thecakeisalime's recent activity

  1. Comment on What's a "house rule" that has made a game more fun for you? in ~games

    thecakeisalime
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    We do this too, but we just use two tiles. Maybe we'll try with four next time and see how it goes.

    We do this too, but we just use two tiles. Maybe we'll try with four next time and see how it goes.

    4 votes
  2. Comment on What's a "house rule" that has made a game more fun for you? in ~games

    thecakeisalime
    Link
    Power Grid: Play with open money. Technically not a house rule, but because the FAQ/game designer said that money should be hidden, it's something we clarify before we begin. We also sometimes use...

    Power Grid: Play with open money. Technically not a house rule, but because the FAQ/game designer said that money should be hidden, it's something we clarify before we begin. We also sometimes use some of the updated rules from Power Grid: Recharged - specifically the pre-chosen starting locations, and making the cheapest plant cost $1 at the beginning of the auction. I like the pre-chosen starting locations, though I've found that the $1 plant doesn't make a huge difference.

    6 votes
  3. Comment on The carry-on-baggage bubble is about to pop in ~travel

    thecakeisalime
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I was going to say something similar. I've never waited only 15 minutes for baggage. I have waited 4 hours at Pearson to get my bags, being ushered back and forth between numerous carousels while...

    I was going to say something similar. I've never waited only 15 minutes for baggage. I have waited 4 hours at Pearson to get my bags, being ushered back and forth between numerous carousels while being told our bags are "arriving soon", after having landed 2 hours late.

    That was pre-pandemic, and from what I've heard, it's only gotten worse since. I haven't checked a bag in years, and I don't particularly want to travel with people who need to. Everything I need for a week easily fits in a single carry-on sized suitcase. If I'm going for more than a week, I'll find a laundromat.

    (EDIT: to be clear, the 4 hour wait was an anomaly, even for Pearson, though waiting an hour was pretty typical.)

    11 votes
  4. Comment on Northern hemisphere gardeners - share your 2024 plans! in ~hobbies

    thecakeisalime
    Link Parent
    My sympathies. Did you manage to get it all? It was self-inflicted for me, but even when I thought I'd gotten it all, it still popped up the next year. If I'm ever up in that part of Michigan,...

    The previous owners of our house left us with at least six varieties growing like weeds

    My sympathies. Did you manage to get it all? It was self-inflicted for me, but even when I thought I'd gotten it all, it still popped up the next year.

    In fact, their Earl Gray is the best I've ever had, and an international award winner.

    If I'm ever up in that part of Michigan, I'll have to stop in and try a cup. But wow! That is some expensive tea, even before shipping (which is another $50 to my part of Canada).

    1 vote
  5. Comment on Northern hemisphere gardeners - share your 2024 plans! in ~hobbies

    thecakeisalime
    Link Parent
    We've been buying seedlings for the past several years, and are going to start from seed this year. Maybe it's a huge mistake, but hopefully the fact that we're not absolute beginners at gardening...

    Tip: buy seedlings, don't bother from seed.

    We've been buying seedlings for the past several years, and are going to start from seed this year. Maybe it's a huge mistake, but hopefully the fact that we're not absolute beginners at gardening (though we are beginners at starting from seed) will help us succeed. In addition to buying a bunch of different seeds, I also saved a bunch of seeds from last year (including from some possibly hybrid plants), so that's an additional experiment that probably shouldn't happen in my first year of starting from seed, but because I lack wisdom, I'll be doing it anyway.

    3 votes
  6. Comment on Northern hemisphere gardeners - share your 2024 plans! in ~hobbies

    thecakeisalime
    Link Parent
    Watch out for mint. It spreads rapidly, and it's hard to control. I've switched to growing herbs like mint in pots on my deck, making it harder for them to spread (but still not impossible)....

    Watch out for mint. It spreads rapidly, and it's hard to control. I've switched to growing herbs like mint in pots on my deck, making it harder for them to spread (but still not impossible).

    Speaking of tea gardens, I've just ordered some Camellia Sinensis (Tea Plant) seeds. I'm in zone 6 and they're typically better suited to zones 7-9, so it's possible they'll die off over winter, but I'm also going to try growing one in a pot that I can bring indoors each winter.

    4 votes
  7. Comment on Help: Dual sim mobile phone replacement in ~tech

    thecakeisalime
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    You didn't mention this, so I'll bring it up in case you aren't aware: Pixel 6 Pro (and all the Pixels since 3) do support dual sims, but one of them needs to be an eSIM. Many carriers support...

