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  #2241  
Old 08-05-2014, 10:08 PM
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Over the years I have heard a number of complaints from Europeans and others that American's are insincerely polite. I admit to being insincerely polite - I ask strangers how they are doing when in fact I really do not want to know. However I am not sure that this type of insincere politeness is an exclusively American trait. I do wonder if phrases such as "really very good" or "extremely honest" arose from our subconscious or even conscious knowledge of our insincerity.


Now folks THAT is frontier gibberish.
Thank you so much for this post.
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  #2242  
Old 08-05-2014, 11:09 PM
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Thank you so much for this post.
This is the off topic section right?

<looking around - seeing that yes it is the off topic section>

You are welcome :-)
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  #2243  
Old 08-05-2014, 11:24 PM
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Some of that is forced on us. I work at hospital that requires us to greet everyone we encounter within 10 feet. It just carries over as I find myself doing it in stores as well. And we always upgrade their response such as, How are you. Im good. Great. Or I'm OK and we reply good, or fantastic. No I'm OK. Pay attention if you are going to ask.
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  #2244  
Old 08-06-2014, 05:35 AM
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...

Insincerely polite is a shade better than In -your -face rude.
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  #2245  
Old 08-06-2014, 06:11 AM
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Americans, Europeans, Australians, Asians, Arabs, Africans, Indians ... what's the difference?

Carl Sagan speaking about a space photo showing the Earth as a tiny, pale blue dot:

ôLook again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives ...

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot".
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  #2246  
Old 08-06-2014, 10:06 AM
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Americans, Europeans, Australians, Asians, Arabs, Africans, Indians ... what's the difference?

Carl Sagan speaking about a space photo showing the Earth as a tiny, pale blue dot:

“Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives ...

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot".
A wonderful dissemination Grea, & a sharp lesson in just how pathetic we can be as a species. Especially poignant at this time. Here we are remembering the 100th anniversary of the UK entering the great war, with world leaders exclaiming how we must learn the lessons of our past mistakes, yet we sit on the sidelines watching greed driven insurgent sponsorship, utterly disproportionate slaughter of neighbours, unravelling of western imposed democratic systems, & gutless voyuerism in the face of oppression.
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  #2247  
Old 08-06-2014, 01:46 PM
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And all of those negatives fully explainable by the fact that they generate money or power for someone or some group or corporation, somewhere. I am no longer shocked by any of this. Saddened yes, but shocked? No. In fact I've come to expect it.
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  #2248  
Old 08-06-2014, 02:10 PM
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And we all allow that greed to continue by "needing" $1000.00 bass drum pedals and $4000.00 drum kits, $100,000 cars etc. When actually we need to tell these people we will not pay that amount, ever. And it all started with the eating of an apple. We all want just a little more and there will always be someone to provide it. And as Jim said no shock at all.
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  #2249  
Old 08-06-2014, 02:24 PM
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And all of those negatives fully explainable by the fact that they generate money or power for someone or some group or corporation, somewhere. I am no longer shocked by any of this. Saddened yes, but shocked? No. In fact I've come to expect it.
Regrettably, you're correct :(

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And we all allow that greed to continue by "needing" $4000.00 drum kits, When actually we need to tell these people we will not pay that amount, ever.
Thank you for crushing my hard fought for business Grunt ;)
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  #2250  
Old 08-06-2014, 03:17 PM
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Sorry no disrespect meant. You don't sell cars anyway
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  #2251  
Old 08-06-2014, 04:23 PM
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Sorry no disrespect meant. You don't sell cars anyway
I know, just pulling your string ;)
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  #2252  
Old 08-06-2014, 04:47 PM
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The average consumer is not completely without fault here, but the big issues, the major problems, are caused by large structures (corporations, religions, etc.) and very powerful/rich individuals in search of ever more power and profit.

Here's a really quick example. Global climate change. The fact that we still argue about this (heck, even the fact that it's real) here in the USA has nothing to do with the science behind it. It has largely to do with the consequences of potential policies designed to mitigate its effects. Those policies would necessarily involve the reduction of carbon-based fuels, a multi-billion dollar industry in the US alone. The people running those businesses aren't going to say "Gee, we really should switch to another energy source because the consequences are dire if we don't" anymore than tobacco company execs said "Gee, our products kill people in terrible ways-maybe we should grow and sell something else". They see switching over as an expense and the consequences of them not switching are not borne by them, those costs are socialized; they are paid by everyone in the society, so the execs don't care.

