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Thread: New Moderator : Ophiolite

  1. #1 New Moderator : Ophiolite 
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    Dear All,

    Since this forum has been lacking in active moderators as of late, I have recruited an experienced moderator from another forum to join us here. His username is Ophiolite, and as of immediately he joined this moderator team - I trust all of you will extend your usual support and cooperation.

    Thank you.
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    I noticed. After like 10 posts he has banned and threatened some for not talking about physics while he has not talked about physics himself, and has made it clear that you may not reply to his topics. Is that really what you want here? Philosphy and reason is important in physics as well, even though he has yet to speak a word about either as far as I have seen here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayflow View Post
    I noticed. After like 10 posts he has banned and threatened some for not talking about physics while he has not talked about physics himself, and has made it clear that you may not reply to his topics. Is that really what you want here? Philosphy and reason is important in physics as well, even though he has yet to speak a word about either as far as I have seen here.

    A moderator's job is to moderate. When people act immoderately, moderators step in. We have had several posters with crackpotty ideas reject all efforts at conversation and correction. These folks simply do not belong in a science forum.

    Here's a recent example, from the science forum: Given the opportunity to correct a misapprehension about dispersion in a type of antenna, a poster's reaction was to fight it tooth and nail, even to the point of childishly refusing-- multiple times -- to do a simple google search of the literature that would reveal the truth. A moderator's job is to step in at such points, and one did. The reaction of the poster was potty mouthed and infantile, properly provoking a suspension. In many other fora, that would have provoked a permanent ban, and that would have been totally appropriate. You would seem to be of the opinion that total freedom should be extended to posters to act unreasonably without consequences. I disagree, and anyone who truly values knowledge over the sound of his or her own voice would, too.

    Reason is indeed important. And when posters steadfastly deny reason, there really is no point in letting them continue.

    Not all ideas are equally worthy. Some ideas are simply crap. It is unreasonable, and disruptive to the forum, to insist that crap is gold.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayflow View Post
    I noticed. After like 10 posts he has banned and threatened some for not talking about physics while he has not talked about physics himself, and has made it clear that you may not reply to his topics.
    Moderation should not be questioned in the thread where it happens. If you want to discuss a moderators action with the moderator/s, either use the PM system, or report the post you have a problem with, giving your reasons.
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    Your reason is not my reason and my reason is that I believe everyone on a forum should be allowed to be free to be themselves and to fend on their own, and reply to what they wish to and ignore what they wish to, rather than getting threatened and banned.
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    Mayflow,

    1. I was invited to become a moderator on this forum precisely to tighten up the application of forum rules. I accepted that invitation. Are you suggesting that I should then rudely and dishonestly refuse to discharge the duties I have been asked to perform?

    I would have been acting perfectly correctly had I banned each individual to whom I have issued a warning. Markus Hanke made it perfectly clear a few days ago that the bickering had to stop. He indicated that bans would be carried out promptly for any breach. I've taken a more gentle approach and have, for the most part, issued warnings instead.

    2. Do you understand the difference between a warning and a threat? It seems not. I have been accorded the authority to help protect the interests of this forum by stamping out petty squabbles. That means I can and should remind people of the consequences of breaching the forum rules - rules they signed up to when they joined. Reminding them of that, so that they can consider their actions and avoid a breach of rules that would lead to a ban cannot, in any use of the English language, be considered a threat. It is very clearly a warning.

    It is also a guarantee that if they ignore that warning they will be banned. I'm surprised that you are speaking out in favour of permitting insults to flow freely - your posts suggest a more sensitive person. Do you want us to allow the bickering that is prevalent just now to continue? If not, what would you do to solve it?

    3. When I am posting in moderator role, I shall not be talking about physics. I shall be talking about the topic/individual under moderation. Are you suggesting I should break off in the middle of such moderation to do a quick Lorentz transformation?

    4. When I am not wearing my moderator hat I have posted:

    a) An introduction in which I laid out my woeful knowledge of physics. Do you have a problem with that?
    b) A comment on the error bar associated with underground detection of neutrinos in relation to the model for nuclear reactions within the sun. In what way is that not talking about physics?
    c) In a thread on the Properties of Light I agree my post contained very little physics. Of course, that was because I was replying to a post of yours in which you had raised an interesting epistemological point that I then courteously replied to. I would have been off topic from your post had I included a significant physics content. Do you have a problem with that?
    d) In the thread on the formation of black holes I provided an answer to the OP that was on topic, concise and simple. Are you claiming my answer was not an astrophysical one?
    e) In the thread on Philosopy and Science and Relativity I made a post in which I noted the important connections between physics and philosophy. I am slightly surprised you have overlooked this since you very kindly gave me a Like for it.

