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Thread: Really trivial stuff that bugs you

  1. #12991
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    Quote Originally Posted by pzkpfw View Post
    ... Americans (by what I see on T.V.) always seem puritanical* about oddly specific things.


    (* Not meaning to be harsh, can't think of a gentler word.)
    No, that's accurate.
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  2. #12992
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    Quote Originally Posted by pzkpfw View Post
    Americans (by what I see on T.V.) always seem puritanical about oddly specific things.
    Very true.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  3. #12993
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    One thing the Current Unpleasantness has taught me is that people initialize "toilet paper" as "TP". Never seen that before. But I still think, "Twisted Pair? No. Trade Paperback? No ..." every time I see it.
    In my business, it's total protein.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    In our little forum, we get away with a lot of acronyms and abbreviations (ACRO and abbrev.) that we never would otherwise. NASA is so commonplace now I think everyone knows of it.
    I once had a teacher ask for some examples of acronyms. I picked "laser". The teacher hadn't known that before.

    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    Many people today do not know what DNA stands for, and yet I cannot recall any journal or general articles also spelling out "deoxyribonucleic acid". When the deluge of papers on CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, for those of you unfamiliar with it ) began, all the articles I read were giving it the full definition treatment. And in just a few years I started noticing it being used in the same way as DNA. I was even going to comment on it here in the "amusing" thread, but when I checked more deeply into it, I found plenty of articles still giving it full treatment.
    Palindromic? That's really odd.

    Quote Originally Posted by slang View Post
    Roger Moore's "check engine" avatar pic. My car's got a really trivial issue that makes that light pop up, and I need to bring it in for ignition coil replacement, just don't get around to do it. Every morning .. will the damn light pop up? ... all commute.. NO engine light! .... get to work... check Cosmoquest.. and there it is! Aaaargh. Ah well, it doesn't bug me all that much
    I've never known what the skinny parts standing out on the top and one side were supposed to represent, but they always remind me of helicopter rotors... with the secondary rotor aligned the wrong way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
    An end cap on a windshield wiper has fallen off, so now the rubber strip and the metal stick come apart easily... and I can't replace it, potentially for the rest of spring, because those stores are closed. I might try supergluing them together.
    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Can’t you mail order? I’d bet a lot of the auto supply places have their own mail order, and then there is Amazon.
    I was actually presuming shipping was shut down too, as well as the warehouses where stuff would be shipped from. But also, a new wiper blade would cost money I shouldn't need to spend on it (especially when it's only a few months old), so that would be annoying, especially for a car that I won't keep much longer anyway and am already not investing in other aspects of. And superglue is something I already had at home waiting for a use.

    Quote Originally Posted by pzkpfw View Post
    If it's what I imagine, I'd be trying a needle and thread.
    It looks like it at a glance, when the pieces are together, with the rubber strip hiding parts of the metal strips. But when the metal comes out of the little groove it fits into in the rubber so their inner edges are visible, the holes turn out to be hooks, open to the inside edges, facing each other, so string would do nothing. Otherwise, I would have tried that, although I would have wondered how soon the string might break. As it is, we'll see how long superglue lasts in an application where it can get rained on.

    That whole thing reminds me of another couple of automotive bugs of mine lately...

    I've been shopping online for my next vehicle. I was expecting to wait for another few months of adding to my savings and probably sell my scooter, but yesterday I finally decided that a particular one I'd been looking at was such a good deal that there was no point in waiting for something better, and decided to buy it. I applied for a loan from my credit union (just think "bank" if you don't have CUs where you are) for about 40% of the stated price and was immediately approved by the algorithm (meaning the decision wasn't even close and didn't need a human review), so I was about to go back to the online listing to contact the dealership to buy it. That's when it got weird.

    The credit union is sending me the form to sign for the loan in the mail. There's no electronic version. That was going to take 2-3 days by itself (assuming it ever gets here at all, the likelihood of which is inversely related to the importance of the thing being mailed), during which somebody else could snatch "my" vehicle. (But I think, if I remember previous loans from this credit union, I can email or fax it back once it's signed. So why can't they email or even fax the unsigned version to me?) In any case, I wanted to tell the dealership I'd buy it as soon as I could in the meantime, so I went back to the listing page for its links to contact the dealership.

