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12:02 AM
@Robusto Factorial of 5 is 120 ))
 
@CowperKettle Hah.
Then they forgot the full stop at the end...
But it's a funny kind of 'pun'.
 
@CowperKettle Ah. Ya got me there.
This is because social media uses the ! way too much. I rest my case.
@tchrist: 329 new cases here today. That's about a 45% jump over the average over the past week. Not good news.
 
12:19 AM
@Robusto Media...uses!?
 
@Robusto We just had 896, which is about that same proportion above our 7-day moving average.
 
@Cerberus I'm referring to social media as an abstract monolithic concept.
 
That is not possible!
 
I just did it!
You saw me do it!
 
Heretic!
Barbarian!
 
12:20 AM
Iconoclast!
 
Which icons do I kla?
 
Cow tippers tip cows famously.
 
@Cerberus I think @Reg still has a few, but he doesn't come around here anymore.
 
Oh right, you can't call spirits from the vasty deep.
 
12:25 AM
Let's hope our spike is similarly short-lived.
 
What is being done to squash it?
I think I mentioned what was done here.
Hospitalisations are still increasing, but they are of course delayed.
 
@Cerberus Those of us who have received the vaccine have ... received the vaccine.
 
@Robusto Yes, of course that helps. But no immediate measures, closing places?
 
We've gone back to masking indoors.
 
12:33 AM
@CowperKettle Lovely nematode.
But that commentator, sweet baby Jesus.
@Robusto We haven't.
Are nightclubs still open?
Bars late at night?
Festivals?
 
I don't really go to nightclubs, but I think they are open.
 
What age groups are being infected?
Here it was young people, which is why closing nightclubs worked.
Although the media scare may have also helped.
 
Here it's stupid people. Mostly older.
But it's also a geographical distribution.
 
Within your state?
 
Darker is worse.
 
12:37 AM
Yeah I know about that distribution.
 
You can tell where the stupid people reside.
 
But you'd expect each state to have its own policies?
 
Well, they do.
 
Older people could be a problem, though.
Why do they think the numbers are rising again?
 
Because the Delta variant is hitting the unvaccinated very hard.
 
12:39 AM
Ah, OK.
I would expect older people to be more likely to be vaccinated?
@Robusto What's the turquoise 'island' on the right?
Is it part of Cuba or something?
 
By "left" do you mean "right"?
Ah, ok.
 
Yes...
Almost the same thing, right?
 
Right.
@Cerberus That's the District of Columbia.
 
I like "Weird Al" Yankovic because it takes a talent to be funny
 
12:43 AM
@Robusto Uhh then why is it an island?
And shouldn't it be smaller?
@CowperKettle NomenCLAture, really?
But, yeah, those are some pretty serious word crimes.
> Don't use irony for "coincidence".
Hear, hear.
 
> His father, who was born in the Strawberry Hill neighborhood of Kansas City, Kansas, was of Yugoslav descent (the original surname spelling being Janković) and began living in California after earning two Purple Hearts for his service as a medic during World War II.
 
@Cerberus It's too small in proportion to be seen on the actual map.
 
@Robusto You have to get the KN95s that have two attachments that go all the way around the back of your head. Night and day. The silly ear loops are useless.
 
@Robusto OK I see.
@tchrist Must be difficult to fall asleep.
 
12:58 AM
@tchrist Maybe, but these N95s work great. I thought the difference between N95 and KN95 involved the head loops. Also the nosepiece has a spongy liner that seals against the skin really well.
 
@Cerberus You'd be surprised.
 
Oh, yeah?
That was actually a little joke.
 
CPAP
 
I think that in preparation for the next pandemic all humans on Earth should have an airtight costume, the kind they wear in COVID hospitals, only with an air-conditioning system for long-term comfort. That would really destroy any future pandemic.
Just wear a costume for a couple of weeks, and viola. No transmission.
I myself possess a feline,
But when poetry I roar,
She is sure to make a beeline
For the door
Two women in St Petersburg got into a fight after a scooter accident
One got a broken nose and a concussion, other a broken hand
 
1:17 AM
No hidden agendas have my cats.
They're easy to predict.
They're hungry, bored, or seeking spats,
And love pain to inflict.
 
