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Everything posted by Fran

  1. I didn't know peace feelers had been put out between TAS and ARI! Does anybody have any further information on this? And yes, I would be massively disappointed if inviting Lindsay were to destroy this.
  2. The owner does. --Brant Yes, which is exactly the point I just made..... I'm not sure where I said: pub/restaurant owners should be forced to have smoke-free premises (all I said was that I love being able to go places without being subjected to other people's killer habit), but I guess my not clearly expressing this implied it. My main point was that if, revenue is up for restaurant/pub owners since the ban, why didn't they make this realization themselves and make their premises smoke-free long ago? I think non-smokers in the UK don't kick up a big enough stink about refusing to be in smoky places. Smoke-free zones are waste of time - the smoke just drifts over.
  3. I'm hoping to go to Portland and had planned to do so before I heard any of this. A friend is giving a musical presentation that I really want to see. I've never met Lindsay, nor followed any of the conflicts, and so know little about him. 95% of the reason I go to Rand Camp each year is to see my friends (all of which I made there) and meet new people. I have gained a huge amount of value from these friendships, even though they're long-distance. I feel sad that others feel so strongly about Lindsay's attendance that they're not going to go now - I shall miss you.
  4. Aww, thanks Jim. I'm touched. [You know what, I like you too.] Will I be seeing you at Rand Camp?
  5. When I first read this on here, I thought it was a joke and so just let it pass by. I've since heard it mentioned elsewhere - is he really going to be talking at TAS?
  6. For myself, I'm sick and tired of having to keep running anti-spyware, anti-virus, anti-malware checks on my PC laptop. I've also had enough of concerns of this type. I don't want to have to worry about this kind of thing - losing hours or days of productive work (I work freelance as a writer), while trying to clean my system up. I have started to ask myself why I am bothering, when I can save myself this relentless hassle and just get a Mac. Which is why my next laptop will be a MacBook Pro.
  7. They banned smoking in public places in the UK on 1st July 2007. A few days later, a friend and I purposefully went to a pub, something I hadn't done in years because I couldn't stand the smoke, just to enjoy being in a smoke-free public place. It seems we weren't the only ones with the same idea, the pub was packed out. We asked one of the bar-tenders if this was normal for a Thursday night, but were told that no it was not, only since the smoking ban had come into force, had their patronage increased. I've heard the same from another pub too, since then. As nearly 3/4 of the UK population don't smoke, this isn't too surprising. Although I don't have the stats to say whether pub and restaurant owners are gaining financially from the ban, it appears that they may be. What I can't understand is that in a country where almost 3/4 of the population don't smoke, why didn't restaurant owners twig about this beforehand, do some marketing and instigate their own smoking ban? From a personal point of view, being a non-smoker, I do really love the ban. It's so wonderful being able to eat out anywhere without my meal being spoilt by someone chuffing away on a fag, worrying about the impact it's having on my long-term health and coming home stinking of smoke.
  8. I am looking. I guess one of the good things about working freelance is that it doesn't matter too much where I live [the country's freedom being important, of course], I just wish the maximum limit that I can spend in one country (apart from EU countries) was unlimited, rather than 90 days. Although the internet is great for meeting new people, I think long-distance relationships are tough - I don't think you can ever really get to know someone without physically spending time with them, hence my disappointment with the 90-day limit. That doesn't mean to say I'm not glad Mike and Kat have made it work
  9. Victor,Including dating, I'm 12 years in and still feel the same way. The last few weeks I have had to go out of town overnight a few times. You know the area-- I was working some long hours near Barrie. I still get butterflies with a sense of anticipation when I come home to see my wife. I'm sure you are experiencing that tenfold right now. A passion for life's potential is worth pursuing. Angie and Victor, enjoy one another. There is nothing like the electricity of being there. All the best, Paul Oh wow, Paul. I have only just read your post and was delighted to read that you still feel a sense of anticipation on seeing your wife after being away. This gives me a great deal of hope - my parents did not have a happy marriage and it's easy for me to presume that this has to be the case. Fran
  10. Hi I'm a UK resident and would like to visit LA for 3 months. I'm wondering if anybody has information on renting 1-bed apartments on a short-term (3 month) lease? I can't get a long-term lease and terminate it early as they'll be looking for my employment status, Green Card, etc. I work freelance. I've been told not to live anywhere that's been mentioned in a rap song (for crime reasons) and for pollution reasons I'd rather live in Santa Monica, or similar. The timing isn't critical, but I'm thinking of late spring, early summer. Does anybody know someone who is going travelling and wants someone to look after their dog/cat/goldfish/tarantula/snake/iguana/Playstation3? Any information on short-term rent would be appreciated. Many thanks.
