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Carol the Dabbler

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Everything posted by Carol the Dabbler

  1. Carol the Dabbler

    The Political Thread

    Seems to me that in general it's a good thing for a law to represent the beliefs of the populace. Of course not everyone agrees, so "majority rules" is probably the best we can do. Otherwise, who is it that gets to decide what the laws will be, and gets to impose them on everyone else? My point regarding the EU was that it's about the same size as the US. Of course our states don't differ as much as the European countries do, but there are definitely regional differences here, so of course the laws will differ.
  2. Carol the Dabbler

    The Political Thread

    This is the thread for ANY and ALL political discussion. Thank you. Sorry, I realize this actually belongs on the Cumberbatch News thread ;) but the polls have just closed in most of Indiana and in half of Kentucky, so the first returns should start coming in soon.
  3. Carol the Dabbler

    Shoot the Wall (A.K.A. The Rant Thread)

    Yeah, heaven knows there are enough people who will abandon a pet when they're no fun anymore (I'm sure glad I'm not their grandma). But there are also a lot of people who, when their pet does something that inconveniences them, assume that the pet is merely "being naughty." If the dog poops on the carpet, it never occurs to them that it might be ill, they just scold it and put it outside. And if it's not used to being outside or being alone, it may wander off, maybe looking for other dogs. Then there are the people who simply fail to think things through. Like when their pet goes missing, even one they're very fond of, they'll say oh, when he gets hungry, he'll come home. And it never occurs to them go looking for their pet, or put up notices, or phone the local animal shelter (if there is one) to see if it has been turned in, or check the "Found" ads in the newspaper, or anything. I don't see this as cruel or even neglectful, mostly just ignorant (and probably the way they were brought up). Still very sad situation for their pet, though.
  4. Carol the Dabbler

    Recently watched movies

    Somebody's bound to invent a real one sooner or later, though -- and might not have if the idea hadn't come to their attention via the fake one. Just consider the two-way wrist televisions in the old Dick Tracy comic strips -- sheer fantasy in the 1960's, but actually looks a bit clunky today.
  5. Carol the Dabbler

    Speedy's Cafe - General Chat about anything you like!

    Right, I suspect that most efforts to control post-consumer waste (such as the no-plastic-bags laws) are likely to have very little effect, either because they weren't thought through in the first place, or because people will circumvent them. But each of us has some control over what happens to our own stuff. If our plastic bags are reused or recycled, for example, they won't end up in the ocean. Come to think of it, how do they get into the ocean, anyhow? If it's due to litterbugs, then even throwing them away in a responsible manner should avoid that.
  6. Carol the Dabbler

    The Language (and travel) Thread

    You should try working with engineers. I know that I often use the wrong homonym, but like Arcadia, it's not because I don't know the difference. It's because once I start typing a word, my subconscious takes over. Anything that starts with "India" is likely to end up as "Indiana" or even "Indianapolis," for example, simply because I've already typed those names so often. I generally catch the errors when I proofread, though -- I hope!
  7. Carol the Dabbler

    The Language (and travel) Thread

    This is the place to ask your language-related questions! (What is "a queue for the loo"? Does Reichenbach really mean "rich brook" in German?) Your questions don't have to be Sherlock-related, or about the English language -- any language-related question is welcome here! This is also the place to post your language-related discoveries and other comments. (So that's what John meant by "pants"! Beware of "quite" -- it's really quite confusing!) And again, any language-related comment is welcome. I'm starting this thread mostly so that I'll have a place to ask questions. I'll do my best to answer some questions too, but everyone's help will be appreciated!
  8. Carol the Dabbler

    The Political Thread

    Please bear in mind that our states are large, and that just our 48 contiguous states are about the size of Europe. In fact, each of our states was originally a separate colony and then a separate country loosely joined in a cooperative effort for a few years. Don't members of the EU still have their own laws regarding some things -- or not? We do have some federal laws (i.e., covering the entire country), but they cover things that can affect more than one state at a time, such as presidential elections, kidnappings, military service, etc. State laws cannot contradict federal laws. A citizen of any US state is bound by the laws of whatever state s/he is in at the moment. (So yes, if you're from a state that prohibits X, but you're currently in a state that allows it, you're perfectly free to engage in X.) Laws tend to be pretty similar from state to state, but there are some major exceptions, plus a large number of slight variations. Counties and cities within a state can have their own laws in addition, but they must not contradict the state laws. Also, states must recognize the validity of each other's contracts, including marriage. It's not nearly as confusing as you're imagining!
  9. Carol the Dabbler

    Speedy's Cafe - General Chat about anything you like!

