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00:00 - 20:0020:00 - 00:00

12:00 AM
@Cerberus I'm no expert, but that looks more like a hot bitch to me.
@RegDwigнt Don't be modest.
I'm sure you're right.
You would know.
I need to build a LEGO dog. I only have a fox so far.
Well, I do have a tiny dog but it's tiny. Like three parts tiny.
It is to scale with the walrus.
Maybe I'll make a video on that one on April 1st.
12:20 AM
What's wrong with tiny dogs?
Don't discriminate.
12:32 AM
There. Just for you. 7 LEGO parts.
@RegDwigнt Just 7 parts, wow. I wish my life were that simple.
By the way, Lego is no initialism, so it should be Lego or possibly Le Go.
12:52 AM
What's so bad about "Two feet in front of me were barely seen by me"? :)
It's the passive inversion of "I could barely see two feet in front of me."
Well, or "Two feet in front of me could barely be seen by me".
1:12 AM
What's bad is that one normally doesn't use passive + by + specific person, because it is unnecessarily complicated and there is no reason to choose it over the simpler active construction.
Occam's Razor.
2 hours later…
3:00 AM
I'll give you the book.
You will be given the book by me.
The book will be given you by me.
I'll give you the book next week.
You will be given the book next week by me.
The book next week will be given you by me.
Next week will be given the book to you by me.
You just can't passivize these noun phrases that are used adverbially.
Indeed not, they need to be complements, probably.
I'll check next week.
Next week will be checked by me.
There are folks who are convinced those are objects. I'm convinced they aren't.
In Dutch and Latin, you can only passivise a direct object.
In Greek and English, you can also passivise other complements of the verb.
Sure, but next week wouldn't be accusative, so you'd know better.
Which people?
@tchrist Well, Dutch doesn't have much of an accusative.
And yet it works like Latin.
3:05 AM
I don't know remember what Latin does with time expressions.
Ik geef jou het boek.
Het boek wordt jou door mij gegeven.
[Not: jij wordt het boek door mij gegeven.]
Somewhere Pullam has an essay with weird passivizations.
@tchrist In Latin, only direct objects can be passivised, as in Dutch.
Maybe there are borderline cases.
So tibi librum do.
Liber tibi datur a me.
"I will see you next week." wouldn't use septimanam
Tu liber daris a me.
Adverbial expressions of time are various.
Some are in the accusative, mainly if they are a noun and describe a period.
Multos annos piratae nos vexabant.
3:10 AM
So they are.
But it is no direct object, so you cannot passivise multos annos.
How can you tell it's not the direct object?
Multos annos vexabamur a piratis.
@tchrist Well, there can only be one direct object, and it is nos.
And which noun phrase is the direct object is determined not by case alone, but also by semantic role.
This is normal with verbs in all languages I know.
Perhaps they pirated us those years. :)
Aside from position, of course (which happens to matter less in Latin).
Multi anni vexabantur nos a piratis.
Interesting cases are verbs with a double accusative complement, such as doceo.
Doceo te linguam Latinam.
3:13 AM
I was actually just now thinking of those.
I think passivising those is complicated; I must admit I have forgotten the rule for those.
no worries
Another interesting case is verbs that have object + infinitive, rather than a full a.c.i.
Like iubeo.
Iubeo te abire.
You can passivise those as iuberis abire.
Lastly, there are some verbs with double praedicate frames, such as dono.
Dono regi honorem.
Can Dutch do: She stared at me. I was stared at by her.
Something with a dangling preposition.
Dono regem honore.
(Both of those are possible and they mean the same thing, iirc.)
3:17 AM
@tchrist No.
Zij staarde naar mij.
Er werd naar mij gestaard door haar.
When you make a verb passive that didn't have a direct object, all constituents (except the former subject) remain the same.
There was stared at me by her.
Which is, again, the same in Latin.
I was trying to figure out what you were doing there with "Er".
It's a typically Dutch word.
3:20 AM
I first starting reading it as the German Er :) which of course didn't work out at all.
Similar to English meaningless there, as in there were two people there, except that it is needed far more often.
The rules are too hard to remember.
Foreigners hate it.
It's hard to know how to put the dummy subjects.
I don't know what that "it" there is. :)
It's also used like there- in thereafter, therein, but you can also separate there from after if needed.
@tchrist Right, but at least that it is pretty universal!
German and Dutch and French (il/ce) have it too.
And it is used in somewhat similar ways.
"It's raining hard" takes the "il" in French, but not in ES/PT/IT.
> There are some peculiar restrictions on prepositional passives in English. One is that there can be a difference in acceptability according to whether the subject denotes an entity that is tangibly altered in state: This bottom bunk has been slept in is dramatically more acceptable than ??The bottom bunk has been slept above, apparently because sleeping in a bunk bed alters its state (the sheets are wrinkled and so on), while sleeping in the top bunk above it doesn't alter its state at all.
The bottom bunk was looked at.
3:26 AM
I don't know that I buy Pullum's "state" argument, but it is certainly odd.
> That's a restriction on prepositional passives, because there is nothing peculiar about the active version Someone has slept above this bottom bunk. (Why would a language have a restriction like that? Who knows. I don't make or try to enforce any of the rules; I am merely trying to explain what the rules seem to be.)
It may simply be a matter of frequency: it's easier to parse combinations that are often found together, such as sleep in.
That would be my provisional explanation.
That makes me more comfortable than his does.
I think looked at already disproves his suggestion, or at least it makes it hard to define and use.
The #4 Democrat in the House, who had been among the contenders for Speaker if they took the chamber, has just been knocked out by a twenty-something.
This plate was eaten from.
This plate was eaten on.
This plate was eaten under.
3:29 AM
"Eaten under" sounds terrible.
Knocked out of his position? Or knocked out of consciousness?
@tchrist Yes.
He won't even be in the House now.
Because eating something under a plate is semantically uncommon bordering on nonsense, while superficially fine qua syntax.
> Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old organizer for Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) presidential campaign, defeated Crowley in his deep-blue district that encompasses northwest Queens and the eastern Bronx.
No country for old men.
That's fine.
Just didn't expect it.
Except for Sanders.
3:31 AM
Funny that.
I used to think he was a tad crazy. Now I'm certain that nearly everybody is completely cracked.
And he sounds reasonable compared to them.
What seemed so crazy about him?
I thought he was pushing for things that would never see the light of day. It seemed futile.
I only said "a tad crazy".
Why would those things never happen: because his party would block it in parliament?
We'll see.
I wonder whether he will run two years from now.
3:36 AM
Oh, and in Colorado we have Boulder's congressman who just won the nomination for governor. He was, at the time back whenever, the first/only openly gay candidate to be elected. But this is going to come down to a town-vs-country vote, and all the city-dwellers will vote for him due to nominative determinism: his name is Polis. :)
I'm sure.
Hmm bed time is nigh.
For you as well?
gosh yes
See ya later.
It must be, what, past ten?
3:37 AM
It's past my bedtime.
Sleep well.
I like to be in bed by now.
Then do so.
3:38 AM
Was watching electoral returns.
2 hours later…
5:42 AM
Q: How to refer to employees of other businesses in a business presentation?

