TOTD 2018-6-20: Age Old Question Answered

Now the age old question has been answered. Cats or dogs: which is smarter?

Put a comment out with your guess then look at the answer.


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The Soviet Anthem Misheard

This is brilliant:

The Hymn of the Soviet Union was the national anthem of the USSR from 1944 through 1991 (replacing the Internationale).  The melody remains the anthem of the Russian Federation today, although the lyrics have been changed.  (Indeed, the lyrics of the Soviet version were changed from the 1944 original as the past was revised.)

Just for fun, here is a stirring rendition of the hymn as misheard by an English speaker, illustrated by the images summoned.

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Signs and Portents, Part The Second

In these turbulent times, we all look for guidance… some from entrails of roadkill, some from the comfort of a homemade meal, some from unprecedented events which may augur a change in the space-time continuum. Life is no longer as sure as the swimsuit competition at a beauty pageant.

Not being a roadkill fan, and having consumed the homecooked meal, I am left with signs of unprecedented events.

Then I saw this on the majesty of the interwebs…

In China, when they have weather, it does not rain cats and dogs.

Explanation of Octopus falling


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THINGS YOU’D LOVE TO SAY AT WORK (or anytime), BUT CAN’T (..or shouldn’t)!

THINGS YOU’D LOVE TO SAY AT WORK (or anytime),
BUT CAN’T (..or shouldn’t)!

1. I can see your point, but I still think you’re full of [10Edit:it].
2. I don’t know what your problem is, but I’ll bet it’s hard to pronounce.
3. How about never? Is never good for you?
4. I see you’ve set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.
5. I’m really easy to get along with once you people learn to worship me.
6. I’ll try being nicer if you’ll try being smarter.
7. I’m out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message…
8. I don’t work here. I’m a consultant.
9. It sounds like English, but I can’t understand a word you’re saying.
10. Ahhh…I see the screw-up fairy has visited us again…
11. I like you. You remind me of when I was young and stupid.
12. You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.
13. I have plenty of talent and vision. I just don’t give a damn.
14. I’m already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.
15. I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you.
16. Thank you. We’re all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.
17. The fact that no one understands you doesn’t mean you’re an artist.
18. Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental.
19. What am I? Flypaper for freaks!?
20. I’m not being rude. You’re just insignificant.
21. It’s a thankless job, but I’ve got a lot of Karma to burn off.
22. Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.
23. And your crybaby whiny-[10:*****] opinion would be…?
24. Do I look like a people person?
25. This isn’t an office. It’s Hell with fluorescent lighting.
26. I started out with nothing & still have most of it left.
27. Sarcasm is just one more service I offer.
28. If I throw a stick, will you leave?
29. Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.
30. Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed.
31. I’m trying to imagine you with a personality.
32. A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.
33. Can I trade this job for what’s behind door #1?
34. Too many freaks, not enough circuses.
35. Nice perfume. Must you marinate in it?
36. Chaos, panic, & disorder — my work here is done.
37. How do I set a laser printer to stun? (shades of 10 Cents!)


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A Montana Hello, and a Mess of Technology

Finally, some green grass and blue skies. I could never live on a Mars colony. No offense to anyone here. This is a side view of our house and shed.

Thank you to Ten Cents for allowing me on the site. I saw a lot of familiar handles “liking” and posting, so I decided to sign up. Life has been extra rich and busy. Partly what makes it frenzied is that my attention is splintered among five or so devices. I tried to simplify, and my effort backfired.

It started when my iPhone 5C, a pre-owned gift to me, failed. All it would do was show the Apple logo.  I had dropped it several weeks previously during my San Diego visit, right outside Scripps Aquarium. The screen was shattered in the corner, and I just kept using it because I didn’t want to pay $80 to fix it.  That could have caused it to fail–I don’t know. But I was going on a trip to Helena, and I needed some way to communicate with my daughter when she was at her band event there.

On a local FB marketplace, I found an iPhone with one damaged camera for a hundred bucks.  Then after communicating with that seller, I saw a brand new flip phone for forty. Wouldn’t I save a pile of money and be a lot less distracted with a flip phone? The idea was so appealing that I did a lot of driving before my trip to meet the seller and race breathless into our local phone store to get it activated. Which took twenty minutes of waiting  after closing time, cost a fee, plus required an immediate new $17 plan payment overlapping with the old plan.

