Re: Various

1

My first thought was why do Spaniards need so many condoms.

Confidential to heebie: The first link needs fixed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 7:39 AM
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I haven't the foggiest what.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 7:43 AM
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Then never mind.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 7:44 AM
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The British Army's Rations Discuss'd, with some Remarks on the Prevalence of Beans.
http://www.unfogged.com/archives/comments_12711.html#1544970


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 7:46 AM
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Speaking of shelf-stable food, I made a cake from scratch and we had all the ingredients in the house already. Only two of them were past date. It came out O.K., but I really should have followed the instructions about putting it in three round pans instead of one great big rectangular pan. The edges got overdone while waiting for the middle to set.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 7:55 AM
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I'm dead certain that narnia has carefully planned rations for halal and for vegetarian soldiers/diners. I was just helping a friend fill out a form today and it asked what religion the applicant was (free thinker was a choice, to be fair.) as I have noted in the past, hospital menus all come in three or more versions: chinese, halal, indian vegetarian, and sometimes 'western' which is generally subsumed under halal or chinese being a narnian version of american kung pao chicken--a distinctively narnian food, nominally western because it was prepared for westerners for a long time. so, steak and chips, or fried chops and chips and grilled tomatoes, or roti john (which is a...an um...a beef or mutton and onion sandwich on french-style bread that has been fried in ghee on a flat griddle) and so on. estonia is looking good but one must appreciate italy's doling out grappa in the morning hours.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 8:02 AM
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1: The first link needs fixed.

Whoa, you really have gone native!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 8:06 AM
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6: Nothing kosker?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 8:08 AM
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"Chloride ions are kept deliberately high in the neurons of the foetus while developing in the womb." Yes, "deliberately" is just the word for this. Sigh.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 8:08 AM
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7: It happens.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 8:08 AM
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9: That article was strange anyway. Apparently, you can pee away autism or your mom can pee it away for you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 8:14 AM
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Also, the peeing away of autism-causing chloride is triggered by labor? If it were that simple, someone would have noticed the correlation between scheduled C-sections and autism (which, as far as I'm aware, doesn't exist).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 8:18 AM
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12: I am writing the article as we speak, LB! mothering dot com or Natural News?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 8:24 AM
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You're going to need to control for maternal age. Or you're going to need to not control for maternal age if you want to make headlines with a spurious finding.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 8:26 AM
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I didn't know that the remark about an army marching on its stomach wasn't from Napoleon, and the mention inspired me to check out the story about Chicken Marengo that I first heard in James Burke's Connections, and it turns out that that's likely not true. I don't know what to believe anymore.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 8:28 AM
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A friend of mine, once one of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children, got into an argument with Sen. Franken about whether it was reasonable to refer to MRE as standing for "May Resemble Excrement". Probably better than WWII K-rations though.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 8:56 AM
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I heard those rations came with cigarettes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 9:01 AM
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If it were that simple, someone would have noticed the correlation between scheduled C-sections and autism (which, as far as I'm aware, doesn't exist).

Right, I was going to say something like this, but was short on time. This seems like a very tidy conclusion for people who 1) hate anti-vaxxers, and 2) are pro-natural childbirth. While I'm both those things, this seems too...pat.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 9:05 AM
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Speaking of cigarettes and birth, my aunt's doctor suggested that she take up smoking while she was pregnant because it would make delivery easier.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 9:07 AM
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Overly tidy conclusions cause autism.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 9:19 AM
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This was back in the 60s. Giving a shit wasn't invented until 1978.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 9:19 AM
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Emily Willingham is great.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 9:22 AM
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She's brilliant because her mom could pee like a race horse.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 9:24 AM
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Was there a point when fewer dangers during delivery from a smaller birth weight might've outweighed the negative effects on the infants health had they been known?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 9:24 AM
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22: "the sci-glam journal Science"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 9:27 AM
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24: I think that was pretty conventional thinking at the time -- smaller birthweight meant an easier delivery, and no one knew yet that it was also correlated with health problems.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 9:32 AM
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26: The health effects are pretty minor, aren't they? Even if they had been known it might've been rational.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 9:33 AM
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No, the health effects are not minor.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 9:37 AM
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from the link in 22:

In an article at the Independent that hilariously asks in its headline if autism "could be caused at birth by salt in the nerves?," study lead author Yehezkel Ben-Ari, takes the paper conclusions even further


That would have been interesting fodder for my now-discontinued project on where scientific findings get garbled on their way to the public. Previously I had been mostly blaming the university press release, which is written by the people with the least expertise, the least accountability and the most impact.