In Yekaterinburg, some scooter riders are really flying at great speeds.
@Robusto Nice!
There was a regulation passed recently to limit scooter speeds, but nobody cares.
The police charges a fine now and then.
 
@CowperKettle I just speak the truth.
 
1:42 AM
A bear killed a 42 yo man in the Yergaki National Park
My friends trekked in this park 3 years ago. They actually saw some bears, but thankfully the bears were on the opposite slope, across a ravine
Ergaki (Russian: Ергаки) is a mountain range in the Western Sayan Mountains in southern Siberia, Russia.The highest point is peak Zvyozdniy (2265 meters). Ergaki Nature Park is a protected area which contains the mountain range. == References == == External links == Media related to Ergaki at Wikimedia Commons
 
Don't you have bears pretty much everywhere though?
 
@tchrist Yes, there are bears even in the vicinity of Yekaterinburg
I was taking part in a search of a lost boy in 2017. The next day, a group of searchers came across a live bear, and this was just a couple kilometers from a town.
 
Good. That's why I had thought. You haven't genocided them yet the way Britain and many other places have.
 
Because we have a cold climate. Thus, a lot of woods.
Britain is blessed with Gulf Stream.
 
@CowperKettle You have to understand, I get my bears in my own yard. Don't have to go anywhere for that. :)
Yes, the bears don't live out on the high arid plains to the east here.
Only close enough to the forests and mountains.
 
1:47 AM
Yekaterinburg is the same latitude with Edinburgh, yet they have temperatures above zero C in January.
 
Softies.
 
If we had the same climate, we would also exterminate bears and make fields.
 
Exterminate trees.
Either Rush, or the Lorax, either one.
@CowperKettle Don't you grow some food where you live?
Are you in the taiga then?
> The food industry of the Ural economic region specializes in producing wheat, meat and dairy, mostly around the major industrial centers. Most fields are located in southern areas. [...] Greenhouse farming is well-developed in this region.
Well, Iceland gets a lot of good out of its greenhouses, too.
> The total sown area is 16.4 million ha, of which 10.9 million ha is used for grains, 4.9 million ha for fodder crops, 0.1 million ha for technical sunflower and flax and 0.5 million ha for potatoes and vegetables. Grains are dominated by the spring wheat (5.7 million hectares).
Agriculture in Alaska faces many challenges, largely due to the climate, the short growing season, and generally poor soils. However, the exceptionally long days of summer enable some vegetables to attain world record sizes. == Farms == The state of Alaska contains some 500 farms, covering about 830,000 acres in 2015, mainly to the northeast of the state's largest city, Anchorage, in the Matanuska Valley. The farms produce greenhouse and nursery crops, as well as hay (20,000 tons), dairy produce, potatoes (140,000 cwt), and livestock including cattle (11,000 inc. calves in 2016), reindeer, bison...
Yeah, rough there, too.
> The exceptionally long summer days enable some vegetables to attain world record sizes, including a carrot of 19 pounds (8.6 kg), a rutabaga of 76 pounds (34 kg), and a cabbage of 127 pounds (58 kg).[2]
 
2:17 AM
@tchrist Yes, we grow a lot of food, but the output is unstable, because of sudden cold spells
A lot of good dairy.
On bicycle rides, I saw some very good-looking cows, really nice and clean, in the fields.
And in the suburbs of Yekaterinburg, a huge industrial-scale greenhouse was built several years ago.
You can see the sky glow in the fall after dark
When they furst turned the lights on, I thought there was a big fire, and even made some photos.
Turns out, other citizens also thought it was a fire.
Now everybody has grown accustomed to this glow in the fall and winter.
Turns out, in Siberia they built a huge greenhouse too, near Tyumen
It helps provide locally-grown vegetables
 
2:35 AM
@CowperKettle Yeah, that makes sense. It's like trying to grow oranges in Texas. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
@CowperKettle It hadn't occurred to me that you would need electrical lighting instead of just the sky, but I forgot about how little sunshine that latitude gets during winter.
 
