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Author Topic:   Humour VIII
dwise1
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Posts: 4639
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.5


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Message 1275 of 1309 (884288)
02-06-2021 5:44 PM
Reply to: Message 1273 by Phat
02-06-2021 11:21 AM


Re: computers
Doesn't really apply directly to your images (funny and poignant those), but still kind of applies.

I worked light construction with my father, a master carpenter and general contractor, for 8 years in high school and college -- when I enlisted, one of the hardest concepts I had to try to deal with was that I had weekends off.

As I learned construction skills, in the back of my mind I was always asking how they used to do it before power tools. We would use a power tool, a roto-hammer, to drill holes into concrete. Then on one project we used the old tech, a star-bit (basically a cold chisel with an X instead of a straight edge; I still have one). Everybody has used a power router, but I have a hand router (a tool with a cutting edge you can set to a given depth). Here's another one from another field, cooking. Look at Townsends on YouTube for how they used to cook in the 1700's (eg, their comparisons of kitchens then and now, Historic Kitchens vs. Modern Kitchens). In professional kitchens we have a special broiler called a "salamander" in which toppings are broiled or melted or turned into crème brûlée (back to medieval times, salamanders were considered elemental creatures of fire). An 18th-century salamander was an iron disk attached to a long handle, so you would heat the iron disk in your oven (or its embers before you emptied it) and then position it directly over the dish to be broiled from above.

There was one particularly stupid and utterly false creationist claim that I became aware of when a local creationist repeated it (he absolutely refused to support it, but wanted me to call his source instead) and then I also found it on Answers in Genesis. These creationists tried to claim that "secular" anthropologists think that ancient man in historical or late-pre-historical times were "ape men". Uh, hello!? Whichever scientist ever said such an utterly stupid thing? So then creationists are nothing that a bunch of f*cking liars? So what else is new?

Another tack. OK, so how intelligent are non-human apes? Firework Girl (AKA "Hanabiko", AKA "Koko", the famous National Geographic cover girl) was a gorilla who was given intelligence tests. She scored 85 to 90 -- the low score is attributed to species bias in the test, since the question of where you would seek shelter in a rain storm was species biased to go to the house instead of going under a tree.

Scoring 85 to 90 on an intelligence test measures favorably with some lower humans (sorry, but they do exist). Now to apply a mathematical practice that has been obsoleted by scientific calculators (more on that later), interpolation, we have several millions of years of evolution from us and our common ancestor with gorillas (actually, we are much more closely related to chimpanzees, but we have to work with what we have to work). So just for argument's sake, lets falsely assume 3 million years separation between us and gorillas (far too small, from my understanding) -- you chooses your orifices, you takes your chances. Let's also overestimate the date of prehistory at 30,000 years (just to make the math come out much more cleanly). 30,000 / 3,000,000 = 1/1000.

OK, so according to this creationist argument, 30,000 years ago we would expect humans to be one-one-thousandth less intelligent than modern man. So instead of an IQ of 100, we would expect those "ape-men" to have an IQof about 99.9. So how much different from modern human intelligence is that supposed to be?

Here are a few counter/parallel examples to your images.

I'm not even sure how I had ended up acquiring this book. It was published in 1914 and was an arithmetic text for schools grades 1 to ? -- it starts with counting and ends with a few pages on doing bookkeeping in shops.

A common exercise throughout the book are mental exercises in which the class would be drilled in performing arithmetic exercises in their heads. That was not a part of my own arithmetic experience in the 50's and 60's. But we did still do the work on paper.

In the late 60's when I was in high school, electronic calculators came out. Basic 4-bangers (ie, basic 4 arithmetic operations plus that extraneous do-nothing percentage key that I never ever had any use for) cost $300.

In my high school algebra class, we had one student, a white guy BTW, who pronounced everything as "white man magic" -- I still remember his name, but will not reveal it. As the pocket calculators came out in the late 60's, my father kept saying that what made them work was "chips", but he didn't understand what that meant. As I learned more about electronics, I learned that answer.

Around 1968, a four-banger pocket calculator would cost you $300. When I transferred to a four-year college around 1971, a scientific calculator would easily cost you between $200 and $300. Around 1978, I bought one at our base exchange for about $35.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1273 by Phat, posted 02-06-2021 11:21 AM Phat has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1276 by jar, posted 02-06-2021 6:09 PM dwise1 has responded

  
dwise1
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Posts: 4639
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 1277 of 1309 (884290)
02-06-2021 8:08 PM
Reply to: Message 1276 by jar
02-06-2021 6:09 PM


Re: computers
Not sure what you are trying to say here.

