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12:29 AM
Is @Jenayah still around?
Q: Harry ends up at snapes

hytenharry goes to see where his mother lived as a child. Gets drunk ends up in a tree that snape and lily used to go to. A ward tells snape someone is there he finds harry. harry ends up staying at snapes. harry gets sick do to a infection in his back and snape has to lance open the wounds and pack t...

2 hours later…
2:09 AM
Q: movie in which the prisoner teach alien/monster basic elementary knowledge to survive

Brandon LeungThere was a movie I watched many years ago in which I only remember a scene in it. It is stuck in my head for 4 days now and I really want to know the name of it. The scene was when the main protagonist's party was capture by some alien (or monster?) to a prison. There they met a man who had bee...

2:26 AM
Q: How well known was the name "Castrovalva" in Britain in 1982?

BuzzWhen I (an American) first saw Peter Davison's first story as the Doctor, the name of the place where he is "supposed" to recuperate from his regeneration, "Castrovalva" just seemed to me to be another made-up science fiction name. Only recently, did I learn that it is the name of an actual Ital...

2:42 AM
Q: Movie where alien on spaceship replicates people and then electrocutes them

Annie GarrettThings I remember from the movie. A plump man in an electronic wheelchair being electrocuted. One spaceship running in to another and it kills a woman being stabbed in the stomach. The main killer alien is blonde. I don’t think he talks unless he’s taken over someone’s body. The title of the ...

3:15 AM
Q: How did Harry get back the Sword of Gryffindor after he had given it to the elf to get Hufflepuff's Cup?

Miguel Alberto ToralHow was Harry Potter able to get the Sword back after giving it to the elf in exchange for him getting Harry into theVault to get Hufflepuff's Cup?

3:50 AM
Q: Who took care of Melody during her "childhood" in Leadworth?

Erin ThursbyI am attempting to get info on how Melody got to Leadworth and who her "stand in" parents were, if any existed. (Amy and Rory would not count in the eyes of society). Since she regenerated as a toddler and then went to school with Rory and Amy, my question is who drove her to school in the mornin...

4:04 AM
Q: Which Traitor Legions can still create new Marines?

YasskierOne of the downside of the embracing Chaos and its gifts are mutations, that would also affect the progenoid glands, necessary to create new Marines. In some cases (Rubric Marines), such organ completely ceases to exist. So which of the Traitor Legions are still able to create new Marines "from ...

4:20 AM
Q: The origin of Tom Riddle in HPMOR

ChiffaIn HPMOR, Tom Riddle is incredibly smart by the time the whole thing takes place. He's also, to my mind, sociopathic and, as Harry puts it, empty inside. We know that Canon!Riddle was raised in an orphanage and later was admitted to Hogwarts, where he tried to strategise towards his goals. But I ...

4:36 AM
Q: What's this anime name based to the story .. please help me it has been about 3 years ^^

CamilaI remember that a guy with a girl I think travel to collect gems on his arm and in those gems it has animals and every animal has a different superpower .. i remember also that there's an evil guy who rides a robot spider or something like that and other girl with him and they used to run away wi...

5:07 AM
@Tango now yes, why?
@Jenayah Thanks for a useful edit to a question! So many people do pointless edits just to get a badge I get used to rejecting them because they're so silly. It was small, but you added in the dates of some books or movies. I never thought about including anything like that.
@Tango oh, thanks :) blushes
@Jenayah I'm not trying to make it into a huge deal, but every time I get a notice that someone edited a post that's more than a few days old, it's always something really stupid, like changing 2 or 3 words or something - never anything that adds to the question in any way.
Ugh! Have to reboot. Hate that!
5:23 AM
@Tango well if it's only one post that is cleaned, yeah I guess it's a bit sad :/ but if that comes into the "bigger picture" of cleaning the whole thread by editing the Q, editing the As, flagging comments and stuff, I guess it's not the same
(replacing http by https/external images with stack imgur ones being also an exception I guess)
@Tango system update? :P
@Jenayah No, for some reason, after my system has been on for anywhere from 1 to 11 days, it starts freezing 20 seconds every time I change to a different program. I suspect it's a memory issue, probably some program with memory leaks or something.
@Tango aw, crap. Other than that the device's quite good I guess? I mean, fors instance my computer also freezes a lot when I... Well basically when the mouse moves, but that's because it's 5 years old and I was scammed big time
@Jenayah Yeah, other than that, it's good. I added more memory and the hard drive is less than half full. I ran a check and it's in good shape. But since it's always changing from windows of one app to windows from another app, that indicates it's the window manager or something. It did start to happen soon after an update. I've considered re-installing the OS, but that leads to re-installing - well, everything.
And, honestly, I have about a million windows open. I have Chrome, which hogs memory, a bunch of things like my calendar and messaging apps and so on, and Eclipse, which is a serious memory hog. I suspect that in the last upgrade something went wrong.
5:57 AM
Q: Why does a Boggart scare people? What is their end goal?

8-TrackBoggarts turn into their victim's worst fears. Why do they do this? What is their ultimate goal?

