Re: There Will Be No Heartwarming Story For The Styles Section

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FML, one might say.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 6:57 AM
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Did you stop and smell the roses? Or did you just mope around going all FML?


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:14 AM
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Did they give you a new one or was it more onerous?


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:21 AM
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I had to go three whole days without phone calls, texts, knowing what time it was, mobile email checking, mobile Unfogged and RSS reading, and Twitter living like apostropher. Drug addicts find detox unpleasant as well, Becks, but it's a better world on the other side.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:26 AM
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Suggested moral: Just as the mere presence of stuff won't make you happy, the mere absense of stuff won't make you enlightened.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:39 AM
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but now you feel much more like grateful that you have a phone, it's like amplified with the experience of not having it


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:41 AM
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This sums it up.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:43 AM
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My phone broke the other day as well, so I went to the Verizon store and bought a new one.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:14 AM
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What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, Becks. I am in awe at your fortitude.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:22 AM
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My phone contract is up and I'm thinking about switching providers or plans. Do I want a data plan? Do you all love having internet access? Or is this a monthly expense I can do without? Jammies has internet access, so when we're together we can use his phone.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:42 AM
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I can't imagine living without it, but I am generally addicted to all forms of communication and get panicky when one is unavailable to me. If you don't have it now, do you often find yourself wishing you did?


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:55 AM
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I downgraded my plan when I got my new phone because I was sick of paying so much for service I hardly ever use. But that's just me.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:57 AM
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No, I can't think of when I've needed it. (I do call Jammies to have him look up traffic jams for me, so maybe he'd contest that claim.) I guess I'm wondering if we're passing a tipping point for data plans where there's going to be so many great apps over the next two years that I'll regret being stuck with a boring phone.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:58 AM
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If you can't identify something for which you'd use it at least every few days then I doubt it's worth it. I'm with AT&T and they make subscribers eligible for equipment upgrades earlier than when contracts end. Ask about that at your provider's store. You may not have to wait as long as you expect you will, which is another good reason to just get a phone phone and save a few bucks.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:02 AM
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Probably sound advice.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:04 AM
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I have ONLY data. The opposite of a phone plan! The anti-phone plan. I don't really use it that much though either. Specially since I spend my life basking in the rays of the internet.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:07 AM
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just get a phone phone and save a few bucks

I briefly entertained the notion that an iPhone might just be cool enough to make me break my cell phone abstinence. But then I looked at what the access plans cost and thought no fucking way.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:10 AM
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I have ONLY data
it could be really useful if it's possible, i thought all the providers don't allow only the data plan


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:42 AM
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16: I have occasionally thought this was the way I should go -- I use the internet/email far more than the actual phone part. But, you know, what if I need to call someone in an emergency?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:46 AM
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One time you really want a cell phone is travelling. Very few phone booths any more anywhere, and half of them are broken or don't take bills or have some other problem.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:47 AM
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One time you really want a cell phone is travelling.

This. This is exactly the best reason to own a cell phone.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:49 AM
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In an emergency, it is trivially easy to turn to the person next to you and offer her a dollar to use her phone.

If I had internets on my phone, I'd miss calling my friends and having them look something up for me.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:51 AM
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God, I love my iPhone. I'd stick it up my butt if I thought it would fit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:53 AM
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||

Vermont just legalized gay marriage. This is getting so damn trendy that it's losing some of its cachet.

|>


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:54 AM
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24: Try the other threads, Kraab.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:55 AM
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23: You should get an iPhone with a flared base before you start experimenting.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:56 AM
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And cover with a condom for easy cleanup.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:57 AM
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I downgraded my plan when I got my new phone because I was sick of paying so much for service I hardly ever use.

I used the data stuff all the time, but I downgraded from a smartphone to a phone phone because I was sick of being in constant touch with my e-mail and the interwebs. Now my life overflows with the scent of roses.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:58 AM
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And put it on vibrate and have your friends call you constantly.

You'll never lose it and no one will ever borrow it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:58 AM
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25: I like to share the wealth.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:59 AM
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Phone question: I'm thinking of traveling to/moving to Europe. What do I need to do to get a phone that works both over there, and in the USA?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:07 AM
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In an emergency, it is trivially easy to turn to the person next to you and offer her a dollar to use her phone.

Assuming there is a person next to you.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:14 AM
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31: Don't talk to Sprint, as I understand it.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:16 AM
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31: Who's your provider? AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM, which is far more widely used globally than the technology Verizon & Sprint use.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:16 AM
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34: Right now I'm on a T-Mobile prepaid phone that I barely even use, so assume I'm getting a new phone/new provider here. Are there any providers that work both stateside and across the pond?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:19 AM
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My regular Nokia with AT&T works in Europe. Supposedly I could even buy a local SIM card for it.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:20 AM
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35: Um, AT&T and T-Mobile.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:24 AM
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They don't all but they've been getting better. I think AT&T makes you submit signed forms proving you have hearing loss before they let you have data only but T-mobile and Verizon both have unrestricted versions.

Also they usually let you make a call in an emergency. Just charge exorbitant rates for it.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:25 AM
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What do I need to do to get a phone that works both over there, and in the USA?

You'll need a GSM phone (think AT&T) that works on dual frequencies (Europe uses a different part of the electromagnetic spectrum for cellular networks). You will also want to get an international calling plan ($$), because the alternative is international roaming charges ($$$$$).

If you don't need the convenience of a single phone number, I would advise you to investigate the option of getting cheap GSM phone in Europe with a pre-paid airtime package, especially if you plan on spending most of your time in one European country.

Going with a local Euro phone has the advantages of being cheaper for you, and cheaper for your Euro friends who will resent having to dial a U.S. number to reach you.

I have a multi-band blackberry with international dialing and an unlimited data plan, but of course I'm not paying for it out of my own pocket. Even so, I keep a separate local phone on a prepaid airtime plan for certain destinations.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:25 AM
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er, 38 was in regards to data-only plans. Sorry.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:26 AM
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put it on vibrate and have your friends call you constantly

You're not the first one to think of this.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:28 AM
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You should call AT&T and T-Mobile and explain what you're doing and ask them to figure out the cheapest way for you to do it.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:28 AM
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Also, what Knecht said.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:29 AM
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What are you up to, anyway, Spike? Especially with the possibly moving part.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:30 AM
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Right now I'm on a T-Mobile prepaid phone that I barely even use, so assume I'm getting a new phone/new provider here. Are there any providers that work both stateside and across the pond?

T-Mobile belongs to Deutsche Telekom, so they definitely offer service in Europe. You can either put the SIM card from your current phone into a European device (which might not be feasible in your case because prepaid plans usually do not permit international roaming; if you have a subscription, you simply ask them to activate international roaming), or you can buy a dual-band GSM phone.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:30 AM
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Excellent answers, Knecht. Just the info I was looking for. I didn't realize T-Mobile was transnational.

44: Hoping to get a job offer in Switzerland, which would involve moving there with my wife and kid. From what I understand about the housing situation in Geneva, it sounds like we could spend months looking for an apartment. So we will need to be well connected in the mean time.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:46 AM
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UnfogGenevaCon!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:49 AM
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46: Look at prepaid options from Orange (www.orange.ch). They are part-owned by France Telecom, and in Geneva you will want a plan that permits you to use the French GSM network as well as the Swiss.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:52 AM
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I have an AT&T phone which worked just fine in South Africa and Botswana, both of which (IIRC) use the European system.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:57 AM
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UnfogGenevaCon!

M/tch is already planning the trick photo where he lies on his back on the quai with one hand clenched over his crotch, and the jet d'eau is in the background, with the photo cleverly framed so that it looks like he is unleashing a massive spout of urine.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:57 AM
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Everywhere KR says "dual-band" should actually be "quad-band." Also, most GSM phones you buy in the US are locked to the carrier selling them, so you can't just put the SIM from another provider into them without finding somebody who can undo that carrier lock for you.

If you need one number that works worldwide, check into buying a phone overseas that has a better roaming plan in the US, because the international roaming rates for US carriers are extortionary. Otherwise I'd recommend having two numbers, and either one or two phones depending on what's more convenient for you. When I've traveled over the past couple years I've taken an old phone with my US SIM for emergency calls from work (and been called exactly once) and used an unlocked phone with a local SIM for cheaper calling.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:00 AM
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Jammies has internet access, so when we're together we can use his phone.

And how does Jammies feel about this particular plan?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:02 AM
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I didn't realize T-Mobile was transnational.

Well why did you think they sponsored Jan Ullrich's team in the Tour de France?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:03 AM
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And how does Jammies feel about this particular plan?

He gives me a really great rate.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:04 AM
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And how does Jammies feel about this particular plan?

As if that has any relevance whatsoever...


