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05:00 - 15:0015:00 - 19:00

3:00 PM
Yeah. G'on ahead.
It goes like this, if I can remember all of it: Canada could have had French cuisine, English culture, and American technology; instead it got American culture, French technology, and English cuisine.
Haha, good one, eh?
Now I have never been to Canada so I can't check.
Yeah, pretty good; I only have one quibble: Was English culture really considered elevated?
Well, I have had many a great meal in Montreal.
3:01 PM
I think so, but I don't think that really caught on till later in history.
@Billare — Doesn't matter. It's a joke. It's meant to be hyperbole.
I agree that the English culture thing is a bit iffy.
I've had many a great meal in England as well. They were in foreign restaurants, mind you, but still ... :)
A stronger image would have been better, but I don't think you could find one that fits.
The English used to think of themselves as a backwater compared to the Continent.
Until they got the Empire.
3:02 PM
@Rob: Same, and I actually like fish and chips.
Yeah the English culture should be imagined as Victorian.
@Billare — Well, yes and no. The idea of the Grand Tour was to acquaint English gentlepersons with the ways of life of people who eat garlic and have interesting ruins and the like.
so, no moderator around?
I must say that food in the Mediterranean countries is considerably better than in their Germanic counterparts, on average, for the same price; especially in France.
I flagged this, but nothing happened
Well, I have never had a bad meal in France. Never. Never ever.
3:04 PM
warning: the link included is not safe for work at all
And you can have a decent 3-course menu in any village for what 15 euros?
It will be simple, but good. Don't try that in Holland.
@Robusto how hard did you try? there are lots of bad places to eat, like everywhere
@F'x: I suppose porn links aren't allowed? It is still kind of funny...
Oh I have had one horrendous meal in Clamecy once.
@Cerberus I classified it as "it is not welcome in our community — This answer contains content that a reasonable person would consider offensive, abusive, or hate speech."
@F'x Yeah, what's up with flagging? I've flagged answers and haven't gotten them resolved quickly enough to check that they were taken care of.
3:06 PM
We were recommended the andouillette, a special regional sausage...
Cerberus: andouillette is a wonderful dish, and hard not to do well, though!
but it does have a pretty strong taste
Well it is not a good choice for foreigners not used to eating pieces of stomach(?).
Just like the famous Scottish haggis. And Spanish tripa.
well, there are lot of dishes you might not like in a country that's not yours
@Robusto What's the Grand Tour?
still, was it badly cooked/served/prepared, or just not the right type of food for you?
3:09 PM
@Fx — I will relate to you a true story. Some years ago I was shooting a TV spot in Sarlat-la-Caneda. The production company couldn't find a caterer that would go out that far into the sticks, so they found some guy who said he knew how to cook. He made a dish with chicken livers. I hate chicken livers, but I was hungry so I ate them. And I went back for seconds. And would have gone back for thirds but they were gone.
@Billare See here ...
The Grand Tour was the traditional travel of Europe undertaken by mainly upper-class European young men of means. The custom flourished from about 1660 until the advent of large-scale rail transit in the 1840s, and was associated with a standard itinerary. It served as an educational rite of passage. Though primarily associated with the British nobility and wealthy landed gentry, similar trips were made by wealthy young men of Protestant Northern European nations on the Continent, and from the second half of the 18th century some American and other overseas youth joined in. The tradition...
I know! But I was responding to Rob's remark that he had never eaten a bad meal in France: bad is of course relative, and most Dutchmen will not like andouillette at all, even if prepared well.
Just as many foreigners will hate Dutch haring, raw herring.
@Robusto Very interesting...I knew that English gentlemen used to tour the continent on extended trips, but never knew it was an institution with a name...
Which I consider one of our best dishes (I know, Dutch cuisine is like the Sahara desert).
Sarlat is the heart of Périgord Noir, I think
pretty amazing place for southwestern French food, which is delicious
Yes the Grand Tour was obligatory for any gentleman in Europe, even in Eastern Europe I believe, and even for some Americans.
3:11 PM
@Fx — It's in the Dordogne region
my father-in-law grew up there, and picked up some amazing cooking skills
@Robusto Do you know that Lenin lived a large percentage of a his adult life in European hotels?