  11. I echo Michael's congratulations. It's always good to take control of your life and I'm glad that you have with this decision. Jim Thank you Michael and Jim, I appreciate your support
  12. And happiness increases even more when the children bring the grandchildren over to stay or to visit. I think you just might be referencing biased sources. Children are short term pains in the ass (after they get out of the "cute" stage) but if things work well they are a long term source of joy. Particularly if grand children are in the mix. Ba'al Chatzaf (4 children, 5 grandchildren). You know, the great thing about being an Aunt is that I have all the joys of being a grandparent without having to go through the parent bit first Seriously, I am truly glad that you enjoy your children and grandchildren, as that is how it should be. I just know I wouldn't. [bTW if I remember correctly, the above quote was from a parent himself.]
  13. After much deliberation (mainly because so many people told me I'd regret it), I took the plunge and had a new, non-cutty sterilization op (Essure micro-inserts) back in August. It involved hysteroscopically inserting nitinol coils into each tube, which irritate the tube and cause fibrosis and it is this which blocks the tubes. The whole procedure lasted 20 minutes, required only a local anaesthetic and the pain (which was easily controlled by paracetemol) was gone by late evening. Although I was exhausted on the day of the op, the following day I couldn't tell I'd had anything done, so rapid was my post-operative recovery. As no general anaesthetic is required and the abdomenal wall isn't cut, it's much safer than tubal ligation. The downside - having to wait 3 (more like 4) months for the tubes to close, and then requiring an hysterosalpinogram (x-ray dye scan) to confirm that the tubes are blocked. I had mine yesterday and need to wait another 3 months, as one tube still isn't completely closed. Although the radiologist did reassure me that they've never had one not seal after 6 months and mine are likely to be fully closed in another 3 weeks, but they won't scan me again for another 3 months (Boo!). I can honestly say that this op has been the best thing I have ever done for myself and I wish I'd had it done years ago when I was 18 (which is when I originally told my doctor that I wanted to be sterilized). I feel like somebody has just handed me a 'get-out-of-jail-free' card. I no longer have this huge, life-destroying (IMO) burden hanging around my neck. My euphoria has only been tempered by having to wait for confirmation that my tubes are sealed, but I'm confident that will happen in time.
  14. But if everybody became O'ist then Capitalism would be unrestrained, meaning our scientific knowledge would accelerate. All we need to do is extend the human lifespan by fifty years to allow science to catch-up, allowing us to extend our lifespan another fifty years and so on. Or something to that effect. Therefore, we could, potentially, extend our lifespans to such an extent that the low birth-rate wouldn't matter. After all there are quite a few O'ists that have reproduced, so it's not like there'd be no new births. I'm all for living 'forever'
  15. Interesting that I started this discussion a long time ago and now it's moved elsewhere. Just to throw something into the pot, because I'm in that kind of mood, consider this: it seems that religion is dying a death in the UK (hurray), see: However, there is no rational philosophy to replace it (boo). According to the above study, the reason why religion is dying out is that Christian parents have only a 50-50 chance of passing their belief on to their offspring, whereas atheists are almost always successful. If religion is in terminal decline, it creates a nice hole for O'ism - all we need is a way to make it appealing to the average lay person who doesn't want to spend hours wracking his brains over it. I know I'm going to come into a ton of criticism for this, but hey, if we want to make it accessible to the general public we need to meet the general public at a level where they are. That's why Christianity is so successful (although I think the major part is their community-building). I never know how to pass O'ism on - I love the Virtue of Selfishness book but Rand's introduction makes me shy away from giving it to people because selfishness still has that taboo ring to it. I'm talking about making it easy to pass a philosophy on here. I think it is possible to make it accessible - the UK entertainer, Derren Brown, has written a book called 'Tricks of the Mind' - his chapter on bad science and bad thinking is a brilliant and lucid introduction on how to reason. I enjoyed reading it and I learnt a heck of a lot. He managed to make a potentially complicated topic user-friendly. That's the kind of book I can lend to my friends. And I'm happy being childless - permanently.
