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Comment: Re:different strokes (Score 1) 167

by HBI (#49614219) Attached to: Why Scientists Love 'Lord of the Rings'

I agree with point 2. Book 4 (Sam and Frodo from Emyn Muil to Cirith Ungol) is the most difficult part to read for me, also. Tolkien also said it was the hardest for him to write. It is the point at which he broke off writing during WWII, only to pick it up again years later. It's just not as interesting as the rest.

The singing was apropos of the Scandinavian peoples that Tolkien was so fond of. I think he was trying to create atmosphere. Similarly, the long list of titles that Aragorn made reference to is also atmospheric. Formal greetings amongst nobles in medieval times would follow similar lines.

I think overall the singing and titles are something you have to adjust your mind to. Either you can, or you can't.

Comment: Re:The Eagles are a manifestation of the Valar (Score 4, Insightful) 167

by HBI (#49613089) Attached to: Why Scientists Love 'Lord of the Rings'

To further elaborate, Elrong makes direct reference to sending the Ring over the Sea. "And they who dwell beyond the Sea would not receive it: for good or ill it belongs to Middle-earth; it is for us who still dwell here to deal with it."

The Eagles are representations of those who dwell beyond the Sea, Manwe in particular. Tolkien answered your question fully.

Comment: Re:The Eagles are a manifestation of the Valar (Score 2) 167

by HBI (#49613039) Attached to: Why Scientists Love 'Lord of the Rings'

Admittedly, their helping at the end is *after* the Ring is destroyed and at the direct request of Gandalf, right?

I don't think it's a really big plot hole. If that's a plot hole, why didn't Gandalf send a letter to Valinor along with some Exiles (who were leaving constantly) asking for another Host of the Vanyar and Maiar ala the breaking of Thangorodrim? The answer is "because he knew the answer: they would not come". Same with the Eagles.

Comment: The Eagles are a manifestation of the Valar (Score 1) 167

by HBI (#49612905) Attached to: Why Scientists Love 'Lord of the Rings'

More specifically, Manwe. If Manwe and Varda and the rest were to just solve all the problems for Middle-earth, you'd have no plot. Furthermore, if you were in their shoes, would you be all that interested in fixing all their problems? I know I don't even like doing that for my daughters. Also, they'd "laid down their guardianship of Arda" with the fall of Numenor. Strictly speaking, it wasn't their job to fix all problems anymore.

Still, they did care about Middle-earth. So they sent five Istari - weaker spirits who were clothed in flesh and made to feel mortal cares and wants. They were intended to be messengers and encouragers of the good nature of the Free Peoples. They were forbidden to challenge Sauron's power directly. In extremis, one of their Istari could call on the Eagles of Manwe for assistance, as was done a few times during the novels. But any of the Istari calling on them to solve the problem by flying over Orodruin and dropping the Ring into it - I don't think they would have responded to that.

Comment: Re:Firefox's downward slide... (Score 1) 234

by HBI (#49611363) Attached to: Chrome Passes 25% Market Share, IE and Firefox Slip

I'd point out that Firefox hasn't made a change to their browser in about six years that I liked. Stop satisfying your audience, and you lose market share and adherence. Surprise surprise

When it dies, either a team that IS interested in writing a web browser will take over instead of the current team that cares more about social justice, or it'll just die. Either way, a new browser will be born. Or I'll just suck it up and use Chrome.


Comment: Not everyone is a wingnut like the submitter (Score -1, Troll) 83

by HBI (#49595115) Attached to: American Psychological Association Hit With New Torture Allegations

"Surprisingly cozy relationship" my ass. This is what real work is like, you advise people who do things. The fact that you don't like them after the fact is an irrelevancy.

You wave your bias way too openly to be taken seriously. Then again, this is pretty much the wingnut witch hunt site nowadays. Sanity is not easily to be found.

Comment: Re:Subs as aircraft carriers (Score 5, Informative) 74

by HBI (#49587759) Attached to: Submersible Photographs WW2 Japanese Sub's Long-Lost Airplane Hangar

In the beginning, Barbarossa was launched with the assumption that the Soviet Union would collapse quickly. This did not happen, for various military, economic and political reasons. On this basis, the Germans attempted to convince the Japanese to strike at Great Britain at places like Singapore and Hong Kong late in 1941 and facilitate their war against Britain. They kept the Japanese in the dark about Barbarossa.

Amidst the signs of obvious failure just short of victory in Russia, the Germans tried to convince the Japanese in October and November of 1941 to attack the Soviets from Manchuria. This failed, as the Japanese already had plans to invade the Philippines, Singapore, Borneo, and all associated islands to secure oil supplies. Moreover, they had concluded a non-aggression pact with the Soviets they preferred to keep in place. So the Soviets ended up at war with just Germany and Italy. The Japanese ended up at war with just Britain and the US. The Germans, however, ended up at war with all three major Allied powers, by foolishly declaring war on the US just after Pearl Harbor.

The German DoW was predicated on a weak American response to Europe based on the Japanese threat. The agreement to focus on Germany between the Anglo-American powers confounded this idea. Even Mussolini believed that the focus would be on the Pacific after the Japanese attack, hence his declaration of war on the US, which seems insane considering the results just over a year later.

At that point, Hitler's (and Goebbels', judging by his diaries) only hope was for a cleavage between the Soviets and the Anglo-American powers. There was about zero chance of this happening with Roosevelt championing the alliance, but that was what he hoped for. When Roosevelt died and nothing changed, this is the point where he gave up hope and we can then segue to the events of "Downfall".

I don't think Hitler hoped for actual military victory post-Stalingrad. He hoped for delay in the war's end game to present a political situation he could take advantage of. His thoughts were rational, I believe, but unlikely from this vantage point to ever bear fruit.

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra