• What did the boy do?

    From Alexander Koryagin@2:221/360 to All on Thu Nov 7 08:53:50 2019
    Hi, all!

    From "The Great Gatsby", by F.Scott Fitzgerald, again:

    -----Beginning of the citation-----
    We waited for her down the road and out of sight. It was a few
    days before the Fourth of July, and a gray, scrawny Italian
    child was setting torpedoes in a row along the railroad track.
    "Terrible place, isn't it," said Tom, exchanging a frown with
    Doctor Eckleburg.
    ----- The end of the citation -----

    I wonder -- what did the boy do? ;-)

    Bye, all!
    Alexander Koryagin

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    * Origin: nntps://fidonews.mine.nu - Lake Ylo - Finland (2:221/360.0)
  • From Dallas Hinton@1:153/7715 to Alexander Koryagin on Wed Nov 6 23:42:02 2019
    Hi Alexander -- on Nov 07 2019 at 08:53, you wrote:

    child was setting torpedoes in a row along the railroad track.


    I wonder -- what did the boy do? ;-)

    a "torpedo" in this context and time was slang for a firecracker that was exploded by the weight of the train wheels. In theory, it did no damage.


    Cheers... Dallas

    --- timEd/NT 1.30+
    * Origin: The BandMaster, Vancouver, CANADA (1:153/7715)
  • From Mike Powell@1:2320/105 to DALLAS HINTON on Thu Nov 7 16:50:00 2019
    a "torpedo" in this context and time was slang for a firecracker that was exploded by the weight of the train wheels. In theory, it did no damage.

    A "torpedo" is also railroad slang for a small explosive device that would
    be set out on the tracks to warn oncoming trains that another train was unintentionally blocking the tracks (due to mechanical issue, accident,
    etc.). The noise would alert the crew that they needed to prepare to stop quickly.

    I am guessing that those are not often used now in the age of electronic signals, radio, etc., but they were used in the steam era.

    Since I would not expect a young child to be putting those on the track, I could only assume it was firecrackers or the like because the author
    mentioned that the 4th of July was soon. Either that or the kid had got
    ahold of some railroad explosive devices he should probably not have.

    Mike


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  • From Alexander Koryagin@2:221/360 to Mike Powell on Fri Nov 8 08:12:38 2019
    Hi, Mike Powell : Dallas Hinton!
    I read your message from 08.11.2019 00:50

    Since I would not expect a young child to be putting those on the
    track, I could only assume it was firecrackers or the like because
    the author mentioned that the 4th of July was soon.

    Yeah, I think the mentioning of the 4th of July is important. Probably it is indeed connected somehow with the holiday.

    PS: However, there were several days before the holiday. "...It was a few days before the Fourth of July, and a gray..." Could he put them on the rails right on the 4th of July?

    ;-)

    Bye, Mike!
    Alexander Koryagin
    english_tutor 2019

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    * Origin: nntps://fidonews.mine.nu - Lake Ylo - Finland (2:221/360.0)
  • From Mike Powell@1:2320/105 to ALEXANDER KORYAGIN on Fri Nov 8 18:58:00 2019
    Yeah, I think the mentioning of the 4th of July is important. Probably it is >indeed connected somehow with the holiday.

    PS: However, there were several days before the holiday. "...It was a few days >before the Fourth of July, and a gray..." Could he put them on the rails right >on the 4th of July?

    He most certainly could. Here in the USA, people celebrate "the Fourth"
    for several days (and sometimes weeks when the weather is nice). I do not remember that happening when I was a child but maybe I just did not notice.
    It sounds as if it was happening back in Gatsby's time for sure. :)

    Mike


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  • From Alexander Koryagin@2:221/360 to Ardith Hinton on Wed Nov 13 08:20:10 2019
    Hi, Ardith Hinton!
    I read your message from 12.11.2019 00:40

    Now that you mention it, I think the boy might well have been
    using railroad explosives. The author describes him as "gray"...
    perhaps suggesting he hadn't bathed for awhile, and "scrawny"...
    perhaps suggesting he didn't get enough to eat.
    Do you think that scrawny children have nothing to eat?