    So, with a total of ten posts this is the scoreline:
    5 are moderator posts and are not therefore expected to contain physics
    1 is an introductory post that is not expected to contain physics, but does contain a brief reference to my own paucity of education in that field.
    2 posts that contain definite physics
    1 post that speaks of physics and that you Liked
    1 post that speaks of how we see the world and thus does not directly talk of physics, but is in response to one of your own posts.

    Would you be prepared to retract your statement that I have not talked about physics in any of my posts, given this clear demonstration that when I have not done so it is because it would have been off-topic, and at other times I have done so?

    5. You claim that I have said that no one may not reply to my topics. I think you mean "may not reply to my moderator warnings, or moderator comments". I think your statement is misleading. I have made it clear that if you have something to say you can say it by pm, or by reporting the post. I'll add another method for you here. I am sure we have a sub-forum for discussing the working of the forum. Please respond to my comments in there, if you wish, as long as they follow the rules of the forum.

    6. You then make this assertion: "Philosphy and reason is important in physics as well, even though he has yet to speak a word about either as far as I have seen here.

    Here is what I have said about philosophy and reason in the handful of posts I have made so far.

    This:
    Lord Kelvin was one of the leading physicists of his generation. He was Professor at the University of Glasgow for five decades. The current physics building in the university is called the Kelvin building in honour of him. When I was an undergraduate there the building had a prominent sign on its facade declaring, Department of Natural Philosophy.

    Physics and the other sciences grew out of philosophy. Without logic, a branch of philosophy, the scientific method could not be practiced. And explication of that method was arguably best handled, not by a scientist, but by the philosopher Karl Popper.

    I'm slightly surprised no one else has mentioned any of these links between physics and philosophy.


    And this:
    An interesting comment and I should like to focus on the words I have emboldened, if I may, mayflow, be so bold.

    The world you know, the world all homo sapiens knows is a macroscopic world (but not so large), in which we are subjected to roughly a 1g acceleration and live at a pressure of about 1,000 Millibars, traveling at relatively slow speeds, perceiving things through a very small window of the EM spectrum and over time periods that are a tiny fraction of the age of the universe, yet very much larger than the time two atoms take to form bond.

    And our intellect and instincts have evolved to function in such a milieu, to the extent that we have certain expectations of what constitutes normal behaviour - if I jump off a cliff I shall down, not up. Unfortunately it is all too easy to transfer these common sense expectations to the microscopic, or the nano-second event, or an excessively strong gravity field. But common sense does not work in these arenas and if we choose to continue to use it we will be seriously misled. The universe will ignore our difficulty and gaily proceed to behave as it has always behaved, our protestations not withstanding.

    Just a thought.


    The first contribution, as noted, you chose to award a Like for. The second was a reply to one of your own posts.


    I hope you will reflect on these points and it would great if you concede that some of your observations were ill founded. In either case I look forward to reading your response.
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    Oh good god, ban be like you did to to beer with straw. At least he nor I have ever banned people. Maybe this was what Markus wanted. I believe in freedom of speech, and you obviously do not.
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    mayflow, I took a considerable amount of time and care to address each of the points you raised in your first post. That was a mark of respect for your concerns, and thus, indirectly, a mark of respect for you. Will you now show me the courtesy of responding in a thoughtful manner to at least one of my points? Would you agree that your suggestion that I had not talked about physics in the forum was an error? If you do not agree with that please demonstrate why the replies I think contain physics did not actually contain physics.

    Thank you.
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    No. I do not like the approach you have taken here, and I do not like that you have taken to be a brow beating bully, and that you have threatened people with bans and also actually banned at least one already. Who can be free to speak freely when you are that way? Give up the mod role, and I will address any points you want to speak with me of. Markus maybe hired you to do that and my former respect for Markus has diminished accordingly, but freedom of people to speak for themselves totally outweighs all of that. Who can speak openly when another will bad them if they do not like or agree?
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    Well, I am sorry you feel that way.

