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January 23, 2004

Free giant shrimp from the oceans of Mars
Posted by Teresa at 07:53 PM *

Okay. Long John Silver’s is the coolest fast-food chain in America. I got this one from Stefan Jones. Long John Silver’s has offered to give everyone free giant shrimp if NASA finds conclusive evidence that oceans have existed on Mars. Even a cheesy press release (what do you expect? It was written by the publicity department of a fast-food chain) can’t entirely camouflage the voice of true space exploration enthusiasts:



LOUISVILLE, KY, January 15, 2004 - Long John Silver’s announced today that it will give America free Giant Shrimp if NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover project finds conclusive evidence of an ocean on Mars by February 29, 2004. The out-of-this-world offer from the world’s most popular seafood chain celebrates NASA’s efforts to find traces of ocean water—and possibly, evidence of life—on Mars.

Steve Davis, President of Long John Silver’s, Inc., and A&W Restaurants, Inc. sent a letter to NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe, expressing support for NASA’s efforts to find conclusive evidence of an ocean on Mars. In addition, Davis announced plans to provide free Giant Shrimp to America if conclusive evidence of an ocean is found.

“We have closely followed NASA’s recent exploration of Mars and all of us are rooting you on to find ocean water on the Red Planet,” Davis wrote. “The ‘Free Giant Shrimp’ offer is our way of saying NASA’s exploration of Mars and the discovery of ocean water would be ‘one small step for man, one giant leap for seafood.’”

In the letter, Davis also officially registered interest in Long John Silver’s becoming the first seafood restaurant on Mars. “It’s not a matter of ‘if,’ it’s just a matter of ‘when’ human beings are able to live permanently on Mars. Long John Silver’s mission is to feed people with delicious seafood wherever they are—on earth or even outer space.”

“We are strongly behind NASA’s efforts to find conclusive evidence of an ocean on Mars for two reasons,” said Mike Baker, Chief Marketing Officer for Long John Silver’s, Inc. “As Americans, we’re proud of NASA’s exploration of space; as the world’s most popular quick-service seafood chain, we get excited about ocean water, wherever it is. If there’s ocean water on Mars, that would be giant news. And giant news calls for Giant Shrimp!”

If NASA announces the discovery of conclusive evidence of an ocean on Mars prior to February 29, 2004, America gets free Giant Shrimp at participating Long John Silver’s restaurants on Monday, March 15, 2004, from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. Baker and his team are closely monitoring the progress of the Mars Exploration Rover “Spirit,” which has already begun its quest to find evidence of ocean water on Earth’s celestial next-door neighbor.

The company will rely on top scientific experts leading NASA’s Athena Science Payload Investigation team to ultimately provide an official declaration if conclusive evidence of an ocean has been found on Mars. Long John Silver’s will look to the team’s Principal Investigator Steven Squyres and Deputy Principal Investigator Ray Arvidson to provide official news on NASA’s Mars exploration web site at

In addition, consumers can find updates on NASA’s progress and join in the hunt for ocean water on Mars by visiting
You could argue that they’re just trying to promote the introduction of their Giant Shrimp; but fast-food chains are always introducing this-or-that new menu item, and they don’t usually do it by expressing fervent enthusiasm for space exploration.

Just compare their commitment to George Bush’s. They’re promising to give away free shrimp. He sent up a trial balloon about space exploration, found it didn’t give him a jump in the polls, killed Hubble, did other miscellaneous damage to science programs, and has now stopped talking about space exploration and moved on to another trial balloon, athletes and steroids.

(That’s how Sen. Joseph McCarthy got onto his “commie conspirators in the government” kick, you know. He’d just been casting around, delivering speeches on this that and the other thing, no real pattern to it. He wasn’t a thoughtful man, never had any real principles; he was just seeing what sold. Then, in some minor venue in West Virginia, he started riffing on “communists in the government”, and registered a sharp jump in public interest and media coverage. He riffed on it some more, got the same effect, and was off and running. If his audience had responded to calls for polka-dotted rather than striped neckties, he’d have gone after that instead—and right now, so would George Bush. That’s how you can tell it’s an election year: George only talks to us when he wants something out of us. Right now he’s looking for some new buttons he can push. Thus his talk about space exploration, and athletes and steroids, and all his other whack-a-mole momentary crusades. He’ll never care what you think, but this is the one year in four when he cares what you’ll respond to. … But I digress.)

