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Everything posted by Peterkin

  1. I hadn't thought of that. Could be what the cats are doing, too. They move around like Mexican jumping beans, so it's impossible to keep track long enough to discern a pattern of who pushes whom aside. I'll try to pay closer attention.
  2. The cats do that too. Move from one dish to another, nudging one another aside, or sharing, sampling each portion. It's not hostile - I used to think it's of curiosity, the same way dogs sniff one another's fur and lips after an absence: "Where have you been? What did you eat there?". Since I always dole out the exact same food into as many dishes as seems appropriate, they've had plenty of opportunity to learn that nobody's food is better or worse. Maybe it's just a game? Or else they're dumber than they look.
  3. A history of food- and status-insecurity. Makes sense. When you haven't known where your next meal is coming from, you want to make sure of the one in front of you. I have noticed this about cats, though: once adopted, they seem to become complacent - take meals, laps and windowsills for granted - much faster than dogs and humans from similar backgrounds. For dogs, possessiveness of food and territory can persist for a long time after they're settled. Human children may carry that insecurity on into adulthood. Not uncommonly accompanied by a chronic weight problem.
  4. I don't think so. I suspect that the big guy - senior resident? - had a healthy appetite to match his size, and set the 'tone' of the dinner table -- "This is how we eat here." Or, like the feral cats that live on our back porch, she may have been afraid that the bigger cat would hoover it all up and not leave enough for her. It's not unusual in families with many children to have some rivalry over the food; the least favoured, most bullied or most anxious child may well overeat in compensation for perceived disadvantages. In uncertain times, too, we tend to eat as much as we can, every chance we get, because we're not sure of a next meal. My aunt had her own twist on the adage "never put off till tomorrow what you can do today" (The change of 'do' to 'eat' doesn't work in English. )
  5. It's much easier to trace back actions and even conversations than trains of unexpressed thought. The act of speaking aloud helps to fix words in memory and if you recall the words, you may recall the thought which gave rise to them. Unspoken thoughts seem nebulous; as soon as you try to catch them, they disperse like vapour. Even so, I can sometimes recapture the idea that started a train by looking for landmarks, e.g. if I ended up with "better check if Scruffy's come in", I can look for associations with cat, rain, night, front door, porch, greenhouse, plants... Oh, yes! I wondered whether the squash needs watering. Or something like that.
  6. Here's a list : Red River Valley, The Grapes of Wrath* , The Ox-Bow Incident* , The Last Picture Show, Sweet Savage, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Desperate Hours, Tombstone, A Prairie Home Companion, Hemingway & Gellhorn, Wild, Lucky *most likely candidates for earworm My tastes ran similarly toward my mother's. I wonder whether genetics has a role in musical - or, more broadly, aesthetic - sensibility, as well as musical/artistic talent. I have some reason to think it's not because we felt closer to one parent. HM A whole new, interesting subject to explore. I wonder how to broach it as a topic of discussion.
  7. My father bought a record player - Telefunken, big extravagance - at the first CNE we ever attended. It came with a selection of LP's. Tea for Two, I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen, Ghost Riders in the Sky.... Yes, they stuck with me. The awful Caruso numbers he played over and over are totally erased. But then in the 60's I got my own clock radio and woke up every morning to the hit parade... day after day after Groundhog Day. Couldn't forget those songs if I tried. The red river valley song was featured in the soundtrack of several popular films: you could easily have picked it up there without ever knowing the title.
  8. Like Harry the lizard in Death in Paradise - oh, the disillusionment!
  9. Do you understand the mechanism? I always assumed ideas, narratives, series of events etc. were fixed in long-term memory through association. Either because they were significant in themselves, or because they are part of a pattern or system of thought and experience. But then, there are these seemingly random pieces of flotsam that bob up for no reason. If I remember poems, that's due to diligent memorizing - and subject to fragmentation if not practiced often. Half The Highwayman (Gr eight) and Walrus and the Carpenter (around the same time, but extracurricular) are gone now. Song lyrics flake away, as well, even the ones I used to sing often are down to the refrain. The old folk songs my mother used to sing have fared better - maybe because there was so much vacant room in my head back then. As for contemporary songs, I don't understand a word of them to begin with and there's no melody to hook onto.