This looks like a case where the researchers themselves are distorting their own findings in the press to promote their own research program. Interesting.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 9:40 AM
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Scientists overselling their own work to get more attention? Say it ain't so!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 9:41 AM
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At this point I feel like anyone who has an even remotely lifestyle based "this causes autism" claim is almost 100% certain to be bullshitting. Also I feel like the pro-natural-childbirth movement has some legitimate points but is also largely a fever swamp of bullshit.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 9:43 AM
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Local man discovers 90% of everything is bullshit.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 9:48 AM
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Argh. As someone roughly on the pro-natural-childbirth side, can I point out that no actual pro-natural-childbirth bullshit occurred in this story? The only connection with natural childbirth was my pointing out that if the linked study was accurate, there should be a wildly obvious correlation between C-sections and autism, and given that I've never seen any reporting on such a correlation, there probably isn't one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 9:52 AM
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33: And then Emily Willingham said the same thing in the link in 22.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 9:54 AM
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Hey. I should really click on the links sometimes. (I don't know why I consistently don't.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 9:59 AM
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Because a non-zero number of them go to herpy.net?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 10:04 AM
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35: The rationale for not clicking the links is over-determined.
But I almost always still do.
Unfogged's been good to me so far ...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 10:05 AM
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I feel like the pro-natural-childbirth movement has some legitimate points

DAMN RIGHT.


Posted by: Opinionated Macbeth | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 10:09 AM
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38: I made a half-joking argument to name Baby O Macduff. (But he'd be called Duffy, right? And that's a little too LAXbro even for me.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 10:48 AM
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I heard those rations came with cigarettes

Still did in the early 70s, by which time they were called "C" rations. 2 cigarettes, a brand no one ever heard, probably from the same production line as some well-known brand.

I didn't smoke, but I smoked those because they'd been issued to me Probably didn't inhale, complete waste.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 11:09 AM
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I wonder what's better, military rations or a United Airlines snack box.

I don't even board the plane for two hours and I already have a throbbing headache and feel exhausted. Fifteen one-on-one meetings over the next two days, two talks, then a redeye back to teach Thursday morning. Is there any way to just skip a week?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 11:26 AM
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||

Harold Ramis: NMM

|


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 11:34 AM
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What a bummer. Nice obit.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 11:36 AM
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Somehow I thought he was significantly younger than that.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 11:38 AM
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Related article about how you're responsible for your baby's messed up brain. Sure, we knew about PCBs and lead and arsenic, but by brushing your teeth you're poisoning your baby's brain!
Every time a story like this is published Paracelsus kicks a puppy.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 11:38 AM
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But he'd be called Duffy, right?

I had a friend in high school named Macduff, but he went by Mac.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 11:49 AM
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46: Heh. Mac with my last name sounds like a Teamster. Mac with CA's last name sounds like Groundskeeper Willy.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 11:53 AM
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||

I bet a lot of folks here would find interesting this meditation on academia and its discontents from Josh Marshall.

(And I think it contains an oblique mention of a distinguished member of the commentariat.)

|


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 11:55 AM
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And I think it contains an oblique mention of a distinguished member of the commentariat

It's true. Gordon Wood comments here under the name "Bob McManus."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 12:01 PM
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41: at least you actually want the job, I hope?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 12:58 PM
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I don't have time to read the article about Utah right now, but it seems to me that American environmentalism has always been pretty conservative, depending on what one means by conservative.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 1:00 PM
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48: I thought that essay was really very good.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 1:01 PM
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Does anyone here ever go to the AWP conference? I guess it's here in Mpls in 2015, so, future meet-up!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 1:10 PM
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I liked 48, too. And I wasn't even complimented in the article!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 1:23 PM
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50: yeah but no but yeah but no but...


