Print Story Obviously, you're not a golfer.
Religion & Philosophy
By gzt (Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 04:35:13 PM EST) gzt, the office, stuff, things, dixit, apples to apples, hamilcar, baraq, eclipse, naval battle (all tags)
Hung out with a few friends to watch a football game at the bar last night. Ended up spending a little more on beer than I had planned, but it's okay. The bar is, by the way, one of the best places to watch rugby, soccer, or what-have-you in the city. They have lots of soccer scarves and such on the wall and a portrait of Admiral Nelson.


It's been snowy and cloudy for days, so no chance of seeing the eclipse. Lunar eclipse on the solstice? That's a pretty grave portent.

In other astronomical news, the winter solstice is not the first day of winter. It's been winter for several weeks in this area. The cold and snow should have clued you in already. I have gone on about this sort of thing before, but I think it is important to remind everybody of this.

Wait a minute, we've been misled about the meaning of Barack Obama's name: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamilcar_Barca I was reading about the battle of Ecnomus, which had a different Hamilcar in command of the Carthaginian ships, and it was mentioned that he was often confused with Hamilcar Barca, father of Hannibal, so I started reading about him, and saw this:

The name Brq (or Baraq) means "thunderbolt" in the Punic language and is thus equivalent to the epithet or cognomen Keraunos, common among many contemporary Greek commanders. The word remains in Arabic and Hebrew with the same meaning.
I looked this up some more, and apparently people of the Jewish persuasion with the name Barak have that etymology (and are often named after Barak, from the Bible) and that people of the Islamic persuasion with the name Barack have their name derived from Mubarak (blessed).

Other news: I did not realize that the Greek Nafpaktos is what we call Lepanto.

Really, this whole series is great: http://i.imgur.com/SDSWE.png Google around if interested, there isn't a compendium of the best anywhere. UPDATE: Well, this site has a lot of the good ones: http://dog-fort.com/ Here is the best one: http://dog-fort.com/2010/12/16/chip-encounters-an-unforseen-problem/

I read about Dixit. It sounds like a very cool game, definitely a better party game than Apples to Apples, which, while certainly "pretty okay", isn't "awesome" and is also a bit low-brow. It's sort of like a cross between Balderdash and Apples to Apples with pictures instead of words. Perfect for the more creative folks. I can see, however, how it would not have tons and tons of replay value, but party games never do. Anyway, I can see some value in having a party game around and wouldn't have Apples to Apples, so, there you go. And the art makes it a bit more high-brow, not a game for peasants.

Hmm, there's an Apples to Apples: Bible Edition. That might be worthwhile. And there's a Jewish Edition, which sounds interesting.

The group is playing War of the Ring tonight, but I'm otherwise engaged. They found a fourth to replace me, fortunately.

Discussed a bit about some of the conceits of The Office. For instance, in the latest Christmas episode, why would Jim and Pam exchange their Christmas gifts at the office Christmas party? Why would anybody among all those other people care that much about an office Christmas party? It's not that big of a deal. Anyway, we also speculated that this year would be a good year to end the series. It doesn't have much left to it, there are natural successors (Parks and Rec is okay), and Michael Scott is leaving. The Michael Scott Paper Company plot last year sucked, too.

Hmm: in piquet, it's tierce, quart, and quint (I suppose the French would be quarte and quinte), which would make you think it should be sixte, but it's sixieme. Obviously, I'm not a golfer.

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i had to turn off the christmas office by garlic (2.00 / 0) #1 Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 09:40:45 AM EST
it was weird and not funny.


Sitcoms by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #2 Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 04:36:11 PM EST
American sitcoms are never canceled early enough.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
arrested development by gzt (4.00 / 1) #3 Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 04:43:03 PM EST
I think it was cancelled at just the right time, but people bitch about it all the time. Another season might have worked well, but, as it stands, it's almost perfect. Generally, though, the economic incentives are in place to bleed them dry. A waning star is going to be a bigger draw than an unknown. The Simpsons is getting crummy ratings compared to its heyday, but it almost certainly beats whatever else they could come up with for the time slot.

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