Answers to Even More Infrequently Asked Questions

EMIAQs: Answers to Even More Infrequently Asked Questions
1. What’s the difference between a sauce and a condiment? – Susan W., Tallahassee, FL

A condiment enhances the flavor of food and is used sparingly. A sauce adds an additional flavor or richness of its own to the dish, and may be used generously.

2. Is there a name for that special credit where at the end of a bunch of TV or movie credits you get one that’s like “and WILLIAM P. DINWIDDIE as LORD HALFANDHALF?” – Jim S., San Francisco, CA

I’m glad you asked that, Jim. Frequently as part of the negotiations involved in taking a part in a TV show or movie, an agent will include a stipulation that the actor gets a certain special credit in the opening credits or, in the case of a movie, on the poster. They may strike a deal for a “single card”, which means that the actor’s credit will appear alone in the screen credits, not shown onscreen along with any other actor’s name. For an actor in a particularly strong negotiating position, they may be able to secure a “character credit”, in which the actor is specially identified as playing a particular character on the poster or in the opening credits, while most of the actors are credited by name only.

3. Why does a mirror reverse images left to right and not top to bottom?

I’m getting to this one. I have the answer but haven’t had the time to put it down here.

4. Why don’t you ever see grape ice cream? I mean, it seems like the sort of thing they should have, doesn’t it? Maybe Orange ice cream, too.They have sherbet in those flavors, but not ice cream.

I don’t have the answers to everything.

5. Suppose you had in your hands a CD you don’t expect to see again, and you want to make a lossless copy that you can later convert to mp3 or AAC if necessary. Which lossless format do you use? -Christopher G., via internet

SHN can only do 16-bit audio, while FLAC can encode 24, if you’re into that. But for CD quality (16-bit) files, any lossless format will produce the same audio results upon decoding, it’s only the non-audio features of the format that distinguish them. The primary disadvantage of SHN is ID3 tags aren’t supported.

FLAC has become the most widely supported standard, it’s open source, supports higher bitrates to keep the nerds happy, and can include ID3 tags in the file so when your cat walks across the keyboard and accidentally renames a FLAC file you don’t necessary lose the track info. Plus FLAC is compressed by happy bits that are paid a living wage and get full medical, generous vacation time, and maternity leave, while SHN is compressed by bits earning poverty wages on a contractor basis, which are strapped to a Huffman table and cruelly beaten if they don’t meet their processor benchmarks.