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Comment Re:First Name Basis? Rude. (Score 1) 335

Grammer ignorami. Proper nouns should NEVER be preceded by articles.

Oh, the definite article is very commonly used before proper nouns, most often place names or geographical features (e.g. "The Mississippi (River)").

Sometimes "the" is used purely customarily (particularly in names translated from other languages like "The Ukraine" or "The Maghreb" ), but its primary function is to distinguish between nouns referring to specific things a speaker is expected to be aware of, and generic things that are just being introduced into the discourse: "a ball [which I haven't mentioned up until now] broke Mr. Smith's window; Mr. Smith kept the ball [which I just mentioned]."

In particular proper nouns which sound like they might be generic will sometimes customarily get a "the" tacked on to indicate the audience is expected to picture the well-known thing rather than some unknown one ("The United States", "The Great Lakes", "The Big Easy"). "The Donald" is a definite article usage of this type, with an bit of ironic deprecation mixed in.

By the way the plural of "ignoramus" is "ignoramuses", not "ignorami". That is because "ignoramus" was never a noun in Latin; rather it is a conjugation of the verb ignorare (to be unacquainted with, to ignore). "Ignoramus" entered English as a legal term to mean "we take no notice of" (e.g. a witness whose testimony is irrelevant because he has no firsthand knowledge).

Comment Re:And there was much rejoicing! (Score 1) 335

Let The Joyous News Be Spread: The Wicked Old Witch At Last Is Dead!

Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch!
Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead.
Wake up - sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed.
Wake up, the Wicked Witch is dead. She's gone where the goblins go,
Belowhoo - below. Yo-ho, let's open up and sing and ring the bells out.
Ding Dong' the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
Let them know
The Wicked Witch is dead!

Comment Re:Hammerheads in Vermont (Score 1) 335

You know, I consider myself pretty progressive and support a lot of things which I'm sure you would find appalling. But the minimum wage has always been a very conflicting thing to me.

On the one hand, when I was a kid and working minimum wage jobs, I appreciated the federal and state minimum wage hikes of the '90s. And I certainly don't want people starving.

But no one has ever adequately explained to me how, if society values a certain form of labor at $x, but we legislate to be $x*1.2, prices won't eventually inflate by x1.2; leaving the minimum wage earner with a larger bank account, but the same buying power; and society still paying equivalently the same in buying power for the labor that it had before. Certainly, I do recall from my youth, when minimum wages increased a few months later prices would also increase at places like McDonalds, Subway, and such... the places where minimum wage earners go. Granted, it's not like my degree is in economics, and I know there IS data that shows that minimum wage increases do boost the economy. But it just feels like voodoo.

Plus, when I was growing up, minimum wage jobs were for high-schoolers learning how to have a job, college kids earning beer money, and retirees who just wanted to get out of the house. No one expected to make a career out of it.

Comment Re:Refreshing honesty (Score 1) 266

While the intellectual elite might look westward, Putin sure doesn't seem to be one of them. He is on-record as pining for the old days of the Iron Curtain and Soviet Union, having made statements... publicly, mind you... that its dissolution was: "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century". That's hardly the outlook of any kind of progressive. And his actions, especially the invasions of Georgia and Ukraine, sure look like a desire to return to the cold war Soviet ways.

Comment Re:Context (Score 1) 225

Free market people believe in the Invisible Hand, and the Invisible Hand is just another god, and that god also loves oil and hates, indeed wants to kill anyone who dares question making profits off of glorious, clean fossil fuels. The Invisible Hand also demands climatologists be expunged and destroyed as the evil monsters they are, and wants to blot the sun, that evil thing, with clouds of healthy wonderful smog. God bless the Invisible Hand, and let us join together to take every climatologist and throw them off a cliff for their evil of questioning the righteous use of beautiful clean fossil fuels.

Comment Refreshing honesty (Score 3, Interesting) 266

Klimenko said forcing Google and Apple to pay more taxes and banning Microsoft Windows from government computers are necessary measures, as he is trying to raise taxes on U.S. companies, thus helping local Russian competitors such as Yandex and Mail.ru.

Well at least, unlike France and Spain for example, he's being honest about his true reason for arbitrary and specious attacks and restrictions on, and extortion of, US tech companies.

Comment Re:Context (Score 2, Funny) 225

Well then, that's the problem. God only wants us to produce energy via fossil fuels. The use of non-CO2 emitting fuels is evil Communist plotting. WE should immediately execute anyone who wants to use any source of energy other than oil, they are subhuman fiends. We should pass a law allowing the good citizens of this God-fearing country to anally rape anyone who dares even think about solar panels. Solar panels are Satan's work, and only the righteous use of oil and coal forever can keep the forces of wickedness at bay.

Oh, and we need to kill every single Climatologist, except Roy Spencer, who should be given a quadrillion dollars and fifty hookers ever day. He is practically Jesus Christ.

Comment Re:Advertising Bubble (Score 1) 264

Amazon's margins are so small because they invest the bulk of their profits back into the business in order to grow it. If, at some point, they were to decide: "Okay, we're as big as we want to be. Let's stop growing.", they'd be much more "profitable".

And really, what IS the better alternative to using the profit to expand? You could throw it all away in the form of dividends. That would make assholes like Carl Icahn happy. But what good would it do for Amazon? Or you could sit on a cash stockpile of a couple hundred billion like Apple and... what... earn interest?

Comment Re:Emergency Brake? (Score 1) 520

Perhaps, as you say, new automatics are better than they used to be. But the change would have to be very drastic to convince me to switch to a slush box... even the late model ones that have flappy paddles so you can pretend you're driving a GT-R.

I owned my last car... purchased new... for 14 years, 13 of which were spent living and driving in the hills of San Francisco. And I retired it on its original clutch. The only reason I can see my current car not matching that is the lure of the current-generation MX-5 Miata. It's increasingly hard to resist as it is, and if Mazda adds a hard top option, game's over.

Comment Re:Wasn't the C64 just a BASIC interpreter anyways (Score 1) 115

I learned to program primarily on Radio Shack machines (MC-10 and Color Computer, boy that brings back memories). I found the GWBASIC/QBasic interpreters fairly close to the old Tandy/RS variants of Microsoft BASIC. The Commodore interpreter, which was also an MS BASIC variant, still seemed to have some oddities.

The problem with gaming was of course that every microcomputer had its own graphics engine, so it made porting incredibly complex in many cases. Since we're talking about computers that had, at most, 30-odd kb in free RAM, there wasn't much room for graphics abstraction. Commodore's graphics, especially on the C64, with its sprite capabilities, made it very different than the rest of the microcomputers of the time.

But text-based stuff was usually pretty easy, and I remember the adventure writing book, which was pretty cool, and I wrote a few adventure games. It actually taught me a lot about string processing, indexes and counters and the like, so these books did teach some pretty important fundamentals in a way that gave you quick results.

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