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12:00 AM
Never apologize for playing Tetris. Never.
Anyhow, given how we will end up having the question "wat iz differnce of reason and cause", I think your question would be okay.
I remember when I used to play Tetris all day on my black-and-white Gameboy, I used to see appropriate holes for blocks everywhere: Oh, between those buildings on the street a long 4-block might fit.
The Tetris effect.
Is it well documented?
The Tetris effect occurs when people devote sufficient time and attention to an activity that it begins to overshadow their thoughts, mental images, and dreams. It is named after the video game Tetris. People who play Tetris for a prolonged amount of time may then find themselves thinking about ways different shapes in the real world can fit together, such as the boxes on a supermarket shelf or the buildings on a street. In this sense, the Tetris effect is a form of habit. They might also dream about falling Tetris shapes when drifting off to sleep or see images of falling Tetris shape...
Ah, cool.
12:02 AM
I play Tetris all the time. With the dishwasher. And packing the car for a road trip. And packing a suitcase, for that matter. And..
I remember reading about it some time, but I didn't know it was actually named after Tetris. Good.
A: Does playing racing games with a wheel and pedals affect your afk driving?

RegDwightI don't have any pointers specifically for racing games, but there is quite a lot of general research on the subject, the scientific term being the "Tetris effect". The Tetris effect occurs when people devote sufficient time and attention to an activity that it begins to overshadow their tho...

I am also constantly looking for empty spaces between objects, indicating that I will be able to trump. Yay.
No hearts? Trump!
Thwack, one would almost say.
But that would be ambiguous.
I remember how I played Burnout for like five days in a row, and when I finally had to leave the house and take a bus to work, I was extremely bothered how the bus driver missed all of the cars on the street. He didn't hit a single one. I was at a loss of words.
That reminds of Driver.
In Carnage mode, you had to hit as many cars as possible, all lacking inertia. That was fun, bouncing them all through town.
12:06 AM
Also, the Tetris effect is nothing when compared to the Rubic cube effect. It's one thing to look at chimneys and think, oh, that would be a nice place for that L-shaped brick; but it's a different thing entirely to mentally try to turn neighboring houses in all kinds of freaky directions so as to match their colors.
Let alone if you have dynamite available!
Yeah, never give me dynamite. Like, not any at all.
Oh do you know games where you have to make a simultaneous blind decision, as in Diplomacy? I have played a lot of Kongai (simulateous blind card battle), and the key is anticipating an opponent's switching to another card: then you need to intercept. I extrapolated this to real dialogue: when someone said something snappy, I thought "damn I should have intercepted that fiend and killed him".
Somehow that reminds me of the popular wish to have Ctrl+Z or Ctrl+R in Ze Real World™.
Yes! I have that too.
When I am cooking or something.
Humans are weird.
12:30 AM
Is that a Honda Fit?
Apparently, it's called Honda Jazz around these parts.
Yeah, so I see. I think it's the same car, though.
(My brother-in-law is dreaming of buying one, but he wants electronic stability control, which prior to the current model year was an option, so very few used Fits have it.)
BTW @Martha, re: MeetUp:
in Worldwide MeetUp Day on Stack Overflow Chat, 14 mins ago, by Rebecca Chernoff
Well the idea is for a local meetup instead of traveling.
in Worldwide MeetUp Day on Stack Overflow Chat, 19 mins ago, by Rebecca Chernoff
It isn't meant to be an all-day thing...
So you can just meet up with your sis, and take some baby pictures.
And pretend that all three of you are avid SO users.
And you will get featured on the blog and become totally famous.
Even meeting up with my sister is difficult on a Wednesday, though.
12:35 AM
Oh man, you're no fun. Then just take a picture of a chair.
Noooooo.......... hides
See? It works!
(That's this last Saturday.)
If it's a JPEG you can forge the date.
12:39 AM
If it's baby pictures from April 6 you want, I'm sure my sister can oblige. But as cute as she is, niece is not a stackexchange user. Well, apart from occasionally "helping" type something.
How's that different from an average SO poster?
@Cerberus, you don't have to hide. She's not gonna bite any of your heads off. She's gonna try, mind you, but she only has those two teeny-tiny teeth.
And @Reg good question.
♫ All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth...
She does look cute and happy.
12:42 AM
Well, I would too, if I were sitting in that awesome chair!
Uh, yes! I bet a z-shaped brick would fit in between the orange fish and the green butterfly(?).
Btw my imaginary bricks tend to be a bit more flexible than the real ones; recognize?
It is an awesome chair. It rolls. Not necessarily in the direction she wants, but it's still mobility.
The brick wouldn't have to be flexible, only the angle is unusual.
12:45 AM
Wow and she can move it by kicking the ground?
No it would have to be flexible if the space between fish and butterfly were only 1 block wide...
Hey the brick cannot push aside the poor butterfly's wing!
If that was what you were thinking.
If I were at work, I would have long posted an image. Here, GIMP just won't start.
But basically, yes, what you said.
Hehe ok.
1:05 AM
Is this a better fit for Math.SE?
Q: "Discover" or "invent" in mathematics context.

