Robert Prior

Robert Prior

  • Commented on "I doubt me an it be commercial."
    Both Amazon and Apple have form for removing purchased ebooks from people's devices, in some cases without compensation. I don't consider the media I bought on iTunes to be really mine until I have the files stored outside the iTunes...
  • Commented on "I doubt me an it be commercial."
    if you were buying bolts at that time you had to (at least) put all the washers and nuts you expected to need on the bolt before purchase That's what I do now, because customers mix the bin contents....
  • Commented on "I doubt me an it be commercial."
    Papyrus/parchment for letters and the like: court documents, contracts, etc. Wax tablets for scribbling notes, writing drafts, etc. Cheaper and could be erased. (The stylus had a sharp end for writing and a blunt end for smoothing away the marks...
  • Commented on "I doubt me an it be commercial."
    Pronunciation is another problem; there are at least three different schemes you'll encounter these days, and even the one which is intended to genuinely sound like the original probably doesn't because it's basically just a best guess. And Latin from...
  • Commented on "I doubt me an it be commercial."
    For example, some poor dude in 25th Century Sacramento may speak "Calish" or some such. Years ago I remember reading on a linguistics blog that some dialects of English are approaching mutual incomprehensibility — not there yet, but getting there....
  • Commented on "I doubt me an it be commercial."
    If they're the ones I'm thinking of, they put me off reading the books for over a decade....
  • Commented on Dread of Heinleinism
    What Robert and Raven seem to be talking about is the new (to the US?) phenomenon of the sitting President, early in his term, going out and hosting rallies. That is indeed what I'm talking about. Is it indeed...
  • Commented on "I doubt me an it be commercial."
    Reviewers who one constantly disagrees with are also useful, if less so. Back when watching a film meant going to the cinema the Star-Phoenix had a reviewer who was very useful that way. If he liked a film I didn't...
  • Commented on "I doubt me an it be commercial."
    So maybe we should be sharing lists of reviewers that we have found reliable?...
  • Commented on Dread of Heinleinism
    Trump question for Americans: I keep reading in the news about Trump speaking at rallies. Have other American presidents gone to so many rallies after the election, or is this something new? It might be that my newspapers are only...
  • Commented on Taxonomy of story, or, why murder?
    "...those narrow lanes in the middle of the road for motorbikes, marked with double-lines but narrower than the width of a motorbike." I am confused by this because we do not have narrow lanes in the middle for motorbikes. Two...
  • Commented on Taxonomy of story, or, why murder?
    Last time I was there, I found UK roads and lanes disturbingly narrow. (At the time, I'd only every driven in Saskatchewan and Alberta, where land is cheap and even side-streets are wide. Particularly frightening were those narrow lanes in...
  • Commented on "I doubt me an it be commercial."
    I check out what people here recommend. No guarantee I'll like it, but that happens more often than random recommends from Amazon or the 'new books' table at the library. For spec-fic I read James Nicolls' blog, especially the reviews...
  • Commented on "I doubt me an it be commercial."
    If you're a chartered accountant of one of the proliferating flavours and you spend half your waking hours cataloging wildflowers in a basically revenue-neutral way -- the income from the extremely local species lists purchased by native-species gardening enthusiasts about...
  • Commented on "I doubt me an it be commercial."
    "I doubt me an it be commercial." Who wrote this 'Greenfleeves' thing anyway?...
  • Commented on Taxonomy of story, or, why murder?
    A few years ago I broke a wrist and couldn't drive for a few months, so walking and public transit in the GTA. Getting to work (a 1/2 hour drive) took 2-3 hours each way (I tested it out). Food...
  • Commented on Dread of Heinleinism
    Although it's not explicitly spelled out, there does appear to be some aspect of "Federal Service" alternative to the military. Carl's R&D posting on Pluto appears to be one of those alternatives. Heinlein stated in one of his essays (sorry,...
  • Commented on Dread of Heinleinism
    Career in the civil service, not just military — at least if you accept that "veteran" means "veteran of federal service"....
  • Commented on Taxonomy of story, or, why murder?
    Not just cycling. I'm currently in a Toronto school, not air conditioned as when Toronto built its schools that wasn't done (and wasn't needed). Won't be added when there's nearly $100,000,000 backlog of repairs (leaky roofs etc). My morning classroom...
  • Commented on Taxonomy of story, or, why murder?
    I think you'd really enjoy reading Roads Were Not Built For Cars by Carlton Reid. http://roadswerenotbuiltforcars.com It's one of the projects I backed on Kickstarter, and one of the ones I'm happiest with....
  • Commented on Dread of Heinleinism
    My brother got suspended for borrowing my slide rule for a math test. He argued that the teacher had said no electronic calculators (and that was written on the test) and he was following instructions because the slide rule wasn't...
  • Commented on Taxonomy of story, or, why murder?
    At large, it was a lucky coincidence to have the incident in 1986 in Ukraine rather than 5 years later in Central Russia. USSR still had people and experience and finance to deal with the problem I watched a documentary...
  • Commented on Dread of Heinleinism
    I've still got mine, and I use it to freak the kids out a bit. I can't make paper to write on (blotting paper I can manage), and I've never tried ink, but I used to cut my own reed...
  • Commented on Taxonomy of story, or, why murder?
    you mentioned anglosphere genres, perhaps someone from outside that bubble might comment? I've got friends outside the bubble, so here's some stories. In many Chinese stories and films (possibly most), if two characters are in love one of them will...
  • Commented on Dread of Heinleinism
    There's not much in the book except when it directly impacts the protagonist. I think this is a case where the old archaeology maxim "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" is a good thing to keep in mind....
  • Commented on Dread of Heinleinism
    I suspect that following the Bug/Skinny War the survivors will get together and work out a legal structure governing warfare between species, but in the fiction as written, that simply hasn't happened yet, and humans don't know what "moral" war...
  • Commented on Taxonomy of story, or, why murder?
    "You can't win, you can't break even, you can't get out of the game"... Capitalism assumes you can win. Socialism assumes you can break even. Mysticism assumes you can get out of the game. (From a book I got in...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    As for the phrase being a colloquial expression in common use, some examples would be useful. The only Russian I know is "thank you", and I haven't seen the chap who told me that in years, so I'm no help...
  • Commented on Dread of Heinleinism
    The intervening decades have not been kind to his (Varley's) world-building chops and what was shiny and startlingly innovative in the mid-1970s now feels tarnished and stale to me. Would it have felt shiny and innovative in the 1970s? Wondering...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    Er, no. What he said was "Мы вас похороним!" and that absolutely, dead-on, translates as "We will bury you!" As I understand it, that's a colloquial expression meaning roughly "we will outlive you"*. And according to friends who are translators,...
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