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12:02 AM
@jgbelacqua 20 free a month I think.
@jgbelacqua Plus, free articles from outbound links.
@jgbelacuqa And Google News.
Not sure, but sounds a bit like what WSJ has going now. Of course they're Murdoch-owned now (WSJ)....
I worry that they're in for more slimming-down. Pay-walls don't have a good track record, as far as I can tell.
I'd say 'no big loss', but someone at least needs to have the capability to do accurate journalistic things.....
@jgbelacqua (Gosh, your name is really hard to type!) The NYT is sick, very sick, but still by far the most prestigious national newspaper with the biggest foreign desk -- so if anyone can do it, they can.
@Billare just go with jgbel or jgb if you like. though you get tab autocomplete here for free.
(Ironically, I failed to use it with your name just now.)
I like the NYT more than not, but yeah, they are not doing well.
12:42 AM
So is it now the cool thing for all the high rep users to have kanji as their gravatars?
What's up with that?
I'm not cool enough to answer that.
I rather prefer Greek characters.
1:24 AM
Poetry rots the brain. That's all I'm saying.
I have no idea either.
@Plato: You are right!
Who is @Plato?
Most importantly, are you sure he is right, and not left?
Comdemning poetry doesn't look right wing to me!
1:31 AM
Thank God. I thought there were ghosts.
1:45 AM
I'm just confused. Why Plato?
Ok, now I've got iambic pentameter on the brain, and It's All Your Fault, @Rhodri.
I live to serve. Or something like that.
2:01 AM
Plato considered most literature bad for society, because it evokes immoral actions.
Well, at least he wrote that.
So Plato caught people reading porn a lot, then?
Hehe... he was mostly thinking of the Homeric epics.
Where the Gods and everything committed immoral deeds, which might inspire youngsters.
Ah. The Ancient Greek version of "All the sex and violence in action movies is bad for young people!"
Apparently, Greek porn was rather boring.
BRB. (Gonna go home and continue from there.)
@Rhodri: Yup.
@Martha: Depends on what you're into! Google some vases...
2:14 AM
@Martha — I guess you never saw the good stuff then.
@Rhodri — Consider my brain thoroughly rotten.
**The Sense of the Sleight of Hand Man**

One's grand flights, one's Sunday baths,
One's tootings at the weddings of the soul
Occur as they occur. So bluish clouds
Occurred above the empty house and the leaves
Of the rhododendrons rattled their gold,
As if someone lived there. Such floods of white
Came bursting from the clouds. So the wind
Threw its contorted strength around the sky.

