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the captain
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« Reply #575 on: July 30, 2018, 04:19:42 PM »

Views are something I come to appreciate more as I get older. I'm not a photographer, a painter, or anything like that, but I do enjoy a few peaceful moments enjoying the beauty of the world. Water, in particular, brings me a certain internal peace, be it an ocean, a lake, a river, a creek.

Minnesota is bordered by North and South Dakota to the west. I've never been fond of that area, as it's basically flat prairies converted to huge farms since being settled in the 19th century. In the north we're bordered by Manitoba and Ontario, Canada, in mostly heavily wooded areas (known on the Minnesota side as the Boundary Waters area, a heavily protected natural site). In the east, Wisconsin, mostly woods and Lake Superior in the north and the Mississippi River and its accompanying valleys to the south. And in the south, Iowa, almost all farmland. (That's where I grew up, near the southern border.) It's a relatively diverse area in terms of the terrain.

As for bookstores, I'm afraid the big chain stores really forced many smaller or independent ones out of business ... and now are being driven out of business themselves by the lower prices at Amazon, etc. I prefer the independently owned stores that have some of the character of their owners or communities. Often that might end up as unfortunately showing the dull taste of the owner or community, but sometimes--like in Washburn at Chequamegon Books--you hit the jackpot. Many much larger towns than little old Washburn, Wisconsin, would be lucky to have that bookstore.
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« Reply #576 on: July 30, 2018, 05:10:34 PM »

the Captain - I have happy memories of childhood trips through Minnesoooota, all in the summer. I'm sure your winters put those in PA to shame. I like used books stores, as well. To me, they provide more of an adventure than a new bookseller.

RRA1 - The n-word is so emotionally laden because it was used to degrade and humiliate black people, both before and after slavery. I look forward to the NII link, if you find it.
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« Reply #577 on: July 31, 2018, 01:41:22 AM »

2Buckethead: You're smart, I don't doubt what you say, in fact I read sth. along the lines about n-word. But, I'm not just interested in the surface info but being very curious, I dig deep to get to the root as well. Going by the word, as I said before, it's very similar to African republic name Nigeria, I'm sure you know there IS such country. Next, "n.igger", iirc, is of Spanish origin. It translates "black". Compare to "negro" which means the same. As you see & hear around, Africans, African Americans etc. see no problem in referring to themselves as "blacks" - "I'm black" they say easily. I'd seen it many times. Which doesn't make sense hence question I directed to you, Buckethead - why is n-word emotionally lauded? I'd like to know the why & the how. How it developed into insult if it means black in the 1st place. Then posting in General Music Discussion "black singers", "black musicians" - many used & use this description - should be considered insult as well. I'm, you see, very strict about this all, i.e. if sth. is considered bad & sth. else basically meaning the same doesn't get "bad" label, it's not right in my eyes. I'm for equality & fairness. Logically, it doesn't make sense that "black" isn't equally insult, yet n-word is, despite the fact that, if we analyze the root, it isn't really bad word as it just means "black", word we use today & nobody says anything against it. I'd like you to answer question again, after attentively reading my reply.

2tc: That's why it's cold in MN - due to Canada. I see now. I gather it isn't popular tourist place since people usually choose going to warm places. In chatting with the other poster living there (hbig), he said that the main nationalities include Scandinavians &, among the others, Czechs. It's really curious info, I wouldn't think that many Czechs would settle in this specific state.
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« Reply #578 on: July 31, 2018, 02:08:25 AM »

There really needs to be a popcorn eating emoticon in this message board.  Grin
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« Reply #579 on: July 31, 2018, 06:07:54 AM »

RRA1, Minnesota is cold in winter (usually -17 to -40 C) but can be very hot in summer (32-35 C). And actually tourism is a major industry here, especially in summer, because of our lakes and forests. Many communities, particularly in the north and northeast, exist solely because of tourism. There is also some tourism in winter, largely based on winter-sports enthusiasts, but nowhere near as much.
 
