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12:01 AM
@tchrist I don’t think you’re going to get your canonical article on why English spelling is so difficult. Everyone knows something; no one knows enuf.
 
@Xanne I reached at least your first conclusion some time ago, and it bummed me out.
 
Well, maybe one way to approach the questions about spelling peculiarities is to offer the relevant observations about the standard patterns that do exist, rather than punt with the GVS and Guttenberg.
 
12:17 AM
@Xanne nohat doesn't like the punting
 
@tchrist ?
 
@Xanne Nohat doesn't like it when people give answers to spelling questions that mostly just throw up their hands and don't talk about deeper patterns. He'd like answers that talk about patterns. So for example, when you wrote Guttenberg I automatically heard the wrong name in my head, one whose first syllable sounds like the English word gut.
So there's clearly some pattern to be had there, where the doubled-consonant swaps in a "short" vowel instead of "long" one.
On the other hand, if you had said Gutenburg I probably wouldn't have thought about a good castle instead of a good mountain, because I'm not thinking German thoughts, just English sounds, and "berg" and "burg" are the same for me in English.
 
@tchrist Is Venezky considered a good source? He wrote books about this, concluding that 50 percent of some 20,000 words are spelled as they sound and identifying the patterns and the markers.
Another large chunk involves a vowel change or addition. Those are useful patterns.
 
12:34 AM
@Xanne I'm afraid I wouldn't know.
 
12:57 AM
The American Way of Spelling: The Structure and Origins of American English Orthography 1st Edition
by Richard L. Venezky (Author)
 
thanks
 
There's a long interview with him somewhere, with some interesting concepts. He is not convinced that the printing press was critical, and notes that parliamentary scribes tried to preserve etymology. Webster’s Third also has an article that argues for the optimality of English orthography, but I gave the dictionary away.
 
1:46 AM
Boating on Cochiti Lake with the southern end of the Sangre de Cristo mountains in the distance.
 
@Robusto It was hot again here today. I keep thinking somebody is going to have to pay for this but I don't know who or how or when.
 
Ducks looking for food amid sunlight spangles ^^
@tchrist Yeah, I don't remember a November that was this nice down here.
 
And I think it's not November any longer, either. :)
 
Heh, here I am again, living in the past.
What if you could remaster your entire life?
 
@Cerberus Remember I told you how we got only 0.17" of moisture in October? Well, we've just now received 0.07" of moisture in November. Inconceivable.
 
1:52 AM
 
@Robusto The last book of the Expanse series has come out.
 
@tchrist Interesting. Have you read it yet?
 
Not the last one.
The rest.
 
Cochiti Lake is a census-designated place in Sandoval County, New Mexico, United States. Its population was 569 as of the 2010 census. == References ==
The Cochiti Dam is an earthen fill dam located on the Rio Grande in Sandoval County, New Mexico, approximately 50 miles (80 km) north of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the United States. By volume of material, it is the 23rd largest dam in the world at 62,849,000 yd3 (48,052,000 m3) of material, one of the ten largest such dams in the United States, and the eleventh largest such dam in the world. Cochiti Dam is one of the four United States Army Corps of Engineers projects for flood and sediment control on the Rio Grande system, operating in conjunction with Abiquiu Dam, Galisteo Dam and Jemez Canyon...
 
I saw the series first, now I'm almost through the second book. Gonna be a while before I get to the last one.
@CowperKettle That's the one.
 
1:54 AM
I'm about 60 pages into the last book.
 
The books are—surprise, surprise—much better than the TV series.
@CowperKettle At one time, I believe, it was the largest earthen dam in the world, or perhaps only the US.
 
> Cochiti Lake is a no-wake lake, and boats are restricted to trolling speeds.
A lake for trolls.
 
@CowperKettle Haha. That just means if you have a motorboat you mustn't leave a wake.
We were the only people on the entire lake today.
It's very peaceful to have an entire lake entirely to yourself.
 
Trolling is a method of fishing where one or more fishing lines, baited with lures or bait fish, are drawn through the water. This may be behind a moving boat, or by slowly winding the line in when fishing from a static position, or even sweeping the line from side-to-side, e.g. when fishing from a jetty. Trolling is used to catch pelagic fish such as salmon, mackerel and kingfish. Trolling can be phonetically confused with trawling, a different method of fishing where a net (trawl) is drawn through the water instead of lines. Trolling is used both for recreational and commercial fishing whereas...
 
2:12 AM
@tchrist: almost 1900 new cases here today.
 
@Robusto Now I'm afraid to look.
We had 4800 on Monday, 2000 on Tuesday, and I haven't found today's yet. That's the whole state not just my county.
2337 today
 
My county only had 116. But this is clearly worse than last year.
 
Not sure how to measure that. Cases aren't QUITE so high as December 1st last year.
My county's averaging 89 per day, or 27 per 100k.
 
I actually don't know what it was last year. It just feels worse, since we've had the vaccine for at least 9 months now.
 