There was a calculator which I possessed and I saw that somebody else had. It might have been a Texas Instruments (TI). It had a cover with touch-sensitive pads. It was the only one I had seen which handled mixed fractions. I think it was also powered with photo cells.

My main stand-alone calculator is an hP 20S. Algebraic notation (ie, with parentheses and all). I also still have my hP16C from far too many decades ago which could perform binary operations I forget how far out.

Funny-ish story. Around 1980 I was in a class run by our computer science department chair and he had to perform a calculation, so I offered my TI calculator. He had no idea how to use it, since he was more used to Hewlitt Packard's RPN (reverse-Polish notation, AKA post-fix).

In software development, there was a personal boasting item about that piece of software you wrote that both compliled and worked the first time ever. Every single programmer remembers that event.

In our compiler design class, we learned the yard switching algorithm for converting an algebraic expression's infix notation to prefix notation (which is almost trivial to evaluate on a stack). Our programming assignments were to implement that yard switching algorithm on an infix string, and then to evaluate it. That was my personal compiled and ran the first time code.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1276 by jar, posted 02-06-2021 6:09 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1278 by jar, posted 02-06-2021 8:24 PM dwise1 has responded

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 4639
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.5


(2)
Message 1279 of 1309 (884298)
02-07-2021 2:35 PM
Reply to: Message 1278 by jar
02-06-2021 8:24 PM


Re: computers
I'm sure that that was my TI-35 which I handed our department chair to use, but he only knew RPN. I had bought it a year or two before at the exchange for about $35.

The way that prices for calculators fell was phenomenal. The first calculator I saw was a 4-banger (ie, + - × ÷) that fit in a shirt pocket and sold for about $350. In college around 1971, I saw hP scientific calculators being sold for about $250. Being a foreign language major who basically aced the math section of the placement exams, I wasn't in the market for a calculator. I bought my first calculator, manufactured by a company in Cupertino, for a decent price in Germany in 1973 -- I had to explain to the clerk what "on" and "off" meant. I think it had trig and log functions. The TI-35 that I bought around 1979 was my second calculator. Also, I saw some innovative calculators in Germany. For example, in 1974 I saw a slightly oversized slide rule with a 4-banger calculator built in. Weird.

My TI-35 was at the time that I had switched to computer science plus taking EE classes for fun (ie, to augment my technician training). Around 1980 I got a TI-58 programmable. It included built-in programs stored in a ROM module that you could swap out with other modules of programs (eg, their Electrical Engineering module). I then upgraded to a TI-59 which was basically the same product except it included a magnetic card reader with which you could store and reload your own programs. I also got the thermal paper printer for them.

After that, I got a few more calculators over the years. Around 1990 I got an hP 16C (the programmer's model) for the increased precision for binary operations. It was also where I got my experience with RPN ("Reverse Polish Notation", AKA post-fix). There was also that one that included mixed-fraction operations (giving the results as fractions). And my hP 20S that is on my desk. And over the decades, I still kept a slide rule in my briefcase as a back-up.

Remember that every programmer remembers his first program that ran correctly the first time. Our Computer Science Dept chair told us the story of his. It was his first programming class and their assignment was to enter and store two integers, then retrieve them, add them, and store the sum in a third memory location. The problem was that it was on an early model IBM (¿an IBM 701?) which used a magnetic drum as its main memory, so part of writing your program included calculating drum rotation delay times in order to be able to access those specific memory locations. He kept procrastinating until he had to go into the lab late the night before the assignment was due. And somehow his very first attempt at that program worked.

Also for old desktop calculators, check out this YouTube video by Cliff Stoll: An astonishing old calculator - Numberphile -- An astonishing old calculator - Numberphile

The thing about building registers and RAM is that you make them out of circuits called flip-flops which will latch and store one of two values. In order to do that with discrete components like transistors, you need at the very least two transistors, but normally end up with 4 to 8 more transistors for interface and control. Anything built like that becomes too big too quickly.

