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Thread: Stuff you just don't get.

  1. #4591
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    Sounds like a useful trick for establishing an alibi, or a plot device in fiction.
    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

  2. #4592
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpatz View Post
    Current time: 11:16 AM (EDT)
    Time of last post in this thread: 11:25 AM.

    Is there some relativistic time dilation going on here?

    (I know, probably a time zone difference. I'm curious what this post's time stamp will be. It's 11:18 AM here now and I'm about to click post).

    Uhhh... post time is showing 11:36 AM. Unless the server is in a time zone 18 minutes ahead of my local time, something weird is going on. Probably server time is wrong, or Doc Brown's flux capacitor experiment worked.
    The clock on my other forum has been chronically behind. So I figure the average of the two is about right. Unfortunately when I checked just now the clock on the other forum agreed with my phone.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  3. #4593
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Sounds like a useful trick for establishing an alibi ...


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  4. #4594
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I don't get (how appropriate for this particular thread ) why people are so amazed about the time stamp issues with this forum. I don't know of any two computer systems or smart devices I deal with that show the exact same time and lots of those clocks show some degree of change in the delta T over time. Unless one makes the effort to regularly sync a system to some sort of calibrated clock, this kind of drift happens all the time.

    Yes, you can sync to such systems (GPS being one of the easier ones to access, NIST over the Internet being another), but few system creators or administrators bother because it doesn't really matter.
    Because to most of us the inner workings of software might as well be a demon in a box, like Discworld.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  5. #4595
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpatz View Post
    Most server software (whether Windows or Linux based) comes with some sort of NTP client ready to go or even installed by default, so drifting times on servers tend to be the exception rather than the rule these days.

    Every system in my house is synced via NTP.
    Yes, drifting clocks are so fifteen years ago . . .
    People who live in glass houses, should get undressed in the dark.

  6. #4596
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21st Century Schizoid Man View Post
    Yes, drifting clocks are so fifteen years ago . . .
    Exaxtly. It’s not a big deal to me here, but I remember the drifting clocks from the old days. I even wrote some custom software for my old PCs about 30 years ago. Turns out cheap quartz clocks (like those in a PC) are quite precise, but not so accurate - they tick at a fairly precise rate, but if they aren’t tuned just right, they can lose or gain several minutes a month. However, it is a highly consistent loss or gain, although temperature does affect it (some quartz clocks meant to be especially accurate and precise use a heater in a tiny insulated chamber to keep the crystal at a constant temperature).

    But that is all mostly moot now that it is so easy to get accurate time updates from atomic clocks that can’t be matched by the best quartz clock.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." ó Abraham Lincoln

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  7. #4597
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post

    But that is all mostly moot now that it is so easy to get accurate time updates from atomic clocks that can’t be matched by the best quartz clock.
    I just wanted to respond not to contradict what you wrote but just to say it's a bit of an understatement.

    They are just so different that I found it strange that you said "by the best quartz clock." It's not even close so it doesn't matter that much how good it is. I think good quartz clocks are accurate to about a half-second per day, which is OK but not really terribly accurate. Atomic clocks are accurate to like 10-9 seconds per day. So I think that's like a million times more accurate. People are now working on optical lattice clocks which I think are maybe ten times more accurate than normal atomic clocks, but still the difference is really small compared to the enormous gap with quartz clocks.
    As above, so below

  8. #4598
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I just wanted to respond not to contradict what you wrote but just to say it's a bit of an understatement.

    They are just so different that I found it strange that you said "by the best quartz clock." It's not even close so it doesn't matter that much how good it is.
    Well yes, there is a big difference, but most people donít realize how good quartz clocks can be and it didnít used to be so easy to get an automatic atomic clock reference, so it was a more complex option until recent years.

    I think good quartz clocks are accurate to about a half-second per day, which is OK but not really terribly accurate.
    So that would be about 183 seconds per year. It turns out that a really good quartz clock is accurate to about 5 seconds per year or about .015 seconds per day. Yes, again it doesnít match atomic clocks but for most purposes it is very, very good.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." ó Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  9. #4599
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    I've got some wristwatches that I have really more for the style and novelty aspect, than their ability to keep accurate time.

