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I would absolutely get a card like that. I hope you can make this a reality and start a new trend!

Eeehhhh.. From the outside it looks like the relationship has plateaued.

You're both feeling unfulfilled in the relationship, and it's come to the point where she's issued an ultimatum, which is very unfortunate. Just play out the scenarios long term. If you just need a kick in the ass that's one thing, but you've gotten the kick and it doesn't look like anything happened except it upset you.

First big question to discuss with yourself: Do you or do you not want to get married? And do you or do you not want to marry her, specifically?

Second question: What will marriage change about your relationship? Do you believe that agreeing to marry her will unblock and resolve all your tensions and let you move forward?

Usually that's not the case. There's a bad stereotype about bad relationships getting "fixed" by getting married. Then when the toxic relationship becomes a toxic marriage, they "fix" that by having kids. And now you've got a couple stuck unhappy with a family that didn't give them the happiness they want.

FWIW, I'm the same way about kids. Been married almost 3 years (together for 12) and I've always wanted kids "some day". Not today, not tomorrow, but I wanted that door open, and it bothered me that my wife was a lot less open to the idea of starting a family than I was. But I let it fester, and sometimes it really bothered me. I wanted that door left open, because deciding to not having children is so final. And yet, after a decade, "some day" still hasn't come. And it's not going to. But it took me a long time to be really honest about it.

Just make sure whatever you decide is what you want, and you the consequences of that decision for the rest of your life. Keeping things happy is important in life, and the importance is in order of how close they sleep to you. Keep your brain happy. Then keep your wife happy. Then worry about everyone else, because their ability to make you miserable is far less than the other 2.

smohr  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Question from the Viking Math Camp

Depending on how much light you need, LED strips are really fun. They come on a roll that's self adhesive with an LED every inch or so. The RGB LEDs have controllers that let you adjust the colour of the light on the fly.

You can find them everywhere. Here's a link to my local supplier so you can see what I mean: http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?p=70322&cat=1,43349

smohr  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: What are Hubski's Political Views?

People love things simple, don't they?

This is the problem I have with political talking heads and activists. Arguments get simplified down to the point where questions are no longer questions and nuance gets thrown out in favour of emotional manipulation.

"You don't support state surveillance? But why do you support terrorists???"

"You don't support making meat illegal? But why do you enjoy animals being tortured???"

"You support gay marriage? But why do you hate families???"

It's no longer possible to have a large discussion that crosses political lines. Left wingers are all lumped together as naive commies and right wingers are all lumped together as fascists and god forbid these people mix and discuss a specific idea rather than cheering on their team. Some smaller places seem able to handle it (like Hubski), but on Reddit or Facebook? Forget about it.

smohr  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Deep Web

The whole Deep Web/Dark Web thing seems to have gained a lot buzz lately, and people on social media often conflate terms (or add sinister drama to something mundane).

For the non-technical people reading: the Deep Web is the name for sites on the internet that aren't indexed by a search engine like Google. There are several ways Google might not know about a website:

* The website is private and requires a password to get in (e.g. private companies, homeowners associations, sports clubs, etc)

* No web page that Google knows about links to the website

* Nobody has submitted the website to Google so it knows to look there

When Google maintains their index, it uses spiders, which are programs that open web pages, index all the text, and then follow every clickable link they find and repeat. That means the Google spiders need a known starting point. They don't just randomly try web addresses to see if there's a website there. As such, the Deep Web isn't really nefarious - it's basically a synonym for "not public". Your home computer network is part of the deep web. So are military computer networks.

Contrast that to the Dark Web/Darknet, which is more like a layer built on top of the regular internet. This is where Tor lives, and it's designed to be a peer-to-peer network which makes everyone anonymous (barring an exploit or bug). This is where the silk road existed and reports of many deviant sites. The dark web is where anything can go, because law enforcement can't operate.

According to wiki, the terms got mixed up because the dark web (Tor) didn't used to be indexable, so it was also technically the deep web.

To actually answer Dynamite-86's question, though... I have no use for it, and in general most people won't, either. To me, there are pros and cons to using the dark web, and you can make a pretty logical decision based on your usage.

Pros:

* You the user are anonymous - anything you do can't be tracked back to your home IP address

* Communications are secure - no one can monitor what you're saying on the network

Cons:

* Substantially slower than "the regular internet"

* Fussing with additional software and configuration to use it

* The groups you communicate with need to be there as well

While anybody should be able to enjoy privacy, the pros don't outweigh the cons for most peoples' usages. The dark web is effective in extreme cases:

* You are planning serious crimes

* You are coordinating dissidence inside a country with a hostile government

* You have very strong personal opinions about privacy

* You believe you are under surveillance

* You're buying/selling illegal products, like drugs or weapons

* Child porn/illegal entertainment

Your average internet user isn't doing any of those things. We still break plenty of laws on the public internet, but they're minor, widespread, and the chances of getting in serious trouble are so low it's not worth the bother. Downloading movies, bitching about politicians, flame wars - none of these are ever going to really interest the Powers That Be, because they are minor actions with minor consequences (and the security bureaus are busy enough as it is doing whatever it is they do). Hell, drug dealers have been coordinating using telephones for decades and business is still booming.

tl;dr The dark web is a cool idea. I love the idea that law enforcement can be completely impotent at interfering with or preventing people from gathering in an environment - even if it's digital and the only exchange is information. At the same time, there are no significant laws in my country that I feel compelled to break and therefore have to conduct 'business' in the dark web, so to me the dark web is useless.

