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About Wilbur

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  1. She has been trying to play a part in local city politics for a couple of years, and her behavior and tactics made me feel the same. This episode, though, is pretty clearly the sign of a significant mental problem, and it is sad that it had to come to this for her or anyone else before they can get help.
  2. Yes, as a reader I often wonder if a page that got the story from point A to point C had fallen out of the original manuscript. Surely there was a point B missing somewhere! Also, it is well worth your time to get one of your German in-laws to read aloud stories in High German like, "How Some Children Played at Slaughtering". Especially if they don't already know the story.
  3. They could go the whole hog (ha!) and be the Baltimore Bullets! Always go full retro! I foresee no problems with this plan.
  4. And you have to consider that it is a virus, like chicken pox or herpes, so the survivors are going to suffer from currently unknown side-effects in the future. I had childhood chicken pox, and then about four years ago I got the boomerang effect of shingles during the summer. It wasn't fun. What sort of future symptoms are in store for those who are currently collecting a dose?
  5. Was the Marburg virus spread by air handlers and ducting in a laboratory, or am I just remembering the Michael Crichton book about it?
  6. When they started out in the 1880s, they were the Pittsburgh Alleghanys, named after the river. However, some sneaky transfer business during the formative years of the National League caused other teams, specifically the Philadelphia Athletics, to refer to them as piratical, and the new name was born. This has been your Yinzer Moment.
  7. I am now convinced that the people who THINK they are best prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse are in reality the LEAST prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse. Instead, the survivors of the next ZA or ebola or whatever will be a bunch of weedy kindergarten teachers, librarians, and Cat Rescue ladies who spend all their time washing their hands and avoiding social contact with the outside world.
  8. You are totally correct about the selfishness. Formerly I would have expected people to be willing to give up some personal freedom to help out their neighbors. No longer true, apparently. With respect to the masks, someone wearing a mask here in the west could generally expect to end up like Bill Brazelton: Brazen Bill wears a mask, dies of acute lead poisoning.
  9. There is definitely a significant social reluctance in the west to covering your face. It contravenes most social mores to fail to look a person in the eye, or to wear a mask, in a western society. When I was a kid my dad would strap me for not looking him in the face when I was in trouble, for instance. "Be a man" includes telling the truth, owning up when you fail, and looking the other guy in the eye. Only outlaws cover their faces, and this is why a lot of us have a problem with the police wearing those black military helmet and face-covering combos: that is the bad guys' outfit. This is not the same in Asia, where customs permit and even encourage individuals to avoid direct eye contact and to wear a mask. Dinner time discussions about this in the past have even brought up the idea that wearing a mask promotes a mannerly posture for the lower-status individual in some of the five Confucian relationships, for instance. Given the many millions of miles I have flown, I wear a mask on aircraft and have done so for most of my adult life. For me, the airplane interiors are too dry, and wearing a mask helps keep me from developing cracked lips and a dry throat on long trans-Pacific or trans-Atlantic flights. On these flights, no one bats an eye at the mask. However, on two separate occasions I have had federal air marshalls come up the front of the plane, wake me up, and ask me why I was masked up on trans-continental domestic flights. Masks just hit westerners as "wrong" at a gut level. Rolling into my bank with a mask on is still giving me a thrill after three months of this. Right now everyone should be wearing masks. My wife has supplied me with a variety of masks that she thinks I will think are manly and cool. However, Trump and others have leveraged Americans' natural reluctance to score political points, which is just evil at this point. Witness the recent political idiocy here in my town, for instance.
  10. I finished Christian Cameron's final book in The Long War series entitled The Rage of Ares (2016). All six books were a pleasure to read, and the conclusion of this story with the Battle of Mycale set a nice capstone on the story of Arimnestos of Plataea. Well-written, well researched, well plotted, it was all high quality stuff. Thank you to this thread and the poster therein that recommended it to me. Probably the highlight for me was the manner in which the author portrayed the divide between the Ionian Greeks and the Attic Greeks, both in terms of culture and wealth. He also did a nice job of explaining the political pressures that the Ionian Greeks faced from the Persians due to the land border in Asia that the Greeks on the Peloponesse were free of because of the Aegean Sea. And he did so within the lives of the characters rather than in a didactic chunk of text. Finally, all six books are framed by the device of Arimnestos, now an old man, telling the stories in the evenings leading up to his daughter's wedding. This is very effective both from providing an avenue for after-the-fact commentary and to humanize the characters, as the reader begins to realize who is who in the main story and within the framing device of the wedding feast. Also, the story teller is able to inject some good sarcasm by saying things like, "And so I was killed and went down to Hades. No, of course not, don't look like that, I am reclining right here."
  11. Has Kyrie gone full Game of Zones? His proposal that the players start their own league is certainly on brand!
  12. You have to consider the role of the AAU teams and coaches in the development of a lot of young players. Given the incredible levels of self-interest or downright corruption among coaches and team owners in the AAU, and the fact that AAU coaches see a lot of talented players at very young ages, you absolutely do have an exodus from urban schools to suburban / private academies. AAU coaches have now learned how to set up charter schools, and by placing them in NJ, the NY youth don't have too far to go. (Not that they have to be in NJ, but the number of NJ "high school" teams seems to have grown.) The athletes can "finish high school" at these charter schools, and the coaches have a lot more control over their careers, which helps the coaches/owners milk the players' future income streams. Ten or fifteen years ago, having a basketball academy at a showcase tournament was notable. These tended to have healthy, big benches full of talented players, and they often went to the final game. Today, a showcase will have 40% of the boys' teams coming from these basketball factory schools. Even in the girls' game we are starting to see this model, where the top players leave their local high schools and attend a charter school that plays a 45-50 game season, with a lot of out-of-state travel consuming the winter months.
  13. Anecdotally, our high today was 110 degrees here in Scottsdale, Arizona, and we as a state have moved into the lead in overall rate of infection. From that perspective, I am going to say that warmer weather has NOT killed off the virus.
  14. A crisp November F1 race in Canada with studded snow tired would be VERY entertaining.
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