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The Linux Laundrette Strikes Back

By Jimmy O'Regan

(?)The Laundrette, again.
(?)[Lgang] Spam: Did You Know That Rates Dropped This Week?
(?)averatec laptop review
(?)Spam mongers sign on to SPF
(?)holy toasted sandwich batman!
(?)Music break
(?)Re: The current version of the Outlook Express Read (Message From Hank)
(?)A conference we all just have to attend...
(?)Cardboard chair
(?)99 Bottles
(?)Hotmail, sendmail, and attachments
(?)Shell humour
(?)[Lgang] LG 108 is out!
(?)French lesson
(?)English lesson
(?)(no subject)
(?)Happy New Year!
(?)Turbo C
(?)Who wrote Linux? Better whoppers than SCO
(?)My latest toy :)
(?)Bad pun
(?)[OT] Escher in LEGO bricks. Really.

(?) The Laundrette, again.

From Jimmy O'Regan

So... I signed myself up to help process our monthly mail. During 'Basic Training' Heather happened to mention that she had a cache of off-topic stuff.
Oh, how I did grin.
So, as this is the last issue of the year, and have to learn how to format the mail in the correct way, we get to have more off-topic stuff than usual. Watch, as The Answer Gang cringe to see stuff they said two years ago come back to bite them!

(?) [Lgang] Spam: Did You Know That Rates Dropped This Week?

From Sluggo

----- Forwarded message from Dorothy Daniel <droy3474@yahoo.com> -----

To: gazette@lists.linuxgazette.net
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 03:12:47 -0800
Cc: tag@lists.linuxgazette.net, mirrors@lists.linuxgazette.net
Subject: Did You Know That  Rates Dropped This Week?

You are receiving this due to your extraordinary purchasing history.

We believe we can get you at least a 2 percentage point decrease on your r=

No Bullshit or false promises here.
Doesnt cost a dime to see.

Take a few seconds and see, nothing to lose right?


Delist instructions also on web site

SPAM: -------------------- Start SpamAssassin results
SPAM: This mail is probably spam.  The original message has been altered
SPAM: so you can recognise or block similar unwanted mail in future.
SPAM: See http://spamassassin.org/tag/ for more details.
SPAM: Content analysis details:   (7.60 hits, 5 required)
SPAM: FROM_ENDS_IN_NUMS  (0.9 points)  From: ends in numbers
SPAM: MAY_BE_FORGED      (0.0 points)  'Received:' has 'may be forged'
SPAM: MORTGAGE_OBFU      (0.4 points)  BODY: Attempt at obfuscating the
word "mortgage"
SPAM: SPAM_PHRASE_03_05  (1.1 points)  BODY: Spam phrases score is 03 to 05
SPAM:                    [score: 4]
SPAM: FORGED_YAHOO_RCVD  (1.4 points)  'From' yahoo.com does not match
'Received' headers
SPAM: RCVD_IN_ORBS       (2.2 points)  RBL: Received via a relay in
SPAM:                    [RBL check: found]
SPAM: MISSING_MIMEOLE    (0.5 points)  Message has X-MSMail-Priority, but
no X-MimeOLE
SPAM: MISSING_OUTLOOK_NAME (1.1 points)  Message looks like Outlook, but
SPAM: -------------------- End of SpamAssassin results
----- End forwarded message -----

(?) averatec laptop review

From Brian

(?) Mostly, though, running here in the upstairs office, summertime about 80-85 F ambient makes a big difference over temps here now. Higher ambients make everything work harder, and Ben's salt-water environment can't be helping anything, eh?
(!) [Ben]
Actually, on this boat, it's not a problem; steel boats are notoriously dry (whereas fiberglass is definitely not.) As to the effect of "salt air", all my years of experience with electronics aboard - even those that are not made for marine use - say that it's a damned myth. Dampness will kill'em pretty quick, but here in Florida and in the tropics, there isn't very much - consequently, electronics aboard tend to be quite long-lived (as long as they survive the weird power fluctuations, hurricane damage, and so on.)
(!) [Brian] You mean those minor flurries? Too bad we can't fire Bruce Willis at those, the way we can at an incoming asteroid.

(?) Spam mongers sign on to SPF

From Ben

The Register reports 34% more spam vs. legit email passing SPF authentication. Amazingly enough, they manage to get it right after that nonsense-based headline (SPF isn't intended to somehow magically recognize spam.)
(!) [Rick]
Right on schedule.
Forcing spammers to register their own throwaway domains and publish out-in-the-open DNS RRs is a major step forward. They're much easier to corral, that way.
(!) [Ben]
That, of course, being the real point of SPF: creating a cost for spammers if they abuse the system. I just wish the folks at the Reg had provided more light and less noise; the mass of the clueless (which, unfortunately, includes many of those who influence the buy-in decisions) does NOT need to be given ammunition. Even blanks can be dangerous, at short range.
(!) [Jimmy]
That story is here:
(!) [Rick]
Register reporters are usually a little brighter, but then I've gotten spoiled by Andrew Orlowski.
Quoting John Leyden:
> It doesnt make a lot of sense to make filtering decisions based purely
> on the fact that the sender is authenticated....
...and only an idiot, or someone who hasn't bothered to read the reference description or any of the technical articles, but is racing against deadline to file a drivel story, would think otherwise.
> so the approach was never going to be a cure-all as we've noted [link]
> before.
One suspects Leyden isn't even able to spell "joe-job", let alone know how they work.
> As long as spammers comply with the protocol by not spoofing the
> sender address, their messages will not be stopped by SPF
SPF, of course, does not "stop messages".
Conclusion: The author's an idiot.
(!) [Ben]
Yep. Someone who has no clue, I can live with; most folks are educable. Someone who does and then whores himself out in order to get a snappy headline doesn't get much of my respect or even tolerance.
(!) [Jimmy]
Well, as well as the Register normally do, they still have a big red logo and aren't afraid to act like it from time to time.

(?) holy toasted sandwich batman!

From paul power

the above link just prove that people do indeed have more money than sense its from bbc news so it must be pretty believable. give me the damn money i would have at least drawn a picture to make it convincing.!!!

(?) Music break

From Sluggo


Bizet, The Pearl Fishers (les pe^chers de perles), "Je crois entendre encore"

Highly recommended.

(!) [Breen]
I'm fond of "Au fond du temple saint" from the same opera, myself.
Breen, without quite the high notes to sing that baritone line.
(!) [Sluggo]
My Carmen/Pechers/L'Arlesienne CD doesn't have that one, only "Je crois entendre encore" and "Ouvre ton coeur".
(!) [Breen]
"Au fond du temple saint" or just the Pearl Fishers duet, is a big duet for tenor and baritone. Never fails to give me goose bumps.
I'd suggest the Placido Domingo/Sherrill Milnes recording or, somewhat older, Jussi Bjoerling/Robert Merrill. Worth looking up.
(!) [Frodo]
My favorite version is by Nikolaj Gedda and Ernest Blanc.
(!) [Ben]
You guys have got me interested. Unfortunately, the only versions I could find for an introductory listen - MP3s by David Gilmour (yes, that David Gilmour) and somebody named David Hobson - are uninspiring at best. I'm sure that Placido Domingo would sound great, but <shrug> he could sing the Los Angeles Yellow Pages and people would sit through the entire performance and come out talking about it being "the best thing I've ever heard".
Either way, no joy for me. And Toronto is waaay too cold to go tramping in search of, especially while I've got this nice hotel room up to a tropical 82F...