Could you have said the bluejay suddenly
Would swoop to earth? It is a wheel, the rays
Around the sun. The wheel survives the myths.
Lovely imagery. Thank you for that.
I'm not normally much of a one for poetry, as you can probably tell :-)
And I am, as you can probably tell ;=)
BTW, the fourth line from the end has a typo. It should read: *It may be that the ignorant man, alone* [RegDwight took the liberty of fixing that.]
That's what you get when you go Googling. Ah, well.
Huh. Apparently I'm tired enough that my brain just adjusted for the lack of anacrucis without telling me.
@Cerberus — I thought Plato thought it was the theater that was immoral, because it was an offense to piety. Human beings pretending to be gods — where would it all end?
@Rhodri — Brains do that.
@Rob: That might be true as well, I don't know. But he certainly also disapproved of the Epics in some works, probably the Politeia.
2:27 AM
Plato was a prig and a dilettante. Also an arch-conservative.
He also disliked any kind of fiction, because it was an image of an image and hence even frather from the Beautiful or the True than the real world.
Where was he when he could have done some good for his mentor Socrates, hmm?
He was off in a cave considering the shadows of things he might have done, but didn't.
Well, he wasn't all conservative if you believe he meant what he wrote... he wanted to thoroughly change society.
And don't get me started on Aristotle.
He had good points as well.
2:29 AM
I said don't do it. I'm warning you ...
His teleology sucked, I will concede that much.
We have already discussed that.
Yeah, he had his good points. But he also thought things that were reasonable to believe were true.
Well... in what context?
For example, he decided that women have fewer teeth than men because their jaws are smaller. It never occurred to him, I suppose, to go over and ask his wife to open her mouth so that he could count her teeth.
Yes that is stupid.
He wasn't consistent with his empiricism.
But in other fields he did some groundbreaking empirical research.
2:31 AM
But I suppose that would have been too much study. "Every man should play the flute, but not too well," he said. Translation: nothing too much, not even empiricism.
I'm not sure he meant that, but it might be true.
Well, I spent a good many years trying to learn to play the flute too damn well, so I resent that remark.
Why, if he is condoning your practice?
No, he is not. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Oh, you mean you succeeded.
2:34 AM
Not well enough to land a job with a major orchestra. Poverty forced me to do things for money that I don't like to talk about.
What the... two of my favourite stars have disappeared behind the horizon of nothingness!
Oh, you are/were a musician? I didn't know that.
What instrument?
2 mins ago, by Robusto
Well, I spent a good many years trying to learn to play the flute too damn well, so I resent that remark.
Back to reading comprehension class for you.
Now I only play the piano.
You didn't say how hard you tried... but I'll allow it.
@Robusto: Excellent. I am sadly out of practice on the piano
I am also sadly out of practice on the piano, since I only had lessons for a year or so when I was 14.
And never touched it since.
2:38 AM
I got good enough that I was in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, which is/was the training orchestra of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Not bad at all.
I think the CSO is one of the most well known orchestras in America? Or am I mistaken?
But it didn't pay. Although we got free study with the CSO members, including sectional rehearsals.
Yeah that sucks.
No, it is. One of the top five, certainly.
Ah OK.
2:39 AM
Top five in the world, probably.
Then it'd have to be top 2 in America?
Berlin, New York, Chicago, London, Vienna, Los Angeles ... that's six.
Uhmm... aren't you forgetting one...
You favor the Amsterdam Conzertgebouw?
Well it usually ends first place in most rankings...
2:41 AM
Hehe ... most Dutch rankings, certainly.
Any international ranking I have ever seen?
I think I heard them once, but it would have been years ago.
Who is its principal conductor now?
I am not enough of a connoisseur to judge myself.
A Fin..ehh...
Forgot his name.
The thing is, different conductors and orchestras get famous for different types of music.
2:42 AM
Incidentally, this is not Germany!!!
We do not have ze Konzerte here!
Berlin under von Karajan did great Beethoven and Brahms, but also terrific Strauss (Richard) and even Stravinsky.
Concert it is.
It is Mariss Jansons, I believe.
I started spelling it like that but chickened out.
Yes, that's him!
We don't do those damn crazy z's.
2:43 AM
Chicago under Solti was famous for Mahler.
Barenboim made the orchestra more versatile.
I never remember anything, so that includes music.
Feb 15 at 17:06, by Robusto
Famous one about Sir Georg Solti: "He threw his back out giving the downbeat to Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune."
In Nashville, we have Giancarlo Guerrero. He is fantastic. Definitely conducts with a salsa step, even to Haydn.
@Robusto Really not the piece you'd expect that to happen with!
@Rhodri — It was a joke the CSO musicians used to tell.
Because he was so bombastic. Perfect for Mahler; but Debussy and Ravel? Not so much.
2:47 AM
Google top world orchestras and most hits will list the KCO on top.
@Robusto You never can tell. Lully managed to stab himself in the foot while conducting and die of septicaemia.
I did get to play Daphnis et Chloé, though. Hardest flute parts ever.
@Rhodri — Poor old Jean Baptiste.
@Robusto Ravel takes no prisoners, true.
@Rhodri Jack Daniel (as in whiskey) died almost the exact same way.
But Ravel's genius was that he knew the instruments and what he could tease out of them. Stravinsky and Strauss, on the other hand, just didn't give a shit if their stuff was playable or not.
2:51 AM
I used to love playing second fiddle in the Pavanne. I was never better than a college grade violinist, but it fitted so beautifully.