Getting back to my subject, I can’t even object to Long John Silvers’ vulgar enthusiasm at the prospect of selling seafood in space. Why not? It’s what they do. If I get to go to Mars (hey, you never know), you can bet I’ll be trying to rig some way to print, bind, and distribute some appropriate piece of text while I’m there, thus inaugurating both Martian publishing and Martian bibliographies.

Furthermore, if I were the Weather Channel, I’d be adding Martian weather reports to my programming right now. Why not? We have the data. Or anyway, we have some data, for a while; and wouldn’t it be cool to have the temperature on Mars reported along with the temperature in Vladivostok, Yuma, International Falls, Trieste, Coober Pedy, and MacMurdo Station?

I’m glad at least one organization out there gets it. Let’s hear it for them Giant Shrimp.

Comments on Free giant shrimp from the oceans of Mars:
#1 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: January 23, 2004, 10:04 PM:

That is cool. I've never been to Long John Silver's, don't even know if there's one near me, but I like this.

#2 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 23, 2004, 10:15 PM:

In recent years I've seen fewer freestanding Long John Silver's, and more of them in mall food courts. They serve readed fried fish, fried oysters, fried shrimp, clam chowder, and passable if somewhat mushy fries, with your choice of tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, or malt vinegar. Patrick and Scraps have always been fond of the chain. Now, of course, we'll like them even better than before. Oxymorons on Mars, hurrah!

#3 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: January 23, 2004, 10:16 PM:

If they were offering them FREE, I might try them (probably peeling the batter off...). Unfortunately after over a year of car-enforced non-fast-food (my driver's side window mechanism failed in a way that, while I AM able to roll it DOWN, it might not go back UP again... which in KC is a true problem), my tolerance for anything really fried in fat has gone waay down. And while LJS was the only fried fish I liked aside from one local restaurant where I always eat the fish and chips, I'm just not willing to gou out of my way for it unless it's free... and if I don't like it the outside cats will get it.

#4 ::: John C. Bunnell ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2004, 12:01 AM:

The Official Rules indicate that not only is there no catch (though what you get one Giant Shrimp, not a full order thereof), but that should they run out of Giant Shrimp while people are still in line, they'll issue rain checks.

Of course, they also say that:

Odds of a successful redemption of this offer are not calculable by traditional means.....

#5 ::: Lydia Nickerson ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2004, 12:08 AM:

I feel as if I've been dropped into a Heinlein novel.

"Water on Mars." Now, those are words to conjure with.

#6 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2004, 12:26 AM:

Long John Silver's is one of my guilty little secrets. The chicken planks are good of course, as are the fish. And they usually have those little bits of fried batter in the bottom of the dish for nibbling on. But the true genius of LJS is the hushpuppies. Oh god. The Hushpuppies. So crispy on the outside, with cornmealy goodness inside. (And no damn sugar!) Whenever I'm in a place that has LJS I make a pilgrimage and buy a dozen hushpuppies and iced tea and make a complete and utter pig of myself. We don't have LJS on the West Coast. Sigh.


#7 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2004, 12:56 AM:

Mary Kay, there are some LJSs in the Bay Area.

* * *

I suspect I'm a little more cynical about this than TNH.

A more genuine enthusiasm for space than Bush? Yes, I can buy that, but the wording of the rules pretty much eliminate any chance that the shrimp will be given out.

As for the food:

I went to LJS occasionally when I lived in Pittsburgh. There was one across the river, in the wonderfully shabby Homestead neighborhood.
I justified going to a fast food joint by the fact that it was Sea Food, which we all know is good for you.

