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A floating signifier is a word or phrase that has no clear, defined on meaning, but feels like it means something. The idea of floating signifiers was developed by the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, who used it when critiquing the idea of 'mana' as unifying force in human spirituality, which he attacked as essentially meaningless. It has since been used in other contexts, although it is primarily used in the field of semiotics.

In political contexts a floating signifier gives people a way to build a feeling of community or unity without having to worry about the specifics. While it can be difficult to tell the difference between a floating signifier and a political dog whistle (and it may be possible for a signifier to act in both capacities), things like American, patriot, freedom, Hope, and Strong and Stable can pretty much refer to any values you might personally hold, freeing politicians from saying things that voters might disagree with. …

So we got in our car and drove to the End of the World.

Land ends only a couple of hours away from us, but we've never been. It's one of those bucket list things that, owing to proximity and ease, just gets bumped below things you want to do more but above the impractical and prohibitive. Never mind. These have been challenging times, I don't mind admitting, and we decided to have an adventure of some kind each weekend of the summer, if only a minor one. Several of my siblings'…

Asteroid Day is a day to raise public awareness of asteroids and the risks posed thereby. It is held each year on June 30, in commemoration of the Tunguska event, an explosive disintegration of an asteroid over Siberia on June 30, 1908.

Asteroid Day events consist primarily of popular scientists speaking publically about asteroids and why they are bad. Signatories of the Asteroid Day Declaration include Dr. Brian May, Lord Martin Rees, Bill Nye, Richard Dawkins

News for Noders

July 1: Brevity Quest 2017 begins!

July 4: Alice’s Day (AKA Alice in Wonderland Day); also Independence day in the US.

July 19-24: Hemingway Days; party central is Key West, Florida.

July 31: Harry Potter's Birthday.


If you have anything to add to this calendar, let Tem42 know.

SciFiQuest 3017: The Frontier that Wouldn't End... hasn't ended. Still. See the quest node for details.

June 4: Aesop's Birthday.

June 11: TerribleAspect's birthday!

June 16: Bloomsday.

June 19: Juneteenth.

June 21: The first day of summer (northern hemisphere) and winter (southern hemisphere).

June 25 SciFiQuest 3017: The Frontier that Wouldn't End has ended.

June 28: Tau Day.


Get ready for Brevity Quest 2017, coming soon to a website near you!


If you have an item for this calendar, /msg Tem42.

April 1: April Fool's Day has been cancelled. Everyone just go home.

April 6: Happy birthday, borgo!

April 7: Happy birthday, Tem42!

April 12: Yuri's Night

April 22: It's Earth Day, fellow earthlings!

April 24: Happy birthday, Rancid_Pickle!

April 24: It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown!


SciFiQuest 3017: The Frontier that Wouldn't End is coming May 1st!

If you have something to add to the monthly news, /msg Tem42.

Hello everyone,

As you can see in your URL bar, TLS (https://) is live!

What does this mean for you?

We are on the lookout for various browser warnings. All of the themes have all been ported over. There are some http assets in some of the second-tier superdocs, but we'll clean those up as we find them. If you are seeing crazy browser warnings or can't access the site, please drop me an email. On-site messages or Github issues are also good for keeping track of broken things.

We should see an increase in search engine traffic as they tend to penalize non-https sites. This is one of the steps to continue to secure the future of the site, and I'm very pleased we're able to get it done.

Additionally, the load on the server is considerably higher. I've pushed some changes to stabilize it, but we may experience some choppiness. Please let me know if you get connection errors

A lot of really old features or features that won't handle the 301 redirect properly may break. We'll do what we can to support them, but this is one of the instances where old broken stuff might just end up staying broken.

-Jay

Die Grenzen meiner Sprache bedeuten die Grenzen meiner Welt.

March 14th: Pi day.

March 20th: The first equinox of the year.

March 23rd: Today was grundoon's birthday.

March 28th: Happy birthday lizardinlaw!

March 31st: Happy birthday mad girl's love song!


If you have an item for this calendar, /msg Tem42.