@Tango had to work with Chrome, Eclipse and Skype all opened at once this summer. It's... Something I'd like not to have to do again ><
@Jenayah What language were you working with in Eclipse?
And the computer I was lended wasn't exactly a piece of crap to begin with
Eclipse just devours memory.
I'm using PyDev for Python in Eclipse. A friend who does a lot of work in Java convinced me to try it. The biggest thing I like about Eclipse, over just using a really good text editor, is the Python console in it. (Since the "normal" Python console sucks.)
@Tango yeah if you're not sure how much memory your device has got, just check how much memory Eclipse takes
Rule of thumb
6:06 AM
@Jenayah: Yeah. Chrome can be bad, too. I'm not sure, but I think all these messy things have been when Eclipse has been up and running - or was for a good while. I swear, even just leaving it open leads to memory issues.
@Tango never tried Python in Eclipse. So far Spyder has been behaving well enough for what I needed
I haven't used Spyder. Is it an IDE or Python console?
My friend keeps telling me I should use a real language like Java, but I can code much faster in Python (or even Perl) than Java. I call Java the Spaceball Language.

It's because if you want to do any darned thing in Java, you have to set it up first. It's like in Spaceballs when Dark Helmet asks why they have to prepare to do everything.
@Jenayah Pretty good one? Expensive?
@Tango Java might do fancy stuff (especially since Java 8) but Python's more accessible...
@Tango yeah quite decent, and free
At least all versions I used were free. I don't think there's a paying, "more complete" version of Spyder.
6:14 AM
@Jenayah Yeah, Python is much easier in many ways and you can always stick with Jython and use the Java API and have it compiled to JBC. There are times I just don't need to make everything into an object. Sometimes on a smaller project, that can be irritating and wasteful to have to do that.
I'm going to check it out, especially since it has a console.
@Jenayah: Is programming a full time thing or more a hobby for you?
Everything is SO slow tonight. I'm stuck on satellite internet. The lag always gets to me, but speed isn't this bad too often.
@Tango I'm a software engineering student :)
So not yet full-time, since school also includes other classes of various usefulness.
"Produce a 15mn video describing your school, in English".
@Jenayah So what kind of dev work do you want to do when you're no longer a student?
Five years into higher education -_-
@Jenayah Oh, joy - sounds like tons of fun. ;)
@Tango that's... An excellent question. Problem is that when we're stick describing our school in English and Spanish, we don't get that much time to actually learn what it is engineers do.
But I'm in a work/study program this year so hopefully I'll get a better idea of that :)
6:22 AM
Sorry to disappear, but I'm exhausted and I fixed the bug in the program and now it's going to be busy for an hour or more, trying to geocode addresses through Google on Viasat internet no a super-slow day. (And tomorrow, I get ot figure out why GPS says there's a street named "Бриттани жолу, Williamsburg, VA 23188, USA")
@Jenayah So why do you always describe your school?
Q: Short story about aliens that took the deer

AliceB.I could be wrong, it was so long ago, but I thought the premise of it was that aliens had come to Earth and were communicating with people in their dreams, telling everyone they were judging to bring away the best that the Earth has to offer, and give them a paradise away from Earth. So the mai...

@Tango because language teachers don't have any imagination when it comes to trimester projects
"describe your school"
"describe a company in that list I gave you"
"Use straws to make a protection shell for an egg which falls off 1.90ish meters, the highest shelf in British supermarkets"
Five years into higher education. -_-
That stuff with eggs and straws was supposed to teach us how to conduct a professional meeting to design a product.
... I don't know what kind of rigged method this is but that was a very dull class.
6:45 AM
Q: What happened to Zathras when Babylon-4 disappeared back in time?

RichSThis is similar to one of my other questions, but instead of asking about the station, I am asking about a character who was on the station. When Babylon-4 was nearing the final stages of construction, an unknown creature appeared on it. The station became unstuck in time and disappeared along w...

7:10 AM
posted on September 25, 2018 by Jack B Nimble

IMDB’s description: When Frank Castle’s family is murdered by criminals, he wages war on crime as a vigilante assassin known only as The Punisher. Despite what the description says, this movie is not about Frank Castle and his origin story. A better description might be “Frank Castle and his one hundred and one ways to ... Read more

8:06 AM
Q: How did Moghedien escape Nynaeve's weave?

Mat CauthonNynaeve bests Moghedien in a duel in The Shadow Rising and subsequently shields her from the True Source, in addition to trapping her in Air (and tying the weave). However, Moghedien disappears literally seconds later while Nynaeve was momentarily distracted by balefire. The shield of Spirit ...

8:18 AM
Hey look! My post is now a "hot meta post", showing up on the sidebar of the main site.
3 hours later…
11:30 AM
Q: Which canon Constantine: City of Demons is part of?

Ankit SharmaI have not seen Constantine: City of Demons myself yet but I heard contradictory reports that it's part of Arrowverse or part of DC Animated Movie Universe. In both the canon Matt Ryan play the part of Constantine. In Arrowverse he plays the role and in DC Animated Movie Universe he voice the ch...