As a consequence, they do their best to instill FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) in the public mind so that nothing changes. The fact that the fossil fuel industry is running so many PR commercials lately tells me they are very concerned. Not concerned about climate change but concerned about seeing their profit stream shrink. And here's a classic example of FUD in action: a commercial informing the viewer of all the jobs that currently exist due to the fossil fuel industry. The implication is that if we do something about climate change by limiting carbon based fuels, then those jobs go away and the economy takes a hit (and that means you, Mr. Viewer). Here's the really important bit: they are hoping that the average viewer does not figure out that while replacing fossil fuels with sustainable energy sources does mean that jobs in the fossil fuel industry will decrease, it also means that jobs will be added in the sustainable energy sector. But they don't control that revenue stream so that doesn't help them. And for me, that points up one of the core failures of capitalism, mainly that the primary concern of corporations is to make a profit, not the betterment of the society as a whole.

Seriously now, there are major weapons manufacturers who are more than happy to sell a carnage-load of firearms, explosives, mines, you name it, to some third-world dictator who plans on using these on the citizens of his own country or their neighbors, simply because they make money doing so. And if it's not the manufacturer selling directly then it's often via a government proxy (which serves the weapons manufacturer even better because now they're shielded).

In light of this, the fact that a drummer is willing to pay $1000 for a fancy pedal fades to insignificance.
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  #2253  
Old 08-06-2014, 05:48 PM
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Quote...In light of this, the fact that a drummer is willing to pay $1000 for a fancy pedal fades to insignificance.

This is true unless you are a drummer trying to make a living and need a new pedal. I'm betting not too many drummers are up on the facts of climate change, but know every drummer for the past 50 years. Retail has always been supply and demand and that is fine but we need to redefine our demands in my opinion and let these major corporations know about it. As for fossil fuel employees versus sustainable fuel employees, I'm sure the same feeling weighed heavily on blacksmiths and carpenters that made wagon wheels a century ago. Things change, except for the greed part.
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  #2254  
Old 08-06-2014, 06:44 PM
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And here's a classic example of FUD in action: a commercial informing the viewer of all the jobs that currently exist due to the fossil fuel industry. The implication is that if we do something about climate change by limiting carbon based fuels, then those jobs go away and the economy takes a hit (and that means you, Mr. Viewer). Here's the really important bit: they are hoping that the average viewer does not figure out that while replacing fossil fuels with sustainable energy sources does mean that jobs in the fossil fuel industry will decrease, it also means that jobs will be added in the sustainable energy sector.
I agree with you Jim - but I am not sure the above quote is accurate as it pertains to a typical fossil fuel worker - if such a thing exists. While the loss of jobs in fossil fuel industries will be balanced by new jobs in the sustainable energy sector how many of the folks who lose jobs in the fossil fuel business will transfer to new jobs in the new industry. While I imagine some of the new jobs will require skills that are transferable I also imagine many will not be easily transferable. There will be a lot of guys and gals who do lose jobs. I do not know if this is a good thing or a bad thing as those who lose jobs will be replaced in many cases I think by folks previously unemployed. As Grunter mentioned I do not know how many wagon wheel makers made that journey to Detroit back in the day.

JM
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  #2255  
Old 08-06-2014, 07:06 PM
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The world needs to go from an oil based economy to a plant based economy. After all, everything in oil came from plants anyway. The fossil fuel industry's days are numbered. There can be incredible growth in sustainable fuel areas that has the potential to really jumpstart the economy for the next century....but that's not what the status quo (read oil companies) want. I wish those school shootings would take place in board meetings of Exxon and their cronies, for real. It's high time to clean shop. Yea I know it's not that simple.
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  #2256  
Old 08-06-2014, 07:24 PM
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Something else to consider - why wouldn't the guys in the oil company board rooms also migrate to the new sustainable energy sector once it takes over? I know it was not inferred here - but while we will be taking better care of the planet once we move away from fossil burning fuels I seriously doubt that we will take any better care of the workers.


JM
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  #2257  
Old 08-06-2014, 07:51 PM
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GRUNTERS- I agree with you. My point is that I'm less concerned about the match that's on fire when there's a mature stand of maples behind it engulfed in flames.