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:06 AM
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finding somebody who can undo that carrier lock Phone bodega in an immigrant neighborhood, $10. Ericsson T28 is a baseline world-band phone, two lines of text, costs $15-$20 on ebay, is my solution for global travel with prepaid sim, usually T-mobile. Unless you really need your inbound calls realtime, a local sim is much cheaper.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:08 AM
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Also also, if having wireless data is important to you, ignore T-Mobile in the US and abort any idea of having one phone and one provider for the whole world. T-Mobile's US 3G data implementation is a unique hybrid of frequencies, rendering devices made for other networks incompatible with their US network. AT&T is implementing 3G on the same frequencies in use by European carriers so a device that works on AT&T is more likely to work over there, and vice-versa. AT&T, on the other hand, rips you off even more for international data roaming than they do for phone calls. You can't win.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:09 AM
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God, I love my iPhone. I'd stick it up my butt if I thought it would fit.

Even though I am also in love with the iPhone, keep mine in a protective rubberized sleeve and have gotten fucked in the ass before, I feel this crosses over into the territory of bad ideas.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:12 AM
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I already covered that in 26, Robust.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:15 AM
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I meant to credit 26 and 27, but then I got too excited and forgot.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:27 AM
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Here, let me call you again.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:32 AM
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Give me a few minutes to figure out how to put you on speakerphone.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:42 AM
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Ooh, ooh, I know! You put your left foot in, you put your left foot out...


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:44 AM
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Think of all the fun you could have with accelerometer-based games.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:49 AM
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Like heebs, I subscribe to the significant-other-with-data-plan-plan. It works, because I do all the driving, so I will say "look up the barbecue to make sure they are open right now because I need ribs" or "I want to see a movie read me the listings!"

It's like a futuristic personal computer that responds to verbal commands and produces voluminous information, but less metally and significant more attractive.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:49 AM
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Give me a few minutes to figure out how to put you on speakerphone.

Activate the camera feature, and you can spare yourself the trouble and expense of a colonoscopy.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:52 AM
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It's like a futuristic personal computer that responds to verbal commands and produces voluminous information, but less metally and significant more attractive.

It's like Al from Quantuum Leap.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:53 AM
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57: Also also, if having wireless data is important to you... You can't win.

Yeah, this was my concern. You would think that that this kind of stuff would be worked out by now, but I guess this is cell phone companies we are dealing with, I need to limit my expectations.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:06 PM
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Wireless data is entirely doable Over There, you just need to do it with a local provider and plan. I unlocked my iPhone for our last trip to England and used a £1/day tariff for unlimited data. FWIW we only unlocked one of two iPhones, and my girlfriend really didn't appreciate the "SO-with-data-plan plan." Next time I'm unlocking both phones.

Really, the number one lesson is that you're better off with a local plan wherever you are. Unlocking can be more or less difficult depending on the phone, but carrying two phones isn't the end of the world.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:28 PM
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carrying two phones isn't the end of the world

I dunno it's already pretty crowded in there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:30 PM
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Since Heebie and Spike decided to make this a general communications-media advice thread, I'll ask my question. Commuting on the train is just about my only personal reading time. I have a lot of nice, large hardback books that I therefore never find time to read, because I don't want them to get banged up in my work bag. (Their size/weight makes them less convenient than paperbacks, but I'm willing to deal with that.) Is there anything anyone would recommend for protecting books from getting roughed up in a bag? It seems like such a thing should exist, but I'm having a lot of trouble finding anything. The only thing I've come across is this ridiculous thing (which I'm considering purchasing, but I'd love other suggestions).


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:41 PM
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You could make a paper cover and decorate it with stickers and drawings of horses and stuff.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:43 PM
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Instructions.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:45 PM
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I'm not sure I believe your suggestion was made in good faith, Sifu.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:46 PM
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I don't want them to get banged up in my work bag

Is this a real concern? Huh. I guess I have noticed that books get banged up, but only if I leave them in my bag, like, forever.

You should do whatever it is that libraries do with hardback books. I think they cover them with plastic--I don't have one on hand. In the alternative, you could check out the same books from the library, and read those instead.

You could also try a laptop case for a small laptop. Those neoprene-type thingies?


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:48 PM
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74: Would you believe "Make a book cover out of the Star Wars commemorative poster that comes with the purchase of a Burger King kids meal at participating locations"?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:49 PM
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You could also try a laptop case for a small laptop. Those neoprene-type thingies?

This is clever -- the case that came with my little laptop would be perfect for a hardback, and doesn't weigh anything.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:49 PM
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And taking all the sharp rocks and broken glass out of your bag would also help. How bad can it be in there?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:52 PM
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After Brock gets of the train, he sprints the rest of the way to the office. That's what's causing all the commotion.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:53 PM
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Those neoprene-type thingies?

Already in use, protecting the cell phone that Brock has up his rectum.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:54 PM
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And taking all the sharp rocks and broken glass moldy, cottage-cheese baby food out of your bag would also help.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:56 PM
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Seriously, though, how is this not a good solution?

This may be the first time that my public school education puts me at an advantage skill-wise.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:57 PM
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Is this a real concern?

Well, I carried a few around and had beaten them up pretty badly by the time I finished them, so yes.

You could also try a laptop case for a small laptop. Those neoprene-type thingies?

Googling now, and this looks like it might be perfect. Thanks!


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:57 PM
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I don't tend to organize the inside of my bag especially carefully. So things move around. And the bad does get shaken up quite a bit from time to time. And when it rains, wet umbrellas get dumped in there.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:00 PM
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Glad to do something helpful for someone today. Wish it'd been one of my clients, but you know, they can't all be winners.

As long as we're complaining, you know what sucks about doing public interest work? You always end up with these cases that you know you're going to lose, but you feel so damn sorry for the people that you just can't help but take the case. And there's no money in it or anything. So the only satisfaction is knowing that with you as their lawyer, they had a pimp's chance in hell of winning, whereas without you they had no chance at all.

It's just not always the most rewarding way to spend one's time.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:01 PM
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I don't tend to organize the inside of my bag especially carefully. So things move around. And the bad does get shaken up quite a bit from time to time. And when it rains, wet umbrellas get dumped in there.

Also, sometimes I feed the dog out of it and once in a while I use it to grow shrooms.

Seriously, Brock, wet umbrellas? Dude.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:03 PM
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I would think a pimp would have just the skills you'd need in Hell.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:03 PM
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Ability to keep cool in the face of Maximum Hottness?


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:04 PM
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85: It's just not always the most rewarding way to spend one's time.

At your career stage, hopeless cases are at least good training. (I say this as someone who, with a lot of years of seniority on you, still hasn't been handling cases independently much longer than you have.) But seriously, talking clients out of pursuing doomed litigation is a professional skill, and it's good service to them as well -- think of it as triage so you have effort available to help the next client with a more viable case.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:08 PM
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talking clients out of pursuing doomed litigation is a professional skill

"I know the clown really scared you, sir, but between the prison tattoos and the bodybuilding, you have to think about how this is going to look to the judge."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:11 PM
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I don't think I own any books that I consider so "nice" that I would not allow them to get bashed around. There are a few where I'd remove the dust jacket (a rather pretty variorium edition of Marianne Moore's Observations is the only example of this visible from where I'm sitting now), but for the most part, I only own books in hardcover if they are reference works or if they are something I'm so eager to read that I cannot wait for the paperback, in which case I'm going to devour it immediately, or if there's a handy Everyman's Library edition, in which case I probably bought hardcover especially because I thought it would be sturdier for carting around and giving a hard time to.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:12 PM
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57: Not entirely true. I took my Nokia smartphone to Europe last year with AT&T; they have an international data plan that gets you 20 MB/month for $25. It worked perfectly everywhere we went, and I didn't come close to using the full 20MB. (I don't have my e-mail forwarded to my phone though.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:12 PM
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you have to think about how this is you are going to look to the judge

Darn.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:12 PM
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talking clients out of pursuing doomed litigation

I would if I could, but since they're the defendants, they're not exactly running the show.

I'm being a little bit maudlin. The law is firly on our side, the facts just aren't that great.. but then, they never are. Sometimes I wish I were older and more of a jerk. I think in me many of my clients see the young, bright idealistic lawyer that is going to bust a ton of hours on their case, rather than the old, jaded one who's seen it all, and they're going to sail to victory on my brilliance. The first part of that is true, but the second part doesn't follow.

Although it did happen once.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:12 PM
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And I've been very lucky that I haven't had a single client that thinks I'm incompetent because I'm young/female/brownish/etc. This is very, very nice compared to the rest of the universe.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:14 PM
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I have a book cover made of cordura nylon that zips shut, but whenever I used it people tended to assume it contained a bible. And sure enough, googling for such things sends you into the land of bible covers (of which there are hundreds, if not thousands).


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:15 PM
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It's like Al from Quantuum Leap.

Oh my. We are quite the dweeb, aren't we?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:17 PM
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95: That's not all luck -- you project authority really well.