11:53 AM
Q: Short story about scientist aliens destroying Earth

SchneejägerI'm looking for a short story about how scientist aliens look at earth from afar and see a violent race bent only on killing each other. The aliens decide to destroy earth as to eradicate the threat to the galaxy/universe. The weapon (a laser) takes some time (hundreds of years?) to reach Earth,...

2 hours later…
2:01 PM
@Jenayah Speaking as a former English teacher, yeah, that sounds like teachers who think they're being creative or giving students fun assignments. They have no clue how lame they appear to people.
@Jenayah: Sorry to take off - I had been working all day, it was after 2 AM and I really needed to get to sleep.
2:24 PM
@Jenayah Oh jesus. I've had enough of those stupid tasks too, yes.
"team-building exercises"
some even involved Lego
they were terrible
@Jenayah Oh great.
2:40 PM
@b_jonas I might semi-enjoy the ones with Lego. (If MajorStackings were still around, you can be sure he'd love that!)
2:52 PM
@Tango Yes, but they manage to make the lego tasks boring too.
@b_jonas I've known teachers who can do that!
I mean, writing or videos can be fun too, but they manage to give stupid tasks and restrictions and an environment that makes sure you can't enjoy it.
3:37 PM
@Tango no problem
Q: In what year is Maniac supposed to take place?

ThePopMachineManiac take place in an alternate reality where history and the current state of technology do not match with our reality. Among the incongruities, we see: yet also Do we have an indication in- or out-of-universe about the supposed year in the series?

Q: Avatar Roku is feared

Haty KhanI notice in Avatar TLA that everyone esp the fire nation fears avatar roku and I’ve been trying to find the answer to that. Anyone got a conclusion to this?

@Tango well, I don't want it to sound condescending, but I've always thought this was because they were the easiest to grade. Duh. They obviously know what the school is like and they can see whether or not the egg broke. But, they wouldn't understand jack if I were to give them a presentation of software XYZ I designed.
Which is not a flaw of theirs, but it's definitely a flaw in the education system.
@Jenayah I can think of a LOT of assignments, though, that are much more interesting than the ones they're giving you - unless it's some kind of technical writing class and they're getting you to handle boring material or something. What are the actual classes with this kind of stuff?
When I graduate, I'll be able to describe my school in two or three languages, I'll be able to tell you how amazing that straw coat we made is at protecting the eggshell, but I won't have presented much stuff I designed.
Which sucks, because the way I see it, my professional life will be more about programming than protecting eggs.
@b_jonas yeah that can be fun but I really don't have the time to film and edit a 15 minutes video when I also have to complete a project in a language I just discovered, look for the internship, etc, etc
Was lucky enough to already have some video editing background; I can't imagine how that felt for those who never did it before.
@Tango the class is just called "English"
We have modules, one module lasts like 6 weeks
There have been useful ones like writing a resume and cover letter, supposedly useful ones who were handled badly ("this is debate class, and we will organize a debate, but each one of you will only stick to the arguments in that sheet I gave you and not be creative at all")
Blatant useless ones like the video production one
Is it English for a secondary language? Or just supposed to be basic English?
3:50 PM
Greetings, Earthlings.
And some of them where they just don't know what to make us do so it becomes filler lessons which are even more boring than a filler Naruto episode. Like, you will write a status report, but only during the last lesson; first five "lessons" will be you completing those verb exercises where you have to decide between "Jane is hungry/Jane are hungry"
@Tango secondary language, I'm French.
To be honest the students' rage and loathing of these classes come from the fact that we did not work 50-60 hours a week to pass the competitive entrance examination, to eventually do these "conjugate the verb" exercises.
And administration wonders why so many students skip language classes.
'cause yeah, I've talked about English, but it's the same in Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, German and the other languages classes
@Jenayah That would depend on whether or not Jane is a collective consciousness.
It hurts a bit less because students are usually more fluent in English than Spanish or whatever. Describing your school still isn't funny or interesting though
Q: What did each person do to earn a place on Arya's list?

LiathI'm currently reading A Feast for Crows and Arya is at the house of black and white. She's having real trouble letting go of her list. It's been a while since I read the earlier books though. This question details the people on the list and who's still alive but I'd like to know how each person e...

@Donald.McLean trust me, the pictures make it very clear that Jane is a single person.
3:56 PM
Science fiction and fantasy always complicates things that should be simple. Imagine the knots you can tie yourself into with tenses when time travelling.
Five years into higher education
And I have to do verb exercises with character pictures on the side
And this blight will get worse this year
Though I read somewhere that the designers of Lojban added tense structures that can handle time travel complications.
At least last year language lessons were on Wednesday so I could complete all the stupid exercises in one go and pretend to 'work' on my computer when I was actually reading the week's comics. This year language lessons are on Monday, and no comics on Monday :(
I'm not even ashamed of reading comics in class, when I get assigned the same kind of exercises I was doing when I was 12.
Q: RIP Gary Kurtz, producer of Star Wars

ValorumStar Wars Producer Gary Kurtz has died at the age of 78. In addition to helping to convince the studio to fund Star Wars in the first place, he was also producer and second-unit director for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and is generally credited with encouraging Lucas to create a universal ...

