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The Environmental thread + Conventional (HI-FI) wisdom is almost always invariably wrong

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When a system can present an orchestral recording in a faithful manner, it will no doubt also do a good job with all other kinds of music. However, if a recording is simply bad, this has to be audible too. Having bad recordings cosmetically tailored to sound palatable, is not the way forwards.

 

Actually, if you have music you enjoy and it is recorded badly, then a little tailoring is progress.  I agree this tailoring to taste should not be confused with superior fidelity, but adjustment for enjoyment is eminently reasonable.  Being overly hair-shirted in the purity of your musical pursuits can become an impediment for enjoyment in the end. 

 

 

There is an absolute, and that is the sound of real instruments playing in a real space, UNAMPLIFIED. 'The absolute sound', as it was coined long ago. This is being ignored by most so called experts, (hi-fi scribes for the most part) , who are effectively in the vanguard of a regression, and they ought to be ashamed of themselves. A symphony orchestra in a concert hall must be the most apt reference to use. One KNOWS how the instruments are placed with relation to one another, the distances, sizes etc, and it is fully possible to properly familiarise oneself with this experience by actually going to concerts.

 

So he shows us photos of a recording session which I think is from 2L.  Which do offer very high quality high fidelity recordings.  But mostly record as shown ringed around microphones in churches or cathedrals.  So do they sound like orchestra's in the concert hall or what they are over the author's superior fidelity system? Morton Lindberg has said in his MCH recordings he prefers to put the listener in the thick of the music.  Almost among it rather than at the end of a long hall at a distance.  To provide the listener a more immediate experience.  Sounds like the kind of thinking the author of the article doesn't like.  He also chooses orchestral recordings in smaller venues like churches so that you get a bit more immediate direct experience for his two channel recordings. 

 

I've not been to audio hifi shows.  I don't know if the sound he describes is the norm or not.  Mostly I've heard poor systems sound bright and flat without depth forward or backward.  It is also true a smiley faced FR curve can help 'enhance' that depth behind the speaker.  All this stuff is an illusion.  I most wholeheartedly agree with starting from a base of high fidelity, but from there whatever sounds good is fine.  Just don't confuse the two. 

 

 

 

 


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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30 minutes ago, JanRSmit said:

No, i do not know this. Having had contact with medical specialist and others who researcher the way we hear, stereo is not a gimmick. The whole technical stuff around this phenomenon of stereo had a very high degree of gimmick though.

Sure it is.  Ask these specialists about phantom images.  Is that like phantom pain?

 

Phantom images are perception of sound in a location where there is no sound.  What could you call that other than an aural illusion. 


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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Most accurate stereo recordings are crossed pairs of figure 8 microphones.  Most accurate playback is over speakers using those recordings with the speakers at 90 degrees from the listening position.  

 

How many recordings are done this way?  Chesky before they went binaural.  Water Lily.  And you can scrape up a few more. 

 

How many audiophiles have their speakers at 90 degrees.  Not too many. 

 

 


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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1 hour ago, Allan F said:

 

What is the basis for your claim that this speaker placement provides the most accurate playback? I know of no speaker manufacturer that recommends such placement, unless the peculiar layout of the listening room makes this the only practical solution.

https://www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/36/index.html

 

You can see Peter Mitchell mention it here.  For coincident X-Y or crossed figure 8 miking the proper place for speakers is also at 90 degree separation.  Has to do with how those work.  Law of sines and how the two signals combine.  You'll need the same angle on the speakers to reproduce them in a way most accurate in regards to imaging and soundstage.  It still works pretty well for 60 degrees separation but 90 degrees is most accurate. 

 

If the placement of the recording microphones vs the sound source wasn't well done you can get some odd effects.  Using 60 degrees on speaker placement can help this for those that were too far away, and won't sound obviously wrong if the microphone was too close.   So it is more forgiving.  

 

Sorry, I can't quickly point you to a more convincing link.  


