11 comments posted · 8 followers · following 0

8 years ago @ The Toast - Questions Your Local L... · 0 replies · +7 points

When people ask me this kind of question - I work in IT, so it comes up for me too - I generally point them at a "top 10 websites" or "top 100" ditto to have a browse around. The PC Magazine ones are generally pretty good, although US-centric.

8 years ago @ The Toast - Questions Your Local L... · 0 replies · +9 points

An ex of mine worked at a university library where there were in fact no official fines levied. However, THEY levied fines, because of the exact reason above. Also, they got to have a slap-up end-of-year meal for the entire team on the proceeds.

8 years ago @ The Toast - Questions Your Local L... · 1 reply · +9 points

I'm thinking this one is some kind of metaphor? (Can someone help me out here?)

8 years ago @ The Toast - Questions Your Local L... · 0 replies · +10 points

Ah yes, the WASP bro-Jesus.

8 years ago @ The Toast - How to Grow Out Short ... · 3 replies · +12 points

A friend of mine who had long long (waist-length) hair cut hers off to shoulder length a few years back. Women: "OMG your hair looks really good in that style!" Men (not all, but *only* men): "OMG your long hair was great, when are you growing it baaaaack?"

I mean, as a female person, I loved her long hair. But she does look great with the shorter cut as well, and seriously, who - other than your mother when you were a teen - critiques your hairstyle choices like that?

8 years ago @ The Toast - My Revenge: The Holoca... · 0 replies · +5 points

As well as adventure, a big factor in post-war marriages was the desire to get out of Europe. My Irish grandmother met my kiwi grandfather while she was nursing him in a hospital in London after he was freed from a POW camp. As far as I know, she had no hesitation in getting on a boat for the long journey to the other side of the world.

Obviously not the same as someone who had recently survived the Shoah, but there were obviously many compelling factors for people to leave their families and familiar surroundings to start a new life with someone they barely knew in a strange country.

Unfortunately, my grandmother's marriage story did not end up being a happy one, but she was away from the privations of Ireland and England, to a place of relative safety and peace... and plenty of food. I'm sure that was a big factor for many.

8 years ago @ The Toast - Link Roundup! · 0 replies · +2 points

Part of the problem is that the interface changed with different versions of Word as well. In Word post-Office 2013 (?), the Save and Save As are both on the File menu. Of course, that assumes you know what "Save As" means

But you're right about how it can be a bit dissatisfying searching for things in Google. I managed to find something useful with "how to save file with a different name word 2013" - try and include the version of Word you're using next time you do a search.

As for stuff you don't know, I've been a systems administrator for 17 years, and all I use Excel for is sorting things by fields and maybe adding up columns of numbers. I think I've done a VLOOKUP like once. Years ago, I had a partner show me what CTRL-C and CTRL-V do, after I'd been working with Word for at least a few years.

9 years ago @ The Toast - A Linguist Explains th... · 0 replies · +4 points

I literally (literally!) laughed out loud with that one. Maybe I should have stuck with linguistics 20-umph years ago after all.

9 years ago @ The Toast - In Which Three Adults ... · 0 replies · +5 points

Talking about themes, Herbert covers one of them himself - "hydraulic despotism". The big work that kicked the theory (Oriental Despotism) was written in the late 1950s, and Herbert mus have read it (haven't seen any overt references to his in fact doing so, but I can't imagine Dune without it as an influence) -

The main point is "a developed hydraulic civilization maintains control over its population by means of controlling the supply of water". Substitute the Spice for water, and there's your story. Substitute oil for water in our world economy, ditto. Also, shenanigans around retaining an oil supply are not confined to the 70s and later - it was a significant part of the WWII strategy, and quite a large number of political machinations around the Middle East in particular afterwards. Such as when the Brits and Americans helped install the Shah of Iran in the early 50s (when the previous elected prime minister nationalised the oil industry).

9 years ago @ The Toast - In Which Three Adults ... · 0 replies · +2 points

Starfarers has way better queer/poly characters. I also didn't read SIASL at the right age (16-18?), so when I finally tried reading it, the embedded gender stereotypes got up my nose. I'm sure they were radical in the late 60s - not so much in the late 80s. I loved Starfarers for the alternate relationship paradigms (before I realised I was poly), and the fact the characters were of different ethnicities, genders, and even species, but still had their actual distinct characters (I find myself tired of "orcs = bad" character studies). And I so much liked a space opera that wasn't all about Military is Best.

The main drawback for the Starfarers books was how they kind of wandered off in the middle. I wonder if it was originally supposed to be a shorter series (maybe a trilogy), and then had to get spun out a bit. I also got a bit tired of the family dynamics and Stephen Thomas's constant pouting (about something he did to himself) - I completely failed to see what every other character found so attractive about him.

It's kind of appalling to realise how many decades later we still have such a dearth of alternative relationship paradigms, and so little diversity in character casts (although definitely improved from back then!) in so-called "speculative fiction"