    Apparently you think that freedom of speech allows you to besmirch my name in this forum, accusing me of actions that I have not carried out. Then, when the shortcomings in your accusations are pointed out you refuse to discuss them. There is a hint of hypocrisy in your attitude.

    Now you have complained several times that people have been nasty to you, yet here you are defending others who have been nasty to members. If I continue to apply the rules of the forum - I remind you again, rules that you agreed to when you signed up - if I apply those rules, then no one will be allowed to attack you verbally, or hurt your feelings. Nor will anyone be able to do this to anyone else. Why do you find that prospect so wrong?

    You really need to take a long hard look at the contradictions in what you are saying. They run deep. I have pointed some of them out to you, yet you make what seem like excuses in order to avoid discussing these openly. It seems you are in favour of freedom of speech as long it does not require you to speak freely.

    In passing, I hereby give my assurance that I shall never ban you on this forum. Ever. So there is no threat hanging over your head from me that should prevent you from addressing the points that I raised courteously and in which I invested considerable time to write. I am simply asking for the same courtesy from you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayflow View Post
    No. I do not like the approach you have taken here, and I do not like that you have taken to be a brow beating bully, and that you have threatened people with bans and also actually banned at least one already.
    May I ask who was banned?
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    Will you unban anyones you have banned here now, as I have never seen anyone who should be banned here? Ps, I cannot report posts here. Also, ps, why the ban on Beer with Straw? I will accomodate in this. I was wrong, you have been posting some decent posts in physics and also in philosophy, and I was overly focussing on you telling others what they can or can not do. I think you were supposed to be like the new Sheriff in town, but some people can get rebellious really quickly if they think their or other's freedoms are at stake. Asking people to be nice may work eventually but trying to force them will probably not. Being nice is not enforced by force I do not think.
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    Physicist, the quote thing does not work for me, but as far as I know only Beer with Straw has been banned so far, and I really have no idea why. I think he (or she) should be unbanned.
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    I shall not unban anyone who has been banned for infringing the forum rules.

    Here are some questions you should answer yourself, even if you will not reply here.
    1. Are you opposed to any of the forum rules?
    2. If not why are you complaining when they are applied?
    3. Especially, why are you complaining when people are warned that they are breaking the rules?
    4. If you do not agree with the rules, why did you agree to them officially when you joined the forum? Did you not bother to read them? Did you change your mind? Did you lie?
    5. Do you really like all the bickering and sniping that has been going on here?

    Thank you for acknowledging my attempts to post relevant items.

    I have read through previous threads - a lot of them. I have seen requests by moderators that people should be nice. These requests have been ignored. Repeatedly. Being nice has not worked here.

    Markus has asked me to provide an extra pair of hands to help moderate and he has said the moderation in future will be more rigorous. People can become more rebellious, but those people have a very simple choice to make:

    Do they value their ego more highly than honest, courteous, mature discussion of physics? If they do not they will embrace the vigorous application of the rules. If they do , then this forum is not for them. It really is that simple.


    As to Beer w/straw two posts after I specifically requested that no member make posts in the thread about personality related issues, (s)he did.
    I pointed this out to her, but gave her the benefit of doubt on the basis that she may not have seen my request.
    She responded immediately with a post that said simply "Ban me". Where I come from that's called "taking the piss", so I obliged and banned her.
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    Ban me too then. God you are a jerk.
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    mayflow,

    I have been courteous throughout these exchanges. I have explained to best of my ability my reasoning. I have taken time to do so.

    For your part you have impolite, refused to answer most questions, explained almost none of the reasons behind your opinions and generally behaved unseemly.

    Will you take the time to explain, clearly, why you consider me to be a jerk? If you do so, indeed any response you give, I shall likely not see tonight. It is 3:30 am, I have remained up almost entirely to try to reason with you. I have work to go to in the morning. As someone past retirement age I need that sleep. I am bemused how someone putting in the effort I am putting in here can reasonably be dismissed with a one liner -"God you are a jerk".

    I look forward to a fuller and more measured discussion with you.
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    Courteous people do not ban other people. Actions speak louder than false words.