    Thanks for that link, J.P., but I do wonder about their conclusions. For example, they said this: ... organic cotton bags have to be reused many more times than conventional cotton bags (20,000 versus 7,000 times), based on the assumption that organic cotton has a 30% lower yield rate on average than conventional cotton, and therefore was assumed to require 30% more resources, like water, to grow the same amount. Even accepting their statement that the organic bag requires 30% more resources to create, how does that translate into nearly three times the number of reuses in order to break even? Wouldn't it be closer to 30% more, and if not, then why not (they don't say)? It makes me wonder how accurate any of their figures are.
  10. Carol the Dabbler

    The WTF Thread

    Depends! Sometimes we get into a really interesting conversation. Or at least a fairly congenial one.
  11. Carol the Dabbler

    The WTF Thread

    Didn't know where to post this, so decided we need a new thread for life's weirdities. Alex was looking out the kitchen window the other day and noticed something odd sticking out of our lawn. I went out to investigate and found an arrow. Our first guess was that it might have come from the people next door (about 100 yards/meters away), but although we often see (and hear) them doing target practice with their rifle, we have never, ever seen them with a bow. Besides, this isn't a target arrow (those have plain conical tips); it's clearly some sort of hunting arrow, though I've not been able to find anything like it online. The tip is about an inch long and shaped something like a trident with the middle prong shorter than the other two. It's very sharp. Plus it could not have been shot at a target. I found it sticking straight up out of the lawn, into which the point had embedded itself several inches. So it had fallen more or less straight down from a significant height, meaning it had been shot *up* (rather than across as in target practice). So it could have come from significantly further away than next door. This leaves me with two theories: 1) Some yahoo shot it into the sky just for kicks, the way some people will fire a gun into the air in the apparent belief that the bullet/arrow will reach its apex and then evaporate. Or 2) someone was shooting at a bird, probably a large one such as a goose or duck, judging by the size of that arrow tip; in which case the good news is, they missed. Oh, I suppose it could have been 3) somebody walked into our yard and jabbed the arrow into the ground, but that seems least likely. We're currently chalking this up as a fluke, but if it happens again we may consider calling the sheriff. Dunno whether they'd be able to do a blessed thing, but it sure wouldn't hurt to give them the information.
  12. Carol the Dabbler

    "BBC Sherlock" articles & other miscellany

    I think I'd be fine with it, if not for all the WTF in "Final Problem." Same thing with S3 and "Last Vow," though that wasn't as bad. I'll probably feel a bit leery of S5, whenever that materializes, for fear that its third episode will be even worse.
  13. Carol the Dabbler

    The Political Thread

    The problem at this point is, whom to believe, and I'm not real inclined to believe anybody these days.
  14. Carol the Dabbler

    "BBC Sherlock" articles & other miscellany

    Me too, all of the above. I haven't rewatched S4 either. In fact, I don't recall rewatching any episodes from any series since S4 happened. We did recently buy an Abominable Bride poster, though (the Victorian Holmes & Watson one), and put it up next to our S3 Sherlock-and-John poster. So I still like the show in general. Maybe I'm afraid that if I start rewatching S1, I'll somehow end up rewatching S4?
  15. Carol the Dabbler

    The Cute Animal Pics/Videos Thread

    Pretty soon you're gonna run out of mice, and then what will the two of you do for entertainment? (Well, there's always the "string.")
  16. Carol the Dabbler

    The WTF Thread

    Or -- I sometimes enjoy taking people at face value and doing my best to answer their questions. Admittedly they sometimes get bored and wander away....
  17. Carol the Dabbler

    Recently watched movies

    I haven't seen that, but please remember that documentaries are virtually never the unvarnished truth. They are one person's (or one group's) impression of the truth, and they're almost always exaggerated just to make sure the audience "gets it."
  18. Carol the Dabbler

    Speedy's Cafe - General Chat about anything you like!

