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Lionel Mandrake

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: The Left Coast
Home country: USA
Current location: electrical wires
Member since: Sun Jul 1, 2007, 06:47 PM
Number of posts: 4,026

About Me

I study, play the piano, play chess and go, and enjoy the company of my wife, children, grandchildren, other relatives, and friends. I am a perennial student at a school where they let me attend classes and use the library for free (because I'm old). My serious reading includes math, science, history, and biography. I enjoy science fiction and mysteries, which my wife and I refer to as "mind rot". And now on to politics. I hated Nixon and Reagan. I think W is a war criminal and was easily the worst president in US history until Trump came along. Trump and Sessions should be tried for having separated small children from their parents, which was a crime against humanity. I will support any candidate who is a "dove". I support "plan B" without prescription for girls of all ages. I support free abortion on demand, without delay, and without the requirement to notify anyone, for all women and girls who want it. I think it's time to repeal the Bush/Trump tax cuts for corporations and the very rich.

Journal Archives

Trump's attempt to overthrow the government

Trump tried by several means to stay in power despite losing the election. Besides orchestrating the January 6 violence, he tried to get state officials to submit fake tallies of votes. According to the Los Angeles times, "Republicans in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin sent alternate slates to Congress." Other Republicans resisted the pressure to subvert the Constitution, as described here:
Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Wed Jun 22, 2022, 01:07 PM (2 replies)

Prime howler in "Enemy of the State"

"Enemy of the State" on Amazon Prime features the omnipotent NSA being used by evildoers to harass the good guys. Among the NSA assets is a satellite which constantly emits the letters "CQ" in Morse Code, as if it were a ham radio operator of the distant past.
Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Tue Jun 21, 2022, 02:48 PM (3 replies)

Dune: Part One (2021)

I've been hooked on science fiction since I was about 12 years old.

I bought a Roku streaming device that supports Apple TV+ so I could watch the 2021 "Dune" movie. Since I have ethernet, I made sure the new device had an ethernet port. Otherwise I would have had to rely on Wi-Fi, which is vastly inferior.

It took me a while, but I did finally manage to watch "Dune : Part One" (2021). I liked the movie, but some of the dialog was unintelligible. I wished there were subtitles, but I couldn't find any. I'm looking forward to the sequel, which will be called "Dune: Part Two" (no major surprise there). There may even be a third "Dune" movie.

I also discovered that the Roku device works much better than my Blu-Ray player for streaming Netflix and Amazon Prime. From now on I will use the Blu-Ray player only for DVDs and Blu-Ray disks.
Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Tue May 3, 2022, 01:00 PM (3 replies)

What's the best set-top box for Apple TV+ ?

I have ethernet, so I don't want to use Wi-Fi.
My TV set is HD but not 4K.
I don't want to talk to the remote control.
Maybe one of the many Roku boxes? If so, which one?
Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Mon Mar 28, 2022, 02:58 PM (8 replies)

Putin has joined a select group of war criminals,

including Stalin, Hitler, and George W. Bush. These are leaders who waged Wars of Aggression which constitute Crimes against Peace, as defined by the International Law Commission of the United Nations to codify the legal principles underlying the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi party members following World War II.

A war of aggression is a military conflict waged without the justification of self-defense, usually for territorial gain and subjugation. Paradigmatic examples include the nearly simultaneous invasions of Poland by Stalin and Hitler in 1939, the unprovoked invasion of Iraq by George W. Bush and others in 2003, and Putin's invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Fri Feb 25, 2022, 02:45 PM (10 replies)

NCIS Latin mistake

Some writer for the Netflix series "NCIS" doesn't know Latin. He or she has a serial killer taunting the NCIS with the message "prīmitus victor", which the federal agents translate as "first victim". But that's not what it means. It means "winner from the start". Oops.
Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Thu Feb 24, 2022, 06:45 PM (0 replies)

Who turned down the volume on YouTube?

I have two Mac desktop computers with which I watch (mostly listen to) music on YouTube. On one of my computers, all of a sudden the music became very faint. I have to compensate by turning the volume way up on my external speakers. This works until some audio source other than YouTube comes along and blasts my eardrums. I'd be grateful for any advice about this.
Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Wed Feb 23, 2022, 12:10 PM (6 replies)

"Under Suspicion" *** SPOILERS! ***

This 2000 movie starring Morgan Freeman and Gene Hackman streams on Netflix. I don't get it. Why did Gene Hackman's character keep changing his story? And why did he confess to two murders he didn't commit? It makes no sense to me.
Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Fri Jan 21, 2022, 07:02 PM (0 replies)

I watched a few minutes of Netflix's movie "Io".

I like science fiction when I can suspend disbelief, but "Io" makes that impossible. The film should have had a science advisor, who would have pointed out a couple of howlers:

1) Putting humans in orbit about Jupiter's moon Io makes no sense. Jupiter is ridiculously far from the sun. Furthermore, Io is right in the middle of a band of intense radiation, which would kill people very quickly.

2) Back on earth, scientists were trying to extract oxygen from ammonium, which contains no oxygen.
Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Tue Dec 28, 2021, 08:47 PM (3 replies)

German lumpers and splitters

Is German a language or a family of languages? Experts disagree about this. Depending on how you answer the question, you are either a lumper or splitter.

Similar questions can be asked about other languages and even about taxa in biology, where the struggle between lumpers and splitters can be intense. But I digress.

I'm no expert, but I side with the lumpers. I think of Standard German, Swiss German, Plattdeutsch, etc. as dialects of a single language, because having taken German classes in school I find that I can understand most of them to some extent. Plattdeutsch, aka Low German, is borderline. It's close to Dutch, which I can't begin to understand.

Once I tried having a conversation with someone who was fluent in Yiddish. The experiment was moderately successful. Therefore I would argue that even Yiddish is a German dialect, although it's usually classified as a separate language.
Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Sun Oct 31, 2021, 12:04 PM (5 replies)
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