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Author Topic: Fairly trivial question
nonsuch
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Babbler # 1402

posted 21 July 2002 01:18 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Where is Atlantis?
What was it like?
Who lived there?
What happened?

From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
clersal
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 370

posted 21 July 2002 10:21 AM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Under water.
Arid.
The Atlantics.
Big flood.

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skdadl
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Babbler # 478

posted 21 July 2002 10:58 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I remember hearing about an ancient town on the Central American coast somewhere, now sunken, that sank because it was built on sand and an earthquake caused the shoreline for some distance inland to emulsify -- something like that.

Perhaps that happened more than once, and elsewhere, in our history? It was the kind of science my utterly unscientific mind could grasp, anyway.


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'lance
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Babbler # 1064

posted 21 July 2002 12:44 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Another source of the story might have been a Greek island (can't remember the name) which featured a volcanic cone. (The Mediterranean and Adriatic are volcanically active areas -- think of Vesuvius, etc.). At some point in antiquity, this cone collapsed during an eruption. The central part of the island literally sank below the waves.

I wish I could remember more details. I'll look it up, perhaps.

Edited to add:

Here it is, Santorini. Erupted around 1640 B.C., producing a caldera, or crater.

But according to this page,

quote:
no direct correlation can be established between the Santorini volcano and the collapse of Neopalatial Minoan civilization.

[ July 21, 2002: Message edited by: 'lance ]


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nonsuch
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Babbler # 1402

posted 21 July 2002 02:07 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hey, there was a thing on TLC just this week about this. One theory is that the resultant tidal waves did for Minos. Unfortunately, i only heard bits of the program from the other room.
But how could it have been Atlantis, when it's in the Mediterranean?

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Trisha
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 387

posted 21 July 2002 05:30 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The only evidence for Atlantis was a legend written by Plato and those who believe it was real say that translations may have messed up some of the numbers. There are two places referred to as the pillars Plato mentions, which would make Santorini a good basis for the legend. There is also proof of volcanos and flooding in the Medeterranian area that fit.

Many sunken cities have been found all over the world so that part of the legend is certainly believable. One of the problems with identifying Atlantis is that plate teutonics don't allow any room for a large island in the Atlantic. Some scientists are now looking at Greenland as a possibility. I'm interested in ancient history and there are at least four "known" peoples that have not been properly identified though there is lots of evidence of their existence. The one thing all these studies prove is that people were not stupid and were capable of amazing technology during the early times. Most countries have legends of seafaring strangers arriving on their shores and teaching them. It makes an interesting study.


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nonsuch
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posted 21 July 2002 05:51 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yea... Don't you just get itchy all over when somebody says "Wow! How could they have done that, when they were just, like, primitives?"

Ancient peoples were just as intelligent as clever as we are. Indeed, more clever, since they didn't have a computer to do the arithmetic and projection for them.


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Trisha
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Babbler # 387

posted 21 July 2002 06:43 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The more you read on archeology and paleontology, the more you see that most civilizations of the past were very sophisticated. I watch a TV show on the learning channel where a group of people try to duplicate building structures using only the tools and methods fitting to the time. It takes a lot of work to even figure out how some of these things were done and they have often failed in their attempts. If you look at places like Angor Wat, you can see good examples of this ancient engineering talent. The great pyramids were not over one inch disaligned in their position, huge stone structures are so well made that a piece of paper can't be put between the stones in some structures, brain surgery is thousands of years old as ancient skulls have proven. There's a lot more. You've hit on one of my interests.
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Zatamon
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posted 21 July 2002 07:38 PM      Profile for Zatamon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Trish, I watched the same program! It was incredible. They invented 'sand-hydraulics', in ancient Egypt, to lower a stone sarcophagus and its lid, weighing 30 tons, into a 45 foot deep and narrow shaft cut into stone. Not even using pulleys. Boy, these guys had tons of brains!
From: where hope for 'hope' is contemplated | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
adlib
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posted 21 July 2002 07:46 PM      Profile for adlib     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Lots of the technology that the "West" claims as it's own was stolen from other cultures, such as cultures in Africa (Egypt for one), and what is called the "middle East" or South and East Asia.