alexA very theoretical question I came across with friends some time ago. I am not a native English speaker, so I may be misunderstanding some details, but as I understand: 1) Discovery relates to a concept which existed prior to ... well "discovery" but was unknown before the act. 2) Invention rel...

Or would it get closed there, @Orbling?
I think it's close enough to on-topic here to leave it.
@Martha Well, if he were asking about the difference between "invent" and "discover", that would be fine. But he's asking about whether things such as sinuses exist or are invented. It's a philosophical question, IMHO. Much like the nirvana question, which got closed.
Lemme see.
Nyeh. I could go either way on this one.
1:20 AM
Yeah well, you're not seeing me bringing down the hammer, either. Yet.)))
It certainly can be reworded to stay open. The question is whether it must. I would say, yes.
On a different topic, I just found an interesting anomaly. Go to the Users page and search for wai.
That's your chance to post another Eeeek.
Nah, it's not eeek-worthy. I'm not sure it's even bug-report-worthy, since it's obvious what's happening: it's returning a result for each match.
Yup, I'm looking for other examples right now. Can't think of any off the top of my head. And I probably know like 300 user names by heart.
I tried to check if anyone has reported something like this on MSO, but either my search skills (as usual) failed me, or I'm the first to notice this.
1:29 AM
Probably the latter. I don't remember seeing such a report, and my searches do not return anything relevant.
It should be noted that on SO, this behaviour was not even possible until only recently.
It only matched the beginning of the name or something.
For performance reasons, they have too many users.
So you could search for Reg to find me, but searching for Dwight wouldn't work.
Oh, yeah, I vaguely remember something about that.
Posted by Jeff Atwood on March 1st, 2011

After 2.5 years of being almost unchanged, we decided it was high time the Users page got a redesign.

The old user page was fine, in a late 2008 sort of way, but it ultimately became a bit monotonous — every time you viewed it, you’d see more or less the same list of top users. At least, on a mature site you would. And we don’t think anyone was using those oldest, newest, and name tabs at all.

The new user page is much more … dynamic. And hopefully more useful and interesting as a destination. …

"Searches are 'match anywhere' again".
Anyway, I won't be posting any bug reports today. Half past two. Bed time!
I suppose you should be talking to JPmiaou anyway.
Night all! I'm out.
Good night!
1:39 AM
Is British English clipped somehow?
I mean, huh?
I have added an answer to the invent/discover question. See what you think.
Wow I am proud of SE users. 44% use FF!
And the Netherlands is the 8th country by number of users.
I was thinking about pronuncions:
Compare how Americans say "secretary" and how Brits say it: like SEC-RE-TAIR-Y vs sec-i-try
Or their city names: Worcestershire becomes something like Wes-tess-shir
Leicester same thing
1:55 AM
I think British generally pronounces more words shorter than American; but it is only a hunch.
A complicating problem is that England just has a much longer history: especially names have had much more time to change in pronunciation than the relatively modern topography of the New World.
Spelling generally doesn't keep up well with changes in pronunciation.
2 hours later…
3:29 AM
I figure this probably doesn't warrant a full-fledged E&SL question so I thought maybe I'd ask here instead: Can anybody think of a good phrase for using a tool that's overkill for a particular job? Sortof like "I didn't want to bring a gun to a knife fight" except more applicable to my situation of using excel rather than writing an entire program in C++ to do a simple calculation.
I was trying to come up with something the other day in conversation with someone but I was drawing blanks. I was essentially trying to say that there's no reason to use C++ when excel would be much quicker. (which is what I ended up saying) But I wanted to sound more proverbial, if you will.
The classic metaphor for this is "killing flies with sledgehammers". A single-word description could be "overkill".
I'm not sure I could pull that off. I doubt anyone my age has ever heard that expression before (myself included)
Not that you're old, of course.
I just feel like there's a really good expression for it that I know but can't think of.
Something like opening a letter with a flamethrower or something.
(except one that actually makes sense)
Wait, there was a question about this.
Found it:
Q: "To kill a fly with a..."?

