In other news... (humorous news items)

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby SDK » Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:18 pm UTC

Heh, fine. Carry on.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Sizik » Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:55 pm UTC

It's X in base 9. :D
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby phlip » Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:13 am UTC

Angua wrote:I prefer thinking of the X as being 'here be dragons' rather than as a stand in for 10.
Considering "Planet X" as a term predates the discovery of Pluto (and, for a time, people thought Pluto was Planet X), I imagine you are correct.

Sizik wrote:It's X in base 9. :D
That's... that's not how any of this works.

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enum ಠ_ಠ {°□°╰=1, °Д°╰, ಠ益ಠ╰};
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Angua » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:51 am UTC

Yeah, I was wondering about that. Given that pluto was discovered while trying to account for orbit discrepancies and the search for Planet X, how does this differ from that? They don't even mention Planet X in the article!
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Diadem » Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:31 am UTC

Even if this thing is real, it is not a planet, is it? For the same reason Pluto isn't. It hasn't cleared its neighborhood.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Thesh » Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:35 am UTC

I don't think we know if it's cleared its orbit; if it's ten times the mass of Earth, however, I'd imagine it has probably cleared it's orbit.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby jestingrabbit » Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:33 am UTC

There were pseudo planets before Pluto. Ceres is the biggest, but all the asteroids were called planets until a few dozen had been identified and people realised there was a group of things that needed a name, which were'nt planets in a sensible taxonomy of celestial bodies. We don't put them in the count. Lets try to do the same wrt the Pluto incident.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Lazar » Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:25 pm UTC

The planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Vesta, Juno, Pallas, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn and Herschel. #only1830skids
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Jan 21, 2016 1:43 pm UTC

If Pluto is not a planet, then Europe is not a continent.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby PeteP » Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:35 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:If Pluto is not a planet, then Europe is not a continent.

Honestly I think calling Europe a continent is silly. But yeah I guess we could have grandfathered Pluto in and just kept calling it one even if it doesn't fit the newer definition.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby SDK » Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:36 pm UTC

Eurasia is a thing, and Pluto will always hold a special place in our hearts.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Diemo » Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:43 pm UTC

This naming convention - we didn't plan it very well
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Diadem » Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:15 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:If Pluto is not a planet, then Europe is not a continent.

Well the term 'continent' has always been extremely vague, and used differently in different places. That's too late to fix now. But just because we can't eliminate all vague words in the English language doesn't mean we shouldn't eliminate ambiguity when we can.

Also there's obviously 8 continents: America, Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, Arabia, India and Antarctica.

I do admit that Europe's appearance in this list is a bit odd. All other continents end with -ia or - ica.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ijuin » Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:24 pm UTC

Well, Europe's "proper" name is "Europa"--it's only English and a few other languages that have altered the pronunciation.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:22 pm UTC

A fun thing that we (American) students did with our Spanish teachers: tell them that there are seven continents.

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And of course, in their classrooms, there are six continents, damn it.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Zohar » Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:34 pm UTC

Yeah, there's a lot of cultural aspects to that sort of thing. For example, different countries count a different number of colors in the rainbow.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:44 pm UTC

That's because Newton was a nutjob who thought that there should be seven colors. Sorry, indigo is not in the rainbow. It was forgivable because he predated the days of modern science, but the more time goes on the more insane he appears. Like his views on astrology.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Diadem » Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:53 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:A fun thing that we (American) students did with our Spanish teachers: tell them that there are seven continents.

Image

And of course, in their classrooms, there are six continents, damn it.

Wait. Why is Turkey part of Europe on that map? I've never heard of that one. That's in Spain? Huh.

Also, half of Indonesia is suddenly part of Australia? That map is weird.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Carlington » Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:48 am UTC

Can't comment on the Turkey in Europe thing, but notice that the label on Australia is "Oceania" - I've seen this used before to label Australia + whichever island nations north and northeast of Australia and into the Pacific the particular person chooses.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Coyne » Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:41 am UTC

Diadem wrote:Wait. Why is Turkey part of Europe on that map? I've never heard of that one. That's in Spain? Huh.