Oy, though, I'm so used to situations where the impoverished public interest side is the plaintiffs I hadn't thought of the alternative. That must suck.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:19 PM
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94: m.leblanc, think of it as research for your first novel. I've already got the basic plot points worked out for you.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:20 PM
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Al must have had a pretty awesome data plan, for it to work through time like that.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:21 PM
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91: I wasn't trying to justify it--I waste a lot of money on books, no question. But I would at least like to be able to read the books I've wasted money on without defacing them.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:21 PM
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97: an old one, too!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:23 PM
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103

Sometimes I wish I were older and more of a jerk

Give it time, give it time.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:24 PM
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104

I waste a lot of money on books

No such thing unless the title begins Everything I Learned . . . or Chicken Soup for the . . . .


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:25 PM
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105

102 makes me feel old.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:28 PM
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106

You could get a Kindle, Brock. They make a nice case for it.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:29 PM
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107

104: Everything I Need To Know I Learned From Chicken Soup For Dummies


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:29 PM
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108

So the exact thing I have (made by Gregg Mfg, not to be confused with another Gregg that made industrial components and is now out of business) seems to be for sale (still!) from several Christian or "bible" stores online. Search for "canvas bible cover" and that seems to be it. I bought mine a couple decades ago at a non-bible bookstore, but they do appear to have found a niche.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:30 PM
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109

Who Moved My Chicken Soup? The Literary Secret to Wishing You Had Meaning In Your Life


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:31 PM
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110

106: Kindles degrade much less gracefully than dead tree books, though.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:31 PM
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111

Fuck a bunch of Kindles. (It would be convenient for commuting, granted, but I'm not sold on it. And most of the books I want to read aren't available on it. And most of the books I want to read are already sitting on my bookshelves, anyway, many in nice hardback editions, and I'm not about to buy them again, even if they were available.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:32 PM
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Knecht, I am right there with you on the novel thing. Although my last job would have made a better faux-reality sitcom a la The Office, than a novel.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:33 PM
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113

The Tuesdays With Cheese In Kindergarten Secret


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:34 PM
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114

Here's a fun alternative, Brock.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:34 PM
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115

I wasn't trying to justify it--I waste a lot of money on books, no question.

Oh no, that wasn't what I meant to get at! I just can't imagine having the self-restraint required to buy books while knowing I will feel compelled to be all careful with them. Because I'm a slob and a book hound.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:35 PM
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I was mostly trolling with the kindle suggestion. Though I do kind of want one. Free (albeit slow and buggy) wireless internet access sounds pretty great. Plus the screen is made of magic.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:35 PM
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104: well, many books I own could have been purchased in less expensive editions. So, waste, at least for some value of the concept.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:35 PM
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118

Life's Little Containers f Chicken Soup With Cheese On Them


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:36 PM
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116: I'm not sure it's self-restraint so much as OCD.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:37 PM
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120

I wanted to feel old too. 20 years ago I was nine, but it's 15 years since this came out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZceVm0q3vEE

God, it's a great song.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:39 PM
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121

108: This?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:39 PM
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122

120: It's really only 14, 5 years. Now I feel young again.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:41 PM
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123

I'm not ready to plunk down money for a Kindle either, but I'm kind of intrigued to see how this thing turns out.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:41 PM
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124

Plus the screen is made of magic.

It really is. Something with the form factor in 123 and an e-ink display seems likely to be epic.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:47 PM
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85: It's not a huge silver lining or anything, but at least there's some value to your clients in knowing that someone was fighting for them and they weren't completely on their own. Same end result, maybe, but at least now they can say, "Damn, the system sucks" rather than "Fuck, I must have screwed something up."

(Of course, the not-so-silver lining is where they conclude that you must have screwed something up and file malpractice or ARDC claims against you... )


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:50 PM
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121: I did say they'd found their niche.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:59 PM
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127

tri-band is the way to go for phones. Two bands are rare, and four is just overkill. IN Europe, or at least here, it is trivial to buy pay as you go sims for unlocked phones, and I keep a spare for just that purpose. Data access is ruinously expensive, though, on phones here. a 3G modem is the answer to that.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 2:17 PM
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127: Four is not overkill. In Europe the frequency bands are 900 and 1800, and in the Americas they're 850 and 1900. If you get a tri-band phone you're limiting its function somewhere, at no cost savings.

Also, when you consider 3G data, there's a fifth band (2100) in use in Europe that hasn't been implemented in the US, but most AT&T-compatible 3G devices actually support this band as well. T-Mobile's 3G data is on yet another band (1700) but only for the downlink, with uplink-only data in the 850 band. Everybody else's 3G data devices (to the best of my knowledge anyway) operate with the downlink and uplink in the same band.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 2:40 PM
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Fuck Everything, We're Doing Five Bands.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 2:42 PM
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130

A friend of mine let me test-drive his Kindle a few months ago and I was impressed, and it kind of made me want one, but I so loathe the concept of books in electronic form that I found my own liking of it a little bothersome.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 2:43 PM
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Chicken Soup Secrets of Chenghiz Khan

max
['First, find a nearby large town and order your horde to slaughter all the inhabitants and steal their chickens...']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 3:08 PM
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132

Or, you could read books on your cellphone and not bother with either hardcovers or with making or answering actual calls.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 3:24 PM
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The issue for me is that about 75% of the clutter in our house is reading material of one sort or another, including way too many books for 1060 square feet that also have to accommodate three full-time human residents, two cats, and frequent guests, some of the teenage-boy persuasion.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 3:28 PM
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75% of the clutter in our house is reading material of one sort or another.... frequent guests, some of the teenage-boy persuasion.

This suggests an easy solution: give all your dead tree porn/erotica to the teenage boys.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 3:43 PM
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How come you never write about trains anymore, pain perdu? You were so great when you first got here.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 4:15 PM
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How come you never write about trains anymore, pain perdu?

Perhaps for much the same reason you don't write much about water projects here.

You were so great when you first got here.

Am I overly sensitive, or was that a back-handed compliment?


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 4:22 PM
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137

I didn't have a deep secondary meaning. I just was thinking longingly of how interesting you were when you talked about trains.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 4:25 PM
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138

Do you need questions to get you started?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 4:27 PM
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139

134: surely nothing could go wrong.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 4:29 PM
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131 that's not how we portray our khan
maybe i really should give up
feel i was just wasting my time here for the whole one year


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 4:32 PM
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You could make a paper cover and decorate it with stickers and drawings of horses and stuff.

Apparently, according to some commenter on "marginal revolution", older people in ex-soviet block countries continue to make brown paper covers for their books they read on trains.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 4:44 PM
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137: Hubbah, hubbah! How about you and I go out for a drink and discuss the relative merits of bottom dump hoppers versus rotary dump gondolas in terms of the tradeoff between lading-to-tare-weight ratio and asset productivity? ....Laydeez.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:02 PM
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143

|| Semi Off-Topic

This past weekend I volunteered to be a patient interviewee for Part II of the American Board Of Psychiatry and Neurology Psych Exams.

I did 2 interviews; one went fine.

In the second one I was kind of a jerk. I just thought that the candidate was kind of dumb (though he was probably just really anxious). Because I didn't really think that he was competent, I felt sort of unsafe, I went into attack mode.

I also took control of the interview; the candidate's ability to direct the interview is one of the things they evaluate them on.

He seemed to be going down the wrong direction, and because his questioning was leading toward a diagnosis that's been judged harshly by the psychiatric community, I got rather angry with him.

In fact, at one point I said, "It's hard to do X when you have a hard time hiding your disdain for someone," at which point I turned away from him and looked at one of the examiners, thereby showing my total disdain.

He started in on the mental status questions. He asked me where we were, and I said, "We're in the adult outpatient clinic of famous mental hospital for rich people in town, MA which was founded in 1811 and whose grounds were designed by famous first landscape architect." He said, "What, have you got it memorized?" I happen to be a huge fan of the landscaper, and the entrance says when the place was founded. But, yeah, I was being a prick.

Then he asked me the date, and I said, "You know, I got this wrong yesterday and said that it was April 3, 2009 when it was really April 4, so let me just check my date-book" which I proceeded to do. He was clearly flustered and said, "That's cheating."

He moved on to somethign else, and I said, "Aren't you going to ask me any more mental status questions?" And he sneered, "No, you seem to be doing just fine."

I actually told him that one of the questions he asked was loaded and that I wasn't comfortable answering it. I think that got him really unglued.

So, I feel bad, because I don't like myself for acting that way, and I wish that I had shown more restraint.

The question is: how bad should I feel? I may have caused him to flunk the boards. The pass rate in psychiatry is pretty low, I'm told. He can certainly work being board eligible and not board certified, but taking the exams is very expensive. And, I think he has to wait a while before he can do it again.