@Jenayah I have to confess that your English is good enough that I never would have guessed you were French.
4:10 PM
@Donald.McLean well there's also the good old cliché that French suck at speaking English :p which is true in the big scope. In this particular kind of school though, all students have been doing English essays and mildly advanced writing to prepare for the examination. So the level's better than in universities for instance where some studies just leave out English learning altogether.
The point being, each year students ask the school to dispense those kind of classes to students who actually need them; there are some and it's not a problem. And get the others to do something else.
And each year administration replies that it wouldn't be fair. Which could be an argument, but is just laughable, for various reasons.
1. Administration said that to the face of people who did need such lessons, and would rather have liked to be 30 people with one teacher explaining the stuff to everyone, than 2 persons in a group where 28 others read comics/talk/work on another topic/just skip class altogether
@Jenayah Well, most Americans couldn't speak French to save their life. I took it in high school, but haven't really had any chance to use it in the last 37 years.
2. Administration scolds students for skipping classes. Fair enough, students explain the issue and propose an alternative. Administration brushes it off.
@Donald.McLean the difference being that in a lot of jobs you will need English (globalization etc etc), but you won't need much French. Heck, if not for the job, do it in case you ever take a holiday in a foreign country.
@Jenayah Seriously, my wife and I would love to see Paris at least once.
3. Teachers have been reported the issue, too. By students who completed their classes. Students they won't ever see again. So they say "oh, okay" and proceed to give the same lessons, same assignments, to the next batch of students.
Not that there aren't other great places to see in France, but there are lots of other places on our list
4:21 PM
@Donald.McLean duh there's much other stuff than this overpolluted, flat city with grumpy people :p
@Jenayah There's a saying: If you keep doing what you've been doing, you'll keep getting what you've been getting.
@Donald.McLean I'd tell you so many places to go to but that'd reveal where I'm from and where I'm currently living, which I'd rather not make public :/
Lots of people just don't like change - they consider it to be a solution worse than the problem. I never understood that mentality, but I've seen it.
I've been to London, but my wife hasn't. And there are several places in Italy that are also probably higher on our list than Paris.
We did a grand tour of Italy in 2010... Florence, Cinque Terra, Pisa (just for the tower), Rome, Sorrento/Vesuvius.
It was really nice. Could have spent a week or two in Cinque Terra
The only thing I've seen of Italy is the valley we spent a day hiking in after having spent the night in a mountain hut, which followed yet another day of hiking. Man, those were great times.
I wish I could go to the Alps again...
4:35 PM
We're not really outdoor people, we're city people. We want a nice hotel room with a shower and hot water at then end of the day.
Same. :D
@Donald.McLean you can get that outside Paris, too. :p
@Jenayah Yes, and many well known places. Cannes comes immediately to mind. I was referring to your hiking/mountain hut comment. I don't see us doing that.
Normandy - wouldn't mind seeing the D-Day beaches. Dunkirk. But so many places to see - have to prioritize.
5:01 PM
Q: Horror monster attacks 1st Venus Expedition World War IV

M. A. GoldingI am looking for a not particularly outstanding old horror science fiction story about a monster or monsters attacking the first expedition to Venus. My main memory is one particular detail. I bought & read a few old science fiction magazines from the 1950s and 60s that were not genre leaders l...

@Donald.McLean what about the other way? :) Since your rough location is kinda known (based on your user profile), what would you advice to see around Baltimore?
@Jenayah Depends on what people are interested in. DC is an easy drive and has lots of stuff: Smithsonian, National Zoo, National Archives, Washington/Jefferson monuments. Baltimore has it's own historical and art museums, Fort McHenry. Gettysburg is a very reasonable drive for people interested in the American Civil War.
And other, less well known things for people with specific interests: longwoodgardens.org is really quite pretty, especially if one of their special seasonal activities is in progress.
5:17 PM
Q: Is there a Klingon word for "curiosity"?

Angelo SteffenelI was looking for a Klingon word for "curiosity" but I was unable to find any evidence... In the dictionary there are words for scientist (tej), science (QeD), research (Qul), analysis (poj), smart ('ong/vai), interesting (Daj), etc. But nothing reproducing exactly "curiosity". Do you have any su...