Minnesota’s ethnic makeup is largely Scandinavian to the point of it being a joke, but I think the largest single country of origin would be Germany. But certainly Germans, Swedes, Danes, and Norwegians dominate ethnically. There were also waves of Irish and Polish in the early days of the state’s history. Then once the logging and mining industries really got going in the later 1800s, the northern part of the state saw immigration from the nations that were sending many immigrants at that time: Serbs, Croats, Finns, Italians, Poles, as well as a Jewish wave from Russia and various Eastern European countries, and some Asians. So northern Minnesota has some different roots than the bulk of the state. Then in the 1900s, after Vietnam, we had a large wave of immigrants brought in largely by churches, giving us what I think is the biggest Hmong population in America, followed by more recent (mostly since the 90s) waves of Somalians and Ethiopians, giving us the biggest Somalian population outside that country.
 
You didn’t ask me, but I’ll offer an answer anyway: the n-word is especially offensive because of how it was intended, not by the word itself. Certainly, we can all see its etymological roots, which are as harmless as any other word. And the word is sometimes used among some black people without offense. But when used offensively, it is taken offensively: and then because of the system under which it rose to prominence (slavery and post-slavery Jim Crow), it holds a special place as an insult.
 
Your line of thinking makes sense: I remember vividly when I argued as a child—7th grade, maybe?—with a teacher about swearing more generally (not that word). I argued that the words themselves obviously weren’t inherently offensive, because some of those words could be used in different context in which they weren’t considered swearing. And yet the meanings also weren’t offensive, because we used different words to mean the same thing, and those also weren’t considered swearing. I argued that it was silly to take offense at words that had no power other than a group of people deciding they were off limits.
 
But that’s just language. The intent and shared understanding is what matters. That’s why even though I personally don’t think any word is offensive—I don’t even think words themselves CAN be offensive, only thoughts—I’m also the “loser,” the outlier. I’m not going to go around casually using the ones that people generally find offensive, because however much I might say this word is nothing special, that won’t stop punches from landing on my face.
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« Reply #580 on: July 31, 2018, 03:56:09 PM »

RRA1 and the Captain -

The Captain expressed my thoughts on the topic of the n-word, albeit more eloquently than I would have. It is interesting about words. There is one that sounds similar to it, but actually has Old Norse roots, and means to be miserly - niggardly, with the i sounded as a long e. I've heard it used a few times over the years, always with others, out of ignorance, shaming the speaker/writer. That makes as much sense as getting exercised over someone saying regina as the British do, or recoiling at the term penal institution. (Dang. Why does using the italics option not simply italicize?)

I believe that Bob Dylan's (Robert Zimmerman's) grandparents came to MN in the 1910s. The Jewish community of Hibbing had to bring in a rabbi to prepare young Bob and his Jewish peers for their Bar Mitzvah. I once taught with a semi-retired school teacher from the town. He said that Bob's brother was the music teacher in the town's public school, a very nice guy who instructed all five of his kids.  IIRC, David Zimmerman played an integral role in the Minneapolis recordings on Blood on the Tracks and found local musicians, as well. Wonder what it's like to be Dylan's brother? 
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« Reply #581 on: July 31, 2018, 03:56:39 PM »

Oh, the italics icon worked!
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« Reply #582 on: August 02, 2018, 05:06:13 PM »

2Buckethead: When you type the reply, there's 3 buttons - "Post", "Preview", "Spell Check". Click "Preview", it'll display to you that the italics worked. The box where you type the reply doesn't display the end result. "Preview" does.
2tc: Looks like it's sharp continental state. Re: bad words, Real beach boy used to say here "You choose to be offended". What does it mean? Does it mean literally what the phrase says? Do you agree with the phrase? It's really puzzling. Btw, it doesn't matter who the question is directed to. If smb. answers - they answer. As long as it's not smartsy reply, cutesy smiley which doesn't add anything to discussion, short one-liner a la SB which doesn't add anything to discussion, ambiguous replies "Wow", "What", "Who?", "Hm" & such, it should be fine by interested parties.
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People divide into 3 groups - Nancy Sinatra fans, Nancy Sinatra haters, Nancy Sinatra whatevers. ("Riddles & Puzzles. Music Edition")

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« Reply #583 on: August 03, 2018, 07:06:01 AM »

Re: bad words, Real beach boy used to say here "You choose to be offended". What does it mean? Does it mean literally what the phrase says? Do you agree with the phrase? It's really puzzling.