3:23 AM
The Euthanasia Coaster is a hypothetical steel roller coaster designed to kill its passengers. In 2010, it was designed and made into a scale model by Lithuanian artist Julijonas Urbonas, a PhD candidate at the Royal College of Art in London. Urbonas, who has worked at an amusement park, stated that the goal of his concept roller coaster is to take lives "with elegance and euphoria". As for practical applications of his design, Urbonas mentioned "euthanasia" or "execution". John Allen, who served as president of the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, inspired Urbonas with his description of the "ultimate...
Better than the gas chamber.
It would keep the condemned in one piece, unlike the execution by firing squad.
Nice.
 
 
2 hours later…
5:29 AM
 
5:41 AM
> The parrotfish can ingest a coral’s calcium carbonate and poop out up to 800 pounds of sand each year, which makes the parrotfish the most important 'creator' of the beautiful white-sand beaches of Hawaii
O_O
 
 
4 hours later…
9:31 AM
Alexandr Zemchenkov, former Head Nephrologist of St Petersburg. He faces a life in prison for killing his wife and dismembering the corpse in an attempt to hide it.
It happened in 2010, and only in 2021 the police managed to find evidence implicating him.
But considering the track record of the Russian police, one can never be sure.
 
10:28 AM
Citizens of the USSR is a movement whose members refuse to acknowledge current officials, and believe that the USSR was never legally disbanded.
They set up their parallel official structures and issue USSR passports.
 
10:53 AM
Criminology: a science that studies criminals who were loosers and let themselves be caught.
Politology: a science that studies criminals who were smart and did not let themselves get caught.
 
11:25 AM
@CowperKettle heh
 
12:20 PM
> "For sexual species, only half the individuals are directly producing offspring. In an asexual species, every individual is directly producing offspring," Wiens said. "Sexual reproduction is not as efficient. Another disadvantage of sexual reproduction is that you do need two individuals to make something happen, and those two individuals have to be the right sexes. Asexual species, on the other hand, only need one individual to reproduce."
Should we switch back to budding?
 
@CowperKettle sexual reproduction is costly, and for species that can do both, happens in harsher environments, and for a good reason: Only sexual reproduction allows for variability, and thus ensures the survival of the species.
7 million kettles that are the same wouldn't survive where one couldn't. But if Mrs. Kettle and Mr. Kettle come together, the offspring just might ;)
 
1:10 PM
@CowperKettle Cute.
 
1:44 PM
@Cerberus Then the bear stepped on the cat. The End.
It's a classic German complaint about American greetings... Someone says "How are you?" and you wonder "Why are they so intrusive into my inner life? Do they really expect me to answer? Or are they just being polite? Why do they care so much?" and then everyone gets all embarassed because you actually try to answer the question.
But...
Every single other language has a similar greeting "¿Cómo estás?", "你好嗎?", "Jak se máš?", "Conas tá tú?", "क्या हाल है?", "元気ですか?". Even German has such a greeting "Wie geht's?"
All of these have there different place in each of the social situations, but the all -have- them.
So why don't the Germans complain about -everybody-? Americans don't want an answer to 'How are you?' any more than anybody else. We don't actually care how you are really are, let's just get past this exchange and get to drinking the agenda for the meeting.
 
2:26 PM
@Mitch You have a point, but I think the difference is the context in which it is asked.
In a shop, you would never have personnel ask you "how are you?".
That is what makes it confusing, when Americans do ask it in shops.
In combination with the perceived servility of American service.
 
2:46 PM
@Cerberus There's an historical reason for that, and you will not like it.
 
@tchrist Oh, dear.
 
It all goes back to landed gentry and their peasants/serfs/slaves/servants, a model which was mocked up by the petty bourgeoisie who liked to pretend they were wealthy do-nothings, the sudden influx of emancipated negroes from Lincoln's freedom adventures, and the Pullman porters hired to be liveried train workers after the end of that war.
America's penchant for servile and obedient servants in their menial workers, including shop clerks and restaurant staff groveling for small change, all descends from that.
It's ugly.
 
@Cerberus Do service people do that? That seems strange in my imagination, but maybe they say it, I don't know. Well, maybe they do but they couldn't care less what your answer is. Which I presume is the case the effing world over.
 
@Mitch Don't ask, don't tell.
 
So do service people say "How are you?"
 
3:01 PM
An how are we this fine morning, massa sir?
 