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 1:24 PM
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That's it. Nothing interviewers want to see in a candidate so much as vacillation and hedging.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 1:28 PM
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Skimming 48 I don't see a mention of a commenter. Unless the one mention of macro is tenuously about the person my phone wants to autocorrect to Gnomes?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 1:33 PM
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56: it's uncertainty. That's why he needs to fly out, so they can observe him.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 1:35 PM
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Sadly, my skimming skills are poor and the autocorrect map isn't injective so I'm still in the dark.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 1:36 PM
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As in, I'm snarking that VW's 52 was only elicited because he was complimented-by-reference.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 1:36 PM
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(My knowledge of TFA isn't enough that I'd have made the connection, but I assume that's what PF was getting at.)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 1:38 PM
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55: The Professor Who Came In From the Cold


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 2:02 PM
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42: I heard that when he died, the devil came to claim his own.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 2:26 PM
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From 48:Think about Juan Cole. A vast contribution to the public conversation about the Middle East, entirely because of the Internet. There's really little precedent in recent decades for anything like him in his area of study.

Reminds me to finish my book about Edward Said. Although Said was exceptional, tho not unique, and in general I agree with the thrust of that paragraph.

Actually, I will screw up my courage and disagree. There were others in the 90s talking I/P on MacNeil Lehrer and Charlie Rose, and most of them were affiliated with academic institutions, if only as visiting lecturer. There was another crowd of academics talking about Iraq.

I guess the question is about the size and makeup of the audiences or readers of Charlie Rose vs Informed Comment. It will always be relatively small, and always feel larger and more important to us wonks who pay attention.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 3:04 PM
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1) I have not yet been convinced, in 10+ years, that the blogosphere represented by say the CT and Thoma right blogrolls have been particularly effective, even indirectly, in either influencing policy, the mass discourse, or local activism. It remains academic and amateur.

2) I do think there is a social network for local activists that includes blogs that is more effective. That network rarely connects with "our network"

3) I don't remember the sites, but let's call them Ezra Klein's new place, and Glenn Greenwald's (added Matt Taibibi!). Did these guys move for money (probably) or did they believe the old networks weren't getting it done.

4) Of course, Edward Said wrote a whole book or two on public intellectuals. I have read part maybe I will get to the rest in March.

5) I have no problem with academics being distant or disconnected from mainstream discourse. In fact I prefer it. There are adequate transmission mechanisms from academia to the streets or halls of power.

But I do demand that academics take advantage of their protected positions and talent and skills to be fucking radical, to speak truth to power in unsettling ways. To be fucking trolls.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 3:32 PM
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I killed the thread.

What depresses me about Krugman, more than his obvious futility and lack of effectiveness, is how boringly bourgeois mainstream accommodationist moderate he is, especially compared with his obvious predecessors, John Kenneth Galbraith and Milton Friedman.

Aw hell, Chris Hedges wrote the book. Academia or big blogosphere, the liberal class is dead.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 4:05 PM
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I found this recent Krugman post interesting. Neglecting the minuscule possibility that I'm misreading him, it, combined with his linked article All work and no play makes William Greider a dull boy, showcases both the arrogance and lack of foresight of Great Moderation economists and their inability to admit their mistakes in neglecting distributional concerns. In particular, it is impossible to reconcile this section:

But wait--what entitles me to assume that consumer demand will rise enough to absorb all the additional production? One good answer is: Why not? If production were to double, and all that production were to be sold, then total income would double too; so why wouldn't consumption double? That is, why should there be a shortfall in consumption merely because the economy produces more?

Here again, however, there is a deeper answer. It is possible for economies to suffer from an overall inadequacy of demand--recessions do happen. However, such slumps are essentially monetary--they come about because people try in the aggregate to hold more cash than there actually is in circulation.


with his post, the third paragraph of which, as far as I can tell, is incoherent.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 4:58 PM
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Guess I should've posted this in the pseudoscience thread.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 6:26 PM
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Given that essear keeps mentioning trips to China, I'm going to assume he knows something about this.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-24-14 6:42 PM
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I wonder what's better, military rations or a United Airlines snack box.