    I refer to them as "calendars", as they can generally tell you what day it is with considerable accuracy.
    Last edited by 21st Century Schizoid Man; 2021-May-07 at 05:58 AM.
    People who live in glass houses, should get undressed in the dark.

  10. #4600
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21st Century Schizoid Man View Post
    I've got some wristwatches that I have really more for the style and novelty aspect, than their ability to keep accurate time.

    I refer to them as "calendars", as they cann generally tell you what day it is with considerable accuracy.
    Mine too. Unless it's around midnight, then the exact date gets a little fuzzy...
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  11. #4601
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    When a boring speaker looks at his watch, you should always say "There's a calendar behind you."

  12. #4602
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    "Give way". I noted this term in my journal last year as a difference in terminology used in NZ. I'm used to seeing "Yield" signs.

    This picture, taken on the Otago Peninsula near Dunedin, is one of many examples from NZ that I "didn't get". The signs indicated I was in a "Safety Speed Zone" with a limit of 70 km/h. I felt that 40 km/h might be too fast!
    Yes, when we were driving in NZ we often raised an eyebrow at the maximum speed limit posted on some of their roads. But many of the locals seemed to be ok with it and we were happy to pull over and let them have their head.

  13. #4603
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    When a boring speaker looks at his watch, you should always say "There's a calendar behind you."
    Tough crowd!
    People who live in glass houses, should get undressed in the dark.

  14. #4604
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    Yes, when we were driving in NZ we often raised an eyebrow at the maximum speed limit posted on some of their roads. But many of the locals seemed to be ok with it and we were happy to pull over and let them have their head.
    In Scotland, the national speed limit applies on single-track roads, so that's 60mph/100kph.
    The main difference between inexperienced visitors and locals is that the locals accelerate and decelerate more--touching the speed limit in areas where there are good sightlines, but then tucking in and going slowly around corners. There were long stretches of my drive on Wednesday, for instance, where the road surface was visible for a very long distance ahead, winding between fenced fields and across open moorland. It's the sort of road on which locals will touch 60mph, and will expect slower-moving visitors to tuck into the first suitable passing place. (Another trick of driving these roads is to realize that passing places have different functions according to their locations. The passing places close to blind corners are primarily for oncoming traffic--you meet on the corner, and someone reverses to the nearest passing place. But these are not the passing places you use to let someone pass you from behind, because by occupying such a passing place you compound the problem if the overtaking vehicle meets someone at the blind corner. So you pull over to let traffic overtake when you have a good sightline ahead that reveals no oncoming traffic.)

    Grant Hutchison

  15. #4605
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    When I lived in West Wales, the single track roads also had high hedges. The locals would drive as Grant described and with few troubles , even with wandering cows, but visitors would honk horns at every blind turn. Visitors were also very inexperienced at long reversing to passing places. One time on the single track coast road I was an inexperienced horse and buggy driver and I came head to head with a tourist who looked panicked at the prospect of a couple of hundred yards backing to a passing place. My horse was voice trained and more experienced than I, so I said “ looks like we have to turn round” . To my surprise the horse crossed legs to achieve a neat turn within the space and we set off the other way, the tourist keeping a safe and slow distance till the next passing place.
    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

  16. #4606
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    Ah, horses.
    The A838 from Lairg to Laxford Bridge is about 35 miles of lovely single-track road. But one day I was heading south along it when I kept meeting people towing horse-boxes coming in the opposite direction (I presume there had been some sort of county fair at Lairg). With a horse in the back you don't want to brake hard, and you're reluctant to do any reversing. So I got to do most of the braking and all the reversing--that was a lo-o-ng 35 miles.