@Marvin Con lang could really use more questions like that. :(
... I think, anyway.
Aren't those off-topic here, anyway?
Nothing in the tag guidance implies that they are.
Yeah, was misremembering which way that meta went.
@Catija might point OP to it then. I get that users are free to choose which Stack they post on when the Q is corss-sites, but Conlang isn't that known. It could indeed use such Qs... or it'll just be stuck in Eternal Beta :/
@Donald.McLean duly noted, in case I ever go around these parts :)
@Catija Nevermind, Valorum did it.
As did Mith.
Also @Mith, if I had to wager a guess I'd say "do you have suggestions?" induces a DV-Pavlovian reflex in some people
Woah, I had never been to Artificial Intelligence.
The purple question titles are disturbing.
5:39 PM
@Jenayah Seriously. Blech.
@Catija I could ask some detailed questions about Valyrian, but then the problem is that the language is still quite limited, so the only person really able to answer (that I don't already frequently communicate with) is the creator...
@Donald.McLean "wtf who used my computer and clicked on all these links when I wasn't looking"
@Jenayah On the whole, though, it looks good.
@Mithrandir I guess, if you enjoy purple
and brutal disruption of colors
hellooooo, gray responsive design
(Actually I do like purple. Especially dark purple.)
5:51 PM
@Jenayah So they didn't offer an English course at the appropriate level for you?
Luckiliy when I was a university student, the language courses in that university were much better than that. Not perfect of course, but not as bad as you describe. But I know that BME is much better in language courses than many other universities here.
@b_jonas I wouldn't say "not appropriate for me" because that would sound really dramatic and egoistic. I'd say "not appropriate for us", future engineers, who have been doing solid English in our past years. Going back to "the pronouns he and she and it should have a -s at the end of the verb, in most cases" level is...
...seriously, it's not just that it's dull.
And it's not just for us either.
They actually had English courses at, I think, four or five different levels, and the same for French, and there were about eight languages taught total but I don't know how many levels of courses they provided of the others of course. And when I was there, there were only general English courses, but they were considering to introduce some courses biased more towards the part of the language the engineers can use for their work.
People pay taxes so that engineering schools can teach to 20ish years old students, who have been learning English for several years, that the third person has a -s suffix.
Which makes sense, since so many jobs and books in those engineering areas are in English, it makes sense to offer such courses in the university for at least English and perhaps German too.
Other classes might be good but languages classes are just that big of a joke.
@b_jonas oh yeah, and there's that too.
Our school's supposed to be 'international'
You'd guess so, with exchange students and stuff
And not a single one of those classes is in English (save for the very dull English lessons one of course).
6:00 PM
@Jenayah There had to be a few beginner English courses, since not everyone who enters university learned English. Most people had, but it's a big enough university, so obviously they can tailor the number of courses to the number of students who want to learn at that level, so they can have fewer beginner courses than the higher levels. And for other languages, there are even more students who have to start at beginner level.
Note that students who are at least five years older than me had almost certainly studied Russian at school, it is only my generation where most people started with English as a second language at school.
Like, each year there's a bunch of Lebanese/Chinese/Brazilian (and other nationalities) who come here, not necessarily having taken up much French earlier, and oh hey, all the classes are in French
And students five years above me still were in the school when I started, though of course they went to fewer language courses than us first year and second year students.
And then administration complains because exchange students skip classes.
Well duh.
If you're not going to understand what's going on anyway, better stay home learning it in your own language, or working on your French.
But there's really no point going to a highly advanced class on a subject if you can barely ask for directions in the language it's spoken in.
@Jenayah If the university only teaches courses in French, then why do students who can't speak any French go there? I mean, our university has some programs with all courses in English for foreign students, but those are separate programs available in only some of the specializations, so those people who don't speak Hungarian apply specifically to those.
@b_jonas yeah, and that's a good thing. Your uni didn't mix up people who needed beginner courses with people whose fluency was ok. This way, people can get up to speed better.
It's not unfair.
6:05 PM
The university can afford this because enough lecturers speak enough English anyway that they can hold classes in English.
Wel of course it can be, if it's not done properly, but there shouldn't be any shame in not being able to speak a language yet.
Q: Why did Hermione modify her parents' memories before sending them to Australia?

QuestionAuthorityAt the start of DH, Hermione tells Harry and Ron that she modified her parents' memories. "I’ve also modified my parents' memories so that they’re convinced they’re really called Wendell and Monica Wilkins, and that their life’s ambition is to move to Australia, which they have now done. That...