Even French military rations are better than a UA snack box.
French rations are terrible. You wouldn't think it but they are. The French marines were desperate to get rid of theirs by swapping them with us. Once they've got their kitchens set up they eat like kings, but the stuff they get issued as field rations is dreadful. Plus it comes in tins, which are a pain in the neck to carry around.
The French navy, however, I have just learned, operated the only aircraft carriers in NATO to have a ring main supplying red wine.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 2:53 AM
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Once they've got their kitchens set up they eat like kings

Rubber chicken in huge, draughty dining halls. Yes, I can believe that. When I win the lottery, I shall have a ring main supplying red wine installed in my house.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 6:21 AM
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Is a "ring main" just a fancy word for a wine-hose?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 6:24 AM
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I associate ring mains with electrical wiring, so I suppose it means there's a tap in every room, like there's a power point.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 6:35 AM
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A ubiquitous wine hose sounds great.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 6:37 AM
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73 is correct: or at least taps in lots of different places. You don't all eat together in the same room on a big warship, there are lots of small messes, and each one, naturally, needs an adequate supply of red wine.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 6:38 AM
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I suppose white wine is too something or other for a warship.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 6:42 AM
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Red wine's better for the nuclear battlefield. The reservatrol helps counteract the iodine-131 in the fallout.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 7:19 AM
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I'm not complaining. I don't like most white wines and do no like nearly every red I've tried.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 7:30 AM
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And by "don't like," I mean that I won't drink them if there is something else around, not that I find them undrinkable.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 7:30 AM
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It's a truth universally acknowledged that cheap red wine is far more drinkable than cheap white wine, and I'm guessing that the pinard issued by the French navy was fairly cheap.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 7:33 AM
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I'm not one to spent a lot on wine either. I saw a preview for Sideways and realized how much it wasn't worth the effort.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 7:34 AM
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Anyway, I've added "red wine ring main" to the spec sheet for the RMS Unfogged. The main header tank will be located on B deck, just forward of the sex orlop.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 7:37 AM
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Just make sure the armor is thick around the tank.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 7:38 AM
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"There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today, IYKWIM."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 7:40 AM
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It's a truth universally acknowledged that cheap red wine is far more drinkable than cheap white wine

No, no, no. Really crap white wine is often mostly tasteless. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of any really crap red wine. (Based on memories of comparison tests of Sfr 1.60/dl wines in Genevan cafes and 1000 Lira/l. wines in Italian campgrounds (water was 1500, both were BYOB).


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 7:49 AM
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I'd say the same. Incredibly cheap white is, in my vast experience of drinking incredibly cheap wine, either sweet or sour, both of which are fine if they're cold enough. Incredibly cheap red tastes complicatedly awful and coats your teeth unpleasantly. I still have memories of a winter party in college where I decided I was going to mull wine with fruit and spices, so it didn't matter how bad it was. Five-buck-a-gallon red is foul enough tasting that all the cloves and oranges in the world won't mask it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:16 AM
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My experience echoes LB's. Cheap red is not just nasty tasting but is also worse for the hangover. Cheap white can be almost pleasant if you're not really worried about details of the taste and just want something sweetish and alcoholic.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:25 AM
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82: The main header tank will be located on B deck,

Ekranoplans have B decks?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:29 AM
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88: The Caspian Sea Monster was easily big enough to accommodate two decks.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:49 AM
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89. If you look at the last few pics here, where he manages to get most of the hull in shot, there's plenty of room for multiple decks, and the configuration of the windows makes it clear there are at least two.

It was spec'd as 19 m. high, but whether that includes the tail fin I'm not sure.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 9:25 AM
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The radomes on the tail would make great sex observation decks. Presumably the sex grotto does not need a great view.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:29 AM
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We do not support 91.


Posted by: Lurkers | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 10:37 AM
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Am I to understand that the subject of ekranoplans has come up on Unfogged while I was away?


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 2:19 PM
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It's true that I have occasionally attempted to immanentise the ekranoplan over the last few years.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 2:35 PM
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the only aircraft carriers in NATO to have a ring main supplying red wine

This is the greatest thing ever.

Re: cheap wines, five or six bucks will get you a drinkable Chardonnay or Pinot Gris, neither sweet not too sour, if you know what to look for. I don't know the last time I saw anything like that in a red for the same price.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 3:29 PM
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94 is great.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 3:30 PM
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Cheap chardonnay tastes like shitty butter.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 3:51 PM
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||

This story seems somehow very appropriate for unfogged. It has everything: crazy audiophiles, an anonymous blogger, a mysterious disappearance, and (last but not least) an intellectual property dispute.

|>


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 7:36 PM
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93: Behold, ajay's masterpiece.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 7:40 PM
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100

Oh look, that thread also recounts something like one of the awkward conversations I had today.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 7:55 PM
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Plate of shrimp. I saw Tao mentioned on by a friend on FB today. Before today, I had never heard of him.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:05 PM
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mentioned on by a

and I was able to graduate from college!


