Thanks to everyone who put in the hard work for this
The red/purple stars and its group no longer exist.
the quote option popping up when you highlight text is very nice
My reflections on the election result for any who are interested:
If they wanted to win an election the (hard left of the) Labour party chose the wrong strategy. The jerk to the left is super appealing to mainly students, young graduates; young middle class/highly educated people who aren't well distributed enough for a first past the post election (e.g. very useful for holding onto Cambridge and Canterbury, not so great in, uh, most of the country). Sure, there's the Brexit element too, which I imagine made quite a bit of the difference in many of those leave-leaning seats in particular. And sure, the leadership's pretty unpopular, but I don't think that makes as much of an impact.
It's perfectly fine for them to adopt the policies they like if they'e happy to lose every election … their shift to the left has pulled the Tories more to the centre too (perhaps not evident from the pre-election cabinet) and ideas that get branded by the media and lazy online commentators as crazy 'Marxist' ideas get implemented by a nominally centre right government a few years later (I'm thinking of the energy price cap as I write this). But I imagine that many people in the Labour party want to be a party of government, so they'll want to change tack. Since their left wing policies did abysmally in the 1983 election, it took 14 years for them to shift slowly to the centre and finally win an election...
For the Lib Dems, the strategy was also disastrous. They only ever became a big party by snapping up seats in the south west which broadly voted leave. Gambling on such a strong revocation platform to try and overturn huge majorities in very remain-leaning seats (nearly worked in some places, e.g. Cambridgeshire South, Esher & Walton, Finchley & Golders Green, actually did work in St Albans) was pretty much outright sacrificing their existing more leave leaning seats (of which they lost three out of four) and giving up on recovering their SW seats. Of course, their actual campaign also went pretty badly so they didn't even win those former lib dem constituencies that were very remain leaning, e.g. Cheltenham or Wells.
Until/unless we get electoral reform, getting into government requires mass appeal, and the only party who played to that in this election was the Conservative party - sure, their 'get Brexit done' message divided people pretty hard along the leave/remain axis, but they otherwise campaigned from a fairly centre-right platform, so there wasn't much to put most voters off...
There's a lot of talk about the break up of the union, on which I have a couple of thoughts.
Firstly, for Scotland, a vote for the SNP in a general election is not a vote for independence - but a pro independence voter is pretty unlikely to vote for one of the UK-wide parties. The SNP ran on a very strong anti-Brexit platform plus the usual idea that a stronger SNP group in Westminster is a stronger voice for Scottish priorities. In spite of this the total vote for the SNP and the Scottish Greens (also pro-independence) was 46%. I'm not suggesting this is totally indicative of what would happen in another independence referendum, e.g. because the franchise would be different, turnout would probably be higher, etc. But it doesn't paint that promising a picture for independence... Also, it seems to me that many of the priorities that might lead a voter to be anti-Brexit might also lead a voter to be anti-independence. For example, many were swayed by economic arguments in favour of the status quo in both cases. A remainer might like the idea that, in the case of a 'hard' Brexit, independence would allow Scotland to be in close economic alignment with the EU by rejoining it. On the other hand, in that case, economic alignment with the EU means being not aligned with the rest of the UK, with which Scotland does most of its trade. Conversely, if the Brexit is 'soft' the advantages of rejoining the EU would be relatively slim and so the economic case is in an entirely similar position to 2014 when it put a lot of people off voting for independence.
On NI, the unionists might not like the arrangements in the withdrawal agreement, but that's hardly going to switch them en masse to nationalists. Similarly, there may be slightly more nationalist MPs than unionist ones, but I'm not convinced how strong that really makes the possibility of an imminent border poll, since it's not reflected in the Stormont assembly, and there's a lot of pressure now to restore the government there due to the dismal performance of both the 'main' parties in the general election.
Welp i'm currently in Paris dicking around with the GF. And i'm wondering if any of ya'll have any suggestions on where to go and what to eat and what not.
The Dernier bar avant le fin du monde is a fun place (not particularly for the food, which is okay, although the mocktails were veeery good), if geeky themed cafe is your kind of thing. Montmartre is quite a nice area to wander around in general. I also remember with fondness a particularly nice hole-in-the-wall (literally) creperie there where the guy likes to draw things on your crepe with the filling (maybe with higher probability if you're female). Crepes are great in general and are everywhere. It's nice to go up the Montparnasse tower for a view of Paris which includes the Eiffel tower (and the wind up there is nice in the heat). Someone wants recommended me something to do with a bar and lemonade + fruit syrup, but I've clearly forgotten what exactly. And I guess you're too old for your free entry into almost everything.
