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Posts posted by JonM

  1. 8 hours ago, Padge said:

    I have travelled by foot, bicycle, motorbike, car, coach/bus, train (electric, diesel and steam), helicopter, airplane (prop and jet), hovercraft, hot air balloon and all manner of boats. 

    Me too. I have also been on a maglev train. I have been travel sick only on the car, coach/bus, train, airplane and boat though. Antarctica is the only continent where I have yet to be travel sick.

  2. 1 minute ago, tim2 said:

    I've now done 236 runs, with the ETA for the green t-shirt being December.

    ETA for my next t-shirt is autumn 2024, based on my current rate of ~40 runs per year.

    Not sure my new parkrun is more sociable. Cambridge has a nice cafe which encourages people to stick around at the end and chat - made quite a lot of friends there. My new one is 3 laps of fields, with no facilities, so nothing to build the social aspect.

  3. 10 hours ago, Maximus Decimus said:

    This one is well established and has about 120 regular runners, but in the early days numbers dropped to around 20/30. It must've been pretty demoralising, but in my experience Parkruns tend to see a large drop off before they slowly build to a regular base.

    Nah, I love the fact that I've had a second place finish (and am quite often in the top 10) at my new local (small on numbers) parkrun. At Cambridge, I'd be doing well to be in the top 100 finishers.

  4. When I quit my job after twenty-odd years, to do some fun stuff for a year or two, I had to fill out an "exit survey". One of the questions was "How could the induction process have been improved." My "induction" was basically being shown how to use the fax machine and given a datasheet to read. Today, it consists of several days worth of mandatory online training, IT and HR drop-in sessions, a 2-day offsite event...

    Anyway, the fax machine was invented by a Scotsman, Alexander Bain, who got a patent in the 1840s. Germany used them in WWI to send maps and photos.

    • Like 2
  5. 3 hours ago, Bearman said:

    The average person in the UK has an above average number of legs!

    This is because whilst no one has more than two legs there are a small number of people only have 1 leg.
    Therefore the average number of legs of people in the UK is a very very small sum of less than two!
    Thus anyone with two legs is above average.

    The same kind of thinking can be used to show being tall is linked with lower life expectancy.

  6. 48 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

    My understanding is that we have "an orange" in English because it was "a norange" and moved from there.

    Or is that balls? I'd like it to be true.

    True, it seems - and the same thing happened in French. Numpire, napron and nadder went in the other direction.

    Flutterby turning into Butterfly seems not to be true though.

  7. 2 hours ago, Bob8 said:

    Pretty much every European other than English (that I know of) call them Chinese apples.

    Makes sense, as sweet oranges came from China originally.

    Naranja in Spanish, Orange in French, Oren in Welsh.

    Quick look on Wikipedia  which says that the word orange comes originally from Tamil, reaching Europe via Sanskrit, Persian & Arabic. And languages from different families round the Balkans (Turkish, Greek, Bulgarian, Albanian) call them by words that mean "Portugese" because merchants from there were the ones who brought them.

    • Like 1
  8. 4 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

    This kind of talk, I will never accept.

    My wife went to university in Amsterdam for a year. The only Dutch she knows is Goede Dag and Sinaasappelsap, which she knows because she thought it was funny that an orange is a sin aas apple.

    • Haha 1
  9. 23 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

    You are entirely correct. Modern day spoken Welsh has three ways of doing numbers.

    The one you describe. You'll hear some parts of it in odd places but mostly it exists as a pretty relic.

    The one they now teach which is very simple. Thirty six is tri deg pump (tree-deg-pimp).

    Or the numbers everyone, including native speakers speaking natively to another native speaker, uses: English.

    The bit about changing the consonants is yer basic mutations and Welsh has loads. Hence it's Croeso i Gymru on the sign as you enter, not Cymru.

    Duolingo mostly seems to teach the old system in the context of telling time.

