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Ice Queen

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Posts posted by Ice Queen

  1. 11 hours ago, TrueMetis said:

    What about Russian kids born in Trump condos in Miami?

    My boyfriend was born in Germany because his father was stationed there and until now no one ever, ever questioned whether those children were US citizens. 


  2. On 8/14/2019 at 3:48 PM, miyuki said:

    Going through older threads here in this website, I've noted that many people think that "A Feast for Crows" and "A Dance with Dragons" are much less enjoyable, if not outright boring books compared to the earlier books in GRRM's series. Most likely this kind of thread was once made already, but has any re-read or anything else changed your opinion over the years? Or have you always liked them, or always and forever hated them? If you don't like them, is it because of something other than "nothing happens"?

    Personally, I've always loved the 4th and 5th book. 

    I didn't like Feast the first time around, but it definitely improved on re-read. When Dance came out, it was easy to see where and why it fit into the scheme of things. 

    I did enjoy Dance. It's another one that improves with age. The northern arc, and Theon's, were very well done IMO. I really loved the introduction of Lord Manderly and Davos' chapters. 

  3. On 8/14/2019 at 9:02 AM, Tywin Manderly said:

    What would have been an appropriate punishment for Catelyn for setting Jaime Lannister free without Robb's leave?

    Marry her off to Walder Frey. She did commit treason, but kinslaying is a serious crime, so Robb couldn't very well execute her. I know, I know, Lord Walder was on Wife #8, so that wasn't feasible, but Jason Mallister seemed interested in her. Robb could have married her off to him as well. 

    All of this, of course, ignores the fact that the minute she showed up on her way back north, she should have been sent back to Winterfell. That was her place. She should NOT have been given a place in Robb's councils or any other advisory position. She was not a Lady Mormont with the necessary skills and strategic thinking that would have been valuable, and she had no business there.

    Just my two cents. 

  4. On 8/14/2019 at 3:36 PM, The Mother of The Others said:

    Tries to eat the grass constantly.   I tap him on the noggin, pull him away, and dispense anti grass eating propaganda.  I lean down close to make sure he hears in stereo when I say emphatically in plain English, "You're not a cow!"   Just looks back at me with disdain and eats more grass.   "How do you not see the connection between this and your barfing?   Are you just blind to the analytics or is this your new diet fad to lose fuzzy pet pounds."     So I purchase indoor Pet Grass brand pet grass.   And then the big moment came to introduce it........ and neither cat gave a shit.   Not even the level of interest you usually see from them when a new object appears in the house.   The deeper green of the outside grass must contain the pussycat tobacco they crave.   They shun this indoor stuff like it's Ghost Grass.  So, me being one of the pre-eminent minds in the game today, I embarked on the ingenious guile-craft of taking the indoor grass outside and placing it on the lawn so it's the tallest weed of them all, the obvious target for pet munching....... and the puss was not fooled.  It's as if he saw right through that high level deception.   And this is the cat who burrows into my armpit to get a closer whiff of fresh deodorant.   

    Get some cat mint. Not catnip, cat mint. They love it. It grows wild in my yard and even getting a little on your hands drives them wild.

    There are a lot of things they can have, but be careful with the houseplants. One of mine had elevated liver enzymes and it was finally traced to her love of apothos ivy. I also had an asparagus fern that she loved. Both plants are now at my office. Spider plants are okay, though. 

  5. 58 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

    A report popped up on my cell phone saying Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his cell.

    eta: Suicide. They were supposed to be watching him. A trial would have been waaaaaay better. I guess he didn’t want to be assassinated on the way to court.

    Way too suspicious. I don't think it was suicide, and I'm not prone to wild flights of tinfoil fancy. 

    Even though a trial would have been better...good riddance. They have more than enough to bring down some very powerful people without him. Some people are too evil to live.

  6. 18 hours ago, Castellan said:

    Did this eagle thing really happen? Or was it grainy film of eagles with something or rather? I am moving to a bit of land that has a pair or eagles and a pair of hawks that patrol it. I searched the web and only found the grainy film. Eagles are rumoured to take baby lambs but my friends with a hobby farm say they don't. I have gone from worrying about the cats hunting birds to vice versa. We can build an enclosure but one of them in particular would not be happy.

    No, it really happened. Thousands of people watched it live. Look up Pittsburgh Hays eagles cat. 

