162 posts • joined Tuesday 5th August 2008 16:33 GMT
alloy of choice
Anonymous Coward, I’m curious about your preferred alloy for your proposed token. Is it that you prefer a 15% fine silver content only if the token has a mass of one ounce Troy (31.1 g), or is it that you prefer that there be three pennyweights (4.665 g) of fine silver per token, no matter what the mass of the token might be? For example, would you be equally satisified with a token of 80 grains (5.184 g) made of an alloy of .900 fine silver?
Re: Noisy little buggers...
Kebabbert, no, you didn’t misunderstand the article; it is reporting on one brood of the 17-year cicadas. Next year, a different brood of 17ers will emerge in Iowa, and a 13-year brood will emerge in Louisiana and a few other states. Dan is exaggerating somewhat; there are some places that host different broods, and thus have Magicicada appearances more often than once every 13 or 17 years; but no place sees them every single year. (For example, none emerged at all in 2005 and 2006.)
“how smart should the office phone be?”
Richard, my 1958 Western Electric 500 D is as smart an office telephone as I need. It was manufactured for use in (and ownership by) a monopoly telephony service, so its defining characteristics are durability and ease of repair. If only my other office equipment had been built to such a standard!
Re: “insects that walk on all fours”
Allan, perhaps an idiomatic 17th century AD English translation isn’t the best guide to judging the wording of a 4th century BC Hebrew text? I’m no Hebrew scholar, but it looks as though הַהֹלֵךְ עַל-אַרְבַּע in verse 21 has a literal English translation of “goes on four”; that is, no “all” in the original. (Any students of Torah here who can confirm or deny?) Thus, taken literally, the failure would be on the biological side, since locusts and friends use all six legs to go walkabout. But it seems to me that the point of this text was to distinguish the acceptable edible insects from the unacceptable edible insects, and despite the inaccurate behavioral description, it sufficed to allow Joe Shepherd to differentiate between the two varieties — sort of a “do what I meant, not what I said” situation.
ACx, do you mean like Leviticus 11:21–23?
FartingHippo, there are several species of Magicicada; if I remember right, half of the species are on 13-year cycles, and half are on 17-year cycles. The 221-year intersection happened with two of the broods in the late 1990s, and another intersection with two other broods will happen in the 2020s. Since the 13-year broods tend to be southern, and the 17-year broods tend to be northern, the intersections happen in the middle tier of states (roughly around the latitude of the Ohio River).
Iain, the pouce was the pre-metric French inch, one twelfth of the pied du roi. (There was a “metric pouce” in the mesures usuelles, but it was only used in the retail trade.) Citizen Bonaparte measured 5 pieds 2 pouces 4 lignes, or (slightly over) 1.687 m, which corresponds to a bit above 5 feet 6 inches 5 lines in the pied des rosbifs.
Or maybe wise.
Oninoshiko, no, you’re not the only one. I like physical media: disks, manuals, albums, books, magazines, newspapers, photographs — but perhaps that’s due to my formative years in the third quarter of the 20th century. Once upon a time, HP had first-rate printed manuals for their calculators; I wish that I could say the same for the content of their modern PDF manuals. (Yes, I’m a dinosaur — I prefer a calculator to a calculator app. Now get off my lawn!)
à chacun son goût
Anonymous Coward, my beard adds ten years to my age? Excellent! I look forward to receiving my retirement benefits ten years early!
But seriously, what do you have against Australian women who are descended from later immigrants?
Re: There are beards, and beards.
Barry, That Guy doesn’t hold a candle to Alfred von Tirpitz.
what other kind of artist is there?
cosymart, how about artists who create works for the ear rather than for the eye? Wouldn’t musicians be “aural” artists?
Fihart, in my case, I grow a “salt-and-paprika” beard because I’m finally able to do so; there were a couple of patches on my face in the typical beard zone from which no hair grew until I was in my 40s. Up top, my forehead (called the “fivehead” by Mrs. Deficient) started receding when I was 16; without a beard, I look like an extraterrestrial trying to blend in as a human, despite the dead giveaway of an unusually protruberant cranium. (No grey up top yet; it falls out before it gets a chance to go monochromatic.) I’m only partially hiding, though: my spectacles have thin frames.