{ABE: Refer to that Wikipedia link for sample schematics. Basically, a bistable multivibrator (AKA "flip-flop") has two outputs: the main one, Q, and the inverse of it, Q' ("Q-not"). Those two outputs represent the outputs of the two main transistors (or vacuum tubes, whatever you're using). The basic design of a flip-flop has the output from one transistor feeding back to the input of the other (eg, feeding back the collector voltage of one bipolar junction transistor (BJT) to the base of the other) in order to keep it in its current state. The control interface is then how you change the state of the flip-flop. The concept is really quite simple. }

So this calculator went with a different technology. The base has a coil of a kind of piano wire which serves as a delay line for the data to travel along as shock waves. An Air Force correspondence course also described magneto-strictive wire delay lines. It's also the same basic idea as the mercury pool delay line memories in early electronic computers -- re-read the first page of Isaac Asimov's first robot novel, The Caves of Steel.

Edited by dwise1, : ABE


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1278 by jar, posted 02-06-2021 8:24 PM jar has not yet responded

  
dwise1
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Posts: 4639
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 1282 of 1309 (884306)
02-08-2021 9:55 PM
Reply to: Message 1280 by Percy
02-08-2021 11:33 AM


Re: computers
My experience with Ada was around 1984. Ada was this behemoth that everybody with a DoD contract would be required to use. But there were many problems which were still outstanding at the time.

Part of the problem was the requirements for the compiler. You were only allowed to use a validated compiler (which had to be re-validated every six months), but at that time no compiler had yet to be validated. A validated compiler had to support the entire language specification (which included multiprocessing -- a multiprocessing class I took later had us using TinyADA, which was definitely not up to standard and did not play very well on Windows OSes that didn't yet support preemptive multitasking). I think our company's classes (Ford Aerospace) had a non-validated Ada compiler set up in the UCSD p-system, which was weird enough to start with.

As I mentioned, the competitors were identified by color and it was the Green Language presented by CII Honeywell Bull and based on Pascal that won. Therefore, the US Govt printing of the language specification for Ada, MIL-STD-1815, was bound in green -- I have the Springer Verlag printing, which is bound in silver, as was their printing of the Pascal standard which I also have stashed away somewhere.

As I described, because nobody in aerospace could do any work in Ada, they switched over to using Pascal as a stepping-stone. It was fascinating to see how other programmers would use Pascal, which was originally designed to teach top-down structured programming. My own background as the only Computer Science graduate in my department was very much based in structured programming. One programmer was a FORTRAN type, so her programs were page after page after page of the same code but with different variables. When I inherited her code, I converted her 2-page blocks of code into a procedure which I would call with new arguments and cut the length of her source code to about a sixth of what it used to be. Another programmer had used his decades of assembly language programming to structure his Pascal program as a continuous loop in which he would set flags and then act upon them within that loop. I ended up having to rewrite his code.

The funny thing about Pascal was that it was designed to be almost minimal. Niklaus Wirth at a Swiss technical high school (not the same thing as in the USA) designed it in order to teach the principles of structured programming, not to meet any industrial needs. As a result, any commercial compiler would have to be extended considerably in order to serve the needs of the customers. As a result, they invoked an idea of p-code (ie, "pseudo-code") wherein a Pascal compiler would generate fake code for a fake CPU which you would need to feed through an interpreter for your particular non-fake system. The idea was that whatever extensions your particular compiler would need to implement would result in those extensions being implemented in p-code and hence could be run on any computer system with a p-code interpreter. That didn't work so well for Pascal wherein to port compiled p-code to another computer required physically transporting a spool of tape, but when Java did the same thing with its bytecode with the World Wide Web to port its bytecode to any possible OS on the Web, that changed things a bit. BTW, I have the BYTE Book of Pascal which contains an article that describes that p-code instruction set.

Funny story. Although I graduated with my BS Computer Science in 1979, I was still obligated to serve in active duty until 1982, so I took more CS and EE classes at the local university. In 1980, I took my first class in Pascal, though that involved a bit of international smuggling. Our university used an IBM S/370 which our students also had accounts on. So did a university up in Winnipeg (AKA "The Peg"). The Australian Atomic Energy Commission (AAEC) and the Tokyo Institute of Technology (TIT) jointly developed a Pascal compiler. That compiler ended up on the computer in the Peg. One day, someone from our university drove up to the Peg with a spool of tape, copied that compiler, brought it back across the border, and installed it on our university's computer system. After which we started offering a class in Pascal, which I took. And as a result, in my first post-service civilian job not only was I the only one in the Software Development Department with an actual degree in Computer Science, but I was also the only one with any kind of prior training in Pascal.

