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mike's profile

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hubskier for: 3323 days

Mathematician, artist, father, circus performer, musician.

recent comments, posts, and shares:
mike  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A thing I made.

Thanks, man!

mike  ·  124 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A thing I made.

You can see this pattern in a LOT of places. Here's an article I wrote on some years ago, along with other resources, like blackline masters for pop-up fractals and children's stories:


mike  ·  168 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 4, 2019  ·  

Got married.

mike  ·  209 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 340th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately" Thread

Can't get enough of this one, Come Away by Sons of the East:

mike  ·  209 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Lights, camera, caption! Why subtitles are no longer just for the hard of hearing

I started using subtitles years ago watching movies with my Norwegian gf (now wife). With Norwegian subtitles, it helped me learn the language at the same time it helped her with understanding the dialog. Now we're 50-50 with Norwegian or English subtitles.

Interestingly, we were binge-watching several episodes of Killing Eve last night, and one of the episodes did not have English or Norwegian available. Rather than try to download the episode and set up a subtitle file with VLC, we just watched without subtitles. I missed several parts where the characters were speaking with strong British and Irish dialects. Further, I've become so used to having the words on the screen that I found it mentally draining to focus on the spoken words. I was happy when the next episode had English subtitles and I could have my support text back. (To be clear, I am native English-speaking and have no difficulties with hearing.)

Watching without subtitles is for me is worse than watching with subtitles. I'm guessing that my brain processes visual data so much more efficiently than auditory data, that having the dialog onscreen makes it easier to follow.

I used to hate subtitles because I felt distracted trying to read and watch the nuances in the actors' faces at the same time. Now I don't even notice that the subtitles are there, but I notice when they are NOT there! Subtitle reading is a skill that with practice becomes effortless.

I just passed my Norwegian language tests for immigration - got highest levels on oral, writing, reading and listening (yay me!) I've been living in Norway for 10 years now. The first two years I tried to get into the language courses at the university where I was working, but because I was on a year-by-year contract I wasn't high priority. I was number 180 on the waiting list year one and number 75 on the waiting list year two. I just learned on my own.

Here's my tips:

Watch movies in the language, with subtitles in the SAME language. Don't put English subtitles on your Spanish movie, put Spanish subtitles on your Spanish movie. You can read along and hear and it doesn't matter if you understand only 10% of the words. You'll pick up context and common phrases and even slang expressions. You get to see how the words are being pronounced. Watch one movie per week. Go back and rewatch your favorites, you'll find over time you understand more and more. Try to speak the lines along with the actors.

Learn songs in the language. Even better if you play guitar or piano and can play and sing along. Songs are some of the best way to memorize words. Run the lyrics of the songs through google translate and compare so you get the gist of what is being said. Try to learn one song a week.

As mentioned here, read children's books. Rhyming books, Doctor Seuss translations, Richard Scarry books, anything. Work your way up grade levels. If you can get ahold of 1st-2nd grade school books even better. Memorize children's rhymes.

Norway has a service called Klartale (clear speech), it's a simplified news service with easy words and very well pronounced Norwegian. You can read or listen or download podcasts. Maybe there is something similar in Spanish? Download podcasts or children's stories and play them in the car. Don't understand? Doesn't matter, try to repeat the sentences and phrases you hear. It may help to imagine you're an actor and try to ham up the accent as you visualize yourself as a Spanish movie star. It's partly about the mindset.

I bought the Pimsleur Norwegian courses. I think for Spanish they offer 90 lessons. It's (almost) entirely listen and repeat, which means you can run the lessons in the car or while walking to work. I had a half-hour walk to work which is the length of the lesson, so I did a lesson a day, once on the way to work and then repeating it on the way home. I recommend these. (I did 10 lessons in Spanish when I was going there for a conference and learned enough that I was able to ask someone on the street for directions to a pharmacy and understand enough words he told me to be able to find it.)

Extreme case: Immerse yourself in the language by moving to the country for 10 years. Be extremely frustrated for the first 6 years that you are living in a fog and not understanding shit. Be satisfied if after 10 years you can get by and don't care anymore about liberally mixing in English whenever you don't know a phrase. Tell yourself that the natives think it's charming how you mangle their language in amusing ways.

mike  ·  266 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 29, 2019

You lost a fingerprint climbing?! That's hardcore!

mike  ·  266 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 29, 2019

Here's another critter we had visit in February.

It's a weasel in his winter clothes. In Norwegian weasels are called røyskatt, which translates to "cairn cat", røys = a pile of loose stones (cairn) and katt = cat. "Røyskatt" is a much cuter name than "weasel" imo.

mike  ·  266 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 29, 2019

Just commenting on mk's post about the painting he's making for me and this walks by the window:

Seen deer, mice and weasels walk by, but never a fox and never one this big.