Then, on the way back from Long Island, I bought a LJS crispy wrap. It was beyond awful. I tossed it out the car window and never went to a LJS again. If I hadn't been busy finishing my thesis I would have written such a letter . . .

Maybe I'll forgive them for that wrap if they do another promotion based on Europa's hidden oceans.

#8 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2004, 01:16 AM:

Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

I take the saucer to Las Vegas for one quiet weekend to myself, and return to discover that the Orbital Defense and Light Opera Company has not only hit Dejah's drawers (as we like to say), but owing to a cost-plus outsourcing problem we are entirely out of Illudium Q-36 space modulators.

And now I find that one of your notorious pirates is arming the citizenry with giant crustaceans. We have been monitoring your news programs for years, you know. We remember Gojira tai Ebirah, and it WILL NOT WORK, do you understand? You will take away our radium rifles when you pry them from our three short fingers!

Earth creatures make me so petulant sometimes.

#9 ::: John C. Bunnell ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2004, 04:51 AM:

We donít have LJS on the West Coast.

Well, yes and no.

Thing is, it seems that the parent corporation behind Long John Silver's (an outfit called Yum Brands) also owns several other "quick service" chains -- notably, they also have the restaurant side of the A&W Root Beer brand.

And they are experimenting with a strategy of "multibranding", such that the newest outlets are combinations. I'm reliably informed that there are at least two combination A&W/Long John Silver's restaurants in the greater Portland (OR)area -- one way the heck over in Gresham on the east side, and one in Tigard on the outskirts of the west side, but it takes an insane amount of spelunking to find even one of these listed anywhere on the Web. (There are also a handful of standalone A&W franchises in Oregon that the national Web site seems not to know about, mostly but not exclusively buried deep in small towns.)

So I have somewhere to go to collect my Giant Shrimp should the offer come through.

[This is the Second Wave. Long John Silver's made one prior foray into the Portland area a number of years ago -- I visited one in Portland's Hollywood District that's long since morphed into a Burger King, and there were a couple of others. But those withered and died for want of market saturation -- Skipper's was stronger back then.]

#10 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2004, 08:19 AM:

Get your Martian flat cats at Pets'R'Us.

#11 ::: eli ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2004, 08:58 AM:


first an offer for giant shrimp, and then the Spirit rover suffers from a mysterious breakdown...

The correlation is obvious!! The giant Martian shrimp of the discovered Martian ocean have tampered with the rover! And they have also eaten the Beagle 2! Long John Silvers--what secret message are they encoding to the giant shrimp of the universe in this message? Oh the possiblities!

#12 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2004, 09:29 AM:

They deserve to be the first sea-food restaurant on Mars, or even the first fast-food franchise on Mars. They want the same way we do.

This is also remarkably successful marketing. They have just created a huge reservoir of warm feeling in me towards them, and I'd never even heard of them before.

#13 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2004, 10:25 AM:

I'm not sure if this or the latest Open Threat is the best place, but would any of you techies out there like to comment on poor Rover #1? The latest news I saw makes it seem all too likely the problem is hardware, not software (even though I share those subversive thoughts that alien slime molds ate Beagle, then worked their way over to Rover's landing site and started munching -- just saw Species II on TV last night: what a laffer!). But seriously, it seems that Rover #1 may be down for the count. Bummer....

#14 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2004, 12:25 PM:

Stefan Jones: Quick, where in the BA? I'll be there tomorrow through Wed. When we lived in San Ramon there was one in Tracy. It was about an hour's drive, but I did it more than once. Ghu, I love hushpuppies. (The fact that I love them is why I have never tried to learn to make them. I wouldn't be able to get through the door.)


#15 ::: Scott ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2004, 12:32 PM:

A friend emailed me this particular piece I had to blog:

It's too funny.

#16 ::: Glen Blankenship ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2004, 12:46 PM:

John Bunnell notes, above, that the prize is a single Giant Shrimp, not a whole order. But I'm wondering how many Giant Shrimp would constitute a whole order, given LJS's description of them as "measuring nearly a half-foot long."

