Ryan Pinder reported he lost communication with North Eleuthera early this morning. Power went out in his father's hometown of Spanish Wells at around 2:15am, and he expects the community is still getting pounded by the storm as Irene moves west northwest towards Abaco.
(...)
11:45am - Irene is now making her way into south Abaco and there is concern there that many people did not seek safe shelter in time.
Already there are between 3 and 4oo people in the shelters in Marsh Harbour where they are bracing for a direct hit later today. According to administrator cephas cunningham, most of the people in the shelters came from the Pigeon Pea and Mudd shanty towns.

Thankfully, the next storm heading our way is going north.

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne

by maracatu on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 12:32:14 PM EST
Jeff Masters is going slightly hysterical on his blog:

Today, we have a hurricane over the Bahamas--Hurricane Irene--that threatens to be the Northeast's most dangerous storm since the 1938 hurricane. We've all been watching the computer models, which have been steadily moving their forecast tracks for Irene more to the east--first into Florida, then Georgia, then South Carolina, then North Carolina, then offshore of North Carolina--and it seemed that this storm would do what so many many storms have done in the past, brush the Outer Banks of North Carolina, then head out to sea. Irene will not do that. Irene will likely hit Eastern North Carolina, but the storm is going northwards after that, and may deliver an extremely destructive blow to the mid-Atlantic and New England states. I am most concerned about the storm surge danger to North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and the rest of the New England coast.  Irene is capable of inundating portions of the coast under 10 - 15 feet of water, to the highest storm surge depths ever recorded. I strongly recommend that all residents of the mid-Atlantic and New England coast familiarize themselves with their storm surge risk

[Emphasis original]

All of the computer models are forecasting a glancing hit up the US Atlantic coast:

The current projected path is for Irene to smash into North Carolina/Virginia as a Cat 4 move back over water and then hit southern New Jersey as a Cat 2:

and it's hard to imagine a worse scenario.

If you are in the path of Irene, and you should know that sometime tomorrow, I have five words of advice:  board up & Get Out.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 01:17:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The two going into New York and one to Connecticut are the worrying ones.  NC is probably built fairly well for it.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 04:31:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
National Hurricane Center's current Forecast advisory:

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...

  • THE NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS
  • THE COAST OF NORTH CAROLINA FROM LITTLE RIVER INLET NORTHWARD TO
THE VIRGINIA BORDER...INCLUDING THE PAMLICO...ALBEMARLE...AND
CURRITUCK SOUNDS

A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* THE VIRGINIA/NORTH CAROLINA BORDER NORTHWARD TO SANDY HOOK NEW
JERSEY...INCLUDING DELAWARE BAY...AND CHESAPEAKE BAY SOUTH OF SMITH
POINT.

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* NORTH OF EDISTO BEACH SOUTH CAROLINA TO LITTLE RIVER INLET

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* CHESAPEAKE BAY FROM SMITH POINT NORTHWARD AND THE TIDAL POTOMAC.

A HURRICANE WARNING MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED
SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA.  A WARNING IS TYPICALLY ISSUED
36 HOURS BEFORE THE ANTICIPATED FIRST OCCURRENCE OF
TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS...CONDITIONS THAT MAKE OUTSIDE
PREPARATIONS DIFFICULT OR DANGEROUS. PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE
AND PROPERTY SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION.

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN 36 HOURS.

A HURRICANE WATCH MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE
WITHIN THE WATCH AREA.  A WATCH IS TYPICALLY ISSUED 48 HOURS
BEFORE THE ANTICIPATED FIRST OCCURRENCE OF TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE
WINDS...CONDITIONS THAT MAKE OUTSIDE PREPARATIONS DIFFICULT OR
DANGEROUS.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 48 HOURS.

INTERESTS ELSEWHERE IN THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES AND NEW ENGLAND
SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF IRENE.

Some of the computer models are predicting a more westernly path:

than they were a couple of hours ago.  No matter what, it seems North Cack-a-lacky is going to be hit.  Where Irene wanders to from there is a bit of a mystery.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 05:19:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, they say that, but watch -- it'll go into Charleston or something.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 06:01:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It'll probably make next weekend interesting here. We often get the fag end of your more interesting storms

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Aug 26th, 2011 at 01:52:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've just discovered that all of the Roseanne episodes are on youtube.

I may be some time

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 01:00:34 PM EST
Enthralled by the travails of the US working class are we?

:-)


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 01:18:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I always loved that programme. It was just about the only working class comedy the US ever produced, and it was sharp, cutting, sarcastic. things we didn't know America could do.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 01:26:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a lot of sharp, cutting, sarcasm in the US.  It rarely makes it to production because it conflicts with the 'Happy-Happy Exceptional Exceptionalityitude of the US' propaganda.
 

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 01:45:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's good stuff on US television.  Have to get away from the networks (NBC, CBS, etc) though.  The networks are gutless.  The cable channels and HBO are the ones producing the good shows.