    And the dealership is closed. Their website says they'll be open again on Monday, but that seems unlikely because the plague won't have gotten any better by then. It also says they're checking their online stuff so they can interact with customers that way, just not in person, but nobody has actually answered my message yet. On top of that, on each vehicle's listing page, there's a "make an offer" button, so I tried that, thinking maybe an actual offer would get their attention even if just plain messages/inquiries wouldn't. But it's only set up to complete its process if you're financing through the dealership. If you plan on paying the dealership in full immediately and fill in the fields accurately for that, it just says it can't come up with your monthly payment. Well of course not, because my monthly payment to the dealership would be zero! But the thing won't actually receive & record an offer without a monthly financing payment. I knew interest on financing was their main source of profit and they really don't like "cash" buyers, but I didn't know they'd go so far as to set up online buying tools that we can't even use at all!

    At least typing this up has made me think of going back there now and putting in a fake offer just to get it entered now so the next person doesn't beat me to it (if they haven't already); I can always tell them I got another loan instead when the time comes. But even if that works, I still won't have any clue whether somebody else already bought it, or whether they'll prioritize somebody else they can get more interest out of even if I was first, or how many offers that same vehicle is collecting while the dealership is closed which will all be considered simultaneously when they return anyway, or whether the current weird situation will make vehicle-buying even harder in the next few months than it is now.
    Last edited by Delvo; 2020-Mar-31 at 04:40 AM.

  4. #12994
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
    ... I've never known what the skinny parts standing out on the top and one side were supposed to represent, but they always remind me of helicopter rotors... with the secondary rotor aligned the wrong way. ...
    I thought air filter and fan. But ... ?


    I meant put the needle and thread right through the blade itself, and around the end of the holder. Not trying to replicate the missing part. That'd work on my car. I probably don't understand your mechanism.


    Also considering a new car. But waiting for the economy to crash ... will they get cheaper?
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  5. #12995
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    So...our garbage pickup is on Mondays. I would usually put the garbage out before I go to work, and my son brings it back in when he gets home from school. As he's not going to school (and now I'm working from home), things are a little off, but still...

    Last week, he apparently brought the cans (last week was recyclizing pickup as well) back in after they had picked up the recycling but before they picked up the garbage - he brought a can with garbage still in it back into the garage.

    Yesterday, my first Monday of working from home, I almost forgot to put the garbage out. He reminded me about 7:30am, so I quickly put it out. At 5:00pm, it was still there.

    Checking the security camera footage, I saw that the garbage truck came by before 6am. Checked last week - same thing. Great.

    So I called the 800 number to have them do an extra pickup - there's already two weeks' worth of garbage in the can, can't go another week. Got a recording that their call centers are closed as they work on getting people working from home. Not just limited availability or long wait times, mind you - they were literally just not answering the phone. The message suggested using the "Virtual Assistant" on the website, but when I tried to tell it I needed an extra pickup, it just kept telling me my regular pickup was on Mondays - it apparently doesn't have the ability to do extra pickups.

    I finally was able to speak to someone this morning, and got the extra pickup scheduled.

    In the long run, not really a big deal, but kind of frustrating. Mostly because my wife has occasionally suggested that I should put the cans out the night before, which I've always resisted...
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

  6. #12996
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    Mostly because my wife has occasionally suggested that I should put the cans out the night before, which I've always resisted...
    If you have raccoons in the area, I'm sure they will appreciate that.

    Have I ever mentioned I hate raccoons?
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  7. #12997
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    What do racoons do with cans? Make string telephones?

    Grant Hutchison

  8. #12998
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    Raccoons will knock over garbage bins looking for food.
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  9. #12999
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    What do racoons do with cans? Make string telephones?

    Grant Hutchison
    Ha! Lovely image from the black and white days.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
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  10. #13000
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Raccoons will knock over garbage bins looking for food.
    Sure. Urban foxes do that around here. But if it's a bin full of nothing but empty cans, they don't have much reason to look for food inside. (Well, assuming you empty and wash the cans, which you'd do for recycling anyway.) Foxes are guided by scent, and generally don't go to the effort of rooting around in stuff that doesn't smell promising. Do racoons knock over bins purely speculatively?

    ETA: Oh. Two nations divided by a single language again. On rereading, SeanF was talking about garbage cans, rather than a recycling bin full of cans--I was thrown off by the mention of cans and recycling in the same sentence, and the fact that, hereabouts, cans are what food comes in, not what you but the garbage in.