These aren't mere Jumbo Shrimp - they're Giant Mutant Shrimp.

When you think about it that way, the Mars tie-in starts to make sense.

#17 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2004, 04:38 PM:

Mary Kay:

I used the Store Locator on the website:

I'd give you the result URL but it's way long.

The towns: Tracy, Pinole, Vallejo, Watsonville, Fairfield.

I'm in Paula's fix: Deep fat fried doesn't go down well with me after years of:

seafood := {'chilled shrimp'; 'broiled salmon'; 'pickled herring in cream sauce'; 'sushi / sashimi'};

But hushpuppies . . . I'd forgotten about those.

Chances are you could make them. Easy, cheap, but messy.

#18 ::: Virge ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2004, 06:41 PM:

"measuring nearly a half-foot long"

If you uncurl the tail before you measure, that length wouldn't be too unusual.

#19 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2004, 07:24 PM:

The definitive Big Prawn film scene remains the one in TAMPOPO. And is likely to remain so, unless someone is really, -really- imaginative.

There's not much point in describing this moment if you haven't seen the movie. Though I'll bet Silver's could sell an awful lot of shrimp with it.

#20 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2004, 07:57 PM:

Thanks Stefan. Hmm. None of those are easily reachable from downtown SanJose. Though if I got to the one in Watsonville I can also visit the Gilroy Outlets. Hmmmmm


#21 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2004, 10:57 PM:

Yeah, "Giant Shrimp" is an oxymoron. But then, on Catalina and the Channel islands off the coast of California, there used to be Dwarf Mammoths.

There's a chance that, under the dust on the Martian surface, there's very salty brine.

Brine Shrimp on Mars? Alien Sea-Monkeys!

John M. Ford's Heinlein/Marvin the Martian/Godzilla pastiche VERY funny!

#22 ::: Christina Schulman ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2004, 01:53 AM:

Some good news: According to CNN, Opportunity has successfully landed on Mars, and engineers are hacking around Spirit's communication issues, which they suspect is due to bad Flash memory. This sounds to me more like a flaky digital camera than a Mars rover, but I wish them luck.

I hate trying to debug a system over the phone via the customer, but at least that takes place on the same planet, without a time lag. Imagine what it'll be like when we're trying to debug systems on the Jupiter moons via a flaky Telnet connection from Earth! (Come to think of it, response times on the old college VAX approached that lag when everyone was compiling at once.)

Stefan: I'm afraid the "wonderfully shabby" neighborhood of Homestead is now the site of the shiniest, sprawliest faux urban shopping development in the Pittsburgh area. Right where the Homestead strike took place, yet. I'm not sure whether the LJS is still there.

#23 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2004, 03:33 AM:

Homestead could have used some shiny-ing up. I do hope the cool scruffy old industrial infrastructure was worked into the scheme, somehow. Those soot-blackened trestles and such were wonderfully homely.

The locator puts the closest LJS way south. Maybe the place is too posh for the chain, and sports a Red Lobster instead.

But, AHA! I used the store locator to find a tiny, isolated neighborhood I wandered into once. Three streets surrounded by slagheap and river, accessible by a single bridge. Ettwein and Blackmore streets . . . how wonderful. I was worried I'd imagined it.

#24 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2004, 04:16 AM:

There have been a lot of changes in Homestead lately. My mom, who grew up there, probably wouldn't recognize the place!

But even if there aren't any Long Johns in Homestead, there are certainly many others in the Pittsburgh area.

Using the site Stefan used to look 'em up for Mary Kay, I don't find an LJS listed in Homestead per se, but they're in the nearby communities of Duquesne (where Mom was born), Brentwood, and West Mifflin, which most Pittsburghers know as "where Kennywood is".

#25 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2004, 02:39 PM:

Mary Kay may not have LJS in her area, but Seattle does have Ivar's Acres of Clams instead.

#26 ::: Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2004, 03:23 PM:

Regaring the Beagle/Spirit, did anyone else here the bit Friday evening on All Things Considered, where they talked to the Battlebots guy, about the possible (but not probable) "fight" between the Beagle and the Spirit?

