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Messages - dubsartur

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1
Martin R has some thoughts on the switch of rural male Swedes without immigrant relatives from the Social Democratic party to the local franchise of the Xenophobe Party https://aardvarchaeology.wordpress.com/2021/05/01/open-thread-for-may-3/#comments

2
Also, many carbon taxes in Canada are at least partially paid back to low-income taxpayers.  And its easier to create them to get them to cover 90% of emissions at a price high enough that people stop emitting.

I have seen one poll that satisfaction with federal and most provincial governments' handling of the pandemic is falling since winter 2020/2021, but polls in Canada are not very reliable.

3
The Old Media are beating hard against the federal and most provincial governments for their mishandling of the pandemic. 

The Supreme Court of Canada just ruled that the Sinixit nation still exists on the south side of the Medicine Line, so still has rights north of it.  (There are a fair number of Sinixit on the north side, but not concentrated enough that the government has to admit they are still a nation). The Canadian-US border was literally drawn by picking a point on the Great Lakes and running it west to wherever it hits the Pacific (with a bit of fudging around the Salish Sea) and then each state set out to ethnically cleanse its side of the line.  It was a way to get no more British-US wars after 1815 and especially 1865 when the UK looked at the size of the Union Army and Navy and the cost of defending Canada and sent some telegrams.  So it does not correspond very well with indigenous human geography.

Oh, and the environmentalist press has noticed that the new BC government is projecting that GHG emissions will continue to increase until 2023 (they budget for revenue from the carbon tax, and have committed to carbon tax rates for the next few years, so from revenue you can deduce taxable emissions).  Since they have committed to a 20% cut below 2018 levels by 2025, one of the two targets will have to fail. https://thetyee.ca/News/2021/04/23/Piecemeal-Budget-BC-Headed-Towards-Climate-Failure/

4
At least I have the right hair for my talk which has Giorgio "I'm not saying it was aliens ..." T on the first slide

I will probably get it cut before a forthcoming job interview.

5
The latest Existential Comics plays with the same question as "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality" and suggests that the reason wizards selfishly keep all their magic for themselves rather than helping the Muggles is that the wizards are English https://existentialcomics.com/comic/391  Its an interesting take on the British empire, because the wizards don't make a show of bestowing the forms of civilized life on the wogs, they practice strict apartheid.  Western Europeans often try to pretend that their empires were not the predatory things they were, but the wizarding world does not bother.

6
I like the idea of a mostly-flooded Atlantis.

Sure... I'm not so much interested in the "realism/accuracy" thing as the fact that it's weird that this is our fantasy. Especially because humiliation-as-punishment has a ton of both storytelling and comedy potential.

Liking the Amphitrite statue and the theme music, all good stuff :)
Stocks and pillories often show up in an eroticized form in US pop culture, but usually different kinds of pop culture than computer games :)

Burning people at the stake is also a trope in fantasy.

I guess a jousting sim is an alternative to the good old ultraviolence in many of our fantasies about the middle ages.

7
I think Rich Burlew  said that the Monster in Darkness is something in the 3e Monster Manual.  It is too bad that he damaged his hand.

Howard Tayler planned Schlock Mercenary well in advance into books of a loosely fixed page count of already-published main story + bonus story + introduction.  Selling books was a big part of his business model for becoming a professional cartoonist (at one point he was negotiating to publish with Steve Jackson Games but he and Sandra did the math and self-publishing made more sense).

8
Israel and Jordan are planning a massive geoengineering project: the Red Sea - Dead Sea Project.  The plan is to dump waste brine from a planned desalination plant at Aqaba into the north basin of the Dead Sea which is drying up because of water diverted from the Sea of Galilee to Israel (and the turning of the southern part of the Dead Sea into shallow evaporation ponds to be mined for minerals).  The problem is that Red Sea water is chemically distinct, and adding all this slightly less salty water with sulphites will have unpredictable effects.

The population of Jordan increased 11-fold before 1960 and 2010, and then the wars in Syria came.

9
So, since "Schlock Mercenary" ended ... does anyone often feel that there is something weird about the climax of that webcomic's stories?  Often the story builds to a peak of tension and that is suddenly erased by something in the background which is not fully explained and we move on to the denoument.

A lot of writing about plotting today is weirdly proscriptive on the basis of a very narrow selection of model stories and a very narrow selection of people's responses to those stories, but I often felt let down at the end of a book.

10
Discussion and Debate - The Philosopher's Plaza / Re: In the News
« on: April 13, 2021, 09:19:46 PM »
There was a lot of coverage lined up in Canada in places like the CBC and Macleans even though we have our own crises.  Journalists write those in advance with blanks to fill in when the celebrity actually dies, but it was a lot of coverage.

When we build a monument to this pandemic, I think it should be to a poorly-paid worker who died because the government refused to pay enough so that they could stay home for three weeks and still feed their children and elderly parents.

11
Discussion and Debate - The Philosopher's Plaza / Re: In the News
« on: April 11, 2021, 06:13:50 PM »
same here.   There have been so many unnecessary deaths in the plague year that the death of a 99 year old I never met is not shocking.  And of course in the UK right now there is sectarian violence in Northern Ireland and a hard right, very corrupt government passing bills.

12
I don't know Alberta city politics, it does not feel like an unusually short or long period but he is not yet 50.

From Wikipedia, it looks like of the last five mayors, four won three or four elections in a row and then stepped down rather than run again.  I wonder what he will do next.

Someone called Trevor Tombe at the University of Calgary believes that the COVID-19 infection rate in Canada will exceed the rate in the United States in mid April 2021.  Some provincial governments have handled things miserably, and Canada does not have as many doses of vaccine per million inhabitants as the UK does.  Also, in some provinces workers are not guaranteed paid sick leave.

13
Forum Games - The Beer Cellar! / Re: Word Association
« on: April 09, 2021, 03:38:42 AM »
board

14
Naheed Nenshi, the mayor of Calgary (about 1.3 million in the metropolitan area, not sure if its all 'Calgary' or if some of the municipalities are still formally independent) has decided not to run for re-election after 11 years.  After the late Rob Ford he is probably the most famous mayor in Anglo Canada.  He announced it on YouTube !?! and did not say anything about why he made this choice (apparently he said some polite nothings to an interviewer on 6 April).

15
It is pretty different from clothing before the thing in 1204 that we don't talk about.  In fact, I am having trouble thinking of many garments that open up the front between about 1000 and 1300 in the former Western Roman Empire and Black Sea region, aside from the last of those 'Viking caftans.'

I am starting to move the static, medieval part of my web presence onto its own site.  Check out the mockup here for 1300s material culture goodness!  I don't have a machine with Chrome or IE on it so let me know if there are issues on your device and browser of choice.

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