George TianIn a mock school activity, I'm presenting to 'shareholders', 'business mentors' (teachors) and members of other companies (fellow students). I am unsure how to address those from other companies. My current sentence is: Good morning, shareholders, mentors and ___ What is a suitable term?

2 hours later…
8:12 AM
Q: Words which mean: "second largest", "second smallest"

ChaimKutEnglish has the word "penultimate" meaning "second to last". Are there similar words for size, as in "second largest" and "second smallest"?

8:39 AM
@tchrist it's not bad, indeed it's perfectly fine, it just doesn't mean that you can't see that far, it means that you can't see the two ends of someone's legs. English is weird like that.
9:36 AM
Q: Is there a word for "someone who cancelled something"?

StphaneI have to deal with user groups. One user may ask for some IT operation from our company at one point, but any user in his group may cancel this request. I need a word to designate the user who is responsible for the request to abort the request so I can use it as a column header in our database....

10:32 AM
Policeman: "Are you under drugs? Why do you wear swimming goggles?"
Man: "Because it's not comfortable without them, with all the photons hitting my eyes"
Policeman: "Why didn't you wear the usual sun glasses then?"
Man: "Because light is also a wave"
10:54 AM
That's a very weird mix of registers there.
11:27 AM
1 hour later…
12:27 PM
Hey, @Cerberus, what's the deal with the Oostvaardersplassen? Looks like some kind of cruel experiment.
1:12 PM
Q: word for "ability to perform action upon"

waspinatorIn the context of a task list, there may be tasks that cannot be worked on immediately (for example waiting on material to arrive), while other tasks can have action performed to them right away. What's a word that for "actionable" tasks which doesn't imply tasks being illegal.