#27 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2004, 05:53 PM:

Acres of Clams! What lovely memories that brings back, from when I worked for Mama Boeing.

Christopher Davis, for those who've never been there, can you describe this amazing place?

And didn't Ivar buy a gorgeous old skyscraper in Seattle, or am I confusing two different stories?

Must start going to Norwescons again...

#28 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2004, 07:13 PM:

Free the Giant Shrimp from the Oceans of Mars!

#29 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2004, 01:54 AM:

Peace, Marvin, peace. Earthlings can't attack when they're giggling on the floor.

Stefan, they've set up stiff requirements for "ocean", but I don't doubt their enthusiasm is real. And what if they do wind up having to pay off? All it means is that every person who wants to collect will have to ascertain the location of his local LJS and go there. That's pure gold.

Jo, we'll happily take you to one, if we're ever traveling together. Mary Kay's right about the hushpuppies. And since the chain's theme is merely piratical, you'll be spared the effect Maureen Speller produced in stateside Olde Englysshe-themed fish & chips places: the minute they heard her accent, they started apologizing.

Glen, if they're the same species of giant shrimp I keep seeing in the salad bar of the deli across the street from Tor, they're a new version of styro-crab with superior detailing.

JVP, Ivar did indeed buy a cool old-fashioned skyscraper in Seattle, and he flew a big Japanese fish kite from the top, too.

Haven't you always wanted a dwarf mammoth? We could keep him in the same office area as the Tesla Coil and the Van de Graaff Generator. When the weather was fine, we could take him for outings in the Tor zeppelin, which is currently moored on to of the Flatiron Building.

#30 ::: Tim BKyger ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2004, 09:39 AM:

Be accurate, Teresa. Bush didn't kill Hubble. It was O'Keefe.

And the trial ballon, for many many reasons, isn't a ballon. It'll now be an ongoing program.

If you're going to shoot at targets for faults, ya really need to know who you should actually be shooting at.

#31 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2004, 09:46 AM:

Teresa, et al., if you haven't checked out Phil and Kaja Foglio's delightful Girl Genius, you should consider it: steam-powered war machines, massive dirigibles, mad scientists, and...mimmoths! They're about the size of guinea pigs, but with the breeding habits of gerbils, and they tend to infest castles, secret laboratories, and the like. (Moral: when pursuing idle genetics experimentation between important projects, don't scrimp on the lab cages.)

The mere thought of such things made me get up and go re-read the collected Volume 1, and now I'm late for work. I blame all of you.

#32 ::: Tim Kyger ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2004, 10:20 AM:

And on the Marvin the Martian front...did anybody notice how *many* Marvin the Martian dolls there are in the JPL MER-A & -B control rooms?

Not to mention the numerous bags of JPL "Lucky Peanuts."

#33 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2004, 10:50 AM:

There's a take out place up in the Plateau that offers "Pizza, Souvlaki and Poisson frit d'Angleterre". I haven't tried going in there and seeing if they apologise. (My favourite cosmopolitan fast food sign was a McDonalds offering "Nouveau: Fajitas!" I didn't try those either.)

#34 ::: Anne ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2004, 11:28 AM:

Andrew, thou leadest me into the paths of iniquity. Just this morning, I was wondering how to fill the void until the next collection of _Promethea_ comes out.

#35 ::: Tim Kyger ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2004, 11:30 AM:

For those (like me) who want to try to save Hubble (possibly a bit off topic, but what the hey...) ---

