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I'd also add that switching from cow/pig/chicken to insect farming is among the best things we could do for helping the environment, if only because it takes about 2000 times less fresh water to make a kilogram of edible cricket biomass vs a kilogram of pork whilst producing negligible amounts of ammonia or methane. It's not an option anymore once they go extinct.

Devac  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: How British Feminism Became Anti-Trans

I'll answer in a form of prog-rock band name: reasonably non-Slavic whites.

Devac  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Trip report - Monts Groulx

Not really. The two truly remarkable ones (out of 15-20 so far, roughly estimating) were:

- A guy whom I presumed to be so offended by my pathetic level of French and attempts at using anything else that he just turned around on his feet in the middle of my sentence and walked away in a huff. Then he probably realised I'm the best around because he came back and acted as nothing happened. Perhaps the only time I felt like an NPC, still regret that I didn't say something like "Press 'B' to jump!" and skip away.

- One encounter near the central train hub when I was with my ex-girlfriend, her brother and his "it's complicated" where we knew something like eleven languages between us and they just pressed on with "Francais?!" over and over again. Only then, when we shrugged, gave up and excused ourselves, I heard some of the rustiest, most reluctant of attempts at English in my life. They looked tortured and probably knew only a few hundred words between them.

Seriously, the last time you had a reasonable chance of walking up to someone in Poland and expect them to know French we had compulsory classical languages, noble class and were probably called "Duchy of Warsaw". Still, they persist.

Though, in fairrrrness, it's not exclusive to French people. Poles and Germans, on average and in my experience, aren't much when it comes to foreign languages. We just usually don't think it's a cardinal sin to at least try English if we happen to know it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Devac  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Trip report - Monts Groulx

Literally every exchange I had with a French tourist.

Devac  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 6, 2019

I'm exhausted. Mentally, physically, emotionally. Completely lost my appetite because of stress, so I'm back below the normal BMI which doesn't mean anything to anyone, but I'll keep being annoyed because of it. Fortunately, I'll get about a week of free time between my last exam and the start of next semester, so there's some hope for rest and getting some peace. At least that's the plan.

I learned that one of the guys who made my life in high school a living hell died on Saturday. Not gonna lie, I have some very confusing, incongruent feelings. Obviously, I hated and resented him. Part of me still does. But I, hope just as obviously, didn't want him dead, only to leave me alone. I'm not sure if it's appropriate for me to attend the funeral, but I think that I should put everything aside and go.

Exams are at full swing, solved most of the 'take home' problems already. Physical Chemistry problems were surprisingly hard (doubly so when compared to homework), but I'm relatively confident of getting 4.5 (which I assume is like strong B/B+).

By my adviser's estimate, my maths thesis is very close to being complete, which is perhaps the best news I brought in in about three weeks or so.

So far the chess tournament score is 4 out of 5, I posted my last game in this thread if you are interested and missed it:

Because when you blunder, blunder hard.

Devac  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: White to move. What do you do?

Maybe it should be "IMO, the best followup to Black's pawn to f4 response for White is Qf3, but even then there's an immediate response:" for clarity sake. Each numbered line is a pair of moves (first White, then space, then Black), but I should be more careful. Sorry!

Devac  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: White to move. What do you do?

OK, so let's play it out from there:

  23. Qg3 f4

IMO, the best response for White is Qf3, but even then there's an immediate response:

  24. Qf3 Qg7

which puts pressure on king's line and gives two possible counter-moves:

  25. g4 fxg3

26. Qxg3

Which opens f-line Rook's mobility and allows you to threaten up to f4.


  25. e5 Rae8

26. Qe4 Qxe5

Which isn't bad, but essentially forces an exchange of queens while at disadvantage.


  26. Nxg4 Bxg4

and whatever happens, Black e-line Rook takes control of its line.

Overall, Qg3 isn't a bad move, but it leads to mobility at cost of position almost as my Qf3 did. It's still better than what I have chosen under pressure, so take it however you want. :)

Devac  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: White to move. What do you do?

Quatrarius, binder, wasoxygen (?).

Tournament background: you have to make at least 25 moves every hour or you lose the game.

Time situation: I had 18 seconds left until the end of the first hour, my opponent had comfortable 8 minutes.

Style of my opponent: Despite the game so far, I got hold of some of her earlier games and it leaned toward aggressive development.

Mental state: increasingly nagging "I'm going to lose this" combined with "shouldn't have skipped breakfast".