@Robusto Same kind of thing
@Robusto Périgord noir is part of Dordogne
3:12 PM
@Billare — I'm not seeing the connection.
I recently found my great-great-etc.-father's passport from the 1850s, who did all the famous places. It must have been so much better to be a tourist back then...
I bet he also cut off a piece of Stonehenge, as everybody used to do in the 19th century.
@Cerberus — Yes, in the days of cholera and the Crimean War and all. Certainly.
Hehe well you would stay in Italy as long as possible, of course!
@Robusto He lived a large percentage of his life on extended vacations in his revolutionary days. The same sort of touring and "preparing" for leadership, when the Czar would fall.
@Cerberus Are you of nobility?
@Bill: Alas, no; a branch of my mother's family is, though.
3:15 PM
well, pretty much anyone has noble blood to some degree, no?
@Cerberus @F'x That is actually a question I've wondered the answer to for a long time. Are the descendants of the past aristocracy in your countries kind of "normal" human beings now, would they be working as programmers, doctors, etc., or are they still kind of comfortable like country gentlemen?
@Cerberus @F'x With mysterious pensions and income coming from old trusts?
@Bill: It basically depends on what country you live in and how much money you have been able to salvage.
@Fx — Yeah. But it only really matters if you're a member of a currently reigning family. Otherwise, piss off!
@Billare regarding France, except for the core of very few families, no
In Holland, it is de rigueur for nobility and patricians (we have little nobility, as we were a republic for centuries) to be as down-to-earth as possible.
3:17 PM
If I go to Germany and tell them my great-great-grandfather was related to the Hohenzollern family, that and a couple of Euros will get me a cup of coffee.
if the family adapted into good business, then you might be an heir of the family (and live off that), of course, but otherwise, you wouldn't have much left
many noble families sold their large domains to the State during the 20th century
My removed aunt, a baroness whose lineage goes back to the Middle Ages, still lives on her estate with lots of land etc.
Are they still prominent? Would you want to marry into one of them now, if you were say up-and-coming?
I know a university professor who is an arisocrat, and who only inherited a large farm building from his father in Sologne
3:19 PM
@Cerberus — In that case it's the property, not the nobility, that counts.
and it's not the nobility that counts anymore, but the actual worth
if you managed it well, did not split it too much, you might still have some
I've read you can tell with some of their past titles in the names...things like "zu" and "von" and such
F'x owes me a coke.
3:19 PM
@Rob: Well, there are still many nobles owing old large estates they inherited.
but your influence would be due to your worth, not to your nobility
1 min ago, by Robusto
@Cerberus — In that case it's the property, not the nobility, that counts.
@Cerberus Wow, nice! About your removed aunt.
then, some rich families are not noble at all
@Rob: That was an answer to the question whether nobles still lived the same kind of life of landed nobility as in the past.
3:21 PM
I had a friend from the Gallimard family (most famous French book publisher)
In fact, it is etiquette and language that are the sole remaining significant markers of ancestry these days.
The feeling I get is that countries followed different tactics.
Have you guys read Gregory Clarks' A Farewell to Alms.
it's a different life, hitch-hiking rides on private jets around the world as a teenager, just by introducing yourself to other rich people who know of your family
@Bill: True. In Bulgaria, for example, nobility and practicians were all but eradicated by communists.
(No haven't read it: should I?)
Well, in it he talks about what made England so particularly successful, why the Industrial Revolution started there.
3:23 PM
Um, @Cerberus, I'm beginning to think you don't want to spend money on birthday gifts.
His main thrust is that England was particularly meritocratic; that is, people who were generally competent and industrious managed to move up in social rank and status, and gain titles, while lesser nobles fell down and died out, due to Malthrusian pressures.
@F'x: That might happen... but displaying wealth is considered utterly tasteless in Holland: if a member of my family would own a private jet, it would be frowned upon as nouveau riche, unless he had a very good reason to own one.
@Rob: Arg you're right! I hates it but I must go.
That would explain why you see the descendants of the ancient English still dominating affairs in England and America today; e.g., the Boston Brahmins, and Oxford and Cambridge accusations of class discrimination.