    Generally speaking, bald eagles can't dead lift anything heavier than 10 pounds, so lambs are usually safe. Although their main diet is fish, they will take carrion, which made some experts believe that the cat was already dead when the eagle got it (we can only hope), but we'll never know what happened. Hawks, however, are known to prey on cats and small dogs. 


  7. 6 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

    You might as well say watching TV or movies or listening to music or even reading (as entertainment) is stupid and unhealthy too. They are all passive consumption of entertainment. Video games are interactive, but still consumptive rather than productive. I suspect a lot of people who single out video games for derision also don't recognize video games as an art form similar to film / TV / music. There is excellent art being produced in video games as well as a plethora of shite, that's no different to all of the other mass entertainment media. People should have a healthy relationship with any form of entertainment media they choose to consume and try to avoid obsession and addiction. Video games are no better or worse in that regard.

    Some people might say a whole online community dedicated to examining and arguing about the intricacies of one work of fantasy fiction is stupid and unhealthy. Consider the number of words and hours spent arguing about the parentage of a fictional bastard. Looked at from a certain perspective that is an unequivocal waste of time of everyone who has ever been involved in such a debate.

    Personally I think the only way for toxic masculinity to be eliminated from video games is greater involvement of women both in the industry and as gamers. Though I don't envy what these pioneering women go through at this point in time. They are like modern day suffragettes, subject to the same sort of hatred, vitriol and threats to their person. Rather sad that such a parallel can be drawn 100 years after most democracies deigned to allow women to vote. 

    Most of us don't spend every waking minute in front of a computer, TV or gaming console. I don't know anyone who does that. We have adult responsibilities and there's no time for that. Maybe it's an age gap. We liked video games, but the world wasn't connected. Player 2 had to be physically present and put the quarter in the slot or ready with the joystick or controller. There was still physical and real social interaction with other human beings.

    My kids were older when online gaming became a thing. Maybe that's a factor, too. My daughter was 17 or 18 when a boyfriend introduced her to it. We had a PC that was in the dining room and everyone could see what you were doing. They did not get their own laptops till they went to college. Of course we had gaming systems like Sega (which was the height of technology!) then Game Cube, Wii,  X Box and Nintendo DS.

    What you're essentially saying is that it's okay for boys and young men to torture and abuse women in gaming culture and they should just toughen up, and that abuse should be expected because hey, they're women. So you're just justifying the budding psychopaths' unrealistic views of women. As fragile as their egos are, they take silence as encouragement. 

    Toxic masculinity will never be eliminated until other men call them on it. Have you ever done that? 

    Ask yourself why more young girls and women don't game. Part of it is the inherent and rampant misogyny, but another part of it is that most of us don't get off on guns and killing things, even in a non-real environment. As we get older, other things become more important, like raising children. It's kind of hard to play when you barely have time for a shower.

    I once dated a guy whose 24 year old son lived at home. He was so introverted it was a little scary. He went to work every day, but the minute he got home he went straight to his room and started playing. He would go to virtual parties instead of socializing in real life. No girlfriend--he didn't have the first clue how to go about talking to a woman. I remember thinking that he was a potential mass shooter. 

    Edit: I don't think gaming is the problem any more than D&D or playing Ozzy Osbourne backwards was. But certain personalities gravitate to that world, and I'd be willing to bet that gaming allows them to express violent tendencies and attitudes they already had.


  8. 2 hours ago, Simon Steele said:

    I will say (and I'm saying this as an avid gamer)--there is something up with online gamer culture. Games aren't the culprit, but that so many of these young men (not just the killers, but young men in the hate ranks nonetheless) come from gamer culture. Why? I have no idea. 

    As a parent, this is what I see: they're extremely insecure with no social skills, and their skill at games gives them some kind of validation. The isolation only reinforces their real life inability to form normal human relationships, so it's easy for them to blame everyone else for that. They're looking for a peer group they don't have in real life because they're unable to form those relationships in any other way. Gaming is an obsession that feeds into that and they're easy pickings. Now, whether they already possess their hateful views when they begin gaming and the online world or develop them as they become more and more immersed in it I can't say. I suspect they gravitate towards groups and games that already share their views, but I could be wrong.

    My daughter is a gamer but she's getting out of it. The misogyny and abuse she deals with is insane and I've been quite angry that she was willing to put up with it for so long. All that for a game? It's not worth it.