US Senator Rushes to Hubble's Defense, by Brian Berger
WASHINGTON -- The Hubble Space Telescope's staunchest congressional
protector is urging NASA to reconsider its decision to curtail any
further servicing of the 14-year-old observatory.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said she was "shocked and surprised" by
NASA's decision, announced Jan. 16, to terminate what would have been
the fifth and final Hubble servicing mission.
In a Jan. 21 letter to NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe, Mikulski, the
ranking minority member of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that
oversees NASA's budget, asked the space agency chief to reconsider his
decision. Mikulski also asked O'Keefe to appoint an independent panel of
outside experts to assess all the ins and outs of conducting another
space shuttle mission to Hubble.
She also is calling on NASA to continue all preparations for the
servicing mission until Congress has a chance to weigh in.
"Hubble has become the most successful NASA program since Apollo,"
Mikulski wrote. "It cannot be terminated prematurely with the stroke of
a pen without a thorough and rigorous review while planning, preparation
and training activities continue."
Maryland is home to two major Hubble facilities, the Space Telescope
Science Institute in Baltimore and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in
Greenbelt. Mikulski is the most senior Democrat on the Senate
Appropriations VA-HUD and independent agencies subcommittee, which must
approve NASA's budget each year.
Until recently, NASA had planned to visit Hubble one last time --
possibly as soon as 2006 -- to change out instruments and replace its
batteries and gyroscopes with the intent of keeping the telescope in
service until its heir apparent, the James Webb Space Telescope is up
and operating. That telescope, now in development, is scheduled to be
launched around 2011.
NASA Chief Scientist John Grunsfeld, one of the last astronauts to
visit Hubble, said conducting the Hubble servicing mission without
violating the safety mandates issued in the wake of the 2003 Space
Shuttle Columbia accident would have required the development of
potentially costly on-orbit shuttle inspection and repair techniques not
otherwise needed. Because a shuttle visiting the Hubble could not reach
the international space station in the event of a spacecraft emergency,
Grunsfeld said NASA would have needed a second shuttle on the launch pad
and ready to go in case a rescue was required.
Although a shuttle mission appears to be out of the question in light
of NASA's plans to retire the fleet by 2010, the Hubble community is not
taking the decision to scrap the servicing mission lying down.
Steve Beckwith, the director of the Space Telescope Science Institute,
said a tiger team has been established to investigate essentially any
and all ideas for prolonging Hubble's life in light of NASA's decision.
"We're in the mode of pursuing every wacky concept out there," Beckwith

#36 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2004, 12:36 PM:

Happy to be of service, Anne. What fun would life be without new paths of iniquity every now and then?

#37 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2004, 01:49 AM:

Just sticking my nose in here to second the recommendation of Girl Genius. It's delightful.

#38 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2004, 02:26 PM:

Mary Kay: There is LJS in Arizona. Remind me and I'll take you during Westercon if you're coming.

Me, I love Skipper's, which is only in the Pacific Northwest as far as I know (though they did have a franchise in Arizona some years ago) - and I'll be in Seattle on extended business beginning in a couple or three weeks. Mmmmm.

And Ivar's too. Mmmmmmmm.

#39 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2004, 01:49 AM:

Patrick: We're planning on being there so you're on. I didn't make it to any of the ones in the BA -- no time. Almost every meal spoken for by various and sundry friends.


#40 ::: Yonmei ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2004, 04:40 AM:

I don't even eat seafood (or like pirates)* and suddenly I feel this big warm glow coming on for Long John Silver.

*okay, except for Captain Jack Sparrow. That's allowed, isn't it? Mmm.

#41 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2004, 07:25 PM:

Meanwhile, the Martian Air Force wishes to reassure everyone that the thing in Gusev Crater is a
harmless weather balloon

#42 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2004, 07:42 PM:

Patrick, I have sad news. Skippers was all over the west coast and I loved it to. Their fried clams (generally known as 'beer batter erasers' around our house) were particular favorites. The chain went down with all hands a couple of years ago.

Sob. They were much better than LJS. Of course either would be better than H. Salt . . .

#43 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2004, 07:53 PM:

I feel as if I've been dropped into a Heinlein novel.

Giant shrimp I can get locally. Now if they put Old One chowder on the menu... Them's good grokkin'.

#44 ::: Kris Hasson-Jones ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2004, 08:22 PM:

Mary Kay, there are at least two places in Portland to get good hush puppies: Delta Cafe, and Big Daddy's Barbecue.