And to reiterate, within a decade the emphasis shifted from Ada to COTS.

Context. In a defense contract, there's a need that they feel and a way to fill that need. Not having worked at that level, I would assume that there are various levels of need being felt.

My first post-service job was Ford Aerospace's DIVAD (Division Air Defense) project, also named "Sgt York." A tank with twin 40mm Bofors guns guided by search and tracking radar with a range of about 10 km (or miles -- I forget which). The official reason for the project's cancellation was that the threat (hovering helicopter platforms) had extended their own weapons ranges outside of the Sgt York's.

There were also development issues. As described to us, basically when you want to develop a new weapon system, it takes about 11 years. That is caused by your having to stop development a few times so that the government can come in and thoroughly test your design. Sgt York was being handled differently as a kind of experiment. Instead of design-stop-design-stop, they decided to do the testing while the design was still in progress. That would accelerate the design cycle from 11 years to only 8 years. But it also allowed design problems to surface where least expected: eg, latrine fans developing the same kind of radar modulation typical of helicopters. BTW, that thing about the grandstand filled with brass being targeted, that was an issue with software stops that had somehow not been enabled. As a DS Navy Chief, I also did the courses for Fire Control Technician (FTC). To keep your ship's guns from blowing holes in the ship superstructure, FTCs establish stops within which the guns will not fire. Same thing.

Our company was eventually acquired by Hewlett Packard, who I think paid more attention to ADA than we did, but HP botched our acquisition sufficiently that I decided to leave, so I don't know much about HP and ADA. But I do know tons of people from HP, and ADA never gets mentioned.

I served my last decade in the Navy Reserve in the VTU, the "Voluntary Training Unit", mostly as either the XO or the acting CO (mainly since I was the one who kept reporting and so carried the organizational memory in my noggin). Basically, we no longer qualified to be paid, but we continued to accrue retirement points. For some sailors, that was the only way they could hope to complete their 20 years of service for retirement, though I understand that those rules had changed after I retired (with 35 years) in 2011.

The VTU was manned three-fold. First, there were those who were being administratively separated -- basically those who were not reporting to drills as required (that could open us up to all kinds of discussion) -- we called them our "ghosts" who would never ever report, so at Commander's Call (which I attended for several years) the VTU always reported deficient in that respect for good cause (chasing down ghosts? Who ye gonna call?) for what is the regional command going to do about it? Second were the enlisted members who had no yet met their 20 years obligated service in order to retire. Third were the commissioned officers who did not have a billet.

Yeah, those commissioned officers. The Navy Reserve has a list of jobs. More officers than jobs for officers. Every two years, the officers apply for billets, for jobs. Many don't get jobs, so they wind up in the VTU. Some get those jobs (one weekend, we lost all our officers because of sudden openings in billets).

 
The reason for bringing that up is that Navy leadership had built into it a rotation rate of two years. Within the life-cycle of commissioned officers, the military wants its officers to get a wide range of experience, so an officer's normal rotation of duty is about two years. In the VTU, an officer's cycle for application for a billet is two years. Do we see the pattern here? That meant that for every leadership change, policy change, in another two years it would probably change to something else.

After the early-mid-80's, most of the emphasis went to COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) such that that was the hot new buzzword in military publications (yes, we had our own magazines -- consider that some of Walter Brown's primary sources for his bogus "earth spin slowing down" claim were Air Force publications about GPS). So within a few years (relatively speaking), the mandate for everything being done in Ada had shifted to using whatever just happened to be available in the market. We could spend several very productive hours discussing the pros and cons of the Ada mandate -- extremely good reasons and reasoning for it, but impractical for most kinds of procurement.

Last I heard, Ada was still being used for highly critical software, such as for Boeing's satellite applications. Which makes sense.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1280 by Percy, posted 02-08-2021 11:33 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 4639
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 1291 of 1309 (886974)
06-22-2021 6:04 PM


MisterDeity: Qonspiracy Warehouse
The latest from misterdeity showing how the sausage of conspiracy theories is made (never a pretty sight):

At the end the buyer also wants space lasers:


"He wants the space lasers."
"Be sure to let him know that their orbits are circumscribed."
"You hear that?"
"Yeah. That's awesome. Circumcised space lasers is even better."