I hate to speak for someone else, but I think TRBB meant it pretty much literally. There is a narrative in the general social/political world where he seems to fit that there is a culture in America of people who actively seek to be (or at least act) offended by everything, because then they can complain about the alleged offenders as being somehow oppressive. So if I were to be offended that you use some anti-male, or anti-white, or anti-American slur against me, as the victim, I am the person who gets the moral upper hand in a debate. The natural response is that people sympathize with the victim and against the violator. So, according to this line of thinking, people misuse or even invent victimhood to get the upper hand in debates: instead of equals debating a point, one is oppressor and one is oppressed, and the oppressed has the moral upper hand. That is the theory, and I am guessing that is what TRBB meant.

My response to this is probably more ambiguous than you're going to like, but I'll try it anyway. I think there is truth in that idea, but I don't think that idea is literally true. To truly be offended is often an emotional reaction, and I don't think we generally choose our emotions. People don't wake up and say "today I will be depressed!" but sometimes people wake up and are depressed. Ditto happy, angry, and yes, offended.

However, I do think that a person can understand emotions and manage them. I also agree to some extent that some people seem to enjoy manipulating other people, and one way to do that is by being a martyr or victim: it can be a cynical situation like I described above, or it could just be that a person enjoys the attention s/he gets from being in that position. I think even subconsciously people could choose to put themselves in that role repeatedly for that reason.

An example that isn't exactly the same, but is similar enough to show my point, is something I've noticed in my office over the years. We have had a few different executive assistants there who at first glance are terribly overworked: always drowning in tasks to be done, seemingly swimming in unfair work, the only person hanging on to order in an environment that could easily slide into chaos without her. But ... upon closer inspection over time, I would notice that many of this urgency and busyness was nonsense. Invented work. Entirely inessential. Made more complex than it had to be. It seems to me that these types of people simply like being seen as the only person holding things together, and more or less create an almost chaotic environment just to be seen in that way. They seem to like being in that role. I can't say whether they consciously choose it or subconsciously manifest it.

So to summarize, I don't literally or precisely agree with the phrase or idea, no. But I think there is something to it on some possibly subconscious or occasionally personality-quirk level.
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« Reply #584 on: August 03, 2018, 02:57:29 PM »

There are so many words and phrases that might offend that one could live in a constant state of the same: gyped on a deal, welched on a bet, got off scot free, want that with a side of fries, hun? They live among us. Then there are the "virtue signalers" who actively seek opportunities to correct people who might have said anything that might possible offend anyone, context and prior knowledge of the speaker be damned. Why? It makes them feel holier than thou, virtuous, if you will. I once dated a man who almost had me believing that I was homophobic because I surmised that a mutual acquaintance was gay. Period. No mocking, no derisive comments, no past indicators of such an attitude. He also gave me the silent treatment for an entire evening because I expressed, while watching yet another defendant on Judge Judy assert that she should not have to repay a loan to the plaintiff because he had money, that I was tired of seeing "those people" on the show. "Those people," I was informed, was only something racists say, so I must be racist. Never mind that the defendant was white! Personally, I build my self-esteem in other ways. I also choose not to be offended unless I have reason to believe that the person meant to be unkind or disrespectful.
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« Reply #585 on: August 04, 2018, 06:11:00 AM »

Quote
I hate to speak for someone else
Rbb doesn't post here (took personally Mike-bashing, maybe? Ha). I'd ask him directly otherwise.

Quote
My response to this is probably more ambiguous than you're going to like
It's fine. Phrase makes better sense now. Thanks.

Began to read "The Secret Of The Crooked Cat" ("Alfred Hitchcock & 3 Investigators" series). It tells tale about 3 Californian boys visiting travelling circus. Some boy won toy cat with pirate eye, smb. steals it, they find out sth.'s suspicious in the circus. Interesting what next.
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Short notice: the cat you see to the left is the best. Not counting your indoor cat who might have habit sitting at your left side when you post at SmileySmile.

