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N_E_Wunn

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N_E_Wunn last won the day on March 11 2017

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  1. Will also chime in with a vote for tubes, although cakes have improved quite a bit. They just don't give the same richness and control, especially when glazing. Also, I can't imagine using all the colors in your cake set equally, which means that although you think you are paying less initially, in the long run you will end up with many empty slots and quite a few barely-used ones. Tubes allow you to choose just those exact colors you want. That being said, depending on your style, you may want to combine different brands. I layer my work a lot, so the transparency of Winsor & Newton is important in my palette. However, sometimes I'm looking for more opaqueness and vibrancy, so I choose colors from M. Graham. There is a lovely blog that addresses nearly all components of watercolor painting, including evaluations of different brands. Here is a link to truly useful ways to save money on watercolors.
  2. Animal Breeding

    I saw an interesting story on a news show the other day about breeding programs in zoos. In the US there seems to be a policy to give animals birth control if they don't want them to breed (for whatever reason). In a zoo in Copenhagen, they believe the animals should be allowed to mate normally and that "unwanted" offspring would be (1) re-homed, if possible or (2) killed. They showed a young male giraffe who was not needed. The zookeepers shot him. Then performed a public autopsy, with many young children looking on, and when that was done they served the dead giraffe to the lions. Quite graphic, too. "Well we would have to slaughter a cow to feed to the lions anyway, so meat is meat." IMO, I don't believe that animals in captivity are behaving as they would in the wild anyway, so the suggestion that letting them breed "as nature wants" does not make sense to me. I understand there are cultural differences here, but this seems to me to be an unnecessary waste of resources. I would think it diminishes the precious value of an exotic animal to treat it as animal fodder.
  3. @Callum speaks the truth, there is a strong resurgence of activity at Mara. However, I would wait a few days before venturing back, as annual site maintenance is in progress. If you haven't been there in a while, or if you've never been to Marapets, this is a great time to join. The entire site has been redrawn, and the number and variety of activities has increased dramatically. More are coming, apparently. The site has a very active community and new members are coming on board in droves. Age ranges from about 9 to 80+, with the majority of players in their late teens and twenties and a good balance of the various sexes.
  4. Life and death in virtual pet sites?

    I'm not crazy about pets dying. If you invest time (and probably money) into a virtual creature, there is a good chance you want to keep it around and not have it randomly die. You have the Tamagotchi-type experience where you can revive a pet you've neglected. Or the Pokemon experience where you can heal the pet that has "fainted." One thing that is appealing about virtual pet sites is that your creatures don't have to die.
  5. Abortion and Rights under the Law

    PBS reported these numbers from a variety of sources: http://www.pbs.org/pov/offandrunning/fact-sheet/ One of those sources stated that there are "2 million infertile couples actively trying to adopt." This does not include other individuals and couples who also want to adopt. Some other interesting statistics from Good Housekeeping: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/parenting/a35860/adoption-statistics/ If you want to pore through mounds of data on your own, the US government provides a variety of fact sheets: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/statistics/adoption/ At least in the United States, there are many people looking to adopt children and because Russia has eliminated adoptions and China cut back, there are fewer out-of-country options.
  6. Abortion and Rights under the Law

    Abortion, for many, is morally wrong. To be asked to fund those procedures through taxes so that others can receive those services for free should not be an option. For 90% of these cases, contraception would have prevented the unwanted pregnancy; monies should be directed to greater education and compliance. In the case of criminal rape, I would guess that most do not result in pregnancy. The "morning after pill" is another option that could receive public funding. Other issues, such as where the life of the mother is in jeopardy are as much medical necessity and should be funded in the same way as treatment for breast cancer. This is not about unwanted children being abandoned. There are more people who want to adopt than there are children. I should add that many prenatal children are "abused" by their mothers through drug use and other unhealthy activities which makes those children less adoptable. Again, education and counseling is important. Privately funded services can support abortions for people who would go to extraordinary ends to terminate a pregnancy. The biggest problem with government-funded programs is fraud. Fraud is rampant throughout the private sector as well, but they are better equipped to police such abuse. Single-payer systems may work in some countries, but in one with the size and diversity of the United States it would be impossible to eliminate high levels of fraud. @Zrcalo mentioned food stamps, and I don't know anyone who has SNAP, WIC or any EBT that does not "cheat a little." There is a vicious cycle at work here, and I know I went a bit off topic, but government funding for many things, including abortion, is not a solution, merely a bandage.
  7. Can't justify spending real money on virtual stuff. One, I've been burned a few times by games I liked poofing. Not as much for lack of financial support as the devs deciding to pack up and leave. Mobile games are even more iffy for me as so many of them are clones, and a lot of the companies offering them are unknowns. I appreciate indies in all genres, but I'm not independently wealthy enough to throw money away on stuff I can't hold in my hand.
  8. Not much really. Subeta. Flight Rising. Marapets. And only occasionally those, some less than occasional.
  9. Views on the current American President