Andrew, your ability to survive testicular cancer and withstand chemotherapy makes you exponentially more manly than most of us here. If I ever face similar circumstances, I can only hope to meet them with the same grit that you’ve got. Fight the good fight, sir.
OS-ocalypse in Japan
Look not too long in the face of the fire, O man!
Eadon, although I agree that “he/she” is the most awkward of the common ways in English to refer to a person of indeterminate sex, he does not refer to such a person by default. Try this experiment: on a sheet of paper, write the following question and answer:
“So how old is Pat?”
“He’ll be eight in August.”
Have random people (in your local pub/library/Windows user group/&c.) read this, and then ask each reader “Presuming that Pat is human, would you say that Pat is a boy?”, leaving the sheet of paper in a position where it can be referred to again if necessary. If he does refer to a person of indeterminate sex by default, then only a minority of your readers should respond with a “Yes.”
Elmer Phud, Latin roots have absolutely nothing to do with the choice between epicene he and singular they to refer to such a person; both of these have been used in English for at least five centuries. Like Eadon, I prefer epicene he, but singular they is an equally valid choice.
Yup, this game was essentially my introduction to computing. My high school had two Teletypes and one CRT which were acoustically connected to the neighboring town’s high school’s HP 2000; it was much easier to get time on one of the Teletypes, since the CRT was practically the private reserve of the head of the computer club. In my case, the game (in HP BASIC) was called UFO, and it had the retreatable Klingons. I’m fairly sure that I’ve still got a paper tape listing of this game up in my attic. … Misty water-colored memories …
early readings on taxes
historymaker118, you’d probably need to start from the 2nd century AD, with St. Justin’s interpretation of what “rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” meant in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
pot, kettle, …
MyBackDoor, if Anonymous Coward’s post* above is the worst that you’ve read here, then count yourself fortunate. It could use some extra punctuation, but it is grammatical†. I also disagree with his conclusion of soon‡, but that’s a different topic.
* — Rather than posts.
† — Rather than grammatically.
‡ — Unless he meant soon on a geological timescale.
recipes from every continent on this Earth
Wzrd1, you’ve piqued my curiosity: which recipes would you recommend as the best that Antarctic cuisine has to offer?
immanentize the eschaton
skelband, … so much
torture enhanced interrogation. Dayorder is unownlifewise consume prolefeed.
Re: Getting the gender terminology correct
Anonymous IV, no, that wouldn’t make IT any more inviting. Given the derivation of blond and blonde from French, “nerde” rather suggests a suboptimal French rhyme.
Andy, perhaps Samuel Pepys? (Or any diarist, for that matter.)
Re: apple v the French
Le calvados pour la victoire — vive le trou normand !
ex una plus
Neoc, the answer to your simple question depends upon whether the Massachusetts company has “presence” (e.g. brick-and-mortar shops) in Florida. If it does have a Floridian presence, then Florida’s sales tax applies, and the gadget buyer pays Florida sales tax to the company in Massachusetts, which will eventually remit it to Florida’s taxation department. If the Massachusetts company has no presence in Florida, then Florida’s use tax applies; it becomes the gadget buyer’s responsibility to send the use tax (typically identical to what the sales tax would have been, had the seller had a Florida presence) directly to the government of Florida. Use taxes are generally declared on state income tax forms, and added to the state income tax bill; but since some states don’t have income taxes (in this example, Florida has no individual income tax, but does have a corporate income tax), I’m not sure what the preferred method of remittal would be in such cases.
If the overseas buyer of gadgets is someone with a US domicile, then he would still be responsible for remitting use tax as if his new gadget were shipped directly to the US domicile. The Massachusetts company would not be responsible for checking if Joe Bloggs in Foreignistan has a home in Florida, but if the the credit card used to pay for the gadget has a billing address in Florida, the company could use that fact to charge (and subsequently remit) Florida sales tax. If the overseas buyer has no US domicile, then neither sales tax nor use tax would be charged; Foreignistani laws on local value-added taxes, import duties, &c. would apply, which would be entirely independent of the Massachusetts company.