  16. Hi Kat, when are you guys coming to the UK? I'm around until mid-September (except last week of August) and would enjoy meeting up, if this is something you guys would like too? Fran
  17. Hey, you superstar, I've been looking for this and my last search didn't bring it up. Thanks for posting the link, I appreciate it. Just watching it now...
  18. Hi Martin, Thanks for the insights I gained from your reply. It saddens me but I think the kids are their last priority. I think this stems from making it a law that children have to attend school. Once children are forced to do something, the schools don't have to put the effort in to be wonderful, enjoyable places, so that children would want to attend. It also screws up the whole dynamic. There are few other businesses where if the customer (children) doesn't get his or her needs met, the customer gets the blame (not intelligent enough, etc), rather than the business. Fran
  19. Thanks for posting this. I'd love to do an experiment where children who are taught with their needs in mind are compared with typical schools (controlling for class size, social demographics, etc), to see just how many children attending needs-based schools end up as 'problem' children, i.e. those with supposedly ADHD etc. I once watched a program with Tony Buzan (author of Mind Mapping) and he took a dozen failing children and taught them how to 'use their heads' with mindmaps etc. Independent psychologists tested the children's abilities before and after. Some of the children had improved so much, one psychologist admitted that if she hadn't done the testing herself, she would have been convinced the data was flawed. Teach children with the child in mind rather than simply administering crowd control, and 'problem' children don't materialise. It's incredibly dull for a mighty curious six-year-old to sit still at a desk all day.
  20. Fran

    Type Talk

    I like the Enneagram for this reason too. There are some useful and insightful bits in Buddhism which I'm quite keen to learn more about.
  21. Yay, thanks guys for all of your recommendations - they shall definitely keep me entertained over the coming months! I shall order the 'Moon is a Harsh Mistress' now. I like Jules Verne, and as it has a happy ending, I shall have to buy Mysterious Island. Oooh, then I can start reading Probability Broach and The Chrysalids And then as I have a long flight to the conference in July, I could start reading Terry Goodkind's books... Really appreciate this guys - I love reading fiction, but get stuck on what to read as I hate sad / non-descript endings. If anybody else would like to share their favourite books, I would enjoy hearing them (I'm hoping to live for a long time...
  22. I love watching sci-fi, but have only read a few novels. I'd really appreciate learning of great sci-fi novels that have happy endings - the happy ending bit is particularly important. Curious to know what Isaac Asimov's works are like - are they 'people are wonderful' type books, or do they tend to paint people in a less inspiring light? Does 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress' by Robert Heinlein have a happy ending? Thanks, Fran
  23. I'm not sure that I'd want a John Galt. I'm not sure that my needs for intimacy and connection would be met with him. For example, Galt and Dagny have just made love for the first time and he talks about philosophy... That kind of thing would really bug me after a while. The closest relationsips and friendships I have are with those people with whom we both openly express what needs of ours are being met / not being met in the moment. Aided by a listening ear on both sides and knowing that neither of us are responsible for the how another person is feeling (I can trigger feelings in a person, but I don't make someone feel a certain way). I've just started reading a book called 'Don't Be Nice Be Real' by Kelly Bryson, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist. A real eye-opener so far. He talks about how people suppress their own needs in order to try and please other people. As a result we become: 'nice dead people'. The cure is never to do anything for anybody else unless it meets your needs to do so (i.e. can do it with the same energy as a small child feeding the hungry ducks); doing something out of coercion, means you'll only try and make them pay for it later. I'm going to rave about another book that I'm loving at the moment: 'Learned Optimism' by Martin Seligman, one of the positive psychology gurus. Just as it says on the tin; pessimists can learn how to be optimists. People who have learned helplessness can learn that their actions can make a difference. It's relevance to this post is: optimists enjoy more satisfying relationships than pessimists.