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Comment Adjective Building (Score 4, Informative) 301

Merriam-Webster:
First known use of PREDOMINATELY: 1594

Even if its used predominantly in America, it's a good bet predominately didn't originate here.
"To predominate" is a verb, "predominant" is an adjective. At some point in time, someone built an adjective off of the verb.

My favorite bit of vestigial English preserved in the colonies -- especially in the midwest -- is "gotten."
And it's not a colloquialism; it's used in formal American English.
"What have you gotten?" (obtained) vs. "What have you got?" (possession)

(There's actually another Americanism in a sentence above. We typically say "off of" while the British say simply "off.")

Comment Re:Love Mornings (Score 1) 185

I have a peculiar temperament when it comes to sleep. I can't nap, for example - and I mean ever. My mother has told me that from the time she brought me home from the hospital, I slept completely though the night and never, ever took a nap during the day. (I also think that's why she never tried for another child -- she'd had it too good with me!)

I've tried (and failed) to nap occasionally over my 30 odd years; even once when I was up for 57 hours and dead-on-my-feet tired, I couldn't fall asleep until it was after dark.

On the other hand, I don't seem to experience jet-lag. I've changed -3 to +7 timezones on numerous occasions and my body slides lock-step into the new schedule within one day. Interesting tradeoff. Extended travel can be gruesome if you can't even doze, but the schedule-adaptability is nice.

My sleep patterns seem to fly in the face of those recent biphasic sleep articles floating around. I theorize that I just have a particularly light-sensitive pituitary / circadian rhythm -- I certainly need full-on darkness to rest well and bright light is as energizing as coffee -- but that's just guesswork.

Comment Love Mornings (Score 4, Insightful) 185

I kind of love those days I start early - say, 5am - for some project, and by the time 9am or so rolls around, I realize I've accomplished more than twice as much as I typically do in a whole day.

My favorite part of the day is the stillness in the hour before dawn. I'm an early-morning person stuck in a morning-hater's world; I'd do my own thing, but it places me entirely out of synch with friends and family. (What really ends up happening is that I burn the candle at both ends. Blech.)

Comment Internet vs. Web (Score 1) 92

>>Dial-up internet? 20 years ago? 1992?

I can speak for the Cleveland Free-net having free, public, dial-up internet access as of 1989. (I used it occasionally in 1991-92.) Several local BBSes also had internet gateways, which might be a dedicated ISDN line to a university computer center or even just a periodic uplink.

Are you inadvertently blending the Internet with the World Wide Web? The two terms have basically merged in common parlance, if not for the tech community. Prior to Mosaic's release at the end of '92 / beginning of '93, the hypertext web wasn't particularly popular yet, and was dwarfed by protocols like gopher and ftp. (Boy did that quickly change!)

Comment Neil deGrasse Tyson on... (Score 1) 1237

Who's more pro-science - republicans or democrats?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7Q8UvJ1wvk

That's the parties, mind you. You can still have the ridiculous fringe pundits; Santorum is most certainly one of those and it scares me the type of people who openly maneuver within the republican party these days.

Personally, I find the democrats disgusting and/or out of their minds...yet end up voting for them sometimes because the republican party is lost and floundering. Where the hell has the party gone? Surely not where I'd care to follow. I'm conservative* and spiritual, but not one iota religious; separation of church and state is what I hold sacrosanct.

*I'd prefer "progressive" in the Teddy Roosevelt sense, but that's yet another term that has been corrupted and co-opted to mean "bad."

Comment Re:Does staring at a Computer Screen all day count (Score 1) 149

The bulbs I have are 5000K, sitting in the nice "daylight" slot in terms of color temperature, and also have a CRI of 90, which is pretty good for fluorescent. They're probably not full-spectrum, granted, but they suffice.

  Halogens are nice, but as you mentioned, they tend to get really, really hot. My work space (upstairs) has seven-foot ceilings and can get pretty stuff as it is :-)

Comment Re:FTFA (Score 1) 624

>>You only need the Visa if you plan on working there. The passport's enough for a visit.