If the eBay seller is from Foreignistan, and the gadget buyer is in Florida, then it depends upon whether the seller is a “casual seller”, i.e. someone (or some business) who doesn’t sell gadgets as his typical means of earning a living (or generating income). If the Foreignistani is a casual seller, then neither sales tax nor use tax is due from the gadget buyer; if the Foreignistani is not a casual seller, then the gadget buyer will owe Florida use tax.
P.S. Contrary to what a couple of posters had stated above, some of us do actually pay our use taxes.
Re: trans-Atlantic tax comparison
Dave, I’m not looking for granular detail like pounds, pence, dollars, and cents, or even percentages from which your salary could be estimated; I’m just curious about the general categorization that led to your observation. For example, while resident in Manhattan, do you pay a greater percentage of your salary in income tax to Albany and Washington combined, than you did to your local council and the Inland Revenue combined while resident in London? Which types of taxes show London in its best light when compared to Manhattan?
Shelling out $14 for a drink at a midtown watering hole isn’t a tax; you have no unavoidable obligation to pay $14 per drink while resident in Manhattan, and you won’t get charged with tax evasion by renting your alcohol elsewhere. Curiously enough, I’ve never spent that much on a drink in the US — ever. (I might have done so in Oslo once upon a time, though.)
Noli, obsecro, istum disturbare!
So would the Death Ray have been aimed at the ships, or at their sails? If the former, then perhaps part of its effectiveness might have been due to the flammability of the pitch used for waterproofing?
Simon, rather than use doubled- and tripled-asterisks for the second and third footnotes, I’d recommend the traditional practice of using † to mark footnote #2 and ‡ for #3. (And for the sake of completeness, #4 through #6 are §, ‖, and ¶ respectively. If you need more than six footnotes on a single page, use superscripted numbers instead.)
trans-Atlantic tax comparison
Dave, I’m intrigued by your observation that taxes are higher in Manhattan than they are in London. I’d guess that the typical commentard would contrast the UK’s 20% standard VAT to New York City’s 8⅞% sales tax, or compare the price of 3.785 litres* of petrol in London to a gallon* of gasoline in Manhattan, and wonder which taxes in the Big Apple more than make up for such differences. Would you be willing to provide more detail on your tax expenditures, which apparently makes London look like an offshore haven as compared to Manhattan?
Regarding the fairness issue, life isn’t fair. If that mass murderer serving time deep in the heart of Texas is a natural born US citizen, is at least 35 years old, and has been a US resident for at least 14 years, then he’d have the right of being eligible to serve as US President. Short of a constitutional amendment, no immigrant to the US will have that right, no matter how much better qualified that immigrant would be in comparison to that mass murderer.
* — Queen Anne’s wine gallon, as is our custom.
tilting at windmills
ribosome, you forget the Russian ё in e.g. Хрущёв Khrushchev, Горбачёв Gorbachev.
Matthew 3, that demonstrates the advantage of ü over ä and ö: the dots fall into the bowl of the u, while they roll away from a and o. With the n̈ of Spin̈al Tap, they could roll left and lean against the stem of the n, or roll right and cause drummers to explode.
Despite popular usage, my inner pedant will tilt at the linguistic windmill by noting that umlaut ≠ trema; English has both, but they’re not intertwined as they are in German.
Rustident Spaceniak, most people with English keyboards who need to cope with Finnish or Hungarian will do so in one of two ways: ignore their diacritics, or copy and paste their correct spellings. And rather than FLÜMBLAR, I think that FLÜMBLASÄUR would better preserve the distinctive syllables (as well as suggest a heavy metal thunder lizard).
I ain’t Spartacus, of course English wants its own fragrant umlauts; otherwise, we’d use mans rather than men, and tooths rather than teeth. It’s not so keen on its native tremata, though, such as in coöperation.
Don Jefe, nexsphil could be implying that bin Laden is not dead; another possibility is that he could be implying that bin Laden died several years earlier — say, of kidney failure in late 2001 or early 2002. We’ll have to wait for his autoexegesis.
Someone Else, Navajo was an unwritten language; there is now a standard orthography for it.
My guess is
thespian + comedian - in coma
Oninoshiko, the barers of such would be something like calvatores penium.
Re: This guy a Yank?