@tchrist I mean America is great and all but none of that sounds different from the entire rest of the world.
@tchrist My imagination makes that sound no different from the (very large) servile classes in Europe or anywhere else for that matter pre 20th c.
 
Cerb says the posmodern Dutch aren't servile enough for Mirkin sensitivities.
He's have said that in just a few minutes. :)
 
I've heard that staff in Las Vegas have a permanently plastered smile on their face.
I think they are the best at their job
 
It's stencilled off an old Pullman Porter. In blackface.
 
So @Cerberus will have said, surely at his convenience, that the Dutch are deficient in deference?
 
3:06 PM
Au contraire, mon frère!
 
Are you OK? It sounds like you had a stroke.
haha
 
He'll have said that our petty burgertravellers expect imbecilic yesmassas too much.
 
My joke at French's expense
 
Please stop. Amphibians have plenty of trouble on their own these days without you expensing them.
 
@tchrist A Dutch person's deficiencies are an American's excesses?
 
3:08 PM
@Mitch Mirror, mirror on the wall.
 
@tchrist I think they're doing OK.
@tchrist That's funny... I don't look Dutch
 
@Mitch Only because of the Macaronic decree on uttermost vacca nation.
 
Look man I can't keep up day to day what vaccination scandal is happening... googles for Macron
Oh
well they should get vaccinated
 
Even Lucifer was free to choose.
 
of eff it, say 'fine, we're giving all the vaccines you're not taking to Africa'
 
3:16 PM
Let there be more cordons sanitaires.
 
@tchrist well it could have gone well, like establishing the 2nd Baptist Church and whoever didn't like the pastor's jokes at 1st baptist could just go around the corner to the alternative.
 
@Mitch The heat dome from hell raises all thermometers.
 
For the record, the lyrics to 'Let It Go' seem a little dark.
 
@Mitch All four of them?!
 
Off the top of my head I only know three
'Let', 'It', and 'Go'
 
3:26 PM
ponders what difference may lie between ⁈ and ⁉
 
@tchrist That's easy.
One is one and one is the other.
 
shuns the other
 
It's like twin cats. They know which one is which, and that's what matters
'?!' is a question that you think is funny to ask
 
¡What are you doing? and ¿What are you doing! are not the same.
 
!? is an exclamation that you realize may be hard to understand or that you suddenly realize you're not sure about.
@tchrist That's a whole nother bag of some SPanish things.
 
3:29 PM
So is it How dare you⁉ or How dare you⁈
 
>It's funny how some distance makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me can't get to me at all
 
@Mitch I think they're the same. So ¡...? is like ⁉, and ¿...! is like ⁈ — because ordering.
 
OK that sounds nice, you're getting control of your emotions
> No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I'm free
whoa whoa whoa
 
It's one of the vows of our order.
 
I think you went just a little bit too ar in self-actualization and you've become a sociopath
 
3:31 PM
Social paths are hard on forest and meadow alike.
 
@tchrist I think its form started off as a question, like "How could you possibly be so brazen as to dare do such a terrible thing?" which is obviously rhetorical...
and that just morphed ever so slightly from a rhetorical question to 'Hey, you a psychopath and of course you would dare such things'.
 
How could you!How dare you!
 
Sort of like 'me gusta mucho'
 
¡Y a mí, también!
 
@tchrist That's the logic.
 
3:35 PM
Ça m'est égal == Me es igual.
 
" But then I never studied logic." would be the obvious next statement
 
It's all very dativvy.
 
but I can't say that
because I'm mute
I can only speak metaphorically through a keyboard.
I feel a Natasha Bedingfeld song coming on.
 
@Mitch The Colorado branch or the Utah branch?
 
@tchrist Es ist mir egal.
It's like they're all saying the same thing
 
3:37 PM
@Mitch Notice it has to be mir not mich!
The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe is one of three federally recognized tribes of the Ute Nation, and are mostly descendants of the historic Weeminuche Band who moved to the Southern Ute reservation in 1897. Their reservation is headquartered at Towaoc, Colorado on the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Reservation in southwestern Colorado, northwestern New Mexico and small sections of Utah. == History == The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe are descendants of the Weeminuche band (Weminuche, Weemeenooch, Wiminuc, Guiguinuches) lived west of the Great Divide along the Dolores River of western Colorado, in the Abajo Mountains...
 