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2020-Mar-31 at 06:11 PM.

  11. #13001
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Do racoons knock over bins purely speculatively?
    I imagine so. In spite of best efforts, cans/bins accumulate odors that just can't be easily washed out...at least not so much that acute animal senses can't detect them. Besides, raccoons are jerks.
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  12. #13002
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Ha! Lovely image from the black and white days.
    Thank you. I thought it had a certain whimsical charm.

    Grant Hutchison

  13. #13003
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    I imagine so. In spite of best efforts, cans/bins accumulate odors that just can't be easily washed out...at least not so much that acute animal senses can't detect them. Besides, raccoons are jerks.
    Advice around here is to give the garbage bin a rinse with bleach every now and then. It certainly repels me, and dissuades foxes.

    Grant Hutchison

  14. #13004
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    Around here, especially in the autumn, it's bears that get into the bins, so some communities fine people who set them out overnight, because "a fed bear is a dead bear". I've wondered whether putting one of my expired bear spray cans, coated with something attractive like peanut butter, would act as a really effective deterrent if a bear were to bite into it. But with my luck it would probably kill the bear.

    Four days ago I rode my bicycle for the first time this season. The next day it was -12C and snowed all day. Yesterday and today have been -15C mornings. I really want to do something more fun than go for solitary walks in this period of social distancing.

  15. #13005
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Do racoons knock over bins purely speculatively?
    I would also say yes to that.

    The previous owner of our first house told a funny story relating to that. He was planting some shrubs and wanted to try out the old folklore about Native Americans planting things and burying a fish in the roots, to act as fertilizer. So he buried a fish under each shrub. That night the raccoons uprooted all the shrubs and ate the fish. So he replanted the shrubs, this time without the fish. The raccoons dug them up again, looking for more fish. This happened a couple of more times before the raccoons finally left the shrubs alone.
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  16. #13006
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    racoons knock over bins purely speculatively?
    No, I think they just do it out of spite. They are evil creatures.

    Meanwhile, I almost put this in "non-trivial", but in times like these it really isn't.

    I'm working on income taxes. We can itemize this year, so I'm looking for every deduction. I went out to the garage to look for car registrations. I couldn't find the one for my RAV4, the one I drive nearly every day. Finally I went to look at the license plate, just to make sure I'd done it. It expired in August. Of 2018. Holy cow, how did I do that?
    Normally I'd have just taken another vehicle into the courthouse and taken care of it. But for obvious reasons, it's closed to anyone without an appointment. Next I went to see if I could do it online with state DOL. Nope, too out of late. Have to go in. But I can't.
    I finally called the county and explained the situation. I have an appointment for 10:00 tomorrow. They'll probably have to check my temperature on the way in.
    Worst thing is I'm going to lose my personal plate (DALEKS!) and will have to reapply for it.
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  17. #13007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    No, I think they just do it out of spite. They are evil creatures.

    Rocket: *Don't call me a racoon*!
    Peter Quill: I'm sorry. I took it too far. I meant trash panda.
    [Rocket looks around in confusion]
    Rocket: Is that better?
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    Peter Quill: [snickering] It's worse. It's so much worse.
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    Since Mrs Extravoice is working from home for the near future, we purchased a USB headset so she could participate in teleconferences without holding the phone to her ear for extended periods.

    Not surprisingly, many retailers are out of stock. So we ordered one via eBay. It allegedly shipped nearly a week ago, but the Postal Service has shown its status as “shipment received, package acceptance pending “ for five days. Hopefully, it is just a tracking glitch and the package will magically appear on my doorstep.


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    Scientists find an insect that is half-bee, and the other half is also a bee, but not the same bee. It is difficult to explain. This "bugs" me. "Born that way..."

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  20. #13010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Scientists find an insect that is half-bee, and the other half is also a bee, but not the same bee. It is difficult to explain. This "bugs" me. "Born that way..."

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/techn...le/ar-BB126Pby
    Your statement kind of implied to me it was two different species of bee, which is not the case. It is a kind of hermaphrodite found in insect species. The unusual thing is they found it while it was still alive.

    On its left side, the bee is physiologically male. It has a small, dainty mandible, a long antenna, and a thin, delicate hind leg with fewer bristles. The right side has female characteristics - a shorter antenna, a pronounced, toothed mandible, and a thick, hairy hind leg.

