Aug. 15th, 2011 04:43 pm
To settle a debate, I'd appreciate it if people would answer the following questions WITHOUT looking up the answers.

[Poll #1769932]
Does anyone have a source for cow stickers? Amazon seems to only have third party vendors, and the best I could find on Oriental Trading were mixed barnyard animals. I want cows. Only cows.
I am currently listening to an unabridged audiobook1 of Frank Herbert's Dune with a full cast doing the different characters. I am wondering about the editorial/production choice to have a full cast, and about the claim of unabridged.

The conversations as read have very little "Paul said," "Jessica replied" sort of commentary. They tend to be only what the individual people actually said. For example, if Jessica were and Paul were talking about his homework over breakfast, and Leto walked in in the middle of it...

"So did you finish your homework last night?"
"Very quickly, it was just algebra."
"And what did you learn from it?"
"If you drop a book from the top of a building, its motion is governed by a quadratic equation."
"That isn't what I was taught, since you also have to take air friction into account."
"But you can simplify the equations if you make the assumption that there isn't any air friction."
"And we haven't gotten up to air friction yet."2

In the audio book, since there are three different readers for the lines said by Paul, Jessica, and Leto, it is obvious who said what, but there aren't any "Leto walked into the conversation and commented that..." that in a print version of the book would indicate who said what in a long exchange, or if three people are involved in the conversation. Is this lack of "Paul said" actually in the original text, or was there an editorial decision to remove those? If the original text did not include any "Paul said"s, that would explain the production choice to have a cast.

And while I'm asking, is there a name for doing "Paul said"s, or for not doing them?

1The production is copyright 2007 Audio Renaissance, and narrated by a cast listed on Audible.com as Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton,and Simon Vance, but possibly including more.
2In case you're curious, my intent here was for the speakers to be JPJPLJP, though the last L and J could be swapped and still have it make sense.
I was recently talking with [livejournal.com profile] calzephyr77 about how so few SF pieces include people with disabilities. The only book/series I could come up with, The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey has the same problem with disability as her other novels have with feminism, in that although she puts the disenfranchised individuals in the limelight, she does nothing to challenge the discriminatory nature of either present day or her fictional society. The only movie I could come up with while thinking then was Avatar, though Daredevil could also do.

I'm currently rereading Heinlein's "The Cat Who Walks Through Walls," my intent being to examine his treatment of women with my current understanding of feminism, rather than how I thought about the issue when younger. I have been pleasantly surprised when ever half hour or so something reminds me that the main character uses a prosthetic leg. It's an unavoidable part of the narrator's life and affects fro the little things like his walking speed to his choice to live in a low gravity environment, but it's not something that permeates every moment of his (or the reader's) thinking.

Can anyone make any other recommendations of SF books with characters with disabilities for me to read? The overall read needs to be good, but I'm curious about both good and bad treatments of disabilities.
I'm thinking of donating to help wildlife (especially birds) in the Gulf due to the oil spill. What charity or charities do you recommend? I'm thinking about the National Audubon Society.

Wiki needed

Jun. 1st, 2010 10:42 pm
asterroc: (Astro - H-alpha)
I'm looking for a wiki that allows entering and editing complex math formulae (like Mediawiki, I don't care if it's WYSWYG or LaTeX-like), but hosted on their servers (like PBWorks) for an online Physics course that I'm developing for the Spring. My goal is to have the students collaboratively write their own outlines and study sheets.
Okay, someone explain to me, why is the oil gushing out of the well? I picture the oil as being inside an underground lake, with the well being like a straw going down to it. But when you put a straw into a glass of juice, the juice doesn't suddenly start gushing up the straw, it sits inside the glass until you start sucking on the straw. In the case of a juice box, the juice does start gushing out of the juice box, but that's because you're squeezing on the package while holding it to jam in the straw - is there something "squeezing" on the oil in the ground? Or is it heat causing the pressure, and if so then why hasn't all the oil leaked out and stabilized that way?
Here's a mirror image of the chop, so it should be "readable" this way.


People are still stumped so far, so my plan is to bring it with me to NYC next time I go, and see if I can track down someone there who can look at it in person and read it.
I have a Chinese chop, in traditional characters. It is possible that it contains my name in Chinese (Szu Sung-Eh), or it could be something else entirely ("licensed prostitute"). I can no longer write my Chinese name, but I think I would recognize it if hand written, and certainly the last symbol doesn't look like anything I recognize (that and my name is three parts, not four).

Below the cut are images of the stamp/print, and the chop itself. Click for bigger.

Chop chop! )

If you know what it says, please enlighten me.

Edit: A mirror image of the chop and further discussion can be found here.
I had a Googling question which I found the answer to right after making the post, but keeping this up for posterity.

Original question )

Solution ) the article that I wanted.

Pop Quiz!

Mar. 10th, 2010 11:37 pm
Okay gentlemen and ladies, someone's cellphone went off so it's time for a Pop Quiz. Put away your notes, put away your pencils and papers, put away your calculators, and most especially put away your cellphones and answer the following questions.

That's right, I want you to answer it without a calculator and also without even writing anything down. I assure you it's possible. Please do your best.