    Not necessarily... but many others seem to think so. If the boy was between the ages of six & sixteen it's possible he was at a stage
    of growth in which he was becoming taller very quickly & the rest
    of his body hadn't caught up yet. It's also possible that, like one
    of my cousins, he had inherited the ectomorph body type from his
    father & grandfather. In my experience those who rely heavily (!)
    on cheap carbohydrates are more likely to be overweight.: - Q

    ‘hildren very often have a poor appetite. Their mothers often make them eat their food. The epidemic of excess weight is most likely connected with genetic
    changes that happen during many years and even generations. I believe this change has been caused by the fact that very many people live in stress, and food is a very effective antidepressant. And people who refused to smoke now have a little choice in replacing it with something else. :)

    Bye, Ardith!
    Alexander Koryagin
    english_tutor 2019

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    * Origin: nntps://fidonews.mine.nu - Lake Ylo - Finland (2:221/360.0)
  • From Anton Shepelev@2:221/360 to Alexander Koryagin on Wed Nov 13 14:16:08 2019
    If I may propose corrections to Alexander Koryagin:

    ‘hildren very often have a poor appetite.

    Omit the article.

    Their mothers often make them eat their food. The
    epidemic of excess weight is most likely connected with
    genetic changes that happen during many years and even
    generations.

    I think it is rather due to indulgence in the vice of
    gluttony. And fast carbohydrates are the most palatable.

    I believe this change has been caused by the fact that
    very many people live in stress, and food is a very
    effective antidepressant.

    The ubiquotous "the fact that" is exceedingly cumbersome and
    wont to appear whenever the author has given insufficient
    thought to arranging the sentence. I avoid it at all costs,
    together with the fused participle, e.g. "due to many
    people's living in constant stress."

    And people who refused to smoke now have a little choice
    in replacing it with something else. :)

    And people who *have* ceased smoking now have *but* little
    choice *of* replacements.

    My correctios are amentable to correction from other
    readers!

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    * Origin: nntps://fidonews.mine.nu - Lake Ylo - Finland (2:221/360.0)
  • From Alexander Koryagin@2:221/360 to Anton Shepelev on Thu Nov 14 14:21:06 2019
    Hi, Anton Shepelev!
    I read your message from 13.11.2019 15:16

    Their mothers often make them eat their food. The epidemic of
    excess weight is most likely connected with genetic changes that
    happen during many years and even generations.

    I think it is rather due to indulgence in the vice of gluttony. And
    fast carbohydrates are the most palatable.

    I believe this change has been caused by the fact that very many
    people live in stress, and food is a very effective
    antidepressant.

    The ubiquotous "the fact that" is exceedingly cumbersome and wont
    to appear whenever the author has given insufficient thought to
    arranging the sentence. I avoid it at all costs, together with the
    fused participle, e.g. "due to many people's living in constant
    stress."

    Be simpler! If you can say an idea in a simple way it is not necessary blame yourself. Greatness is in simplicity! ;-)
    BTW:
    -ubiquitous

    And people who refused to smoke now have a little choice in
    replacing it with something else. :)

    And people who *have* ceased smoking now have *but* little choice
    *of* replacements.

    IMHO "stopped" is better than "ceased". ;)

    My correctios are amentable to correction from other readers!

    -corrections
    -amendable

    Bye, Anton!
    Alexander Koryagin
    english_tutor 2019

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    * Origin: nntps://fidonews.mine.nu - Lake Ylo - Finland (2:221/360.0)
  • From Anton Shepelev@2:221/360 to Alexander Koryagin on Sun Nov 17 12:59:02 2019
    Alexander Koryagin to Anton Shepelev:


    I believe this change has been caused by the fact that
    very many people live in stress, and food is a very
    effective antidepressant.

    The ubiquotous "the fact that" is exceedingly
    cumbersome and wont to appear whenever the author has
    given insufficient thought to arranging the sentence. I
    avoid it at all costs, together with the fused
    participle, e.g. "due to many people's living in
    constant stress."

    Be simpler! If you can say an idea in a simple way it
    is not necessary blame yourself. Greatness is in
    simplicity! ;-)

    But simplicity is one of the hardest things to attain. It
    is easy to complicate matters, but skull-cracking and brain-
    cudgelling hard to simplify them! What, for example, are
    your proposals as to the simplification of your cumbersome
    sentnece? Or do you want to improve mine?

    How about this

    I ascribe this to the unwholesome habit of abusing food as
    an antidepressant.

    BTW:
    -ubiquitous

    Oh, I thought it was `ubiquotous' because everyboty "quoth"
    it :-) Thanks for the correction, Alexander.

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    * Origin: nntps://fidonews.mine.nu - Lake Ylo - Finland (2:221/360.0)
  • From Alexander Koryagin@2:221/360 to Anton Shepelev on Mon Nov 18 08:43:18 2019
    Hi, Anton Shepelev!
    I read your message from 17.11.2019 13:59

    I believe this change has been caused by the fact that very many
    people live in stress, and food is a very effective
    antidepressant.