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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20 minutes ago, Allan F said:

 

No need for a link. I can't imagine any listener, other than perhaps a recording engineer, placing his/her speakers based on the miking used for a recording - if that information was even available. I thought you were speaking more generally. :)

In a few tests done over the years, where they record either small groups of musicians or people walking around an area speaking, crossed figure 8's with 90 degree speaker separation are the most accurate to reality.  Crossed figure 8s do as well as others and better than most even at 60 degree separation of speakers.  But there is some built in inaccuracy. 

 

Now with almost everything being something other than a stereo pair recording it doesn't really matter.  People have settled on 60 degrees and most likely studio creations are made for that use.  Audiophiles basically use whatever fits the space they have even then.  From my experience most audiophile people use something less than 60 degrees.  I would say if I had to pick a number based upon what I've seen I'd pick 45 degrees as closer to a real world average. 

 

Maybe some people could do a bit of measuring and list what their speakers are set up with for the angle.  

 

My Soundlabs are about 50 degrees.  Due to room constraints. 

 

My video speakers which I listen to more than previously are 60 degrees.  I've an alternate location for the LP and can re-aim the front speakers for 75 degrees. 

 

I've some monitor speakers I can set up on stands, sometimes used nearfield and usually will go with 75 degrees though I can put them where I want like for listening to some crossed figure 8 recordings. 

 

Actually I'll just start a new thread on this. 

 

 

 


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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20 minutes ago, Allan F said:

 

I believe that the angle of placement that most people choose is based on the speaker's on/off axis response in their listening room. Some speakers sound best with a lot of toe-in, e.g. 45 degrees, while others perform best placed straight ahead with no toe-in. For want of a better description, mine sound best toed-in so that you can just slightly see the inner side of the speaker from the listening position.

That is a separate issue from how you space them.  I'm not speaking of the angle at which they are faced.  But the angle at which they are spaced.  A well designed speaker should sound best aimed at the listener.  Isn't always the case. 


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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21 minutes ago, gmgraves said:

For future reference, I prefer the definition that High-Fidelity means a “high degree of faithfulness to the original sound” , NOT the recording. 

I understand why you might go with that.  In the case of electronic reproduction however there is only the signal it is presented with.  If you had something that alters a signal to make it sound more real that is good, but high fidelity it isn't.  Your definitions seems more of "sounds real" than a matter of fidelity. 


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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16 minutes ago, semente said:

 

Greedy millionaire-wanabees will tell you that Bitcon provides much pleasure...

 

I think that there's now sufficient factual evidence for putting the preservation of the habitat which sustains human life before our personal pleasures (I'm sure someone will come along and say that they don't have children and don't care what happens to the planet after they're gone, and a handful of deniers).

Not a denier.  Climate change is real enough.  But it is a tough problem.  Maybe the solution is don't have children and lower the world population. 

 

I don't think it is the total chaos and end of human life.  It can eventually get pretty bad, but that is more than 50 years away which does mean it is after I'll be here.  So I can't do much.  It will be dealt with by those people around then.  Not in favor of leaving trouble for those that come after,  but I've not seen any good answers that are really capable of being implemented.  Too many solutions involve some sort of benevolent dictator to make everyone do right, and those just don't have a good history of working out. 


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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51 minutes ago, semente said:

 

Come on, you can't do much? If we all do a bit then we'll get to the much quite quickly.

 

There are many things one can do, simple things like reducing water waste, avoid plastics, compost and recicle, walk or cycle or take public transportation whenever possible, avoid flying for pleasure, fuel-saving driving, less shopping, less food waste, buy locally produced organic food, replace heating/cooling equipment with more efficient and cleaner ones, replace your 3-ton 4-litre SUV with a lighter more fuel-efficient car, demand more action from government and from business...turn off your hi-fi equipment when not in use?

 

Have you watched this documentary? It's preagnant with ideas!

 

 

Never owned a vehicle that weighs even close to 2 tons much less 3 tons and I abhor SUVs.  