    Grant Hutchison

  17. #4607
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    In today's mail I received a solicitation from a charity to which I donate once a year. Which causes them to send me solicitations at least monthly. I should try telling them to stop, but it probably wouldn't help.
    Anyhow, today's missive included a business reply envelope, so it wouldn't even cost me a stamp to donate. Affixed to the envelope are four one-cent stamps. What's that all about? Does their permit only apply to some previous rate?
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  18. #4608
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    Returning (going round, as it were) the topic of roundabouts, here is my experience:

    -single lane roundabout = good. Much easier than crossroads when needing to go "to the left" (driving on the right side of the road).
    -Dutch "turbo" rounadbouts = good. In these, you pick a lane before entering based on your desired destination and you are automatically guided there without interfering with the other lanes.
    -multi-lane roundabouts in Belgium = hmmm. People don't know how to use them, tend to stick to the outer lane turning it into a defacto single lane roundabout with extra risks.
    -multi-lane roundabouts in France = depends on your level. As a beginner, you encounter all the issues of having to go to the inner lane and back out in short notice, which is tricky with all the other cars around you. Then you observe how the French do it, take a deep breath, and copy. The key is "predictable swerving". They expect you to cut straight to the inner lane upon entering, they expect you to cut straight to the outer lane as soon as you indicate, and they actually give you (the tiniest) space to do so. It's horrifying but actually works.
    -multi lane roundabouts but without lane demarcation = hell in any country. Each man fights for himself. The bigger, the worse.

    In short: I'm happy with single lane roundabouts and turbo roundabouts. Don't like the alternatives. I don't drive in countries where they drive on the left as it confuses me too much, which would lead to disastrous situations.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  19. #4609
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    I like Dutch turbo roundabouts. Topologically they do the same thing as Britain's multilane roundabouts (you choose your lane before you enter, and are guided in and then out by road markings), but the way the roads join at right angles, rather than tangentially, and are crossed by circumferential cycle and pedestrian routes, has a nice traffic-calming effect on the circulation without disrupting flow.

    One advantage to being a leftie with weak laterality is that I seem to be able to switch back and forth easily between driving on the left and driving on the right--I just need to remember where I am and get started on the correct side of the road. My wife and I have an arrangement, when driving abroad and on returning to the UK, of chanting "right, right, right" or "left, left, left" in unison as we put the car in gear to drive off.

    Grant Hutchison

  20. #4610
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    My town (I actually live a bit outside it) was concerned about speeds on the street that goes by the Court House and Post Office so the stuck in a couple of "mini-roundabouts". Basically a hunk of one-meter or so culvert stuck in the middle of an intersection with some sad flowers under a big sign so you'll see it. Really terrible. Three stop signs would have been far better. Don't need four, because one side of the street is just houses along the bluff.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  21. #4611
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    We have some small one-lane roundabouts for the entrance/exits for a fairly major highway.
    They are also too small, and there is no time to signal your intention to exit the thing.
    The result is that someone waiting to enter won't, even though I'd be getting off before them.

    There is also a rush-hour situation where a steady stream of vehicles planning on making a "left" very effectively the entrance to their right.
    This is a situation where traffic warrants a clover-leaf (or maybe a bigger circle).
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  22. #4612
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I like Dutch turbo roundabouts. Topologically they do the same thing as Britain's multilane roundabouts (you choose your lane before you enter, and are guided in and then out by road markings), but the way the roads join at right angles, rather than tangentially, and are crossed by circumferential cycle and pedestrian routes, has a nice traffic-calming effect on the circulation without disrupting flow.

    One advantage to being a leftie with weak laterality is that I seem to be able to switch back and forth easily between driving on the left and driving on the right--I just need to remember where I am and get started on the correct side of the road. My wife and I have an arrangement, when driving abroad and on returning to the UK, of chanting "right, right, right" or "left, left, left" in unison as we put the car in gear to drive off.

    Grant Hutchison
    I once saw a British guy driving on the mainland with a large piece of paper screaming "RIGHT!" smack in the middle of his steering wheel. At least it's not as embarrassing as when a rally car has a note saying " <-- LEFT----------RIGHT--> " above the copilot's toy cabinet.