Larry- I agree in principle although "plant based" is really another way of saying "solar based" with plants as the middleman. Heck, even crude oil and coal are really solar based. It's just that that solar radiation arrived here a few hundred million years ago. Also, as much as I dislike the top execs of some of these corporations, I do not advocate shooting them. Knowing your posting style I assume your comment was tongue-in-cheek but some people seriously advocate that sort of thing.

FG- Job displacement is a real issue but we're never going to advance as a culture if we say "We can't replace or improve X because that will put some people out of a job". That's why I think we need to have funds available for retraining and education in general. We need to make it easy for people to get into a line of work that offers them a living wage and some security.

Regarding the "migrating CEOs" phenomenon, I think you're exactly right. That's why I cite this whole issue as a fundamental flaw in capitalism. If you set up a system where profit is the measure of success, then don't be surprised when everything else is sacrificed on that altar. At a minimum there need to be regulations and constraints to rein in the excesses. Personally I'd prefer to see a better system put in place but I really don't know what that is. It's easy to point to Star Trek as an example of a post-capitalist society but the details remain elusive!

Eh, enough blather. I need to practice!!
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  #2258  
Old 08-06-2014, 08:45 PM
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One of the singers for Head East sounds JUST like Geddy Lee.... listen to 'Never Been Any Reason' and tell me that guy does not sound like Geddy Lee. Anyway.
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  #2259  
Old 08-06-2014, 08:52 PM
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Something else to consider - why wouldn't the guys in the oil company board rooms also migrate to the new sustainable energy sector once it takes over? I know it was not inferred here - but while we will be taking better care of the planet once we move away from fossil burning fuels I seriously doubt that we will take any better care of the workers.


JM
We will still have to get rid of Nuclear waste and some of those accidents can be devistating
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  #2260  
Old 08-06-2014, 11:08 PM
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I can't fake politeness very well. I can be genuinely polite, but I don't like placating idiots.
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  #2261  
Old 08-06-2014, 11:12 PM
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We will still have to get rid of Nuclear waste and some of those accidents can be devistating
The waste is really not a problem, and burning more shit into the air is far worse than the small potential for disaster. Where power is concerned, the Frenchies know how to roll. Certain idiots have made us so afraid of anything with the word "nuclear" in it, that our ability to safely develop and deal with radioactivity issues surrounding nuclear power is hampered.
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  #2262  
Old 08-06-2014, 11:33 PM
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I wouldn't go far as to say that the waste is no problem, especially since some of this stuff lasts thousands of years and are potent carcinogens. It may turn out to be the lesser of two evils, though. And let's not forget that it's still extractive as far as fuel is concerned. Also, it's a centralized power source and we need to look toward a distributed power network, like a computer network. It would be much more robust and flexible.

I'm not scared of nuclear power but I'm also old enough to remember how it didn't live up to its initial hype, either. Let's say I try to be cautiously realistic.
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:41 PM
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I wouldn't go far as to say that the waste is no problem
I'll admit that it's a much bigger problem than it needs to be. Current regulations make it so we cannot recycle efficiently. My father (a nuclear physicist) is able to explain way better than I, but we are really hobbled by public fear and the policy that it produces. It's our choice, accept and mitigate some risk, or keep burning tons of fossil fuels into the air day in and day out all around the world with known long-term consequences.

As to the hype, I guess I'm not seeing it. It's a relatively efficient way of producing power, and the only thing it puts into our atmosphere is steam. And anyway, I think we aren't that far off from nuclear power production that would cause almost no waste, or literally no waste. Lots of exciting stuff being worked on, meanwhile, nuclear power itself keeps getting safer and more advanced as we work out how to do it better.
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:18 AM
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I used to work for a retail Fireplace and Wood burning Stove store called The Wood Energy Center, and was picking up stoves in Pennsylvania, when we happened upon Three Mile Island. I figured this would be a good photo op with our truck in the fore ground and their cooling towers in the back ground. Got about three photos taken before we were run off of the parking lot by security with guns drawn.
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:42 AM
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Three mile island is a great example of putting our heads together bringing in the right help and dealing with the issue to mitigate any damage. Not one single person died, and the only radioactive material to escape was insignificant.