 

What is composting going to do for me or the planet?  I'm not a farmer and I bet you aren't either. 

 

No public transportation where I live, and I probably wouldn't want to live anywhere there is some. 

 

I don't waste food.  

 

All my amps are class D.  

 

Avoid plastics?  Are you sure?  How much more weight would modern cars have if they used metal and no plastics?  I actually have a plastic car and is very low polluting and highly efficient.  Plastic can save far more than it hurts in terms of energy use and excess carbon over the life of a vehicle. 

 

Let me try some other suggestions.  Don't heat or cool.  That is far, far better than just being efficient with heating or cooling.  Or at the very least only heat or cool enough not to die.  For cooling you probably can manage with no cooling.  For heating you'll need a little, but certainly no one needs more than 50 degrees F to stay alive.  More than that is ridiculously selfish.  Are you going to implement that right away?

 

As for the video you linked.  Pregnancy is bad it leads to resource hogging people.  So stop it.  And I didn't get past the first few seconds where they show that "recent reports indicate the  possible demise of the human race".  Okay, I get the climate change, I get the problems it will cause, I get that smart action now makes the future much better than if we don't.  But this human race demise is total bullshit.  Total bullshit.  Things may be hard, and many may perish, and I'm not in favor of that.  But not all people will die anytime in the reasonably near future.  Let us say 500 years.  And we simply don't know what will be possible even 100 years from now. So please stop with the garbage.  You have to get hooked up with reality to do something effective.  The attitude in the video is ridiculous and ineffective. 

 

And I worked my entire career in the environmental protection business.  Solar and nuclear power are our best paths for future power generation and we are a generation or two late in implementing them.  You can't go back and do what didn't get done in the past.  Have to work with the now and the future.  Make smart choices and inform people.  The neat thing is smart choices usually provide a better result and save money and save on energy use.  The saving money and working better is what will get people on board.  You have to appeal to their greed and self interest.  You do that, and you'll not be able to stop them from doing the right thing.  Trying to scaremonger isn't going to do it.  It is counter-productive.  


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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7 minutes ago, semente said:

 

Yes. Bags, toys, clothes, bottles, useless stuff in general.

 

 

Pregnancy of (good) ideas? Why is that bad?

 

It's not human reproduction that is destroying our habitat, but human actions. Mostly due to greed (shareholder profit-oriented business) which benefits but a microcospic minority of the planet's population; it's made us the growth-obsessed consumer society we are now.

We have the tools and the knowledge and the wealth and yet had decades of growing cleavage between the top and bottom ends of society and created a massive canyon between us. People are not well-educated and this suits the system. It has them voting for populists and choosing emotion over fact, and buying. Like chicken in a factory. It also has them having many children. Poverty in developing countries or regions (because there are poor regions here in England as there are in the US that rival those in Africa) means little education and more children means more chance of a few surviving to adulthood and more people to support you once you retire and cannot access retirement pension or adequate free medical treatment or free elderly care...

 

You should watch the documentary.

As a documentary, it starts by reporting the (alarmist) spotlighting of the climate emergency by the media and goes on to investigate how small groups in different parts of the planet are operating changes to their lifestyle and that of their communities (i.e. the allotments in Detroit after the collapse of the industry) to bring a positive impact to the environment, to society and to their own lives.

PM me your details and buy you the DVD.

If human actions are destroying the planet, then how can you argue against less humans would result in less destruction?

 

I get the problem with growth.  There was a fairly advanced model showing how if we'd experienced 3% growth from the time of the pyramids in Egypt until now, we'd have already used up all the resources of the solar system and all the output of the sun.  Yet 3% growth is considered necessary for a 'healthy' economy.  It isn't sustainable at all.  