(That reminds me of "The Devil went down to...")
I used to envy violinists. So many chairs in the orchestra! So many jobs! Playing the flute, you had to fight it out for four chairs tops.
In my school it was clarinets. We seemed to have millions of them.
@Robusto Hey, you could have chosen oboe.
Yeah. My impression of the clarinet was that is "an ill woodwind that nobody blows good" ...
2:54 AM
@Robusto: hee!
@HaL — Yeah, and spend my life cutting reeds for a living. No thank you.
Clarinetists were always the Dwight Schrutes of the orchestra, too. Somehow that fits.
I tried oboe a couple of years ago. It wasn't too bad once I found a decent reed, but I didn't have the time to practice.
That's the story of my life these days.
That's just it. You have to cut your own reeds to get decent ones. You're basically a tradesman.
I always envied the percussionists who sat out most of the piece. They made it seem like they were counting those rests so damn well.
@HaL: as long as their lips aren't moving, that's OK.
2:58 AM
Nah, counting rests sucks.
Well I'm sure they were really wondering if they closed their garage door or not and just waiting for a conductor cue..
I played bass drum just the once. It was grim.
And just when the flutes have counted 48 measures of rests and raise their instruments to play, the conductor taps his baton and says, 'All right, let's go back to letter F and do it again.'
In elementary school, they allowed us to choose our instrument based on our interests. We ended up with about 20 trumpets, 20 clarinets, 10 flutes, 3 electric basses, a couple trombones, and the balance was snare drums.
In retrospect I don't see how our teacher handled it...
@HaL — Not one of those damn kids chose the bassoon?
3:02 AM
@Robusto Oh God, we were doing that in choir practice tonight. We got stopped just before the tricky key change so many times...
The trombones surprise me, though.
@Robusto They don't surprise me. The university brass ensemble was stuffed with trombones.
"Seventy Six Trombones" never sounded more appropriate. Or awful :-)
We did have one oboe. The weird artsy girl.
Anyway, I must hie me to bed. Goodnight, folks.
A friend of mine was a trombonist. I met him for lunch one day, and as I drove in to the restaurant parking lot I saw his car, and noticed that he had left his trombone in the back seat and the car was unlocked. I rushed in and told him, whereupon he gave me a shocked look and ran out to his car — but it was too late! Someone had thrown another trombone into the vehicle!
C'mon, it shouldn't take you that long ...
Wow, that joke was so bad it killed Rhodri. Whew!
3:06 AM
That was good, really.
Haven't heard that one.
Q. What do you call a guy who likes to hang around with musicians?
A. A drummer.
Here we go.
Q. What do you call a drummer who breaks up with his girlfriend?
A. Homeless
haha, good one.
Q. How do you get two piccolo players to play in perfect unison?
A. Shoot one.
Q. How do you know when the stage is level ?
A. The drummer is drooling out of both sides of his mouth ...
@HaL — Nice.
My favorite:
Top ten reasons to play flute:
10. It's low maintenance (no reeds, valve oil, water, mutes, etc. to worry about).
9. Easy to tune.
8. Can easily overpower the tin whistle.
7. Extremely portable; can be slipped in a backpack, in your pocket, or through a needle's eye.
6. There are too many flutes in seisiuns to be very accurate.
5. You can pretend to play and no one will know the difference.
4. Learning to transpose fiddle music.
3. Lots of attention.
2. Higher than any other instrument.
A young child says to his mother, "Mom, when I grow up I'd like to be a musician." She replies, "Well honey, you know you can't do both."
Q: What's the definition of perfect pitch?
A: When you toss a banjo in the garbage and it hits an accordion.
3:14 AM
Ha. Nice
Q: What's the difference between an oboe and a bassoon?
A: You can hit a baseball further with a bassoon.
Any cello jokes? I need to bug my wife.
Q: How do you keep your violin from being stolen?
A: Put it in a cello case.
Anyway, enough fun. I'm outta here. Night all.
See ya.
3 hours later…
6:16 AM
Q: What's the difference between a violin and a viola?
A: The viola burns longer.
6:37 AM
The conductor of a symphony orchestra was known for his "strong personality." It was the final concert of the season, and the entire bass section had enough of the conductor's relentless criticisms, and were ready to quit. After a brutal rehearsal of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, selected for the finale, the bases decided to go to lunch together. They also visited the bar, and got rather drunk.
Returning to the concert hall with impaired judgment, they thought it would be funny to tie the last page of the conductor's score together with a string, as to embarrass him at the end of the concert. They did so, and the concert went on. The bases began to sober up a bit as they played, and grinned as the conductor reached for his score. YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? It was the bottom of the 9th, the bases were loaded, and the score was tied.
That, my good sir, deserves a resounding THWACK!
2 hours later…
8:51 AM
@Martha Not to rain on your parade, but Kelly's answer was there first. Check the IDs. (You still got a +1 from me as per Lord Torgamus' comment. God, I am so nice...)
9:08 AM
@Cerberus My take at overzichtelijk is "clear". Alternatives include: well-arranged, clearly arranged, clearly laid out, well laid out, open, neat.
9:29 AM
Good morning everyone
I was wondering, can one say, "Our society is improving in education..."? Or should that be reformatted?
Nevermind, I reformatted it
10:19 AM
Oh god.. I opened a file from gmail instead of saving it, then saved it in MS Word. It saved to a temporary directory, and got lost.
Now the temp directory cleaned itself.
My home is a symlink to /dev/null. Makes things much easier.
@RegDwight stupid university uses windows
@RegDwight can you say this? "If they fail to do so, the paradox of interest rates may prove them difficult."