Share and enjoy!

 
PS

I clued in on the origin of the Jewish space lasers when QAnon Betty (AKA Marjorie Taylor Greene) mentioned power transmission satellites malfunctioning. That would move the likely source away from SPECTRE's diamond-powered space laser in Diamonds Are Forever and to physicist and space activist Gerard K. O'Neill's 1977 book, The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space. The design of the Babylon 5 station was based on the space colony design he presented in his book. And, yes, the photo of O'Neill does have him sporting a Vulcan haircut with Starfleet sideburns.

O'Neill proposed that the space colony economy would be based on building enormous solar power stations that would then transmit power via microwave beams to receiver stations on the earth's surface. That sounds like what QAnon Betty was kind of describing in her "Secret Jewish Space Lasers" claim. Though she should have been talking about masers instead of lasers since those satellites were to be using microwave transmissions.

FWIW, I'll be wearing my "Secret Jewish Space Laser Corps" t-shirt when my skeptics group meets in person next month. Mazel Tough!

Edited by dwise1, : fixed utube tag (when did that change)?

Edited by dwise1, : the space colony economy would be based on


  
dwise1
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Posts: 4639
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.5


(1)
Message 1292 of 1309 (886991)
06-26-2021 8:25 PM


How Many ... to Screw in a Light Bulb?
How many Christians does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Nobody knows -- as of yet none of them can agree on the right way to do it.


  
dwise1
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Posts: 4639
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 1305 of 1309 (887081)
07-07-2021 1:58 PM
Reply to: Message 1302 by Phat
07-07-2021 4:48 AM


Re: This IS The Humor Topic, after all
quote:
Jesus and Moses Go Golfing

Jesus and Moses are out golfing. Jesus keeps going on and on that Arnold Palmer is such a great golf player, which is starting to irritate Moses.

At a water hazard, Moses suggests they play around it, but Jesus insists that he can make the shot: "Arnold Palmer could make that shot, so I can too."

Jesus shoots and it goes into the water. He tells Moses to fetch the ball, so Moses parts the water, walks out and gets Jesus' ball, then puts the water back upon returning to shore.

"If Arnold Palmer could make this shot, then so can I." He shoots, it goes into the water again, and he has Moses fetch it again.

"If Arnold Palmer could make this shot, then so can I." He shoots, it goes into the water again, and he orders Moses to fetch it again. This time, Moses tells him to go get his own ball.

As Jesus is walking on the surface of the water hazard to get his ball, another golfer sees that and asks Moses, "Who does he think he is? Jesus Christ?"

Moses just sighs and, shaking his head sadly, says, "No. He thinks he's Arnold Palmer."


 
A couple gags from the underground comix, The New Adventures of Jesus (c. 1970). Most of the stories involved Jesus returning to the present and getting beaten up by the police for being a hippy, etc.

In one, when the cop discovers that Jesus doesn't have a draft card, he orders him to go in and register. The start of the process was a wizened old woman asking him for his name. "Jesus Christ." "Hmm, a Mexican-Greek. We don't get many of those."

In another story taking place in the past, Jesus is in the desert waiting for Satan to come and tempt him. It's really hot, so Jesus changes himself into a camel in order to handle the heat better. When Satan arrives Jesus immediately tells him, "Get thee behind me, Satan!" "You want me to get behind a camel? Even I'm not that stupid!"

 
Real-life story related to the first gag was told by Bertrand Russell who was arrested and jailed for being a pacifist in WWI. An old woman was asking him questions to fill out the personal information form. "Religion?" "Agnostic." She puzzled over that for a moment and then remarked, "So many different religions, but they all worship the same God."


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1302 by Phat, posted 07-07-2021 4:48 AM Phat has not yet responded

  
dwise1
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Posts: 4639
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.5


(1)
Message 1306 of 1309 (887157)
07-15-2021 6:13 PM


Looked Like Merkel was Getting the Scottish Treatment
Sorry, but I just noticed this and there's no one else to share it with.

In the press meeting with Biden and Angela Merkel, I noticed that her lips did not match the voice we were hearing. I realized that they had just simply cut directly to the interpreter, which is a proper practice and a bit less frustrating than the voice-over method.