I just checked. BME currently has language courses in 10 languages. One of those is Hungarian.
@b_jonas because each year when the administration signs partnerships with other schools, they're like, "oh yeah, professor XYZ will give his lecture in English don't worry" and XYZ eventually doesn't.
But obviously not every language has as many courses as English, the most popular one.
6:07 PM
Or, only the text book is in English.
For what it's worth, it goes both ways: a pal went in exchange to Italy, and only one class was supposed to be taught in Italian.
Turned out not a single class was given in English.
My pal regretted taking up on German years before, trust me.
@Jenayah I can understand that that happens for some courses. Or some professors for specialized subjects give the lecture in broken English, because that's all they can get. But you said that every professional course is in French. That seems so extreme that I don't understand then why students who apply don't know that in advance.
@b_jonas oh, I have an anecdote about those. We took a test sometime this year, and Mr D., the teacher, had printed subjects in French and in English.
He gave the English sheet to a non-French speaking Lebanese guy.
But for basic level courses, there's enough of a choice in lecturers that they can choose the right lecturers for the English classes, and even have substitutes for big lectures.
Guy looked at the custom English translation and asked for the French paper.
And indeed, the translation were awful.
@Jenayah Sure, that can happen easily.
@Jenayah Since you mentioned video editing, let me tell the story of the video making exercise we had.
6:14 PM
@b_jonas to be honest, I don't understand why this teacher, who knows his English isn't that good (other guys from the lab know it too), wouldn't have someone else do the translation. It's like, a two-pages paper full of questions and UML stuff. It's not that long to translate when you know the stuff
Or even in Arabic, because we also have teachers in that lab who know Arabic. It won't improve the exchange students' level in French or English, but it'll certainly prevent them from getting a bad grade due to a poor translation/unhold promise.
@b_jonas I'm listening :)
So our previous job sometimes (like roughly once a year) made these special team building events. For these, almost everyone working in the company met in a cheap youth hotel in country. Most of the workers work in the Budapest office, but about one quarter from the other two offices (one in Miskolc).
We rarely see the co-workers from the other two offices in person, but when we share a project, then obviously we talk a lot in telephone and video conferencing and mails and text chat and all that sort of thing. And even in Budapest there are different teams so for most people there are many co-workers who they have never worked together with and so don't know well.
So the idea for these trips is that everyone at the company can socialize together and meet everyone else, regardless of who work together normally during the job. And that part is fine.
So the timing is like this: everyone arrives on Friday morning, most people leave on Sunday morning but some leave during Saturday. Attendance for Friday is mandatory and counts as a day of work, Saturday is optional but encouraged and the company pays for the food and accomodation in the hotel.
That part is still fine. The problem is that for the one day, they added team building exercises. These were distributed mostly on Friday, but some on Saturday, with enough free time for socialization already in Friday, so that you don't feel like you have more programs than the day payed.
Q: Why were the members of the DA so easily captured by the inquisitorial squad?

NicholasIn Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry attempts to use Umbridge's fire to contact Sirius after having his final vision during OWLs. When he's yanked back out he finds that five members of the DA have been captured and restrained by an equal number of inquisitorial squad members. It...