(?) Re: The current version of the Outlook Express Read (Message From Hank)

From Helpmehank @whdh.com

Thanks so much for writing Help Me Hank. If you're getting this response, it means I received your letter. Because of the huge volume of email I get, I may not have actually read your email yet, but I do read every email that is sent.
When I do read your letter if there's anything we can do to help you or we need more information someone will be in touch with you as soon as possible!
In the meantime please scroll down this email and you may find the information you need to help solve your problem. I know not all problems will be addressed here, and some of your letters may be on completely different topics. Don't worry, I'll check them all out.
Thanks so much for your patience. Hank
Commonly Asked Questions and Answers:
AUTOMOBILE PROBLEMS: This website published by the MA Attorney General's Office covers all automobile problems, new, used and leased cars, repair problems, warranties and recalled cars. It contains all the rules you need to know about buying a car in MA. http://www.massconsumers.org/carsmart
AIRLINE TICKETS This website has the specific rules you need to know about airline ticket refunds, cancellations, baggage and scheduling problems. www.onetravel.com check out headings under "Advisor"
BANKING Lost deposits, electronic fund transfers, bank fees, how to file a complaint about a bank, debit card, checking and savings account information.
-Massachusetts Department of Banking: http://www.state.ma.us/dob -For more consumer information: http://www.state.ma.us/consumer/Info/banks.htm
CABLE TV This link helps answer questions about billing, regulations, licenses, problems, theft and tells you where to file a complaint. http://www.state.ma.us/consumer/Info/catv.htm
CELL PHONES For questions and information on cell phones or to file a complaint against a cell phone company.
-Federal Communications Commission: http://www.fcc.gov/consumers.html
CHILD CARE/DAY CARE/ADOPTION & FOSTER CARE -MA Office of Child Care Services: http://www.qualitychildcare.org http://www.machildcare.com/massachusetts.html
Fair Credit Billing Act: If you ordered something using a credit card and the item never arrived or the company you ordered it from went bankrupt under the Fair Credit Billing Act you don't have to pay for something you don't get.
That's why its always best to pay with a credit card so you have some protection in case of a problem. A debit (ATM) card does NOT offer the same protection.
If you think you've been improperly charged or have not received the proper item, immediately contact your credit card company and ask them how to dispute the charge. You must do this in WRITING within 60 days of the charge.
-More information on the Fair Credit Billing Act:
-Credit Card Fraud Problems:
-Lost/Stolen Credit Cards:
-Lost/Stolen Debit/ATM Cards:
DEBT COLLECTION Is a bill collector unfairly hounding you ? Do you really owe what they claim you do? Under MA law a debt collector has to provide you with an itemized bill proving you owe the debt. For more info check out these links.
-Massachusetts Information:
-Federal Information:
DENTISTS Check out a dentist's background and license status: http://license.reg.state.ma.us/loca/locaType.asp?profession=Dentist&how=map&B1=Submit
DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE Tax problems, questions and also child support concerns. Please note we do not generally get involved in individual cases
http://www.massdor.com -Child Support http://www.cse.state.ma.us
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICE Children and family problems. Please note we do not generally get involved in individual cases http://www.state.ma.us/dss
HEALTH CARE AND DOCTORS -Links to information about managed care, health insurance, medical records and prescriptions. http://www.state.ma.us/consumer/Info/medical.htm
-Link to the MA Board of Registration and Medicine, check out a doctor's history, file a complaint and check malpractice history. http://www.massmedboard.org
HEALTH CLUBS Payments, cancelations, automatic debits, click here for more information: http://www.state.ma.us/consumer/Info/health.htm
HOMEOWNER/RENTER RIGHTS AND PROBLEMS: Buying a home in MA: home inspections, real estate brokers, mortgages, refinancing, this link has all the rules and regulations. http://www.state.ma.us/consumer/Info/homebuy.htm
-Home improvement contractors: This link allows you to check to see if a contractor is licensed (always use a licensed contractor), it has the rules and regulations about contractors and information on how to file a complaint. http://www.state.ma.us/consumer/Info/const.htm
-Housing and Rental Assistance Programs: http://www.state.ma.us/dhcd http://www.state.ma.us/dhcd/publications/HOW_TO2K.HTM
-Homelessness and other housing resources:
-Landlord/tenant rights:
-Attorney General's guide to tenant rights:
IDENTITY THEFT i; Has someone stolen your id? Have you had your wallet or purse stolen? Links to the steps to need to protect yourself and your identity.
-FTC: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/alerts/idenalrt.pdf
-US Post Office: http://www.usps.com/postalinspectors
-MA Dept of Consumer Affairs:
INSURANCE Link to MA Division of Insurance has info about auto, homeowners, renters and health insurance, plus info on rates, regulations and how to file a complaint against your insurance company: http://www.state.ma.us/doi
LEGAL PROBLEMS, REPRESENTATION AND ATTORNEYS: MA Bar Association: find an attorney, check out the background of an attorney, check their standing with the bar association and file a complaint http://www.massbar.org
-Board of Bar Overseers:
-Help for low income MA residents with civil problems
Consumer information: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration consumer fact books: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/factsfigs/moving.htm
You can also call the Department of Transportation to make sure the company is licensed or file a complaint about a moving company. 1800-832-5660 You'll need the MC or Motor Carrier# of the company when you call.
To get information or file a complaint about an IN state, Massachusetts moving company go to: http://www.state.ma.us/dpu/transportation/transportation.htm
NURSING HOMES This link has information on Massachusetts nursing home regulations and inspections: http://www.state.ma.us/dph/qtool
RECALLS: Could your car, motorcycle, even your toaster or microwave be the subject of a safety recall? Or do you suspect your car or appliance has a problem that could lead to a recall? Try these links:
-National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Automobile, motorcycle, tire recalls and to file a complaint: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov
-Consumer Product Safety Commission: Product recalls and to file a complaint: http://www.cpsc.gov
SCAMS Is that email you got about a Nigerian bank account real ? Should you ever have to pay to get a credit card or a loan or information on how to get a job? Check out these websites for some of the most recent scams circulating:
-Canadian scams: http://www.bbb.org/library/canadianscam.asp -Email Hoaxes: http://www.snopes2.com -FTC most common scams: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menu-tmark.htm -Nigerian Letter Scam: http://www.fraudbureau.com/articles/consumer/article22.html -Scam Alerts: http://www.fraudbureau.com/scamalert.html -Tax Scams: http://dreier.house.gov/irs_scam_warning.htm -Work at Home and Contest Scams: http://www.scrooge.net/Scam.htm
A store in Massachusetts can have any kind of return policy it wants as long as it's posted. Having the return policy only on the receipt is not adequate. Even if the policy says 'no returns'--if item is defective the buyer gets to choose if they want a repair, replacement or refund!
Gift certificates are valid for two years from the purchase date. For
more information on gift certificates check our story at:
What about other returns, purchases online, at the store, rainchecks, store credit and other shopping questions? Click here to find out your shopping rights: http://www.state.ma.us/consumer/Info/shopping.htm
SMALL CLAIMS COURT Also known as the people's court, this informal and inexpensive forum is designed to help you settle disputes of $2,000 or less without the aid of an attorney. http://www.state.ma.us/consumer/Pubs/smclaim.htm
TELEMARKETING AND JUNK MAIL How late can a telemarketer call your house? What if they keep calling after you put your name on the do not call list ? This link has some answers: http://www.state.ma.us/consumer/Info/junkmail.htm
UTILITIES Tips on saving money, fuel assistance, regulations and information on how to file a complaint against a phone, electric, gas or oil company
-Consumer help: http://www.state.ma.us/consumer/Info/energy.htm -Fuel assistance and complaint info: http://www.ago.state.ma.us/utility.asp -Dept. of Telecommunications & Energy: http://www.state.ma.us/dpu/news/city.htm
VACATION AND TRAVEL INSURANCE & PACKAGES Travel tips, scams, insurance, cancellations, group tours
-American Society of Travel Agents: http://www.astanet.com
-Air travel rights: www.onetravel.com (click on advisors)
-MA Dept of Consumer Affairs general info:
-Travel insurance:
-US State Dept travel warnings and scams:
GENERAL CONSUMER INFORMATION AND HOW TO FILE COMPLAINT: If you haven't found the answer to your problem yet---or there isn't a specific agency to file a complaint with for your situation check out these links:
-Better Business Bureau-file complaints, check background of companies www.bbb.org
-Find Your Local Consumer Group
-Massachusetts Consumer Affairs Office
-Massachusetts Attorney General's Office
-Tips on how to resolve a problem:
If you still haven't found the answer, you may be hearing from us! Please understand we may not be able to help or answer each request individually as we get a large number of responses daily. Thank you so much for your understanding and thanks for watching Channel 7.
If you want to email us more information about your problem please include the following information:
-Name -Address -Phone number -breif description of the problem -Try to include the names of products, stores, companies, phone numbers and and people you've spoken to
If you're faxing your paperwork, bills or documentation (our fax is 617 248-5424) please label your fax with your:
-Name -Address -Phone number -breif description of the problem -ATTN: HANK
(!) [Rick]
Thanks so much for sending Help Me Hank's answers to sundry common questions. If you're getting this response, or even if you don't, it means the Linux Gazette Answer Gang have received your letter. Because of the huge volume of e-mail we get, we delegate some mail to some rather potted mailbot scripts, like the one that composed this reply.
When we do read your letter, if there's anything we can do to help you make Linux just a little more fun, someone (or somebot) will be in touch with you as soon as possible!
In the meantime, please scroll down this e-mail, and you may find the information you need to help solve your problem. Or someone else's problem. Or the answer to the Ultimate Question about Life, the Universe, and Everything. All Knowledge Is Contained within Linux Fandom. Fnord. Cave canem. Mind the gap.
Thanks so much for your impatiens, which smell lovely. Have a lot of fun! The Answer Gang
Commonly Questioned Answers:
AUTOMOBILE PROBLEMS: Determined use of Linux can prevent the need to use an automobile in the first place, thereby neatly averting the messy problems attendant thereto.
AIRLINE TICKETS: A variety of excellent Linux-base Web browsers such as Galeon, Mozilla, Phoenix, Konqueror, Opera, w3m, Skipstone, and lynx can be used to purchase (and sell) airline tickets.
BANKING: Similarly, the same Linux-based browsers can be used with any bank that has a competently run on-line operation.
CABLE TV: The Linux-based TiVo personal TV recorder makes a superb addition to any cable television setup.
CELL PHONES: Embedded Linux distributions are said to be in use in a number of cellular 'phones and PDA combo devices.
CHILD CARE/DAY CARE/ADOPTION & FOSTER CARE: Your use of Linux should help you increase productivity and improve protection of data integrity to the point where you can more comfortably afford the major costs of child care.
CREDIT and DEBIT CARDS: The less money you spend on forced purchases dictated by proprietary-software treadmills, the less likely you are to be in debt.
DEBT COLLECTION: Is a bill collector unfairly hounding you? Set up a Linux-based answering-machine appliance to filter your calls for you.
DENTISTS: Think of all the wear and tear you'll save on your pearlies from not having to deal with continual bluescreen wipeouts and viruses.
DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE: Which do you think is more likely to be compensated as a skilled profession, point-and-drool OSes of limited function and high maintenance costs, or Linux?
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICE: Perform a social service: Run a Linux installfest, one of these coming weekends.
HEALTH CARE AND DOCTORS: Use Linux. The frustration-caused stroke you prevent may be your own.
HEALTH CLUBS: All the rebuild, debugging, and data-recovery time you save by running on Linux can be spent out pleasantly hiking in the woods, swimming, or walking on trails with your friends and loved ones, instead.
HOMEOWNER/RENTER RIGHTS AND PROBLEMS: Insist on your right to run your home's operations using Linux-based control systems. Larry Wall does!
IDENTITY THEFT: You're less likely to have key sensitive information stolen if you run an OS where security isn't just a daydream.
INSURANCE: So, run Linux, already. It's cheap insurance.
LEGAL PROBLEMS, REPRESENTATION AND ATTORNEYS: Are less likely to be a concern if you exercise due diligence with your data processing.
MOVERS and shakers. Be one. Run Linux.
NURSING HOMES: Um, Linux for them, too. ;-)
RECALLS: We don't need'em. Upgrades, yes. And we throw in the source code for free.
SCAMS: Filter out those Nigerian spams. Run Bogofilter on Linux.
SHOPPING: Yep, Linux-based Web browsers again.
SMALL CLAIMS COURT: See legal problems.
UTILITIES: We've got directories crammed with 'em.
VACATION AND TRAVEL INSURANCE & PACKAGES: Pretty much the same as with health clubs.
GENERAL CONSUMER INFORMATION AND HOW TO FILE COMPLAINT: Run Linux, and you can start being a producer rather than just a consumer. I mean, isn't it depressing to have your defining trait be considered to be your ingestion and processing of material, as if you were cattle?
If you still haven't found the answer, you may be hearing from us! Or maybe not. It might be just those voices in your head again. Please understand that we help a lot of people, and amuse the rest. Thank you so much for your understanding. Stand up already, so you can overstand for a change.
If you want to e-mail us more answers to questions we haven't asked, please don't. And have a Linux day.