1:53 PM
@Robusto that's a very interesting article, thanks.
2:06 PM
hello everyone! I am newcomer here
Вечер добрый.
Можете ли вы подсказать как лучше назвать входящие посылки? Incoming packages/received packages
Without any additional context I would probably go with incoming.
Context is mail forwarding
I need to name packages that are received at warehouse but not yet shipped to clients
Received suggests that the package has reached its addressee at the warehouse. Incoming just means it's arrived but hasn't necessarily been taken care of.
2:14 PM
I don't think calling them as delivered is OK, because actual delivery step happens when they receive package in our company office forwarded from other country
Also I think incoming rolls off the tongue nicer, but that is purely subjective of course.
I like it more too
@VadimGalygin yes, for that same reason I would avoid "received". People could misunderstand that as having been received by the end client.
thank you! I think I'll go with incoming package
No problem.
2 hours later…
4:37 PM
@Robusto Well, it's just a natural reserve.
And it was supposed to be truly natural, as in, no human interference with the natural ecosystem.
So of course many animals will die, as it happens all over the world where nature reigns.
Nature is a cruel experiment, as it always has been.
4:55 PM
@Cerberus That's a bit callous
@Mitch Talk to the designer.
Pfft. Leprechauns
@Mitch Pfft. Djinns
OMG the arguments when they get together
"How's that 'I wish for more wishes' thing working out for you?"
"How's that non-existent 'end of a rainbow' working out for you?"
Druids stand on the side, saying nothing
@Mitch Well, some people argue that the reserve should not be considered a part of 'nature', but rather a managed park, in which case humans must interfere.
5:00 PM
@Cerberus Well, some people argue that 4 cups of coffee are good for you.
drinks last drop of fifth cup
What are the arguments, and how do you judge them?
@Cerberus More relevantly, supposedly reintroducing wolves into Yellowstone National Park led, by a chain of causes, to counter-erosion of the banks of many streams there.
@Mitch Pfft. World Turtle
Or at least stopping the erosion
@Cerberus I don't know what the arguments about the mechanism are but to judge you create an randomized controlled trial
where you
Never mind, then.
You're judging, but then you don't care any more.
5:03 PM
force feed... uh... force drink? buckets of coffee to poor nervous, about to be more nervous rabbits
@Cerberus I feel like you're judging me.
For the record, I don't drink coffee
I have no skim milk in the game
You seemed to be judging the natural reserve, but then you weren't interested any more, which is fine.
I don't find it especially interesting either.
@Cerberus Whoa dude. I'm just talking here. It's not like I have an agenda
just reading a link, I have no idea what the scale of things is. how many animals died or whatever.
First you want to discuss it, then you don't, then you do?
Sure. I'm large. I contain multitudes.
I only replied to Robusto because he pang me, it's not really my subject.
5:07 PM
What I'm saying is that I've kind of eaten a lot today and am feeling a little queasy
@Cerberus Well, then, I'm totally on board with you blaming @Robusto for everything
Blame the animals for breeding like rabbits.
We could switch to trolling @MetaEd about his Ringworld fetish
@Cerberus What do the rabbits breed like then?
Like humans.
6th cup of coffee: done
5:45 PM
@Mitch Thinking of somebody else?
@MetaEd discworld, ringworld pfft
@Mitch Still thinking of somebody else?
Now if you were to troll me about Middle Earth ...
look man I don't read any of this stuff it's your pfftworld
@Cerberus Well, the problem is it's not natural. There aren't enough predators to prevent overpopulation of species and subsequent die-offs.
Nature worked its balancing act quite well until man stuck his big stupid oar in.
Don't many animals die from starvation in 'nature'?
Is dying from starvation morally different from being shot or maimed or torn apart and left to die bleeding?
5:51 PM
@MetaEd That whole epic was ghostwritten by Faramir to convince everyone that his brother Boromir was evil, when in fact Boromir was the good one an should hav married Arwen but Faramir was jealous and blah blah blha families.
@Cerberus parasites. you forgot parasites
or having the new leader of the pride killing off the current offspring of the harem
Or even eating his own children.
@Cerberus Predation kills those animals swiftly. And while nature is cruel, humanity putting a thumb on the scales can amplify the cruelty.
I don't know, would you rather starve to death or be cut to pieces alive?
Being mauled on while you're still alive?
Moreover, predation keeps the populations down so that in a balanced ecology wholesale starvation is not the normal outcome.
@Cerberus It's swifter than starvation.
But much more painful.
6:03 PM
Says who?
I believe mass starvation occurs frequently in natural circumstances.
> A common way that starvation ends a person's life is by causing heart problems. Based on anecdotal accounts, it seems that cardiac arrest may be among the better ways to die, while heart attacks are more protracted and can sometimes be intensely painful.
> And so, against the advice of her doctors, the patient decided to stop eating and drinking.