  10. Genady posted a passage from a book I read 50-odd years ago, and I recognized the source instantly. It's a book with no political or philosophical significance whatsoever, and at the time, I was intensely political and philosophical - who isn't at 21? So why did Three Men in a Boat (to say Nothing of the Dog) leave a life-long impression? I read Stephen Leacock, Mark Twain, Thurber, Mikes in that same decade, and can't recall much from any of those books - not even Connecticut Yankee. Humour generally doesn't leave a deep impression. Why this particular story? Do you have any books like that? Unimportant, non mind- or life-altering books that, nevertheless became embedded in your psyche?
  11. Three Men in a Boat? I once tried to read that aloud to bedridden friend and couldn't, for choking on laughter.
  12. No doubt the corporate sponsors were pleased and therefore the board of governors was pleased, so they didn't delve too deeply.
  13. I'd call that a fairly spectacular association!
  14. It's true that memory can be tricky. We recall what seems to us significant for whatever reason - the commonest reason being association with some other idea or event. Seems that thoughts and the noticing of things gain buoyancy as more of them are linked in some way: the larger the association-cluster (if I can call it that without treading on more knowledgeable toes), the more frequently and easily it bobs to the top of memory. Meanwhile a random thought or feeling or observation that doesn't become with linked with an event or person is dismissed, ignored and allowed to sink out of our awareness. That doesn't necessarily mean that such random observations are utterly forgotten: sometimes they can be coaxed forth under hypnosis.... But then, they can also become associated with a suggestion from the hypnotist and become distorted. Minds are weird!
  15. They're pretty much all hybrids, so I don't even try to plant them anymore. I did try a few times: leggy, weedy plants and no fruit is the common result. I grow nothing but heirloom varieties now. Cherokee Purple, Banana Legs, Striped German, Green Zebra are favourites; also Valencia, one of the Romas and usually a mix of cherries every year. My usual suppliers, when I do buy seed are OSC or Vesey's open pollinated stock, or Heritage Harvest - pricey as to seed, but cheap delivery. (rarely the big mass-produced ones that show up in Walmart and everywhere. Berton is pretty good, though.)
  16. I've never done anything but collect them off the cutting board into a tea sieve (small, not too fine a mesh) an rubbing gently under cold water until they feel clean to the touch. Then I tap them out onto a coffee filter and air-dry. After a few days, I put them into a re-labelled medicine vial - good recycle and just the right size, since I grow up to a dozen varieties each year. I've never had germination problems with heritage strains. I usually try sprouting a few between blotters before I do the March planting. I haven't tried planting wet seed, but a friend said her father - this would be back in the 1930's and 40's - used to start his by putting a whole ripe tomato in a can of damp soil and divide the seedlings when they were big enough. Strictly anecdotal, fwiw.
  17. Both subjects very much in circulation. It's quite possible that you had come across them previously - indeed, it's hard to imagine anyone connected to the communications webs no to have encountered them - but never had reason to focus on them. Ideas and topics, phrases and names, even colour or flavour combinations, circulate in cultures so that almost everyone who shares the culture is touched by them in some way at some time. There is also thins: As for the duplication, be not perturbed. The other thread is old, and I'm always happy to discuss matters arcane and psychological.
  18. Energy is obtained from stored fat by breaking down large molecules into smaller, simpler ones, until you have usable carbohydrates. The depleted fat cells shrink to fraction of their size, which accounts for the change in body shape.
  19. Not all cinema is worth saving. It's exactly that splashy, glitzy, overpriced and overhyped mass-produced movie that's making the industry unsustainable. It can continue - on a much reduced scale - less location shooting, smaller cast, fewer sequels, more quality than quantity and size (and, fps, less obtrusive soundtrack!). Yes, film is a valuable art form, like boats are a valuable form of transport, but not this!