    As someone who thought Atari was the coolest thing ever invented, I gotta say I think gaming is stupid and unhealthy. No wonder our kids are lazy, fat and know nothing about real life social skills. The social isolation makes them angry and depressed. The best thing a parent can do is pull the plug and make them get out of the house for fresh air and sunshine.

  9. 13 hours ago, Triskele said:

    To some extent this is more of a pre-Obamacare argument.  Not to say that these things ceased to be true, but it's not as bad as before.  Not because the industry became nice on their own but because the law forced them into better behavior.  

    Now if this lawsuit wins and OCare gets entirely thrown out you're going to see a huge increase in both people with zero coverage and people whose coverage is all of the sudden worse.  

    As something of an aside, and here not sure that it matters messaging-wise, the insurance sector gets  bad rap insofar as it's really the overall system that has all kinds of problems with big health systems / hospitals being a huge part of the problem and pharma being another huge part of the problem but with the insurance company often being position as the pain point for people's interaction with the system.  Those other two entities are arguably the bigger problem today with the insurance sector being more tightly regulated than it used to be.  But messaging-wise I can see why insurance is easier to blame.  Start blaming "hospitals" and some people will be like "but I love my nurse" who is not the reason the hospital is a problem overall.  

    What if the hospital system owns its own insurance company? Then the two entities are one and the same.

    See: UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) and their fight with Highmark BCBS. 

  10. On 7/27/2019 at 12:02 PM, Werthead said:

    Well, we can. If they were world-enders, over a kilometer across, there wouldn't be much we could do about it, but fortunately they're much easier to spot.

    Asteroids in that size range can be pulled off-course by using Earthbound lasers, mass attractors (even a small spacecraft staying to the side of a 100m asteroid for several months would have enough of a gravitational impact to move the asteroid significantly off course) or crashing things into them. You can also nuke them at the last minute, although that is only effective if the asteroid is likely to break apart into pieces small enough to burn up in the atmosphere (although that would still give the troposphere a headache). If it's an iron-nickel asteroid, which will have picked up a fair degree of radiation in space, and you then nuke it into several sections which survive entry, you have of course made the problem considerably worse in terms of spreading the devastation over a much wider area and increasing the radioactive fallout.

    The only caveat to all of that is that we'd need several years of warning to really do any of those things (apart maybe from nuking them at the last minute), which as this incident shows, may not be likely.

    More cheerful is thinking that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of large long-period comets with an orbits in the thousands or tens of thousands of years which could come careening in at high speed from the outer Solar system with us having little chance of spotting one until a few months before impact.

    That could have happened with the Chelyabinsk meteor. It was only 17 metres in diameter and exploded 25 miles above the ground, but still generated half a megaton of explosive energy and injured a thousand people. If it had made landfall dead centre in the middle of town, I have a hard time believing that the Russian government wouldn't immediately assume it was some kind of nuclear attack.

    In fact, if the 1908 Siberia impactor had been delayed in its arrival by about four hours, it would have landed pretty much right in the middle of Moscow and taken out the entire city. In fact, current estimates put the Tunguska object and this week's near-miss asteroid at almost exactly the same size, both physically and in terms of detonation (~15 megatons). The good news is that the Tunguska event happened in one of the most remote places on the planet and there were no confirmed human deaths.


    This is, bizarrely, very close to the plot of the Ace Combat video game series, where an alternate-reality Earth (down to having a completely different geography, but everyone still flies American and Russian fighter jets because reasons) spots a large asteroid called Ulysses on a collision course and the nations of the world collaborate to build a massive railgun network to destroy it before it can land (which doesn't entirely work and smaller fragments pummel several continents, triggering a global refugee crisis that in turn triggers a world war).

    Imagine world history if Moscow got obliterated.

    If anyone is interested in the subject, I recommend John S. Lewis' A Rain of Iron and Ice. It was published in 1997 but still a good read.

  11. 19 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

    DE-STAR is a potential answer. A massive phased array laser built in orbit, with the power to vaporize asteroids at a distance of millions of miles.

    It is currently available technology. The constraint up to now has been the cost and practicality of constructing such a large structure in orbit. But with SpaceX’s Starship we will see costs of $100/kg to orbit - and eventually even lower - within the next 5-10 years. 

