Questions For The World

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demonhats
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby demonhats » Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:06 pm UTC

|Erasmus| wrote:I think we get a misleading impression of the election over here. We see alot of Obama on the news, and don't really hear anything at all about McCain.


You don't see a lot of him on the news because he does not really have anything going for him. He has no real plans for the economy other than "Lower Taxes!", his plan for the war is to do the same thing we are already doing, and that is pretty much all he talks about. Despite his lack of plans he will probably win just because he is the "safe" choice. He is an old white Republican and as somebody mentioned earlier; people pretty much just vote with their party instead of actually looking at the candidates. Plus, his campaign is better at slander.

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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Vox Imperatoris » Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:29 am UTC

|Erasmus| wrote:
Vox Imperatoris wrote:Also, as a fiscal conservative, I support McCain, but only as "the lesser of two evils." I have no idea who's going to win at this time, though.


Not evil = supporting a war over oil?
or thinking it should be legal for the US to torture terrorism suspects?

I think you have pretty twisted values.

This is going to be pointless to argue, since it won't change anyone's mind, but first of all, although the planning and execution of the Iraq war was incompetent and an initial failure, I don't think trying to secure the country is a lost cause. If U.S. (and British) forces are pulled out now, the political infrastructre would just collapse and it truly would be a complete waste of money and lives. Second, the claim that the war was started to secure oil is ridiculous, the war has completely disrupted oil production.

Also, I do not support torture, including waterboarding, of terrorism suspects, and I think a man who can't raise his arms above his head because of the torture inflicted upon him is going to take a much dimmer view of it, which he has: "They [other presidential candidates] should know what it is. It is not a complicated procedure. It is torture."

As for other reasons for supporting McCain, I do not want the U.S. to institute a national healthcare system and I think issues such as abortion, gay marriage, education, and stupid things like mortgage bailouts should be left to the states. I also want to prevent the Supreme Court justices who are likely to retire from being replaced under a liberal president, especially so that the death penalty does not get declared unconstitutional.

But what I hate about both parties is that neither is willing to cut federal government spending. Sure, Bush lowered taxes, but neither party seems to realize that you actually have to cut government programs to balance lower taxes.

As I said before, though, I know none of you are going to change your political outlook because of an internet debate, so why does this board have to jump on anyone who mentions in passing having right-wing political views like they just gave a Roman salute?


And just to clear this up: I don't want anyone outside the U.S. to get any illusions that a single state is going to join Canada. That will never happen.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby crowey » Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:59 am UTC

Vox Imperatoris wrote:And just to clear this up: I don't want anyone outside the U.S. to get any illusions that a single state is going to join Canada. That will never happen.


Oh gosh, thanks I had been worried that might happen.
:lol:

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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Vox Imperatoris » Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:04 am UTC

crowey wrote:
Vox Imperatoris wrote:And just to clear this up: I don't want anyone outside the U.S. to get any illusions that a single state is going to join Canada. That will never happen.


Oh gosh, thanks I had been worried that might happen.
:lol:

:wink:
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Vox Imperatoris » Mon Sep 01, 2008 3:29 am UTC

Ok, new question for those of you in countries with monarchs: how do you feel about them?
Do you think they should be removed as vestiges of an autocratic past and wastes of government money? Or do you think they're harmless and a distinctive way to represent your country in an apolitical manner?

I'm from the U.S. (obviously), and I personally agree more with the latter opinion. I think removing the established monarchies from countries that have had them for centuries is rather foolish and pointless, as long as they aren't actually trying to exercise unilateral power. (And I know that would be ridiculous.)
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby stockpot » Mon Sep 01, 2008 3:56 am UTC

And for residents of countries whose monarchs do have substantial power, how do you feel about that?

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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Vox Imperatoris » Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:32 am UTC

stockpot wrote:And for residents of countries whose monarchs do have substantial power, how do you feel about that?

I was going to dismiss this out of hand, but now you've made me curious if there actually is anyone on here in Saudi Arabia. (I'm guessing no, except maybe expats working for Saudi companies.)
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby hermaj » Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:39 am UTC

Vox Imperatoris wrote:Ok, new question for those of you in countries with monarchs: how do you feel about them?
Do you think they should be removed as vestiges of an autocratic past and wastes of government money? Or do you think they're harmless and a distinctive way to represent your country in an apolitical manner?


I don't know. We have a Queen. She drops by sometimes to see how we're doing, and she's on the back of our coins, but generally she never really occurs to me. I'm pretty okay with it, as long as she doesn't try to do anything.

