So much awesome in this thread since I was last in the present… so many things I wanted to respond to, but it's a good thing I've forgotten them because they'd make the thread even harder for those behind me to ketchup. I do remember I wanted to link to Grammar Girl's episode on country names and 'the'
and mention that someone (possibly my German teacher) said that the reason Switzerland has a 'the' in German is that it's short for the Swiss Confederation. Also, some people's names are
translated; Jean-Sébastien Bach
, for example. Maybe whoever mentioned that his name wasn't translated knew that and was subtly referring to it.
If you spill tea cake or coffee cake from out of your cupcake, use a sponge cake to soak it up.Duble dactyls:
I'll have some coffee with my cup cake.
I mentioned as soon as the double-dactyls came up that I read them to a tune, and this caused me to mess up my attempt at one (without reading the rules) because the tune (or, subconsciously, whatever song the tune came from) suggested more rhymes than were actually necessary.Legs:
I find it interesting that there seem to be two separate arguments going on surrounding Lego; one that since Lego is a brand name/company, the actual bricks should be called Lego bricks rather than Legos. I call the individual pieces 'pieces of Lego' and this reasoning had never even occurred to me. The other idea is that Lego is a mass noun, and that's why a pile of Lego is a pile of Lego and a single one has to have other words added to it such as 'piece of' or 'brick' (like 'grain of' in rice), which is how I see it.Extra dimensins:
As for extra dimensions, you can use a Möbius strip to illustrate how even a tiny extra dimension that we can't travel into gives us an extra property. A Möbius strip is made of a two-dimensional strip, but if you have just a little space in one dimension you can twist it and then join the ends make it into a loop. Try it with a stray Coke bottle label; you can stick the ends together without any extra tape or anything. Then you get two things which remind me of particle physics:
- A thing that makes 'spin 1/2' particles make sense. Spin is kind of an abstract property of particles that may not actually have anything to do with spinning, but you can think of it as how many times you will see the same thing each time you spin it 360 degrees. If you have a coffee cup with a handle, you only see the handle once each turn, so it has spin 1. If you have a cup with a handle on each side, you see a handle twice each time you spin it, so it has spin 2. But a spin 1/2 particle is like a coffee cup where you have to turn it around twice just to see the handle once. And a Möbius strip is like that! If you follow around it with your finger, when you go around the strip once, you are on a different side of the strip from before. You have to go around it twice to get to the same place as before.
- A thing that has chirality (handedness.) There are two different directions you can twist the strip, and once you've joined the ends together, there is no way that you can make one kind of Möbius strip into the other. Particles also come in two chiralities.
So you can think of the extra dimensions as having just enough space to twist strips of paper or comic strips
and turn them into loops, so that the loops have different properties depending on how they're twisted. You don't have to be able to move around in that direction, but if the Möbius strips and other loops happen to be spinning, we'll notice that they have different behaviour. Which leads me to a name for a disappointing sequel that never existed:
(Nobody can be told what the OTC/sea is. You have to see it for yourself.)
I'm not a physicist, so this could be unrelated to any actual physical theories about the universe (though Kaluza-Klein theory seems related), but it was exciting to me. I saw a web page about it several yips ago which I can't find any more, and spent the rest of the dip playing with Möbius strips made of Coke bottle labels.Yuse:
I remember learning when I was a kid, back when my mum and I used to compete in Scrabble tournaments, that the 'youse' plural of 'you' had an e on the end. (Eek, now I'm thinking 'a plural you has an e on the end' to the tune of 'A wizard's staff has a knob on the end'.)Predictin:
[prediction]They will eventually come across a large molpy, such as a molpygoat, and Megan will say 'wow'. Also, at some point they will look back and see more of the network of rivers feeding the sea, and have a strangely worded and dubiously clever epiphany.[/prediction]
I think we could be in the second act (the first act being the Act of the Sandcastles) of a three-act play. Cmavision:
I had a comavision that I heard an audio interview with Randall (only, he had the voice of Molly Lewis), and he casually mentioned what the 'it' was we were waiting for and why it hadn't arrived yet, as if we should already know what it was. I don't remember what it was, but it was some kind of numerical thing, as if we were waiting for a frame number that had particularly interesting mathematical properties. He mentioned some interesting-number frames that we had already seen and seemed to assume we'd have figured out the 'it' frame from those.Ging on:
Come on, Cueball; this is what the first part of going on as far as the world can looks like!
I read the 'yup' as a perky, happy yup, to reassure that she was just fine.
…scuttles off to coma singing 'It's a short wait after all'