Questions you've always wanted answered

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JimBentley
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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by JimBentley » Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:58 pm

Yes, Marc is completely correct here, it's all down to the sense of balance. Walking on anything other than solid (unyielding) ground triggers the body to compensate (balance reflex). Walking on a beach with soft sand is similar. When walking on anything other than a solid surface, it's a natural reaction to put your arms out to spread your weight.

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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Adam Gillard » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:19 pm

What are those tripod thingies with camera thingies with people in fluorescent jacket thingies manning them? Seems to be some sort of survey equipment but what is it used for? They've had them manned every morning for about a month next to a road I pass on my commute and I'm too scared to ask one of the fluorescent jacketers.
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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by JimBentley » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:44 pm

Adam Gillard wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:19 pm
What are those tripod thingies with camera thingies with people in fluorescent jacket thingies manning them? Seems to be some sort of survey equipment but what is it used for? They've had them manned every morning for about a month next to a road I pass on my commute and I'm too scared to ask one of the fluorescent jacketers.
They're doing surveying stuff (especially in built-up areas) for future building work, or more usually for roadworks. The camera/tripod combination is called a "total station" and it measure distances and angles as well as taking pictures. This is done with lasers and so can be accurate over quite long distances (as long as the equipment is calibrated correctly). Basically they're theodolites, but more versatile.

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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Mark Deeks » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:58 pm

Matt Morrison wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:49 pm
It's definitely a thing Mark. Ignore Gevin, who only ever leaves the comfort of his bed with running shoes on.

It's almost more related to the way you are trying to "creep" with your legs, and that typical learnt-it-from-the-TV exaggerated creep necessarily involves exaggerated arms too.

Image

So a couple of nights ago I walked to the car to get something at stupid o'clock, and didn't think it needed shoes. But it turns out the road was a bit more painful than I thought, and I started the exaggerate arms thing. And then I realised I was doing it. So I tried to stop doing it. But I couldn't. Y'know? So is this learnt or is it actually functional?
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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Matt Morrison » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:32 am

Well, the trouble with trying to stop it is that you're naturally going to go to the other extreme I reckon - the one Marc mentioned, arms by your side and not moving at all, right? That's even less natural, our arms don't do that when we're doing a normal walk with normal shoes on normal ground without thinking about it. Trouble is it's not so easy to consciously force yourself to do something typically subconscious.

But yeah Jim has already done it I think in vaguely scientific terms - I don't think it's learnt in that it's probably a pretty natural feeling to do so (you could probably find similarities in the differing walks of animals) and from that I'd only assume it is actually functional (although "learnt" and "functional" are not necessarily mutually exclusive, there must be plenty of examples of reflex actions we take subconsciously that don't really help us).

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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Marc Meakin » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:06 am

After further reflection I'm wondering if it is an anticipation of danger/pain rather than a pure reflex reaction.
For example if Mark was going to his car in broad daylight and could see his path would he do the arms thing

I often go to Gran Canaria for a holiday and do a lot of walking and one of the ones that goes through los Paloma's involves walking about a mile over large pebbles and stones and I'm sure I didn't do the arms thing for the whole of that walk
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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Matt Morrison » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:46 am

I think you're right about both parts really - it's still a reflex action in response to the feel of the first footstep (that's another point we haven't discussed, I don't think the arms are ever likely to come out for balance until after step 1, right?). But yes it is also pain anticipation - but this anticipation is not (in this instance) from walking into objects you didn't know were there, more from the potential for the next footstep to be painful, in that respect the light/dark makes no difference really.

When I walk around in the proper dark (where I am not worried about the general state of the ground, but am conscious of treading on a thing) I tend to do more shuffly movements with the feet and hold my hands out in front of me to feel my way.

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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Mark James » Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:13 am

Not sure if this belongs here or the dream thread but I genuinely had a dream last night where I was walking over gravel in my bare feet. It was slightly sore but manageable and I noted to myself in the dream that my arms weren't doing anything they wouldn't normally do and I wondered what the hell it was yis were talking about. I don't doubt that it's a thing really just that it's not something I've ever noticed.

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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Mark Deeks » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:32 pm

It wasn't dark, just to clarify. Street was lit up.
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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Marc Meakin » Sat May 05, 2018 11:16 am

Why can you get grape juice and raisins also come from grapes but no plum juice.
You get plums and dried ones are prunes.
Yet you can get prune juice.
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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Ian Volante » Tue May 08, 2018 11:33 am

Marc Meakin wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 11:16 am
Why can you get grape juice and raisins also come from grapes but no plum juice.
You get plums and dried ones are prunes.
Yet you can get prune juice.
What?
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Marc Meakin
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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Marc Meakin » Tue May 08, 2018 12:22 pm

Ian Volante wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 11:33 am
Marc Meakin wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 11:16 am
Why can you get grape juice and raisins also come from grapes but no plum juice.
You get plums and dried ones are prunes.
Yet you can get prune juice.
What?
Let me elucidate.