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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:42 am UTC

Does the Queen even still have legal power? Or is tradition the only thing that stops Johnny English-style antics, and keeps power in Parliament's hands?
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Vox Imperatoris » Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:44 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:Does the Queen even still have legal power? Or is tradition the only thing that stops Johnny English-style antics, and keeps power in Parliament's hands?

I think it's just that as soon as any monarch tried to use his power, it would suddenly cease to exist. As well as the office.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:51 am UTC

Vox Imperatoris wrote:
Sir_Elderberry wrote:Does the Queen even still have legal power? Or is tradition the only thing that stops Johnny English-style antics, and keeps power in Parliament's hands?

I think it's just that as soon as any monarch tried to use his power, it would suddenly cease to exist. As well as the office.


Well, yeah, I understand that realistically, the monarch would find themselves with a great deal of very real, military-backed opposition. I'm just wondering, has Parliament actually declared "Your powers are revoked" or are they waiting until that happens?
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby JayDee » Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:54 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:Does the Queen even still have legal power? Or is tradition the only thing that stops Johnny English-style antics, and keeps power in Parliament's hands?

Depends who you ask. On paper, (and I'm answering from Australia here) the Queen does still have some not-inconsiderable powers. Or, more often, her representatives (the Governors General) do. People say that this is purely symbolic and not ever going to be used. Others disagree. The only recent case I can think of is the obvious one, people said that could never happen and it did, so I nuture my conspiracy theories and republican sentiment.

And entirely different issue is that the Queen (or the Crown) probably does wield considerable power through other means. What with the being filthy rich.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby stockpot » Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:06 am UTC

Vox Imperatoris wrote:I was going to dismiss this out of hand, but now you've made me curious if there actually is anyone on here in Saudi Arabia. (I'm guessing no, except maybe expats working for Saudi companies.)
It's not only Saudi Arabia. Morocco also has quite the powerful king, and (according to Wikipedia) so do Bahrain, Brunei, Liechtenstein, Qatar, Oman, and Swaziland. Still, you're right. Most if not all forumites are going to be in countries with only the figurehead or maybe butterfly sorts of monarchs.

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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Mavketl » Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:43 am UTC

Vox Imperatoris wrote:Ok, new question for those of you in countries with monarchs: how do you feel about them?
Do you think they should be removed as vestiges of an autocratic past and wastes of government money? Or do you think they're harmless and a distinctive way to represent your country in an apolitical manner?

I'm from the Netherlands, and we have a queen (to be replaced by our crown prince in not too many years). I used to be against the existence of a royal family, not so much because of the political consequences (not many), but because it's such a waste of money.

Then I read an article about how much money they actually earned for companies and the country simply by being a symbol to come along on diplomatic missions and such, and now I don't mind having them around. I just wish the press would stop reporting every move they make, for their sake and mine.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby KingLoser » Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:50 am UTC

Mavketl wrote:I'm from the Netherlands, and we have a queen (to be replaced by our crown prince in not too many years). I used to be against the existence of a royal family, not so much because of the political consequences (not many), but because it's such a waste of money.


Holy moly! What will happen to Queens day? Crown Prince day doesn't sound so good...
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Mavketl » Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:01 am UTC

KingLoser wrote:
Mavketl wrote:I'm from the Netherlands, and we have a queen (to be replaced by our crown prince in not too many years). I used to be against the existence of a royal family, not so much because of the political consequences (not many), but because it's such a waste of money.

Holy moly! What will happen to Queens day? Crown Prince day doesn't sound so good...

He'll be king by then, you know. :wink: I think they might keep the name, though. It's all everyone still alive has ever known, with the last three monarchs being women.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby KingLoser » Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:13 am UTC

Mavketl wrote:
KingLoser wrote:
Mavketl wrote:I'm from the Netherlands, and we have a queen (to be replaced by our crown prince in not too many years). I used to be against the existence of a royal family, not so much because of the political consequences (not many), but because it's such a waste of money.

Holy moly! What will happen to Queens day? Crown Prince day doesn't sound so good...

He'll be king by then, you know. :wink: I think they might keep the name, though. It's all everyone still alive has ever known, with the last three monarchs being women.