    You didn't mention this, so I'll bring it up in case you aren't aware: Pixel 6 Pro (and all the Pixels since 3) do support dual sims, but one of them needs to be an eSIM.

    Many carriers support eSIMs now. It might be worth checking with one or both of the carriers you plan to sign up with to see if they can help you with that.

    17 votes
  8. Comment on Notifications are ads in ~tech

    thecakeisalime
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    This is not directly related to notifications, but somewhat adjacent. I keep my phone on silent and have disabled vibration. I'm reachable (I still check it too frequently), but my phone no longer...

    This is not directly related to notifications, but somewhat adjacent. I keep my phone on silent and have disabled vibration. I'm reachable (I still check it too frequently), but my phone no longer interrupts me unless I choose to let it interrupt me. If someone texts, it doesn't need an immediate response. I'll respond eventually. If someone phones (99% of the time it will be my mother or a spam call), they can leave a message and I'll get back to them. It's never urgent, and even when my mother phones instead of emailing, it's because it's easier to discuss something rather than go back and forth over email. Hell, she sent me an email when my dad had a heart attack (he's fine now). If that's not urgent, I don't know what is.

    I understand not everyone is able to do this - you might need to be immediately reachable for work or family purposes. But for those who can, it might be worth giving this a try.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on Pew Research data on how many countries people have travelled to in ~travel

    thecakeisalime
    Link Parent
    Even though Canada is large and has lots to see, air travel is weirdly expensive. It costs more to fly from Toronto to Vancouver than it does to fly to Europe, so you might as well go to Europe....

    Even though Canada is large and has lots to see, air travel is weirdly expensive. It costs more to fly from Toronto to Vancouver than it does to fly to Europe, so you might as well go to Europe. Similarly, flights to the Caribbean are quite cheap, especially Cuba, so a lot of Canadians head south for the winter.

    Flying within the States is cheap, so there isn't any monetary pressure for Americans to go somewhere else.

    5 votes
  10. Comment on Most bingeable book series? in ~books

    thecakeisalime
    Link Parent
    There's also a 4.5 and a 0.5. I've already read 1-6 in that order, but I'm curious as to why you suggest 6 before 5?

    There's also a 4.5 and a 0.5. I've already read 1-6 in that order, but I'm curious as to why you suggest 6 before 5?

  11. Comment on Canada announces cap on international students for next two years in ~life

    thecakeisalime
    Link Parent
    To be blunt, a lot of the students that have been arriving in the past several years have not been well educated or motivated students. Some of them aren't even going to school - they're just...

    Being a desirable destination for well educated and motivated students can translate to well educated and motivated immigrants that can form the backbone of new science and technology industries.

    To be blunt, a lot of the students that have been arriving in the past several years have not been well educated or motivated students. Some of them aren't even going to school - they're just working. Due to their work limitations (usually max 20 hours per week, but this was upped to 40 hours as a covid measure), they often work illegally, which is bad for the local economy, bad for others who want part time jobs, and bad for them, because it's easy to take advantage of someone who isn't going to risk deportation. It's also a lot easier to get permanent residency in Canada through a student visa than through the points system, and a lot of schools have opened up in the past few years to take advantage of this. And while the population of international students has exploded in recent years, I think this cap is actually the least important of the changes being introduced with this bill. This article explains a lot of what is going on, and gives some startling numbers:

    Mr. Genuis said the disclosure that only 343,470 of the 1,015,744 students were studying at institutions accredited by Universities Canada showed that many international students coming to Canada were studying at private colleges, technical schools and other postsecondary institutions with varying standards.

    and

    The IRCC’s Student Integrity Analysis Report, dated November, 2021, found “no shows” make up as much as 90 per cent of students at some private colleges

    The more important parts (IMO) of this bill will be that international students won't automatically qualify for work permits, and nor will their spouses. (source)

    In the weeks ahead, open work permits will only be available to spouses of international students in master’s and doctoral programs. The spouses of international students in other levels of study, including undergraduate and college programs, will no longer be eligible.

     

    international students who begin a study program that is part of a curriculum licensing arrangement will no longer be eligible for a post­graduation work permit upon graduation

    This statement really highlights how ridiculous this situation has become:

    For 2024, the cap is expected to result in approximately 360,000 approved study permits, a decrease of 35% from 2023.

    I can't find the exact number, but a 35% decrease means that ~550,000 study permits were issued in 2023. We currently have just over 1 million study permit holders, which means that over half of our international student population arrived last year. This isn't natural growth of schools expanding and students looking to get an education. It's a combination of institutions greedily accepting as many students as they can, while the international students are sold a dream of easy immigration to Canada upon completion of their degree.