Dried grapes are raisins (probably sultanas too )
You can buy grape juice from most supermarkets
Dried plums are prunes
You can buy Prune juice from most supermarkets
But not Plum juice.
Capice ?
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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Matt Morrison » Tue May 08, 2018 12:29 pm

is it a branding thing because plum juice sounds like spunk

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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Marc Meakin » Tue May 08, 2018 1:35 pm

Matt Morrison wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 12:29 pm
is it a branding thing because plum juice sounds like spunk
Nah if that was the case they would also change the name of natural yoghurt
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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Phil Reynolds » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:24 pm

When people are videoing something on their phone, why do they invariably hold it upright, in portrait mode, even though that's rarely the optimal framing for the scene being recorded? In fact, people who do this probably belong in the "People you shouldn't trust" topic, with a special circle of hell reserved for those who start off shooting in portrait mode and then immediately turn the phone through 90 degrees so the rest of the video ends up sideways.

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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:15 pm

Phil Reynolds wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:24 pm
When people are videoing something on their phone, why do they invariably hold it upright, in portrait mode, even though that's rarely the optimal framing for the scene being recorded? In fact, people who do this probably belong in the "People you shouldn't trust" topic, with a special circle of hell reserved for those who start off shooting in portrait mode and then immediately turn the phone through 90 degrees so the rest of the video ends up sideways.
I agree.

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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Phil Reynolds » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:41 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:15 pm
Phil Reynolds wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:24 pm
When people are videoing something on their phone, why do they invariably hold it upright, in portrait mode, even though that's rarely the optimal framing for the scene being recorded? In fact, people who do this probably belong in the "People you shouldn't trust" topic, with a special circle of hell reserved for those who start off shooting in portrait mode and then immediately turn the phone through 90 degrees so the rest of the video ends up sideways.
I agree.
Oh yeah.

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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Mark Deeks » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:33 pm

Phil Reynolds wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:24 pm
When people are videoing something on their phone, why do they invariably hold it upright, in portrait mode, even though that's rarely the optimal framing for the scene being recorded? In fact, people who do this probably belong in the "People you shouldn't trust" topic, with a special circle of hell reserved for those who start off shooting in portrait mode and then immediately turn the phone through 90 degrees so the rest of the video ends up sideways.
Because it's easier to hold it one handed that way.
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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Phil Reynolds » Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:07 pm

Mark Deeks wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:33 pm
Phil Reynolds wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:24 pm
When people are videoing something on their phone, why do they invariably hold it upright
Because it's easier to hold it one handed that way.
And they say men can't multitask.

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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Mark Deeks » Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:50 am

Churches and vicars. What do they do all day? Do vicars just hang out in open churches and anyone can walk in and get some religion going on? Are they mostly empty? What do vicars do when not in church?
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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Matt Morrison » Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:35 am

we have a vicar friend and my only-lightly-informed opinion would proffer:

- more sermons and services than you'd expect
- community work, varied levels of involvement from "attending" to "actively hosting"
- a surprising amount of meetings, both at Vicar of Dibley-style parish level and also with regional/national bigwigs (though our friend is higher up than a level 1 vicar or whatever they are called)
- being available to be called to hospitals, nursing homes, deathbeds at any moment

All that said, I'm not tooting any vicar trumpets here, they definitely enjoy a pretty flexible and casual work schedule. The calling, though.

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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Mark Deeks » Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:01 pm

RELATED - do vicars/priests/chaplains etc take singing lessons as a part of the gig?
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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:41 pm

Mark Deeks wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:01 pm
RELATED - do vicars/priests/chaplains etc take singing lessons as a part of the gig?
They tend to join 80s bands along with people like Jimmy Somerville before embarking on a church-based career. This stands them in good stead.

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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by JimBentley » Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:19 pm

OK, here's one for the economics people: If every country's economy has a fiscal deficit (and all major economies do) then who is the interest on their loans paid to? Where are such loans taken out? We hear (for instance) that the UK must pay £30 billion to service its debt each year, but where does it go? Surely this means that the country it goes to must have a fiscal surplus? But no country seems to have a fiscal surplus, they're all in debt. Am I being really dense here?

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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Ian Volante » Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:36 pm

JimBentley wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:19 pm
OK, here's one for the economics people: If every country's economy has a fiscal deficit (and all major economies do) then who is the interest on their loans paid to? Where are such loans taken out? We hear (for instance) that the UK must pay £30 billion to service its debt each year, but where does it go? Surely this means that the country it goes to must have a fiscal surplus? But no country seems to have a fiscal surplus, they're all in debt. Am I being really dense here?
Everyone pays everyone else pretty much, as I understand it. I think there are one or two countries without a debt, but mostly it's just a mery-go-round. I don't get why when interest rates are really low like now, older higher-interest rate debt isn't paid off en masse, I suspect there are probably treaties and suchlike against doing such things as it may affect systemic stability (or will cost money to those with their fingers in the pies (at this point the Bilderberg/Rothschild conspiracy theorists are welcome to chip in)).

