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Patched Tube

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Everything posted by Patched Tube

  1. "Sensible" does not equal "likely".
  2. Well the sensible thing would be to settle this like gentleman and have Conte (discreetly) look around for a new job and have Chelsea hand him a nice severance check when he finds one (as he almost certainly will). Better that than "West Ham on Stamford Bridge".
  3. You can say that about just about any high level football match especially if the two teams are remotely close in quality.
  4. I thought they had a decent shot and they came out strong. They just seemed a bit sharper today and a little hungrier.
  5. One of the commentators just tore the hide off MU for their match and season. Ouch!
  6. Jones is having a tough match. Camera on him for all the wrong reasons.
  7. I started watching "Altered Carbon" last night. Not bad. Not great but not bad. Visually very striking and the occasional Tarintinoesque action scene thrown in (helps to suspend your disbelief here and just go with it). Kind of a mashup of Blade Runner and cyberpunk titles with a dash of details lifted from Dune. They have something to teach the people doing GoT about how to handle nudity. So far a solid series worth the time.
  8. Hearing from the fans of the show this season (and this AM) I have concluded that Jon Snow is the Rick Grimes of GoT.
  9. Well like I said - it would make for a crappy movie. But language is just a code; start with a few "givens" like the ones outlined above and it wouldn't take long to "crack" the code. Doing it the hard way with pictograms and flash cards is, IMO, too inefficient and presents too many chances for confusion. The picture of her holding up a card saying "human": is that her role/title, her name, her species name or the name for something alive? Or something else entirely? Imagine having somebody walking up to you holding up a sign in Cyrillic or ancient Egyptian. From the "decryption" approach the only real problem would be words for which the respective species have no point of reference or context; a Neolithic Polynesian probably wouldn't have a word for ice for example. Then you have to describe the concept and hope the other side gets it - or at least most of it. But that is true no matter how you approach the problem. From the perspective of the advanced species the tricky bit is in the realm of science; it would be easy to blunder and give the primitive species a crucial insight into some advanced science/technology. Sometimes you don't know what you know; you tell a kid "saltpeter" is potassium nitrate and the next thing you know he's (and it would be a he ) is making gunpowder in the basement.
  10. I haven't seen it but from the reviews and clips I've seen it seems like it's not bad. The big problem I see with it is almost certainly the way we would start a dialogue with an alien species (with advanced technology) would be through mathematics and then physics and chemistry. Give them our base ten number system, then show basic properties (addiditive, distributive, power' etc.) then concepts like pi and the Pythagorean theorem, E=MC^2, speed of light, Field equations, periodic table, etc. whatever the base of their mathematics they would recognize those things and be able to extrapolate a lot of grammer and vocabulary. Similarly they would understand binary - one or zero, on or off - is too basic to skip over. You would give them our binary for numbers and letters. Given that a species with a starship would have advanced ADP capabilities a digital file of a dictionary and a grammar checker (the algorithms of grammer) would have them reading at a post graduate level in about 60 seconds. But that would make for a crappy movie I suppose.
  11. "City of Fortune" by Roger Crowley. Interesting read about the rise and golden age of Venice. Venice was a fascinating, if accidental, idea; power almost totally based on trade. With little territory and manpower Venice dominated the central and eastern Mediterranean by mobilizing gobs of cash brought in by merchants. Good read about an interesting piece of history.
  12. Persian Fire by Tom Holland A history of the Persian conflict with the Classical Greek world. Built around an interesting thesis of the events as the origin of western and middle eastern conflict and rivalry containing and then novel element of war as religious duty. Even handed (the Greeks, particularly the Athenians, don't come off as anywhere as nobel as we were led to believe in HS history) and a good read. Popular history at its best; could be a beach read but you learn something and makes you think.
  13. Well in theroy the giant magnet could scramble the hard drive but it would have to have been much more powerful then the one in the show. As I recall some nerd worked out the power requirements (the equations are pretty basic) and essentially White would have had to tap into a power substation. It was a fun scene. It wasn't the first time Hollywood has played the magnet trick; I think it was in "The Big Easy" where a crooked cop is on video tape taking a bribe and he convinces the guy in charge of the evidence locker to place an industrial magnet next to the tape. Might work particularly if he spun the tape around a few times everyday before the trial.
  14. Well, mystical mumbo jumbo aside, she manages to do more or less what she wants when she wants so I'm not sure I'm buying that. And let's face it; it wouldn't be the most ridiculous piece of writing in the show. Imagine the scene when he comes sauntering up to Ramsay after the battle and smirkes at him "whatdaya think of these apples bee-atch?"
  15. Let's talk about that impulse control... So you see your half brother getting skewered by arrows because he's too stupid to duck. Well that sucks but you compound how much it sucks by jumping straight into the trap you know is set for you. That is some serious stupid. How about keeping your cool, winning the battle and exacting some ghastly form of revenge? But it gets better... You got a witch that can raise people from the dead! I mean seriously. Play your cards right and Rickon is swilling ale and harassing the serving girls at the victory feast with rest of the louts.