    I think she meant glass milk bottles and Coke bottles, like we used to have, before cans. When you bought, say, a six-pack of Coke, you'd pay a deposit for the bottles, which you would get back when you returned the bottles to the store. They would return them to the Coke delivery man, who would return them to the Coke factory, where they would be washed and (unless damaged) reused. So that's a lot of extra work, including heaven knows what they did to get the bottles clean enough to reuse. Makes me wonder why people even bother to drink the stuff, since it's not particularly nutritious anyhow. But the same problems applied to juice bottles, milk bottles, etc. The ones I took didn't turn out very well, I'm afraid. If I'd had a camera with a wide-angle lens, I could have gotten the whole thing in one shot, and if I'd used a camera with settings (and if I'd known how to use the settings!), I could presumably have gotten a really spectacular photo. But I was just using my phone, and it made the rainbow look pretty dim. I got a much better shot earlier in the day, a huge swath of golden ragwort flowers in a farm field that had obviously been sprayed with a type of herbicide that kills everything else (well, everything else except dead nettle -- which has pretty purple flowers earlier in the spring -- and wild onion). The newer herbicides apparently kill golden ragwort as well, but this farmer must be a traditionalist. Will see if I can remember how to get that photo online.
  19. Carol the Dabbler

    Shoot the Wall (A.K.A. The Rant Thread)

    VBS, you gave that poor little doggie some love, and you arranged for her to have a safe place where she could die in peace, which are the most helpful things you could have done for her. From your account, this disease came on pretty fast, so the owner may not have been aware that she was ill. Or the dog may have wandered away from home some time ago, and become infected after that. So it wasn't necessarily a case of neglect. Sometimes bad things just happen.
  20. Carol the Dabbler

    Speedy's Cafe - General Chat about anything you like!

    Tonight Alex and I saw the biggest darn rainbow we'd ever seen. It occurred shortly before sunset, which presumably accounted for the top of it being around 50 degrees above the horizon (i.e., more than halfway to the top of the sky). The entire arc was bright and visible (plus we could see portions of a very dim outer rainbow). I just stood there enjoying it till it started to fade. I took some photos too, but there was of course no way to get the entire thing in one shot, and I'm not sure I'd be able to do an accurate paste-up on anything with such a plain background.
  21. Carol the Dabbler

    The Political Thread

    If they're talking about keeping non-viable infants as comfortable as possible but not putting them on life support, then there's precedent. It's comparable to the option of not putting an adult on life support when there's no hope of their recovery. If, however, they're talking about actively killing such infants, then the proper term would be either infanticide or euthanasia, neither of which has heretofore been legal, generally speaking, if practiced on humans. That strikes me as a slippery slope, especially since it requires a judgment call by the doctor and/or family. Right now they may be talking only about infants that presumably couldn't live long anyhow (which makes me wonder what's the point of killing them?). But then there's likely to be talk about quality of life, and euthanizing infants born with deformities or genetic conditions, which gets even further into the judgment call department. No telling where that might lead.
  22. Carol the Dabbler

    The Political Thread

    Judging by what came up on an internet search just now, that term seems to mean what it says, though admittedly I just skimmed a bit. How do you interpret the phrase?
  23. Carol the Dabbler

    Shoot the Wall (A.K.A. The Rant Thread)

    Not necessarily even then. For one thing, just about any quote from any holy book is subject to interpretation. And there are devout people who nevertheless diverge from their religion in one particular or another.
  24. Carol the Dabbler

    The Cute Animal Pics/Videos Thread

    Just call me Lefty!
  25. Carol the Dabbler

    Game of Thrones

    I meant the original movie -- the one with the terrific sandworms, and not much else that appealed to me.
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