The gentlemanly class is still "top-drawer."
@Bill: The problem being of course that the nouveau riche guy would think that had had climbed up, while he would still be looked down upon privately. But yeah after a few generations money will generally lead to acceptance among upper classes.
On the other hand, in France and some of the Continental countries, aristocrats gained so much power by virtue of their name that they might survive without having much competence, and so thus in a more meritocratic environment you might see prominent nobility fall to a much lower social scale.
His point is that it was different in different Euro countries.
The English custom of granting peerages to people who were not of aristocratic lineage was distinct, and its mark through their dominance throughout the world.
I was wondering if any other countries sort of replicated that.
I only know really about France, and England.
3:27 PM
Well I think every country is different.
Usually anyone could get a title at Court if he was rich enough and had a century or two to wait. Or sometimes money alone was enough if the King really needed some.
Right...but let's contrast the English situations to that of the Jews, for example.
Hmm what about them?
Jews generally tended to be quite financially sucessful in many Euro countries, but it was explicitly understood that one didn't marry them on the same social scale
(This changed beginning in the 20th century.)
Only "poor" nobility would do that. On the other hand, English gentlemen could rise and stay in their social scale based solely on their accomplishments, sort of.
Right, and you can tell that the outlook on Jews has changed since the 1950s and such.
There are more cases of people converting to Judaism to marry than vice versa, which tells you that Jews have altered their social rank.
3:31 PM
It started before that: even before the war, I believe some Jews were more or less upperclass.
Though not many.
It would be interesting to count Jewish family names in the Dutch book of patrician families.
I think some will have been added to the book by now.
Let me get a choice quote..
hey all, could we get a 5th close vote here?
Q: Authoritative source on the diaeresis trema rule

Alexander GladyshI've got an impression that there is (or was) a rule in English: If you have a rarely used word with two vowel letters in a row, corresponding to two vowel sounds in a row (as opposed to a diphthong or single vowel sound marked by two letters), you have to mark a second vowel with a trema. For...

Gotta go. See ya all later.
And I already voted on that one.
see you
Meh, can't find it.
3:34 PM
Bye Rob!
But even in England, it was remarked upon that "lesser" nobility who had fallen upon rough times but with a good name were entering into convenient marriages with the daughters of rich Jewish merchants.
That is, it was a kind of disreputable thing.
Yeah, just like marrying nouveau riche for money. (Or basically marrying anyone for money, if you ask me...)
I think it's only been really since the War that they became integrated into the consciousness of the upper class, with no qualifications.
Oh there are still some qualifications...
Isn't your PM actually Jewish?
3:36 PM
That is, Jewish ancestry is usually nit regarded as highly as most other partician ancestry.
Rutte? I don't think so. But he is middle class.
As are most politicians.
No, the Cohen.
Mayor of some city actually.
He is the opposition to the guy who promoted Fitna.
Cohen, yes he is Jewish. He used to be our Mayor (Amsterdam). I know his son: they are not exactly upper class, but bordering on.
Wilders (who made Fitna) is extreme right.
There are about 4 or 5 major parties these days.
Liberals, Extreme Right, Christian Democrats, and Socialists.
Right, I just read an article about the Job Cohen and his sort of "extending the green palm" towards Muslim, and how he was vocal against Geert.
Then there are 6 smaller parties.
Yeah Cohen is a great guy.
Rutte (PM) is ok as well.
Wilders is an idiot.
Brb phone.
What do you dislike about his positions?
3:43 PM
He has no decency, he is unnecessarily rude; his analysis of current problems is partly right, partly wrong; most importantly, he is not a practical thinker, he doesn't propose real solutions at all.
Yeah, I'd agree with those.
Do you mind if I ask your politics?
But, you know, he is basically a prisoner, will all those threats: he lives at a secret location, has 24h protection everywhere he goes; I can imagine he should get paranoid.
I don't really have a strong opinion on politics, as long it is a moderate party, and a non-religious one: that leaves Liberals (Rutte), Socialists (Cohen), Domocrats (Pechtold).
Well, the threats on the loudspoken members of your country have been pretty serious...I was quite shocked about how persistent the death threats are against that cartoonist. Usually "death threats" are empty rhetoric used for an inflaming the other side.