There are also considerations of who holds it, such as foreign countries buying bonds as a hedge (is that the right word?) against their own currency (see China), and national banks managing their own economies. Also, I presume there's an optimal amount of debt to hold relative to the level of inflation, as this erodes the value of the debt - this might mean that long-term cheap debt is actually fiscally positive. At this point, I really need to defer to someone who knows anything about this stuff.
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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Mark James » Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:27 pm

I really don't understand economics. I tried to do a bit of reading on it there and it doesn't make any sense. China owns about half of the US debt which has the highest amount of debt but China has the second highest debt. I couldn't find out who owns that?

I don't understand bonds and treasuries or anything, it just all seems like a massive scam. I did find the following:

"The National Debt is NOT owed to us, it is owed to private banks who control our central bank the Bank of England. This is due to the fractional reserve monetary system which perpetuates by creating a society of debt out of nothing. Money is created on a computer, this is a crime if you are a private citizen but not a banker, and when it is in the system it can be re-lent up to 9 times its original value. This de-values the money and leads to inflation. Crucially interest is charged to the government on this created money (the original loan if you like). This interest goes to private banks. One wonders how much of the tax we pay is going straight into these banks pockets? The big question is, why are we in this type of system when there are alternatives that are far better for UK citizens and the world populace? When you look at the complete lack of meaningful action against banks over the last 200 years the answer becomes apparent. A very small few stay powerful and wealthy. We are the ones that keep them in that position through our ignorance and subservience."

That's sounds about right but to me but I suspect it's oversimplified and too close to conspiracy theory. I do suspect though that the global economy is going to massively crash eventually and finally spur the revolution where we eat the rich.

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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by David Williams » Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:43 pm

JimBentley wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:19 pm
If every country's economy has a fiscal deficit (and all major economies do) then who is the interest on their loans paid to?
I hesitate to give the obvious answer, because you'll only start asking more questions that I won't know the answer to, but they (collectively) pay the interest to the pension funds and insurance companies who have lent them the money.

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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by David Williams » Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:51 pm

Mark James wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:27 pm
"The National Debt is NOT owed to us . . .
Google tells me this is a comment by Eric Stone of Saffron Walden. Credit where credit's due.

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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by JimBentley » Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:53 pm

At the risk of going a bit Philomena Cunk on this, how did the concept of money even start? I know that there was the barter system, where you'd exchange a cow for a certain amount of grain, or whatever, and that makes sense. But the whole concept of money makes no sense to me at all. Honestly, I feel really stupid writing this, I must be missing something totally obvious that everyone else understands.

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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Marc Meakin » Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:36 pm

JimBentley wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:53 pm
At the risk of going a bit Philomena Cunk on this, how did the concept of money even start? I know that there was the barter system, where you'd exchange a cow for a certain amount of grain, or whatever, and that makes sense. But the whole concept of money makes no sense to me at all. Honestly, I feel really stupid writing this, I must be missing something totally obvious that everyone else understands.
I remember as a teenager asking my economics teacher why we can't just print more money when the country is in debt.
He explained the answer was to do with inflation but I still couldn't grasp it
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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Ian Volante » Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:53 pm

JimBentley wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:53 pm
At the risk of going a bit Philomena Cunk on this, how did the concept of money even start? I know that there was the barter system, where you'd exchange a cow for a certain amount of grain, or whatever, and that makes sense. But the whole concept of money makes no sense to me at all. Honestly, I feel really stupid writing this, I must be missing something totally obvious that everyone else understands.
In one sense, efficiency. On a personal level, it's easier to use a token that both parties agree that is the same value as a cow so that the person receiving payment can then go and spend that token elsewhere without the nuisance of having to transport the cow to the next village, the next step is when the value of that token is agreed at a higher level, hence...

Another way, it's a system of agreed IOU notes. Someone gives you an IOU as you ploughed their field for them, and because someone else (the village chief) acts as a guarantor for that IOU note, it retains its value independently of the trustworthiness of the person who owes you. That's a very glib description of a fiat currency, which is basically what most of use. The central bank acts as a guarantor of the IOUs in our pockets, so we can use them to exchange for services etc.
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Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by David Williams » Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:54 pm

I think the first stage is when people decide that it works better if you accept an amount of gold or silver for something you want to sell, and then use that to buy things that you want. Then people collectively decide that rather than lugging all that metal around they are prepared to have their gold held securely somewhere and other people are prepared to accept bits of paper that transfer the ownership of that gold to them. Where I rather lose track is when it occurs to people that it all works just the same whether there actually is any gold or not.

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