    The more powerful the array, the larger the space rocks that it can vaporize in a shorter period of time. Build it large enough and you can melt any sized rock you want. (For example, at the extreme end of the scale, a Nicholl-Dyson beam can melt an entire planet in another star system light years away, using the power of the entire sun).

    We are not talking of anything remotely at that level, of course, but at a $100/kg you can put a million tons of phased array and solar power panels up in orbit for just $100 billion. That will surely give you a planetary defensive system that can counter the vast majority of asteroid threats out there.

    The key is the dramatically lower cost to space enabled by the revolutionary progress from SpaceX in particular.

    I think you're putting too much faith in SpaceX. They're in this for one reason: to make money. And the metals and minerals in the asteroids are worth a lot. The companies mining those asteroids (you know it's not going to be long till they do) aren't going to take kindly to their investment being vaporized like Alderaan. SpaceX might do it even so--but at a price, and probably a steep one. Who's going to pay it?

    Also, if you hit it too close to Earth, you risk several smaller impactors instead of just one. Those smaller ones would be far more dangerous than the larger one. 

  12. On 7/27/2019 at 10:38 AM, Safiya said:

    We've catalogued hundreds of millions of NEOs; Near Earth Objects are defined as being within 150 million kilometers (93 million miles) of Earth. The estimated number of NEOs approximately one kilometer in diameter is 921±20.

    Those over 140 m across is 27,100±2,200, and those 40 m (130 ft) in diameter is estimated at about 840,000±23,000. 

    Then those larger than 3.5 m (11 ft)) is estimated at about 400±100 million. 

    It's the small ones I'm truly concerned about, imagine a small NEO than the size the US government has directed NASA to look for, not being identified as an asteroid and it hits a heavily populated area of a nuclear power and triggers a nuclear war?

    That we became extinct because of a 10 m lump of space rock. 


    Tunguska was 70 m wide and leveled 2000 square kilometers (772 square miles). It didn't even hit the ground--it was an airburst.

    Now imagine it impacting 3 hours later. Due to the Earth's rotation, it would have exploded over St. Petersburg. 

    The 20 m diameter Chelyabinsk meteor exploded in February 2013 and injured 1500 people. And no one saw it coming.

    It's a numbers game. Eventually we're going to get hit. It's just a question of when.

  13. 8 hours ago, A True Kaniggit said:


    Just know what comes with owning a cat. If you're adopting an older one like you mentioned, with any luck they might be fairly well house trained. But be aware that your furniture will be fair game as a scratching post if they don't already know better.

    Also litter. Keep it clean. Because if you don't, you shouldn't be upset when they find somewhere else to do their business in your house.

    Completely agree! Clean litter boxes are a must. Ideally you need one per cat, plus an extra one, but with one cat you can have just one. (I have 6 litter boxes so everyone has their favorite.)

    Sometimes you might have to try different litters to see which one they prefer. Most cats aren't that picky, but some are pretty OCD about it. They do seem to prefer unscented litter, which I do buy. I add Arm n Hammer carpet powder to it in the summer, and I have Litter Genies. 

    I have a scratching post that has survived a total of 7 cats over the years. It just met its match in my kitten. He has torn and unraveled the sisal completely off of it. :) 

  14. 8 hours ago, A True Kaniggit said:

    Yep. Neither of my cats are allowed outside. They're both fixed, so I don't have to worry about the kitten problem. But there are way too many stray dogs in this area for comfort.

    We have coyotes--cats are a tasty little snack for them., We also have hawks and bald eagles. A few years ago, one of our eagle nests made international news because the adults fed their eaglets a cat on live cam. 

    While I was on vacation a few weeks ago someone's pet cat got hit by a car and died.  

  15. @Yet another Arya !

    Good luck and let us know how it goes! Once you're hooked, you're hooked for life. I had no intention of getting a cat...and now I have 5. :) 

    Cats adjust, even the ones that are used to being outdoors. I took in the "neighborhood cat" last year. She found the couch and won't go near the door now. She adopted us. She had lived in the neighborhood since she was a kitten. Many people tried to bring her inside, but she wanted nothing to do with it, so everyone just took care of her--fed her, put outdoor cat houses on their porches so she would be warm. One woman even had a heated house for her.  She adopted us, not the other way around, and now she wants nothing to do with being outside. 

    This is my opinion and is no way intended to be judgmental, but letting them outside isn't really good for them anyway. I know they're natural hunters, but they live much longer and healthier lives if they're kept indoors. It drives me nuts when people in the neighborhood let their unfixed pet cats roam. Before you know it, you're overrun with kittens. 

