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Since I’ve joined a bit behind schedule this week, I’ll just briefly add some comments to everybody else’s:

Brassman, the “th” and “d” pronunciation you mentioned sounds similar to something I think I learned in Spanish class.  If I remember correctly, a “t” between 2 consonants is pronounced as a “d”. 

I also find Ana and Ianthe’s interactions somewhat curious.  They seem more distant and cold with each other than you’d expect two sisters to be after being apart for so long.  Though I have never been apart from my sister for 25 years, so I can’t really say I speak from experience, but every time we get together, even if we just spoke on the phone a few days ago, we cannot stop chattering!  About everyone and everything!  It was mentioned that Thoman society is much more formal than ours, so maybe that’s part of it.  Still, I do wonder if there is some jealousy, as Herecyn was first going to marry Ana and rejected by her.  Maybe Ianthe is still feeling like she is second choice after all these years.  It would be interesting to know what the sisters’ relationship was like before Ana left her world.

Thanks for describing the mob characters here, Brassman.  I have to admit, I was pretty confused too.  ???

Still not sure about Zimmer.  He seems to be heading in the right direction, e.g. working hard, becoming a real writer, not quite as creepy, but he’s still lying to people and using them to get to Ana, like to V.T. about how much he was paid.  Of course, V.T. isn’t the most honest guy himself either…. :-\

I thought about trying the strawberry/garlic recipe, but just couldn’t imagine those two flavors together!

By the way, is anybody else horrified by the thought that some alien would learn all they know about us only from what they see on  TV? :eek:

N :)

 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Great stuff, Neekeebee!

First, yes, it is horrible that an alien would know us only from what is on tv!  :p  In fact, Ana was worried about us, in volume 1. She couldn't be certain the Del Bosque family who so generously took her in weren't "serial killers," like she'd seen in movies. It also took her a while to stop worrying about the critters she encountered.

Sure, strawberries and garlic together sound awful, or at least unimaginable. That's why they're so neat. Courage, Neekeebee! Toast one piece of good bread, rub it with a little garlic, brush on a wee bit of nice olive oil, and add some little tomato and strawberry chunks. You know me: your money back if not delighted...or if you spit it out. Seriously--assuming you like strawberries, tomatoes, and garlic, of course.

About Ana and Ianthe--Ianthe is more status conscious than Ana. She's married to an up-and-comer she doesn't much love, for one thing, and you can expect any Thoman to be pretty well straitjacketed by social position anyway. And then, she may be a little edgy after her forced stay in tight quarters on the moon--for a year, after all. She does have other sides, but those have to wait for books 3 & 4.

Now to phonetics! Goody! Feel free to stop reading here. I love this stuff. It's the Spanish "d" between two vowels that sounds like "th." Examples: cada, aduana, podía, etc. BUT! Did you know English has TWO "th" sounds? It does. Compare the sounds (not the spelling) of "ether" and "either,"  or the intial sounds of "this" and "thistle." You gotta say them out loud, and listen to yourself.  The  "th" sounds in "ether" and "thistle" are voiceless, made without the vocal cords vibrating. To assure yourself of that, simply hold the initial sound for five seconds before saying the rest of it: thththththth......istle. All you hear is air, right? Now do the same for "this:"  thththththth...is.  You'll hear your voice. Put your fingers on your throat and you can feel it vibrate. It won't for "thistle."

The really cool thing is that English used to have two different letters for these sounds. One was called "edh," and the other "thorn." So now we have one symbol, "th," that has two sounds. Are we better off, or not?

All this reminds me of the question I used to ask my freshmen: how many vowel sounds does English have? Anyone?

OK, I'll step away from the caffeine.
 

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BrassMan said:
Sure, strawberries and garlic together sound awful, or at least unimaginable. That's why they're so neat. Courage, Neekeebee! Toast one piece of good bread, rub it with a little garlic, brush on a wee bit of nice olive oil, and add some little tomato and strawberry chunks. You know me: your money back if not delighted...or if you spit it out. Seriously--assuming you like strawberries, tomatoes, and garlic, of course.
;D Ha ha! I just read your recipe to Hubby, who said "That sounds interesting." I will let you know what happens next time I get strawberries.

N :)
 

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BrassMan said:
That's fine, Andra! Actually, I like to hear that. Problem is, the Klub would be over in two days. You can still comment--please look in from time to time. Did you see the pictures I posted on the companion thread, the "Distant Cousin Photo Album?"
Yes, I saw the photos and burst out laughing. I have a set of similar West Texas photos from the last trip we took out to Indian Lodge. El Paso is on my list to visit eventually - the Tramway at the state park is supposed to be spectacular - I'm just not sure I can make myself get on it. A few years ago, one of the guys I work with went out there to replace some of the wireless equipment and got stuck at the top during a thunderstorm. The photos are awesome, but all that lightning when you are stuck in the highest place around - yikes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Ah, yes! Indian Lodge! What a splendid place. You might remember, Scott Zimmer slept in his car there, the night before he interviewed the observatory director. It's a Texas State Park, with many camping sites. The main feature is the lodge itself, built in the 1930s by the CCC, including the furniture and fittings (and since expanded). Teacher friends of ours used to go there every year after school was out, taking piles of books to read. Some of the cactus pictures in the photo album were taken there.