It's one of those depressing things, wondering what the world would have been like if Europe wasn't running around killing and colonizing.

On that happy note, nice to meet you all. Later..


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Zatamon
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posted 21 July 2002 08:02 PM      Profile for Zatamon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Welcome, adlib to Babble. I hope you will like it here.

[ July 21, 2002: Message edited by: Zatamon ]


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'lance
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posted 21 July 2002 08:07 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Welcome indeed adlib, as I said somewhere-or-other.

On the subject of "western" technology, you might be interested to know we had a sort of discussion on it here, which actually began as a discussion of the issue of reparations to indigenous peoples and the descendents of slaves, over here.

Babble: where any discussion that stays strictly on-topic is by definition a failure.


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aRoused
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posted 22 July 2002 03:04 AM      Profile for aRoused     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Trisha: These four "known" peoples you mentioned, what are their names? Archaeologist-boy here wants to know.
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Trisha
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Babbler # 387

posted 23 July 2002 03:03 AM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
One doesn't have a name, just some strange pottery that doesn't match with anything else known so far. The others I'd have to look up and I have about 10 books that the info could be in. At the moment, I don't recall exactly where they live. The one without a name is near the Minoan culture locations. I think one is in Africa somewhere and one in South America. They predate anything known so far archeologically.
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Trisha
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Babbler # 387

posted 24 July 2002 01:55 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
aRoused, you might find this website interesting. This man has some different viewpoints on a lot of things.
http://www.mcremo.com/index.htm

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Trinitty
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posted 24 July 2002 02:30 PM      Profile for Trinitty     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There have been "intriguing" geometric shapes and road-looking structures found about a mile deep off of the coast of Cuba. National Geographic is planning on sending subs down to take pictures. Maybe their related to those mysterious "roads" were found, 50 feet deep or so off the coast of South America.
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Trisha
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Babbler # 387

posted 24 July 2002 05:05 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
On the subject of underwater roads, there is a way that underwater tides cause rock erosion that makes them flat on top and quite square shaped. Not all of these found are truly manmade structures. There are some, however, that are continuations of roads that still show up on land leading to the water, Britain has more than one, I can't remember where else but there are more. It's still interesting any time that something like this is discovered and examined.
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Apemantus
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posted 25 July 2002 09:59 AM      Profile for Apemantus        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Does evolutionary theory (to which I subscribe rather than creationism) really claim that people eons ago were as intelligent as us? I suppose that maybe depends how one thinks of intelligence, but I would have thought that survival of those most able to adapt (a truer reading of Darwin than the simple survival of the fittest, I have been told) implies that humanity generally (obviously there are gonna be many less intelligent today than some of the ablest back then) will be on an upward spiral.
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jeff house
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posted 25 July 2002 02:30 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I doubt if anything sensible can be said, by evolutionary theorists, about intelligence eons ago, other than the fact that proto-humans had much smaller brain pans than do true homo sapiens.

Evolution has to do with the ability to pass on genes. Anyone who reaches age 18 can do it. So I doubt that the history of human society involves the dying off of the less intelligent. Lots of other qualities would generally be more important.


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ronb
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posted 25 July 2002 03:33 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Homo Sapiens sapiens brain size hasn't grown appreciably over the past 100+ millenia. It's fair to infer that "Humans" have always been as "intelligent" as they are right now.
From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
clersal
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 370

posted 25 July 2002 04:08 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We remain as dumb as ever.
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'lance
rabble-rouser
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posted 25 July 2002 06:13 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
It's fair to infer that "Humans" have always been as "intelligent" as they are right now.

With the same potential for intelligence, maybe. But I don't think it makes sense to try to compare the intelligence of ancient people, even if we could know something about it, to modern ones. Can there be any sensible definition of intelligence that isn't fairly specific to one's context? I don't think so.