Also, half of Indonesia is suddenly part of Australia? That map is weird.


Take a look at the Europe and Asia and Asia and Oceania sections of Boundaries between continents.

Turns out that, for something I at least kind of thought was settled, that every yahoo "expert" has a different idea of where the lines should be drawn. All for very good, non-nationalistic reasons, I'm sure.

(I was once lead to believe that the dividing line between Europe and Asia was the Urals...boy was I naive.)

The map of Asia-Oceana you were complaining about evidently uses the Wallace line, where most of the maps I've seen evidently use the Weber or Lydekker line (not sure which).

Even the dividing line between Asia and Africa, which would seem to be obvious...well "Greco-Roman geography" placed all of Egypt in Asia. Of course, even in this article, that comes out idiotic because they imply that to mean the whole modern Egypt to its modern borders in Asia, but in Greco-Roman times, Egypt would have been this little coastal country with almost none of the modern inland. (See the Marmarica link for a more accurate picture. It wouldn't have gone very far inland, except along the Nile, because North Africa is mostly this unlivable desert or something.)

I swear, people can have a learned difference of opinion over whether a glass is half-empty or half-full.

And they're all idiots, because this is my flawless opinion of where the lines should be... :D (I read the article so I is now an expert...)
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Lazar » Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:27 am UTC

Diadem wrote:Wait. Why is Turkey part of Europe on that map? I've never heard of that one. That's in Spain? Huh.

Don't take this one map to be representative of Spanish culture; I've seen Spanish-language maps that draw the boundary at the Bosporus, and I've seen English-language maps that place all of Turkey in Europe (or all of Russia in Asia, or almost anything else you can imagine). The only consistent point of difference between the Spanish- and English-speaking cartographic cultures is whether America should be considered one continent or two.

Coyne wrote:The map of Asia-Oceana you were complaining about evidently uses the Wallace line, where most of the maps I've seen evidently use the Weber or Lydekker line (not sure which).

In my experience, most continent maps use either the Lydekker line (coinciding with the mid-20th-century boundary between Indonesia and Netherlands New Guinea), or the land boundary between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

Even the dividing line between Asia and Africa, which would seem to be obvious...well "Greco-Roman geography" placed all of Egypt in Asia. Of course, even in this article, that comes out idiotic because they imply that to mean the whole modern Egypt to its modern borders in Asia, but in Greco-Roman times, Egypt would have been this little coastal country with almost none of the modern inland. (See the Marmarica link for a more accurate picture. It wouldn't have gone very far inland, except along the Nile, because North Africa is mostly this unlivable desert or something.)

There's still debate over the Asian-African border. Some maps place the Sinai Peninsula in Asia (making Egypt a bicontinental country), and others place it in Africa.

(And let's not even touch the topic of regions. Those are just complete anarchy.)
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby morriswalters » Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:56 am UTC

Slap a canal past the Urals to the Black Sea and call it good. Say from Riga to Odessa.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby firechicago » Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:03 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:Slap a canal past the Urals to the Black Sea and call it good. Say from Riga to Odessa.

Wouldn't that make Scandinavia officially part of Asia?

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Adacore » Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:43 am UTC

Intuitively, looking at a map, there should indeed be six continents, but the 'combination' would be Eurasia, rather than North and South America. The distinction between Europe and Asia has always seemed completely arbitrary to me - every other continental division is delimited by seas or oceans, but Europe-Asia is a random line somewhere in Russia (with the location of that line variable depending on who you ask).

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Lazar » Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:48 am UTC

It made more sense from the perspective of the old Mediterranean civilizations: they saw one great landmass to the west of the Aegean and Black Seas and one to the east of it, connected only by some distant northern steppe territory.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Grop » Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:31 am UTC

Carlington wrote:Can't comment on the Turkey in Europe thing, but notice that the label on Australia is "Oceania" - I've seen this used before to label Australia + whichever island nations north and northeast of Australia and into the Pacific the particular person chooses.


In France at least the continent is called Océanie, and includes several countries, while Australie is one country (or its main island - or most probably it's the other way around). I am not sure it makes much sense.