Here 'tis:





The tramway up to the tv station on the top of Mount Franklin in El Paso is indeed a terrifying experience. I've done it twice, I think, but I don't have any digital photos of the event. That was before digital cameras, and there's no way I could find my slides or snapshots any more. Last I heard, they stopped taking visitors up there, not so much because of accidents but because the insurance was too high. I don't know if it's still like that or if brave souls can still swing and sway, 300 feet over the rockiest canyons you could imagine. I might risk it again if it were possible. I'd take pictures out the wazoo.
 

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BrassMan said:
The tramway up to the tv station on the top of Mount Franklin in El Paso is indeed a terrifying experience. I've done it twice, I think, but I don't have any digital photos of the event. That was before digital cameras, and there's no way I could find my slides or snapshots any more. Last I heard, they stopped taking visitors up there, not so much because of accidents but because the insurance was too high. I don't know if it's still like that or if brave souls can still swing and sway, 300 feet over the rockiest canyons you could imagine. I might risk it again if it were possible. I'd take pictures out the wazoo.
Well, I am staff, not a visitor ;D So if I get a chance to go up there, I'll take photos for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Business first: Repatriation is a short book, and I think we only need one more set of discussion questions to see us through to the end of it. Too bad, too, 'cause we're having a great time yakking about all kinds of things. Like the "w"....

I'd say the "w" sound is a semi-vowel. If that sounds like cheating, read on.

My students always said English has five vowels, a, e, i, o, & u, and sometimes y and w. Then I'd ask them for examples and write them on the board. After I collected several examples of each, I'd point something out. Take the words "at" and "all." Both begin with a "a," right? So make each initial sound and ask yourself if they're the same. No, of course they're not. Add the "a" in "father" and you've got still another different sound. The students would start to waffle and claim this "a" was long, and that "a" was short, but I'd ask them what was long or short about them and they had no idea. That was just what they'd been taught.

So I'd point out that they were thinking of written letters, symbols that stood for sounds. We only have 5 (or 7) symbols on the keyboard to indicate vowel sounds, but English has MANY more vowels than that, and we have to resort to other methods to indicate which one we mean. Take "sit" and "site." Remember the silent "e?" The only purpose of that silent "e" is to let you know that the "i" is pronounced differently. (It's actually two vowels, "a" + "i," as in "sait." Say it real slowly and you'll hear the first glide into the second.) Language is speech first and foremost. Writing is secondary.

I'd show them that each vowel symbol could be pronounced several different ways depending on the spelling of the word it was written into. That's because English, depending on one's dialect, actually has 12 to 15 vowels! Yes, it's true.

That was by way of tipping them off that the grammar they had learned in school really didn't describe the actual language they were speaking. Tradional English school grammar was based on Latin grammar (because Latin used to be considered the perfect language, and English should reflect it, or so the scholars of the 18th century thought). The problem is that the grammars of Latin and English are entirely different. The two languages work in different ways.

So, how about another question? How many tenses do English verbs have? Roughly, that is--about how many?

Now, off to post some more pics in the album....
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Discussion questions for chapters 21-32

1. Nino Cellini was irritable and unhappy. Why?


2. Even so, he found he liked Ana. Why?


3. I heard from a reader who passed Distant Cousin (volume 1) to his wife. He said she was chuckling, so he guessed she was enjoying it. I never considered the Distant Cousin books particularly comic. Did anything in this one make you chuckle, that you remember?


4. If you're at all familiar with Shakespeare's play King Lear, doesn't it make an uncanny fit with Ana's plight?


5. Ana touches briefly on her religious views at the end of chapter 27. Any thoughts on those?


6. Memory only: don't bother to look this up. (Don't bother to look any of this up. We're having fun, not studying.) What turned Clio on to green vegetables?


7. Any final verdict on Scott Zimmer?


8. What about Nino Cellini?

 

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Discussion questions for chapters 21-32

1. Nino Cellini was irritable and unhappy. Why?
He did not feel he was in control of what was going on, and also did not know the "whole story"

2. Even so, he found he liked Ana. Why?
She related to him, she liked him and he could tell it.  not just because she said he reminded him of her father, but the whole family thing too.

3. I heard from a reader who passed Distant Cousin (volume 1) to his wife. He said she was chuckling, so he guessed she was enjoying it. I never considered the Distant Cousin books particularly comic. Did anything in this one make you chuckle, that you remember?
Oh yes there were lots of parts that were chuckable, but don't remember them.  No guffaws though.


4. If you're at all familiar with Shakespeare's play King Lear, doesn't it make an uncanny fit with Ana's plight?
Managed somehow to avoid King Lear, in fact manage to avoid Shakespeare.