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:09 PM
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His blog is sort of fun, although I don't usually understand most of it. (I like to imagine that I would understand more of it if I slowed down and took the time, but we'll never know.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:11 PM
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That thread in 100 is fun. I didn't read the whole thread at the time. I'd read many of those books that people described.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02-25-14 8:29 PM
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96: I can't claim credit for "attempting to immanentise the ekranoplan" - that was coined by Walt Someguy in the terrific "how commenters will die" thread. http://www.unfogged.com/archives/comments_12279.html


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 4:14 AM
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re: 98

That is an interesting story. His [the disappeared guy] blog is interesting, and I hadn't seen it before.

I have friends who've done work in audio-testing [professionally, I mean, not hobbyists] who have somewhat trenchant things to say on similar lines.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 5:50 AM
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re: 95

Something around 4 quid will get you plenty of quite drinkable, if uninteresting, red wines in the UK. Admittedly, the same would also apply for white, although you'd be more likely to run into the sour vinegary type at that price bracket than you would with red, I think.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 5:55 AM
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And something around 6 - 8 quid will get you really rather nice wine.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 6:00 AM
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||

Oh hey, UK commenters: what's fun in Manchester on a Thursday in late March?

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 6:15 AM
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108 to 109.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 6:17 AM
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107 is pretty much what I was getting at - though, as ttaM points out, there's really not much reason to buy it when you can do much better for just a few quid more.

109: getting on the train taking you somewhere that isn't Manchester.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 6:49 AM
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I always wanted to see Wales.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 6:57 AM
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111: I will have already disembarked from the train taking me to the someplace that isn't Manchester (lake district) that I will have previously departed Manchester for, and will the next morning be getting on the plane taking me somewhere that isn't the UK. But Thursday night I'll definitely be in Manchester. I guess I'll go check out the Hacienda and see if the Stone Roses are playing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 6:58 AM
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The Lake District is nice. Lots of stone walls of the sort that could, if placed mostly underground, be used as the foundation for a cob house.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 7:01 AM
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"disembarked from"? I feel like I shouldn't have written that, but can't pin down why. Probably any number of reasons.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 7:01 AM
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"Detrained from" would be more correct. But "disembarked from" is correct. If you get off something, you disembark from it. If you get something off another thing, you disembark the thing from the second thing. As in "I disembarked from the ekranoplan" and "I disembarked my walrus from the ekranoplan".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 7:04 AM
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Yeah I just am not all the way there with "disembark" as a word, I think. I almost said "descended from", which would have been more evocative.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 7:06 AM
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People descended from monkeys, not trains.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 7:07 AM
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119

There's a bad Thomas the Tank Engine joke floating around somewhere.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 7:09 AM
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But you don't descend from trains in Britain, really. They're pretty much on a level with the platform. (Why aren't they in the US? What's the point of a platform that isn't train-height?)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 7:11 AM
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The last train I took in the U.S. was decorated to look like Thomas the Tank Engine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 7:13 AM
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It was a really useful engine, if making a three-year old really happy counts as a "use".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 7:14 AM
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(Why aren't they in the US? What's the point of a platform that isn't train-height?)

They are. I was thinking about old movies or something.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 7:16 AM
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Oh wait they only sometimes are, at that. Christ I'm confused this morning.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 7:16 AM
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"Detrained from the train"? Just "detrained", surely.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 7:19 AM
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But you don't descend from trains in Britain, really. They're pretty much on a level with the platform.

Are you talking about subways or inter city trains? In continental Europe IME you generally have to go down a couple very narrow steps. Complete pain in the ass with heavy/bulky things. Speaking of trains, why have they been getting rid of compartments? They're fun.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 7:23 AM
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"Dekranoplaned"


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 7:26 AM
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109: Coincidentally, I'm trying to convince my husband that we should go up to Manchester for a few days in the last week of March. To be fair, though, I don't really have an agenda - I just want to go explore the central district and do some people watching, and to see his old hang out spots from university. A Mancunian of my acquaintance has been going on and on about fabulous coffee houses/bars/etc, so I know they're there but don't actually have a clue on specifics.