Guess I should share this, too. This is from Friday, three Orca whales swimming by the window:

We get harbor porpoises fairly often, but Orcas only a few times every summer. Usually it's these three. Seems like a strange number to always be seen together. Very small pod, I guess.

UPDATE: my fiancé just told me of this video from the same day, taken by a group of teenagers on a boat that followed the orcas for two hours. Turns out there's four of them, probably a mom and dad and two kids. Check out the footage here

mike  ·  266 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 29, 2019

mike is very happy with how the painting is coming along. It's one of my most favorite spots, this one just up the hill across the road. I'm amazed with your painting skillz. Really looking forward to this!

mike  ·  267 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Someone in my town found a cat

Frikkin' awesome! I love the writer's style:

"And if you are one of the people who told me nicely out of concern, thank you and have a nice day!! If you Are one of the people who was rude to me and tried to mock me for not knowing, you can have a bad day!!"

mike  ·  267 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 29, 2019

We're two weeks into our Kickstarter (tessellation puzzles) with 3 weeks to go, and backers have slowed down. We're contacting science centers and pulling the stops on people we know to get the word out. Still optimistic. It's been a really fun project -- I've made friends with math artists around the world licensing designs, and then it's been a really tough process getting the designs to work into a puzzle that can be put together in a lot of ways.

Got the samples from the factory yesterday, and they look great, so production is a go if we get the funds. mk and steve have backed the project already -- kudos to you both!

here's the link to the project

In other news, I joined a men's choir. They're a bunch of fun and funny guys, with a good sense of low humor. We sing all kinds of songs. At 51 years old, I'm the youngest by quite a bit. Going on a retreat with them this weekend.

mike  ·  273 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What did ya think of the GoT finale?

Yeah, ok. I just wanted her to be someone else.

Good to know that Jon marries Ygritte in real life, at least.

mike  ·  274 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What did ya think of the GoT finale?

Well, Danerys had the ultimate weapons, the most fearsome army in the world, and the love and respect of powerful people around her. She was going to be queen. Jon had a chance to marry her, take a woman he was truly in love with, and together they could have been a great duo. Jon could have reined her in, tempered her anger and arrogance. She wanted desperately the love of the people and saw that the people loved Jon in a way they didn't love her. This is a great bargaining chip in the relationship -- she could follow his example and learn from him and become the kind of leader she so wanted to be.

She lost another dragon and then her best friend, and losing Jon as a lover was the thing that pushed her over the top.

Imagine if instead Jon said "fuck it I don't care if she's a little more closely related for comfort, I'm going to marry her anyways", it would changed everything. As a duo, fire and ice, they would have a really good shot I think at balancing the whole shebang and becoming something great and worthy of the love of the people.

What do you mean by Bran employing strategy across the timeline?

mike  ·  274 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What did ya think of the GoT finale?

I thought the whole season was a terrible rush job and so much seemed moot -- the Night King's too sudden death and end of that whole thread, Jamie and Brienne was such a waste and so poorly done, Jon not choosing to marry his aunt which could have fixed everything... oh c'mon! Yeah, you know all this and more, but --

I liked the last episode. I found it very satisfying. A lot of things tied up more or less neatly in satisfying ways. That's really what I wanted.

And I liked that we are left to imagine the continuing storylines. What adventures await Arya? Where is Jon going with the wildlings? And most exciting, will Bran find Drogon? Will he worg into him and bring back the dragon?

I'm good with the ending. I choose to overlook a lot because I want it to be an ending a like. And I'm ok with that too.

mike  ·  280 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Launched my first Kickstarter! Tessellation puzzles

Your axe is appreciated!

mike  ·  280 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Launched my first Kickstarter! Tessellation puzzles


mike  ·  330 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The 27th Quotes Thread - OB finally gets around to reading The Laundry

"Never pet a burning dog." -- Mike Naylor

mike  ·  330 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Who Is Left on Hubski?

Name: mike

Age: over 50

current preoccupation: laser cutting

previous preoccupations: none. no preoccupations of mine can be considered previous as ALL are active. yes, it's exhausting.

mike  ·  356 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 27, 2019

Yes, well it's Norway. Thanks for tagging me applewood and kleinbl00

mike  ·  362 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 20, 2019

Thanks for the invite.

Maaaaayyyyybe. I'm getting back from the Caribbean Thursday night. I've been eating like a king, a fat king at that, and it would do me good. It may be too weird on my body with reverse jetlag at the same time, so we'll see how I'm feeling when I wake on Friday.

Did two fasts last year, a 72-hour and a 60-hour. Decided I'd go with two 60-hour fasts a year. It's about time for the next.