mvexelI seem to recall that there is an expression for when you are throwing something too big at a particular challenge: "To kill a fly with a..."? Or am I way off here? EDIT maybe it's not a fly after all? I found this article talking about 'Using a sledgehammer to crack a nut'.

3:38 AM
Wow, I commented in that question.
That's horrible
I should remember that
Well that helps - thanks!
I've need to get back to HW though - later
@advs89 That's ok, the search didn't find anything for "sledgehammer".
As in, if the computer can't "remember" the question, why should you? :)
good point
6 hours later…
9:24 AM
@Billare (Those of us on UK-like timezones begin to wake up...): "secretary" is often "sec-ret-ree" but "sec-ret-air-ee" is heard too
@Billare Worcestershire is "wooss-tuh-shih": first vowel as in "book", second a neutral vowel, third as in "ship" ("r" at the end of a syllable is rarely if ever pronounced in most UK dialects). Of course, that's how I say it, there are many minor regional and personal variations...
But, placenames aside, I wouldn't generally say that British pronunciation is clipped (in the sense of abbreviated) - there are examples of words that are longer in US English ("missile" in the UK rhymes with "pile"; in the US it rhymes with "thistle" i.e. the second i disappears)
1 hour later…
10:44 AM
@martha : how do you get this snippets?
11:04 AM
How would you say in short that this question or point is no longer actual and you did not think about it.
@n0nChun I believe you just post the URL on a line on its own... let's try with an answer selected at random:
A: List of common abbreviations (NOAD, ESL, PIE...)

Kosmonaut AAVE — African-American Vernacular English AE, AmE — American English AHD — American Heritage Dictionary BE, BrE — British English BNC — British National Corpus CGEL — Cambridge Grammar of the English Language COCA — Corpus of Contemporary American English COHA — Corpus of Historical American En...

yep, that seemed to do it :)
I believe it works with chat comments too
15 hours ago, by n0nChun
... if you post the permalink to the comment as a single line
11:31 AM
@psmears, did you upvote that preposition answer [organization]? I guess that lady Richa vented out her frustration on me :P
just testing
doesn't work for me @psmears
@n0nChun Sorry, which preposition answer?
@n0nChun I think you only get the snippets with certain websites (for instance, all the SO ones, wikipedia, and maybe some others...)
12:01 PM
@n0nChun: there's a help link in the bottom right corner.
1 hour later…
1:19 PM
Bagels! BRB.
Pfft. Everyone knows that they are spelled bagles. You non-native speaker, you.
@RegDwight "Everyone knows" - hypnotic phrase.
All generalizations are hypnotic. Always.
1:27 PM
Are you going to manipulate assembly?
x86 assembly or the UN General Assembly?
The ELU Assembly.
That one is impossible to manipulate.
@RegDwight — What it give out? I not speak correct the English?
Now you does. But sentence before not was wright.
1:31 PM
@RegDwight — I be work on it.
@RegDwight I don't think so.
Mar 9 at 14:29, by Robusto
Work that grammar, baby! Oh, yeah! Just like that! Who's your daddy?
@RegDwight — So you've seen my Oh! face before ...
Yes. But I paid more attention to the nurse drag.
1:35 PM
Hmm ... there should be an "unquote" badge.
Q: time discrepancy

IrvingWhat is the word for the mistake of placing an event or object in the wrong age or decade, such as a film star in a movie about Roman times, wearing a robe made of nylon?

When someone responds with the same answer later than someone else.
Nah, everyone would have like fifty of these on SO.
Funny that he says (sp?) too. Like he couldn't look up and see it spelled correctly.
Well, perhaps he looked it up in your answer and decided that he couldn't trust you because you aren't a native speaker.
Is possible this?
Everything possible is. All ways.
So, I reckon we'll be getting a spin-off of the surprise hit comedy "Gaming.SE".
Game Recommendations

Proposed Q&A site for expert and amateur gamers who want to get game recommendations in different game styles and tastes

Currently in commitment.