    The ubiquotous "the fact that" is exceedingly cumbersome and wont
    to appear whenever the author has given insufficient thought to
    arranging the sentence. I avoid it at all costs, together with
    the fused participle, e.g. "due to many people's living in
    constant stress."

    Be simpler! If you can say an idea in a simple way it is not
    necessary blame yourself. Greatness is in simplicity!

    But simplicity is one of the hardest things to attain. It is easy
    to complicate matters, but skull-cracking and brain-cudgelling hard
    to simplify them! What, for example, are your proposals as to the simplification of your cumbersome sentnece? Or do you want to
    improve mine?

    -sentence

    How about this
    "I ascribe this to the unwholesome habit of abusing food as
    an antidepressant."

    I believe that your way of speaking is pretentious or formal. I don't think people around you will be happy if you constantly use words as if taken from medicine textbooks. "I ascribe this"! My foot! ;-)

    PS: IMHO ;)

    Bye, Anton!
    Alexander Koryagin
    english_tutor 2019

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    * Origin: nntps://fidonews.mine.nu - Lake Ylo - Finland (2:221/360.0)
  • From Anton Shepelev@2:221/360 to Alexander Koryagin on Mon Nov 18 16:23:48 2019
    Alexander Koryagin to Anton Shepelev:

    I ascribe this to the unwholesome habit of abusing food
    as an antidepressant.

    I believe that your way of speaking is pretentious or
    formal.

    You cannot decide which? :-)

    I don't think people around you will be happy if you
    constantly use words as if taken from medicine
    textbooks. "I ascribe this"! My foot! ;-)

    Unlike `prescribe', `ascribe' is a normal word in general
    use without a less format synomym. Oh, maybe "chalk it up
    to"? But that is patently informal, not even neutral.

    ---
    * Origin: nntps://fidonews.mine.nu - Lake Ylo - Finland (2:221/360.0)
  • From Ardith Hinton@1:153/716 to Alexander Koryagin on Tue Nov 19 23:52:16 2019
    i, Alexander! Recently you wrote in a message to Ardith Hinton:

    In my experience those who rely heavily (!) on cheap
    carbohydrates are more likely to be overweight. :-Q

    ‘hildren very often have a poor appetite.


    Young children may need to be fed several times a day because their
    stomachs are too small to handle very much at a time, but grownups don't always
    understand that. Another thing many parents don't understand is why their kids
    dislike e.g. the Brussels sprouts or beef tongue they regard as special treats.



    Their mothers often make them eat their food.


    I don't know how many do it nowadays, but they certainly did when I
    was growing up. Mother decided for you what & how much of it you should eat...
    and you weren't allowed to leave the table until you had eaten every bite. :-(



    The epidemic of excess weight


    ... which may be an exaggeration by the popular press, BTW...



    is most likely connected with genetic changes that
    happen during many years and even generations.


    I think it can be. If one's distant ancestors survived on whatever
    was available to them at the time, one may have nutritional needs in accordance
    with what worked for them. Nowadays things seem to be changing too quickly for
    our bodies to keep up & we may do best by honouring our roots.

    In Canada, a century ago, most people lived on farms where they did
    a lot of physical work... they also understood where their food came from & who
    had produced it. In the intervening years large numbers of them have relocated
    to the city & the manufacturers of "convenience food" have learned that if they
    add generous amounts of sugar, salt, and/or fat people tend to want more. IMHO
    our bodies weren't designed to handle such large quantities of nutrients Mother
    Nature would have used sparingly & discreetly in view of what benefits us. :-)



    I believe this change has been caused by the fact
    that very many people live in stress, and food is
    a very effective antidepressant.


    Some people lose their appetites when they're under stress... but I
    think people generally feel better after eating because their blood sugar level
    goes up. The danger is that if they are eating a lot of refined carbohydrates,
    which provide instant gratification, they'll crash again in +/- twenty minutes.
    Teachers often notice this in schools equipped with vending machines... (sigh).



    And people who refused to smoke now have a little
    choice in replacing it with something else. :)
    |I'd say "have little choice but to replace it".