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:10 PM
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I waste a lot of money on books

Books is literally the only thing I own. I never buy a book except to read it, but I probably have 10 or 20 books worth $100-plus. I have a little out of print book I bought by accident worth $50.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:12 PM
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SEE?! That's much better.

Are they really gonna build HSR between LA and Las Vegas? Las Vegas is gonna be tumbleweeds and eerie flute music when Lake Mead dries out soon. Surely we shouldn't waste a HSR line there when there could be one between my city and Los Angeles.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:17 PM
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because his questioning was leading toward a diagnosis that's been judged harshly by the psychiatric community

You are so not gay, Bostoniangirl.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:19 PM
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147

very off topic: did someone here once report knowing a retail outlet for miracle fruits in NYC? Would you please tell me or email me the name of the place?


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:20 PM
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147: I bought mine off the internet (from this dude). I assume he would ship to NYC?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:28 PM
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143: Medium-Bad. You should have asked him how many grades he can name that begin with 'F'.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:28 PM
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148- I'm mainly looking for a way to avoid shipping costs if possible. And really I want them in DC, not NY, but have friends coming from NY who could be cajoled into running errands for me. But it's probably simpler for everyone if I just get them online.

Plus apparently they come packed in dry ice, which sounds very exciting.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:34 PM
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143: He said, "What, have you got it memorized?"

Heh. Um, though. I assume the guy was supposed to be able to handle a patient like you, and this clearly wasn't the case. I imagine how badly you should feel depends on whether you were supposed to be faking, being nice and cooperative. That's a question for the examiners who hired you: were you supposed to be playing a role or not?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:50 PM
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152

It would be sort of fun to be a practice Borderline Personality Disorder patient. I feel that I would do well at it. My sister has taught me the basics.

BTW, BG, she's using the book you recommended. Thanks.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:54 PM
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152: That was the diagnosis he was going for. I refused to answer hsi question about whether I often felt empty.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:56 PM
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151: No, I wasn't supposed to be playing a role. I was supposed to be what I am, somebody who's been treated for psychiatric illness in the past and to answer questions about my history.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:58 PM
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155

154: Then you shouldn't feel badly.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 6:00 PM
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156

I wouldn't worry about hurting the guy. I can't tell if you were out of line, but if you were, whoever was observing and grading him should have been able to tell and discount it. And sophisticated patients are real -- you or someone just like you could have encountered him as a doctor rather than on a test, and it would have gone just as badly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 6:03 PM
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152: From what my sister says, BPDs are hard to work with and are enough like normal people that it's hard to treat them as patients instead of as normal people you don't like.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 6:10 PM
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155: Isn't that what people who have BPD* do?

*I now read this as "bass-playing detective."


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 6:23 PM
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158.1: Feel badly about things? Jeez, if that's the case, a lot of us have BPD.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 6:33 PM
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I think the idea is that they feel badly - they're bad at feeling. (I don't know that that's a reasonable description of BPD, but it's what foolishmortal was saying.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 6:35 PM
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161

Ah.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 6:40 PM
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162

Meanwhile, on the original post, this:

I had to go three whole days without ... knowing what time it was

is still making me chuckle, when it's not downright cracking me up.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 6:50 PM
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162: Are you saying you wear a watch?


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:31 PM
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164

163: Hell no. Well, sometimes, twice a year, maybe. (I had a delightful moment a year ago or so when I was called upon to make a sudden trip, like right now, in half an hour, and I protested, "But I don't even have a watch, how can I make the train schedule?!" It was drily observed that I have a phone, do I not? Oh.)

But really, there's a clock by the bed, and one in the kitchen. Also one in the car. And one on the computer. That seems to take of things. The idea of routinely flipping my phone open to check the time, to the extent that being without a phone is disabling in this regard, is pretty comical.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:46 PM
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165

DOES ANYBODY REALLY KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS
DOES ANYBODY REALLY CARE
IF SO I CAN'T IMAGINE WHY
WE'VE ALL GOT TIME ENOUGH TO CRY


Posted by: OPINIONATED CHICAGO | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:46 PM
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I tell time by geologic processes. Uh oh, half past a new volcanic island being created in the Pacific! It's time for my nap!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:52 PM
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167

This made me realize that I should probably obtain a watch before my trip to France this May, seeing as I won't be using my cell phone.

Thanks, unfogged. Now I won't be late everywhere.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:59 PM
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168

You could just tell time by the ringing of church bells, Parenthetical.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:22 PM
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169

All the churches over there follow the 24 hour clock, or so I hear, and I hate subtracting 12.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:28 PM
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170

I would probably lose count, or have missed a few already from not paying attention, after 10am.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:30 PM
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171

Go for a classic look.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:37 PM
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172

I recommend one of these., I carried one for years. Reliable, accurate, not too pretentious.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:47 PM
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173

I used only to carry a pocket watch, but my most recent one hasn't been working for some time (as I tuesday hated about), and now I rely only on my phone, which is quite annoying, not least because it makes checking the time while on the phone rather difficult.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:51 PM
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174

Clock innards are beautiful.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:51 PM
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175

I presume 168 was meant as a joke, but when I was in Europe that's exactly how I told time.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:59 PM
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175: It worked when I was in small-town France, but I'm too easily distracted by the noises of the big city for it to be particularly effective in Paris (for me).


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:05 PM
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177

So what age is the "of course I wear a watch"/"of course I don't wear a watch" cutoff?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:06 PM
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176: You need to stay out of the sex clubs and opium dens to be able to hear the church bells.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:09 PM
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I'm not sure it's an age thing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:09 PM
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180

I don't really think it is an age thing, exactly. My 57-year-old mother is even less likely to wear a watch than I am.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:10 PM
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181

Walt, that removes all the fun.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:10 PM
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So what age is the "of course I wear a watch"/"of course I don't wear a watch" cutoff?

Before about 1870 or 1880 watches were too expensive for most people, and the custom was to live within earshot of the factory whistle. It was only with the rise of suburbia (e.g. Queens) and mass transit that individual watches became common.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:11 PM
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Sure, there have always been people who don't do watches, but the "why would I need a watch when I have a phone?" thing seems to be age-related.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:11 PM
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My 57-year-old mother is even less likely to wear a watch than I am

That's a gender and fashion issue. Womens' watches for women her age were these tiny little things. At her current age she almost certainly couldn't read one without her glasses. She wouldn't wear a big man's watch (which she could read) so: no watch. My partner has that problem, but she's adapted to wearing mens watches.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:13 PM
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185

men's. I'm having punctuation issues.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:14 PM
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184: My mother has better vision than I do and the no watch thing has been true for as long as I've known her.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:15 PM
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174: Great green gobs of greasy grimy timepiece gears.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:16 PM
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"of course I wear a watch"/"of course I don't wear a watch" cutoff

sqrt(pubic_shaving_age)+9 in my experience.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:16 PM
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I meant to to add, NPH, that you're probably right about the watch v. cell phone thing, but that the age cut-off has to be pretty high.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:17 PM
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Don't confuse me with facts. Maybe it is just a gender issue. Many women in that group (I'm 56) just didn't wear watches. Watches were also a status marker, and a form of jewelry. Does she wear jewelry normally?


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:18 PM
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191

I stopped wearing a watch long before I got a cell phone.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:19 PM
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192

I stopped wearing a watch, because I wanted to be timeless.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:21 PM
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190: All the time, on jewelry. And of course this is just a single example, but it seems to fit fairly well with the rest of her social circle. She does wear them on occasion for work (in order to take heart rates), but the minute she's off the clock (hah), they come off.

I do think that watch-wearing has more to do with individual temperament.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:22 PM
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194

This discussion reminds me that I need to buy a watch.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:25 PM
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195

You need to stay out of the sex clubs and opium dens to be able to hear the church bells.

I don't know about you, but when I'm in the sex clubs and opium dens, I don't care what time it is.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:26 PM
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194: How timely!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:26 PM
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197

I do think that watch-wearing has more to do with individual temperament.

Nonsense. She's just an outlier. And if you want to get any more grants or TV appearances in this industry, you'd best agree with me.

Or mebbe I'm wrong. In the first half of the 20th century special watches were manufactured for and marketed to nurses. They had second hands, unlike most women's watches. Also, they tended to be lapel or pendant watches, rather than wristwatches.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:28 PM
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196: Indeed.

The reason, btw, is that time management is a crucial part of my job, and it's rather awkward to be surreptitiously pulling out my phone at various points along the tour. Plus I don't actually have cell phone service while I'm working, so the phone sometimes doesn't even work to tell time.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:28 PM
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198: time management is a crucial part of my job
Are you from Gallifrey?


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:31 PM
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199 makes me laugh.

My mom isn't a nurse, but that sort of watch sounds like it would have been perfect. And wait, what, women's watches don't have second hands? Have I been wearing men's watches and not realizing it? (Entirely possible, I've got kind of big wrists).