À moi, le déluge'
 
Canute, is that you?
 
Apres Deluge
like apres ski
 
That's only in the winter olympics.
 
@MattE.Эллен mmm... a hot chocolate in one hand, a broken arm in the other
 
3:39 PM
and a trout in your trousers
 
Ooooh!
 
@Mitch You carry your hot chocolate in your broken armhand?
 
@tchrist What? No. Someone else's broken arm.
Like maybe you're helping them drink hot chocolate
How should I know?!
 
How do you know they didn't want to just keep wearing it?
 
3:41 PM
@tchrist as a talisman? Kind of bulky
 
Le choc.
 
@CowperKettle dude...do we have the same twitter feed?
 
No fittter tweed hath he than thine!
 
 
2 hours later…
5:20 PM
@tchrist Oh, you really think so, a conexion with newly freed slaves?
It may also be the lack of job security which encourages servility?
But the particular custom of asking how a customer's day was, it's so specific.
@Mitch Well, as far as I know, people do not ask this in shops outside America.
But I'm not expert on comparative customs.
@Mitch Yes, the Dutch are considered particularly rude, including waiters and other personnel.
 
6:03 PM
@Cerberus It's the expectation that servants be cheerful and kind to their masters at all times, no matter what.
 
Hmm.
 
Then again, Americans passing each other on a trail also say hello to each other.
 
Is cheerful servility just a higher degree of servility, or is it qualitatively different?
 
We don't like glowering servants. Do you?
 
@tchrist With Dutchmen, it depends on how busy the trail is; if it's busy, maybe 50% will greet you.
@tchrist Well, we don't like servants to be too cheerful either.
 
6:05 PM
The server should always greet the gentry with a smile.
They should be friendly.
 
So this sounds like a qualitative difference?
 
If they are not, then we will righteously screw them over for the tips they live on.
 
Because one way to be excessively servile is by remaining unseen.
Unobtrusive.
@tchrist I would say that fits into the job-security aspect?
 
Not in Dutchland?
I mean, there's nothing to be gained from being friendly, so they just act like jerks?
 
No, because tips are tiny compared with America.
 
6:07 PM
I have no idea.
Just asking.
 
You never need to tip.
@tchrist Yes, kind of.
 
Well then fuck them, is always what we would say.
 
Waiters normally get tips here, though not huge ones.
They are not a huge part of their income as in America.
 
No, tipping came from Europe. It was considered wicked and evil and wrong here.
> Until the Civil War in America, there was no tipping. It was a European thing. But then Americans began to travel to Europe and brought this custom back. At the same time, immigrants were coming to America by the boatload from Europe, most of them poor, [and] had been working in Europe and were used to the tipping system. So in every way it was seen as a European import and there was huge opposition to it, because of its feudal nature.
> RAMTIN ARABLOUEI: What was the principal argument against it in the 1800s? Why did some people find it distasteful?

MARTYRIS: They found it distasteful and un-American because it was feudal. And when you give a tip, you establish a class system. By tipping somebody, you rendered him your inferior, your moral inferior, your class inferior, your social and economic inferior. So it was a caste bound system and it was an old world custom and it reeked of feudalism. It was called servile and it was called a bribe. It was called a moral malady. It was called blackmail. It was called flunkeyism
You'll have to read till the bottom to understand all the connections to blacks and waiters and tipping.
 
@tchrist Oh, that's very interesting.
@tchrist Right, so more tipping = less security of income.
By the way, if you want to hear an American's impression of Dutch customer service:
It's set to the right time frame.
It's kind of funny.
 
6:40 PM
@Cerberus How so?
Poor thing was probably expecting a warm southern-European friendliness, the kind you might get in Sicily or Corsica or Ibiza from an engaging future doting grandparent.
 
@tchrist Well, the behaviour of the staff is funny in how bad it was.
 
Ah.
 
Funny haha.
 
Well, I felt bad for her.
I didn't think to laugh. Obviously this wasn't an isolated experience for her.
 
I must say I've not experienced it as bad as that. But I think she is right in observing that staff can be negligent or rude here, probably more so than in America.
@tchrist Oh, come on.
I'm sure she laughed about it when telling her story to friends.
 