Re: Turkey as part of Europe, that would mostly be a political statement. It is generally agreed that only the small land west of Bosphorus is Europe, while mainland Turkey is Asia.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Zohar » Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:37 pm UTC

That's what I've learned as well - Western part of Turkey is in Europe, Eastern part in Asia.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Diadem » Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:15 pm UTC

The fuzziness of Europe's boundary in Russia isn't all that important, if you think about it in a wider context. All the important bits of Russia are in Europe, with the possible exception of some bits along the pacific coast, which are pretty unambiguously Asian. The rest is mostly empty land, with very few people, and certainly no political or cultural power. Start in the north of the Caspian sea, draw a line straight east and another straight north. You can draw the dividing line between Europe and Asia anywhere you want in the quadrant so created, and it wouldn't really change things much in terms of the culture, population or political make-up of the continents.

The traditional continents are a kind of compromise between geographical and cultural boundaries. So no surprise that it is messy.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:26 pm UTC

I've never really understood the difference from Europe and Asia. As far as I'm aware, those are the only continents that are "separated" by a large land mass.

North America / South America and the Africa / Asia borders are separated by a relatively narrow passage (only some dozens of miles across), which have been "broken" by canals. So I can see debate where the line should be drawn, but I think the US-centric study is to draw the boundaries at the Panama Canal / Suez Canal.

I once heard the term "Eurasia", and that just makes more sense to me. I don't really recall where my studies put the boundary of Europe and Asia, but for me... Turkey was considered Asia.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Zohar » Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:32 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:The fuzziness of Europe's boundary in Russia isn't all that important, if you think about it in a wider context. All the important bits of Russia are in Europe, with the possible exception of some bits along the pacific coast, which are pretty unambiguously Asian.

I think there are many Europeans and many Russians that would object to have Russia be part of Europe.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Lazar » Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:45 pm UTC

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Coyne » Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:28 pm UTC

Lazar wrote:See: Eurasianism.


I swear, argue over the sky is up or down...

And that's not even the worst...now there's Neo-Eurasianism...
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby elasto » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:28 am UTC

Donald Rumsfeld, the two-time US secretary of defence who presided over the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, has released a video game.

The game, initially released as an iOS app, is based on a version of solitaire favoured by Winston Churchill. The variant uses two decks of cards rather than one, 10 rows of cards instead of seven, and an extra pile of six cards called “the Devil’s Six” for the player to work into their strategy.

Rumsfeld himself had become a fan of the physical version of the solitaire variant after he first played it in the 1970s. It was taught to him by Belgian statesman André de Staercke, who had in turn, Rumsfeld claims, been taught it by Churchill himself.

He says that the game is “probably the most challenging and strategic game of logic or puzzle” he has ever played, and that he was concerned that it would be “lost to the ages” if it wasn’t spread to more people.


/guffaw

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Thesh » Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:59 pm UTC

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/26/us/2- ... icted.html

HOUSTON — A grand jury here that was investigating allegations of misconduct against Planned Parenthood has instead indicted two anti-abortion activists who made videos of the organization.


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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Lazar » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:23 pm UTC

But Carly Fiorina said they were sautéing babies.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Djehutynakht » Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:12 am UTC

Guy gets drunk, spends $1 million on portrait of a potato.

To be fair, he actually decided to go through with the buy once sober.

And it is a nice potato.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ObsessoMom » Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:20 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:And it is a nice potato.


Yes, very handsome. Looks a lot like you, actually.

[Edited to add:] Which reminds me:

King Tut's broken beard and other art disasters

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby eviloatmeal » Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:10 am UTC


Majestic. Almost like a bearded asteroid.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:54 am UTC

But now that potato picture is famous. For all we know, he was paid a million to buy it, just to generate publicity. Or perhaps he really bought it for $50,000, but then in a few years this "famous" picture will be resold for a "loss" at $500,000?

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Angua » Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:34 am UTC

Crabtree's bludgeon: “no set of mutually inconsistent observations can exist for which some human intellect cannot conceive a coherent explanation, however complicated”
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