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  1. I was entirely dumbfounded as to whether or not God exists until I saw this video: I've never known anyone to articulate on these matters so simply and convincingly. Let's go to candy mountain.
  2. Definitely the Excalibur and indeed, get the extra teflex sheets. I have 5 trays with a timer and temperature control and it does the trick for me. Let's go to candy mountain.
  3. I brought up those two examples specifically because it depends on who you ask! Some will say they're fine, others, not so much. The "Grammar Bible" says the split infinitive is a mistake (though acknowledges the occasional crafty use of them), and the NYTimes style guide says they're acceptable, but to avoid them. As for prepostions at the end of sentences: you're right. They're generally accepted, but there are many people who still believe that the structure is incorrect, and so you have to point them to the authoratative grammarians, whoever they are. Let's go to candy mountain.
  4. It's a good explanation, but I think it's important that we pay attention especially to these lines (and the specific words I've made bold): In the case of of "I enjoy painting," you can use painting. (Yes, I can also "enjoy to paint," but since I can "enjoy painting," I use the first). On the contrary, in the case of "I decide to paint," I must "decide to do" something. I cannot "decide painting." (I think). Let's go to candy mountain.
  5. I thought about that, but the infinitive "to paint" should also be able to serve as the object of the transitive verb "enjoy," just as it serves as the object for the transitive verb "like," which is why we can say "I like to paint." . . . (I think)! Let's go to candy mountain.
  6. The explanation is simply that English has standard and nonstandard use, and nonstandard use is generally considered incorrect. . . Until mistakes becomes standard, in which case they become correct, and that is how the language evolves. Examples of "nonstandard use" of English include split infinitives and ending a sentence on a preposition. Both are generally regarded as mistakes, and most certainly the split infinitive remains widely despised. However, infinitives are occasionally split in literature so as to shake things up, to make things interesting--which is fine when you've got skill enough to wield the poetic license that would dismiss you from such a crime. Similarly, prepositions at the end of sentences grow increasingly common. I say if it's clever, keep it. . . But language learners will have a way to go before they can play with the language, so for them standard usage must prevail. To become familiar with the written language, a student does best to read it (especially newspapers, certain magazines, and credible literature). It's unfortunate, but true. Let's go to candy mountain.
  7. Wow. This was hard, and the best I could come up with I found here: I don't know that I agree with the explantion provided, however, and it may be that the "mistake" is simply nonstandard use of the language. Phone numbers to grammar hotlines, in case the above fails to satisfy: Good luck! Let's go to candy mountain.
  8. I love the views. I know that's silly, but it's a beautiful world. . . (That, and I've done way too many solos). When I exit, and see the whole crazy vast landscape below, I know that nothing that happens down there really matters as much as we sometimes imagine--unless it all matters, but that's also comforting. I also love being on a skydive so fun (or ridiculously funnelled) that I laugh, and/or can hear others laughing. Something satisfying in the irony of cracking up whilst plummetting toward the (generally) imminent doom of earth. Skydiving just takes me into the moment; mostly, I enjoy those moments, and so keep skydiving. Let's go to candy mountain.
  9. I just watched episode 29 and that was the coolest thing ever. Let's go to candy mountain.
  10. They don't repulse me, unless maybe they're vast, and then I feel maybe sorry for them. I think it's a nasty cycle, sometimes inspired or perpetuated by ignorance or depression or culture or family or simply preoccupation with other concerns and interests. I've dated chubby people, and now and then I even find women or men who are clearly overweight--and sometimes doubtlessly obese--absolutely beautiful, though that has more to do with their energy, or something. Obesity and cancer both have disrupted or ended the lives of members of my family. So I try to stay healthy. My diet's (generally) exceptional, I think. I could stand to exercise more. But I remember once seeing a big, big woman at an amusement park smoking a cigarette. She turned to her children and said "Hay, kee-ids. Laet's go home an' order a PIZZA!" which I found pretty repulsive. I think the self-destruction implicit in obesity and smoking repulse me. (Well, and with smokers, the smell). If they love themselves, I can probably love them, too. Let's go to candy mountain.
  11. I smoked when I was a teenager for 5 years, as much as a pack a day (I was a naughty girl). One of the things that helped me quit was smelling my hands after every cigarette: Nasty! I haven't smoked in almost 10 years, and it definitely repulses me now. Smokers aren't bad people, they just smell bad. I had two granddads on mom's side die of lung cancer (one smoked, one didn't), and my dad died of lung cancer last year (smoker). My mom and brother still smoke: genius! My mom's tried to quit, but I think she was only reinforced when doctors found that--amazingly--she actually exhales with the same air-to-toxic-crap ratio of a non-smoker. We think her lungs must be teflon-coated, or something. Nothing sticks. . . Or sticks so much that it doesn't come back out. Blech. You know what are fun and shaped like cigarettes? Crayons. If everybody just played with crayons when they wanted to smoke, there'd be a lot more art in this world and maybe some bellies full of wax but that's probably better than cancer. Let's go to candy mountain.
  12. I'm a riser grabber, but I can't imagine how you might accidentally grab your toggles and release them. Was it just a matter of getting your hands or fingers in there just so? In both? Let's go to candy mountain.
  13. I never felt (or feel) like any of the tandems I did (or do now when helping others get their ratings) were mere rides. I learned (and continue to learn) with every jump. I think that, since even before I made my first jump, I've respected skydiving, if that makes sense, as something greater than I can ever know completely. I think that keeps me pretty humble. That, and I'm still starry-eyed in love with it. Skydiving and I are BFF n Evur! There are some tandem students, whether they jump once or twice or go on to become skydivers, who, because they've learned something and enjoyed themselves, have both gotten something from and even given something back to the sport. Then there are licensed skydivers who still manage, even with good numbers of jumps, to be "tourists"--in this case people who reap the rewards of skydiving without respecting it, or caring to know much about it. But I've found a good number of people, I think, who genuinely love skydiving. So far there are enough to keep it rich. For me, at any rate. Let's go to candy mountain.
  14. They've done studies (that I'm too lazy to research the titles of and cite, but you could dig) which indicate that people generally rated as more attractive fare better socially. People tend to pay more attention to them, and treat them in general with more kindness. But attractive people do suffer from other problems. They tend to stress or worry more when they aren't getting the usual attention (i.e, what's wrong with me?), and because they are confronted with more people have to deal with them more, whether they like it or not. Whichever side of the fence you're on, the grass is greener on the other one. Let's go to candy mountain.
  15. Reading the untranslated METARS, TAFS, and PIREPS on NOAA makes me feel like I'm reading a super special secret code, and the message is vitally important. Though I can't say that any of the reports I use are ever correct with enough frequency to inspire much confidence in them. Let's go to candy mountain.