Probably not, but do you get what I mean? And how would you say this properly? It's the final sentence of my conclusion, so it should be slighly fancy.
10:43 AM
Um what? Sorry, Xblast.
Prove whom difficult?
Who is the first they, who is the second?
@RegDwight I got it, reformatted it now.. Thanks
I completely changed it
2 hours later…
12:52 PM
@RegDwight: How was the BSG game? Did you win?
Lost. It was extremely close.
A colleague of mine, I find, is heavy into that game.
I mean, to illustrate how close it was: we played for almost 6 hours, and it would have taken me just 3 more minutes to win.
And our opponents had tons of luck as well. 8 out of 10 dice rolls were in their favor, over the course of the 6 hours.
Feb 18 at 14:30, by RegDwight
Damn, I have a boring Friday meeting...
Stoopid Fridays just won't stop happening.
Why not go directly from Thu to Sat?
Then we'd have boring Thursday meetings. Or worse, Saturday.
Yes, but the boring Friday meeting problem would be solved.
Let's tackle it one step at a time.
Even the longest journey yada yada.
I'm out!
1:06 PM
Q: Can "paper bag" mean any bag?

sunn0Being Swedish but living in Kenya for many years I initially reacted when at the local market I was offered a paper bag (verbally) but given a plastic bag (physically). This is always the case and was not a single incident. I thought paper bag had become a common word for all kinds of bags in...

I wonder why a bounty was placed on this one.
What else is there to say?
@Kosmonaut Someone is looking for a particular answer and isn't getting it.
Now they want an answer specific to Africa
Yes, obviously, but what else can be said that is on topic?
@Kosmonaut Nothing as far as I can tell.
I am glad to see the accepted answer has moved to yours.
Ah, I had forgotten it wasn't chosen in the first place
I liked this answer best:
A: Can "paper bag" mean any bag?

Jinah Adami think paper bad would generally imply a bag made of paper. But the answer could be different based on geography

1:13 PM
You know, that geographically sensitive term, "paper."
This answer is truly perfect. It has just the correct amount of typos and meaninglessness.
I like that he actually hedges
"It could be this. Or not."
No no... "I think it generally might mean this" :)
"It could be this" would be too strong.
@MrHen The thing is, that's exactly why the OP is asking the question in the first place. The "information" in the answer is not only vague, but also not new.
1:17 PM
Oops. And actually, he used "imply," too.
Would imply. Not necessarily does.
@RegDwight Haha, true
"paper bag" implies "paper bag". generally.
I think.
@Kosmonaut I would understand why you could thing that.
1:18 PM
Actually, we are still being too nice.
It's "paper bad".
Maybe where he comes from "paper bad" implies "paper bag".
@Kosmonaut Um, I thought that was the most obvious typo?
I'm just saying, we are ignoring that part.
@Kosmonaut You know I'm bag, I'm bag, you know it!
In our critique.
Here's the other thing about that answer.
Oop, gotta go.
1:19 PM
@Kosmonaut Yes. Now compare it to this one:
A: Can "paper bag" mean any bag?