But the problem is that they had this consultant, Mr. X, for the team building exercises. He doesn't work at the company, but the same guy came and held the team building exercises every year. He didn't know much about the company or us, the exercises looked like they were generic and he held the same thing to many IT companies.
I hated Mr. X and his exercises. This was an extreme, most people there seemed to enjoy the exercises and Mr. X much more than me. I think I participated in this event only two or three times, but this became clear every time.
(Eventually they stopped doing these trips, but NOT because of anything to do with the team building exercises, but side effects of being drunk when socializing.)
To this day I don't know if the problem is that I hate all "team-building exercises" or this guy was particularly bad at them, because luckily I haven't had to participate in them at any other time.
(There was one other team-building event the company organized during the six years I worked there, once: one of these locked room puzzle thingies that were in fashion then, and still are. I excused myself from that.)
On these trips, the workers were assigned in like three to six teams randomly (I'm not sure of the exact number, and I think it changed between the years because the company grew).
Since this is not a very big company, we had between 30 to 50 people while these trips happened, so in each team many people had already worked together or knew each other already, so it wasn't hard to start working together and get to know the others on the team a bit.
So that definitely wasn't the problem. I was always happy with the team and could work together with them, and socialize with coworkers in general outside the team-building thingies. The team-building exercises themselves were the problem.
Many of them were these very stereotypical stupid team-building exercises, with nothing to do with our job. No egg-dropping in particular, at least not in the years I were there (perhaps it had already been used in a year before that), but we did build a spaghetti tower.
Anyway, one year one of the exercises was to record and edit a short video, with some rather general topic about the team and the meeting itself, telling why our team is best or something like that, I don't recall exactly.
This we was supposed to do sort of in the background, distributing it in the pauses between the lots of tasks and meals on Friday and early Saturday, and present it some time in Saturday morning.
So one of the problems was that there was too little time for the whole thing. We had to write some rough screenplay or scenes, do some rehearsal of the acting, record every scene, edit it to a video, and put it to presentable form.
The second problem is that they didn't tell us in advance before the trip that we'd be making a video. This is an IT company, and around 2014, so Mr. X just assumed that enough people would bring a notebook and mobile phone cameras and all sorts of IT equipment that in any team there'd be enough to put it all together.
Plus he knew that there were already presentations by the CEOs and some upper managers planned, with slides and projectors, that there'd be IT equipment brought for that too.
Still, it was a very borderline assumption.
This is a company where many of us had worked with videos, including me, so at least I knew a little about the topic. But we didn't specifically bring hardware or software or prepared for making and editing a video, so we had to figure out how to put together everything right there, so there were a lot of technical problems.
Eventually we got a video that was cut very badly, and with no sound, only video images, because we didn't have time to add the sound, even though some sound was recorded. So during presenting the video, one of the team members who was reasonably good at speaking just read all the dialog and whatnot to understand the story presented in the video. It was awful.
It would have helped a lot to tell us in advance that we'd be making a video, because then we'd have brought all the right equipment and cables and media and stuff, and prepared by installing software in advance and figuring out a plan on how we'll edit the video and who will do each part. And obviously more time for making the video would have helped, but the other team-building exercises also took a lot of time, so it was just impossible.
(The spaghetti tower is a very stereotypical team-building exercise. A spaghetti bridge would have been even more stereotypical of course, but still, I want a bit more originality, and more specialization for what our company is workin in, because we are not working there to design and build towers from twenty strands of spaghetti. Sure we do magical things on cheap consumer equipment, we're that kind of company, but still.)
The lego exercises were also bad.
I also remember some stupid hypothetical exercise with two sheets of some stupid story about three people being stranded in the middle of a desert with a combination of some very unlikely random events, and how they should use each object to maximize the chance to get rescused. Which he claimed was also an exercise, also in written form to teams, not actually done in practice, to people trained as cosmonauts at NASA, or some shit like that.
The first problem is that obviously we weren't people trained as cosmonauts at NASA for emergencies in case the escape pod of your rocket lands in the desert after five sorts of failure, we were working in a comfortable office.
The bigger problem is that Mr. X had like zero creativity for this sort of exercise, so all he did is listen to the solutions each team gave, and then told the official solution for the cosmonauts, and compared them, and gave scores according to how much of the official solution we matched. Which could work for actual cosmonauts who could probably find almost exactly the same solution because they were well-trained, but useless for use who invented some half-working stuff which
might not have used the objects exactly the way designed, but Mr. X couldn't tell which of our solutions were actually useful or would have worked, he could only tell if we used each random unlikely object (shoe, bottle of water, cord and canvas of the parachute of the escape pod, whatever) in exactly the way the correct solution had.
Oh, and our video was among the better ones, other teams had even less luck with it, not because they didn't work well, but because they had less luck with randomly being able to come up with all the right sort of equipment and cables and software and installing video software from mobile internet and quick video editing and put that together on the spot.
6:54 PM
@b_jonas I didn't want to interrupt your story so far, but that one's icing on the cake. To Mr X., I'll say that:
You're right. Stick to the guidebook. For EVER.
Because not taking people's creativity, personnality and own way of approaching things is definitely the way to build an efficient team.
I told almost everything that comes into my mind. I've probably deliberately forgot all the other exercises.
Damn, to think they pay guys like this.
I did enjoy the socializing part at least. We played cards and talked and all that.
Yeah, I recall a few more of the exercises now, which were slightly less awful, but still not really useful.
This is just why I think ill of these "tealbuilding guys" contractors. A guy from your company? Who's got an actual idea of what's going on? Sure.
Random stranger repeating the same jack to dozens of people he doesn't know and doesn't care about? C'mon.
No, the third party isn't always the best solution.
Yes, there are probably good ones among them still.
There was this big meeting room in the youth hotel, with a pool table (so we played pool, but the equipment was in a pretty bad state, and the room was too small for it too), and benches and tables where we played cards and board games and took drinks in the free part of the meeting, though we did spend much of it outdoors because they were usually in good weather, and some of the team building exercises were done in that room too.
7:00 PM
No, it doesn't justify all the crap all the others will sell you.
(Some of the years, some of the exercises and the big presentations were done in the much bigger dining room, but that room was shared with some other people in another youth hotel building or something, so we didn't have it all the time, while the whole hotel building was rented for our company so we had the meeting room all the time.)
Anyway, the meeting room was pretty badly lit. Some of the ceiling lamps were missing the bulb (or the bulb was not working, doesn't matter), the rest were just too dark and didn't give enough light for such a big room.
After two occasions of being there, I figured out that this is a cheap hotel and if they couldn't replace that same fucking light bulb between the two years, they wouldn't for the next time either, and so I took a light bulb for the third occasion and put it in the lamp myself.
I don't like being in the dark, especially when we want to play card or board games.
So the third time at least each of the tables in that room had enough light to see the board of whatever game we were playing.
@Jenayah I do have a strong suspicion which person in the management of the company was responsible for that. In any case, like I said, I was in the extreme, most of the other people didn't find the team building exercises that bad for some reason, so Mr. X kept getting invited again.
@b_jonas ahahah, well played
@b_jonas well, it's a team building exercise. The way I see it, if by the end of the day not everyone on the team think the stuff was useful to build said team, then you've failed at your job.
@Jenayah Nah, you can't always have all 50 people satisfied. I just don't understand why the other people liked these.
Or most of them at least.
@b_jonas true. But don't exclude the fact that soem guys could be like "oh yeah, that was nice" when they're actually thinking "waht a load of bullshit", because peer pressure and just too mentally exhausted to want to bring the topic up again.
Of course I could be wrong. They're your colleagues so you know them better than me.
@Jenayah I don't think people would do that. I mean, maybe we are more polite than to be too rude to Mr. X, but when the managers asked me how much I liked the program and what I liked and didn't liked, I did tell them that I hated the team building exercise itself and the rest was mostly OK (with some specific small complaints that are irrelevant here), and I think all the other people were honest to the managers about their opinion too.
But I admit that the managers didn't ask the workers too much, so maybe some people just filled the form with numbers and no details, and the management didn't take enough time to get an opinion out of everyone.
And perhaps the CEOs were more busy with the presentations they gave and talking to workers that, while they did participate in the team building exercises, in the end it was less significant to them than the rest of the things they accomplished when they had a weekend to meet with everyone working in the company and could talk to a lot of people they already knew and had specific things to talk about with.
So maybe they felt the whole thing less bad in average.
But I did talk to several people I knew about their opinion, and none of them seemed to find Mr. X's exercises as bad as I did.
So it was really specific to me.
7:23 PM
@b_jonas for what it's worth, I probably would have reacted the same way.
@b_jonas It might be worth mentioning that those "locked room puzzle thingies" (escape rooms) are (or at least can be, if you get a not-bad one) really fun for most people - I wouldn't class it in the same realm as 'team building' but rather in the 'I am very willing to spend £20 of my own money to do this with people I know' area, so it is worth giving it a go with friends at some point - you might like it!
Argh, the letter "g" is hard to press since I cleaned the keyboard. I'll have to pop it out and reinsert it.
Pop out the keycap that is.
ok, I think it's better now. I'll keep the plastic knife here in case I have to redo any other button. I think there are a few more wrong, but I haven't figured out which, they're probably ones I hit less often than "g", so I haven't noticed yet. they're not so wrong that I can't press them at all, and the cold makes my hands feel bad anyway so it's harder to type.
I think the problem is that sometimes the part of the keycap that attaches to the axle of the switch catches on some of the soft rubber thingy around the axle, but it's hard to see what's really happening inside.
It's all hidden under the keycap.
And it's hard to feel the problem when my finger is directly on the keys, like on the home row keys most of the time. I mostly feel it when my finger has to move a lot and I hit the button off-center.
And I can't properly test it, because whenever I try to test on a specific key, I hit it properly on the center, so it's only during fast typing that I can feel the problem. It's like those stupid SEP fields that you only have a chance to catch in the field of your vision, you can never see them if you look dirently there unless you already know what it is.
7:59 PM
Q: Why did Dumledore let Sirius starve?