    And yer basic mutations are mostly different for each different number. Soft mutation for un, but for feminine nouns only, aspirate mutation after tri, nasal mutation for the words for day or year after pum or wyth etc. etc.

    Still makes Dutch look consistent and logical ?

  10. On 06/07/2019 at 07:43, gingerjon said:

    Because we're off to the Flemish bit of Belgium a bit later in the year, I've decided to entertain myself by doing a Babbel course in Dutch. It's quite a fun break for fifteen or so minutes each day, and I'll no doubt forget everything the second I actually need to use the language in action.

    This morning, I've just been firing up the 'time' section and now I hate everything and everyone.

    Essentially, assuming Babbel aren't lying to me, this is how it works:

    On the hour: One o'clock

    Between 1.01 and 1.14: the number of minutes past ...

    1.15: quarter past

    Between 1.16 and 1.29: the number of minutes before the half hour

    1.30: half to the next hour

    Between 1.31 and 1.44: the number of minutes after the half hour to the next hour

    1.45: quarter to the next hour

    1.46 to 1.59: minutes to the next hour ...


    Cough. Am I right in remembering that you studied Welsh? A language which has different words for two, three and four (but not any other numbers) depending on gender? A language which has a mix of base-10, base-15 and base-20 counting systems? Where some numbers change the first consonant of the word that follows, in ways which are different for 1, 2, 3, and 6 the same for 5, 7 and 8, but 4, 9 and 10 don't have any effect?

    E.g. Un gath ar bymtheg ar hugain (one cat on fifteen on twenty) = thirty six cats

  11. 2 hours ago, Bleep1673 said:

    It could be that a lot of you are frightened of going to London, and find it too much trouble to get public transport, you'd rather drive to away games, and as parking is limited, you don't want to go.

    Parking at both Ealing & Skolars is way easier than many northern grounds.

    Don't remember the details, but weren't Haringey Council looking to offload New River a few years back? A site like that where you can never, ever build housing, or where the council retains ownership but you have a long-term lease might be a lot more affordable.


    • Like 1
  12. 20 hours ago, Steve May said:

    Arrive at home to be asked “Was Berlin/Copenhagen/Brussels/Wherever nice?”    

    This was one of the main reasons why I decided to stop working for a couple of years - really enjoyed the work, but started to resent this kind of travel. The first few times you go to Japan, or India or wherever, it's interesting, but it's mostly exactly as you describe.

    I remember one of my former colleagues saying that he'd got to the point where if there was a volcano exploding outside the hotel window, he probably wouldn't bother to open the curtains to have a look


    • Like 1
  13. Just now, RidingPie said:

    Oh wow that’s awesome! That said I wouldn’t trust some of my cubs with wooden swords ?

    They have to sand them down and wrap string round the handle and paint them. Once you've demonstrated that they snap in two if you hit something hard, they tend to stick to waving them about rather than hitting each other. No worse than playing with sticks really.

    In all the years I've being helping, all of the worst accidents have come from cricket or football. You would think cooking stuff over the fire or climbing trees or whatever are more dangerous, but no. We did have a near miss with a snake once.

    • Like 1
  14. 1 minute ago, RidingPie said:

    I think it’s the two days after camp where I can barely move that kill me off. That and as you say we never seem to stop eating... plus one of the other leaders brought his outdoor pizza oven... oh heaven!

    Excellent. One of our leaders used to turn up with a lathe and generator and the like. You want 25 curved pirate's swords carved out of wood, a set of wooden shields, or some wooden boats to assemble? No problem.... I reckon I might need a word with him about pizzas.

    • Like 1
  15. 19 hours ago, RidingPie said:

    98.1 this morning. Yay a week without camping really helped. 

    You obviously run your cub camps better than us. I find I eat constantly (fried breakfast, big meals, lots of cake in between) but the running round after children all day and doing all the activities takes it out of me. Certainly never gained weight from it.

    • Haha 1
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