  20. You can't tell. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0258153/ To a large extent, film stars have been steadily pricing themselves out of the market. Movies are just too expensive to make and too expensive to attend in a cinema - and cinemas have been growing meaner and more claustrophobic for decades, so that going to one is not even a special occasion: might as well wait for the DVD to watch in the comfort of one's home. With all the cosmetic medicine and dentistry available, there are far too many near-identical physically perfect actors anyway; they might as well have been computer generated. And, of course, a number of animated features have been very successful; the audience is ready to accept digital imagery. Maybe someday we'll start going to live performances again, on a more intimate local scale, on a modest budget.... Meantime, streamed and recorded entertainment doesn't differentiate between real and fabricated action.
  21. If the novels you read were by Jane Austen or Dickens, I would find this astonishing. If they're contemporary, however, it may be because the author is familiar with You Tube content - that is, aware of and concerned with the same subjects that are in the public eye. That's just the clairvoyance of AI.
  22. She wasn't training her replacement; she was training the customers to deal with her replacement. As the cashiers in all my grocery stores have been doing. Three years ago, when our Walmart brought in automated checkouts, there was a cashier at each of the three stations; now, there is one supervising all eight, and only three checkout counters operated by a human being. Now, two other food stores and both hardware stores have them. (Obviously, I'm one of the old diehards who stand in line as long as it takes at one of the ever-fewer checkouts with a person who draws a salary, but I know we can't hold out forever.) If there were any justice, studying for her MA in Archeology or home-schooling her children or painting landscapes, or whatever her talents and desires prompt her to do. If there isn't, she'll be on one of the social assistance programs that pay you just enough to survive, not to thrive. AI is just the latest iteration of a technological trend that started.... I suppose you can trace it all the way back to a chimpanzee picking up a stone to crack a nut. Some of us like inventing things and improving on things their predecessors invented; a few like owning the right to monetize those inventions, and the inventive people, in order to enrich themselves; some see technological innovation as a source of improved weaponry; some see the products as fresh fields for criminal activity; a great many consumers believe sufficiently in the labour- and time-saving convenience to devote many effort/hours to their acquisition. There is a cost. We don't generally think much about costs other than what comes out out of our wallets - not even to the depth of the number of hours each $ in that wallet cost us in wasted effort, commuting, frustration, humiliation, lost social opportunities, relationships, leisure, personal interests, emotional health, let alone the costs to our society, other societies, the environment, the ecology at large, etc. Most of the time, when we buy something, we have no idea what its actual cost-to-date is - and we certainly can't project it long-term cost/benefit ratio for the future. Only if you are one of the people who owned a lot of other enterprises and real estate before AI took over. Otherwise, you're out of work, on a pathetic dole from a near-bankrupt government, and can't even afford to dream of such a refrigerator or such foodstuffs. Google keeps you abreast of the latest gossip and entertainment. What you want is one of these guys. How it goes down from here depends on human decisions. Good luck with that!
  23. Peterkin


    Yes, a) b) and c) are all present among the many English-speakers who post on the internet, from whatever their current location happens to be. Many never knew the rules in the first place, or were taught the rules but not the reasons or how to discern which application is appropriate. Many others were taught in middle school and have since forgotten. Many do not care. Some never knew and don't care; some have forgotten and don't care. I assume (perhaps incorrectly) that most of those who do care look up the correct usage before making their remarks public - but they, too, may err and fail to notioce, or lack the time to proofread.
  24. Peterkin


    Incorrect assumption on my part. I apologize to all North Americans for the mistake. Yes to all, if "the people" includes everyone, on all continents.
  25. Peterkin


    "Who think they are not female enough" presumably refers to one group of people's low opinion of another group's femininity, quoted from one of the many North Americans who are not in the habit of reading literate printed material, and choose their words by ear. edit - I was slow with that response. Most of our examples of English usage now come from the internet and the workplace - which for many people are/is the same place. And most of my errors are due to clumsy fingers on the keyboard.
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