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:33 PM
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I'm obsessive about wearing a watch. When I need to remember something but don't have anything to write myself a note with, I'll put my watch on the wrong hand. That drives me crazy. But it works.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:34 PM
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I stopped wearing a watch long before I got a cell phone.

Same here.

There is something generational and/or class-related to it, though. The jewelry-type watches I have from my mom I can't imagine actually wearing; they'd label me something I'm not. Though what that is, I'm not sure. The type of person who wears a watch as a matter of course, I suppose, either because I'm a professional who has places to be, or because I consider it normal to appear to be such a person.

The toting about and regular checking of a cell phone fills a similar function, doesn't it? Busy person, or appearing to be one.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:35 PM
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Sorry, I was still talking about the dawna time. Before the 1970s (roughly) women's wtaches were typically tiny things, smaller than a dime, with no second hand. Maybe it was the alte 60s, with the Carnaby Street fashions, that introduced large watches for women.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:37 PM
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I can't figure out how I apparently got to classes on time, especially in grad school, teaching, without a watch (or a cell phone).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:38 PM
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205

The world can be surprisingly replete with clocks.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:39 PM
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There used to be public clocks for the watchless (think the central kiosk in Grand Central Station, NY). The tradition has continued in many schools.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:40 PM
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I started wearing a watch in third grade. It was a game watch. There was a little headless robot who moved left and right; heads flew out of the side of the screen and you had to catch them on his shoulders. I was really good at it. I have worn one without fail ever since.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:41 PM
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The tradition has continued in many schools.

I got way too used to the bell tower in college telling me the time.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:44 PM
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207: I hope you still have it, and will pass it along to your offspring.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:45 PM
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205: Yeah, I assume I knew where all the clocks on campus were, and checked them as a matter of course as I passed by. I just have this funny memory of several years of grad school during which a lot of us sat out on the broad, graduated steps of the main humanities building during down times -- nobody checking watches or phones, just generally wandering out and going back in in time to teach as needed. Time radar! 45 minutes is ... this long!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:45 PM
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209: There's a decent chance it's tucked somewhere in my childhood room at my parents house.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:52 PM
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In grad school, I found it really really hard to stay awake during one particular class. So I took to bringing a Three Musketeers Bar, because they're not messy, which I could nibble and stretch out for the 75 minutes, and the sugar would keep me awake. (Better than coffee. This has come up before here.)

One day I was kind of hungry, so I finished the candy bar about thirty minutes later. It turned out the row of people who sat behind me all used my candy bar as a clock, and were shocked when class kept dragging on and on and on, long after I'd finished it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:55 PM
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181: I must find my pearls, so that I may clutch them.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:58 PM
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I wish I could somehow, while awake, exploit the internal clock that wakes me up just before whatever time I set my alarm for.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:03 PM
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You ate a candy bar during class in grad school?? Math school must be weird. We all use to glance worriedly at the one guy who somewhat loudly guzzled a coke during class. Coffee was about as far as anyone usually went. (More seriously, all my grad school classes were around a seminar table.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:05 PM
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214: I have one of those too! But at least I'm also scarily good at telling what time it is without benefit of a watch (so I'm not really sure why I want to make sure I get one, but I guess I worry about what the jet lag will do to my sense of time).


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:06 PM
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215: So much depends on the grad school. Here at Minnesota, you're lucky if they take their gimme cap off and kick the cowshit off their boots before coming into the seminar room.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:08 PM
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215: Really? I had many classes where we were encouraged to eat, to the point of scheduling a group snack break with a revolving sign up list in several. Perhaps different institutional cultures, since I'm in the humanities and ours were all around seminar tables as well.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:08 PM
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I have to a) stop commenting so much and b) stop getting pawned so frequently.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:09 PM
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217: Oh, it wasn't about showing respect for the classroom, really; the idea was just that you were probably not paying attention if you were unwrapping a candy bar or something. You can still pay attention with cowshit on your boots. I think.

218: Yeah, we had scheduled snack breaks during long seminars, and people would bring the snacks back in to finish up. Those were invariably 3-hour-long late afternoon seminars, which weren't usual.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:13 PM
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I tried to be quiet and discreet.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:15 PM
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I've also had classes with signups to bring food. Not in my department, though.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:18 PM
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Also the professors in this particular area of our department are notoriously rude during talks. Like during someone's job talk, one of them will turn around in their chair and ask another one about a detail they find confusing, in a full volume voice, and the two will get engaged in a regular conversation. Meanwhile the job candidate kind of trails off in confusion, given that there are only ten or twelve people in the room and he was in the middle of an explanation, so why are these adults totally sabotaging him?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:18 PM
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The attention of everybody in the row behind you was riveted on your candy bar, Heebie. It's okay, you tried.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:19 PM
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Ok, this is completely off-topic, and I should probably just google, but.

I want to make a cake, and the recipe calls for 8-inch cake pans. I've got 9-inch. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to deal? Just carry forward, attempt to adjust for volume, or ...?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:21 PM
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Isn't there some story about people in Konigsberg telling time by the regularity of Kant's habits? I tried the cell phone as watch thing for a while, but didn't like not being able to just turn my wrist slightly and tell the time.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:24 PM
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My friend, in this same area, was giving his candidacy talk. I had to teach immediately beforehand, so I was five minutes late. My advisor fell asleep so early in the talk that he was out cold by the time I got there.

Furthermore! The room was very full, and there were only seats on the far side, and my sleeping advisor (in the front row) had his legs propped up against the leg of the table at the front of the classroom, ie the one for the presenter to spread all his notes out on.

The desks were packed so close together, and the one path to the far side was now effectively blocked by his legs, and so I had to walk between the table and the blackboard, and my friend had to pause and move out of his way, so that I could get to an open chair.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:24 PM
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The attention of everybody in the room is riveted on your cake pans, Parenthetical.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:24 PM
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The attention of everybody in the row behind you was riveted on your candy bar, Heebie. It's okay, you tried.

Because it's sugar! Yummy yummy sugar. Not because I was being loud.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:24 PM
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(I'm in a cheery mood, don't mind me.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:26 PM
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The cake pans are very, very important.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:28 PM
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225: Petition the ISO to change the inch to 9/8ths its current length. Problem solved, easy-peasy.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:28 PM
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Cook for less time at a lower heat, or maybe for less time at the same heat, or maybe for the same time at a lower heat. But FOR GOD'S SAKE WOMAN not at the same heat for the same time!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:29 PM
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Thanks, neb. Times like these I love the internet, for giving me the sense I don't have.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:31 PM
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Wouldn't you attempt to adjust for volume? I wouldn't think that an additional inch in the pan would mean such great additional volume that the cooking/heating time as given would be all out of whack for a bit of additional volume. I am not a cake baker, by the way.

Less time at the same heat is probably easier.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:33 PM
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I'll give you the sense you don't have any time, baby.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:34 PM
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Put a brick in the middle of the pan which occupies precisely 9^2 - 8^2 square inches of volume.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:34 PM
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207: It was a game watch.

Oh wow, I had completely forgotten about the glorious watches of my childhood! I remember getting one of those watches with a shitty little game on it and thinking I must be the luckiest boy in the whole wide world! I mean, it was a video game, but it was on my wrist—I'd never be bored again. And then there were the calculator watches, which just seemed so cool.

My friend and I eventually grew to covet Timex watches, due to our obsession with their "It takes a licking / and keeps on ticking" ad campaign. In addition to testing this claim by actually licking our watch faces (being young visual punners), we one day decided to test the purported indestructibility of the Timex watch by dropping it down the stairwell from the 3rd floor of your elementary school to the 1st. The watch did not keep on ticking (somehow it was my Timex that was chosen for the experiment), and so I stopped wearing it. My parents would periodically ask after it, and I would say that I thought it was upstairs somewhere. I finally told them the truth sometime last year.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:35 PM
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heebie's advice is clever but wouldn't work because of the difference in exposed surface area.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:35 PM
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237: Whoa there, professor. I eliminated the need for all that with my suggestion. (Er, I think.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:36 PM
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239: If you had 8^2 square inches of pan remaining, why would it have a different exposed surface area than an 8x8 pan?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:39 PM
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Propose a series of experiments designed to create a table of the optimum baking times for each possible cake pan volume. Conduct the experiments using stimulus funding or, failing that, an earmark from a local representative. Then apply the results to your recipe.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:39 PM
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I wish I could somehow, while awake, exploit the internal clock that wakes me up just before whatever time I set my alarm for.