#45 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2004, 12:18 AM:

Meanwhile, the Martian Air Force wishes to reassure everyone that the thing in Gusev Crater is a harmless weather balloon. (not to be confused with the plain-text version):

Anne loved the story, so I told her about the "Free giant shrimp from the oceans of Mars" thread.

"They'll have a hard time delivering," she says.

Ever prone to huffiness, I explain, "Well, the freeness of the giant shrimp is from, in the sense of causally arising from, the oceans of Mars...

"That is to say, conclusive evidence of oceans on Mars...

"Or, perhaps, Mars-related ocean activities...."

At which we invoke the twenty-first century version of Godwin's law, and so to bed. I must admit, I'm under the influence of Patricia Marx's "Boswell's Life of Jackson" in this week's New Yorker. "When a boy, he was already fond of other children, and, as you know, he maintained his fondness for them into middle age." Recommended.

#46 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2004, 12:38 AM:

Yeah, Skipper's is gone, and I hear Sea Galley ("We've got crab legs!") is too. Pffft.

More on Ivar Haglund from HistoryLink. There's more than just selling fish and "Keep Clam" to Ivar, and I wouldn't want folks to miss out on his folk-singing background, or the Fourth of Jul-Ivar.

#47 ::: Oliver Morton ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2004, 08:07 AM:

And they've done it! Free shrimp, one per customer, on May 10th. Who says planetary research doesn't pay off back home?

(Meanwhile, is any enterprising energy utility going to give away natural gas in honour of the newly discovered methane?. Probably not. Maybe we should just all fart a bit more in celebration...)

#48 ::: Oliver Morton ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2004, 01:38 PM:

Should have said -- the shrimp news was via Martian Soil

#49 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2004, 01:28 AM:

NASA now says there WERE oceans on Mars.

It's after their Feb. 29 deadline,
but should somebody ask LJS
if they're going to pay up?

#50 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2004, 02:15 AM:

Apparently they've changed their mind and decided to honor the offer, despite missing the deadline.

My opinion of LJS has gone way up. The 2/29 deadline, and the language they used in the rules, more or less ruled out people getting their shrimp.

See the link that Oliver posted.

#51 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2004, 10:15 AM:

Man, o' man...I have got the worst craving for Hush Puppies and Malt Vinegar, now.


#55 ::: JDM Finds Comment Spam ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2004, 08:19 AM:

Again. Same bozos, same spam, same thread.

Maybe I can find them in person and explain to them in person why they aren't welcome here.

The owner of the site is:

Peter Kovach
Simeon 504 GH
Czech Republic

I believe he is an international terrorist with links to Al Qaeda. I look forward to making that report to the appropriate authorities.

#56 ::: Andy Perrin spots spam ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2004, 06:24 PM:

I'm glad it's anti-drug.

#57 ::: JDM Finds Comment Spam ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2004, 06:50 PM:

Why isn't this guy locked out yet?

#58 ::: Jill Smith spots annoyingly relentless comment spam ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2004, 06:39 AM:

again! What is it with the "online texas hold em"?

#59 ::: JDM Finds Comment Spam ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2004, 07:46 AM:

They're criminals who specialize in stealing money from would-be Internet gamblers. Located in the Czech Republic, where they feel immune to international law, they take the money they steal and donate it to the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

#60 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2004, 10:14 AM:

I don't know why this particular spam is being so hard to deal with.

Theoretically, we get emailed copies of all comments posted to both of our weblogs. But I never actually get emailed copies of this guy's posts. I wind up having to delete them with the clunky delete-and-rebuild MT 2.661 interface.

When I have a bit more time (sometime next month) I'll migrate to MT 3.1, and install the newer, better MT-Blacklist.

#62 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2004, 01:49 AM:

Zapped again. These guys are slow learners. Not to mention supporters of terrorism.

#63 ::: Michelle found comment span ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2004, 12:05 PM:

After the last barrage of icky spam, online poker is almost a relief.

#64 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2004, 02:04 PM:

I'm tired of this crap. Time to brick up the entryway.

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