As an American, I’m impressed by the nearly exclusive contributions of Anonymous Cowards to this exchange.
Anonymous Coward, I have to agree with Anonymous Coward; Yank, Merkin, and whatever the P-word might be aren’t racist names (unless one considers Pakistanis to comprise a single “race”); “statist” would be closer to the mark, although this use of that word might initially confuse some libertarians. I’ve never met an American who was offended by the term Yank. I have known some, though, mainly from our southern tier, who would be offended by the term Yankee. We don’t hear Merkin, septic tank, &c. too often over here, so it doesn’t get our itchy trigger fingers twitching.
Anonymous Coward, are you saying that those British actors who willingly take on villainous rôles in Hollywood films are somehow not responsible for signing on the dotted line? Aren’t those the parts that are supposed to be the most fun to portray?
Anonymous Coward, that’s something that’s so ironic that even I can detect it — an Anonymous Coward telling another Anonymous Coward of the “need to grow a pair”. I agree with the rest of your post, though, and I plan on manifestly destinising your intellectual property rights to the term “newly-minted novelty nation” in describing the land of my birth, by working it into conversations whenever opportunity permits.
Anonymous Coward, depending upon your sister’s sense of humour, she could respond to those who ask her why she married an American that she heard something down the pub about “fucking Yanks”, and she mistook the adjective for a gerund. ;*)
Jan 0, English has offered a choice between singular them and epicene him to refer to a person of indeterminate sex for at least five centuries. Why do you laud Iain for his choice? It seems a bit like congratulating someone on his* preference for of one of wrath, anger, or ire.
* — Yes, that’s an epicene his.
altar of literacy
HippyFreetard, don’t forget “[to|too|two]”, “[ewe|yew|you]”, and “[for|fore|four]”. You could also expand “[your|you’re]” to “[ewer|yore|your|you’re]”. (Personally, I’d split them into “[ewer|you’re]” and “[yore|your]” as appropriate, but of course pronunciation varies by dialect.)
Just for laughs, throw in “[armor|armour]” as a trick question.
Steven, which plutocrats enforced feudalism in the Iroquois Confederacy?
aawelj, Lenin’s beard was neatly trimmed; perhaps you were thinking of Engels’ facial forest?
Connor, the sentence “Cusick is survived by two daughters.” is in the passive perfect*; this is used in obituaries to keep the departed as the subject of a sentence. Rendering this sentence in an active tense would result in “Two daughters survive Cusick.”, which in my view would be more out of place.
If you find the present tense grating in an obituary, then would you prefer “Cusick left behind two daughters.” to “Cusick leaves behind two daughters.”?
* — The word “perfect”, with regard to verb tenses, retains its original meaning of completed, not the usual contemporary meaning of flawless.
Connor, “is survived by” is not an Americanism, just as “leaves behind” is not an Anglicism. (Isn’t Simon Sharwood an Australian?) Whether either phrase is annoying or not is certainly in the eye of the beholder. One need not be an expert on English grammar to determine that both phrases are grammatically correct.
If one looks at obituaries in old newspapers, one can see that the phrase “is survived by” has been in use outside of the USA for well over a decade. For example, the obituary column in the July 4, 1913 issue of the Bay of Plenty Times uses both “is survived by” and “leaves to mourn their loss”.
Were I to hazard a guess, I’d say that the phrase “is survived by” has its origin in probate statutes.
Re: 42% of wage in direct federal and state tax
Rampant Spaniel, self-employment adds an additional 6.2% of FICA (Social Security) to the first 110k-ish and an additional 1.45% of FICA (Medicare) on all income. Regarding the 7.5% threshold, you (and I, and all other US taxpayers who don’t have their own personal accountant on beck and call) get our breaks either through the standard (non-itemized) deduction — that “‘free’ itemisation” — or through itemizing the deductions. Being discontent with one’s itemized deductions barely exceeding the standard deduction is a far cry from “barely getting a break” at all.