    19 votes
  12. Comment on What’s something you wish more people understood? in ~talk

    thecakeisalime
    Link Parent
    Isn't that quote in the context of "this might have helped me not kill my wife"? Yes, he did some very bad things, but if we can learn from that and prevent it from happening to others, shouldn't...

    Isn't that quote in the context of "this might have helped me not kill my wife"? Yes, he did some very bad things, but if we can learn from that and prevent it from happening to others, shouldn't we? Emotional guidance isn't something we get a lot of at school here in North America, and I think he has some good points.

    On the other hand, he is up for parole soon, so maybe this wasn't said in good faith and he doesn't actually believe it.

    9 votes
  13. Comment on TikTok invaded this cruise for content. Maybe someday it’ll come for you. in ~tech

    thecakeisalime
    Link Parent
    Resorts share many of the downsides of cruises, but in my opinion, have a lot more upside. Equivalent experiences are cheaper. You can make your own schedule. There's more options for excursions....

    Resorts share many of the downsides of cruises, but in my opinion, have a lot more upside. Equivalent experiences are cheaper. You can make your own schedule. There's more options for excursions. Nightlife entertainment has more variety. The drinks and food is often all-inclusive, and there's more variety. Internet is included. Your room is bigger. You're not burning the dirtiest of fuels and possibly breathing it in depending on which way the wind is blowing.

    The only benefit to cruise ships is that they often stop in multiple places (often different countries) that are too far apart to realistically do from a single all-inclusive resort. But, you'll get to do a day-trip at each stop, and then be on your way. Whereas with a resort, even if it's far away from anything non-touristy, you still have that option. And you'll still get to experience more of the country/culture, even just going to the pre-planned excursions offered by your resort.

    Having done both in the past, I don't think I'm ever going to go on a cruise again.

    EDIT: Elsewhere in the thread, people are mentioning that cruises are cheaper. Not in my experience, but maybe it depends where you're flying from to get there (I live in Canada). Obviously, if you don't need to fly to one, but do need to fly to the other, the more local option will be cheaper.

    3 votes
  14. Comment on My 2024 theme - Expanding recipe repertoire in ~food

    thecakeisalime
    Link Parent
    Flour tortillas are pretty simple to make. Corn tortillas are even easier. I usually start with this recipe. Your favourite recipe site will probably have something similar. The biggest difference...

    Flour tortillas are pretty simple to make. Corn tortillas are even easier.

    I usually start with this recipe. Your favourite recipe site will probably have something similar. The biggest difference in recipes is the source of fat you use. Purists will say lard is the correct way, but sometimes I make these for vegan/vegetarian friends, and olive oil works just fine. I've also used beef tallow. Whatever you have on hand is fine.

    Corn tortillas are just masa harina (nixtamalized corn flour) + salt + water. The hardest part of making these (for me) was finding a store that sold masa harina. You can't just use regular old corn flour as it won't absorb the water properly and it'll just crumble when you try to cook it.

    2 votes
  15. Comment on Netflix is reportedly exploring adding in-game ads to its gaming service in ~games

    thecakeisalime
    Link Parent
    I cancelled Netflix in September, and will probably cancel Prime instead of renewing it in June, due to the upcoming ads, as well as the fact that I really haven't watched that much in the past...

    In my case, how long I maintain a streaming subscription is the measure of my laziness.

    I cancelled Netflix in September, and will probably cancel Prime instead of renewing it in June, due to the upcoming ads, as well as the fact that I really haven't watched that much in the past several months. I'll keep up my CBC Gem subscription, because I think they're doing a good service for the community, and the ad-supported version is still free for everyone.

    As I've cancelled services, I've found that the amount of TV/movies I watch has been going down as well. This is probably a good thing. I still maintain my Plex setup, and go through other routes to watch shows that I don't get on the services I pay for, but the manual step of simply downloading files gives me a moment to reflect and decide whether this is something worth watching. It also makes it harder to discover new shows, though I suspect anything actually worth watching will make its way to me through the grapevine, even if I am a few months late to the party. I much prefer binge-watching to waiting week after week (though for me, binge-watching is never really more than 2 episodes in an evening), so I tend to wait until the season is done anyway.

    Maybe when I have kids I'll have to sign up for Disney+ or some other child-friendly service, just to keep up with whatever it is kids are watching these days, but until then, I don't mind finding alternative sources for TV watching.

