Author Topic: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread  (Read 974519 times)

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2littlemonkeys

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5850 on: October 10, 2012, 11:36:57 AM »
New stupid question:  Why is Samhain pronounced SOW-win?  Or, more precisely, why is SOW-win spelled samhain?  It starts with "s" and ends with "n", but the letters in the center have little or no association with their usual sounds.

I believe it's Celtic (or even outright Irish?) and the "mh" produces a different sound than one would expect.  Like the "bh" combonation makes a "V" sound.  (the name "Siobhan" is pronounced "Shi-vahn")

Snooks

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5851 on: October 10, 2012, 11:58:34 AM »
Older crossings in the UK go red instantly if you press them three times in quick succession, unfortunately it doesn't work for newer ones.

They do? How did I not know that?

I'm not sure if any still exist, there was on near me that used to do it and long long ago (maybe forty years ago) all the ones on Oxford Street and Regent Street used to do it.  Supposedly it was to allow police to cross busy roads quickly.  However it's an urban myth that flashing headlights/sirens trigger traffic lights to change.

Perfect Circle

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5852 on: October 10, 2012, 12:08:13 PM »
Older crossings in the UK go red instantly if you press them three times in quick succession, unfortunately it doesn't work for newer ones.

They do? How did I not know that?

I'm not sure if any still exist, there was on near me that used to do it and long long ago (maybe forty years ago) all the ones on Oxford Street and Regent Street used to do it.  Supposedly it was to allow police to cross busy roads quickly.  However it's an urban myth that flashing headlights/sirens trigger traffic lights to change.

I will be testing them out. If you read about a crazy woman pushing the buttons enthusiastically around the Home Counties that may be me.
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Luci

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5853 on: October 10, 2012, 12:38:06 PM »
New question.

I watch too much bar and restaurant rescue type shows. One guy said that about 60% of people check Yelp! or look at reviews before going to a new place.

I don't because all I care about usually is cleanliness and odor. The few times I have checked, it's just out of curiousity about places I am familiar with.

I get a chuckle when people hate our Culver's. They seem to expect fine dining or expect lower fast food prices. Hey! It's clean, has a diverse menu served quickly with a smile and usually well prepared with foods of a better quality than other fast food places. I love it for what it is.

Our middle dining local Italian restaurant serves only fresh food or prepared food that day (lasagna, soups), has large portions for the price and servers are well-trained. It's a little slow, but then again, it's never been over 25 minutes and has always been well presented. The reviews complained about the prices (same as Olive Garden, really), odd foods (well described on the menu), and slow service. The most complimentary comment was that the decor is nice. Our whole extended family loves it.

Another place is highly praised. I walked out after I tried to sit in three different (upholstered) chairs that were filthy - sticky and crusty. A quick glance indicated that most of the chairs were like that. We had been there several years ago and it was OK. I don't think they have ever shampooed the chairs and I shudder to think what that says about the back kitchen.

Sorry for so much detail, but I want to make may point, which really is, "Do you check reviews and go by them? I don't."

Mental Magpie

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5854 on: October 10, 2012, 12:40:41 PM »
It depends on how much I "want".  If I really want to go despite it having a 3 star review, I'll go to find out for myself.  I also look to see how many 1 star vs 5 star reviews there are.  If there are a lot of 1 star reviews and only about half more 5 star, I probably won't go.  If there are 6 1 star and 200+ 5 star, I'll go.  I read the best and the worst reviews all with a grain of salt; I just want to make an informed decision, even if that means I'm informed that the service is slow and I still go.
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Slartibartfast

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5855 on: October 10, 2012, 12:45:17 PM »
It depends on where you live, too.  If you're in a big city and you're craving Japanese, you probably have half a dozen places within twenty minutes of you.  If you're in a small town, you might be lucky to have one.  When you've got more choices, you're more likely to look up reviews as a way to make a decision among restaurants you've never been to.

o_gal

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5856 on: October 10, 2012, 12:59:51 PM »
^ Somebody told me that the door close button in the elevator doesn't actually do anything; it just makes the pusher feel like they're doing something.  I don't ride in many elevators so I haven't had a chance to see if that's true.

I can't seem to find a reference, however I believe that is a myth and that in fact a non-functioning close button would render the elevator non-compliant with safety standards.

It was in the NOVA episode "Trapped in an Elevator" that originally aired a couple of years ago. In it, an engineer from one of the elevator companies stated that by design, the close button doesn't work, they just put it in there to make people feel like they are doing something. He didn't say it in a joking manner, more in a "here's the real scoop on the close button". But that's all the evidence I have.

Nibsey

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5857 on: October 10, 2012, 02:25:56 PM »
New stupid question:  Why is Samhain pronounced SOW-win?  Or, more precisely, why is SOW-win spelled samhain?  It starts with "s" and ends with "n", but the letters in the center have little or no association with their usual sounds.

It's old Irish. The month of November in modern Irish is na Samhna and Halloween is Oíche Shamhna (night of November) and the festival is Samhain. In Irish Sa is a 'so' sound, mh is a 'w' sound and ain is a 'in' sound.
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Elfmama

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5858 on: October 10, 2012, 02:35:30 PM »
New stupid question:  Why is Samhain pronounced SOW-win?  Or, more precisely, why is SOW-win spelled samhain?  It starts with "s" and ends with "n", but the letters in the center have little or no association with their usual sounds.

I believe it's Celtic (or even outright Irish?) and the "mh" produces a different sound than one would expect.  Like the "bh" combonation makes a "V" sound.  (the name "Siobhan" is pronounced "Shi-vahn")
Yes, it's Gaelic (Celtic refers to a lot of things, not just language.)  One of our Irish members may chime in here, but looking at it from an American's point of view, in Irish Gaelic, 'h' after a letter means "backspace and delete."  That is, you eliminate both the preceding letter and the 'h.' 