Hahaha, doh! Sorry, I'm no good with monarchies. The only kings I was made learn about were those who chopped off the head of the previous king to get there.... :lol:

There should be an xkcd meetup in the Netherlands for Queens day... I think pretty much every country in the world has a direct flight to Schipol.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby EstLladon » Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:15 am UTC

BTW when it is? I planned to go to Netherlands in some time...
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Mavketl » Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:18 am UTC

KingLoser wrote:
Mavketl wrote:
KingLoser wrote:
Mavketl wrote:I'm from the Netherlands, and we have a queen (to be replaced by our crown prince in not too many years). I used to be against the existence of a royal family, not so much because of the political consequences (not many), but because it's such a waste of money.

Holy moly! What will happen to Queens day? Crown Prince day doesn't sound so good...

He'll be king by then, you know. :wink: I think they might keep the name, though. It's all everyone still alive has ever known, with the last three monarchs being women.

Hahaha, doh! Sorry, I'm no good with monarchies. The only kings I was made learn about were those who chopped off the head of the previous king to get there.... :lol:

There should be an xkcd meetup in the Netherlands for Queens day... I think pretty much every country in the world has a direct flight to Schipol.

That sounds like a way better Queen's Day than usual... I'd totally be there. While getting to Schiphol isn't very hard from nearly any part of the world, it might be a bit costly though...

(As for monarchies: there's a king or queen, they get kids, the oldest kid is their successor, called crown prince(ss), who becomes king or queen when the old one dies or retires. No chopping off heads required :( )

Edit:
EstLladon wrote:BTW when it is? I planned to go to Netherlands in some time...

April 30.
Last edited by Mavketl on Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:19 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby KingLoser » Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:18 am UTC

EstLladon wrote:BTW when it is? I planned to go to Netherlands in some time...


30th April, I think there's some rule that makes it the 29th some years... but the Dutch will need to clarify that!
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Mavketl » Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:20 am UTC

KingLoser wrote:
EstLladon wrote:BTW when it is? I planned to go to Netherlands in some time...

30th April, I think there's some rule that makes it the 29th some years... but the Dutch will need to clarify that!

Gah, my editing skills are teh crapz0rz.

Yes, it's April 30th, unless that is a Sunday, then it's the 29th.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby KingLoser » Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:46 am UTC

Mavketl wrote:That sounds like a way better Queen's Day than usual... I'd totally be there. While getting to Schiphol isn't very hard from nearly any part of the world, it might be a bit costly though...


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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Mavketl » Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:47 am UTC

KingLoser wrote:
Mavketl wrote:That sounds like a way better Queen's Day than usual... I'd totally be there. While getting to Schiphol isn't very hard from nearly any part of the world, it might be a bit costly though...


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Re: Questions For The World

Postby 3fj » Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:09 pm UTC

Vox Imperatoris wrote:
stockpot wrote:And for residents of countries whose monarchs do have substantial power, how do you feel about that?

I was going to dismiss this out of hand, but now you've made me curious if there actually is anyone on here in Saudi Arabia. (I'm guessing no, except maybe expats working for Saudi companies.)

I lived in Tabuk about 2 or 3 years ago, where my dad worked with the saudi airforce teaching them how to fix hawk structures. Scary place. I once saw a mans hand chopped off in a public chopping block, just after a camel had been beheaded. Not a pretty sight at all.

@Monarchs: The Queen of the united kingdom technically has the final say on all bills, as they require the queens ascent to be legally passed as law. However, these days she is just a figurehead and (as someone pointed out) good for apolitical representation. Worth the money, cause they define us as a nation.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Felstaff » Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:20 pm UTC

3fj wrote:I once saw a man's hand chopped off in a public chopping block, just after a camel had been beheaded.

Were the two events...related? If so, er, how?
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby 3fj » Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:57 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:
3fj wrote:I once saw a man's hand chopped off in a public chopping block, just after a camel had been beheaded.

Were the two events...related? If so, er, how?

No. Hand chopping is for theft (as you may already know) and the camel was for slaughter.
Every market place i saw had it's own chopping block. Something to do with it being easier to sell fresh chopped camel. It also doubles as the easiest place to deal with shoplifters.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby functionally_stupid » Mon Sep 01, 2008 5:26 pm UTC

Swimming pools~!
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Japanese! Japanese has THREE alphabets/systems of writing. The first two (phonetic!) alphabets are hiragana - similar to English cursive, used for Japanese words - and katakana, similar to English print, used for loan words (from all other languages) and the names of foreigners. Hiragana and katakana are very, very simple; at most, I think, three strokes for any particular character in either set. Hiragana is more curvy and flowing; katakana is pretty much all straight lines, very precise. Both are derived from parts taken out of Chinese characters, or "kanji".

