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Don Edwards

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Don Edwards last won the day on April 6

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  1. Warn her, apologize in advance, and let her know you appreciate her. In fact, even when everything is going great, let her know you appreciate her.
  2. One thing we can say with a fair degree of confidence: Arthur doesn't know just where the tipping point that triggers a magic reset is. Apparently even Pandora, who is almost certainly the oldest of the immortals, isn't old enough to fully remember the most recent reset. Archaeological finds are unlikely to be sufficiently detailed to pin down just how prevalent magic was just before the reset - or whether there might be other factors that affected the exact timing of the reset, allowing magic to become more (or less) prevalent after the reset is triggered but before it happened.
  3. story

    Except that in some versions of the multiverse theory, every universe (and therefore every collection of those universal constants) that could exist, does. (Or, perhaps, did or will. Depending on how time relates from one universe to another.) Therefore, all the combinations that allow for star and planet formation exist. We think this one is special - and it is, to us - because we can see it. But somewhere out there is another planet inhabited by sapient beings. They refer to themselves as "us" and the place they live as "here", and they gaze at the stars and wonder if they are the only ones...
  4. np

    Quite a few prophets (deliberately not naming names or making any universal generalizations) are the result of falsified books...
  5. story

    What if Susan were to somehow become aware that Pandora was in her trunk checking out the contents?
  6. How can you tell the difference? ;-)
  7. But we don't know if her fairies can summon stuff...
  8. story

    Unless Pandora is totally beside herself, my record of incorrect predictions remains intact.
  9. story

    I'm thinking Pandora... But then I have a perfect record on predictions like that, so far unmarred by any taint of accuracy.
  10. np

    The TV show "Untold Stories of the ER" had a great one of these. Patient shows up in the ER complaining of pain, doctor gives her a tiny bit of morphine and proceeds to spend a couple hours running all sorts of tests on her... concludes that she's a junkie looking for a free fix. Tells her she won't get any more pain meds that day at that hospital. She leaves. A bit later, Doc calls his brother. Different ER. Brother looks up at the whiteboard showing current status of patients in the ER, says "yes, she's here, she just came in." Shortly thereafter, doc walks in to talk to the patient, holding printouts of all the test results from the other hospital - sent by his identical-twin brother - and says "Now, ma'am, I told you, we aren't going to give you any more pain medicine." She gets a panicky look on her face, grabs her coat, and leaves.
  11. np

    Before I start reading the thread: Grace changes outfits The customer changes MtF Tensaided loses about seven sides The color pattern of the comics on the counter inverts The posters above the racks on the far wall get rearranged One of these times Dan's going to do something with the counter itself. I missed Grace's hair being longer. I don't think it's clearly wavier; Grace's head is in a different position and that could easily be more than sufficient to explain the slight change.
  12. Get on a website that does price comparisons on drugs. Such as this one: https://www.goodrx.com/?c=gemini I did that the other day and we're switching pharmacies. My lady's monthly prescription cost is going to drop from over $700 to under $200. edit: oops, it looks like you can't save any money on that particular drug... in fact, apparently you have insurance that will still be paying over $150 for your prescription. However, still go check, maybe you can save a bundle on *other* prescriptions.
  13. And for intelligent monsters that have cultures, assume their culture is influenced by intelligent beings (such as themselves). Let's consider, for example, werewolves. Ones that retain human-level intelligence in all their forms. Do they openly rule over the humans in their world? Then they may regard the humans as inferior-but-still-people, or as their cattle. In either case they won't appreciate the werewolf who goes on a bloodthirsty rampage, slaughtering some random human every night. Do they live in secrecy, fearing the humans' greater numbers? Then they will regard that bloodthirsty werewolf as a serious threat - if he's discovered, the humans might go looking for OTHER werewolves. Do they have some other dynamic of coexistence? Then they'll worry that the bloodthirsty werewolf will upset the stability of that dynamic. Are they so numerous that non-werewolf humans are the subject of myth? Then the bloodthirsty werewolf's victims are, they will assume, other werewolves; this is clearly murder. In other words, werewolves hate - and will hunt down and dispose of - the slavering slaughtering bloodthirsty werewolf. Quite possibly even more eagerly than the humans will.
  14. It's what supercomputers are nowadays (albeit one could argue a bit about "normal" - the individual processing engines do tend to be rather high-powered). According to top500, the ten fastest supercomputers (as of last November) range from 200,000 to over 10 million processing cores. I don't think they put those on one chip. For that matter, it's what the biggest computers have been for quite a while. I went to college in the late 1970s, and the college's main computer system was a pair of CDC 6500's and a CDC 6600 - all picked up as surplus, so they were a bit old THEN - which collectively had (if I remember correctly) four central processors plus 32 peripheral processors which did all the I/O and actually ran the OS. (The CPUs were slave computing engines.) I don't recall there being a mechanism to specify which machine my programs would run on; it frankly didn't matter. In the last decade of my career as a professional programmer I was watching two apparently-contradictory trends converge. One was to cluster multiple off-the-shelf computers and storage devices together into a single massive virtual machine. The other was to divide a single computer into several dedicated virtual machines. Why would these trends converge? Because you could do BOTH - gaining you the advantage of an extremely fault-tolerant system (if the massive machine assembly was done right) and also the advantage of independent, single-purpose machines (so a failure of one process cannot crash other processes simply because they are running on the same machine). And you can reconfigure the system for different requirements just by stopping a few virtual machines and starting a few others, e.g. cut from six clustered web servers to two and start four clustered machines that do your overnight batch processing, with no extra hardware cost.
  15. There is also such a thing as convergent evolution. Dolphins (the aquatic mammals) are not closely related to swallows (the birds) but have pretty much the same overall head-and-body shape. Hyenas are quite wolf-like (in both appearance and behavior) to the average non-specialist person but are more closely related to cats; fruit bats and carnivorous (mostly insectivorous) bats look quite similar but the former are almost-primates while the latter are almost-rodents; ferrets and mongooses look quite similar, but ferrets are related to dogs while mongooses are related to cats; the basic form and lifestyle of the mole (a common underground lawn pest) has apparently evolved at least three times, once in marsupials and twice - one is extinct - in mammals. It's a reasonable bet that most non-sedentary water-breathing life in the oceans of another world will bear a strong resemblance to SOME sort of non-sedentary water-breathing life that exists, or used to exist, on earth, even if there is precisely zero common ancestry all the way back to the level of the stray interstellar-wandering amino-acid-bearing speck of dust. (And if they happen to resemble fish, human colonists will call them fish.) (Of course, a good case can be made that we shouldn't colonize worlds with life on them.) (The second half of that link reflects on a question asked on the previous comic page.)