  16. Well from a tactical POV the entire episode is improbable as to border in the moronic. The "unexpected army arriving in the nick of time" plot device has been beaten to death at this point; does no one think of a light cavalry screen on their flank and rear? Pretty basic stuff really. And finally... "Jon Snow is an idiot" (something that can be said of the Starks in general BTW). From a leadership perspective Jon Snow makes Rick Grimes look like Erwin Rommel. http://www.vox.com/2016/6/24/12008792/game-of-thrones-jon-snow-dany-sansa-everyone-awful This is one of my big problems with the show at this point; it's hard to identify with a collection of characters that, with the odd exception here and there, are so relentlessly stupid.
  17. Not exactly sure where to post this but... a really well written article about an Afghan man selling tamales in the backwaters of Wyoming circa 1909 who turns out to be a pretty sharp stock picker. Yeah... sounds pretty odd but it's a great read. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/06/06/zarif-khans-tamales-and-the-muslims-of-sheridan-wyoming?src=longreads
  18. One of the rewards of studying geology is that you get comfortable with the concept of "deep time" and you start seeing the planet as a very dynamic place. You also start to wrap your arms around the fact that humans are indeed puny and the universe really doesn't give a crap about us. For all all our knowledge and power, and they are not inconsiderable, the forces that govern our planet could snip us out of the time line and erase virtually every trace we'd ever been here. It's kind of humbling.
  19. "Annals of the Former World" by John McPhee. A popular writer takes on the Geology of the United States using I-80 as a transect. He travels and writes over a period of several years in the company of several geologists and tries to make sense of it all at a time when plate tectonics ushers in the era of "new geology". McPhee is obviously interested in the science and "the questions" but also geologists and he assembles a particularly colorful, interesting and accomplished cast. A bit dated, some mistakes but well written and written for a non specialist audience. Nicely broken up with historical and biographical detours. It's has essentially four parts (they have been published separately) that stand on their own. Two parts of the book "Basin and Range" and "Assembling California" are particularly strong and interesting.
  20. Thanks man... tell you what; you get it and hate it I'll buy it. Best book I've read (and reread) in ages. The portriat of Einstein and his humanity is worth the price alone. Better yet... support your local library!
  21. "Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality" http://www.amazon.com/Quantum-Einstein-Debate-Nature-Reality/dp/0393339882 I'm reading this (again) and it's a well written and surprisingly fast paced piece of science history that examins the essentially philosophical argument between Einstein and Bohr about the implications of quantum theroy. It was an a duel to the death; the last drawing on Bohr's blackboard was one of Einsteins challenges to his theroy. It was also an argument between two friends who never stopped liking, admiring and respecting each other. It's also an argument that remains unresolved to this day and has seen each sides arguments wax and wane. Its not a book full of arcane equations and concepts (only one!) but is full of outstanding personalities and one very big question: is the universe deterministic or probabilistic - which has far bigger implications then one might think at first blush. The personalities and lives behind the caricatures of Einstein, Heisenberg, Schrodinger (he of the famous cat) and others are nicely covered in their glory and all to often - tragedy. The tragic consequences of Hitler coming to power, both to science and to many of the people in the book, and the destruction of German physics and it's link to the rise of American physics is well covered. Wonderfully written, dense without being turgid, a cast of amazing very human characters, and published to very good reviews. I've read it several times and it always offers something fresh. If you want to spend some quality time with a book I highly recommend it.
  22. Finally got a around to watching Interstellar. Pretty good movie all around. I enjoyed the fact that much of the science behind the plot and various scenes was at least plausible. Though the giant waves on the water planet seem to indicate a ridiculously short tidal cycle... planet must be spinning like a top. Visually interesting, pretty decent acting and a plot that wasn't ridiculous... that's a pretty solid B, B+ effort.
  23. "Scorpions" by Noah Feldman. A history of four of FDRs more consequential SOCUS appointments - Jackson, Black, Frankfurter and Douglas. Very interesting people with different legal philosophies and styles. Frequently not very attractive people BTW. Good read. Fun fact: based on a pretty good description in the book I was able to narrow down and possibly identify the home of Jackson's mistress where he suffered a fatal heart attack.
  24. Pelecanos is my favorite living author. Agree with everything you've posted here. For a long time I've been meaning to PM you about Pelecanos since you live in the D.C. area.I can vouch for his detail and "feel". I was reading one of his stories and a character "came up Militarty, turned on 39th and parked on the corner of Livingston" (or words to that affect) to stake out a well heeled lawyers house. Well not only can you find that block... it's exactly the kind of neighborhood where well heeled lawyers DO live. Same thing happened with a marina bar in southern Maryland he placed a character in. I'm reasonably sure I know the place (go for the soft shells in season). He really does do his homework and has a great feel for the neighborhoods of the city. My only slight complaint is he does tend to like happy endings - and in many places and I'd say especially in DC that isn't always a given. But that is a pretty minor squawk.
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