5. Ana touches briefly on her religious views at the end of chapter 27. Any thoughts on those?
Nope - no comment.

6. Memory only: don't bother to look this up. (Don't bother to look any of this up. We're having fun, not studying.) What turned Clio on to green vegetables?
The peppers!


7. Any final verdict on Scott Zimmer?
Not such a bad guy afterall.

8. What about Nino Cellini?
I liked him from the beginning.
 

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BrassMan said:
1. Nino Cellini was irritable and unhappy. Why?
I think he didn't like what he was doing. It's one thing to kidnap or kill a fellow mob member, but Darcy was an innocent that they were just using and discarding.

BrassMan said:
2. Even so, he found he liked Ana. Why?
I think he found that they had a lot in common. Also because of the way that she treated him respectfully, despite their somewhat adversarial relationship.

BrassMan said:
3. I heard from a reader who passed Distant Cousin (volume 1) to his wife. He said she was chuckling, so he guessed she was enjoying it. I never considered the Distant Cousin books particularly comic. Did anything in this one make you chuckle, that you remember?
I don't remember anything in particular. There were definitely some funny images, but I don't know if I had any laugh out loud moments.

BrassMan said:
4. If you're at all familiar with Shakespeare's play King Lear, doesn't it make an uncanny fit with Ana's plight?
Interesting comparison. I never read it, but I saw it as a play once. There are definitely some parallels, and Ana herself even identified with Cordelia.

BrassMan said:
5. Ana touches briefly on her religious views at the end of chapter 27. Any thoughts on those?
Again, interesting. I wish she had said more about what all of her people believe. Do the Thomans have the same diversity of belief as earth, or is Darcy typical of them?

BrassMan said:
6. Memory only: don't bother to look this up. (Don't bother to look any of this up. We're having fun, not studying.) What turned Clio on to green vegetables?
Jalapenos, which cracked me up.

BrassMan said:
7. Any final verdict on Scott Zimmer?
I think he's sufficiently redeemed himself :) He really seems to have turned himself around. He's another character that I'm hoping to catch up with again later.

BrassMan said:
8. What about Nino Cellini?
He's another one that I'm hoping we'll hear from again. I'd like to know what happens to him as a result of not following his instructions. He's still a bad guy, but he does have his honor and a conscience, so I have hope for him :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
I wish she had said more about what all of her people believe. Do the Thomans have the same diversity of belief as earth, or is Darcy typical of them?
Well, her people were originally tribal nomads. Their religion(s) wouldn't have resembled the three major ones we have today; in fact, they preceded them a good bit. Ana Darcy speaks more about that in the interview she did. By this point, I think it's safe to check it--the spoilers are behind you now. It's at http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,4593.0.html. Ana might not be typical. She's a pretty independent young woman. You remember she said at some point that she didn't fit in all that well back home.

I have seen Mexican babies being fed soup which had chunks of jalapenos floating in it. Perhaps that's how one achieves a truly metal-plated palate for such things, by starting young.

For those who haven't read DC: Reincarnation, I can tell you that Scott Zimmer and Nino Cellini do appear again. We also learn more about Ianthe. There are new characters too, of course!
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Well, I guess we're winding down, huh, guys? I sure have enjoyed this. Thanks to all who participated, and to all who just looked in and followed along.

Here's something that may be relevant (you can decide) that I found in a Roger Ebert review of the movie Solaris: "One of the most frequent charges against science-fiction is that it replaces emotion with intellect. Its characters are people who live by and for the mind, and their personal relationships are likely to be stifled and awkward, That's probably true enough of most s-f novels (although exceptions range from Fredric Brown's "The Lights in the Sky are Stars" to a lot of the work by Theodore Sturgeon), but it's even more true of science-fiction movies."

I hope everyone had fun. Thanks again.
 

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I'm gonna chime in again about Zimmer.  I still don't like him very much.  He is turning out to be a better person than I expected, but I'd still like to know more details about the beginning of his "Starchild" fixation.  It's hard for me to believe a 360 in behavior without some explanation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Andra said:
I'm gonna chime in again about Zimmer. I still don't like him very much. He is turning out to be a better person than I expected, but I'd still like to know more details about the beginning of his "Starchild" fixation. It's hard for me to believe a 360 in behavior without some explanation.
Well, I might have an explanation, not that I'm any expert. Zimmer started the story at a low point in his life: his family in tatters, in doubt about his abilities, and rattled by several addictions. He needed a purpose and he needed a success in order to discover his true calling and recover his confidence. Maybe we see the real emerging person at the end. Maybe not! You never know about people. Do you?
 

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Andra said:
I'm gonna chime in again about Zimmer. I still don't like him very much. He is turning out to be a better person than I expected, but I'd still like to know more details about the beginning of his "Starchild" fixation. It's hard for me to believe a 360 in behavior without some explanation.
My philosophy is that hard, honest work usually helps :)
 
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