 

Detroit, yeah that is the place to emulate.  You lost me at this:

 

WHEN ALL OF THE MEMBER OF A COMMUNITY HAVE EASY ACCESS TO ADEQUATE  AMOUNTS OF AFFORDABLE, NUTRITIOUS, CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE FOOD.(sic)

 

Okay what is culturally appropriate food?  It is bullshit.  The people who think this way are fundamentally divorced from reality.  Sorry. 

 

 

 

WHEN ALL OF THE MEMBER OF A COMMUNITY HAVE EASY ACCESS TO ADEQUATE  AMOUNTS OF AFFORDABLE, NUTRITIOUS, CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE FOOD.

 


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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delete


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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9 hours ago, manisandher said:

Off topic...

 

I've just started reading 'Energy and Civilization' by  Vaclav Smil. Hoping to get myself a little educated on the subject.

 

Mani.

His book on Power Density was pretty good.  


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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11 hours ago, semente said:

 

Yes. Bags, toys, clothes, bottles, useless stuff in general.

 

 

Pregnancy of (good) ideas? Why is that bad?

 

It's not human reproduction that is destroying our habitat, but human actions. Mostly due to greed (shareholder profit-oriented business) which benefits but a microcospic minority of the planet's population; it's made us the growth-obsessed consumer society we are now.

We have the tools and the knowledge and the wealth and yet had decades of growing cleavage between the top and bottom ends of society and created a massive canyon between us. People are not well-educated and this suits the system. It has them voting for populists and choosing emotion over fact, and buying. Like chicken in a factory. It also has them having many children. Poverty in developing countries or regions (because there are poor regions here in England as there are in the US that rival those in Africa) means little education and more children means more chance of a few surviving to adulthood and more people to support you once you retire and cannot access retirement pension or adequate free medical treatment or free elderly care...

 

You should watch the documentary.

As a documentary, it starts by reporting the (alarmist) spotlighting of the climate emergency by the media and goes on to investigate how small groups in different parts of the planet are operating changes to their lifestyle and that of their communities (i.e. the allotments in Detroit after the collapse of the industry) to bring a positive impact on the environment, society and their own lives.

PM me your details and buy you the DVD (mine is PAL and is doing the rounds).

It might be useful to read this book. 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0756J1LLV/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_d_asin_title_o09?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

 

 

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think 


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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6 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

Actually, things are worse than most people think: 

- They think catastrophic effects from climate change are 50 or more years away.

- They think climate change can be reversed with electric cars and the elimination of fossil fuels.

 

 

2000 watt society?

 

https://phys.org/news/2013-05-road-watt-society.html


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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2 hours ago, Ralf11 said:

 

Not adequate.

 

If ALL CO2 and CH4 emissions stopped today, there is still ~~40 years of global warming built in.

 

The only solution is to remove carbon (CO2) from the atmosphere and sequester it.  There is currently no way to do that.

 

So, things will get worse (even as some areas of technological prowess increase).  

 

Expect impacts to food supplies, fires (ecosystem conversion), wars, chaos, and other forms of hell.  It is unclear what the impacts to civilization will be.

One reason I posted that link.  It hasn't proven doable.  Not that it would be impossible just that they haven't gotten people to manage it in a 1st world country.  And it wouldn't be enough if had been accomplished.  

 

So despite what others seem to think my opinion is, I'm not saying it isn't a problem.  I am saying I've not seen a solution that looks like it would work and that you could get people to do.  Nor am I saying it is an excuse to do nothing.  I don't like some of the not well examined solutions that some believe will do the trick.  As I think they'll do harm of others types and not fix or ameliorate the problem. 


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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The data on UK income seems wrong.  

United Kingdom Household Income per Capita

 

The poverty rate in the USA is around 12.5% and has fluctuated a percent or so either way for more than 30 years.  

 

Nationalist movements do seem to be on the rise.  Probably because most people don't want more government intervention which is what is prescribed for fixing climate change and other social matters by certain kinds of people.  And those people seem unable to accept that someone can understand climate change and its dangers, but disagree with letting the gov't take over more decisions and force actions onto citizens that citizens don't want.  