    The information you cite about President Trump is from what source(s)? Much of what the press has disseminated has been twisted and biased with the sole purpose of discrediting his presidency. There has likely never been a person elected to high office anywhere in the world whose life has been so transparent. He has been under a microscope all his life, and his every move has been well documented. He is as much a showman as P.T. Barnum and for many years he hosted a successful reality television show. Much of what he has been criticized for amounts to putting on an act to generate ratings. Twitter posts are so short that the words require interpretation and cannot be taken at face value. Regardless, you know exactly who is writing them. "Professional" politicians have carefully crafted how they are seen in public venues and their lives and personas are anything but an open book. I am only pointing out that none of the people elected to office are likely choir boys (or girls) but rather that they have done a great job of hiding all their weaknesses and warts from public view. Or the spin doctors find a way to deflect potential problems as they did in 2008 with Barack Obama's close association with Bill Ayers, leader of the Weather Underground, which burned and bombed college campus buildings and police stations. They wanted to destroy capitalism and replace it with the Maoist doctrines they espoused. If the media wanted to destroy Obama the way they want to destroy Trump they could have, easily. Trump has surrounded himself with and promoted women to positions of power. The same goes for people who are of different nationalities, religions and skin colors. He has built several successful empires; one of my biggest criticisms of career politicians is that they seem to have gone into that "business" because they couldn't do anything else or because they were power-hungry. They have no experience running a business, and the United States is a very big business to run. Do I agree with all of what Trump stands for? No, but a recent poll suggests that more people in the US would vote for him today than did in November. Go figure. I have lived in multiple countries, including a dictatorship. I have lived through a few revolutions. Watching a city burn down around you and seeing people getting shot are images not easily forgotten. I know firsthand that knowledge is power and understanding that what is reported in the media is always limited and biased. Edit - as an aside, the point about climate change is not that the world is getting warmer, but rather the extent and source of that warming. There are many well-respected scientists who question how much global warming can be changed by reducing emissions. We cannot stop a pattern that occurs every x-thousand years. Maybe climate change is not a "hoax", but I don't believe that Trump was attempting to discredit the actual change, rather the source of the change.
  10. I declare a PC vs. Console war.

    There are a lot of games that are available on multiple platforms, including PC. So I already have a powerful vehicle for playing games and it's able to be used for other things as well. Does a console actually do anything that my PC can't? (1) I can upgrade my computer easily to take advantage of state-of-the-art graphics (2) A computer that plays as well (or better) than consoles can cost less for equal (or better) performance (3) Games can be cheaper. Check out the sales and choices on Steam. Almost always less expensive than the console's stores. I don't like it? I can probably sell it back. And there aren't a lot of free-to-play console games. Then there are mods for some games that increase the gameplay options. Plus, all those legacy games, you can play in DOS Box, use emulators, a whole lotta fun things to do. And with VR/AR on the horizon, I don't have to go out and buy a new console to support it. (4) I have an issue with motion sickness in certain games (first noticed it in Wolfenstein, lol). Consoles are generally locked at a Field of View of 60 degrees and you can't disable motion blur. PCs allow you to make those adjustments. There are lots more reasons but those come to mind first. And have you dropped by a B&M store like Best Buy lately? There are now departments for gaming computers and equipment, much bigger than even a year or two ago. Manufacturers are pumping out a variety of gaming computers, I'd bet a lot of it is to take advantage of VR/AR, but I'd guess that the demand is up significantly. So until a console gives me a big difference in the way it is played, I'll stick with PCs.
  11. Why do you play virtual pet games?

    I play games, some of them just *happen* to be pet games. For me it's not about owning pets (I already own several real ones), but rather the community, the world that has been created, the ability to perform multiple tasks and feel like you are accomplishing something. I also don't like to spend real money on virtual stuff. I've seen way too many great games go belly-up, leaving your real investment gone. I guess I think of myself as more of an MMO player than a pet game player. Games I've loved and now miss include most of Donna and Adam Powell's games (most recently Meteor Games), Mr. Tiki, and even Millsberry.
  12. Summer break plans?

    Summer break? Haven't had that in a very long time.
  13. Video games in an of themselves do not cause people to become violent. This has been shown in numerous well-controlled clinical studies that can be projected to the general population. There is a good discussion of the topic here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/pop-psych/201610/violence-in-games-does-not-cause-real-life-violence If people perceive a correlation, it is likely other factors are at play. Human to human interaction has the most effect on children's development and mental growth. They pattern themselves on how they are treated, not what they see on a screen (although they can be more comfortable seeing guns, blood, nudity, etc. if they are exposed to a lot of it). It is well established that children who are treated poorly at home are more likely to bully other kids at school. And, yes, all that @Syntax said. :+1:
  14. [1,2,3,4] I declare a Console War!

    Not crazy about consoles, I'm also a Wii/WiiU player rather than PS4/Xbox fan. PCs are going strong and growing in gaming, consoles will be replaced sometime in the near future, imo, despite the manufacturers best efforts to keep them alive. So PC Master Race is not nonsense at all.
  15. True or False

    False. You prefer cold rather than hot
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