(?) A conference we all just have to attend...

From Ben

Speaks for itself. :)

(?) Cardboard chair

From Limah18

dear answer guy, please I need help on the best way to make a cardboard chair out of 1 sheet of brown corrugated 1.5 x 2.5 'B' flute 3 millimeter card without using glue or anyother materials preferably a foldable but durable chair to carry human weights of up to 190Ibs. Thank u and I hope and pray u will have a favourable answer for me.
Sincerely, Emma.
(!) [John]
ROFLOL! That has to be the funniest off-topic msg I've yet seen here!
(!) [Breen]
Indeed. It seems to me that the querent forgot part of the spec:
b) It must be possible to drop the chair, with an adult human sitting in it while holding an uncooked hen's egg, from a four-story building without breaking the egg on impact.
(!) [Sluggo]
We did have an Answer Gang thread about a cardboard box a while ago.
(Who invented the cardboard box)
(Follow up -- Heather's opinion)
http://www.linuxgazette.net/issue65/tag/cardboard.html (More observations of a cardboard box)
Threads like this are what inspired Not The Answer Gang on the Back Page.

(?) problem

From CookRhys

(!) [Thomas]
[ TAG -- I'm beginning to wonder if someone is taking the piss. This is the second e-mail today coming from an "aol" account asking Windows questions. Is this more than a coincidence??? ]
(?) when i start up my pc sometimes a window box comes up saying your system has performed an illegal operation and it reads spool32 caused invalid page in module spool32 exe at 0167:00402015 please help
(!) [Thomas]
My only guess is that you're using Linux (good man!) and that you've neglected to realise that you currently have the BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) screensaver running.
I know it is confusing, especially as you've probably only just made the cross-over from Windows to Linux, but bear with us, the BSOD screensaver is only a joke!! You poor thing -- you don't have to be haunted anymore. YOU'RE FREE :-) :-) :-) :-)
Kindest Regards :-)
-- Thomas Adam
P.S. If you think that I'm being sarcastic -- you'd be right :-)
(!) [Breen]
And doing a damned fine job of it too, Thomas.
(!) [Sluggo]
That's normal Windows behavior.
(!) [Ashwin]
No harm meant to the OP, but I'm ROTFL :-)) That's a good one!