My God, I've been waking with the sun recently, which wouldn't be that bad if I could get to sleep before two. That accursed orb burns through those sorry excuses for curtains at five:n o'clock every morning, where n diminishes every goddamn day. Fuck it, fuck the sun, and fuck its stupid lunar groupie.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:40 PM
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240: I worry with your suggestion that when the conversion is being adopted, there might be a descrepancy between those who opt to cut exactly on the 8/9" line, and those who opt to cut so that the 8/9" line is still visible. Thus there would be imprecision and the cakes might suffer.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:41 PM
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I use my cellphone for time, but don't use it much.
Besides being surrounded by offficial timetellers in one form or another, I use distance driven or walked, traffic patterns including pedestrians, schools let out at 3-330. There are the positions of sun and shadows, birds leaving to feed and returning to roost. I am rarely off by more than 15 minutes, and needing more precision than that is unhealthy. I am one for arriving to dates early, and won't schedule in a way that rushes me.

I can lose track of time indoors, in an office or a meeting, but laptops cellphones there are far too many timepieces around us anymore.

I do wish I could sleep sometimes.

225:I dont think it matters, you will just have slightly thinner cakes. I am no baker, tho.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:42 PM
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The pans are round, by the way.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:43 PM
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The fact that I don't get whether 244 is a joke or not is resounding evidence I should bow out and catch up on FNL. FML.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:43 PM
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If you had 8^2 square inches of pan remaining, why would it have a different exposed surface area than an 8x8 pan?

All you specified was that the brick occupy 17 square inches; you didn't say that it should also be as high as the cake batter (and rise as it rises?) with a top surface area of 9π-8π.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:44 PM
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Oh, and time is a consensual prison.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:44 PM
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The pans are round, by the way.

Another reason heebie's suggestion wouldn't work.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:44 PM
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Clearly, the solution involves pie.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:46 PM
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accursed orb burns through those sorry excuses for curtains at five:n o'clock every morning

Uhh, what country? Sunrise after DST is 7:30 round here, and I have been up for hours.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:46 PM
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Just make thinner cake layers! Cook less time at the same heat! Does this mean that the things won't be cooked through? Or cook the same time at lower heat! But then you really won't have proper rising, no? This is why I hate baking of that sort! This is why I say to increase the volume! Cakes are stupid! Arrrgggh! Any recipe that doesn't allow for tweaking of proportions a tad here and there is stupid!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:51 PM
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I wish I could somehow, while awake, exploit the internal clock that wakes me up just before whatever time I set my alarm for.

I do that too, as does my son. At a certain point I stopped setting my alarm at all, even for the several years when I had to get up at 5 am.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:54 PM
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I think I'm going to take the less brain hurt solution of shopping around for new cake pans (easy enough to find for cheap at thrift stores, etc).


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:56 PM
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255: Then we'll never know the answer. (There are bakers about the premises who probably do already know the answer, but they're not around.)

I am actually kind of curious whether cakes are that sensitive. I make quick breads all the time, and the volume in the pan isn't something I worry much about (within reason). I imagine that if you're dealing with a mere 2-inch layer of cake, a quarter- or half-inch in height might make a difference.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:03 PM
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Don't adjust the temperature, just bake it for about 5-8 minutes less.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:20 PM
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Just pour the batter down your gullet. Be sure to have used fresh eggs.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:28 PM
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Allow me a late-night rant.

I just read the link in 7 upthread (meaning I just read the thread), to a post entitled "Totally Agree". Totally do not agree. Quoting from something quoted there:

From that moment on, it became an affectation not to carry a mobile phone; they'd grown so deeply entwined with modern life that the only reason to be without one was to make a statement by abstaining. Facebook is now at that same point--whether or not you intend it, you're saying something by staying away.

(There's a gloss between sentences one and two there, but nevermind that.)

I suppose if I were to do things right, I'd reply to that thread itself. But eh. In any event, what's with this standard move to suppose that those who don't join in must necessarily be making a statement? This is just factually (objectively, even) incorrect. You see this move made repeatedly with respect to anyone who, say, doesn't have a microwave, or -- on this very blog recently -- with respect to people who don't dress stylishly.

I can't be the only one who finds that rhetorical move to be rather defensive.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:39 PM
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Prepare 5 sets of 5 test cakes. For each set of test cakes, set the oven to a temperature on the interval 10 degrees on either side of the recommended temperature. Put all the cakes in the oven, and remove them at equally spaced times on the interval 10 minutes on either side of the recommended time. Then adjust the oven temperature to the next iteration and cook the next five. Find the two or three cakes with the best result, and then prepare another 5 sets of 5 test cakes to retest within the temperature/time intervals spanned by the best cakes from the first batch. Ta-da!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:39 PM
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Experimental design is flawed. You can't have all five cakes in the oven and expect the same result as having just one in the oven.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:43 PM
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Okay, fine. Parenthetical, how many ovens do you have?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:43 PM
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Sifu clearly doesn't know shit about baking cakes. You mess it all up if you have all 5 pans in the oven at once. Convection.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:47 PM
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Just the one.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:47 PM
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I meant to to add, NPH, that you're probably right about the watch v. cell phone thing, but that the age cut-off has to be pretty high.

Ouch.

But cell phones have only been ubiquitous for what, ten years or a little more? I'm 43, and I was into my 30s by the time I got my first one. Granted I'm not an early-adopter type, but I got the first one somewhere along in the shortish period when everyone else did, and it took another little while for them to go from one per family to one per person.

With watches, the key for meetings and the like is to tell time by other people's watches. That way you can keep track of how much time is being wasted without looking at your own watch or the wall clock, which is a little too obvious.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:48 PM
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264: dammit, woman. This is science! It demands seriousness!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:49 PM
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Damn, I was pwned up there. It happens so rarely ....


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:58 PM
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But cell phones have only been ubiquitous for what, ten years or a little more?

Anecdatally, less than that. Key term is "ubiquitous." Only in the last couple of years have the other half of the people I know gotten or begun to consider getting one.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 12:12 AM
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The UK was an earlier adopter of mobile phone technology than the US so phones became ubiquitous earlier here, I think.

Certainly by about 8 years ago, almost everyone my age, or younger had one. By 5 or 6 years ago even my older relatives had them. I was fairly resistant to getting one, and got my first mobile later than a lot of my friends, and I've still had one since about 2000.

Although I've gone from using mine near-constantly to hardly using it at all over the past couple of years as online tools (email, Skype, Facebook, etc) have replaced some of the functions I use to use the phone for.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 12:21 AM
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Books is literally the only thing I own.

So you rents your clothes from similarly sized Woebegonians?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 12:35 AM
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265: Sorry, NPH! Didn't mean it personally. I was thinking of my mom, previously mentioned (Hi, Mom!) who uses her cell phone as a clock, etc., and did so before I did. So I was thinking that the limit was more around late 50s, early 60s. Obviously, hugely anecdotal here.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 12:36 AM
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The world can be surprisingly replete with clocks.

Except in airports. WTF?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 12:38 AM
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270: oh, he never wears clothes. UnfoggeDCon was the first time in thirty years.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 12:49 AM
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Kids in my (not very upscale) school started having cell phones in 94-95. But Sweden's an outlier.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 4:19 AM
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97 or so was when they started having plans that gave you a certain number of minutes rather than charging by the minute. It used to be only too easy to have a $150 bill without much talking. I remember that my uncle had one from AT&T for business.

I didn't get one until the spring of 2003 when I was going to be moving and would be without a permanent address for a month or so. It's easier to use a cell phone for job applications when you've got roommates. I was kind of an outlier for a couple of years.

My sister used to have one, but she dropped her plan when she was in the Peace Corps and now she won't get one, because she prefers to spend the money on acting classes. It's kind of irritating.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 5:08 AM
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I'm sure the cake problem is solved by now, but one rule of thumb is that two round nine inch layers take about as much batter as three round eight inch layers. It's not perfect -- the three small layers will be a little less deep than the two big ones, but it's close enough to let you use the same timing and heat.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 5:40 AM
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My not carrying a cell phone, inasmuch as it's making any statement at all, is making two:
1. I've never found it inconvenient to live without a portable phone, just as I didn't find it inconvenient all those years when nobody else had them either, and therefore don't see any reason to give a giant telecom company piles of money every month for a service I'm perfectly content not using.
2. I see how my wife uses hers (ie, picks it up and dials every time something pops into her head; moreover, vacationing with my brothers-in-law was like spending the weekend in a bell tower), and I'd be borderline homicidal due to the endless ringing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:02 AM
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250: Another reason heebie's suggestion wouldn't work.

Well, neb, Heebie thinks cake pans are square, but you think the area of a circle is equal to its circumference.

LB is correct here, if you wanted to change amount of batter you'd need a bit more than 25% more batter to get the same height. Alternatively, since the surface area of the same volume of batter would be ~25% larger, you would (well, I would) cut the cooking time by about 20%. Changing the temperature might unpredictably alter the rising time.