[Poll #1536640]

When you're done, you may turn in your papers and go back to your regularly scheduled midterm exam grading.

If you're not certain of your answer, please feel free to explain your reasoning.
Anyone got a link to a simple explanation of the new law that goes into effect Monday that changes how credit cards can change interest rates and things like that?
asterroc: (xkcd - Binary Heart)
I've been using TweetDeck on my work PC, and Tweetie on my Mac, and I now know exactly what I want in a Twitter client. More-or-less in preference order, or at least numbered so we can refer to them...

  1. MUST handle multiple accounts - I have my personal account, my personally identifying / work account, my online class account, and my bird's account. (Both Tweetdeck and Tweetie have this).

  2. Tweeting: I want to be able to post the same tweet to multiple accounts without having to copy and paste (TweetDeck has this, Tweetie does not)

  3. URL shortening (both TweetDeck and Tweetie have this)

  4. Deleting: I want to be able to right-click or something and delete the tweet. (TweetDeck has this, I don't think Tweetie does)

  5. Following: I want to see a single stream for tweets everyone that I follow in any of the four accounts, with a smaller copy of my own icon in the bottom info line indicating which of my four accounts is following that person (or which multiple accounts). In other words, I want the multiple following streams to be integrated into a single stream so that I don't see the same tweet from @Astro_Mike three times just because I'm following him with three accounts. (I have yet to see this in a Twitter client, and this is the one thing that'll make me switch Twitter clients at this point.)

  6. OS: I want the same program to exist for both Mac and PC, and look identical for both. (Nope)

  7. Multiple computers: I want appearance preferences stored on a server and loaded when I load the program, so that if I change something on one computer, it comes up on another one. (TweetDeck supposedly has tihs, but it's broken and hasn't ever worked for me.)

  8. RT: I want when I RT for it to by default start with "RT @blah:" rather than ending with "(via @blah)", and I want to be able to edit when I RT. ("RT @blah:" is TweetDeck's appearance, "(via @blah)" is Tweetie's)

  9. Pop-up notification: I want the ability to show the pop-up notification in various sizes, colors, and positions - corners do NOT work for me, I want right edge of the screen in the middle. (TweetDeck and Tweetie [via Growl] have limited choices here, but not enough.)

So, anyone know of a Twitter client that has all these, or want to write me one? *grin*
What is it about the US's three branches of government that has led to a two-party system throughout the US's history, where nations with two branches tend to have a robust multi-party system?

(Where by "two branches" I mean the Executive and Legislative merged into a Parliament and the head of their majority party is the prime Prime Minister. If there's another name for this style of government, I'd be curious to know.)
Last night T$ and I were watching a cartoon series by Tartakovsky last night, and I assumed he was Polish while T$ told me he was Russian. There ensued a conversation about how Poland had been part of Russia at times in the past, and vice versa, so it makes sense they'd have similar names. Which prompted me to wonder if there is a language that is partway between Russian and Polish, or if there's a pidgin combination of the two (or whatever the appropriate word is instead of "pidgin").

Does this really happen, are there "intermediate" languages when there isn't geographical separation between two regions with different languages? I'm thinking of a comparison between how languages separate and how species evolve, that it'll start with two subspecies that become more and more distinct, and sometimes there'll be a third subspecies that can interbreed with both even when the two extremes can't interbreed with each other. Is it like that?

I am hopeful [livejournal.com profile] q10 will reply to this with his expertise, but if anyone has info it'd be interesting.
It's my understanding that my health insurance will cover a visit to an allergist, but will not cover testing nor the shots. I'm planning to call an allergist tomorrow (my Fall allergies have interfered with my sleep for more than a week straight now, and it feels like a bad cold except that I know it isn't), and I want to be prepared for how much it's going to suck.
asterroc: (doll)
I have a couple small bags of dresses (probably around 10 items in total) in size Small (roughly size 2-4) that I wore in college or high school and no longer fit me. Most were probably manufactured in the 90's, and are little cocktail dresses in black or flowery silken stuff; one is a vintage flapper dress. I want to sell them if possible.

I'm looking for recommendations on whether to use eBay, Craigslist, or something else, and recommendations on how to build the ads (I'm planning to list the items separately). I'd like them to sell the first time (especially on eBay since they charge per ad), I don't care too much about what price they sell for since my other option is donate them and not get any money, I'll be charging shipping if it's not a local pickup, I want to get my money before mailing/delivering the items. So, thoughts/advice?
asterroc: (xkcd - Escher)
"Real life should take priority over the virtual, such as cellphones, social networking, and video games."

Anybody here had to get past an institutional ethics review board for an experiment? I'm writing a sci-fi/fantasy short story that involves human subject research and I'd like to see some documents people have to produce to get past ethics review boards. It doesn't have to be humans, experimenting on mice is fine too. I'm looking for things like forms that you fill out for the board, forms that you create for the subjects to give informed consent, and justification papers that you submit to accompany the paperwork. It doesn't have to have been successful.

If you're willing to show me such things but don't want it public, you can email me at zandperl-AT-gmail-DOT-com.




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