(?) 99 Bottles

From Rick Moen

(!) [Jimmy]
[This appeared in Rick's .sig]
(!) [Rick]
#!/usr/bin/perl -iake_one_down_pass_it_around:_bottles_of_beer:
$a$b,-$i$a,-T$t,-".--$i."$a$b ";s/(-1_.*?e)s/$1/g;y/_-/ \n/}#
(by Randolph Chung and Joey Hess)
(!) [Ben]
My own entry (not yet updated at the 99BoB site) - currently, the shortest in the world (137 bytes if saved without an EOL):
$n=99;sub b{"$n bottle${[s=>]}[$n==1] of beer"}print$b=b,$w=' on the wall',", $b!
Take one down, pass it around,

(!) [Rick] Ben, you are an Evil and Scary Person, and yes I do mean that in the nicest possible way.
(!) [Ben] Thanks, Rick. I'm usually very nice after the Thorazine, Paxil, Zoloft, [ list of 1,396 other medicines elided ] kick in, though.
(!) [Rick] (But I'm still not going to let you near my cgi-bin directory. ;-> )
(!) [Ben]
<grin> I rarely put stuff in people's "cgi-bin"s anymore. I teach them how to do it, instead. That's known as multiplication of evil^Weffort.

(?) Hotmail, sendmail, and attachments

From John

(?) During the past two yrs or so, without exception when I receive a msg w/ mime attachment which has a HM sending @, the attachment is truncated. I end up asking the sender if he/she has an alternative mail account to send from, and it arrives w/o problem when the sender resends via the alternative. I've also experienced the problem with a few other mail portals, but see it more often with HM due to it's overwhelming popularity.
(!) [Rick] At the risk of sounding like a wiseass git[1], MIME attachments from Hotmail users create no problems here whatsoever. They get ignored.
[1] $SPOUSE comments: "Too late!"

(?) Shell humour

From Thomas Adam

(!) [Thomas]
% make love
Make: Don't know how to make love. Stop.
(!) [Jimmy]
This appeared in Issue 86 (http://linuxgazette.net/issue86/lg_backpage.html) and was shown to no longer work. Not true! Simply add this target to your Makefile:
	@echo Don\'t know how to make love. Stop.
How's that for backwards compatibility?

(?) [Lgang] LG 108 is out!

From Ben

(!) [Ben]
Oh yeah - I'm staggering off to bed. I've got to be up early and teaching my first yoga class tomorrow morning (a 30-minute mini-session, but the usual 90-minute class isn't any more difficult - just longer),
(!) [Sluggo]
You're teaching yoga now?
(!) [Ben]
We've just wrapped up the third week of a 200-hour, five-week teacher training. This week was the start of learning the teaching methodology rather than the postures themselves. This is one of the hardest - and one of the most satisfying - things I've ever done in my life.
The teaching is 100% experiential; the only stuff that comes out of your head is the wording. The postures, the stuff you give to the students, has to come out of your own body experience and observation... and getting your body to talk to you in ways that can be translated so that others will hear it is, um, an interesting challenge. (A huge, heart-felt /namaste/ in the direction of Deva Parnell, our teacher, who has managed to make it not only possible but damn near inescapable. If you stick with it, it _happens._ Sticking with it, opening your heart and soul and letting the old scars get light and air and healing... that's the challenge. And the pain, and the incredible joy.)
(!) [Sluggo]
I just finished my two-month Oom Yung Doe class and went back to yoga last week. It certainly seems easier now that I have something more intense to compare it to. Fortunately I have a really good yoga instructor and he's still teaching it.
(!) [Ben]
Cool! I recall you saying that you'd taken a little damage from wrestling, and needed something to help you repair yourself. [grin] My 43-year-old joints are very happy with me these days; perhaps not squeaking and popping every time I bend down has something to do with it.
(!) [Sluggo]
The damage was a herniated disc last summer (2003).
(!) [Ben]
Ouch! Just to illustrate a point, though: one of the girls in the teacher training has a fractured disc - and she is able to adapt without much trouble. It's all about honoring your limitations. I have to use straps and cushions for support for a number of poses myself, since I'm not all that flexible (but far, far more flexible than I was at this time last year) - and that's not any problem either. Being able to work from where you are is what matters.
(!) [Sluggo]
In all the clases I've been in, the teacher has asked if anybody has any medical conditions, and they adjust the poses to accommodate them.
(!) [Sluggo]
I had a cortizone injection and that took away the pain, then I went to physical therapy for a couple months and learned a ton; i.e. my left leg is shorter than my right and that puts a sheen (=diagonal gravitational pressure) across my body, and I walk on the inside of my feet (flat footed, which I never knew what that meant). I learned some core exercises, which of course yoga emphasizes too.
(!) [Ben]
I've heard it referred to as "shear", but have never run across "sheen" before. Can't find anything on the Net where the term is used that way, either; not saying you're wrong, I've just never heard it used that way.
(!) [Sluggo]
Typo, I meant to write sheer.
sheer:  having a bias toward one side when you're trying to go straight.

        Also: "the oblique heading or position of a ship riding at a single
        bow anchor", whatever that means.  (From "shear" prob'ly influenced
        by Dutch "scheren"

        Also: very thin, transparent.

shear: To cut with shears, to tear.

sheen: bright and shining.
(!) [Ben]
  Shear \Shear\, n. [AS. sceara. See {Shear}, v. t.]

[ ... ]

     3. (Engin.) An action, resulting from applied forces, which
        tends to cause two contiguous parts of a body to slide
        relatively to each other in a direction parallel to their
        plane of contact; -- also called {shearing stress}, and
        {tangential stress}.
        [1913 Webster]