6:47 PM
The idea that staff are not expected to not be negligent or rude, nor severely penalized for same, seems odd to us.
 
I must say, though, that I found service in Russia worse than anywhere else.
 
Were you speaking English to them, or French?
 
They don't speak French any more, certainly not waiters and cashiers.
 
Oh.
I'm really having trouble getting used to being in this new 20th century.
 
There was one restaurant where our table had two waiters, who worse white silken gloves and used silver ehhm we call them 'shovers' in Dutch, to shove crumbs off our table in between courses.
 
6:49 PM
Sets up all kinds of antesecular expectations.
 
They were excessively servile.
 
Bussers?
 
And there was one fellow customer in a supermarket who helped us unasked.
 
Baba is always helpful, nyet?
 
@tchrist No, I meant the silver instrument.
 
6:51 PM
Oh. I had thought you meant someone other than the primary server whose job it was to keep your table tidy.
brb
 
But many other staff in Russian shops were unhelpful, ignored you, or were even directly hostile.
@tchrist Ah, no.
Or perhaps one of the waiters was a busser, I don't know.
It was, according to our guide, the second-most expensive restaurant in Petersburg. Its prices were equal to a decent, but not super expensive, restaurant in a Dutch city.
So we tried it.
I imagine prices must be different now: this was a decade and a half ago.
 
@Cerberus Yes, that sounds like a pricey joint, to be able to afford more than one person per table and keeping attentive and all.
 
@Cerberus I'm no expert on even my own. I'll have to pay attention the next time I go to a restaurant or shop or something. Maybe take notes. Use a tape measure. Fill out a questionnaire.
'Crumb shover' sounds a bit racy.
 
@tchrist It was admittedly a quiet night.
 
I have no idea what they're called here
 
7:02 PM
I think it was a weekday in October or something.
 
Those metal things the waiter uses to clean crumbs off the tablecloth in fancy and/or Southern European restaurants.
I don't think I need to emphasize that no crumbs leave the plate in northern European gastronomy.
Speaking of crumbs...
what would be a good snack?
 
I wish I had a good snack.
 
I'm considering having a snack and I'm wondering about exactly what.
@Cerberus I don't think anything is stopping you.
Unless...
 
The best snack is the one you don't need to leave the house for.
 
Are you being prevented from having a snack?
 
7:07 PM
@Mitch Laziness is stopping me, and trying to lose a bit of fat is.
 
@Cerberus Why put off procrastination til tomorrow when you can do it today.
 
@Mitch Hmm putting off procrastination.
I'll need to think about that, I'll get back to you.
 
@Cerberus 👍
 
Maybe tomorrow.
 
The problem with leftovers from dinner is that you don't always want to have them later that evening. Next day sure. But it's like you're just tired of that same meal, like you've visited that place already and you want to see another place.
Sometimes though the thing is so good you jus want to keep doing it.
Like good bread, or stew.
I've learned my lesson with french fries, I've learned (am learning?) to stop early because they'll make me feel weird later.
 
7:14 PM
I don't know.
I usually finish the pan later that night when I have some food left over...
 
@Cerberus Me neither
 
I thought you knew these things.
 
@Cerberus I thought I did but it's slowly slipping away like butter off the side of.a mound of mashed potatoes.
sorry
 
7:37 PM
24 Star this message for a laugh, but only one person.
 
@Mitch I've had them used in very ritzy establishments in both London and Lisbon.
 
I think they also had them in a French restaurant once, not a fancy place.
 
But it's been so long since I've eaten at a restaurant here, let alone one with a white tablecloth, that I can draw only on ancient memories.
@Cerberus Isn't it!
 
@tchrist Why no white tablecloth?
@tchrist Who are you to say so!
 
@tchrist I've seen them used in many fine restaurants in the US as well.
It always leaves me feeling slightly put down to have someone use a utensil to clean crumbs from my table, as if I were somehow too messy just to let it ride.
 
7:59 PM
Hello folks

I want to reserve an appointment for a specific hour in a car service. What is the correct term?
For examples how to say:

I would like make an appointment for technical inspection in your car service
OR
I would like make a booking for technical inspection in your car service
OR
I would like to reserve a time-slot for technical inspection in your car service
OR most probably neither
 
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