People divide into 3 groups - Nancy Sinatra fans, Nancy Sinatra haters, Nancy Sinatra whatevers. ("Riddles & Puzzles. Music Edition")

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« Reply #586 on: August 11, 2018, 06:44:58 AM »

How are you enjoying the Hitchcock stories? I used to read a Hitchcock magazine, back in the 70s, with his short stories and others like them. I think I read "The Secret of the crooked Cat" somewhere else. As I recall, I enjoyed the realism of life in the circus back in the day - different from what the public saw.
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« Reply #587 on: August 12, 2018, 06:07:24 AM »

I jolly relate to Hitchcock's interest in frightful/ suspense/ detective/ mystery. Think I read he'd been fan since child times. The cat short is cool, thanks to ask. The book is divided into 2 shorts - "Crooked Cat" & "The Laughing Shadow". It's new investigation to the same 3 boys - main characters. I got the book for free - library each day leaves free books in windowsill in boxes. Some people take 10 at a time. I chose the said book. Do libraries in place you live do it, Buckethead? Isn't it cool to get freebies? 3D
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Short notice: the cat you see to the left is the best. Not counting your indoor cat who might have habit sitting at your left side when you post at SmileySmile.

People divide into 3 groups - Nancy Sinatra fans, Nancy Sinatra haters, Nancy Sinatra whatevers. ("Riddles & Puzzles. Music Edition")

Favorite poster: I don't hang posters in the wall. 'Kay?
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« Reply #588 on: August 12, 2018, 07:43:51 AM »

Oh, yes, libraries in my area frequently offer free books, as well as those for less than $1.00 to raise money. On man's trash is another man's treasure!
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« Reply #589 on: August 12, 2018, 08:23:12 AM »

Do the librarians really think the readers will pick between free & cheap books the books they must pay for? Doesn't make sense. See, I'm cheapskate, if I see sth. given for free - free food degustation in supermarket, free books, super easy competitions held at which you can win free prizes, free perfume using in some shops etc. - I go there. I figured everybody's like that? Yes? No?
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Short notice: the cat you see to the left is the best. Not counting your indoor cat who might have habit sitting at your left side when you post at SmileySmile.

People divide into 3 groups - Nancy Sinatra fans, Nancy Sinatra haters, Nancy Sinatra whatevers. ("Riddles & Puzzles. Music Edition")

Favorite poster: I don't hang posters in the wall. 'Kay?
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« Reply #590 on: August 12, 2018, 03:25:29 PM »

Usually, the books are either all free OR all cheap, but not at the same time. Yes, I prefer free everything.
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« Reply #591 on: August 17, 2018, 05:57:55 PM »

Re-reading The Book Thief and Animal Farm. My job this fall will be to teach social studies units paralleling each novel, a cross-curricular adventure, as it were. I've done this before, but I taught both the novel and the social studies connections/background. I'm nervous about having to coordinate with another teacher. Teachers can be a bit territorial!
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« Reply #592 on: August 17, 2018, 07:40:40 PM »

Re-reading The Book Thief and Animal Farm. My job this fall will be to teach social studies units paralleling each novel, a cross-curricular adventure, as it were. I've done this before, but I taught both the novel and the social studies connections/background. I'm nervous about having to coordinate with another teacher. Teachers can be a bit territorial!

Sounds like an interesting idea. Haven't read The Book Thief but read Animal Farm nearly 20 years ago and remember enjoying it a lot. What is your plan for the social studies component?
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« Reply #593 on: Yesterday at 10:02:42 AM »

The Book Thief is about a girl living in Munich during WWII, taken in by foster parents after her parents are taken away. She learns to read and steals books to read because she finds that sustaining while her world crumbles. I'll be teaching the Holocaust along with it, with an emphasis on
resilience, survivors, and rescuers; my students are girls who have experienced neglect and/or trauma. As far as Animal Farm is concerned, I'm going to focus on the conditions leading up to the Russian Revolution, the Revolution itself, and the aftermath under Stalin. Orwell wrote the novel as an allegory to all of this.  I'm especially excited about this, as my reading obsession for the past couple of years has been Russian history and the Imperial Family.
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