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nonsuch
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posted 25 July 2002 07:47 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
'Survival of the fittest' doesn't mean the same thing in the original context that it seems to mean now. Darwin wasn't on about exercise; he meant creatures best fitted, or best suited, to their environment. Thus, a longer beak enhances a hummingbird's fitness for drinking nectar from deep flowers, and adaptability (and intelligence) would be fitted to a changing environment.
Of course, for quite long periods, there was no obvious change in a given environment, so mating was based on other factors, other kinds of fitness. Intelligence has rarely been a trait highly valued by adolescents (or the parents who arranged their marriages), so it wouldn't be as evident in the product the as, say, wide hips and shoulders.

Eons ago? An eon is at least 30,000,000 years. No, i really don't think one can measure average intelligence that far back. Within historic and late prehistoric times - say, the last 30,000 years - human intelligence doesn't appear to have changed much. (Education, yes. Education is a snowball; some periods are steeper than others.)

One can measure intelligence by the ability to solve problems. All those pyramids and monuments did get built: humans figured out how to build them. It's okay to use the brightest humans of then and and now for comparison, because we still have plenty of stupid ones and a whole lot in between, so we can reasonably assume that the bell curve hasn't changed.

If human intelligence does increase, either in straight line or spiral, we don't have enough data to prove it. The time from which information is available is just too short.

[ July 25, 2002: Message edited by: nonesuch ]


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scrabble
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posted 25 July 2002 08:11 PM      Profile for scrabble     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
(tentatively raising hand at back of class)

quote:
One can measure intelligence by the ability to solve problems. All those pyramids and monuments did get built: humans figured out how to build them.

I agree with much of what you have to say.

It took intelligence to build them, but was expending thousands of lives in building a bigass pyramid an intelligent undertaking (ahem ahem), as it were, in the first place?

I can think of more fun ways to be intelligent that might not leave a trace, like, say, cultivating more food and working out optimal distribution methods, or weaving phantasmagoric stories that inspire into living in full colour, etc etc.

Maybe I'm wading into another newbie tarpit.


From: dappled shade in the forest | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 518

posted 25 July 2002 08:13 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
'Survival of the fittest' doesn't mean the same thing in the original context that it seems to mean now. Darwin wasn't on about exercise; he meant creatures best fitted, or best suited, to their environment

It is important to remember that Darwin never used the term "survival of the fittest"; that was Herbert Spencer and the Social Darwinists.

Another thing to remember about Darwinism is that it refers to fitness in terms of genetic components. Thus, all social darwinist exhortations that people work harder to rise in the world are actually anti-Darwinist. They are Lamarkian.


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clersal
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 370

posted 25 July 2002 08:20 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It is too bad we don't use our 'intelligence' to do away with pollution and poverty.
Of course we never will as it is not good for business.

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'lance
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Babbler # 1064

posted 25 July 2002 10:06 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
It took intelligence to build them, but was expending thousands of lives in building a bigass pyramid an intelligent undertaking (ahem ahem), as it were, in the first place?

Yes, but (ahem, ahem) did thousands of lives get expended in building, say, the Egyptian pyramids? (To keep it specific -- things were different, maybe, with the Mayans).

According to something I read not long ago, they (whoever They may be -- Egyptologists, I suppose) now reckon there was little if any slave labour used in building the pyramids, and labour wasn't treated as expendable. At most, some farmers were pressed into service as labourers for a couple of weeks a year, feudal-style, but a lot of the work was done by free, reasonably-well-paid craftsmen and the like.

References? It is to laugh, thus -- ha, ha! Nor do I know how They know this.

But lives expended or no lives expended, the pyramids were just big-ass caskets, and hellish expensive. Yer right, scrabble -- to pull back from the merely technical issues, was it intelligent to build them atall? Unanswerable, maybe.


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DrConway
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posted 25 July 2002 11:13 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
They are Lamarkian.

If you REALLY want to dis them, jeff, call them Lysenkoites.


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nonsuch
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Babbler # 1402

posted 26 July 2002 12:00 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Intelligence is just a potential. Intelligent humans have come up with crafty ways to torture one another. Many of the cleverest people we have using up oxygen and other (lots of other) resources today are building weapons of mass destruction.
I never said we were smart!