That was amazing. I read every word. He tells a great story and is very respectful to everyone involved (except perhaps the Sheriff's Dept...). I hope the families of the Germans saw it and were touched by his dedication to telling the story of their loved ones. That man is incredible.

As long as it's not someone on the Chain of Dogs!

I always thought the tale of the Pannion Seer would be great as told by a refugee. The caravanserai and Iron Wolves were so interesting because they were close to the action but not politically driving it. The Mask Council was barely acknowledged, even though their decisions set the stage for the siege of Capustan.

Such an excellent series.

I'm much more likely to comment than post. Sometimes I wonder if it's a confidence thing. I can usually compose a comment that I think would be interesting to one or a couple people following that thread.

By contrast, a post is more like an announcement. I rarely have ideas or links that I'd consider worth announcing to the world that aren't things more appropriate to post to my friends on Facebook.

I don't think either is a problem - more annoying are commenters who comment solely on the title (or, even better, comment based on a failed reading of the title).

To me it's all about the eyes. Colour doesn't matter - it's more the intensity and awareness in someone who looks really engaged wherever they are.

Dead eyes are like smoking - they instantly ruin the deal.

X-COM: UFO Defense (UFO: Enemy Unknown in the UK) was a fabulous strategy game. The recent reboot (X-COM: Enemy Unknown) is good, but it largely gutted my favourite strategic components, like base design, base defense, and R&D.

Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender (http://www.gog.com/game/rex_nebular_and_the_cosmic_gender_bender) was such a surprisingly fun adventure game by Microprose. It came out when the Sierra adventure games basically owned PC gaming, and this was a fresh team's try at the genre. It's like a cross between Leisure Suit Larry and Space Quest.

When Rex is captured by the female overlords of a planet and briefed on his imprisonment:

Rex: Examination!? What examination? Intern: We need to determine if your genes are worthy to be mixed with ours. If so, you will serve as breeding stock. If not, you will serve as fertilizer. Rex: Breeding stock? That doesn't sound so bad. Intern: You would probably enjoy it. Then again, there may be some discomfort between the 600th and 800th times. Naturally, the second day is worse.

I got into 3D printing a little over a year ago and have been enjoying the hell out of it.

It's the ultimate geek hobby. There are different mechanical systems you need to understand inside and out. There are physical properties of different plastics you simply have to understand in order to see what's going on. "Why didn't it work?" becomes a complex question, and you have to understand the fundamentals of how 3D printing happens in order to begin to answer it.

You can manufacture nearly any part you can imagine right in your home. Some applications are silly - desk toys, figurines, busts. Some are practical - tool holders, replacement parts for commercial products, etc. The best are practical and custom. Those are the things you design yourself to solve an incredibly specific problem. For example, I had a pair of kitchen tongs I really liked, but a plastic part disintegrated and they wouldn't lock anymore. A new pair of tongs is only $10, but it's a shame to have to toss the old ones because a small piece broke. 30 minutes of 3D modeling and 20 minutes of printing and the tongs are working as before.

It's less about printing stupid little plastic things as it is about the freedom. 3D printing lets you create anything you need from scratch, instead of having to source a commercial product/part, or physically fabricate your part from wood or metal. You have unlimited freedom to create what you need without depending on anyone else. Even though some prints can take hours (and days), that's still faster than chasing down an international vendor to find an obscure part.

All kinds of things can go wrong (especially with DIY printers), and it's the constant R&D part I love the most. Sure, your printer could be stable and crank out stuff reliably, but where's the fun in that? There's always a new horizon. You can try to increase your print area, or fiddle with your print speed to make it faster, or try new materials, like wood or flexible material.

Do any old farts remember the PC kits in the 70s and 80s? When Radio Shack was relevant, they sold kits to build your own PC. It was a wild west - different parts weren't compatible. Lack of standards. Lack of codified "best practices" to describe how things ought to be done. It was a bunch of hackers figuring out what personal computers might be good for. Now we have multi-billion dollar industries, ISO standards, and university programs teaching "how computer stuff should be done". The hardware wild west is over. 3D printing today is where PCs were in the kit days. Nobody knows what the end game will look like because it's still changing so fast. It's exciting to be in on the chaotic action, and exciting to think what home manufacturing is going to look like in 20 years.

Babylon 5 was great. It had great characters and spanned a huge galactic war that you actually feel the enormity of. In most sci-fi I've seen, massive wars are never really felt - you're just sort of told there's a big war on, and maybe see some generic footage of a battle. In B5 you see the subterfuge that goes on before war begins. You follow the entire military campaign, and the desperate diplomacy that goes on throughout. You see the political aftereffects of the war and how one can never really "win the war".

There are hardly any fluff episodes in all of the 5 seasons. Nearly every episode advances the plot of the Shadow War to some degree. Damn, I think it's time for another Babylon 5 marathon!

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