     4. (Mech.) A strain, or change of shape, of an elastic body,
        consisting of an extension in one direction, an equal
        compression in a perpendicular direction, with an
        unchanged magnitude in the third direction.
        [1913 Webster]
I'd been using the term in its engineering sense long before I heard it applied to anatomical structures; very common usage there. It's also used in geology and meteorology. In all of these cases, it's spelled with an 'a' - I'd never seen it as "sheer" before, which to me means "thin" (as in fabric) or, when used as a verb, relates to sheering (e.g., a ship anchored in a cross-current will sheer about, with the anchor forming the point of its cone.)
(!) [Sluggo]
My dictionary is Webster's New World, 2nd College Ed., 1982. It says sheer (to turn aside) is "a variant of shear, prob'ly influenced by Dutch or Low German 'scheren' (to cut, warp away)".
sheer (thin/transparent) is "from Middle English schere, prob'ly a variant of scere (free, exempt), from Old Norse skaerr (bright/clear) akin to German schier, from Indo-European *skai- (to glimmer)".
shear (to cut/tear) is "from Middle English scheren, from Old English scieran, akin to German scheren, from Indo-European *(s)ker- (to cut)". All the definitions have to do with cutting or tearing, none have to do with going a strange direction.
But I didn't learn the words from a dictionary. I remembered sheer(2) from all the Band-Aid commercials. So when the PT said sheer, that was the first time I encountered it meaning pressure in a direction, and so I assumed it was spelled the same way. I didn't think of it being related to shears, an object which was far from my mind since I'm not a gardener nor a seamster.
(!) [Sluggo]
But wrestling didn't cause most of my problems, it just revealed them. My wrists don't bend backward, it's hard to lean forward or move my legs far apart, I have to watch to avoid twisting my ankle, and god forbid a policeman might arm-bar me someday and pull too hard. The leaning forward part mostly manifests itself in an irritation when I have to pick up a piece of paper off the floor, but occsionally I can barely lean forward enough to put my socks and shoes on. You know that position where you sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you?
(!) [Ben]
Sure, Paschimottanasana (Intense Back Stretch.) Six months ago, I couldn't sit in it at all - couldn't get my upper body past vertical. Nowadays, I can get ~20 degrees of forward bend while keeping an erect spine, and can get within a foot or so of touching my forehead to my knees with a relaxed spine; one of the two greatest improvements in my flexibility. I love the damned thing. :)
(!) [Sluggo]
I can do that for 5-10 seconds before it starts getting seriously tiring. I'm just glad these problems don't interfere with standing or walking.
(!) [Ben]
The best advice I can give you is, don't push it to the edge. That's where you get tired - and where you also get almost no benefit. Rule #1 of yoga, from the guy who formulated the practice and the postures as we know them today (as contrasted against meditation): /Sthira sukam asanam/ ("The posture is steady and comfortable".) Push past that point, and you get no benefit. This sounds weird and wrong to someone used to gym workouts, but - believe it. It's the core of what really works.
(!) [Sluggo]
It does sound strange, especially when you're trying to reconcile it with stretching far. But I have made improvements even with my moderate effort, so I'm getting something out of it.
(!) [Ben]
Erich Schiffmann, in his "Yoga - The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness", has a very good description of the above process:
(from Chapter 8, "Playing the Edge")
"You should never be in pain as you practice yoga. Your practice should not be a painful ordeal but rather an expression of joy. Pain is most easily defined as any sensation you do not like, and it always invokes a natural withdrawal mechanism. When you put your hand on a hot stove, for example, instantly you take it off. Before you're even aware that your hand is on the stove, it's off. This is a built-in self-protective device.
The same withdrawal mechanism is activated whenever a yoga stretch begins to hurt. Muscles clamp down and contract in order to protect themselves from overstretching. They are suddenly less willing, fearful, and they resist the stretch - naturally. And they do this, to whatever small or large degree, before you're even aware it's happening. This is blatantly at odds with your initial intention to stretch, open, and expand your physical boundaries. Therefore, by pushing into pain, you're actually working against yourself. One foot is on the accelerator and one foot is on the brake."
(In medical literature, this is one of the four types of reflexive muscle action, and is called the flexion reflex. The myotic reflex is why you want to avoid bouncing when stretching.)
In another chapter (3, "Why yoga?"), he talks about what happens internally - and this is right on the dot based on my experience, and is the core of what yoga does for me. Mind you, I'd been feeling this for most of a year now... and only recently ran across the words for it.
"You learn to open up by relaxing, being fearless, and becoming increasingly defenseless. Defensiveness, or shielding, is what creates the discomfort associated with growth."
For me, it's all about having the courage to strip off the armor and trusting my own internal resources for my safety and security. Toughest challenge I've ever faced, gotta tell ya... oh yeah, I forgot: it's just stretching exercises, nothing more. Skip all that fake new-age stuff. :)
(!) [Sluggo]
I'd done yoga occasionally the previous year, knowing I needed it for the flexibility but always turned off by how hard it was and the Hindu religious aspects ("you are god").
(!) [Ben]
[shrug] That doesn't come from the yoga tradition. Or, really, even Hinduism, from what I've learned of it both recently and previously - but it can be easy to interpret that way. "Yoga" means "union" (from "yuj", or yoke), and can be interpreted in many ways - one of which is union with your $DEITY_OF_CHOICE, but certainly does not have to be. My take on it is union among body, mind, and spirit, which seems to me to be very close to Patanjali's writings, and is also the most applicable to the practice of it.
(!) [Sluggo]
It helped when you pointed out that yoga is not trying to push that religion, it just comes from a time when everybody was religious in that way and it permeated all aspects of their lives including yoga.
(!) [Ben]
Sure. Is calculus religious just because it was developed by a religious man in a religious atmosphere within a religious society? Not in my perception. Although some aspects of yoga do deal with the spiritual side, which can blur the line and create lots of shades of gray.
(!) [Sluggo]
In math class you don't chant a mantra or acknowledge the divine within yourself. :)
(!) [Ben]
In mine either. :) Although you're certainly welcome to, and chanting "Loka/Samastha/Sukino/Bhavantu" (Peace to all beings in all worlds; this is my attitude always) is not something I'd ever find offensive. Quite the reverse, in fact.
(!) [Sluggo]
"Peace to all beings in all worlds"? Sounds like the Star Trek version of yoga.
(!) [Ben]
The "Loka" is one of the oldest traditional chants - and has the exact "non-religion-affiliated" feel that I associate with yoga. You don't have to believe in any supernatural beings to agree with the idea behind it; I recently ran across a post by an M.D., an Indian woman who is non-religious, whose father (also non-religious) taught her to chant the Loka daily when she was little. Her take on it was that it shaped her entire life philosophy from then on. I couldn't see that as a bad thing even if I tried.
I've actually looked up the Sanskrit, including the root words, and the above translation is mine - although my teacher, Deva, translated it almost exactly the same way. "All worlds" doesn't refer to planets but to the three worlds (or realms) of perception and action - gross, subtle, and causal - in which the three levels of ourselves - the physical, the mental, and the spiritual - operate. (That's not too shabby of a modern formulation, for some dude of 5000 years ago or so; they were pretty damned good logicians, I was surprised to find. The Greeks had nothing on these lads, and appeared on the scene quite a bit later.)
Philosophies and religions are easy to conflate - they both deal with many of the same elements, and religion, in the hierarchy of organized knowledge, is a sub-field of philosophy (further subdivided into theism, philosophical theology, and philosophy of religion.) Although there are still gray areas, my distinction between the two comes down to deities and faith: if supernatural beings plus faith are required articles, it's a religion.
(!) [Ben]
Interestingly, many religious people report that their spiritual path was made easier by yoga. I wouldn't know, of my own experience - but I can see why it would work that way.
(!) [Sluggo]
Although some mathematicians do seem to treat a complicated formula like a glimpse into paradise.
(!) [Ben]
Quoting Einstein:
"If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."
I smoke a different brand, myself, but can certainly recognize and honor that view; it's not that far from my own, and rings some familiar bells.
(!) [Sluggo]
But then I found an instructor who does everything in English, doesn't use the religious terminology, constantly explains the physical benefits of the particular moves ("when you breathe out try to open a little more space in your hips"), etc. Oh, and he's a punk with a mohawk, so he's all right. :)
(!) [Ben]
Hey, I'm a bald-headed dude who rides a motorcycle and uses zero religious terminology in his practice or teaching (although I do use the Sanskrit posture names along with the English ones; they sound cool. :) Although my instructions would be more like "on your next exhalation, flutter your knees slightly to create more opening in your hips"; people usually don't know what to do when you tell them to "open a little more space in your hips", and you have to associate it with specific guidance.
(!) [Sluggo]
I understand it coz it's what I don't have: loose joints and tendons. The most cryptic thing my instructor says is "breathe into $JOINT". And I'm thinking, how are you supposed to get the air from your lungs into your shoulders, and why would you want to?
(!) [Ben]
Heh. That, again, is shorthand for advanced students who know the longer version, e.g.: "Imagine that you could breathe through the soles of your feet. Now, feel the energy penetrate toward the core on each inhalation, and let go of the tension on each exhalation." Much of the imagery drives internal states that can be extremely difficult to describe verbally but actually happen for pretty much everybody when guided with it. However, using the shorthand inappropriately can lead to confusion (viz. yourself) and worse, take people out of their internal experience.
(!) [Ben]
What style of yoga does your teacher do?
(!) [Sluggo]
90% of the classes are hatha yoga, and this seems to be the same style although he doesn't call it that.
(!) [Ben]
"Hatha yoga" just refers to "physical yoga", as contrasted against the meditation stuff. There's a variety of types as well as styles (most of the latter are within the hatha type) - Karma, Bhakti, Jnana, Raja, Kundalini, a few others. The styles - e.g. Bikram, Kripalu, Atma, Iyengar, etc. - are variations of Hatha. It's not that important, though; I was just curious.
(!) [Sluggo]
There have been a couple bikram yoga classes but I haven't taken them.
(!) [Ben]
[snerch] Probably a good thing. I'll gently suggest that heavy exercise in a 104-degree environment may be completely counter to the basic principles of yoga - Bikram and Iyengar are very recent creations, within the last 25 years or so - but that's just my opinion.
(!) [Sluggo]
I've read about an intriguing class called yin yoga (yang yoga?) that has three-minute poses with little muscular involvement, but it's not offered presently.
(!) [Ben]
That sounds much more like what I do, but three minutes is a long time - way too much for beginners. I can hold most of the postures for three minutes, but that's about my limit - and I couldn't have done it prior to this teacher training. It takes good alignment, a lot of body awareness, and (above all) deep respect for and knowledge of your own limitations. That stuff takes a while to get for most people.
(!) [Sluggo]
Oom Yung Doe was all about flowing kung fu moves and karate blocks/strikes, with some weapons forms occasionally. I got to swing a stick around. Advanced students were swinging swords. We did some extreme wrist movements, which hurt at the time but then you feel better afterward. We also had to lean forward over one knee while the back leg was straight.
(!) [Ben]
Ah. Ask your teacher about Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana 1 - one of my favorite postures), and perhaps Parshvokonasana (Bent Knee Side Stretch - one of my least favorites :) - good, safe ways to do that. My legs are far stronger than they used to be, primarily due to those.
(!) [Sluggo]
Yes, we do Warrior 1 and Warrior 2 occasionally.
(!) [Sluggo]
That's supposed to get you used to holding yourself up on your joints rather than using muscle, but I couldn't really get it. I liked what I was learning and the instructors and students, but I just didn't want to get into the organization and belts and crazy moves, plus dedicating five days a week to it, and never knowing what it was going to be like from day to day. So I'm back to yoga and weights and running, and occasional submission wrestling.