It reminded me of some comedy videos done by a Scottish comedienne, Janey Godley, in which she takes press briefings given by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon but she dubs her own dialog over it, filled with a good bit of Scottish profanity (the best kind, though it takes German cursing to open a Mexico City Metro door).

For example, "You were telt":

"Frank, get the door!"

One comment was:

quote:
Whenever I hear Nicola for real now, for a split second I think “she sounds different” and “why’s she not swearing?”

 

 

Notice that Nicola Sturgeon has a signing interpreter. That must cause problems for those who know signing, since what's being signed will be different from the new dubbed dialog. I'm not sure what the sign is for that ever popular Scottish adjective, "f**kin'". Maybe it's similar to what was used in Airplane 2! (Airplane 2 - News according to different countries!):

I have the same problem with all those videos from Downfall where Hitler is viciously chewing out his leading generals who had been shielding him from the reality of their battle losses (To the effect of: "Position this unit here." "We cannot." "Why not?" "They don't exist anymore.").

The original scene is on YouTube at Downfall (2004) - Clip 1: Steiner's Attack

It's been popular to rewrite the subtitles to have Hitler having a temper tantrum of other things, like England at the World Cup, the downfall of the Playstation network, the Watchmen movie ending differently than the book, being denied a gay wedding cake, etc.

I simply cannot watch any of those parodies. Because I know German, I can follow what Hitler is actually saying (only the subtitles are being changed) and so I also know that it's not what the subtitles are saying. When I watch a subtitled show, I am constantly listening to the dialog, reading the subtitles, and comparing the two -- I do that regardless of how meager my knowledge of the language is (eg, Japanese -- when I know nothing about the language it's less interesting, which is why I studied Swedish just so I could better enjoy watching the Millennium Trilogy on Netflix (no longer there, starting with "Män som hatar kvinnor" ("Men Who Hate Women"), AKA "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" -- the Italian translation of the book kept with the original title, so when I saw it in a train station kiosk it took me a couple seconds to realize what it was)). Yes, I do catch when the subtitles do not match the dialog and I treat those as Easter eggs of a sort. However, when none of the dialog matches then I find that disorienting (much like the conflicting reports of your eyes saying you're not moving while your ears say that you are which induces motion sickness). Seriously, it's even worse than Spock using parsecs as a measurement of time!

 

 
ABE:

 

 

There was a book and then a movie, "Er ist wieder da" ("He's Back", though translated into English as "Look Who's Back." Basically, Hitler suddenly appears in Berlin completely healthy, is taken to be a street performer, and a TV "reporter" turns him into a national sensation.

The book was published in 2012 and the movie was made in 2015. I saw it on Netflix, but it's no longer there (nor can I find it anywhere on my Roku search feature). Most of the street scenes are done like Borat, not staged so the social anxieties being expressed to Hitler are real -- that they would open up to Hitler about such fears should be telling. Once Hitler had the nation's attention (on a national comedy show), it was all straight Hitler -- you are all hurtling towards a chasm, only I can see it and only I can save you from it.

Sound familiar? That's exactly what Trump was saying to us. Watching it during the 2016 campaign, I was amazed at how closely it mimicked Trump's campaign, but then I realized that it was filmed long before Trump was saying the same things.

I think that that's known as the "oh FUCK!!!!" moment.

Edited by dwise1, : Not sure what the sign is for ...
Also embedded additional YouTube videos. Shouldn't be any problem for anyone, right?

Edited by dwise1, : ABE


Replies to this message:
 Message 1307 by ringo, posted 07-16-2021 12:49 PM dwise1 has responded

  
dwise1
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Posts: 4639
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.5


(1)
Message 1308 of 1309 (887165)
07-17-2021 3:08 PM
Reply to: Message 1307 by ringo
07-16-2021 12:49 PM


Re: Looked Like Merkel was Getting the Scottish Treatment
(One thing that interests me about French-to-English translations is the use of the word "population". French Canadians tend to say things like, "The population likes ice cream," where English Canadians say, "The people like ice cream," and reserve "population for the number of people.)

Part of the fun does come from each language having its own characteristics, especially when the results don't fit the English.