Roseanne was definitely a good show.  They still run it here on one of the cable channels.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 04:41:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hot diggity. Even as re-runs, the show will captivate me, and my choices with Kabel Deutschland and VideoBuster leave much to be desired. Thank goodness I can also get The Daily Show online.  Thanks for the info.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 02:42:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Those in less northerly parts of Europe; how since when are you under the heatwave and how bad is it? Here, forecasters predict that today was the maximum (38.0°C in Budapest, more somewhat to the south; 33°C in my office when I left at 13:30, 31°C in my computer room at home right now), but a real cool-off won't come until Wednesday, making it a ten-day affair. I take Italy or Serbia had it much worse.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 01:51:28 PM EST
See yesterday's OT.

Temperatures have gone back to normal here now.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 01:58:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Summer?

In Scotland we ain't had no steeenking summer....well actually, there were two days in late April....

Still, we've had a few decent days here in Oslo this last week or so, but it's now definitely got an early autumn feel about it.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 02:53:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Scots are the only people on the planet who go to Oslo for "the decent weather."

:-)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 05:11:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, Oslo weather is usually much better, warmer and dryer in Summer than anywhere in Scotland.

Which did come as something of a surprise.

But the summer starts later and finishes earlier, so the chance of finding anything other than a skeleton crew in Norway during June and July is pretty minimal....

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 07:38:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No he's in Nirway so he has an Alibi :)

BBC News - Nick Clegg hit by blue paint in Glasgow protest

A man has been arrested after Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was splattered with blue paint in Glasgow.

Mr Clegg's suit and face were struck as he arrived at Woodside Hall in the west of the city for a meeting with Lib Dem Party activists.

The BBC understands an anti-cuts campaigner has said he carried out the attack in protest at the Lib Dem coalition with the Conservatives.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 10:04:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We have had a noticeable cool down in the southern Ozarks. Day time highs are down to the mid to low 90s, (<=35C) sometimes mid to high 80s, (>=30C), and nighttime temps have dropped into the 60s, (<20C) several times and are forecast to be in the mid-60s for the next week. Hopefully, I will be able to get some of my projects finished, my water and electricity connected to my garden, get my trenches closed, a gate on my garden and a third rail around the garden, (which should be sufficient to deter deer).

We had around 3cm of rain Tuesday night and have had over 4cm for August. This has greened up the lawns and fields. If this continues local farmers will get a good second crop of hay, much of which can be sold to Texas and Oklahoma ranchers. The cool down started about a week ago. May it continue and spread west.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 05:51:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
these past few days. Definitely at the "continental" end of our "semi-continental" climate.

Aircon at work (not everybody has that, by any means!) I find it hard to sleep over 30° (i.e. most nights).

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

by eurogreen on Fri Aug 26th, 2011 at 05:57:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And Bremen is reaching 30C for the first time this summer, since April. Our first real summer day, and perhaps the 5th or 7th sunny day 21-24C since April.

Gone Swimming.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Aug 26th, 2011 at 08:28:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cancel that. 1 hour ago i left the banks of the Weser to bike home for towels, brunch, more water. When i reached home it was still sunny and clear, with white clouds in the distance.

Half an hour later it's getting very dark with strange white undulations (like curdled cream in chocolate pudding) as the thunderstorm moves in. Radar shows it's strong, though at least we're just on the edge. The Netherlands are getting pounded, as is the offshore wind staging area.

Damn, haven't been swimming once this year.

PS. When i said below that it's our 5th or 7th day, i meant with some sun, i.e. more than just 2-3 hours. Wow.

(and where was i during the three summer weeks in April. Freezing my ass in Frisco for 10 days, that's where.)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Aug 26th, 2011 at 09:04:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
just now. But this is normal during hot summer weather.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Aug 26th, 2011 at 09:22:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After 40C you're lucky to have a T-storm. This one up here is huge, but it's going so fast the edge might have already missed us. Already gotten lighter. Nary a drop of rain, nary a sound except way in the distance.


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Aug 26th, 2011 at 09:26:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
US Machinations of Diplomacy Further Revealed Through New Batch of WikiLeaks Cables | The Dissenter
--In France, US diplomats work on behalf of Monsanto against biotech bill (November 30, 2007) - The cable indicates US diplomats were bothered by the fact that a French biotech bill might place constraints or regulations on Monsanto's GMO seed, MON-810. The summary in the beginning of the cable reads, "Of particular concern is a provision that would mandate public disclosure of biotech crop location at the parcel level. It is likely that the French will publish a decree in the French Official Journal formalizing the suspension of MON810 maize seed cultivation shortly." This isn't the only cable to show diplomats acting as "henchmen" for Monsanto in France. Journalist Rania Khalek drew attention to the fact that Washington was willing to launch a "military-style trade war" against any EU country that banned GMO crops.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 05:13:26 PM EST
Who Could Have Predicted?
by Bernard on Fri Aug 26th, 2011 at 02:21:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This cable goes with this one, also from Ambassador Stapleton and also clearly aligning US interests with those of biotech companies and against policy decisions by France or other EU countries that got in the way. The URL given in ceebs' excerpt now gets a "sorry, no document" message, but I have a copy (and translated it into French).
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Aug 26th, 2011 at 04:10:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't find a new URL for that other cable - Wikileaks just seem to have pulled it - but it's still in the Google cache. (Weirdly centred, but never mind, scroll down to get to the cable).
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Aug 26th, 2011 at 04:19:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. We exist in a universe which is a one shot affair, from big-bang to big-suck (coalescing of all the eventual black holes, drawing in all the space/time to God-knows where), or

  2. We're caught in an infinite loop with a little variation with each loop, with limited memory.

(I need to get out more often.)