That's about all I gleaned from the couple of days I've been in Paris…
Actually, several wikipedia pages claime that he was also called l'Olonnais, l'Olonnois, Lolonois and Lolona, and the japanese wikipedia page translates Lolonois as "Roronoa" ロロノア. So it looks like it's just how one of his names is pronounced in Japan, rather than a mistake particularly made by Oda and his editors.
Ah, you're right, I only checked the English wikipedia page, where only the one name is given, but the French one gives those other ones.
(also Maryjois and Mary Geoise would sound the same even in English or the French they're based off of, one just looks doofier, how are you pronouncing them?)
In the French pronunciation, the second has the terminal consonant so differs from the phonetic pronunciation given (Marijoa), so it feels veeery wrong.
The thing that trips me up is that English has been used a bunch in the series even before we got Shiliew out there, with the wanted posters. Names like Luffy and Roronoa Zoro have had proper in-universe translations, when phonetically they could be corrupted in a bunch of different ways (satan knows all the bootleggers did). So the older stuff ends up having care put into it with regards to western language, while most of the newer things are bad-sounding or demonstrably wrong translations.
Makes me wonder if it's due to a change in editors over the years or something. Or we can circle back to the low but real possibility that Oda knows how these translations work, but decided deliberately doing them wrong was satisfying or something.
I remember reading that Roronoa is taken from the name of the real life pirate François l'Ollonais which (a) shouldn't sound like Roronoa; that could have originated by someone mystyping/misreading for l'Ollonois and (b) then has the same kind of romanisation issue as Levely/Reverie.
The idea of the frozen straw hat being a symbol, related to the Will of D or not, is pretty compelling. There doesn't seem to be much other way of coming up with a reasonable explanation for it. But it doesn't seem to line up very well with what Doflamingo's hinted about Marijoa's national treasure. In particular, when he first mentions it, he suggests that its existence be enough to shake the world, and that with the Op Op Fruit, he could make use of the treasure and rule the world. He specifically mentions the personality transplant and the ability to grant eternal youth. It's hard to reconcile this with some symbol of the past. And it is hard to reconcile it with a big straw hat in general.
Maybe the straw hat is a red herring? Something significant, but not the treasure which Doflamingo's talking about. This makes the framing of its reveal seem odd, but hey, the whole thing is odd. As long as the treasure is also in that room, it would still make some sense.
This is all based on my interpretation of a poor translation of one comment Doflamingo made, but bearing that in mind, …
What could such a treasure be? Well, it would make some sense if either the personality transplant or the eternal youth operation were needed to leverage it. So either
Some of these can be achieved in other ways though. Leveraging a powerful body can kind of be done using Moria's powers - although if for some reason you need/want it to really be you who has the body, then that doesn't work. The eternal youth thing can probably be done using Bonney's powers. It's interesting that Akainu went to retrieve Bonney from Blackbeard, and was concerned at her escaping the government… but the Five Elders mentioned her in a totally offhand way (that one of the >100mil rookies had already been taken down by Blackbeard), so probably that's more personal (aside from the fact that it's unlikely that the Fleet Admiral knows the Celestial Dragons' secrets - Akainu was very much kept in the dark during the Dressrosa arc). In any case, Corazon implies that Doflamingo's plan was to have Corazon give him immortality, but he might not have known...
Putting that aside, given that Doflamingo was looking for the Op Op Fruit, and at the same time looking to take over his family's erstwhile kingdom, and is kind of a planner, what was the plan? Okay, so the explanation on the face of it is that he wanted the Op Op Fruit to become immortal, he wanted to take the kingdom because he saw himself as a god-king thrown out from heaven and since they were never going to let him back in, he was going to take the next best thing - the Donquixote kingdom of before the age of World Government. He uses his knowledge of the secret treasure to get Celestial Dragon-like privileges, and becomes a Warlord also, no longer a wanted man. At some point, I guess fairly recently, he begins to manufacture Smiles using the SAD developed by Caesar. The so-called factory in which the Smiles are made is actually an orchard, worked by Dressrosa's resident (or neighbouring, I guess) horticultural specialists, the Tontatta. This is interesting to me, because we learn that in the past, the ancient Donquixote kings had also enslaved the Tontatta... What if the old Donquixote kings created the Devil Fruit, leveraging their slaves' area of expertise, and this was the weapon that allowed the alliance of twenty kings to overturn the enigmatic lost kingdom? Maybe Doflamingo's plan was of the form Op Op Fruit + Tontatta + Marijoa's treasure = Devil Fruit Factory, and, the loss of the Op Op Fruit having thwarted him, he found another way, eventually.