Not quite. You do need some kind of Visa to enter a country of which you're not a citizen. There are many different types of Visas. Some countries -- most of Western Europe, for example -- have entered into a treaty with the USA that allows for a Visa waiver (up to 90 days, typically) for recreational travelers. Conversely, a non-treaty foreigner or someone wishing to stay longer would apply for a US B-1 visa for business, or a B-2 visa for recreation, valid for 6 months. When you fill out and sign that little landing card on your airplane before touch down, you've just filled out the paperwork for your Visa waiver (assuming you don't have another sort of Visa.)

My funniest experience was landing in central Mexico to study for the summer, back in college. Before I could say anything, the immigration official endorsed my passport for 30 days. I told him, Oh no!, I was going to be here for 75 days. So he scratched his head, shrugged, and wrote another zero down, giving me 300 days. Not sure that would work, but hey...

Comment Re:Does staring at a Computer Screen all day count (Score 4, Informative) 149

Cataracts are one possible effect; clouding of the lens due to exposure to bands of UV light. Certain medication can also contribute to the effects of light on the eye, but the common one that many people use without knowing the potential effect is St. John's Wort.

I'm profoundly affected by the shortened (and usually sunless) days beginning in the fall, through the awful winter, and into the spring. (I'm self-diagnosing, but I'd say it qualifies as SAD.) I've used St. John's Wort in the winter months with a reasonable degree of success, but I think adding bright light to my work area helped a lot more. As in, four 300W fluorescent bulbs.

Much to my chagrin, however, I learned that St. John's Wort and Bright Light don't Mix.

Cataracts are (generally) easily treated, thankfully, but that might not be the extent of the possible effect. And I don't particularly want cataracts before I hit 40.

Comment Re:Honestly... (Score 2) 396

Amusing article. Definitely a bit cheeky -- although, unlike 19thNervousBreakdown, I'm pretty sure that it is mostly tongue-in-cheek -- and the author fancies himself rather witty, but the heart of the article, in terms of differences, is pretty spot on. No, I don't think we need to be "cared for" either, but I do feel annoyance at extroverted confusion sometimes; extroverts often just can't understand us, and feel that they need to 'fix' us. That's rubbish, of course, but similar to attitudes about 'nerds' prior to the dot-com era.

I find the The Introvert's Corner in Psychology Today to be interesting -- often the user comments moreso than the editorials.

Each introvert -- really, every person -- has their likes and dislikes, but it's interesting to hear to whos/hows/whys. I'm with the column-author in that I loathe talking on the telephone (except for a few close friends I'd otherwise never speak with), but am quite social and articulate face-to-face.

Comment Re:Honestly... (Score 4, Insightful) 396

To make generalizations, you may be an extrovert and the prior poster an introvert.
Extroverts tend to communicate best by voice. Introverts, in contrast, tend to communicate better in a written medium.

Now, to show my bias, I perceive extroverts as people who never shut up and apparently lack an inner voice -- because all they do is unleash an unending, unfiltered stream of verbal garbage when they 'think aloud.' They bombard you with one idea after another without waiting for consideration or response. Even something as simple as, "Hey, how are you doing?" before they launch into their spiel. If you asked, why didn't you wait for a response?

Introverts, in contrast, tend to internalize and hash over a response before they commit it to the outside world. They think more about precise and appropriate wording. They don't respond as quickly, but they typically respond after giving due consideration to the question.This lends itself best to writing, where they can take the time to formulate their thoughts. An introverted friend of mine once commented that extroverts "are impatient and do everything and half-assed."

Introversion has nothing to do with shyness, although the two are more common together than with extroversion. Really, introversion and extroversion deal with how people receive and process information.

Comment Ditto (Score 1) 311

At the shopping mall nearest my home town, there is a department store that has had one of those ultrasonic bug & pest repellers installed above the doors since the mid 80s. As a kid, I couldn't stand being within 50 feet of those doors for any length of time; it wasn't just annoying, it bloody well hurt! While my father and I waited thereabouts for my mother to meet us, I thought I'd crawl out of my skin, and neither of them ever believed me about it.

Now in my early 30s, I recently went back, having forgotten about the damn thing. I walked through those doors and instantly felt uneasy, along with a pressure in my head and sudden ringing in my ears. It went away quickly, but came back as I later approached the doors to leave; then I remembered the device which, sure enough, was still above the door. It isn't the piercing sound that stabbed my ears as a child -- I assume my hearing has declined somewhat already as I've aged -- but man, it still makes my head throb. And nobody else seems to notice it.

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