Over the next 40 days in 1993, Dr. Robert Sullivan of Duke University Medical Center observed the woman's gradual decline, providing one of the most detailed clinical accounts of starvation and dehydration.

Instead of feeling pain, the patient experienced the sense of euphoria that accompanies a complete lack of food and water. She was cogent for weeks, chatting with her caregivers in the nursing home and writing letters to family and friends. As her organs failed, she slipped painlessly into a c
@Robusto Well, nature is no zoo.
This stuff happens all the time everywhere.
And yet we're not rescuing or killing off animals that we consider to be "wild" and outside managed parks.
I don't think we should romanticise our natural environment. We're lucky to have escaped it.
Or outgrown it.
So the question is, should the Oostvaardersplassen be a managed park, or true wilderness?
We have wildly different standards for managed parks.
And yet different ones for animals that we 'keep'.
@Cerberus That's not what I'm doing. What I'm doing is being critical of human efforts to make "natural" wildlife preserves that distort ecological balances.
I don't think ecology is really a balance.
It is just whatever happens.
In fact, we humans are part of the ecology as well.
We are part of nature.
6:12 PM
Have you read Flaubert's Madame Bovary? Humanity is like the character of Homais, who brightly offers a clubfooted person a "solution" to his problem, then walks blithely away when the foot turns gangrenous.
If we kill off most animals on the planet, then that's nature, too.
@Cerberus We do everything we can to be apart from nature.
I have not had the pleasure of reading it yet.
@Robusto In a way.
We were once a part of nature, but now we have walled ourselves off from it.
But an alien observing us would consider us just another species having just some impact on its environments like all species do.
6:14 PM
@Cerberus They would see us as a species run riot, no doubt.
It depends on what they would prefer Earth to be like.
Whatever species of algae began mass-producing oxygen a few billion years ago no doubt killed off a far larger percent of land life!
@Cerberus Yes. We are like that species, only in spades.
Their impact on the environment has been (and still is) far larger, I should say!
Just wait.
Even if we nuked the entire planet, I think our impact would be less.
Of course it depends on how you define and measure impact.
I would rather say it thus: we have established certain aims for ourselves, certain ideas of what we want Earth to be like.
Polar bears fit those aims; their extinction does not.
So we try to protect them and we don't want their environment to be destroyed.
In general, we want stability.
6:20 PM
I want a pet polar bear
to hug and cuddle and play with
Raising the temperature of our atmosphaere by 2+ degrees conflicts with those aims, as do sea levels rising by 50 metres.
and dress him up and have tea parties
and sleepovers
And be devoured?
Jun 14 '15 at 15:19, by Robusto
@Cerberus Like a polar bear poised above a seal's breathing hole you are.
and wake up in the middle of the night and runaround outside and throw toilet paper through the trees
6:22 PM
Now, now.
Word of the day: verneshot
that's a word I've never heard before
vermishot is riddled with worms
A verneshot (named after French author Jules Verne) is a hypothetical volcanic eruption event caused by the buildup of gas deep underneath a craton. Such an event may be forceful enough to launch an extreme amount of material from the crust and mantle into a sub-orbital trajectory. == Connection with mass extinctions == Verneshots have been proposed as a causal mechanism explaining the statistically unlikely contemporaneous occurrence of continental flood basalts, mass extinctions, and "impact signals" (such as planar deformation features, shocked quartz, and iridium anomalies) traditiona...
So be careful with your cratons
I think I have read that book.
@Mitch Sounds like worm porn of some kind.
6:24 PM
@Robusto whatever floats your boat
or shoots your worms
Hey, sorry to get into your area, Mitch.
yeah that's my thing
which reminds me
The Cloverfield Paradox was the most idiotic movie I've seen in a while
on par with Mamma Mia
You don't often see those two in the same box
Both would have improved if you had switched their soundtracks
The Mamma Mia soundtrack should, like everything ABBA, be destroyed with fire.
Mar 15 at 15:48, by Robusto
Oh, and for the record I disapprove of Petrarchan sonnets. The reason? The rhyme scheme begins with abba. That feels like a conspiracy to me.
Dec 7 '13 at 13:51, by Robusto
I'm fine with relegating ABBA to third- or fourth-best band out of Sweden whose name is a palindrome.
@Robusto In the hell that is current life, ABBA plays on constant rotation at our local bookstore
Sounds positively Sysiphean.
6:32 PM
it was survivable when it used to be all beatles and elton john
repetition will kill any good music
And with bad music?
Beethoven's ninth? Overdone. It's so last century
Well, you can always listen to the late quartets.
@Robusto I think it was Sir Mick Jagger who opined that, when asked what was the one characteristic of songmaking that made a hit, it was just plain repetition.
whichever was played more became a hit.
@Robusto I think I did once
So where's @JohanLarsson now that we need him. He should be punished because Sweden beat Mexico. He is personally responsible, being from Sweden himself.
@Mitch No repetition? Then not a hit with you, I guess.
@Robusto I think that's a reasonable judgement.
My favorite piece by Beethoven
You could ping him. He's always lurking
Along with Jenna Sloan
Flush him out and send him through the spanking machine.
6:37 PM
She's never peeped one pip here
One word: Fargo.
Well, all right, two: West Fargo.
@CowperKettle poor viola players. never the bride always the bridesmaid
@Mitch Viola players are the ones who stay and help clean up after the party. They also put out extra paper plates, etc.
I couldn't even barely play a viola if it was a key on a synthesizer
with autoplay
I mean, what can you say about musicians who are forced to use the alto clef? It's a fate worse than life in Kansas.
6:41 PM
@Robusto I know. so boring
On the other hand, if you can play a viola there's always a job for you. Not a good one, but still a job.
it's like the last part the composer does, and just to fill out the harmony. ends up being one note the whole way through. ooh excitement, another note!
Violas are what keep the cellos from attacking the violins. They're like this demilitarized zone in the orchestra, a buffer state, the BeNeLux of music!
um... WWII
it's who they crushed first before spitting France
So you see, they do serve a purpose.
Sooner or later @RegDwigнt will wind up determining that viola is a more attainable goal than fiddle.
6:43 PM
They make chocolate and beer?
No. Violists eat only Bratschwurst.
C'mon, that was a pretty decent pun.
> What's the difference between a viola and a coffin? Coffins have dead people on the inside.
On the other hand, one of the finest chamber works I ever played in was for flute, viola and harp. The sonata by Debussy.
Breaking News: Incitatus nominated and immediately confirmed to the US Supreme Court
@Robusto Hold on, I'm playing Ian Dury at the moment
@Mitch I know @Cerb will get that joke.
7:00 PM
@Robusto sigh
That was my way of letting you know that I got it too. I know all about Caligula.
I know I don't. I had to look it up based on a vague memory from seeing I Claudius in the seventies
There was another british series, on masterpiece thater in the 80's just as good but totally different, some women in Singapore before during and after WWII, mostly in a prison camp.
can't remember the name
starts with a 'T'
Tengo? Tekno? Tikkun?
@Robusto yawn. I'm subscribed to TwoSetViolin. They post 50 viola jokes a day, every day. And in the comments 50 more are posted every second. You will need to try harder.
C'mon, though, you gotta give it up for Bratschwurst.
Q: What’s the place called where the lord/ ruler of a village in the 1400s lived?