Maybe, under that giant straw hat, is a frozen ancient Devil Fruit gardener :ninja:
Silliness aside, if the treasure were related to the source of the Devil Fruit, it would be more of a shocking reveal to the world, for whom the Devil Fruit's origins are kind of mysterious (as far as we know). Something organic would explain the freezer, and could be supported by Doflamingo's choice of phrasing (that power rots away). Plus, it makes sense for the origin of the Devil Fruit and their mechanisms to be a big plot point and somehow wrapped up in World Government/history, because it's had its sporadic hints here and there (like the detail in showing Smiley's power going into a nearby fruit, despite the fact that it wasn't re-used (so far)), and because Blackbeard seems to have some idea what's going on on this front. There's also the possible nice thematic element that if the World Government used Devil Fruits - which endow people with powers in exchange for becoming the natural enemies of the sea - it would put them in nice opposition to the lost kingdom/the poneglyph authors, at least based on the two weapons we know about (both being strongly related to the sea in operation, and one being from a city of water sinking into the sea, and the other from 10km under the sea). Add on that World Government, after forming, moved themselves as far away from the sea as land gets...
So one thing i've always pondered about Eurovision and the associated national competitions. In Sweden the whole shebang has evolved into sort of a gay event, like not in the sense that it's exclusively for people who are homosexual but in that it's very embraced by the gay community and has overtime become rather associated with that sub-culture. Yet it seems to be quite popular in places that at best would be considered akward around the whole two men thing. So my ignorant little question here is how is it viewed in your various nations? Does it have the same associations with all the glitter, bright colours and theatrics and all that. Or is that just our weird national hat lol
As far as I've ever noticed, it's not particularly a gay thing in the UK. I don't think there are national competitions or anything, and I vaguely get the impression it's much less popular than in other countries.
Also, there are 3 kinds of high-schools btw here. Lycée Professionel. Lycée Technologique, it makes you chose between a bunch of stuff that focuses on technology and whatnot. And Lycée Général that gives you the choice between lots of hard science (Bac Scientifique) OR lots of literature, history and philosophy (Bac Littéraire, the one I took) OR something balanced between those two (Bac Économie et Social, which includes economy and all). I wonder how it works in other countries
Anyway, Macron wants to reform high-school too. And basically, he will just wave his liberal magic wand and give more choice to people. They will just be able to choose more precisely what they want to study. Kinda like how you chose your class at uni
In the IB, you choose a handful of subjects (6) according to some restrictions to take for the last two years of high school. The UK and Ireland have similar systems with like 3-6 subjects, depending on the system. These are like the analogue to the French bac. As I see it, there are pros and cons like, getting to specialise can feel nice, especially if you have narrow interests, both because you get some control over what you study and because you don't have to put huge amounts of effort into something you really struggle with (many people feel this way about getting to drop maths). Then since you're more specialised you also get to go into much more depth into the things you do keep. On the other hand, people sometimes regret there choices; a broad base is nice because you are made to put off closing off options until you know more and are maybe more mature, who knows.
On the topic of the uni admissions, I think a lot of problems non-selective universities have is that their student intake comprises a very wide variety of student abilities, which makes it very hard to cater to them all (bring people at the bottom up to some basic passing level, but also not leave people at the top bored/unchallenged/whatever). For example EPFL is open to anyone who passes the Swiss high school diploma, but 70% of people fail the first year, not because of something like they're in a field they;re not well prepared for, but because the university feels the need to make it academically at a high level, since it's a top university (and has pretty high entry requirements for international students). They do some smart things, like if you score too low in semestre 1 of the first year, you are taken out of the normal system to do this mise à nouveau course, which goes back over the basics and you have to pass it to then retake the first year next year. The idea is that most people eventually make it through first year. But a lot of places struggle to achieve that - like in the Kazakh National University, they have a huge failure rate on their first year maths courses, which they require everyone to take. It's a big university and they have this broad range of ability levels, and they have no way to give properly adapted support to each student.
I've yet to be convinced by this whole non-selective admission thing. To me it just seems like it creates a lot of problems. When you have a system where the students are closely banded in ability, the teaching they get can much more easily be well suited to their individual needs.
But hey, this is wandering a bit off-topic…
That's… that's not the same as Catalonia or Wales. Do you... do you not see what the issue with these two regions you've singled out is.. (hint hint they speak their COUNTRY's language and their original language is barely taught as a second language)
So there are some first language Welsh speakers in parts of Wales, and in theory you're supposed to be able to get by in Wales with just Welsh (e.g. all road signs in Wales have both English and Welsh, government services in England & Wales are available in both languages too, …) but I don't think this is actually possible in most places... Maybe if you live in a tiny Welsh-speaking village and never leave ... Although I don't know if I believe in this idea that you should be able to get by with your regional language, but anyway...
I don't really know anything about the situation with Quebec but from this point of view it seems reasonable to be anxious about language preservation, no ?