According to the Japanese standards of education, approximately 2,500 kanji are needed in everyday life - like, to read a newspaper. There are also "name" kanji, about 800 of them, which are used in people's names. There are some slight differences between Chinese kanji and Japanese kanji; for some characters, component parts are written differently; Japanese uses a mix of both classical and simplified Chinese kanji; and, of course, since the languages are completely different, the readings are different. All kanji have both Chinese readings and Japanese readings; some may have as many as seven different readings, depending on the context and whether they're being conjugated with another character. For example, the character for "one" can be read as "ichi" - as in "ichinichi", "one day" - or as "hito", as in "hitotsu" or "one thing". It's also the "hito" in "hitori de" - meaning "alone", or, to be literal, "by/with one person".

To read and write Chinese, approximately 15,000 to 30,000 kanji are needed, because Chinese doesn't have a phonetic alphabet. There are "classical" and simplified versions of at least some characters, I think - there may be two forms for every complex character. In Japanese, "uncommon" characters not on the list of 2,500 mandatory characters are accompanied with "furigana" - the reading of the character written in hiragana. The furigana are written above the kanji when writing from left to right, horizontally, and to the right of the kanji when writing right to left, vertically.

I know that they also use classical Chinese characters in Taiwan; Korean is an entirely different kettle of fish, at least in terms of writing, as their characters are completely different from kanji. But! New genetic research has recently confirmed that the average Japanese person is part of a group that came from Korea, thousands of years ago; Japanese is essentially a split-off of Korean, and even now the two languages share some vocabulary. However, because Korea *fucking loathes* Japan, and Japan *hates the shit outta* Korea, this fact is vehemently denied by both parties.

:D That's all I can tell you about *that*. Oh, and, Japanese people are essentially "polite" in the same way British people are "polite". It's an island nation thing.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby 3fj » Mon Sep 01, 2008 6:31 pm UTC

British people are polite?

Fuck, you really have no idea... :D
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby wst » Mon Sep 01, 2008 6:34 pm UTC

Why would anyone want their bikini waxed?
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby annals » Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:05 pm UTC

wst wrote:Why would anyone want their bikini waxed?

If I had a better sarcasm detector I would answer that.

Question for those outside the US: how often do you shower? Or, if you're some kind of lice-ridden slob/obsessive-compulsive neatfreak, what is a socially acceptable level of cleanliness in your area?

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Re: Questions For The World

Postby 3fj » Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:10 pm UTC

Scotland: Daily is social acceptable. Some weirdos shower up to 3 times a day, and bath in lynx afterward. I shower when i need to go out, but thats more to me being a slob/spending weeks at a time indoors. Once uni starts, it'll be a daily basis.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Vox Imperatoris » Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:18 pm UTC

annals wrote:
wst wrote:Why would anyone want their bikini waxed?

If I had a better sarcasm detector I would answer that.

Question for those outside the US: how often do you shower? Or, if you're some kind of lice-ridden slob/obsessive-compulsive neatfreak, what is a socially acceptable level of cleanliness in your area?

I take a shower every day, unless I'm not going in public that day. I could get away with every other day if my hair didn't look disgustingly oily after just 24 hours, though. I would say the vast majority of people take a shower every day and pretty much everyone else at least every other day, as long as they don't stink.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Kesho » Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:34 pm UTC

I have a question for the world; Do all of your national anthems really sound so similar? I just spent three hours on Youtube listening to instrumental versions of modern and historical national anthems and, for the most part, they all sounded pretty dang similar. The only anthems I remember being different were Kenya (because it sounded quite different than everything else), Turkey, Morocco, and Kyrgyzstan (for their dark and brooding intros). Now I will be the first to admit that I did not listen to every anthem and they seemed to have been played by the same orchestra and my own country's anthem is just as banal as the rest. So, given that the instrumentals sound the same to me, how much of an impact do you think the singer, the lyrics, and the language that the anthem is sung in have on the overall quality of the anthem?