Quote:
using the official radioactivity emission figures, "The average radiation dose to people living within ten miles of the plant was eight millirem, and no more than 100 millirem to any single individual. Eight millirem is about equal to a chest X-ray, and 100 millirem is about a third of the average background level of radiation received by US residents in a year."
And anyway, wood burning is really bad for people.
http://www.ehhi.org/woodsmoke/health_effects.shtml

Better examples of disasters are instances like Chernobyl. They did everything wrong, and refused help from the same people who made the TMI incident come out as well as it did. Arrogant asses.
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  #2266  
Old 08-07-2014, 12:48 AM
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Chernobyl was a perfect example of how not to run a nuclear power station. Starting with the reactor design (RBMK Reactors are inherently flawed in terms of containment and positive void coefficients), the control rod design (tips that displaced coolant), a safety test being run under the wrong conditions, a shift change at the wrong moment, a lack of information for emergency services...

Fukushima was outside of the design limits of the cooling backup systems - which failed when they were flooded - by an unpredictable and exceptionally violent natural event. The containment basically succeeded and although the local consequences were relatively serious, the amount of damage done is relatively limited. The vast majority of Western reactors (importantly) have negative void coefficients and are inherently safer and the CANDU reactors that have positive void coefficients are much better designed. In nuclear safety, this makes a huge difference. A reactor with a negative void coefficient will produce much less power when the coolant starts to overheat - it prevents runaway reactions.

I'm an advocate of renewable energy but I think nuclear is a medium-term solution.
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:16 AM
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Arrogant asses.
Absolutely, but examples of great heroism too. I remember the helicopter pilot who volunteered to dump concrete into the core. He knew he was signing his own death sentence. An ordinary guy offering to do something extraordinary. Many should thank him. There's still fields on Welsh hills that cannot be grazed due to cesium contamination from chernobyl.
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:50 PM
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And anyway, wood burning is really bad for people.
http://www.ehhi.org/woodsmoke/health_effects.shtml
Shucks. I stand by a braai (BBQ) or fire at least once a week and I'm not likely to stop...
Oh well, we have to die from something.
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Old 08-07-2014, 04:21 PM
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Absolutely, but examples of great heroism too. I remember the helicopter pilot who volunteered to dump concrete into the core. He knew he was signing his own death sentence. An ordinary guy offering to do something extraordinary. Many should thank him. There's still fields on Welsh hills that cannot be grazed due to cesium contamination from chernobyl.
His name was Anatoly Grishchenko.............he died, here in the states, while waiting for a bone marrow transplant
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:31 PM
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Actually, he got the transplant but died shortly after.

I would like to think that practical nuclear fusion is right around the corner but I've been hoping for that for 40 years now. In the interim, I guess it's time for the boring but effective stuff like efficiency increases.
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Old 08-12-2014, 03:09 AM
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We're almost underwater here in Metro Detroit. Flash floods like a mother*****r. Here's a shot of I-75:

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Old 08-12-2014, 03:16 AM
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Yikes Larry! Hope your place isn't flood damaged.

By contrast, in Sydney last night we had our first decent rainfall for two months and my garden wasn't looking too happy about it.
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Old 08-12-2014, 05:11 AM
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I'm okay, thanks, Grea. A little water leakage near the doorwall, no damage. Others were not so lucky. The freeways are still a mess, apparently.
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Old 08-12-2014, 05:18 AM
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We're almost underwater here in Metro Detroit. Flash floods like a mother*****r. Here's a shot of I-75:

Dang, that's crazy. And to think, out here in California, we're having a serve drought.

Can't we just set up a pipe and pump your excess water over? We'd gladly take that pesky flood off your hands.
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:51 AM
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Dang, that's crazy. And to think, out here in California, we're having a serve drought.

Can't we just set up a pipe and pump your excess water over? We'd gladly take that pesky flood off your hands.
Yeah, it would be good if we had pipes from flood prone places to dry lands.
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:18 PM
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Second-most rainfall since they've kept records in Detroit. There was a little more in 1925, but with much less paved roads, it's worse this time. 4.57 inches (11.6 cm) total for the day for the metro area, and 2 inches in 2 hours at one point. All of the major freeways are closed at some area. Water is up to 14 feet deep in some areas. They've dispatched diving teams to search for people trapped under water. One motorist is dead. Homes and basements flooded. Cars floating and some completely submerged. Surreal.

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/2...as-died-Warren
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:47 PM
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Magenta Magenta is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Gwlad Cymru
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Default Re: Random Thoughts

One for our linguisticists/etymologists: Why does "appointed" not mean the opposite of "disappointed", and "lighted" not mean the opposite of "delighted"?

8Mile, flooding is horrendous, I know first-hand. I hope you, your neighbours, and everybody you care about are ok.
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