In either instance, or even in the case of suddenly discovering an 8" pie pan, you should probably poke the cake with a clean toothpick at the end of the cooking time to see if it is done. If the toothpick still has sticky stuff on it, it ain't done. And if it's brown and crusty, too late!

max
['Cake thermometer.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:22 AM
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274: They say that Finns invented the whole thing and it just slopped over to the Swedes. Finnish is now spoken mostly on the phone, because phone calls are not regarded as a violation of personal space the way face-to-face conversation is.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:25 AM
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I hate cell phones. If you call mine and I don't answer it -- a strong possibility -- you'll get my voice asking you not to leave me a message, but send me an email instead.

Nonetheless, it's handy to have one on the road, and I'm glad the kids have them. Two reasons for this: first, I can reach them whenever and second, no one is calling the house looking for a kid.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:31 AM
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280: Charley's kids should get caller ID pronto, obviously.

||

Language Hat has a new bot which I call the Turing bot because it manages to make on-topic comments that sound human. Hat has been deleting them, but missed the one below, which goes to a credit counseling agency:

The book lacks an Amazon review.
Posted by John Emerson at April 1, 2009 10:34 PM
The book lacks an Amazon review: I was thinking that, too! That was the first place I went to look for a review. The book sounds quite interesting, but I haven't read it myself!
Posted by MsTyraWatson at April 2, 2009 02:07 AM

Once you've seen a few of them, you learn to recognize them, because they're all from new posters who are making rather non-commital, low content on-topic comments, which would be OK in the midst of a conversation but not really when entering. But it's thousands of miles better than "Nice site!" or "I agree completely!" or "Keep up the good work!"

Has anyone seen anything like this before? I've seen it only on Hat's site.
|>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:45 AM
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Maybe it should be called the Chinese room bot. And maybe it's a fiendish individual pretending to be a bot, like the drummers who've learned to sound like a drum machine.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:47 AM
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I don't hate cell phones, but I do hate voicemail and ignore it assiduously. I do think it's possible the spam in 280 is produced in part by a human -- something automated looking for any of a set of handy keywords, perhaps, augmented by a little bit of not-too-carefully-considered human input at the end.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:57 AM
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281 -- Oh, they know it's me. But the thing is, if they don't answer, I can send them a text. Then they'll have to come up with some lame story about battery being dead, or phone left in another jacket -- things that happen to me all the time, but are unlikely among people who actually depend on their phones.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:58 AM
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John is on a roll.

Both 279 and 282 are great.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:58 AM
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"Dad, my phone was in my pants, and I was very busy in another room.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 7:16 AM
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What caught my eye in one of the now deleted German-language spam comments was the use of asilon's name. The bots are customizing. Ah, for the days of Serdar Argıç.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 7:16 AM
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One of Hat's spam comments responded to an earlier spam comment on the same thread.

This is the blogosphere version of AIDS. It can only get worse.

The problem with the Singularity, as I've explained, is that it will be a Microsoft singularity and we'll be the alpha testers. Our first intelligent cyberbots will be just on the other side of the uncanny valley, good enough to fool everyone but clueless enough to ruin everything. We may never get to Singularity 2.0.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 7:27 AM
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"


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 7:36 AM
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We recently had a conversation where I suggested that the first free-floating internet AI will be weirdly obsessed with selling viagra, in addition to plotting to take over the world, and Lizardbreath offered a link showing that such a cyberpunk novel was already in the works.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 7:42 AM
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287 -- John, the goal of minimizing conversation with ol' Dad is not going to be furthered by this kind of explanation.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 7:47 AM
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So you're raising bright, lawyerlike kids who are able to look out for themselves.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 7:55 AM
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I endorse LB's and max's advice. I'm thoroughly pwned by this point, but I was going to advise Parenthetical to make half-again as much batter, split it between the 9" pans and follow the rest of the directions as they're written but to be sure and do some cake-poking towards the end.

Also, they tended to be lapel or pendant watches, rather than wristwatches.

The chain-smoking nurse/receptionist in the office of my childhood doctor had one of those.

I wore a watch at all times, in all circumstances, from about age 10 to about age 30. (A testament: when I took my watch off at the airport a friend of ours commented that I looked "really weird" without it.) Abruptly around age 30 I got a horrible rash under my watch band that only went away when I took it off for a couple of days. I had to stop wearing them altogether. Yes, I had a massive, watch-shaped tan line on my wrist. I haven't worn a watch in three or four years now and use my phone or public clocks or whatever and in no way miss having a watch. I am the sort of person who is ten minutes late to everything so I had spent years trying to set my watch ahead and then checking it constantly so that I could mentally correct it. The moment I stopped wearing a watch and only knew the time when I checked my phone (which I do much less frequently) I felt liberated.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 7:58 AM
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bright, lawyerlike kids who are able to look out for themselves find creative ways to avoid unduly intrusive supervision


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 7:59 AM
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|

In other news, no more masturbating to Philosophy.

||


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:01 AM
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Dad, my phone was in my pants butt, and I was very busy in another room.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:04 AM
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I haven't ever worn a watch and seldom have carried one, but I obsess about being late, and I have to watch myself so I don't show up early at occasions. I have an excellent internal time sense, but I tend to worry too much about the time.

Fortunately I rarely do anything scheduled any more. But for example, when I had to pick up family at the airport 110 miles away at midnight, I got there right when they'd all finally picked up their bags and started looking for me, even though I'd had a 45 minute side trip due to missing an exit.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:06 AM
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295: If he were to quit writing about politics entirely, I'd feel a lot better about Brooks. Not because I would like what he wrote, but because it wouldn't to do much harm.

The thing that commenters on Haidt miss is that civilization depends on repressing some of our innate moral judgments -- the ones that lead to feuds, vendettas, and revenge, for example, or the ones that lead to unjust hierarchy, slavery, etc., or the ones that lead to honor killing, or the ones that lead family members to defend kin from the law. Greek tragedy is often about that kind of transition. Our various gut feelings are there and maybe they're innate, but they can do more harm than good.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:14 AM
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295: That's horrible. I may never get off again.

On a lighter note, I wonder that none of the people Brooks spoke to, explained to him that moral intuitionism is not actually a new idea at all.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:17 AM
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I don't suppose anyone should be surprised that Brooks opposes reflecting on gut moral judgments.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:29 AM
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They were probably all in ev psych and not phil. A lot of psych and ev psych people seem to wing it on philosophy without realizing that they're just committing themselves to one of the classic positions. I noticed that in Pinker's "Blank Slate" -- a lot of it was philosophy, but at about a third year undergrad level.

I still like it when scientists do philosophy, and I think that psych and ev psych are among the most likely to feel a positivist superiority to philosophy which makes them patch together cardboard philosophy-equivalents.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:30 AM
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From the link in 295:

Think of what happens when you put a new food into your mouth. You don't have to decide if it's disgusting. You just know. You don't have to decide if a landscape is beautiful. You just know.

This, in fact is wrong. Sometimes I immediately decide the new food is delicious, only to conclude a few bites later that it is unpalatable. Sometimes, I find the new food instantly disgusting, but then try another bite paired with different ingredients or a different wine or maybe just a few years different life experiences.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:36 AM
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Any support for conventionality is good, if You're Brooks.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:41 AM
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This thread is making me want to get a new battery for my cute little watch.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:42 AM
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302: Well, even if you later change your mind, you do have an instant reaction that precedes thought.

According to the intutionists this instant reaction is always correct, even if later on you change your mind due to the corrupting influence of thought.



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:43 AM
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A lot of psych and ev psych people seem to wing it on philosophy without realizing that they're just committing themselves to one of the classic positions. I noticed that in Pinker's "Blank Slate" -- a lot of it was philosophy, but at about a third year undergrad level.

God, yes. Third year undergraduate if you are lucky.

To be fair, philosopher's do it the other way, too. [Please let's not have another interminable 'why philosophers are bad' thread]

I've seen people start talks with 'let's assume that X' where X is something that it is, as a matter of empirical fact, false (but they've never bothered to check the data).

But scientists trotting out trite and badly expressed versions of ancient/hackneyed philosophical views and then trumpeting round the media as a 'new' insight is pretty common.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:44 AM
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282:
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Posted by: cslaw@netcom.com (Laurence A Canter) | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:48 AM
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Speaking of watches, I want one of these.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:50 AM
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According to the intutionists this instant reaction is always correct, even if later on you change your mind due to the corrupting influence of thought.

Yes. And according to me, my instant reactions to such things as spinach and cauliflower and brussel sprouts were wrong, wrong I tell you!

I do think it's worth paying attention to the initial reactions -- our brains are designed (or evolved, or however you want to put it) to provide that instant reaction for a reason. But, you know, that doesn't mean it's a perfectly calibrated reaction.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:51 AM
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307: That is not one of the Turing bots of which I spoke.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:54 AM
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I think that the awfulness of Brussels sprouts is a self-evident truth, and that people who like them are the culinary equivalent of psychopaths.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:57 AM
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Emerson, we've had our differences, but when you traduce brussels sprouts you've gone too far!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:01 AM
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You're a monster, LB. Brussels sprouts are punishment food. They were on the menu at Guantanamo. You've completely surrendered to The Man.