Part of French is greater use of "on" than English uses "one" (eg, "On ne dit pas .. ", "One does not say ..." whereas we normally say "We/You don't say ... " -- or should I have written "one normally says"?). I have to smile when I keep hearing "on" being used so profusely in a French film. Kind of the same with the use of the reflexive in Spanish (and I think also in Italian) to express the same idea. Kind of reminds me of the German idea of "Heimatsklang" ("the sound of home") which refers to minor effects one's dialect has on how one speaks Standard German (eg, one's accent, the use of certain words or expressions).

The entire familiar/formal pronoun issue is foreign to English so the subtitles get a bit strange when that dichotomy is central to the dialogue. For example, Netflix USA used to have a French rom-com in which a confirmed bachelor was keeping his female-run family at bay (they took a vote and demanded that he get married) by taking in single woman to pose as his fiancée. When his family was present, they used "tu" and as soon as they were alone they reverted back to "vous". Being a rom-com, of course they end up falling in love. During that process they are conversing over dinner and they slip comfortably into "tu", but then they start to disagree and he returns to "vous" -- as I recall, she even makes a comment like, "So, we're back to 'vous' again?" I forget how the translator handled that in the subtitles, but as I recall it was clumsy.

Similarly, there was a Spanish TV show (El ministerio del tiempo) about a secret time-travel ministry in the Spanish government (a lot of the jokes were about bureaucracy and budget problems) who recruits its agents from various time periods. One main character is a 16th-century soldier who now in the 21st century is getting involved romantically (she looks exactly like his 16th-century wife). When he speaks with her, he keeps using archaic polite forms (eg, "Vos"); while doing so on the phone, his 21-century colleague keeps correcting him with "te". The subtitles try to handle that by using the archaic English "thou" and "thee."

Other subtitling issues are when there's a cultural reference that the translator thinks the target audience would not get. For example in one of Jean Dujardin's "OSS 117" movies (the "French James Bond", but the most recent treatments have been 60's spy parodies) his assignment is to deliver a large blackmail payment. When he's told the amount, he asks whether that's in new francs or old francs and it's confirmed to be in new francs. In 1960, France revalued the franc with the new franc (NF) being worth 100 old francs. For a number of years until the old francs had ceased to circulate, both prices would be posted and every time a price would be quoted one would have to specify which franc that's in. The English speaking world could not be expected to know about that obscure bit of recent French history; I only learned about it as a teenager from one of Ian Fleming's Bond novels. So the subtitles just presented OSS 117's question as being his not quite hearing that right.

Speaking of 1960's French spies, have you watched Au Service de la France, on Netflix as "A Very Secret Service"? It's set in 1960 and is filled with cultural references (including "La vache sérieuse" which competed with "La vache qui rit" -- the trademark lawsuit was interrupted by WWII and was finally settled around 1960 (that Wikipedia page exists only in French) ), but mostly it depicts French attitudes of the time. I am still amazed at seeing a secretary touch-typing reports while holding a lit cigarette between her fingers.

And sometimes the translator goes too far. In the third Millennium movie, "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest", a female cop admonishes a male colleague for his benighted attitude about women by asking him in Swedish if he's from Jurassic Park, specifically naming that movie. The translator had her asking if he's a caveman. As if nobody in the English-speaking world would ever recognize a reference to Jurassic Park.

And knowing the language can get you strange looks at times. When we saw A Bridge Too Far, I was the only one in the audience who knew what Lt.Gen. Maximilian Schell told Lt.Col. Anthony Hopkins as the latter was finally surrendering at Arnhem, at least until Schell's remark was translated by a staff member. As you will recall, the final bridge for Operation Market Garden was at Arnhem and a British airborne brigade landed there to take and hold that bridge until relieved by XXX Corps, but XXX Corps fell behind schedule getting mired down at Nijmegen. Even worse, there was a Waffen-SS Panzer corps in the area on R&R, so the paratroops were immediately pushed back and their landing zone (LZ) overrun. Since their radios also did not work, they could not report on the situation and so Allied planes kept dropping that units supplies in that LZ and the Germans kept gathering them up.

So in the scene in question, as Schell was accepting Hopkins' surrender, he offers Hopkins a chocolate bar which Hopkins refuses. Schell explains that he can freely accept it since it was from the supplies being dropped by the Allies. I chuckled at that, the only one in the audience to do so, and got some puzzled looks until Schell's statement was translated.


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 Message 1307 by ringo, posted 07-16-2021 12:49 PM ringo has acknowledged this reply

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