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About GGardner

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    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee

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  1. Have you investigated bus fares for your inter-city routes? I don't know how much your train tickets cost, even with advanced purchase, but the bus may be cheaper.
  2. If you don't have one, I'd also recommend picking up a swim cap.
  3. link: But the bigger issue is that we teach our kids in citizenship courses that private voting is important to democracy. Private voting helps to ensures that votes can't be sold, and that citizens are free to vote for whom they like, with no direct repercussions. Employers can't fire workers for voting the "wrong" way if they don't know how they voted, etc. Confidentiality is what makes it so very hard to ensure the integrity of voting in this country. It would be so much easier to prove that no election shenanigans happened if we could just publish a big list of every voter in this country and their votes. But I hope that no one wants that. I don't see why things are so different on a local scale.
  4. I've never lived in a caucusing state, but they strike me as bizarre and anti [lower-case] democratic. In all other places where we vote, down to high school class president, secret voting is considered essential to the integrity of the process. But in a caucus, it's all out in public. Also, apparently some caucus locations are at people's houses? That seems like a huge potential source of bias.
  5. I wonder if this is mainly due to economic reasons -- there can't be that many people wanting to fly to China right now. Also, I bet it is hard for airlines to find cabin crews who want to work these flights.
  6. I suspect I might have very different stereotypes (err, observations) of British travelers abroad if I lived in Ibiza vs. say, Kenya.
  7. Another anecdote I'd like to share with our Aussie board friend dates back to my time in college, in the dark ages before the Internet. Many of my friends and acquaintances yearned to travel internationally, but had never gotten the opportunity to do so. When asked where they'd like to travel, when they could afford it, to a person, they all said Australia. I think I met 20+ people like this. None of them ever said anywhere in Europe; or easier locations to get to, like Canada or Mexico; never anywhere in South America, even if they had studied Spanish. Always Australia. After a while, I started wondering "why Australia"? My guess is that it is the furthest, most foreign, but "safe" destination for a would-be first time American traveller. It is "safe" in that English is spoken there, the water is safe to drink, and the food is familiar. But, it is foreign in that it is so far away, opposite seasons, great beaches, diving and adventure travel. So, at least for a certain time, for a certain demographic, this was the stereotype of Australia by young Americans: safely exciting. I'm sure if they ever made it there, they were, to a person, Loud, blocking traffic, and annoyingly confident. 🙂
  8. Now, I've never been to Australia, but I have met several native Aussies, and watched some Aussie film and television. And I have to say, at least from my perspective, this does NOT match my stereotype of Australians, as an American. My stereotype is that Australians are ruddy, rugged and self-sufficient, they without complaint live in a land that seems to be filled with creatures actively trying to kill them. A stereotypical Australian would quietly brush off a venomous spider who crawled up her leg without comment or making a big fuss. I've also heard of "tall poppy syndrome" from Australian friends, which would seem to be a difference from the average american. Again, dealing in stereotypes. I think a lot of Americans look back with nostalgia and fondness to our period of Western expansion, when we thought of ourselves as more rugged, and self-sufficient, (how much of that was myth or true is irrelevant here), and I think we project some of that in the way we view Australians. So, we don't just think of Aussies as all cute. Chris Hemsworth, though, well.....
  9. I love the BBC In Our Time podcast, but I don't even know how to describe it. There's a lot of history, but also literature and the history of science and the history of things and ideas. I think it is very WTM, in that it covers a wide array of subjects with very knowledgeable people. Just to give an idea, here are the most recent subjects: King Tut, WH Auden, Coffee, Lawrence of Arabia, Li Shizhen, Melisende, Queen of Jerusalem, Crime and Punishment (the novel), and the Treaty of Limerick.
  10. Not to be too snarky, but every time I read these polemics about the absolute superiority in every way of the Italian educational system, I could not help but think -- look what this system has given the country of Italy: A completely unstable government system, where they've had 60 post-war governments, local governments so incompetent that they can't even pick up trash for years on end, a failing economy, held up only by their European neighbors, corruption and mafia influence rampant throughout large parts of the country, a birth rate falling well below replacement, because many can't afford to have kids, and many other problems. But, at least they (or at least some of them) can read Greek.
  11. Lighthouse, like a circular tower with circular walls? Where do you put your bookcases?
  12. Social deduction games, like The Resistance, Ultimate Werewolf or Secret Hitler can appeal to non-gamers because they are easy to learn, social, fun, and can be finished quickly. Also, many play well with larger groups of players.
  13. For things like this, gmail, at least, makes it easy to make a rule that automatically moves all incoming email from some source into a subfolder. This took me a while to figure out, but was so worth it.
  14. I don't know about Outlook, but in gmail, I can start a reply, and immediately save it to drafts, then archive the original email out of the inbox. This way, the original isn't clogging my inbox, but I can go through Drafts later to finish all my unfinished replies. I haven't figured out how to use flags or stars effectively. If folks have good ideas about this, I'd love to improve my email game. In generally, though, I'd rather just get emails out of my inbox, and off to another place that I can look at when I'm focused on writing replies, or whatever.
  15. I read a book about organization a while ago that suggested a "one touch" rule for email. That is, when you read your email, and you see a new one, you make a decision right then to do something quickly with it and get it out of the inbox -- either delete it, put it onto a calendar, move it to a folder or onto a todo list. I am not as good at this as I would like. I think for this to work, you need to plan now about all those annoying emails in your inbox, and try to organize places for them to go that aren't in your email, or at least aren't in your inbox. I try to move a lot of emails with dates, etc. onto my calendar, which gets rid a lot of inbox clutter. The big annoyance for me is the read emails in my inbox that I just don't know what to do with, e.g. ones that need a reply, but I don't have time to reply right now, or I don't know what to say, etc. I guess what I should do is start a reply immediately, and save it into my drafts box, and go through the drafts later. At least that way it is out of the inbox. At one point in time, conventional wisdom was that you should never click the "unsubscribe" button in spammy emails. I think that "unsubscribing" is generally worth it, many email lists honor them, and it hasn't made my email management worse, that I can tell. Anyone else got any good ideas?
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