Shana TarIn The Goblet Of Fire Sirius is coming to Hogsmeade to stay closer to Harry. He is having a rough time there living in a cave without food and any necessities. Sirius was wearing ragged gray robes; the same ones he had been wearing when he had left Azkaban. His black hair was longer than it h...

1 hour later…
9:20 PM
Q: distant future - first encounter surprise

Roger NeymanI vividly remember a scene from a short story (?) I read back in the sixties or seventies, and am trying to remember the publication and title. If it sounds familiar to you, please post. The scene is set in the distant future after mankind has slowly spread all the way to the far side of the Ga...

@Jenayah Your Flashes question got surprisingly few visits and no more edits or comments during these two weekdays.
@b_jonas dang still have to edit that, right
It's bacon & cheese omelet time, though.
(no, my diet does not contain too much protein :p )
2 hours later…
10:59 PM
2 days ago, by Jenayah
@b_jonas will do. Heading to bed now (well, technically already there, but gonna sleep I mean), I'll dig that back in during the week. (ir will also depend on IRL stuff I have to take care ofthis week, though)
@Jenayah ^ you're not late yet. it's still "during the week".
11:14 PM
Q: Short story about an old man criticizing war

Tyler UnderwoodFirst, I want to acknowledge that this may not be the best place to find what I'm looking for as I don't know if it fits in the sci-fi or fantasy genres. I'm trying to find a short story. I'm not sure of the time period although I know it's relatively old. In the story, a town or village was se...

@b_jonas true, true
11:46 PM
@Donald.McLean @Tango @SQB @b_jonas - Just wanted to say "Hi!" to you guys :) I don't make it into chat very often. I hope you all are doing well. I'm doing well, so yeah.
@Slytherincess So cool to see you here when I'm actually in the room!
@Slytherincess: So how is life going for you and your family?
@Tango Yes! Oh, you know, life goes. Things are good! Did I tell you that we moved?
How are you?
@Slytherincess Same city or somewhere else? I remember there were concerns about your old place.
@Slytherincess Well, let's see - you did know we built a house in the woods, moved in, and got married - or did you?
I did know that! Are you enjoying yur new home? The pics were gorgeous.
We're still in Denver. We bought a cute little California style bungalow.
@Slytherincess Yes - there are times I look around and just can't believe I'm living here. My old house was family land and from the 1940s - just a normal one floor rancher in the 'burbs. But this is a cool house and we love it. I'm close to finishing the plans to turn the barn into a guest house and dig a swimming pond (with natural plant filtration) near it.
@Slytherincess So you like the new place?
11:55 PM
Yeah, I do mostly like this new place. It was built in the 60s. The kitchen is hideous, LOL! We painted the top floor, which brightened it considerably. It's 4 BD, 2 BA. All the bedrooms are occupied, but I admit I wish I had a spare bedroom for various hobbies.
How many BD/BA does yours have?

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