(?) French lesson

From Thomas Adam

(!) [Thomas] Good idea, Didier. Je suis tres fatigant. Je pense je vais a couche, apres ca. Mais, premier.........
(!) [Didier]
Hey, nice job, Thomas! But for one thing: you're being too hard on yourself! In this context "fatigant" would mean "boring". Yep, French conjugation is definitely a nightmare (ahem... I must confess that I nearly spelled it incorrectly "fatiguant").
Linuxed all night long once again, heh? :)
(!) [Thomas] Damn. Conjugation is a nightmare! I'm trying to practice my French, since I may well be going to France. Looks as though I've a long way to go, eh?
(!) [Didier] Only a few hours by train nowadays. :)
(!) [Thomas] I though "c'est ennuieuse" (spelling bad), meant "It's boring", and "j'ennuie" means "I'm bored"??? How does:
in my original context therefore mean "bored"? -- Sorry Didier, too many questions.
(!) [Didier] You're forgiven, Thomas!
That "fatigant" issue is one of those many subtle, tiresome (!) ambiguities one may encounter in the French language. Generally speaking, the "-ant" suffix, applied to a verb, is just like the "-ing" one in English. Therefore, the first meaning of "fatigant" is "tiring" (the infinitive form being "fatiguer", i.e. "to make tired").
However, its present participle form (the one ending in "-ant") can also be used as a mere adjective, often with a somewhat different meaning: "boring", "tiresome".
OTOH, when you mean "tired", "weary", you have to use the past participle form "fatigué" (actually as an adjective, too). Unfortunately, the correct spelling depends on the subject's gender and number:
 She's tired = Elle est fatiguée
 We, husbands, are tired = Nous, les maris, sommes fatigués
 The barmaids are... = ... fatiguées
 Décidément, ce type est fatigant = That guy is definitely tiresome.
 C'est un boulot fatigant = It's a tiring job.
As you can see, the true meaning depends on the context.
(!) [Thomas]
Also, another thing I find interesting is that the French never say "I am hungry" -- it's always "I had hunger", thus:
j'ai fain
But if that's the case (I had hunger) then surely you cannot be hungry anymore???
(!) [Didier] LOL. There's another funny litteral translation: "I have appetite". The familiar expression, often used in conversations, is:
J'ai la dalle.
but that's hardly translatable as is. I guess "I've got the paving stone" or "the slab" (thanks, Harrap's) doesn't make any sense, LOL. Actually the above means "I'm starving" (see also "Je crève la dalle", which has yet a stronger meaning). But never say that while your respectful, 500-euro-three-piece-suit-wearing self is attending a political cocktail party at the Élysée -- unless you're covered by a strong diplomatic immunity (only then does everybody laugh).
It's the same "rule" for such expressions as "I'm cold/thirsty" (j'ai froid/soif), etc. English grammar is more logical, actually.
(!) [Thomas] Arrgghhhh!!!
(!) [Didier]
Indeed. :)
What all this has to do with Linux, I don't know.
Perhaps we can use it as a reminder:
Set the LANG environment variable to one of the predefined 'fr_XX' values (where 'XX' must be one of the 'LU', 'FR', 'CA', 'CH' or 'BE' country specifiers) if you wish to see your program messages in French and use accented letters at the shell command line, for instance.
Linux supports many more languages -- such as German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Dutch, Arabic, Finnish, Tamil, Danish, Nynorsk, Greek, Welsh, Telgu, Urdu, etc., etc. You can find more of them with a command like:
 find /usr/lib/locale -name "LC_IDENT*" -exec /bin/sh -c 'strings {} | head -1' \; | less
(!) [Thomas]
Mille remerciment, Didier! You've explained things really well, merci beaucoup!!
(!) [Didier] Pas de quoi, Thomas. You're most welcome.
(!) [Thomas] As far as the Linux part goes...you're quite right. Linux does support many different languages, although in my naiveity, I didn't realise that Welsh was supported. He he...they don't use many vowels!!
(!) [Didier] I didn't know either 1 1/2 hour ago. :)
(!) [Thomas] Also,
find /usr/lib/locale -name "LC_IDENT*" -exec /bin/sh -c 'strings {} | head -1' \; |less
didn't work on my machine, Didier. I had to use "head -2". A subtle, yet rather important tweak!!!
(!) [Didier]
Yeah, I expected something like that. Supposedly it depends on factors such as the glibc version, and so on. Even the actual directory where the relevant files reside might differ from one distro to another.
(!) [Thomas]
You're quite right, Didier. Actually, the directory that I ran the above command(s) on had filenames that were very long (and consequently had symlinks to them). When I ran the same command on filenames that were short (/bin) for example, it worked ok, by replacing "head -2" back to "head -1". Very strange!!