1:40 PM
Speaking of non-native speakers (non-speaking of native speakers?), one of the most common mistakes German speakers make in English is to pluralize information.
Yes, the poor Englishmen only have one information. Ze rich Germans have manies!
They are profligate with their Informationen.
@Robusto What are you striking through, there?
1:46 PM
@RegDwight — Not answering any questions. I'm on strike.
I'm fine thank you
Another fancy German word is Streikbrecher.
@Robusto Hmm, 6 minutes difference... I suppose it's possible he started answering it before you posted your answer, and he didn't notice/didn't click on the "new answer has been posted" notification.
@Martha I sometimes don't get those at all.
@Martha — It took six minutes to write one sentence? Wow, that's some slow typing and/or thinking.
1:48 PM
@RegDwight ;)
@Robusto It can happen - you get distracted by something halfway through, that sort of thing.
@RegDwight — Ditto. I'll post an answer and see two others posted. Unless mine is different/better I delete it. Waste of my freakin' time, if you ask me.
@Robusto Well, go ahead and try to be that fast with too much cold medicine pumping through your bloodstream.
@RegDwight — Hey, I come from an age when we excelled in spite of the drugs we took.
We didn't have steroids and Ritalin back then.
Mar 4 at 15:58, by RegDwight
Anyhow, it's no longer what it was. In the olden days, we had to strunk&white this site uphill both ways barefoot in the snow.
1:49 PM
Spoken like a slacker.
How old are you guys?
And we used to refer to cold medicine pumping through our bloodstream as whiskey. Short and sweet.
Mar 2 at 12:33, by RegDwight
Now where were we? Oh yeah: the important thing was I held an onion to my ear, which was the style at the time. They didn't have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones.
First rule of English Chat: You do not ask how old people are. Second rule of English Chat: You do not ask how old people are!
Robusto is what 19ish? Reg is 16 I think.
I am 78.
Cerberus means he is 7 or 8.
1:51 PM
@n0nChun Seriously, man, haven't I taught you how to fish?
We help him out with his English numbering.
Yes, but I ain't no native speaker so it is pretty freakin' hard to spell numbers.
7 = 111 , 8 = 1000 , 7 or 8 = 1111, that makes it 15
You see link, you click link, you know age, you remember for future. PLEEEESE.
No, your age isn't on there.
Ah sneaky.
1:52 PM
@n0nChun — Third Rule of English Chat: No obvious or overbearing displays of geeking out. Save that shit for SO.
taking notes
Wow, that "no geeking out" rule really chilled everyone out. I'm impressed.
@Robusto No quoting Natalie Imbruglia lyrics here.
They're all off looking at people's profiles to see whether they've posted their ages.
1:56 PM
@Robusto Is this rule no geeking out or no display?
Martha is spot on, as usual.
@Artic Yes.
@Martha — Word.
Have you guys read Siddhartha ?
1:57 PM
@n0nChun — Stop trying to test for age!
The god of small things?
I used to write Siddhartha in my spare time.
Feb 18 at 14:30, by RegDwight
Damn, I have a boring Friday meeting...
@RegDwight You are very dangerous person.
2:01 PM
Bye Guys!
See you!
2:33 PM
@RegDwight — So ... you are a Hessian. I might have known.
I am not Christopher Walken.
@RegDwight — Lies! You are always asking for more cowbell.
Mar 7 at 18:07, by RegDwight
@Robusto Not enough cowbell.
Feb 17 at 20:35, by RegDwight
And cowbell!
Sheesh. "Two occasions" ≠ "always". You non-native speaker.
(Note to self: Robusto is blowing my cover.)
2:48 PM
No sound here, will watch at home.
You mean you'll listen at home. You non-native speakah.
No, I will clock at home.
Now if you're looking for someone who's good at impersonations, Kevin Spacey is your man.
3:04 PM
Q: Word for a person who doesn't think the rules apply to him

Ben CollinsI'm trying to write a letter to the editor of my local paper about their report of a man who doesn't think the rules apply to him. Is there a word for this? He's a bit of an egoist, demanding to speak at city council meetings after the public hearing portion of the meeting has been closed.