I had some qualms when I got it home.  First, the original seller, when I told him my final decision, messaged that he questioned why I would choose a flip phone over a Smartphone. I said I questioned it a bit, too. (I didn’t tell him that while under time pressure to purchase a phone, his terse communication style didn’t draw me to his product. I had felt distrustful of him as a seller, but probably his phone would have been fine.)

I kept reasoning that this sleek little flip phone with the bright display would be good for making and receiving phone calls. Which it was. What a novel concept. And I could still receive texts at home on my new iPad, couldn’t I? I didn’t need to text in town, anyway.

The phone was perfect for the Helena trip. It would have been tricky to coordinate our activities without it. But while trying to take a photo of a stunning historical building, I found that the camera stinks. But I would be content with the thing, because I didn’t need all the fancy stuff. I did fine without Apple’s bells and whistles before my sister started gifting me with phones each time she upgraded.

After the trip, it didn’t take me long to realize that companies have not been laboring around the clock to improve flip phones since I last owned one. The device’s workings are still opaque to the average user, and it’s odd to me that this is what older folks tend to purchase, because its functions are not self evident. Its capabilities are layered under a standard keypad and a few other buttons. You have to fool around with it quite a bit to even get to the basics of what it does, let alone access updates they claim to have made involving Bluetooth. It’s hard to figure out how to turn the sound up, how to turn the ringer off, how to access messages.  The screen shows only a piece of the message at a time.  If someone leaves a voicemail, the phone doesn’t record the incoming number.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband updated his iTunes so that somehow my broken iPhone’s iOS could be accessed. He brought the thing back to life, and it felt good to have it back in my hands. It’s efficient for casual Web browsing and checking e-mail. Just because sleek flip phones with built-in cameras were the most amazing item you could buy eighteen years ago doesn’t mean the smartphone isn’t superior, a class by itself.  Its user-friendliness alone makes its features far more accessible than those of the old models. But I didn’t need to tell any of you that. I had to learn from experience.

Now it’s like this: some stray texts and voicemail go to my flip phone. Nothing with photos comes across, and then a few are received only when I drive down the road and cross some mysterious barrier. And then it’s painfully difficult to text back on that cramped keyboard besides a “K.”  Some texts and all FB Messenger notes appear on my wifi-connected, cracked-screen iPhone. And then, as far as I know, my iPad catches texts the others leave out. We installed Google Voice and a Google phone number on my iPad, too, where a few chats have taken place. I have a computer and an old Kindle Fire as well, for an exercise app and nighttime reading. I can Facetime on multiple devices, check Messenger and e-mail in three places, and so on.  I noticed that I’ve been feeling spread thin, and finally identified the source: having too much of a good thing.

My older daughter bought herself a new smartphone this week, a non Apple brand, that cost her forty dollars with a twenty dollar a month plan. The display looks crisp and attractive, and I’m sure it works fine. In my hurried search for a replacement phone before the trip, I’d had no idea that was an option. I eyed it enviously and immediately began plotting about how I could throw over that limited little flip phone for a pretty option like hers. Maybe there’s a charity that would gladly accept the donation of a basic phone, and I could start over. Time, energy, money–this downgrade has been an expensive bargain.

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Now, that’s Odd

When I went to take the poubelle out, what should I spy with my little eye, outside the door to the High Bay, but this.

Sac: “Ratburger”

This was an empty bag, torn open at the top, the other side of which reproduced the cover of another David Walliams novel.

Now, I live in a Swiss cow-town with a population less than 1000 where I am one of the very few English mother-tongue speakers.  As far as I know, I am the only member of the site in the village or, for that matter, in the canton and country.  Is this somebody who follows my Twitter feed because I occasionally post pictures of the village who stumbled onto the site there?  Some kind of weird stalker who figured out where I live (it isn’t difficult)?  Something the wind blew in?—But from where?

Let the wild speculation and spinning of implausible conspiracy theories begin!  Are they on to Fourmilab’s Large Neutrino Collider, using Majorana particles for our recondite schemes of anarcho-libertarian anti-conquest?

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