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The whole thing about the image potentially being wrong is misleading in itself - the picture is by volume, and the label is by weight. If the sugar is denser than the other ingredients, then yes, it can be half by volume and more than half by weight.
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This is not the typical binding for zip ties in law enforcement, they use a double loop specifically so you can't do this.
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I do sometimes, but only because I go every week (if you couldn't guess from my comments above). It's just a few blocks away from my house, so... yeah. :)
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I have no experience with Aldi, but Kroger (Fred Meyer in my neck of the wood) certainly has a few gems, as does Target (Archer's Farm). Even the best tend to be fairly standard and replaceable products though.

What sets TJs apart is that everything is cherry picked, comes from multiple sources, and stuff that doesn't sell well gets removed from their lineup regularly (always sucks when you like a niche product). They also go to the manufacturers and have specialty stuff made that simply doesn't exist elsewhere (e.g., this year's mango insanity, or the popular seasonal pumpkin products - I mean where else are you going to buy this http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article/3019 ? :)). In the end you tend to be left with only stuff that is legitimately top notch, popular, or unique.

It's a hard store to describe unless you go to one a few times. If I ever move somewhere without one it's going to totally change the way I shop for groceries because so many items have become staples for me. ;)
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Design is definitely a factor because it gives an impression of care and thought invested in a product, but Trader Joes also does something else that matters - they pick consistently good quality products. Certainly their products largely come from generic manufacturers, but they also represent a lot of the best quality and unique products from those sources, which makes a big difference. Most generics I will try once and never buy again because they are garbage, but TJs has become a staple of products I love and can't find elsewhere under any brand.
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Tell all of that to the animators and voice actors in Japan and Korea getting paid effectively less than minimum wage. Wage cost in the entertainment industry has less to do with skill than it does with market specific demands and expectations, especially as it relates to artistic skills. Even within the US there are huge gaps in markets and the difference in pay scale is definitely not always skill based. Any tv show that cost millions of dollars is staffed by people getting luxurious amount of pay, and there's no reason to be whitewashing that. It makes more sense to uphold why it's inappropriate for those at the bottom of the pack not being able to make a living wage. That's where the expectation of cheap animation really hurts, not on Family Guy.
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Oh, and a shock that I was kind of prepared for, but is rarely mentioned and a very real issue - getting around without GPS. If you aren't with a tour, I highly recommend making plans for data connectivity (a potential issue itself since you can't just pick up normal phone SIMs like in the west, and stores are frequently out of rental devices if you don't book well in advance), or having a tablet/phone with offline maps (I used MAPS.ME pro since google maps for android didn't allow offline caching in Japan). City layouts in Japan are very complex/haphazard, rarely on a grid, and almost no streets have names since addresses are done by ward and block. Finding an address can be near-impossible without either electronic or local help.
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None of these shocked me when going for the first time this year, but I knew pretty much all of them going in. The more shocking differences are the depth and feel of the cultural differences which are hard to explain in a tour guide. The solitary feeling of Tokyo for example - millions of people in close quarters, but everything about their lives and culture distances them from one another. Don't get involved, don't do anything which may disturb others (which includes staying quiet and not showing emotional reactions to random occurrences), follow your route and get to your destination (reflected in driving, walking, biking and commuting). When required to interact, always be polite (which westerners used to frank responses often mistake for kindness - trust me, it's not always). Even knowing superficially that this difference exists, how that makes you feel while navigating the city isn't something you are likely going to be fully prepared for. In particular, if you have to have real interactions with people (business or social), learning how to read the situation properly can be a real challenge. That said, a lot of Japanese people understand and expect that, thanks to exposure to western culture, which helps.

You may not even realize how different that can be from what you are used to until you go -and even more fun - when you come back. The Japanese are so quiet and polite that I actually found it more jarring coming home and getting on public transit at the airport - suddenly everyone is making noise, strangers talking to each other, couples yelling at each other on the train... yeah, part of me definitely preferred the quiet solitary feeling. :)
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They aren't really 30K though, they only run 30K used now because they are a collector's item. Even the 12K is high, they ran around 10K when they were originally sold (a local audio shop had them as a centerpiece when I was a kid). Sennheiser designed them to be the most over the top, over-designed, cream of the crop headphone in the world, and released a limited number of units (not enough to make any real money off of). It was specifically to show the world what they are capable of. They are still considered by many to be the best headphones ever made (with some competition by Stax + third party amplifiers).

Bottom line, they're a showpiece, like a limited edition car. It's for the elite to buy, and the average consumer to oo and ah over what could be possible. They aren't scary, they are actually a really impressive and interesting piece of technology and design. Overpriced? absolutely, though not so much for this guy since he obviously got them at the low point before they became a hot item for 6K. If you ever get a chance to listen, do. I've only heard them very briefly once in a meetup environment, which was not the best, but no doubt they are incredible.

You know what's scarier to me? The amount of profit made off a pair of headphones like the Beats, all due to a name (and color options), and which are also overpriced if you know anything about headphone design. Sennheiser (and Shure, and AKG, and Beyerdynimic...) proved their worth via engineering, while Beats made a killing through marketing.
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As someone who suffers from anxiety and depression, I would like to say - just asking someone if they are OK is usually little to no help. People respond to that question with generic answers and react in predictable ways to avoid confrontation. Too often we ask that question and move on, and all that does is trigger further frustration and feelings of solitude. If you want to help someone you care about with depression, you have to actually demonstrate that you care in a meaningful way or they will just close themselves off further. You have to find a way to break through the shell, and that can be different for everyone. Most of all though, be a friend - not a facebook friend, a real life, get dinner or take a hike or go on a roadtrip with, share and trust a piece of your life with, friend. More often than not, that's what someone suffering from depression needs first. The rest you can work out as you go.
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"Aliens are always smarter than us."

Aside from the fact that shows such as Star Trek are filled with stupid or technologically inferior alien cultures, the implication that this trope should be stopped is kind of silly. Any alien species we are capable of making contact with in the foreseeable future would have to be far more intelligent than us in some way or another - that's not a trope, it's a fact of life which makes the story more relate-able.

Similar issues with things like evil aliens and explaining time travel - there are many, many counter examples and they are plausible or worth exploring, so it seems kind of silly to say they should be stopped altogether. That part of the joy of sci-fi.

I definitely agree that the brain power one needs to die though. It's too completely and obviously false to keep playing with. :)
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Definitely not the airline's fault, though $376 plus 50,000 miles ($500 worth of rewards on most airline credit cards) is *far* less than the cost of the first class transatlantic tickets and frankly not really very generous to someone who is clearly a BA or partner airline frequent flier. I've seen better offers to people for silly mistakes even on domestic US flights.

Which brings up another point though - the first hint should have been the cost of the tickets - an order of magnitude more than the cost from portugal to spain, be it in points or cash. He obviously has far more money than brains since at no point did he ever verify his travel plans in any way shape or form. Also, spending 30K+ in non-refundable bookings on a trip to Granada?! damn. He's a moron, a liar, or both.
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  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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