Except when it doesn't.  Siobhan is the poster child for this.  I believe it also has something to do with the vowels and whether they are 'broad' or 'slender.'  Don't ask me to explain what THOSE are!  :D I have no idea.

The classic name to illustrate this is "Mathghamhan."  The Anglicized version is "Mahon."
 
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Virg

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5859 on: October 10, 2012, 02:42:35 PM »
Snooks wrote:

"However it's an urban myth that flashing headlights/sirens trigger traffic lights to change."

For headlights, it doesn't work.  For strobe lights, it does, as long as the signal has a strobe sensor, and most emergency vehicles (the kinds that would have a siren in the first place) will have strobes to trigger them.

o_gal wrote:

"It was in the NOVA episode "Trapped in an Elevator" that originally aired a couple of years ago. In it, an engineer from one of the elevator companies stated that by design, the close button doesn't work, they just put it in there to make people feel like they are doing something."

I just went out and did some testing with our elevator.  Without pushing the button, the door took eight seconds to close after opening every single time.  When I pushed the button at five seconds, the door reacted by closing immediately every time.  I can't answer for your particular engineer, but I suspect he's either shining on the viewers or he's alone in his understanding.

Virg

exitzero

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5860 on: October 10, 2012, 03:06:27 PM »
Snooks wrote:

"However it's an urban myth that flashing headlights/sirens trigger traffic lights to change."

For headlights, it doesn't work.  For strobe lights, it does, as long as the signal has a strobe sensor, and most emergency vehicles (the kinds that would have a siren in the first place) will have strobes to trigger them.

o_gal wrote:

"It was in the NOVA episode "Trapped in an Elevator" that originally aired a couple of years ago. In it, an engineer from one of the elevator companies stated that by design, the close button doesn't work, they just put it in there to make people feel like they are doing something."

I just went out and did some testing with our elevator.  Without pushing the button, the door took eight seconds to close after opening every single time.  When I pushed the button at five seconds, the door reacted by closing immediately every time.  I can't answer for your particular engineer, but I suspect he's either shining on the viewers or he's alone in his understanding.

Virg

I read somewhere that the close door button will work in older elevators, but in anything built since the 90's, it's there to give people something to push.

TootsNYC

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5861 on: October 10, 2012, 03:39:15 PM »
I don't believe that one--I work in a newish building, and ours work.

I would believe that they have been programmed to not *always* react immediately.


Nibsey

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5862 on: October 10, 2012, 03:49:17 PM »
New stupid question:  Why is Samhain pronounced SOW-win?  Or, more precisely, why is SOW-win spelled samhain?  It starts with "s" and ends with "n", but the letters in the center have little or no association with their usual sounds.

I believe it's Celtic (or even outright Irish?) and the "mh" produces a different sound than one would expect.  Like the "bh" combonation makes a "V" sound.  (the name "Siobhan" is pronounced "Shi-vahn")
Yes, it's Gaelic (Celtic refers to a lot of things, not just language.)  One of our Irish members may chime in here, but looking at it from an American's point of view, in Irish Gaelic, 'h' after a letter means "backspace and delete."  That is, you eliminate both the preceding letter and the 'h.' 

Except when it doesn't.  Siobhan is the poster child for this.  I believe it also has something to do with the vowels and whether they are 'broad' or 'slender.'  Don't ask me to explain what THOSE are!  :D I have no idea.

The classic name to illustrate this is "Mathghamhan."  The Anglicized version is "Mahon."

It's more like the h is silent and changes the pronunciation of the preceding letter. So, for example,  j, q, v, w, x, y and z aren't in the Irish alphabet so if you wanted to make a 'j' sound , you'd use dh, A 'w' is bh etc depending if it's broad or slender which is more about accent. Like the phrase, you have a broad accent. (even though I don't know if other countries use this phrase).  :)
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GreenHall

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5863 on: October 10, 2012, 03:52:26 PM »
re: Elevator 'Door Close' buttons, in my recent experience (building built in the last 15+/- yrs) the close door button did NOT work if you hit it immediately upon entering the elevator.  It did work if you waited a bit; and generally after the 'Door Open' button was used.   
As previously mentioned I had the hardest time using the Door Open button, as I always got flustered making sure  I did not use the Door Close button, and the hesitation time was sometimes enough that the door closed.

With crosswalks, for the longest time I thoroughly believed those buttons only existed to make you think you were doing something while the light cycle continued on its normal course.  I don't know if they are better maintained now, actually programmed now, or if it's because I work on a college campus now, (or if i just developed some modicum of patience finally) but there are some that now work.  I've waited through light cycles when I got to the corner and did NOT push the button because others were already there...that'll learn me.

On the stupid question front...have I finally at an embarrassingly advanced age figured out how crosswalk signals work?  If I am walking directly across the street, I push the button that parallels my walk.  If I am turning, I need to hit the perpendicular button? 
(Not that this helps when the button post is skewed in such a way that even that overdue understanding is no help.  A lot of times, I just hit both buttons to be sure...

jpcher

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5864 on: October 10, 2012, 06:48:49 PM »
On the stupid question front...have I finally at an embarrassingly advanced age figured out how crosswalk signals work?  If I am walking directly across the street, I push the button that parallels my walk.  If I am turning, I need to hit the perpendicular button?
(Not that this helps when the button post is skewed in such a way that even that overdue understanding is no help.  A lot of times, I just hit both buttons to be sure...

Green -- This would be my understanding, even if the buttons are a bit skewed, hit the one that's closest to the direction you are walking.

Bold -- In which case, I'm betting that you're negating pushing any button at all. :-\