    It's a known phenomenon - gynandromorphs have been found in at least 140 bee species, as well as butterflies, birds and crustaceans (but virtually unknown in mammals).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Your statement kind of implied to me it was two different species of bee, which is not the case. It is a kind of hermaphrodite found in insect species. The unusual thing is they found it while it was still alive.
    I don't get how you can have a near-chimerical insect that is literally half male and half female. Will read more on topic, just puzzles the heck out of me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    The title paid homage to an old joke by a comedian who was writing about monsters he'd made up, one of which was a creature with the body of a lion and the head of a lion, but not the same lion.
    “Me am half-orc. Half one orc, half other orc.”
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  23. #13013
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    It's a known phenomenon - gynandromorphs have been found in at least 140 bee species, as well as butterflies, birds and crustaceans (but virtually unknown in mammals).
    As found in the famous Victor Victoria Butterfly Gardens.
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  24. #13014
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    I have just come across another example of a phenomenon I have seen many times before, which is - the explanation that everything, for some mysterious reason, is harder in big countries than in smaller countries.

    Some country does a better job than another in dealing with the coronavirus situation. Well, you can't compare the two, look how much bigger this country is, it's going to be much harder to deal with than in a little country like the other one.

    Well if that's the case, maybe the big country ought to split up into a whole bunch of little countries, then it will be easy to deal with it in each little country, because they're little, and therefore everything is easier.

    Why is this country much richer than another country? Well, the poorer country is so much bigger, you can't possibly compare the two situations. Again, if that's the case, why doesn't the big country split up into little countries, so all of these little countries can become rich, since it's so much easier for small countries to become rich than big countries.

    Airport security? Oh, a solution that works in some small country can't work in a big country, because the big country has so many more airports and flights. Of course, the big country also has more population and more resources to deal with the problem, but for some reason that doesn't help.

    It seems almost everything is more difficult in big countries than in small countries. I wonder why big countries exists at all, since everything would be so much better and easier if they just become multiple small countries.
    A: "Things that are equal to the same are equal to each other"
    B: "The two sides of this triangle are things that are equal to the same"
    C: "If A and B are true, Z must be true"
    D: "If A and B and C are true, Z must be true"
    E: "If A and B and C and D are true, Z must be true"

    Therefore, Z: "The two sides of this triangle are equal to each other"

  25. #13015
    Quote Originally Posted by 21st Century Schizoid Man View Post
    I have just come across another example of a phenomenon I have seen many times before, which is - the explanation that everything, for some mysterious reason, is harder in big countries than in smaller countries.

    Some country does a better job than another in dealing with the coronavirus situation. Well, you can't compare the two, look how much bigger this country is, it's going to be much harder to deal with than in a little country like the other one.

    Well if that's the case, maybe the big country ought to split up into a whole bunch of little countries, then it will be easy to deal with it in each little country, because they're little, and therefore everything is easier.

    Why is this country much richer than another country? Well, the poorer country is so much bigger, you can't possibly compare the two situations. Again, if that's the case, why doesn't the big country split up into little countries, so all of these little countries can become rich, since it's so much easier for small countries to become rich than big countries.

    Airport security? Oh, a solution that works in some small country can't work in a big country, because the big country has so many more airports and flights. Of course, the big country also has more population and more resources to deal with the problem, but for some reason that doesn't help.