I love the Lake District. So gorgeous! I hope the weather behaves somewhat for you; we went in November fully expecting rain every day and were pleasantly surprised. (Then again, all of Britain has been rain every day for awhile now, it seems like.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 7:33 AM
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Are you talking about subways or inter city trains? In continental Europe IME you generally have to go down a couple very narrow steps. Complete pain in the ass with heavy/bulky things. Speaking of trains, why have they been getting rid of compartments? They're fun.

Proper intercity (as opposed to those little electric carriages on various non-mainline routes) trains tend to have steps. And Eurostar definitely does.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 7:34 AM
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It sounds like I will be spending most of my time inside an (admittedly quite fancy-seeming) hotel so, you know, whatever.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 7:35 AM
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Disbark. Like disfranchise. Also, I'd like to see whales.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 7:37 AM
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Sorry, I always wanted to see whales. (Truth.)


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 7:39 AM
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Don't you live sort of near to places where you can see whales? And aren't you about to move far from whales into a place where they decided they needed to pay bars thousands of dollars to shut down on their bastardized version of St. Patrick's Day?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 7:46 AM
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Yes. (And yet, I never do. At least not around here.) And I have no idea.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 7:57 AM
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I've seen dolphins, so I just scale them up with my imagination.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 7:59 AM
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We see dolphins all the time in Monterey. They're kind of boring.* I've only ever seen whales, except in captivity, a couple of times: once while kayaking in British Columbia (that was scary!), and once while in a Panga in Mexico (also scary, but for different reasons).

* Mostly because rape jokes are off-limits.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 8:04 AM
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If you've already seen two whales, I think you've pretty much seen all you need.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 8:17 AM
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Are any ekranoplans still in regular service? I can certainly see a transportation-nerd market for rides.

Railfans come from around the world to ride the Metra UP North commuter line in Chicago, just because it loads to the left, apparently the only train in the world that does. (Formerly the Chicago, Northwestern and St. Paul Railroad; it established the practice before the civil war and never switched.)

Compared with that sheer thrill, a ride on an ekranoplan would be orgiastic.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 9:47 AM
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Re: modern-day ekranoplans, there are some little ones in Russia, see this news article from 2012, and this video from 2013.

OTOH, if you're looking for something Orlyonok-sized, you might be better off getting one of these.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 02-26-14 6:57 PM
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Railfans come from around the world to ride the Metra UP North commuter line in Chicago, just because it loads to the left, apparently the only train in the world that does.

Does this just mean "people get on and off from the left side of the train"? Because I took a train last weekend that did that.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 2:39 AM
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In fact I think this has been so in roughly 50% of all the trains I've ever taken.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 3:09 AM
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109. Get out into the Peak District and go for a walk or hire a bike.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 3:17 AM
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141: well, yes. Certainly half the ones leaving from any terminus station: normally you have two tracks next to each other, then two platforms back to back, then two more tracks.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 3:52 AM
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In fact I'm about to walk thru a train station serving commuters where they board left. And lots of subways board left or right.

I don't understand.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 3:53 AM
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Now an airport that loads from the starboard, that would be something special.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 3:54 AM
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138 et seq: From wiki, not unique in world but rare in US (and has to do with how double tracks are routed).

The CNW was known for running "left-hand main" on double track mainlines. In other words, traffic was routed by default to the track on the left rather than the track on the right. In the United States, most railroads followed the "right-hand main" operating practice, while "left-hand main" running was more common in countries where automobile traffic drove on the left as well. According to a display in the Lake Forest station, the reason for this was a combination of chance and inertia. When originally built as single-line trackage, the C&NW arbitrarily placed its stations on the left-hand side of the tracks (when headed inbound toward Chicago). Later, when a second track was added, it was placed on the side away from the stations so as not to force them to relocate. Since most passengers waiting at the stations were headed toward Chicago, the inbound track remained the one closest to the station platforms. The expense of reconfiguring signals and switches has prevented a conversion to right-hand operation ever since.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 4:49 AM
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Yes, what 141 said. In fact, on my usual daily commute, I'd say that more like 80 - 90% of the trains I get board from the left.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 5:30 AM
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And in Glasgow tube stations, most have a single central platform, which the trains in both directions come alongside. So it's strictly 50/50.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 5:30 AM
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Oh, I see. It's not boarding from the left as much as having the opposite direction train on your right. That is I think somewhat unusual over here. But boarding on the left I feel like isn't terribly weird? Certainly not on subways.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 5:35 AM
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Subways board easily from either side; on most lines of the CTA it will be a little of both.