(?) Cruising

From Ben

(!) [Ben] Folks, my apologies for forgetting to notify everyone (worse yet, I may have already done it and forgotten that I did <shrug> - it's been that kind of a month), but I'm off (stop snickering, Thomas! :)
(!) [Thomas] <hurt voice> Ben, I'd never snigger at something like that!!</hurt voice>
(!) [Ben] What, me being off? I'm surprised; I'd be on it like a shot. :)
(!) [Ben] on a cruise down the US East Coast, currently anchored in Beaufort, NC. Net connectivity is rare and generally poor... when I get to where I'm going - St. Augustine, FL, at least for a couple of months - that will improve, but it might be another couple of weeks.
(!) [Didier] You're quite excused and cheerfully welcomed back, Ben.
(!) [Thomas] You take it easy. Having listened to various shipping forecasts, "things be on the turn ca'in".
(!) [Ben] Yeah, I've been dodging between bad weather systems - successfully so far, and I've only got a two-day sail ahead of me before I get to where I'm going. I'm definitely taking it easy, though; having a schedule while cruising is one of the best ways to get into a bad problem. Leads to stupid "go/no-go" decisions.
(!) [Ben] Thanks, but you're a bit early with the welcome. :) I've still got to get down to St. Augustine, Florida - and I'll be taking off to do that in about an hour. I've just stopped by the Dockmaster's office to get my last mail fix before I go.
(!) [Pete] Ben, while you are in St Augustine here are some suggestions.
(!) [Ben] Thank you very much, Pete - I'm fairly familiar with St. Augustine (spent about four months there the last time I sailed through), but this is all great info! There's also a little "all natural" restaurant within a couple of blocks of the water where Cookie (the owner and chef) makes the finest carrot cake I've ever had... up until then, I didn't even like carrot cake.
(!) [Pete] if you like NY style Pizza try Pizza garden (on Hypollita St.) for great spanish food try the Columbia on St. Georges St. The best caramel apples can be found at Savannah Sweets--also great fudge, and any other candy made with caramel (they make the caramel right in the shop) (also on St. Georges St.) Great sticky buns and cookies can be had at The Bunnery and, just across from there is Cousins Sandwich shop, which does a great fresh-squeezed Key Limeade. One more--if you can get there early in the day, The Spanish Bakery does great empanadas and breads. It's kind of tucked away off of St. Georges St., so you have to look for the signs. (The following travel guide was provided by Pete's wife, who knows nothing about Linux but lots about food!)
(!) [Ben] <grin> No doubt; that's quite a list. Thank her for me, then.
I'll probably be sailing out (I'm in Charleston, South Carolina right now) tomorrow morning, conditions permitting - St. Augustine is only a two-day sail! Almost there...
(!) [Pete] There is a good linux group in Jacksonville (half hour or so away) http://www.jaxlug.org, great people.
I moved to CT two years ago, otherwise I would offer you occasional transport and lodging.
(!) [Didier] Nice to get some news from you, Captain. Speaking of Beaufort, how's the weather?
(!) [Ben] Cold (although not as cold as Baltimore) and sunny, but most importantly, the wind has just switched to the north. We had a couple of bad storms pass through while I was sitting here, but now the weather looks good!
(!) [Ben] I'll probably be writing a review of mobile IP options WRT Linux... overview: currently highly sucky and expensive, but slated to get better shortly.
(!) [Didier] Hey, we can expect no less.
(!) [Ben] C'ya soon.
(!) [Didier] Yep. May the Streams be with you!
(!) [Ben] Thanks. I'm looking at four days or so for this passage, so I'll be out of contact for at least that long...
(!) [Jimmy] [OK, so I got this far before I noticed where the off-topic bit started. I'm leaving that stuff in because I spent so fscking long editing it. Problem?]

