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Origins of 'eh': How 2 little letters came to define Canadians

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bob-and-doug-hosers

Stereotype or not, it's a word Canadians are famous for — two simple letters baked into the tail end of so many of our sentences. But few realize "eh" actually predates the country's creation by a century or more.

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Nunnsey
6 days ago
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I like the distinction between the confirmation and narrative use of 'eh' also, curious as to why the comments are disabled on this post...
Toronto
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the ghost maneuver

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“i know i’m technically ghosting you, but do you want to see arrival saturday”

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Nunnsey
76 days ago
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I see Chris has exactly the same amount of game as I do.
Toronto
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Arizona Senate votes to seize assets of those who plan, participate in protests that turn violent

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On Wednesday the Arizona Senate passed SB 1142. The bill would allow the state to seize the assets of demonstrators who attend protests that turn violent.

From Arizona Capitol Times:

But the real heart of the legislation is what Democrats say is the guilt by association — and giving the government the right to criminally prosecute and seize the assets of everyone who planned a protest and everyone who participated. And what’s worse, said Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, is that the person who may have broken a window, triggering the claim there was a riot, might actually not be a member of the group but someone from the other side.

Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, said that chilling effect is aimed at a very specific group of protesters. “You now have a situation where you have full-time, almost professional agent-provocateurs that attempt to create public disorder," he said. “A lot of them are ideologues, some of them are anarchists," Kavanagh continued. “But this stuff is all planned."

What's to stop the state or someone else from hiring agents provocateurs to damage property, thereby giving the state an excuse to strip peaceful protestors of their homes and assets?

Image: David Mulder/Flickr

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Nunnsey
88 days ago
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This could have been a NYT article from the 20's. Professional anarchists!
Toronto
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One-upping the NES Classic Edition with the Raspberry Pi 3 and RetroPie

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Andrew Cunningham

Against my better judgment, I’ve tried a couple of times to snag one of those adorable little $60 mini NES Classic Editions—once when Amazon put some of its limited stock online and crashed its own site, and once when Walmart was shipping out small quantities every day a couple of weeks ago. In both cases, I failed.

But the dumb itch of nostalgia can’t always be scratched by logical thoughts like “do you really need to pay money for Super Mario Bros. 3 again,” and “Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest is probably the weakest of the three NES Castlevania games.” Since it’s not entirely clear if or when those little mini NESes will become readily available, I decided to funnel that small wad of expendable cash and the desire for some nostalgia-fueled gaming into a DIY project.

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Nunnsey
151 days ago
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Looks like I have a new years project!
Toronto
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Best Wireless Speaker System

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Sonos makes the best wireless speaker system currently available. It's simple to set up and use, easy to expand into multiple rooms, plays smoothly, and sounds great.

Rene Ritchie has been covering Apple and the personal technology industry for almost a decade. Editorial director for Mobile Nations, analyst for iMore, video and podcast host, you can follow him on Snapchat, Instagram, or Twitter @reneritchie.

Best overall

Sonos Play:1

See at Amazon

Sonos are like magic. Buy a speaker, plug it into power, download and launch the app, and you're up and streaming great sounding music from almost every popular internet service on the planet. That includes Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play Music, SiriusXM, and much, much more. Want to go stereo? Buy a second speaker, plug it in, launch the app again, tap a few virtual buttons, and boom. Stereo.

From there you can add more speakers, take it multi-room, and otherwise set up and manage all your home audio, right from your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or other devices. It's like a dream, only you get to keep enjoying it while you're awake!

Bottom line: If you want a wireless speaker that's as easy to set up as it is to expand, and gives you access to all the music on your devices and in the cloud, you want Sonos in general and the Play:1 in specific.

One more thing: Also available in white.

Why the Sonos Play:1 is the best

Wireless that just works.

Gone are the days when you had to string copper around your room or through your walls just to get the speaker you wanted set up in the place you wanted. Now the world has gone wireless — audio cable-less, more precisely (since most of the time you still need power cords!), and that means far more flexibility and expandability, even if there are still a few things you need to pay attention to.

All the Sonos speakers are great, but I'm picking Play:1 as the very best because it's both the best way to get started and the best way to expand into stereo, home theater, and even multi-room. They're compact, so they can fit almost anywhere, and they're loud and clear, so they sound great from almost anywhere.

Chris Heinonen from The Wirecutter agrees:

[The] $200 Play:1 is a great starting point. It costs less than most high-end Bluetooth speakers, yet measures as accurately as speakers costing several times as much. You can also pair up two Play:1s in stereo mode to get an amazing-sounding stereo setup for just $400—no amps or speaker wire required.

Plug a Play:1 into AC power, download and launch the Sonos app, and you're good to go. You can play any music stored on any device running the app, and if you subscribe or belong to any of a long, long, long list of online music and audio services, you can play them right from Sonos.