Yeah those death threats are killing.
By the way, the cartoonist is a Dane.
Liberals would be like the "classical liberals."
3:46 PM
I agree that Geert is a character, and not a leader...
In Holland, most parties are liberal in the American sense anyway.
But I still think it's important you be able to have such things.
The intellectual opression in other countries, like France, is simply overwhelming.
You can't talk about certain things in those countries for fear of prosecution!
Really? How so? They have Le Pen?
Le Pen is an off-the-wall idiot. He's almost a Nazi.
It's not the same thing.
3:48 PM
Wilders is being prosecuted here as well, based on anti-Nazi laws from the 1930s, which hold that sowing hatred against minorities is punishable.
We have a political candidate like that here, he's called Lyndon LaRouche.
Wait, where do you live again?
US. Boston, MA.
Ah ok.
And this guy discriminates against foreigners too?
He's just kind of crazy and incoherent.
3:49 PM
I have never heard of him, so I assume he isn't too popular?
He's anti-foreign, anti-gold, etc.
Shoot, I really have to go now, or shops will be closed: only an hour left...
Anti-gold? Huh?>
OK, final word: No, he's just kind of a perennail joke candidate.
Oh that is good to hear!
Like, his supporters tend to be broke kind of hippy college students.
3:50 PM
I think moderation is nearly always a virtue.
Haha well those kind of voters won't be a very reliable electorate.
For example, if you search him in Google, you will find "Lyndon Larouche cult" as a suggested query.
Okay gotta run, talk to you later!
Yeah, yeah.
2 hours later…
5:34 PM
@Fx There is one, actually. Too bad it's over on MSO.
Q: Question title that doesn't describe the problem

Adam Davis Pre Edit 4: Pointing out that thread's popularity is a direct result of programming community interest in said subject, and that someone likely stands to become rich and/or famous by solving the problem none of the answers, save my own, came even close to resolving. Long salutation desc...

6:01 PM
And now I'm out! Scots in kilts going commando!
Wow, and to think I missed that.
@RegDwight: I thought you said those Scots were going commando on your wife. Just a tip for the future: keep your wife the hell away from any Scots in kilts.
6:32 PM
Am I a bad person? I have noticed that I find the French attacks against Gaddafi somewhat exciting.
@Cerberus Gaddafi is a BadPerson™, ergo you are a GoodPerson™...
@PSM: Oh! That is good news! It is always nice when the world turns out be simple.
I still think it is a miracle they got China and Russia to abstain in the UN Security Council.
Personally I'm feeling a mixture of relief that someone's actually doing something, and worry that it's all going to go (even more) horribly wrong...
Yeah I get those worries too, but they are rather limited to the rational part of my brain, if such exists. The other part is just dumb and excited.
I'm actually in Egypt at the moment, which makes the whole thing somehow rather more, well, real...
6:41 PM
I think intervention was the right decision, though I am not sure.
Oh, Egypt! Interesting. It would have sucked if the army had remained loyal to Mubarak.
Civil war kinda sucks in general.
Yes, it's hard to be sure - but I think the fact that all of the Arab states agreed to the intervention has to be a good sign
Yes, it sure would have done
There was only one point at which we were thinking of leaving the country
Really? When it all started?
... the day before Mubarak stepped down, when it was still very unclear what the Army would do
Oh, then. I see.
(Yes it helps a great deal that the Arab states agree. Did even Saudi Arabia agree? Or was it is a resolution by the League?
When it all started we happened to be in a very rural part near Luxor, so the most exciting thing we got to see in a typical day was when two donkey carts tried to pass too closely...
I don't know about SA specifically... think it was an Arab League thing
6:49 PM
Donkey carts, exciting! But I heard there was some looting around Luxor too? Or only near tourist areas?
Perhaps there was in the town, but we didn't see any evidence of it...
Oh I have to go, feed cat + visit parents + party...
... and unrest there was very limited, most likely because the entire area's economy is based on tourism, and people generally don't want to discourage tourism in any way!
Have fun at the party!
05:00 - 15:0015:00 - 19:00

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