(?) English lesson

(!) [Pete] Great sticky buns and cookies
(!) [Sluggo] Wow, a British term and an American term in the same sentance.
(!) [Thomas] I know, Mike, highly unlikely. But hey.... :-)
(!) [Sluggo]
sticky buns  ->  frosted rolls
cookies      ->  cookies
(!) [Thomas] Lets see if there is some more:
Jello -> Jelly Color -> Colour Dypers -> Nappies
(!) [sluggo] OK, but you got the arrows pointed the wrong way. They should be pointing from the incorrect (British) word to the correct (American) word.
(!) [Rick] If you blokes ever need help with simultaneous English-to-American translation, I'm your man.
On the other hand, if you want just the naughty bits, here y'are:
(!) [Sluggo]
nappies  ->  diapers   (note spelling)
pram  ->  baby carriage
trolley  ->  cart
sorry  ->  excuse me
fizzy drink  ->  pop (in some regions),  soda (in others),
                 soda pop (to cover all bases)
draught  ->  draft
boot  ->  trunk  (of car)
bonnet  ->  hood  (of car)
red man/green man  ->  "walk/don't walk" sign
(!) [Breen] I'm not touching that one...
There was a discussion on another list I'm on about the various 'translations' made in the Harry Potter books to spare Americans from the necessity of puzzling over any Britishisms.
(!) [Sluggo]
One British author I saw wanted to make his book accessible to both, so he put both terms with an oblique/slash between them.
Certainly growing up, there were entire portions of children's books I didn't understand, or later found out I misunderstood, because of the language differences. For instance, Paddington Bear lived in the "box room". I assumed that referred to the room's shape, that it was small and square. Later I found out it's a room where you keep stuff in boxes, thus a storage room.
(!) [Rick]
Coming back to California from the British government school system in Hong Kong, I had the opposite problem. People perenially talked about being "sick", but failed to show any sign of nausea. I eventually figured out that this was a provincial way of referring to being ill.
People kept talking about going out into the "hall". I eventually figured out that this meant corridors.
They claimed to play football, but couldn't seem to afford the correct-shaped ball, not to mention the correct-shaped field, and kept running around holding it in their hands.
They didn't understand the term sweets at all, referring to it as "candy" (and you can't get a decent roll of Rowntree's Fruit Pastilles, anywhere).
That's not to mention them having the most peculiar notion of where the first floor is, having quaint local terms for lifts and flats (and you could seek to let a flat all month without success, because they'd never heard that verb before), and the conviction that "tabling an issue" means metaphorically putting it on the table to defer until later, instead of putting it on the table for immediate discussion.
And don't let me get started on the utter lack of logic to how they write dates, around here.
(!) [Thomas]
That is true, Mike. My room is a box room! Actually, I find language comparisons rather interesting, especially when it comes to British slang V American slang. Although these days, there is soo much American slang in the British language (like, totally so not cool), that I have trouble understanding some of it.
But at the end of the day, it does not really matter. Incidentally, Breen, when Harry Potter was released, the original title of the film was:
"Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone"
Why, and what to, was the title changed when released in America?
(!) [Breen] "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". Apparently "Philosopher's Stone" sounded too high-brow and the publishers figured that it would scare off all their potential audience.
They also changed "jumper". Over here a jumper is a girl's dress. They certainly didn't want to risk that kind of image. Didn't want to risk expanding anyone's horizons even a bit, either, nossir.
(!) [Michael Havens]
we have to remember, the british versions older words were the originals. So I have to ask:
Who has the correct spelling?
(!) [Sluggo] It doesn't matter. We just enjoy needling each other. The British spellings are more "correct" in that they invented the language. But many American spellings are shorter and more practical: draught/draft, colour/color, encyclopaedia/encyclopedia. Actually, many of these spellings were coined specifically by Webster et al in the early 1800s mainly to thumb their noses at the Brits, and only secondarily to pull the spelling closer to the pronounciation.
(!) [Kapil] Sounds a bit like the Emacs/Vi or KDE/Gnome wars...though those were perhaps a bit more acrimonious :-)
Luckily at a lower level (such as libc or Xlib or the alphabet) things are more or less standardised---oops, standardized.
(!) [Sluggo] Historically, there was no standard spelling until recently: Shakespeare spelled his own name three different ways. Chaucer wrote "e" (bite) and "gh" (night) because he actually pronounced them that way; they weren't silent. But for a few hundred years after that (if I got my dates right), the upper classes in England didn't even speak English but French, so the people who made the language survive through those years were illiterate and had no sense of spelling. So by the time English became respectable again (1500s?), the pronounciation had changed significantly, but the older spellings were retained.
Throw dialects into the mix and you get an unsolvable can of worms, especially when homonyms and the readability of older documents is taken into consideration. If half a family moves one place and half a family moves another place, there will start to be differences in their pronounciation and word choice in a couple generations, and this happens so gradually they don't realize it. The effect is diminished now because of global communication but it still happens. We're getting a lot of words now with no common standard. Al-Qaida or Al-Quaeda? Pronounced "kay" or "ky" or "ka-EE"?
You can't devise a phonetic spelling system that covers even the major differences between English dialects. Should car be spelled kar or ka? Is the Tube a tyoob or a toob? What do you do with the vowels in, "It ain't right, mate, it isn't time." (Compare how George Bush, Mick Jagger and U2 pronounce "time".) Even a simple word like "no" is nohw in general American, naow in Cockney and no in Scotland.
The homonym problem is this: English already has way too many homonyms for its own good. See, sea and C. If you spell them all the same, it quadruples the job of trying to figure out what someone else is writing. On top of that, some words rhyme in some dialects but not in others. This happens even in the US in spite of our mobility. Does aunt sound like ant or is it "ahnt"? Does "my Aunt Ant" sound just funny or totally hilarious? Is there an "e" on the end of coyote? Do you pronounce merry, marry and Mary all the same? "You say tomayto and I say tomahto. Eether, ither, neether, nither, let's call the whole thing off."
The old-documents problem is this: modern people can read Twain, Dickens and Tom Paine without any problems. They can read Shakespeare with some help. But if we change the spelling system, kids will either have to learn two systems, or the old books will have to be translated (which won't happen with obscure works till much later). (Oh, and the translations won't be in the public domain, thanks to the perpetual copyright extensions that are in vogue now.) Too many adults will flatly refuse to change spelling systems (we're still using fahrenheit and miles and quarts, after all). So that's it.
(!) [Michael Havens] Nappies? What's that?
(!) [Thomas]
"Nappies" (which is plural for: "Nappy") is what I believe you Americans' call "Diapers" (sp?)
Here in England (not that I know much about any of this), there is a brand of nappy called "Huggies".
(!) [Sluggo] Huggies is a brand well advertised on TV here.
(!) [Ashwin] If you are either in UK or in USA, you atleast can decide on a word. For the rest of the world that wants to speak in English, it is even the more confusing! :-)
(!) [Thomas] Another thing which fascinates me (and I wish we had them, here in England) is that when you do your "grocery" shopping, you get brown-paper bags!! That's soo cool. We get crappy plastic ones over here :-(
(!) [Sluggo] Shopping bags were always paper until twenty years or so ago. Then plastic bags appeared and were touted as "superior" because they had handles and were easier for the elderly to carry, supposedly. But there was an environmentalist backlash almost immediately because they were made from oil and non-recyclable. But pretty soon the researchers figured out that the, um, Total Cost of Ownership (environmentally speaking) was the same either way. So both remained, and cashiers have been doomed forevermore to ask, "Paper or plastic?", and if you don't say they invariably choose plastic.
I was surprised in Russia and Germany that they charge extra for the bags, because in the US they're always free. Although some stores give you a 5-cent discount if you bring your own bag, and some will even give you a discount if you use a backpack (but not consistently). I always take my backpack when I go shopping (and my big backpack to Costco), for environmental reasons.
I can't imagine why anybody would think paper bags are cool. They exist, and they aren't made from oil, but if you put anything wet into them, they disintigrate. If you put anything heavy in them and carry them from the top, they tear unless you double bag. And if you live in Tacoma, Washington, or Oregon City, Oregon, you can smell the pulp mills, a fine delicacy Ben is well aware of....
(!) [Ashwin]
To confuse things even more .... let me give an Indian (the India Columbus wanted to discover :-) perspective.
India is now plastic country, you get plastic bags to carry everything. Except that the shopkeeper won't understand you if you say 'plastic bag', the Indian English word for plastic bag is "plastic cover". That's right, you carry home your groceries in a "plastic cover". I know it sounds strange, but that's the "Indian English" way of saying things!
Indian English is predominently Queen's English mixed with the slang words from the regional language, but is also now accepting Americanisms.
(!) [Rick] Indian English is often a thing of beauty, and should be prized. I've read some speeches from the New Delhi parliament that make Tony Blair and John Major seem like the pikers they are (not to mention the troglodytes currently occupying the US Executive Branch).
(!) [Ashwin] Also, the current US prez is really killing English :-) Can't believe that English is his mother tongue!
(!) [Rick] Amazing, that, when you consider that it's spoken by only 3-4% of the country's population.
(!) [Ashwin] Yes, but almost half the population understands common English words. So, if you can speak English, you won't have any problem conversing in India.
(!) [Thomas] Incidentally, in England a "grocery" usually referes to fruit and vegetables. Am I correct in thinking that in America it means everyday shopping (food)?
Oh the joys of comparative English :-)
(!) [Sluggo]
Yes. Fruits and vegetables are called produce (PRO-duce). Grocery stores used to mean the little corner food store, which has now become the big corner supermarket. The little corner food store has been replaced by the "convenience store" like 7-11 or those mini-marts at the gas stations. They mostly have cigarettes, candy, hot dogs/sandwiches, juice/pop/beer, newspapers and that's about it. You're lucky if you can find an orange or a banana in one of those places, but don't even think of finding lettuce. Nowadays frozen burritos are pretty common though. Some people call them "Kwik-E-Marts" in honor of the Simpsons.
It seems wrong to call 7-11 and AM/PM grocery stores because they don't carry a whole line of fruits/vegetables/bread/meats. But paradoxically, in the inner cities (not in the suburbs) there are little independent shops that carry the same sort of wares as the convenience chains, and these are called grocery stores, perhaps in honor of the ma-and-paw shops that were their predecessors.
In Edward Rutherford's London it says the word "grocery" originally meant people who buy by the gross, thus the wholesale-to-retail middlemen.

(?) (no subject)

From XSnoopXDoggX69

hey can u e-mail me back giveing all the crip knowledge that u can give and all the folk knowldge e-mail meback alright thanks

(?) Happy New Year!

From Breen Mullins

I'll add my greetings to the list.
May your bugs be few and easily squashed...

(?) Turbo C

From charito flores

Answered By Neil Youngman

(?) Sample Problem:

Write a program that the user must select following choices and then perform operations.

(!) [Neil]
if( wants_homework_done_for_him( user ) )		// choice
	castrate( user )				// operation

(?) Who wrote Linux? Better whoppers than SCO

From Jimmy O'Regan

SearchEnterpriseLinux.com is running a series to find people who can come up with better tall tales about who really wrote Linux.
http://searchenterpriselinux.techtarget.com/columnItem/0,294698,sid39_gci969455,00.html http://searchenterpriselinux.techtarget.com/originalContent/0,289142,sid39_gci970955,00.html http://searchenterpriselinux.techtarget.com/originalContent/0,289142,sid39_gci990148,00.html

(?) My latest toy :)

From Ben

So, I went and did it. Perhaps inspired by Jay's example, or maybe because I've been thinking about it for a long time now - and a pilot friend of mine had this one for sale at a great price.
Whew. Sure brings back a lot of memories. Racing, cruising, long rides on the backroads of California and New York...

(?) Bad pun

From Sluggo

"I'm mildly annoyed because a 72hr outage was caused by a cow (supercow powers) munching through some BT cable. Don't they bury these things?"
"Yes. The cow was given a proper funeral, with all appropriate honours. It was very mooving."
(!) [Jimmy] That's more worthy of Fark. "Cow chews through phone cables. France surrenders."
(!) [Sluggo] More worthy of what?
(!) [Jimmy] Fark.com, where a story about a cow eating through phone cables would be posted.
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