When you add a second Play:1, the app makes it easy to turn them into a set of stereo speakers. Same when you're ready for a home theater or multi-room setup. Sonos creates its own mesh network, which is more reliable than Bluetooth and less likely to suffer from interference, like your existing Wi-Fi network.

Those things you have pay attention to? The first is that Sonos doesn't support Apple's AirPlay audio streaming technology. That means you can't simply tap a button and switch the music playing on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac to your Sonos speaker. Also, since they're not Bluetooth, you can't simply connect and stream to them like standard BT speakers either.

The second is that Sonos doesn't support Apple's HomeKit home automation framework. That means you can't control Sonos with Siri or the Home app. You have to go to the Sonos app and tap to change volume, mute, change source, or do anything else. They also don't offer their own digital assistant, the way Amazon's Echo or Google's Home speakers do.

Sonos is otherwise so good, though, that neither of those things are deal breakers. They're so good that, if your end-goal is a multi-room wireless speaker system, with up to 32 speakers on the same network, your go-to is Sonos.

Best for going BIG

Sonos Play:5

See at Amazon

While the Play:1 can fill a small room or corner, the Play:5 can fill a house — and part of the block it sits on. Not really, of course, but it sounds like it could. That's the kind of power you get for the extra price you'll pay. From my colleague, Serenity Caldwell's Sonos Play:5 review:

After testing the Play:5 these last few weeks, I want them all over my house. Sonos knows its game, and it plays it exceedingly well: This is a well-crafted, dynamically powerful speaker that looks at home in your bathroom, in your office, on your kitchen counter, and in your living room.

Bottom-line: If you want house-shaking power, with all the Sonos ease-of-use and expandability that goes with it, you want the Play:5.

One more thing: You can position the Sonos Play:5 vertically or horizontally, whichever better suits your available space.

Best for living room

Sonos Home Theater

See at Amazon

The Sonos Home Theater system starts with a Playbar. That's as simple as you can go. Want 3.1 sound? Add a Sub and feel the floor shake. Want 5.1? Add a couple of Play:1s or Play:3s.

My only regret is that you can't add two more Play:1 speakers and take it to 7.1.

Bottom-line: If you want to connect your entertainment center to your wireless speakers, you want the Sonos Home Theater.

One more thing: If you connect your Sonos Home Theater to your Apple TV, you can AirPlay to the speaker system!

Conclusion

Sonos is the best wireless speaker system available today. It doesn't support AirPlay or HomeKit, which are bummers for people like me who are all-in on Apple's ecosystem, but the ease of use and expandability are so great that, once you plug them in, you probably won't care.

After all, Apple doesn't seem to — they've recently dedicated a whole display to Sonos at Apple Retail locations.

Don't want or need a wireless system? Check out our roundup of the best Bluetooth speakers

Best overall

Sonos Play:1

See at Amazon

Sonos are like magic. Buy a speaker, plug it into power, download and launch the app, and you're up and streaming great sounding music from almost every popular internet service on the planet. That includes Apple Music, Spotify, Google Music, SiriusXM, and much, much more. Want to go stereo? Buy a second speaker, plug it in, launch the app again, tap a few virtual buttons, and boom. Stereo.

From there you can add more speakers, take it multi-room, and otherwise set up and manage all your home audio, right from your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or other devices. It's like a dream, only you get to keep enjoying it while you're awake!

Bottom line: If you want a wireless speaker that's as easy to set up as it is to expand, and gives you access to all the music on your devices and in the cloud, you want Sonos in general and the Play:1 in specific.

One more thing: Also available in white.

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Nunnsey
187 days ago
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Where is the 'sponsored content' declaration?
Toronto
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The Cinemax Theory of Racism

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Yesterday I wrote here: 

If Trump’s administration indulges in the racism, sexism and religious and other bigotries that Trump and his people have already promised to engage in, we can assume it’s because his voters are just fine with that racism, sexism and religious and other bigotries — even if they claim to have voted for him for other reasons entirely. After all, Trump didn’t hide these things about himself, or try to sneak these plans in by a side door. They were in full view this entire time. If you vote for a bigot who has bigoted plans, you need to be aware of what that says about you, and your complicity in those plans.

I also last night tweeted this:

And wouldn’t you know, because of both, I’ve gotten comments and emails and tweets from people upset that I pointed out that voting for a public racist with clear racist policies means that one is abetting racism. I assume that they know for sure that they’re not racist, and wouldn’t be racist, so being accused of racism stings. They didn’t vote for racism! They voted to make America great again!

Well, so, okay. Let me give you an analogy here.