    It seems almost everything is more difficult in big countries than in small countries. I wonder why big countries exists at all, since everything would be so much better and easier if they just become multiple small countries.
    Well historically bigger countries can have greater resources than small countries for things like defense. I think the difference on how two countries deal with something like Coronavirus has to do with the mindset of the two countries. On might be more individual centric and let people get away with more and the other might more community centered and the people are more likely to stay at home. Plus people living in a more rural area are more use to be not social active than people who live in cities close to one another.
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  26. #13016
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    Well historically bigger countries can have greater resources than small countries for things like defense. I think the difference on how two countries deal with something like Coronavirus has to do with the mindset of the two countries. On might be more individual centric and let people get away with more and the other might more community centered and the people are more likely to stay at home. Plus people living in a more rural area are more use to be not social active than people who live in cities close to one another.
    Maybe this is like big versus small companies, where sometimes breaking up is good. Small companies and countries have a flatter heirarchy where the top people are likely to know the business more thoroughly when crises need action. Large company boards are typically remote from crises. I know this from experience and it is why big companies use consultants (instead of learning what they do in the basement) large countries tend to have career politicians, who really do not understand details. This not a criticism, it’s an observation which limits the nimble feet that crises demand.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  27. #13017
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    Well historically bigger countries can have greater resources than small countries for things like defense.
    I agree with that - when it comes to throwing your military weight around, or protecting the country from attack, being big is an advantage. Not a disadvantage.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    I think the difference on how two countries deal with something like Coronavirus has to do with the mindset of the two countries. On might be more individual centric and let people get away with more and the other might more community centered and the people are more likely to stay at home.
    No problem, although that is not about being big or small.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    Plus people living in a more rural area are more use to be not social active than people who live in cities close to one another.
    The specific instance that I saw was someone saying the approaches South Korea used to deal with coronavirus wouldn't work in the US, because South Korea is this small little country the size of some US states, and somehow, for some unexplained reason, that makes it far easier to deal with than in a large country like the US.

    One could argue that South Korea should have a harder time, as they have a much higher population density than the US.

    If you have a certain landmass, with a certain population, I'm not sure how dividing it up into a few large countries or a large number of small countries makes it easier or harder to deal with something like the coronavirus. I suppose one could argue that if restrictions on movement can be imposed at international boundaries, and only there, then having a lot of little countries would be an advantage. At yet the US seems to be imposing severe restrictions on individual activity, despite constitutional guarantees of freedom of travel - they just do it anyway.

    So should fighting the coronavirus be hard in the US, because the US is such a large country? Or should it be easy, because many of the fifty states are relatively small? Or does the way a landmass and population are divided into countries, really not have that much of an effect on how one has to deal with a disease?

    I could even argue that the large country could have an easier time, because they have a national government that can impose uniform policies on the entire country. If the territory is divided into a bunch of small countries, it may be harder to get a uniform response together.

    A small country with only a few million people, only needs to feed that many. Just imagine how vastly harder it is to feed a huge country with hundreds of millions or even over a billion people. People in large countries must be starving to death, because of the extreme difficulty in feeding a large population, instead of the relative ease of feeding a small population.

    Just imagine how easy it would be to build housing for everyone in Norway, and how hard it would be to build housing for everyone in much larger countries like China or the US. Nearly everyone in China or the US must be homeless, because how can you possibly build housing for such a huge number of people?

    The thing universally missing in this "logic" is that, although large countries often have larger scale problems than small countries (more mouths to feed, more people with infectious diseases, more airports to secure, more people to house), large countries also have more people and more resources to solve those problems. And yet, I am told pretty much every day, that only the size of the problem scales with the size of the country. Big countries have big problems, but they apparently only have the same resources to solve those problems as far smaller countries. If that were the case, then simply dividing the country into pieces would magically improve the situation on, well, practically everything. Of course this is just silly.
    A: "Things that are equal to the same are equal to each other"
    B: "The two sides of this triangle are things that are equal to the same"
    C: "If A and B are true, Z must be true"
    D: "If A and B and C are true, Z must be true"
    E: "If A and B and C and D are true, Z must be true"

    Therefore, Z: "The two sides of this triangle are equal to each other"

  28. #13018
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    I mean, I can definitely see the logic behind breaking up the US into smaller countries.
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  29. #13019
    While I am from Canada where we more land mass but smaller population, and from one of the smaller provinces in land size and population. Each [rovince some latitude in some others, our province was on of the first to start to shut things down. Plus our national leaders wife got the disease so he went into isolation and did all his press conferences in front of his house by himself. Plus also I am lucky I live on a fairly large peice of land and have a number of trails that I take a hike on and not see anyone. I think it is the mindset of everyone that makes following social isolation easier. My sister is lucky because she is an accountant and can work from home even before this and her husband works on a boat with a fairly small crew. Plus there are landlocked provinces where getting to ports in the winter is a diffucult issue, there are a few year yound ports in Canada like Halifax, Saint John, St. Johns, Vancouver and Victoria.
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  30. #13020
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    I mean, I can definitely see the logic behind breaking up the US into smaller countries.
    Straying into geopolitics. Don't go there, please. This goes for everyone.
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