    For me, driving on the left would be OK until I was distracted by traffic and trying to find my way, then I'd do things that make the evening news. So I refrain from it. I drive anywhere in Europe with 2 exceptions: driving on the left, and that one huge unmarked roundabout in Verona. I try to avoid the centre of Paris as well, but I can deal with it if I find myself there by accident.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  23. #4613
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    I have been known to tape a small " Keep Right" label on the centre of the steering wheel on a couple of Leased cars in Europe. The normal hire cars we have hired lately usually seem to have the appropriate "Keep Right or "Keep Left" placards placed there by the car rental company. I have found that the most likely place to drift to the wrong side is coming out of shops or petrol stations where there are not the sort of road markings that normally apear at intersections. The first roundabout encountered also causes a few seconds hesitation as to whether to go left or right - but the same thing happens when I first drive after returning home.

    Altogether I have driven in about 20 countries on 4 continents. Of these, only 5 (including Australia) have been Right Hand Drive countries. The easiest Left Hand Drive country I have driven in was Canada. The roads were usually pretty wide and clearly marked. Plus the drivers were far more considerate than here or most other countries. The most nerve wracking was probably Yugoslavia in the 1970's. The most 'interesting' Right Hand Drive country was Malaysia where often the local interpretations of road rules were somewhat diosyncratic -plus the swarms of small motor cycles in the bigger towns. Driving on the Trans-Borneo Highway was a bit eye-opening.

  24. #4614
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    Stuff you just don't get.

    When i worked for the large blue technology company I had a colleague from Melbourne with whom I would sometimes meet in the Washington DC area. He refused to ride in the passenger seat when we drove anywhere. He had to ride in the back seat because it freaked him out too much to not have the steering wheel!

  25. #4615
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    When i worked for the large blue technology company I had a colleague from Melbourne with whom I would sometimes meet in the Washington DC area. He refused to ride in the passenger seat when we drove anywhere. He had to ride in the back seat because it freaked him out too much to not have the steering wheel!
    Yes while switched sides of the car is more disorientating than driving the other side of the road, sometimes being a passenger on the wrong side can be even worse. This can be maxed if your driver has also just switched sides and keeps getting the passenger side gaps wrong, that is cutting too close. Have felt that a few times, I prefer to drive , having owned left and right hand drive cars now for many years. It is lucky the pedal arrangement got standardised long ago.
    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

  26. #4616
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    For some reason I don't get why people sometimes say you "orientate" instead of "orient" yourself. Why the extra syllable for basically the same meaning?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  27. #4617
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    For some reason I don't get why people sometimes say you "orientate" instead of "orient" yourself. Why the extra syllable for basically the same meaning?
    I gather the common usage in USA is verb: orient, in Britain, verb: orientate while orient is noun: (the East). Both use noun: orientation. Just another example of a quirk. There is also Orienteering. Or is it Orienting? It is interesting that churches are oriented East, retaining the basic meaning of “face to the East” ; we don’t use occident the same way at all.
    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

  28. #4618
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    For some reason I don't get why people sometimes say you "orientate" instead of "orient" yourself. Why the extra syllable for basically the same meaning?
    It's British English. We're not in a rush. The suffix -ate forms a verb from the noun orient. So we vaccinate people, rather than vaccine them, and assassinate people rather than assassin them.

    Grant Hutchison

  29. #4619
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    It is interesting that churches are oriented East, retaining the basic meaning of “face to the East” ; we don’t use occident the same way at all.
    I wrote a piece about "direction words" recently (my favourite is septentrionate), and was amused to discover a single use of occidented, for a rare Christian church aligned with the altar at the west end. The OED attests it as a nonce-word, and quotes one I. Petrie as having written, in 1896:
    ˈThe Bishop‥came to the west or rather the east door, as the Church is occidented.
    Grant Hutchison

  30. #4620
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    It's British English. We're not in a rush.
    It seems in the US, we're always in a time crunch of one sort or another. We're the country that invented microwave popcorn, if that tells you anything. "Wait 5 minutes for a snack? Not me, I've got places to go!"
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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