TheManThe answer is No. But people ignore being accurate, especially around the world.

i downvoted pretty much everyone in that thread except the accepted answer
I'm not quite sure why OP's very own answer is downvoted into oblivion.
Clearly, if there were other English-speaking communities where this was done, someone would have chimed in.
i don't think we have any Kenyan English speakers who come by with any frequency
@RegDwight Maybe people thought that it should be part of the question instead of the answer? Although I agree with your surprise — it is arguably some form of answer. Especially compared to others in the thread.
1:22 PM
@JSBangs Well, I was kind of taking it for granted that at least some parts of Kenya do this.
So, I guess if there are other native-English speaking African countries, we might not have representatives from there.
i feel like we need some sort of tag for "world Englishes" that aren't , or
Hey! I created NZ-English!
What else do you want?
would be too specific, or could we go with ?
I'm actually afraid "African" is too wishy-washy.
1:25 PM
Well, I think it needs to be a native English.
Don't forget that there's always .
@RegDwight it is, then.
I would say so.
I like how the second most popular question in the dialects tag is about pirate speech.
But then we need ghanaian-english, gambian-english, malawi-english, liberian-english, nigerian-english, etc.
1:28 PM
@Cerberus Wo?
@Kosmonaut and this is a problem why? we'll create those tags the first time we get a question for them
we currently have twelve tags matching [tag:*-english]
@Reg: I'd rather not specify locations...
@Kosmonaut I don't think that's a problem. We don't suffer from having too many tags anyway.
@JSBangs Well you had just asked whether we should have kenyan-english or african-english. I was just weighing the implications of each.
new zealand, irish, hawaiian, and kenyan have exactly one question each
1:30 PM
Thanks for your try @Reg at overzichtelijk! Well arranged is pretty good. Clear is quite strong in its simplicity.
I see
I'm still a bit sad that Vincent McNabb didn't like my NZ question. He didn't even comment... sniff!!!!
Q: What is “the spirit of aloha”?

F'xI’ve read this expression in a news article related to a Hawaiian politician: “He is well-regarded in both Washington and in the islands for his gracious manner and spirit of aloha.” I understand that aloha is a Hawaiian greeting and, as such, I understand the expression in the quote above as “h...