Sure, they prevent cancer, but my God. Who wants chemo for dinner?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:03 AM
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If loving brussels sprouts makes me a psychopath, then somebody fetch me my chain saw and rubber apron.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:08 AM
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You don't keep your apron and saw with you at all times?

Seriously, Emerson, do you just not like anything cabbagey at all? Brussels sprouts, roasted until they're brown/almost black on the outside, with bacon the way Gonerill suggested or with cream and cheese, are delicious.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:10 AM
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310: Right, but it' represents a seminal event in the great spam wars.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:12 AM
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310: Right, but it' represents a seminal event in the great spam wars.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:12 AM
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Cabbage, broccoli, kale, chard, spinach, collard -- all OK.

Maybe my mom cooked them wrong 50 years ago. An event that left a permanent mark on me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:14 AM
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I, too, have an aversion to Brussels sprouts, but it comes with a story. When I was young, I used to like them. After I graduated from high school, I spent six months travelling around Europe in a VW van with a bunch of other people. We had little money and often foraged for food. We spent several weeks of the trip parked near what was then the Covent Garden produce market in London (think the old Fulton Street fish market but for more than fish). One day, we found a huge bag of Brussels sprouts that had fallen off a truck. We ate them for days. Ever since, not my favorite vegatable.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:18 AM
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If you generally like cabbagey stuff, try this; very easy and really good.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:18 AM
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||
Signs of the Cutepocalypse.
|>


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:18 AM
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315: Therein lies the key. Just plain boiled, brussel sprouts are indeed the food of psychopaths. But with a bit of bacon and cheese, well that changes everything.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:18 AM
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Brussels sprouts are great if cooked the way God intended. i.e. sliced in half and gently fried with some pancetta or bacon lardons until nicely going golden/brown and with just the right texture. Add crushed garlic and lots of black pepper to taste.

The nastiness is all due to them being over-boiled, so resist, don't boil them at all.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:21 AM
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Bah, pwned on the bacon-y sprouts front ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:21 AM
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I just saw that Yglesias and Hilzoy have critiqued Brooks' attempt at philosophy too. Oddly enough neither mentioned brussel sprouts.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:40 AM
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I mostly agree with nattar in 323, but a quick parboiling of the brussel sprouts (following by a dousing with ice water) before you throw them in the pan with the bacon does not hurt them, and can in fact improve the end result by softening the interior a bit so that you don't have to cook the outside to excess.

Also, a splash of balsamico at the end adds just the right amount of acidity.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:56 AM
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Just plain boiled, brussel sprouts are indeed the food of psychopaths

But we are not necessarily bad persons, you know. And I sometimes added butter or cheese.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:58 AM
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298 is an excellent observation--the kind of comment that replenishes my finite reserve of tolerance for Emerson's curmudgeonliness.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:58 AM
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308: Holy crap, that watch is beautiful. And cheap too. It also appears to be thin, which I prefer.


Posted by: Willy Voet | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:13 AM
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329: Cheap? It's $400 USD. For a watch.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:25 AM
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329: My thought was, holy crap, beautiful, but expensive.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:25 AM
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This one's cheap.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:27 AM
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There are Soviet era 24-hour watches that are quite similar. Two hands, though.

Not quite as elegant, but a LOT cheaper.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:27 AM
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Brussels sprouts in olive oil, lots of chopped garlic, some wine, salt and tons of pepper are wonderful.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:29 AM
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Psychopaths don't bother me, fortunately, or I'd be running screaming out of here.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:39 AM
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298 is wrong I think, in that the moral judgements are not innate, even in an intuitionist framework. This could be definitional, in that instinctive responses should not be called moral judgements.

'Theophileescargot' in a thread about Harvey Mansfield at Tyler Cowen's had to explain Stoicism and virtue ethics to a crowd that didn't have a clue.

First, a stoic is indifferent to what chance gives him: he remains serenely calm whether a slave like Epictetus or an Emperor like Marcus Aurelius. He doesn't crave empty status symbols, and he doesn't fear poverty or death....

Secondly, stoics don't believe virtue is something you're born with or can acquire instantly through a Redeemer. Virtue is something you build up through hard work, in the same way you build up muscles in a gym

'Sandwichman' at Econospeak pasted an excerpt from Theory of Moral Sentiments that he found appalling. But to me, Smith is simply riffing off Stoicism.

I am not a "blank slate" guy, but I am also not sure that virtue is "trained" by reason and reflection. Will, repetition,, and emotional control maybe.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:40 AM
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Now, you may ask, how can a revolutionary socialist be attracted to Stoicism or Buddhism?

I'm really not, more a nominalist or nihilist, but just look upon justifications with extreme skepticism, and burn shit down because it feels good. Or not.

It's the brussel sprouts.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:50 AM
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I am willing to grant innate gut reactions, but they aren't exactly moral. They're like the raw material of morality. And any society uses them for a resource, while repressing the unhelpful parts.

Louis Dumont (Homo Hierarchus) describes traditional Hindu society as a purity hierarchy. Good odors play an enormous role in Hindu and some Buddhist religion. (Incense, cleanliness, choice of food -- in some forms of Buddhism, garlic and onions are unclean along with meat). Hindu society is diametrically opposite to ours in a sense, in that fairness is totally overwhelmed by "Respect" and "Purity".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:51 AM
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333: My authentic Shturmanskie (not a 24-hour model, though) didn't actually keep very good time, and then it quit working entirely. I wouldn't mind paying more money if the watch actually worked for more than a few months at a time.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 11:06 AM
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Do you all think that the columnists at the New York Times get to write their own titles/ledes (whatever you call it). I ask, because Brooks seemed to be saying that moral reasoning was dead as a branch of philosophy, but surely he knows that there are other areas in philosophy.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 12:31 PM
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It's hard to say, because Brooks is an idiot.

Also, questions are ended with a mark indicating that they are questions.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 12:35 PM
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re: 339

That's a modern one you've linked to, rather than the original 60s model that's normally referred to as a Sturmanskie.* They are completely different, only the name is the same.

The original:

http://www.netgrafik.ch/images/sturmanskie17d.jpg

I have four Soviet watches [one from the 60s and the other 3 are 70s watches]. Two keep really good time, the other two drift and need to be adjusted every couple of days. They were all cheap -- 20 pounds was the most I paid -- so I consider them bargains. If I'd paid a lot of money, and been sold them as new (or properly serviced) I'd have been pretty pissed off at the two that don't keep brilliant time, but since they weren't, I wasn't.

* I'm not a watch-geek at all. I bought a couple for fun from people I've bought cameras from; I'm a camera geek instead.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 3:10 PM
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Stormcrow, thank you for 307. I thought at first that I had encountered some rift in the space-time continuum.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 4:56 PM
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342: Yeah, I bought it in front of the Brandenburg Gate in about '92, and it was cheap enough that I didn't really care if it was a fake or nothing particularly special (besides, the irony of a fake Russian watch has to be worth something). The color on the one pictured is much better than the one I have, which was used and probably nothing special when it was new anyway. I still have it in some box of random things here, and I'd get it fixed, but that'd probably cost more than its worth.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 5:30 PM
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re: 344

I'd imagine if it was '92 the market in fake old watches probably hadn't got going yet in any scale. More likely a real one?

The original 60s ones sell for reasonable money, but nothing outrageous. It's been a while since I checked -- I bought three or four watches in quick succession, and then was happy enough with a couple of them never to really bother looking again.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 5:33 PM
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re: fake 'Sovietica'

Some people collect fake Leicas. Not as 'Leicas' but because they collect Soviet fakes. And modern fakes of Soviet-era fakes.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 5:34 PM
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I remember the guys selling Soviet-era stuff had watches and sunglasses, but the sunglasses were probably already knockoffs. Either that or the Soviets really didn't care if their pilots could actually see (equally likely, I suspect). I don't remember what the other styles of watches were, but I picked the best looking example of the style I got. There were others for sale, both at the table where I bought mine and a couple other tables nearby. I keep it more as an interesting artifact than a useful watch at this point.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 5:42 PM
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Ming dynasty fakes, I've been told, are highly prized, given that they're 360+ years old and often were well done.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 5:42 PM
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298: That was the one idea in Freud that I think is basically right: repression is what makes civilization possible.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 7:59 PM
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back to international telephoning: i find Pingo much easier to use than switching my Sim card in & out, although that is the other preferred way of doing it. Pingo lets you call out at local rates as well as receive calls at local rates.

And then, Skype lets you do some very complicated thing whereby you can have more than one phone number & route calls through your internet-wired cell phone, but my mind gets numbed thinking about the permutative intricacies of that (just go to the Skype site and look).

do people actually have trouble unlocking their phones, though? I just call up my carrier and say, hey, please unlock my phone. They do it for free.


Posted by: murphy | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 12:38 PM
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