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Trisha
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Babbler # 387

posted 26 July 2002 03:04 AM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
About the pyramids, a workmen's village is being unearthed that includes homes, a graveyard, bakeries and other places not yet identified. It really appears that it wasn't much different than mining towns. There have been records found of payments made to the workers. As for why they were built, they may have been meant to be tombs but the Egyptian ones were never used for that, they could have been makework projects for when the nile overflowed. All other work was pretty seasonal in Egypt. The South American pyramids were places of worship and sacrifice, the Chinese ones are much lower and appear to have been used as tombs as were the Etheopean ones. No matter how you look at it, all the pyramids were built as some sort of tribute.
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Apemantus
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posted 26 July 2002 06:32 AM      Profile for Apemantus        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
2 points:

Do people really have to wait till their 18 to pass on their genes? (as JH said...) lol

I know it is tedious of me, but what are you all meaning by intelligence - is it some specific biological ability you are thinking of, as opposed say to taught intelligence? Is it not a subjective thing (Western middle-class white male oriented IQ tests being a case in point).

When you think of how you measure intelligence in the past, what are you measuring it with?

Thanks.


From: Brighton, UK | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
rabble-rouser
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posted 26 July 2002 10:00 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As i've mentioned before, intelligence is an innate (yes, biological) potential. It is properly measured by the setting of practical problems, not by testing knowledge. Thus, it can be used on humans without language, as well as other species. For example: put a piece of cheese on a high shelf and see if the rat can figure out how to get it. Or, tell the engineers that you need some very large stones moved to a certain place, stood on end and connected on top with other very large stones, and see if they can figure out how to build Stonehenge.

Written IQ tests are more specialized; they measure several abilities, including memory and observation, which are related to intelligence, and also knowledge, which is related to education. An IQ test is only as smart as the person who compiled it and has quite limited application.


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Michelle
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Babbler # 560

posted 28 July 2002 11:11 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Okay, here's a trivia question for you:

What is the name of Captain Jean Luc Picard's fish?

(Prize - "How to Want What You Have: Discovering the Magic and Grandeur of Ordinary Existence" by Timothy Miller)


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
charlessumner
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Babbler # 2914

posted 28 July 2002 01:38 PM      Profile for charlessumner     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Livingstone.

cs, conscious he cheated, but thinking if you really have such a book, that it might make a great donation to a favourite high school library, or a women's shelter, or...


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scrabble
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Babbler # 2883

posted 28 July 2002 01:40 PM      Profile for scrabble     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Livingston.
From: dappled shade in the forest | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
scrabble
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Babbler # 2883

posted 28 July 2002 01:41 PM      Profile for scrabble     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
hey, he might type faster than me, but he spelt it wrong.
From: dappled shade in the forest | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
charlessumner
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posted 28 July 2002 01:52 PM      Profile for charlessumner     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ah, but what are our sources on the spelling? It seems to be Livingstone on general trivia lists, but Livingstone on a short study of "Geekology," the fourth on this search. I'm inclined to go with the insightful underdog...

That, and I can't help trying to twist it into a tribute to every leftie's favourite Livingstone...


From: closer everyday | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
scrabble
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Babbler # 2883

posted 28 July 2002 02:29 PM      Profile for scrabble     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Heh heh - almost got me, yup, almost got me arguin' witcha 'bout a fish that appears on star trek.
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'lance
rabble-rouser
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posted 28 July 2002 03:18 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
... too late, scrabble. Not only did you know the answer (spelling quibbles aside), but you blurted it out.
From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 28 July 2002 04:05 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hee hee. Unless the fish's name was actually spelled on ST, then I doubt it makes much difference how it's spelled.

Now, who gets the prize? Scrabble apparently knew without looking it up, but CS got it first after looking it up...

I really honestly do have the book, and was willing to send it out. Somehow I think "How to want what you have" might not be a great thing to give to a women's shelter...


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
charlessumner
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Babbler # 2914

posted 28 July 2002 05:57 PM      Profile for charlessumner     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A Rabble book-exchange-circle?

cs, kinda wishing for the days when the CCF ran correspondence courses


From: closer everyday | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged

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