How about rebel
@RegDwight — Kevin Pollak is good too.
I just listened to Spacey's. I think Jay Mohr's is the best.
@Robusto Possibly. (Oh, and since I'm not sure which Spacey video you watched, here's the one I was thinking of:)
Pretty good range.
I still think Mohr is more, at least when it comes to Walken.
@Reg: T-Rex alert ...
Q: "Tiger by the tail" - Meaning/Etymology

ArthurRexAm I trying to take someones Frosted Flakes?

I picture someone who is sitting in his mom's basement in his underwear, jaded and tired of downloading porn, turning his bored gaze in the direction of our little corner of heaven and hoping for a momentary and meanless gratification before reaching for a new package of Oreos.
3:29 PM
@Robusto God, and now it's me who didn't even notice that it was him.
@RegDwight — Yeah, he sneaks in there. "These are not the droids you're looking for."
3:55 PM
Hm. Someone's geography skills are on par with those of CNN:
Is that supposed to be a size comparison?
I don't know if there is a single person on this planet who knows what this is supposed to be, including the graphic designer.
Unless his name is Borat, of course.
Dupe alert!
Q: "I don't think that that can be done"

Šime VidasIs there something wrong with this sentence? "I don't think that that can be done." It sounds odd to me. Would it be better if I'd use just one "that" instead of two: "I don't think that can be done."

Q: How do you handle "that that"? The double "that" problem

VolomikeHave you ever had a case where you felt compelled to include strange things like a double that in a sentence? If so, then what did you do to resolve this? For me, I never knew whether it was acceptable grammar. However, what I did learn was that it was a logic distractor, could lead to confusion...

4:11 PM
Hello all....
I must be going, actually.
Someone jump in, pls.
@RegDwight I knew that was a dupe, but couldn't find the original to save my life.
Greetings, @jgbelacqua
Geez -- just locked up my firefox4 beta trying to move tabs around. Had to restart.
Living on the bleeding edge of technology will do that sometimes.
I need to work on my joking/not-serious indicators. Apparently pissed off DaG here english.stackexchange.com/questions/16203/… .
@Martha Yeah, that is true. It's actually been surprisingly stable.
I wish I liked smileys.
(Though I have started using them in chats since hanging out on the askubuntu stackexchange....)
4:30 PM
Online communication is somewhat strange in this regard. People have been writing letters and other personal communications for centuries without needing to resort to smileys. I guess the the difference is the speed of transmission, which limits the speed of composition, and thus the care that can be taken to make sure the writing conveys the appropriate tone as well as meaning.
Yeah, and I'm afraid that some cues are lost in translation, so to speak.
For non-native speakers, or even native English speakers out the same region, some of the more nuanced bits are not clear.
I think it is possible that in older writing, some of the formalities were designed to make the tone clear. Now, with everything in shorthand, some of this is lost. Not to mention, things like twitter and stackexchange comment length limits enforce brevity and encourage shortcuts.
I think brevity is more sensible on purely technical sites. English.stackexchange is a bit different. Still evolving, too, I think?
Heck, Stackoverflow is still evolving.
I don't think comments need to be any longer on EL&U - this is a Q&A site, not a discussion board. Comments are allowed mainly so the answers and questions can be improved, not to provide an outlet for side discussions.
4:46 PM
@martha I agree, though it does feel different here.
@jgbelacqua I'm not sure whether the formalities are designed to make the tone clear, orto disguise it: "With respect" = "I think you're an idiot"; "With the greatest respect" = "I think you're a complete idiot" etc...
@psmears That did cross my mind, as well. I was probably being overly speculative.
On SO (or askubuntu), correctness is generally judgable by simply by whether or not something works. Sometimes on English, there are refinements and appeals to authority.....
@jgbelacqua I think a big difference with EL&U is that the answers are necessarily more nuanced - whereas a particular snippet of inscrutable perl largely either works or it doesn't, a phrase in English may work fine most of the time, but be inappropriate in certain circumstances, and have a different connotation in a different region...
Semi-jinx :)
Heh. I agree!
The frequent necessity of qualifying regional use does make things interesting.
I don't even know how to characterize my expertise, though I should probably add a note on my profile. (Canadian mother, dual-citizen, native of US, ....)
"I would have written a shorter letter, but I didn't have the time." — Blaise Pascal. "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." — Albert Einstein.
4:58 PM
I love the site, though, as it gives me an excuse to brush up on nuances and esoteric terms that I don't otherwise need to access. (I'm in a technology field now, though my background is very liberal artsy.)
@RegDwight Good ones.
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