Hey I also insist on [tag:Dutch-English]!
Wait how does that work again.
1:31 PM
@Cerberus See, you can't even mention it in chat.
@Cerberus native Englishes only dude. everybody else can get
The system forbids such nonsense.
Yes but that is because I speak it!
That one works!
@JSB: While that is a sympathetic point of view, I still think we deserve a tag too of Liberia should get one!
1:33 PM
That's actually something that has been bothering me for ages. But I'm too lazy to post a report on MSO. Plus it would get [status-by-design]ed anyway.
@Reg: Oh, silly me, SE algorithms check for meaning first, of course.
Hmm so why didn't my tag work then?
@Cerberus It is super smart.
@Kos: Thanks for tautologizing me. It tickles.
1:35 PM
@Cerberus Um. Because capitalization, that's why.
Whaddaya think I'm talking about the whole time?
I'm too lazy to post a report.
That is... immoral!
I mean, just look at this:
1:35 PM
I mean their forbidding capitalization.
Nope, that worked.
Stop fooling around, click on that Google link.
I don't like the light in which it puts us.
@RegDwight What's wrong?
"american english - "Defense" or "defence" - English Language and Usage".
"british english - Practise v. practice - English Language and Usage".
I am looking at it... doesn't look any more vulgar than the rest of the internet?
1:37 PM
"Hottest 'british-english' Answers - English Language and Usage"
Yes, ugly.
Sounds hot!
By why on Earth would they forbid capitals? I mean, it is like the Taleban's destroying the Afghan Buddhas.
@Cerberus [status-bydesign], that's why.
I'm tellin ya.
I shouldn't be receiving this kind of information in the morning. My prescriptivist instincts now want to save the world again.
Well, save it, or destroy it, as long as it gets rid of those lower-case tags.
Well, we could always go with .
Hi all !
@Kosmonaut That's 5w337 4ya.
1:42 PM
Just to report a typo in the new label "keynan-english".
@Kosmonaut I'm curious, does [tag:8я1715h-3иgl15н] work?
Now that's funny.
@RegDwight No. No it doesn't.
Hear that, @JSBangs?
@Kosmonaut THAT'S DISCRIMINATION! Also, where's my uppercase apostrophe?
1:43 PM
@AlainPannetier Maybe there is this guy named Keynan who has a really quirky ideolect.
Mar 29 at 13:59, by RegDwight
oops, didn't have time to catch up with all the page. Are you already working on this ?
@AlainPannetier I removed the keynan tag and replaced it
@AlainPannetier If by "working on this" you mean "breaking it", then yes, very much so.
The typo one will disappear soon.
@AlainPannetier JSBangs had just created that tag that you found to have a typo.
1:45 PM
@RegDwight hilarious. i fail
Mar 14 at 17:14, by RegDwight
user image
I have an idea. Why don't we just blow up the whole site? I think we are one of their more successful branches: that'll teach 'em.
No prob, I could see it was new. I'll read the chat transcript to get the chain of events in the right order.
@Reg: Quit begging for upvotes! I already gave you one.
You upvoted my chat? Whaaaa?
1:47 PM
Your failing picture post, silly.
Besides, it was you who was begging for pictures.
22 hours ago, by Cerberus
@Reg: Show me your pictures then!
speaking of begging! can I get some upvotes on this answer?
A: How to make a "tableless" table with help of CSS?

JSBangsThe first question is: why do you want to do that? It's a bad idea to use tables for page formatting, but if what you want is a table, you should use a table.

I was just obliging your "can I post more picture answers, can I, can I?" with a grudging, "oh, why not".
i need four more upvotes for the Reversal badge
(this is on SO not EL&U, but don't hate me for that)
@JSBangs How come it's not closed as a dupe? I've seen that question five hundred zillion times.
1:49 PM
@JSB: I don't even know what that was about... but I gave you my vote just to corrupt the system and get back at them status-by-design fools.
@RegDwight i'm pretty sure that this is the orig that the other dups are pointing to
A: Should I teach CSS layout directly to new learners or should I first teach how to make layout with tables, then table-less layouts?

RegDwightYou should teach them to use CSS for layout and tables for tabular data. They will figure out that they can (mis)use tables for layout all by themselves.

It's even by the same guy.
I owe most of my SO rep to him and to him alone.
He just wouldn't stop asking, um, strange stuff.
By the way, @JSBangs, I think I disagree with your analysis of "that being said, ...".
@Cerberus them's fightin' words
I believe participles are not timeless, as you say: they just don't have an absolute time marker, but they do have relative time.
1:53 PM
@Cerberus they are assumed to occur in the same time frame as the main verb, generally. they don't indicate their own time, but inherit it from the context
A present participle assumes the time/tense of the main verb of the clause it is a part of.
@Cerberus jinx
but how does that contradict my analysis?
Let me find the question again. I thought you disagreed about what I just said.
1:54 PM
Q: Refute a Pedant: "That being said" -- Grammatical Atrocity?

Heinrich MoltkeA certain pedant is claiming that beginning a sentence with "That being said" is grammatically incorrect owing to the apparent logical contradiction in claiming that something in the past (e.g. the previous paragraph) is still "being said", i.e. unfolding in the present. He claims that only "that...

Right. Your answer says nothing about relative time, which I think is essential.
the key quote is: The idiomatic phrase that being said contains no finite verb and no tense. this is still true
you can add a comment if you think that it's important
Let me read the question again; perhaps I misinterpreted the OP.
Okay. I think the OP is thinking of a sentence like this:
That being said, let's move on to the next subject: adultery.
The absolute construction is meant to precede the main clause in time.
Rarely would you want to say that something happened while something was being said.

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