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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10 minutes ago, semente said:

 

That is so ironic... I can't see how you can have less intervention with a dictatorship. I was born into the end of a 40 year old dictatorship and can assure that there's nothing good about it.
Ignorance and expectation bias is what leas to te rise of the far right.

And if people in the US "disagree with letting the gov't take over" then why did they elect a dotard in the first place? Perhaps they're just as unfit to make decisions as governments. This particularly bad in systems where political parties are completely in the hands of business...

Europe has somewhat different values, but for how long?

 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/22/world/europe/un-poverty-uk-austerity.html

 

Please don't use the NYT as a source.  They openly decided to become opposition to the elected president of the US.  They've thrown away their credibility.  You are doing the same with your claiming a dictatorship.  Don't be so ridiculous, and melodramatic.  Elections don't go how you want at all times.  It still how the system works.  I'd also like less influence from corporations, but that doesn't make it a dictatorship. 


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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12 minutes ago, semente said:

 

Yes. The first thing that comes to mind is how it affects the ecosystem. Don't you agree?

 

 

Have you watched the documentary?

 

How do GMO's effect the ecosystem?  No I don't agree.  If you are raising natural corn or you are raising GMO corn, you aren't letting other plants there in either case. 


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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14 minutes ago, semente said:

This one is also worth watching:

 

 

This is excellent.  On the diapers especially.  It tells you the problems of disposable diapers.  OK.  It tells you how much water you'd use to wash reusable diapers.  OK. They neglected including the electricity and chemicals involved in that.  And then they just move on offering no solution or guide to which is better.  What do you want, everyone to just not diaper their kids?  

 

BTW, I hope you don't think I'm being informed about our ecological footprint.  Its huge.  Just offer some better alternatives if you don't like what we have now.  


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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9 minutes ago, Summit said:

 

The more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere the greater the greenhouse effect. There is no doubt about that, none. Should greenhouse gas emissions continue at present rate it will cause severe negative effects on all from economy, ecosystems and biodiversity to human livelihood.

 

It’s true that a higher levels of CO2 can result in increased plant growth, but only up to a point after that there will be no positive effects. The main problem for plants is not the level of CO2 its water and climate.

Don't disagree at all.  What can be done about it that really works or is workable? 

Suppose everyone agrees starting next month, to stop activities to the point C02 emissions drop to 10% the current level?  You do realize there are lots of bad effects to doing something like that.  So how to you get there without causing lots of bad problems elsewhere in the process?  I'm all for it.  I just don't see how that works right now.  Not because I don't think there is a way, or that it is impossible, but this is a big complex global problem and touching the tar baby doesn't even get you close the stickiness of this problem.  Most of the offered oversimplified solutions have ill effects themselves, and aren't enough.  


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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7 minutes ago, semente said:

 

If a crop stops feeding a bug a bug starves. This affects the balance. Not to feed starved mouths but for profit. And there are hints at health risks. Which is why we have a very strict GMO policy in Europe. Which is why Trump wants to destroy the EU.

 

And now the topic has turned to politics and will soon be closed.

Trump derangement syndrome.  Trump has plenty of bad qualities for real.  But because Europe has a strict GMO policy he wants to destroy the EU? hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

 

Given the results of the recent EU elections I guess Trump has evilly influenced them somehow.  Or was it Putin and Russia who are responsible in a shadow operation once again?  Man all this evil is gonna kill us all.  You should feel better.  We don't have to worry about global warming with these folks around. 


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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3 minutes ago, PeterSt said:

So, you guys seem to eat 5442 hot dogs in your life time. I maybe 2 or 3 a year. I plan to reach 100 so that is ~250 hot dogs in my life time.

Btw, I suppose that one of them was thrown at me at independence day because I happened to pass by.

 

image.png.44803ebb87ffe09877207bad37b474d8.png

It is all those Hot Dog eating contests on the 4th of July.  They throw the average off by a lot. :)


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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