    Adopting from the shelter means they're spayed/neutered and are up to date on all their shots. And there are so many cats in shelters that giving one of them a home is the kindest thing you could do for them. :) 

  16. 17 hours ago, Yet another Arya ! said:

    I'm not the kind of person who would shout "oooooh so cuuuuute" at the sight of a cat. I know people who knettle pullover in winter for their cats, who send them seeing a "shrink-cat" if needed, and who can't move if a cat sit on their lap. I definitly won't do that. In sum, I like cats but I'm not a cat person. However I intend to get one once I'm settled in my new appartement (I move next week). I frequently check the photos on the nearest shelter website. And while I don't know yet what my future pet looks like, I'm already freaking out.

    Can I handle such responsability? And what if I forget to feed it? What if accidentally I step on it? What if I don't like it?

    And now @A True Kaniggit raised new issues: bath? I did not even know it was possible (and I duly note that 3 years old nieces are not compatible with cats). Belly rubs? Well, I thought that if the cat does not purr, it means it is not happy, so I would just stop rubbing whatever part of its body.

    Do you think we need special skills to have a cat? Careful attention, special empathy leading to special bond between the cat and us, or just knowledge about cats?

    Cats don't really need baths because they're incessant and OCD self-groomers. But if you must, baby wipes work just fine. I wouldn't even try to give any of mine a bath--the last time I did (she had gotten out and was covered in fleas), I ended up on antibiotics from a really nasty bite on my finger. 

    You don't need any special skills to own a cat. They're not dogs--they pretty much take care of themselves. You won't forget to feed it because they won't let you forget. :) And all but the smallest kitten will get out of the way if they see you coming. 

    I would suggest an older cat. They need homes too. 


  17. 28 minutes ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

    Our friend is being wildly reactionary. (radical-ary?)

    Anyway, ICE isn't gonna go after her. I mean not on duty or anything. I have become increasingly... curious isn't the right word, but almost preemptively horrified to see if an attempt is made on one or all of their lives. And then to see if he pardons the shooter. Especially if he loses (don't think he will).

    I like to think ahead and be prepared for all eventualities, no matter how improbable. With the way this is going, I wouldn't put it past him to sic ICE on her. 

  18. I was born in 1969. My mom says I was supposed to be born on July 20 (the Moon landing), but I came early and was born on June 14. Which, unfortunately, is also Mango Mussolini's birthday.

    I console myself by thinking it's also Boy George's birthday. At least he's articulate and funny and is a constant reminder of my teenage years in the 80s!

  19. 9 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

    Yes: https://sweeticeandfiresunray.com/2017/08/03/lord-varys-introduction/

    And this is of course related to the Cretan goddesses who are symbolized by a "maze".

    I do not explicitly confirm that Varys is bald due to shaving or hair loss. Only feature I confirm he is indeed pale, for he wouldn't be wearing any powder the night he kills Kevan, as it would leave traces. That said, even eunuchs could end up bald due to other life situations: malnutrion can cause severe hair loss.

    As for the "tallness": on the one hand Varys would not have had a normal male growth spurt. On the other hand there are "reported" instances of some skeletons that show the epiphyses of the bone did not close properly (in 2 subjects of a particular group of ). So while they don't have a growth spurt as much as non-castrated men do, it's hypothzied they would "keep growing". But this finding does not seem to be the case for all eunuchs. And it does not account for the kyphosis effect (bowed spine), which has a higher incidence rate (though not will all) than the not closing of epiphyses.  https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/84/12/4324/2864451 And here too malnutrition for an extended period has adverse effects on growth.

    There's more going on with Varys. George has stripped him off as much identifiable physical traits as possible. Even my proposed leukism acts like a mask layer. The color purple stuff is also important and needs to be objectively analysed. I have a draft, but unfinished as of yet. I do think George might have messed up here, for he does not particularly refer to the Unsullied as above average tall men.

    But I'll work in your remarks (and credit them) in the original essay.

    It depends on how old they were when they were castrated. It wouldn't affect the height of a male castrated after puberty, obviously, although those men would lose muscle and gain fat. And it's based on more than two skeletons--it's a real thing, not merely "reported". But whatever. 

    I have to check out his description of the Unsullied, but there is another example: Strong Belwas.