It's definitely a great deal worse than this past summer.
7% positivity rate in Boulder County, 9.28% in Colorado.
 
2:32 AM
> How do you say "No TV" in Russia?

Nietflix.
 
Christ soup
 
2:52 AM
> If necessary, multiple booster doses — first with the current vaccines, then with Omicron-specific versions — would need to be exquisitely timed, so that certain immune cells don’t stop responding to vaccination, Dr. Moore said.

“This is where it all gets complicated — certainly, nobody should be sitting on dogma here,” he said. “We’re reacting in a low-information environment where the consequences are potentially quite serious.”
I wish I knew what that meant.
The "so that certain immune cells don’t stop responding to vaccination" aspect.
The NY Times has a new Ο-variant tracker.
It's remarkably technical, really.
 
 
1 hour later…
4:12 AM
@Robusto 2337 yesterday, 3188 today. But your rate is higher that ours because we've thrice your population.
I know we've got active-duty military doctors and nurses in our hospitals here now. To give our people time to catch their breaths. You had ICU nurses being forced to cover 4 and 5 patients instead of 2.
Time to sleep.
 
In the town of Rybinsk, Delivery Club adopted a new uniform for its delivery men.
Pre-revolutionary style
Previously the Mayor's office decreed that all shop signs in the center of the town should be in the old style
They probably used overcoats of broadcloth in the 19 century.
Broadcloth was less permissible to rain and snow
Broadcloth is a dense, plain woven cloth, historically made of wool. The defining characteristic of broadcloth is not its finished width but the fact that it was woven much wider (typically 50 to 75% wider than its finished width) and then heavily milled (traditionally the cloth was worked by heavy wooden trip hammers in hot soapy water) in order to shrink it to the required width. The effect of the milling process is to draw the yarns much closer together than could be achieved in the loom and allow the individual fibres of the wool to bind together in a felting process, which results in a dense...
Vaccination rates are on the decline again. Despite the fact that there is a glut of vaccines. The largest-ever batch of Sputnik Light arrived to Yekaterinburg 3 days ago.
 
4:38 AM
@tchrist That's probably below any other value in the table you showed?
 
@Cerberus Yes. It is.
It was 72F here again today, and felt rather warmer working outside in the sun. It felt hot. You dry out quickly. Drank a quart of ice tea like it was nothing.
I was visited by an irruptive flock of waxwings.
Bombycilla. They range widely looking for fruit still on trees.
I saw them banking as one in the sun, very impressive. 40 birds or so. Alighted in my tall cottonwood surveying the neighborhood for fruit.
You have them too, although you only have B. garrulus and we have those and the cedar waxwings too. This was just cedars not bohemians this time, but often you get mixed flocks. They appear out of nowhere in great numbers. Hence irruption. They are very sweet birds, and always share childcare duties, and snuggle. They are communal not territorial.
Today's was by far my biggest such visitation in many years. It was a wonder and a joy to behold.
> They are not true long-distance migrants, but wander erratically outside the breeding season and move south from their summer range in winter. In poor berry years huge numbers can irrupt well beyond their normal range, often in flocks that on occasion number in the thousands.
I have no idea what in the world they're doing here in December. But I feel the same about balmy days in the 70s.
It's still 61Fing degrees at 10pm. In December.
 
5:16 AM
@tchrist I have never seen them.
Pestvogels, they are called, apparently.
 
How unkind!
 
No idea why.
 
Magpies are more deserving of that name.
It did look like one of those great starling murmurations that you get in late afternoon. But these were bright where starlings are dark. The cedars are lovely pastels of yellows and olives and greens touched with a bit of grey. And on the wingtips bright scarlet dabs like unto sealing wax.
The low angle of the sun made them golden.
 
5:43 AM
The wonders of the countryside.
Most birds I see here are true pests.
 
 
1 hour later…
7:11 AM
> A resident of Tomsk, Samborsky made headlines last month after he released shocking video of appalling conditions inside the "red zone" of the Siberian city’s largest COVID-19 hospital. In a telephone interview from self-imposed exile, he told RFE/RL that "reliable" sources in Moskalkova's office advised him to leave the country immediately.
> "The conclusion? Nothing was going to change -- and they were going to come after me with all they had for violating the sanitary regime. So that others don't try the same."
> "For three days, before I was exposed and kicked out, I managed to comfort my grandmother and make things at least a bit easier for her," he said. "I have no regrets about that. Of course, I didn’t think it would end in my forced emigration. But I don't regret it. I'd do the same thing again."
Putinism kills.
 
7:34 AM
Inside the largest impact crater on Earth
The Vredefort crater is the largest verified impact crater on Earth. It was 160–300 km (99–186 mi) across when it was formed; what remains of it is in the present-day Free State province of South Africa. It is named after the town of Vredefort, which is near its centre. Although the crater itself has long since been eroded away, the remaining geological structures at its centre are known as the Vredefort Dome or Vredefort impact structure. The crater is calculated to be 2.023 billion years (± 4 million years) old, with impact being in the Paleoproterozoic Era. It is the second-oldest known crater...
 