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Re: Questions For The World

Postby demonhats » Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:11 am UTC

functionally_stupid wrote:Swimming pools~! I live in Massachusetts, in a town that was established before America declared independence - it's full of white people. There are like, twelve to twenty Asian families, and exactly TWO black families. Whiter than cream cheese on a carefully-toasted white bagel. There are only two kinds of acceptable swimming pool: the indoor swimming pool (in which case you are even more filthy rich than the rest of us), and the sunk-into-the-ground swimming pool. Having a gigantic, just-put-it-whevever-is-convenient, above-ground pool is not *tasteful* - it can be excused if it fits in well with your landscaping, but someone with that kind of swimming pool is generally viewed as "the wrong sort of white person". (This is because above-ground pools are cheap(er), and they are basically the only kind that trailer-park families can afford.) In terms of percentages, I would say that about one in every fifty families owns a pool. (That's a conservative estimate.) Smaller, above-ground pools are a lot more common in "unsuitable" neighborhoods; I'd say maybe one in twenty-five families would own that kind of pool.


My grandparents used to have a big above-ground pool when I was little. I never understood the stigma against them. They are much more awesome in my opinion because you can hang out over the sides and throw water and pool toys at people to get them to come in. Plus they're round! :D

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Re: Questions For The World

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:21 am UTC

Because they're cheaper. That's really it. Having one of those says you want a pool but cannot afford an in-ground pool, so you got that... and that's somehow "bad"

I dunno. Keep your damn pools. Too much trouble.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Kesho » Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:08 am UTC

demonhats wrote:
functionally_stupid wrote:Swimming pools~! I live in Massachusetts, in a town that was established before America declared independence - it's full of white people. There are like, twelve to twenty Asian families, and exactly TWO black families. Whiter than cream cheese on a carefully-toasted white bagel. There are only two kinds of acceptable swimming pool: the indoor swimming pool (in which case you are even more filthy rich than the rest of us), and the sunk-into-the-ground swimming pool. Having a gigantic, just-put-it-whevever-is-convenient, above-ground pool is not *tasteful* - it can be excused if it fits in well with your landscaping, but someone with that kind of swimming pool is generally viewed as "the wrong sort of white person". (This is because above-ground pools are cheap(er), and they are basically the only kind that trailer-park families can afford.) In terms of percentages, I would say that about one in every fifty families owns a pool. (That's a conservative estimate.) Smaller, above-ground pools are a lot more common in "unsuitable" neighborhoods; I'd say maybe one in twenty-five families would own that kind of pool.


My grandparents used to have a big above-ground pool when I was little. I never understood the stigma against them. They are much more awesome in my opinion because you can hang out over the sides and throw water and pool toys at people to get them to come in. Plus they're round! :D


Like functionally_stupid I grew up in Massachusetts, although since my house had a huge driveway that from the busy highway we lived near, was pretty well hidden by the trees, so nobody gave a crap about the above-ground pool. In the rich neighborhood that was about a quarter mile from my house, the above-grounds did have that same type of stigma, though.
And circular pools are definitely awesome. If I swam around the edge of the pool enough, I could get a little whirlpool going and then relax on an inner-tube for the rest of the afternoon as the current carried me around and around. :)

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Re: Questions For The World

Postby SoapyHobo » Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:04 am UTC

Kesho wrote:I have a question for the world; Do all of your national anthems really sound so similar? I just spent three hours on Youtube listening to instrumental versions of modern and historical national anthems and, for the most part, they all sounded pretty dang similar. The only anthems I remember being different were Kenya (because it sounded quite different than everything else), Turkey, Morocco, and Kyrgyzstan (for their dark and brooding intros). Now I will be the first to admit that I did not listen to every anthem and they seemed to have been played by the same orchestra and my own country's anthem is just as banal as the rest. So, given that the instrumentals sound the same to me, how much of an impact do you think the singer, the lyrics, and the language that the anthem is sung in have on the overall quality of the anthem?
I've just listened to the English, American, Russian and German national anthems and they sound nothing alike (especially the German one). I would agree that the singer(s) have a large effect on how they sound though, lyrics less so.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby Mr. Beck » Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:48 pm UTC

Let it be stated that the USSR has the coolest anthem of all time.

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Re: Questions For The World

Postby LL Cool J » Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:10 am UTC

annals wrote:Question for those outside the US: how often do you shower? Or, if you're some kind of lice-ridden slob/obsessive-compulsive neatfreak, what is a socially acceptable level of cleanliness in your area?


Once a day. We're on water restrictions, we're advised to spend no more than four minutes in the shower.
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Re: Questions For The World

Postby crowey » Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:38 am UTC

annals wrote:Question for those outside the US: how often do you shower? Or, if you're some kind of lice-ridden slob/obsessive-compulsive neatfreak, what is a socially acceptable level of cleanliness in your area?


Once a day, more if I've been doing something sweaty or if I've been in the sea.


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