OK, so what I did was

  23. Qf3

Here's my reasoning: I thought that the best course for Black would be to follow up with g4 and continue kingside development. It's a very good move which would resolve to

  23. Qf3 g4

24. hxg4 …

Now we have a branch:

  24. … f4 debilitates my position and I'd call it as extremely strong (!!) move.

24. … fxe4 opens the centre for exchanges and would break the terrible stalemate, which is a type of game that I prefer.

24. … fxg4 is like fxe4, but would be even more decisive. As far as I could calculate it, response/evasion 25. Qg3 wouldn't be a bad position.

Alternate responses I calculated were:

  23. … g4 - block my queen and prepare to make a trap

23. … Rae8 - gather more material on the kingside, prepare for/deter from centre exchanges.

23. … Re6 - strengthen e lane, possibly move Qe7 next turn and prepare for an aggressive push.

23. … Qf7 - poorer version of the above move that unnecessarily risks queen but isn't strictly bad for positioning.

and I got a bunch of branches for each of those moves. Then I got served something that didn't even occur to me:

  23. Qf3 Ne5

24. Qh5 Qg7

25. g4 fxe4

Board situation afterwards:

Now that I sit in the comfort of my room, it's not completely lost, but it's really, really bad. Queen has no mobility, my defences are separated and I'm likely to lose material trying to prevent the nigh-inevitable promotion on d line.

What can I say, I got bested. Time pressure is one thing, but I felt like I'm on the ropes since move 8 or so. Despite everything, it was a good game, if not for any other reason that by being a great example of how volatile chess positions can be.

Devac  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: White to move. What do you do?

Qd2 is good. Move from the way of your f/g pawns and let them develop defensively. I'd also follow it up with f-pawn, or consider Ne5. Good intuition! Don't cut yourself short.

Qc1 is also a good choice for falling back, but perhaps not as good if you want to pursue a-c lines. Qc1's drawback is the possibility of knight putting pressure on d3 after Nb4 move, which immobilises bishop and shifts position in favour of black even further.

However, hindsight is always 20/20. Both of those positions seem very obvious when you aren't pressed for time, something I still struggle mentally.

    but i don't know a damn thing about chess compared to you so i'm interested to see what you would have done if you hadn't forfeited

Hah! You gonna laugh so hard once I'll show my blunder and explain why was I even thinking it's a good idea! :D

Keeping it secret for a while longer (only a few hours most likely) to see other propositions.

Devac  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: White to move. What do you do?

Nah. Chess is great. It's just the right combination of cunning, strategy and imagination that I don't get in most other (competitive) hobbies, especially now when my RPG group's schedules can't seem to line up for another month in a row. Maybe I'll give Shogi one more try, but I'm likely too far-gone to switch gears between those games.

Never tried, or heard much of, Boggle. Speed-based Scrabble where everyone gets the same letters sounds better than most other word games I tried so far.

Devac  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: White to move. What do you do?

g5 pawn takes the Queen Scot free.

Devac  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: You should watch PBS Space Time

At first, I thought about editing my previous post, but since it's longer than that one…

After revisiting the texts from the Theoretical Minimum, I found this bit from a Classical Mechanics preface as a rather apt summary of the series:

    What became clear after a couple of quarters is that the students were not completely satisfied with the layperson’s courses I was teaching. They wanted more than the Scientific American experience. A lot of them had a bit of background, a bit of physics, a rusty but not dead knowledge of calculus, and some experience at solving technical problems. They were ready to try their hand at learning the real thing—with equations. The result was a sequence of courses intended to bring these students to the forefront of modern physics and cosmology.

IMHO the authors accomplished their job. In the series so far you have gateways to branches of physics you could expand on through other books:

Classical Mechanics by J.R. Taylor

Introduction to Quantum Mechanics by D. J. Griffiths (of Introduction to Electrodynamics fame)

Principles of Quantum Mechanics by R. Shankar

Diagrammatica: The Path to Feynman Diagrams by M. Veltman (quantum field theory in a nutshell, which also happens to be a title of a different textbook that's intended for newcomers :P)

Gravitation and Cosmology: principles and applications of the general theory of relativity by S. Weinberg (disputable choice, but I liked the fact that a lot of the calculations were explicit. Starts with a differential geometry refresher, which may or may not be enough)

Most of those are either from my undergrad courses or ones that I picked up at random at the library and liked a lot.

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