AngelIn England in the 1400s, most people had a small house but where the lord would live was different, bigger. In particular, in Skyrim the Jarls live in keeps but that's a little too big for what I’m looking for.

7:05 PM
But the alto clef is kinda useless. It's just one step below the treble clef. Why they don't just use the treble clef, I've no idea.
Like tenor clef I can understand, half the orchestra uses that one occasionally.
Also my violin teacher also plays the viola. She once brought it along, which she rarely does because it costs more than my entire LEGO collection. It's also bigger than my entire LEGO collection. That thing was amazing.
It was the day before my birthday. And I just so happened to have some Bach with me, originally a lute suite that I had transcribed for violin and viola. And we played it and it was the best thing ever.
@Robusto Ah, the horse.
So was there some judge appointed?
No. The swing vote on SCOTUS is retiring. So ... bye-bye justice.
I heard that before. I think we hear that like once every 8 years or so.
Retiring now?
I guess at the end of the session.
The idea that that abomination will get to nominate two SC justices is just ... appalling.
7:18 PM
I wonder who ever thought having judges appointed by politicians was a good idea...
Well meaning folks with a tad too much trust.
Had they not read Montesquieu?
@Cerberus not having thought deeply about it all, I thought it was another 'check and balance'
every branch has some power over the other
but that's 'Schoolhouse rock' thinking
Lolly Lolly Lolly get your adverbs here
@Mitch Some power is unavoidable.
But this much power, to directly appoint judges?
Those who wrote that article probably could no imagine a polarised bipartisan parliament like that.
Even so, it's too much power.
I think the judges in our High Council can also be appointed by parliament or cabinet in some way, although they must probably choose from a list proposed by the Council itself.
Our last President of the High Council is now issuing warning regarding this issue.
But we don't have a polarised, bipartisan parliament, so it's not really a problem in practice.
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