    A century ago, alcohol was out & tobacco was in. The situation has
    now been reversed. If you're on your way to the gym, however, there are people
    who will happily sell you an energy bar loaded with sugar & caffeine. Caffeine
    is very in these days... at least where I come from. The neighbourhood where I
    grew up had two coffee shops back then. These days it has so many, combined of
    course with bubble tea shops... think tapioca starch... I've lost track because
    I can't count that high. I have also remarked on the number of city folk I see
    rushing around with a cell phone in one hand & a coffee cup in the other. :-))




    --- timEd/386 1.10.y2k+
    * Origin: Wits' End, Vancouver CANADA (1:153/716)
  • From Anton Shepelev@2:221/360 to Ardith Hinton on Wed Nov 20 11:45:14 2019
    Ardith Hinton:

    Young children may need to be fed several times a day
    because their stomachs are too small to handle very much
    at a time

    Children also have a high rate of metabolism.

    ---
    * Origin: nntps://fidonews.mine.nu - Lake Ylo - Finland (2:221/360.0)
  • From Alexander Koryagin@2:221/360 to Ardith Hinton on Thu Nov 21 10:14:42 2019
    Hi, Ardith Hinton ->Alexander Koryagin!
    I read your message from 20.11.2019 00:52


    In my experience those who rely heavily (!) on cheap
    carbohydrates are more likely to be overweight.: - Q
    Children very often have a poor appetite.

    Young children may need to be fed several times a day because their stomachs are too small to handle very much at a time, but grownups
    don't always understand that. Another thing many parents don't
    understand is why their kids dislike e.g. the Brussels sprouts or
    beef tongue they regard as special treats.

    Yeah, I remember myself as a boy, the time when it was difficult for me to eat one hot-dog. ;)

    Their mothers often make them eat their food.
    I don't know how many do it nowadays, but they certainly did when I
    was growing up. Mother decided for you what & how much of it you
    should eat... and you weren't allowed to leave the table until you
    had eaten every bite. :-(

    Children must be treated like bird fledglings. If they cry and open wide their mouths -- it is time to give them some food. ;-)

    The epidemic of excess weight
    ... which may be an exaggeration by the popular press, BTW...

    The problem is clear when we go on the beach in summer. ;-)

    is most likely connected with genetic changes that happen during
    many years and even generations.

    I think it can be. If one's distant ancestors survived on whatever
    was available to them at the time, one may have nutritional needs
    in accordance with what worked for them. Nowadays things seem to be changing too quickly for our bodies to keep up & we may do best by honouring our roots.

    Well, we eat a lot of food if it is tasty. And it is very difficult to stop while you have this lot of delicious food in front of us. Usually a person eats
    until there is no room inside his stretched abdomen. ;) Many hotel keepers in southern resorts declare the "all included" policy. It means that any person of
    the hotel can eat in the restaurant all food he is able to eat. As a rule it is
    not very much, but this practice is a very good advertising to attract people, especially Russian. ;=)

    <skipped>
    I believe this change has been caused by the fact that very many
    people live in stress, and food is a very effective
    antidepressant.

    Some people lose their appetites when they're under stress... but I
    think people generally feel better after eating because their blood
    sugar level goes up. The danger is that if they are eating a lot of refined carbohydrates, which provide instant gratification, they'll
    crash again in +/- twenty minutes. Teachers often notice this in
    schools equipped with vending machines... (sigh).

    Although, IMHO, stress and distress is not the same thing. Stress is when your style of living is a constant tension.

    And people who refused to smoke now have a little choice in
    replacing it with something else. :)
    |I'd say "have little choice but to replace it".

    I am confused with the word "but":
    "And people who refused to smoke now have little choice but to replace it with something else."

    I believe I had another idea -- people now almost don't have alternative to replace smoking with. Gluttony is the exceptional alternative. ;)

    A century ago, alcohol was out & tobacco was in. The situation has
    now been reversed. If you're on your way to the gym, however, there
    are people who will happily sell you an energy bar loaded with
    sugar & caffeine. Caffeine is very in these days... at least where
    I come from.

    Caffeine, IMHO, cannot replace tobacco. Maybe it can complement it. ;) Tobacco impacts to consciousness, but caffeine is rather a tonic.

    The neighbourhood where I grew up had two coffee shops
    back then. These days it has so many, combined of course with
    bubble tea shops... think tapioca starch... I've lost track because
    I can't count that high. I have also remarked on the number of city
    folk I see rushing around with a cell phone in one hand & a coffee
    cup in the other. :-))

    They say coffee is also very harmful when drunk often.

    Bye, Ardith!
    Alexander Koryagin
    english_tutor 2019

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    * Origin: nntps://fidonews.mine.nu - Lake Ylo - Finland (2:221/360.0)