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 05:44:47 PM EST
Well the second sounds like one of the variations on Budhist reincarnation theory. that we get to repeat the same lives over and over with minor changes till we get them right.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 at 09:52:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
this sounds like a "what happens in the long run ?" question; to which I think I should point out that we will all be dead.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Aug 26th, 2011 at 01:51:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You need to get out more often.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Aug 26th, 2011 at 03:53:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I like Lee Smolin's alternative.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 26th, 2011 at 04:11:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(there is something deeply troubling about that plural -- it would seem to be a semantic contradiction in terms)

reach premature heat death if they are not fit to reproduce... then successive cycles of reincarnation would seem to apply the principles of natural selection, tending towards perfection...

so this is the Unifying Theory that reconciles Darwin and the Buddha?

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

by eurogreen on Fri Aug 26th, 2011 at 06:06:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(there is something deeply troubling about that plural -- it would seem to be a semantic contradiction in terms)

No. For each given observer at a given spacetime event there is a cosmological horizon.

... The existence, properties, and significance of a cosmological horizon depend on the particular cosmological model being discussed.

...

The particle horizon differs from the cosmic event horizon in that the particle horizon represents the largest comoving distance from which light could have reached the observer by a specific time, while the event horizon is the largest comoving distance from which light emitted now can ever reach the observer in the future.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 26th, 2011 at 06:17:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Stapeldon's "Star Maker" comes pretty damn close.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Aug 26th, 2011 at 08:26:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The other night, I'm lying in bed, I've got a water bottle next to the bed that I take a swig from on occasion, On this occasion I don't even open my eyes in the dark because I know where the bottle is on the floor, I lift it up, take off the top, put the top on the bed, take a swig, reach for the cap, put it back on, put the bottle back on the floor, all without sight. It then dawns upon me what my perception of "reality" might be if I didn't have sight, the use of eyeballs, light waves, etc. I suddenly realize how much my concept of reality is based on my use of vision. Could I even handle math equations without sight? If my perception of reality is dependent on my most "sensitive" sensing organ, then am I fooling myself to believe that I have any real idea what reality truly is? We all go running around like the big-bang is real but what would we think without the use of sight? What if touch was our most sensitive sensing ability? What then?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Aug 26th, 2011 at 07:15:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You need to get out more.

You could also read Philosophy in the flesh: the embodied mind and its challenge to Western thought

What are human beings like? How is knowledge possible? What is truth? Where do moral values come from? Questions like these have stood at the center of Western philosophy for centuries. In addressing them, philosophers have made certain fundamental assumptions--that we can know our own minds by introspection, that most of our thinking about the world is literal, and that reason is disembodied and universal--that are now called into question by well-established results of cognitive science. It has been shown empirically that:Most thought is unconscious. We have no direct conscious access to the mechanisms of thought and language. Our ideas go by too quickly and at too deep a level for us to observe them in any simple way.Abstract concepts are mostly metaphorical. Much of the subject matter of philosopy, such as the nature of time, morality, causation, the mind, and the self, relies heavily on basic metaphors derived from bodily experience. What is literal in our reasoning about such concepts is minimal and conceptually impoverished. All the richness comes from metaphor. For instance, we have two mutually incompatible metaphors for time, both of which represent it as movement through space: in one it is a flow past us and in the other a spatial dimension we move along.Mind is embodied. Thought requires a body--not in the trivial sense that you need a physical brain to think with, but in the profound sense that the very structure of our thoughts comes from the nature of the body. Nearly all of our unconscious metaphors are based on common bodily experiences.Most of the central themes of the Western philosophical tradition are called into question by these findings. The Cartesian person, with a mind wholly separate from the body, does not exist. The Kantian person, capable of moral action according to the dictates of a universal reason, does not exist. The phenomenological person, capable of knowing his or her mind entirely through introspection alone, does not exist. The utilitarian person, the Chomskian person, the poststructuralist person, the computational person, and the person defined by analytic philosopy all do not exist.Then what does? ...


Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 26th, 2011 at 07:22:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thought requires a body--not in the trivial sense that you need a physical brain to think with, but in the profound sense that the very structure of our thoughts comes from the nature of the body.

An assumption I disagree with. When I'm dreaming, I'm very body non-conscious. I'm not aware of my face, hands, legs etc. Although I do do (?) human like things and I'm always dealing with humans. Odd.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Aug 26th, 2011 at 07:53:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An assumption I disagree with.

Which assumption?

It has been shown empirically that

I guess I really have to read the book myself (the one I've read is this one) to see what assumptions underlie the empirical tests and their interpretation...

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Aug 27th, 2011 at 03:18:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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