 
2 hours later…
9:14 AM
 
10:08 AM
Hi, would the phrase "drowned in an air of desolation" be considered to be a metaphor, a hyperbole or both?
For some context, here's the part of the text:
I think it should be an hyperbole since it seems to be placing emphasis on the fact that the temple was desolated, not sure about it being a metaphor..
 
 
1 hour later…
11:25 AM
> Columbus would rarely write a letter with a new pen without testing the pen with this phrase: Jesus cum Maria sit nobis in via.
@AshishAhuja Maybe it's just an idiom? "Drowned in an air of desolation" = desolated.
It must not be a metaphor, because indeed it mentions "desolation".
Closer to hyperbole then.
 
12:30 PM
Word of the day: hawk's bells (given to Indians in exchange for their goods)
 
12:53 PM
Probably known these days as "falconry bells"
 
1:38 PM
Local Duma deputy from Kurgan photoshopped himself into a variety of city settings and posted this to show that he has visited all these places to inspect them.
People started commenting, but he insisted, despite the blatant signs of editing.
So people had their LULz.
And posted photos of him inspecting such sites.
 
1:50 PM
Very inspiring
Deaths are down.
 
@CowperKettle I remember that game. I used to play it with my kids.
Heroes of Might and Magic III. And that picture shows the necropolis town, where the armies of Death dwelled and were produced.
It was full of skeletons, liches, zombies, vampires, wraiths, death knights and ghost dragons.
Quite a fitting place for a thieving bureaucrat.
I preferred the castle town or the tower town.
 
2:42 PM
Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia (commonly referred to as Heroes of Might & Magic 3, or simply Heroes 3) is a turn-based strategy game developed by Jon Van Caneghem through New World Computing originally released for Microsoft Windows by the 3DO Company in 1999. Its ports to several computer and console systems followed in 1999–2000. It is the third installment of the Heroes of Might and Magic series. The game's story is first referenced throughout Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven and serves as a prequel to Might and Magic VII: For Blood and Honor. The player can...
@CowperKettle: Apparently this game is very popular in Russia still.
Some Russian guy even modded his own expansion of the game. Interesting.
Apparently it's also very popular on Twitch.
 
@Robusto Yes, it's very popular. There were expansions 10+ years ago already
> - Why do you have a black eye?
- I was on the bus and saw that a lady's skirt got tucked into her butt, so I started to cautiously pull out the skirt, you know, to make it tidier.
- But that was none of your business!
- So I thought, half-way out, and started slowly tucking it back in..
 
3:02 PM
Eustachius Benedictus de Lannoy (also sometimes called 'Captain De Lannoy') (30 December 1715 – 1 June 1777, Udayagiri Fort) was a skilled military strategist and commander of the Travancore Army, under Maharaja Marthanda Varma.De Lannoy, originally a Dutch naval officer, arrived with a Dutch naval force at Colachel in 1741 sent by the Dutch East India Company, or Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC) with the objective of instituting a trading post for the company at Kolachal. The company was the world’s first joint-stock company and was the largest multinational company. It was a very rich...
Led the Dutch army in a battle against an Indian kingdom; lost, was taken prisoner, and became an army commander in that Indian kingdom; reformed the Indian army.
> .. is an ancestor of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
An ancestor of Franlkin Roosevelt reformed the Army of the Kingdom of Travancore
The Kingdom of Travancore (), also known as the Kingdom of Thiruvithamkoor, was an Indian kingdom from c. 1729 until 1949. It was ruled by the Travancore Royal Family from Padmanabhapuram, and later Thiruvananthapuram. At its zenith, the kingdom covered most of modern-day Southern parts of Kerala (Idukki, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kollam, and Thiruvananthapuram districts, and some portions of Ernakulam district), and the southernmost part of modern-day Tamil Nadu (Kanyakumari district and some parts of Tenkasi district) with the Thachudaya Kaimal's enclave of Irinjalakuda Koodalmanikyam...
What if it was all invented, and there was never a kingdom of Travancore nor De Lannoy.
@Robusto Look at this
 
3:27 PM
The Dutch are making waves
 
 
1 hour later…
4:29 PM
Word of the day: coccoliths
> Here, using high-resolution coccolith data, we show that during the last 2.8 million years the morphological evolution of coccolithophores was forced by Earth’s orbital eccentricity with rhythms of around 100,000 years and 405,000 years—a distinct spectral signature to that of coeval global climate cycles. nature.com/articles/s41586-021-04195-7
 
5:34 PM
 
6:13 PM
 
6:42 PM
In my early childhood I used to see such cartoons in Soviet newspapers. Always a treacherous US hand doing something bad.
 
6:59 PM
in The Nineteenth Byte, yesterday, by pxeger
the volume of a pizza with radius z and height a is pizza
LOL
The Russian police has just raided a conference of protestant priests and arrested 200 priests theins.ru/news/246823
 
 
3 hours later…
10:13 PM
@CowperKettle Haha, classic.
 

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