Let’s say you want HBO. So you go to your local cable provider to get HBO and they only way they’ll let you get HBO is to sign up for a premium channel package, which includes HBO but also includes Cinemax. Now, maybe you don’t want Cinemax, and you don’t care about Cinemax, and maybe never personally plan to ever watch Cinemax, but the deal is: If you want HBO, you have to sign on to Cinemax too. You have to be a Cinemax subscriber to get HBO. And you go ahead and sign up for the premium channel package.

Pop quiz: In this scenario, did you just subscribe to Cinemax?

And you may say, no, I subscribed to HBO, but I couldn’t get it without Cinemax. I’m an HBO subscriber, not a Cinemax subscriber.

And then someone points out to you, well, in point of fact, you are a Cinemax subscriber, look, there it is on your TV channel guide. Some of the money you pay in for your premium channel package goes to Cinemax and funds its plans and strategies.

And you say, but I never watch Cinemax or ever plan to.

And they say, okay, but you still subscribe to it, and you knew that in order to get HBO you had to get Cinemax, and you signed on anyway. You’re a Cinemax subscriber whether you ever watch it or not.

And you say, well, look, I really wanted HBO.

And they say, sure, enough that you were fine with accepting Cinemax to get it. Just don’t pretend you’re not currently subscribing to Cinemax, too. You clearly are. Look, it’s right there on your cable bill. You’re a Cinemax subscriber.

Now, to bring that analogy back to the point at hand. This election, you had two major Presidential providers. One offered you the Stronger Together plan, and the other offered you the Make America Great Again plan. You chose the Make America Great Again plan. The thing is, the Make America Great Again has in its package active, institutionalized racism (also active, institutionalized sexism. And as it happens, active, institutionalized homophobia). And you know it does, because the people who bundled up the Make America Great Again package not only told you it was there, they made it one of the plan’s big selling points.

And you voted for it anyway.

So did you vote for racism?

You sure did.

And you say, butI’m not racist, and I would never treat people in a racist fashion, and I don’t like being called out as having done a racist thing.

And others say to you, okay, but you knew that when you signed up for the Make America Great Again plan that active, institutionalized racism was part of the package. Your vote supports racism. By voting, you endorsed a racist plan.

And you say, but I didn’t want that part. I wanted the other parts.

And others say to you, that’s fine, but you knew that to get the other parts, you had to sign on for the racism, too. And evidently you were okay with that.

And you say, no I’m not, I hate racism.

And others say to you, but apparently you like these other things more than you hate racism, because you agreed to the racism in order to get these other things.

And you say, well, the Stronger Together plan had horrible things in it too.

And others say to you, yes, and you didn’t vote for that, you voted for this. Which has racism in it. You voted for racism.

And you say, stop saying that.

And the others ask, why.

I’ve written before on how people can benefit from racism and other forms of discrimination without actively and intentionally discriminating against others, and if you have the time I recommend reading the piece. Lots of people benefit from an institutionalized system of bigotry, etc (including me) without beingabigot themselves, i.e., going out of their way to keep other people down. That’s the nature of a bigoted system so endemic that you don’t even notice it’s there for the same reason the proverbial fish doesn’t notice the water.

I think you can very easily make the argument that a lot people who voted for Trump are not and would not actively be racist to another person in their day-to-day lives. I live among Trump voters, and the ones I live among are lovely and kind and perfect neighbors. They are what nearly anyone would describe as good people, me included. As are, I think, the majority of the people who voted for Trump.

But the fact remains that in voting for Trump, they voted for racism: It was right there in the package deal, front and center, and hard to miss. They voted for it anyway. And you may argue that voting for racism as part of a larger package deal is does not a racist make, and I wouldn’t necessarily disagree, as far as what people to do to others in their personal and day to day lives. But voting for racism will make personal, day-to-day life harder for the targets of that racism. Two days after the election, we’re already seeing that.

It’s perfectly fine to point out to people who voted for racism, that indeed, this is what they voted for. And also that if owning up to the fact that they voted for racism is uncomfortable for them, they should take a moment to think about how bad it is for the targets of that racism, and how bad it has yet to get.

For the Trump voters, Trump’s racism may have been just part of the package deal, the Cinemax they had accept to get the HBO. For those who are the target of that racism (and sexism, and homophobia), however, it’s not Cinemax. It’s their lives. Day to day, and every day. And they’re all too aware of what Trump voters signed up for, to get what they wanted.


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Nunnsey
193 days ago
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Loved this piece. @scalzi
Toronto
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2 public comments
StunGod
193 days ago
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Scalzi is correct in this. And what's especially galling to me is that many of the people who voted to MAGA but not the racism are exactly the same people who would boycott a company's products in response to some unrelated behavior... Maybe polluting a river or exploiting workers. The logical foundation is there, but they CHOSE not to use it when the stakes were high.
Portland, Oregon, USA, Earth
sirshannon
193 days ago
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Need to format this as a small flyer or folded pamphlet and hand out printed copies as needed.
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