    I asked you to rectify this ego crap of yours of being a forum bully, but it I guess is your thing that makes you feel good somehow. That does not make it fair to those who you have banned, though. I asked you to make it right but you refused.
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  18. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayflow View Post
    Ban me too then. God you are a jerk.
    I can't see why you think he's a jerk. Can you explain it to me too please?
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    mayflow,

    This, I hope, is my last post to you.

    1. The forum operates on rules. If you do not like these rules perhaps you should not have joined the forum and agreed to them. That seems at best thoughtless, at worst deceitful.
    2. One of the rules is that if you break the rules you can be banned.
    3. Beer w/straw broke the rules. (S)he was banned.

    So, your logic is that because I follow the rules and help moderate the forum by banning people who break the rules, because of this I am a jerk. I'm glad we got that straightened out. Man, you are a hoot! . Six and a half decades and humans can still amaze me.
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    For banning and threatening people, Physicist. It isn't complicated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayflow
    For banning and threatening people, Physicist. It isn't complicated.
    Mayflow - Please don't take what I say in the rest of this post as being personal. It's not meant to be. So please don't be disparaged by what I say below. I could easily apply to anyone here except for your last comment about being "It isn't complicated." It's not complicated but you're wrong about it.

    Re - For banning and threatening people -You're wrong. He never threatened anybody. Giving a warning and threatening are not the same thing. He can't be said to be a jerk for doing his job. He's not the one who created the forum rules and he's not the one who's been telling anybody to insult people and therefore need to be banned. I looked at Beer w/Straw's comments and she quite literally asked to be banned. So he gave her what she wanted. And claiming that "It isn't complicated." doesn't speak well of your ability to understand something as simple as a moderator doing his job. Quite frankly a lot of people need to be banned to get this forum back on line. Markus gave everyone fair notice that he was clamping down on all of this and the next day the same people went right back to business as usual.

    Ophiolite did the right thing. Good for Ophiolite!!!!
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    Beer with Straw broke whose rules and how?
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    Physicist, I do not believe you can force people to be nice by shoving your own sets of rules down their throats, and if this is the way this forum keeps moving, it will likely (and mercifully) die.
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    Physicist, I do not believe you can force people to be nice by shoving your own sets of rules down their throats
    When you joined this forum, you agreed to the forum rules. If you don't agree with them, leave the forum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayflow View Post
    Physicist, I do not believe you can force people to be nice by shoving your own sets of rules down their throats, and if this is the way this forum keeps moving, it will likely (and mercifully) die.
    Just like Alex said, nobody ever shoved any rules down your throat. When you joined the forum you agreed to follow those rules. Forums cannot operate without rules. Almost all physics forums are devoid of professional physicists because they're insulted by layman who can't force they're ideas on. So forums have to set up rules. It's their choice to do so. Many arenas in society have moderators. See Moderator - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    It's quite na´ve to think that this forum will die because it has and enforces rules. Actually the forums that tend to die are the ones that have no rules or the rules aren't enforced. Just look at all the forums that are out there to verify that to be true. The forum The Hawking Forum died out a long time ago from being a decent forum because the person who owns it chose to not moderate it so it went to pot. All there is there is one or two people posting the same message over and over again for the last ten years and a few other crackpots.

    And you most certainly can force people to act nice by suspending them or banning them when they aren't. I've seen this too many times to count.
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    Ok, goodbye.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayflow View Post
    Ok, goodbye.
    Good bye. Let me know if you find a physics forum that you like and that works which has no rules.

    Before you leave I have one last question for you. You know that forums are privately owned, right? In that way coming to a forum and posting there is analogous to going to someone's home and talking to the people there. When friends come to your home do you let them do anything they want to regardless of the consequences? What some of them do something so often which is so mean and rude to your other guests and yourself that none of your other guests ever come back? It follows that the only people that would come to your house are mean and rude people to you and each other. Can you understand why people don't to open up their houses to people like that? Do you know that when a guest is so rude and obnoxious to their other guests that those people are asked to leave and if it happens too often they never come back? If you see that's true then why can't you see that a privately owned forum is the same way. If you can't see how that's true then please give examples of when you've had guests who've always been rude and insulting to your other friends. Did your other friends enjoy coming to your home ever again?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayflow View Post
    Beer with Straw broke whose rules and how?
    She asked to be banned. That's all I'd need. In this case it'd be giving her what she asked for.
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  29. #29  
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    ADMIN NOTE : I won't be engaging in long discussions and justifications here. Suffice to say that after recent events I and others came to the conclusion that the moderation of this forum has to be tightened up considerably; we have been slack, mainly due to a lack of time and manpower on our side. It should never have gotten to the stage that it did in the first place, so what is happening now is that we are going to fix the mistakes we made in the past. Ophiolite has been recruited for this purpose, and so far as I can see he is doing a splendid job and has my full support; I had posted a warning in the announcements section a few days back, where I specifically asked every member here to examine his/her reasons for being here - this is a mainstream physics forum, we want to discuss mainstream physics here, not speculate about personal theories ( though there is a section specifically dedicated to that, too ) or battle out personal feuds.