In your particular circumstances, you might benefit by changing your self-employment to becoming an employee of your own C corporation. For a C corporation, medical expenses paid on an employee’s behalf are completely tax-deductible (as long as every employee of the corporation receives the same medical expense benefit), so there is no 7.5% threshold to be met, as there is on an individual’s tax return. School fees paid on your behalf by the C corporation would also be deductible if the area of study is related to the work that you do for the corporation. By setting your salary at its current level, less the employer’s 7.65% FICA and less your medical expenses, and possibly less your school fees (all of which you currently pay out-of-pocket, but would then be paid by the C corporation), you would still be able to take the standard deduction on your individual tax return, and your lower salary would result in a reduced tax liability; not a “huge ass” difference on the scale of Double-Dutch/Irish Sandwich pokery-jiggery, but perhaps enough to make it worth a look. Taking this approach would be offset somewhat by the larger amount of paperwork that C corporations need to produce (e.g. filing quarterly FICA tax returns as well as annual corporate income tax returns, which can be considerably more complex than those that individuals file), so make sure that the cost/benefit tradeoffs make sense for your situation.
I don’t think that many people do like tax money being wasted. Fairness being in the eyes of the beholder, there are a few hundred pairs of eyes in Congress that need to have their eyes opened; but as long as US voters return the same people to the same positions of power, bistromath will remain the law of the land.
42% of wage in direct federal and state tax
Rampant Spaniel, I’m curious to know which taxes you’ve included to arrive at your 42% total. I presume that you’ve included federal and state income taxes (using the rates of the corresponding tax brackets, not using only the rate of your highest tax bracket), as well as Federal FICA taxes (viz Social Security and Medicare). Are you including other taxes in addition to those, e.g. state sales taxes, state property taxes, &c.?
If you itemize your deductions on your federal tax return, then the medical insurance premiums that you pay above 7.5% of your gross income are deductible. Is your annual salary high enough that nearly $30,000 in out-of-pocket medical insurance premiums barely exceeds that 7.5% threshold?
Sir Runcible, you’re right on there’ll, but wrong on no-one: there is no entry for no-one in the OED. (There is an entry for noone as an archaic spelling of none, though.)
pubs in that part of the East
Richard Taylor 2, have you considered the Fox & Goose* at 177 Kirov Street (улица Кирова 177), right in Chelyabinsk?
404, the word that you seek is podstakannik, with primary stress on the kan syllable. (The analogous utensil for a-different-caffeinated-beverage-sometimes-associated-with-coding is a zarf.)
Do your infusion rocks need to be preheated? ;*)
“US sales tax”
Given the patchwork of sales taxes (state/commonwealth/district/territory/reservation, county/parish/borough, and/or municipality) throughout these USA, that additional component of the comparison price can vary between 0% and 11.725% for such objects of bittersweet yearning.
Tenuously connected trivia question: whom is the 17th century Joseph of Cupertino the patron saint of?
Everything I know about tea …
… came from the song T.U.S.A. on the Masters of Reality album Sunrise on the Sufferbus.
(Me, I’ll stick to swilling my Coffea arabica, which leaves more Camellia sinensis for you lot.)
Puritan emigration: a favourite national myth?
Verily I say unto you, Yet Another Anonymous coward, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
Should the real reason for Puritan emigration ever be of interest to you, you could begin your investigation from this comment.
Through the mercantile-industrial complex.
Christian, those import taxes are typically called “retaliatory tariffs”, and (at least for WTO members) have to be approved by the WTO before they can be applied. Such tariffs are most often selectively* applied, to avoid all-out trade wars. For example, the US was approved to apply retaliatory tariffs against the EU in 1999 after ten years of an EU ban on importation of hormone-treated beef; the tariffs were selectively applied to French Roquefort cheese, Danish hams, and so on for each member state of the EU at the time, except for the UK. Similarly, in 2005 the EU, as well as Canada, Japan, and other countries, were approved to apply retaliatory tariffs against the US because of the 2000 “Byrd Amendment”, which directed countervailing duties on below-cost-of-production imports straight to domestic producers affected by those imports. The EU applied those retaliatory duties to farming equipment, textiles, paper, and so on; Canada applied them to cigarettes, live swine, oysters, &c.; Japan applied them (mainly) to steel; and on down the list.
We actually do produce quite a bit; the thing is that we import a good deal more than we export.
* — Often to maximize political discontent in key regions where the affected goods are produced.