The CNW is a regular train with a locomotive, and you have to climb up into the car.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 5:44 AM
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I'm going to need some statistics, JP Stormcrow--these railfans seem unreliable.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 6:18 AM
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Can we get a hobo to weigh in?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 6:45 AM
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I didn't even know hobos were classed by size.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 6:55 AM
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153: they are for the hobo fights LB organizes.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 7:30 AM
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Maybe I'm explicitizing too much.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 7:30 AM
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Ugh, remind me not to take redeyes. I desperately need a nap and I have to teach in two hours.

Maybe I should ask the students to discuss in groups while I sleep. Graduate students would tolerate that, right?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 7:37 AM
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So are these American trains actually handed, with doors only on one side? I realise now I've never actually ridden a non-subway train in the US.

Oh, I see. It's not boarding from the left as much as having the opposite direction train on your right..

This also seems a bit weird in a UK context. What about when you have more than two tracks? There's loads of parts of London and elsewhere with many more than two tracks side-by-side, so you can have opposite direction trains on either side, or indeed same direction trains.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 7:43 AM
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I realise now I've never actually ridden a non-subway train in the US.

I've only ridden a non-subway, non-amusement train once in the U.S.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 7:45 AM
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I'm confused too; I have definitely boarded a regular, climb-the-steps-from-ground-level train; there's a commuter rail line I take occasionally that's like that on the inbound leg.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 7:53 AM
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I have definitely boarded a regular, climb-the-steps-from-ground-level train; there's a commuter rail line I take occasionally that's like that on the inbound leg.

Wasn't someone above pointing out that if you are going to build a train platform, why not build it so you don't have to climb?


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 8:23 AM
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Yes. But, in this case, they didn't. Probably costs more?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 8:26 AM
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Of course. But still.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 8:36 AM
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No one expects the Spanish Solution.

The principle was first used in 1895 at the (now closed) King William Street tube station in London, but came into wide use on (and takes its name from) the Barcelona Metro in the 1930s.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 8:48 AM
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Interested in Railway PLatform Height? There's a Wikipedia article for that.

First you need your train floor height categories:
Ultra low floor tram - 180 mm (7 in)
Low floor tram - 300 to 350 mm (12 to 14 in)
High floor tram - more than 600 mm (24 in)
Low floor train - 550 mm (22 in)
Train (in UK or narrow gauge) - 800 to 1,200 mm (31.5 to 47.2 in)
Standard North American passenger cars - 1,300 mm (51 in)
Train (standard gauge (except UK) or broad gauge) - 1,300 to 1,370 mm (51 to 54 in)

And then the details: On Dublin's Luas tram system, platforms are approximately 280mm above rail. Tram floors are at the same height, but have internal steps over the bogies.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 8:56 AM
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OT: Why does R make you use a forward slash (or two backward slashes) in place of a single backward slash when giving a file location? Just to fuck things up for me?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 8:56 AM
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Internal Steps Over the Bogies is my new band name.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 8:57 AM
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165: Because it is right...

To avoid having to deal with escaping backslashes in file paths, you can use the file.path() function to construct file paths that are correct, independent of the operating system you work on. This function is a little bit similar to paste in the sense that it will append character strings, except that the separator is always correct, regardless of the settings in your operating system:

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 9:00 AM
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Because somewhere in your youth or childhood you must have done something bad so now you have to work in windows.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 9:02 AM
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So this is a Unix thing or something?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 9:15 AM
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163: I had no idea that was called that. The Park Street red line station has that system, except that the opening asynchrony is backwards, which is great because most people don't pay attention and get to the center platform, so if you go to the side platform you can generally get on the train before the bulk of the crowd.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 9:17 AM
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169: windows is alone in using backslashes in file paths, yes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 9:17 AM
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I also don't see why they would use # to mark a comment instead of * like a decent programmer would do.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 9:31 AM
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What language uses "*"?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 9:34 AM
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Of course the proper approach is that comments have a "C" in the first column of the row.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 9:35 AM
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Not languages. Statistical packages. SAS and Stata both use * (or /*).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 9:36 AM
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Tram floors are at the same height, but have internal steps over the bogies

If people just carried handkerchiefs they wouldn't need the steps.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-27-14 9:41 AM
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