    I understand that there will be a price to pay, in the form of some members here choosing to leave, or being removed. That is regrettable, but it is also unavoidable, and so far as I am concerned it is a price I am willing to pay. Change is never easy, but at the end of the day it is necessary to re-focus our efforts towards what the original idea behind this forum was, and that was not to become a clone of The Science Forum, but rather a place to have technical and serious discussions about established physics; you are all free to choose whether you wish to be part of this or not. There are plenty of alternatives out there for those who don't agree with the culture of this place.

    Now is the time for each of you to decide.
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    Hmmmm. If this was in another forum I'd chuckle. No one reads interminable rationalizations any more than one listens to long winded monologues.
    The best moderation is none. Second is as little as possible.

    Only mature, thick-skinned, soft-spoken, polite, diplomatic and humble people with leadership experience can be moderators.
    Problem is that the vain, crafty and status minded want to do this.

    When I detect egocentric pedantry and playing dumb by posters, I just move on. No sense offending these people, it just bites back.
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    pikpobedy (can't you make an easier name to call you by?) I can't quote here and I am not the only one. That said, I totally agree. Did you ever read George Orwell's book "Animal Farm?" I read it as a kid, and I think it says very much what you said here. That said, the mods of this forum seem a lot better than on most forums. In an effort to crack down, they may be shooting themselves in the feet though. A good mod should be able to post well, not threaten, warn and ban in my opinion.

    Most, in my opinion took Animal Farm to be a lesson against communism (which at heart, if practised correctly could maybe be pretty sharing and free hearted) but the lesson I took is that people who want power do not really so much get corrupted by power so much as the sort of "I have more power and can exert my powers over you if you do not act according to my power" way of thinking, which in my estimation is already an unfair and corrupted attitude.

    Let us hope that in this case, the good pig "Snowball" does not get banned by the bad Pig "Napolean" - If you do not follow this reasoning read George Orwell - Animal Farm - Chapter I
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    Mayfair
    My name means Peak Victory a 7400 meter mountain, in the Tian Shan range, on the former Russo-Chinese now the Kyrgyzstani-Chinese border.
    The Chinese call it Jengish Chokusu.
    Pik Pobedy was one of the dozen or so named peaks on a nice world globe given to me.

    I left Physics Forums after a few days because of some pissant moderator, obviously a kid that had never managed anything. Not her fault, more the fault of those who chose her. She harassed me in PM, agrandized herself by stating her power, and ultimately she could not reconcile my flagging a complaint against her. How should I know who she was and what diffrence does it make. I assume she was a she by her impolite attitude. And yes, I am aware that denizens from that site also are denizens of here. They are seeing nothing that I have not stated before.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pikpobedy View Post
    Mayfair
    My name means Peak Victory a 7400 meter mountain,
    Polish? or Russian? "Pobeda" means "victory" in both languages.
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    Pik Pobedy is on the former Russian border. French or English modification of Russian I gather. However Pobedy or close to it is a word in many Slavic languages.

    I lived in China in the 80s. My nickname was Lin Shan. Shan being mountain. Lin being forest.
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    Heh, Mayfair... I like it. That is a huge high mountain. The world globe is an interesting way of looking at the world around us.

    The highest mountain I have ever been on is Pike's peak by Colorado Springs. https://www.bing.com/images/search?q...electedIndex=4
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    Mayflow ahhha! I stand corrected. Not Mayfair!
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  37. #37  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    236
    Oh, heck, I don't care. I liked Mayfair, but it is just a name either way. You cannot define or confine someone inside of a name cage you know.
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