    6 votes
  16. Comment on Your organic, eco-friendly lifestyle isn't as green as you think in ~enviro

    thecakeisalime
    Link Parent
    Thanks! I appreciate you writing this up. That is pretty much how I see it. I think the market forces you mentioned are important, and the economics as you described it make sense. However, I...

    Thanks! I appreciate you writing this up.

    I guess if you look at this strictly in terms of infrastructure and not in terms of capital or if you don't believe in market forces then this is a "scam." But I would tend to believe that capital is a meaningful motivator for corporate behavior, given past evidence.

    That is pretty much how I see it.

    I think the market forces you mentioned are important, and the economics as you described it make sense. However, I think it depends a lot on location, and are probably why it seems like a good idea to you, and not so much to me. I live in an area (Ontario, Canada), where somewhere between 70 and 90% of our daily energy needs are produced by green (including nuclear) sources. While the production and distribution is partially controlled by private companies, the government has a lot more influence on the mix than in a lot of other places, and market forces are much less prevalent in this industry.

    Perhaps I was a bit harsh to use the word "scam" earlier. I don't think they're trying to defraud anyone, but I do think that the implementation (at least here in Canada) is used more to pay back the developers/producers, rather than as an incentive to start up new projects, which are often only done with government support anyway.

    1 vote
  17. Comment on Your organic, eco-friendly lifestyle isn't as green as you think in ~enviro

    thecakeisalime
    Link Parent
    I'm curious how this works. Every time a program like this comes up, it basically seems like a big scam and that it's just a way to get a few extra dollars out of some of their customers. They've...

    Buying only renewable [household?] electricity: I was very happy to learn that my energy supplier offers a green-only option. I have taken it. My costs have increased somewhat, but I can put up with it.

    I'm curious how this works. Every time a program like this comes up, it basically seems like a big scam and that it's just a way to get a few extra dollars out of some of their customers. They've already built the infrastructure and equipment to generate the green energy. They're already generating that energy and selling it to you, even if you don't opt into this program. The only way it actually has a net benefit is if people sign up for the program faster than they build out their green infrastructure, and only if the energy company is honest and not trying to pull any weird calculation/accounting tricks.

    3 votes
  18. Comment on I created a game that is based on data analysis and pattern matching in ~games

    thecakeisalime
    Link Parent
    Regarding #24 > 4202024 would be a palindrome date per the calculation Oh wow. US-style dates without leading zeros would have thrown me off for a long time, especially for something as infrequent...
    Regarding #24 > 4202024 would be a palindrome date per the calculation

    Oh wow. US-style dates without leading zeros would have thrown me off for a long time, especially for something as infrequent as a palindromic date. I guess the first two cases (May 20, 2024, and April 20, 2025) might give it away, but I doubt I would have been able to figure that out with only the first data point.

    #15 On Christmas (2023-12-25), I entered "0", and it was marked correct. It was both 0 days until Christmas (2023), and 366 days until Christmas (2024). I don't know how your algorithm verified things, so I suppose it's possible that both values were judged to be correct.
    1 vote
  19. Comment on I created a game that is based on data analysis and pattern matching in ~games

    thecakeisalime
    Link Parent
    The good news about #24 is that The good news about #24 is... It'll always be 0 until 2030-03-02, so you have another 6 years to change it to something more reasonable before we notice (even if...

    The good news about #24 is that

    The good news about #24 is...

    It'll always be 0 until 2030-03-02, so you have another 6 years to change it to something more reasonable before we notice (even if it's just always 0).

    Regarding #7 and #15 Why were the ranges as big as they were? They can never use the highest number in their range. It obviously makes sense for #16 to have the full 26 options (so we can figure it out), but the 7 was a little misleading (there are never 7 Mondays in a single month), and the 366 made me worried about what the value should be on Christmas (0 or 366?).

    I think a similar challenge with publicly available information could be interesting, though the difficulty could range from "slightly harder than this one" to "basically impossible" depending on the criteria you choose.

    2 votes
  20. Comment on Studies suggest that relying on will power is hopeless [to eliminate bad habits]. Instead, we must find strategies that don’t require us to be strong. in ~humanities

    thecakeisalime
    Link Parent
    That's interesting, though I don't think it affects this. The premise here is based on the testing methodology (covering the temptation helps self control), rather than the (possibly) refuted...

    That's interesting, though I don't think it affects this. The premise here is based on the testing methodology (covering the temptation helps self control), rather than the (possibly) refuted conclusion of "self control = success in life".

    This article is basically just reaffirming the adage "Out of sight; out of mind."

    17 votes