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September 30, 2004

Open thread 29
Posted by Teresa at 12:24 AM *

My name is George Nathaniel Curzon / I am a most superior person …

Comments on Open thread 29:
#1 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 12:33 AM:

My cheek is pink, my hair is sleek . . .

#2 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 12:35 AM:

Sorry; I've had that running around in my head for days:

My name is George Nathiel Curzon;
I am a most superior person.
My cheek is pink, my hair is sleek,
I dine at Blenheim once a week.
Curiously enough, Curzon had a long-running affair with the subject of the other great semi-Clerihew from that period:
Would you like to sin
With Elinor Glyn
On a tiger skin?
Or would you prefer
To err with her
On some other fur?

#3 ::: Harry Connolly ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 12:37 AM:

For iggernant folks like me:

http://www.wordiq.com/definition/George_Nathaniel_Curzon

Curzon's life in note form

#4 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 12:38 AM:

(. . . man, I HAVE to get a faster connection.)

#5 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 01:01 AM:

A note on the "War Nerd on French military history" particle:

Paris has a very nice military museum complex, which I recommend to visitors. You have the Musée de l'Armée, Napoleon's Tomb, the Order of the Liberation Museum, and tucked away in a dark recess, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, which has scale models of fortresses and fortified cities. (These may come in handy for historical or fantasy writers....)

#6 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 01:03 AM:

The ingredient diagrams accompanying the Cooking for Engineers recipes are really neat.

#7 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 01:16 AM:

Jabberwoky is well nigh impossible to translat into ALS - but it has been done, done well, and there's video of it!

#8 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 01:30 AM:

And while we're on The Masque of Baliol, I had occasion recently to powerpoint the verse on Jowett for an address at the Vatican on the epistimology of Persistent Vegetative State;
Here am I, my name is Jowett;
If it's knowledge, then I know it.
What I don't know isn't knowledge;
I am the Master of this college."

Jowett: Well, Tennyson, I have to say that I didn't think that was up to your usual standard.
Tennyson; If it comes to that, Master, the sherry you served us at luncheon was deplorable.

#9 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 02:06 AM:

*********************************
Return of the King of the Clerihew
by
Jonathan Vos Post
*********************************

I'm Aragorn, men call me Strider;
I am a Ranger, and horseback rider.
I was a Chiefain; long did I wander;
Now I am the King of Gondor.

#10 ::: Paul Walker ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 06:07 AM:

A writing question, I'm afraid - but hopefully not one of the normal ones. :)

Basically, I'm just curious as to whether authors tend to write the sort of fiction they like to read, or whether they tend towards some other subject. If the latter, is it by choice, or because they can't write what they like to read, or for some other reason..?

Sorry - next time I'll try to start a non-writing related thread, honest...

#11 ::: Paul Walker ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 06:10 AM:

(I should maybe point out that question was aimed at all readers of Making Light who also write fiction, rather than just at Teresa!)

#12 ::: JeanOG ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 08:18 AM:

Paul, assuming you're not limiting your poll to pro writers, here's a datapoint for you.

My preferred reading material is alternate history. I write (and admin a community site for) fantasy gaming fic. I've never been pleased with the results of my attempts to write althist; some essential spark in the characters seems to be missing.

#13 ::: Paul Walker ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 09:11 AM:

Jean - cheers for that. I'm not limiting it to anyone, really - it was just something that occurred to me the other day, and this was really the only place I could think of where I might get useful replies. :) Thanks!

#14 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 09:16 AM:

I read a really interesting Curzon book this summer, by Anne de Courcy, called The Viscount's Daughters, but with quite a bit about Curzon himself. I like biographies of families, they give interesting perspectives.

It was not as good, however, as the Asquith family bio I just finished, The Asquiths by Colin Clifford. Apart from everything else, it contained the perfect Great War moment -- the decorated, shell shocked officer, at home on leave, playing bridge with three old men, and realizing as he got up and said goodbye that the men he was leaving would survive the war.

#15 ::: Elese ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 09:23 AM:

Does anyone know of a computer program that you can feed a manuscript into and it does a word count and tells you the frequency with which different words are used?

I know how I'd write the program in Perl, but I'm currently restricted to XP and haven't been able to get the Perl compiler to work.

#16 ::: Randall P. ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 09:31 AM:

Paul,
I write not what I like to read, but what I would like to read if it actually existed. I tried on several occasions to mimic the types of things that I like to read, but they sounded like cheap imitations of things that I like to read and not anything of substance. Plus, I found that all of my writing tended to be thinly veiled adult versions of the children's novel that I would eventually write, so I just decided to go with what my gut had been telling me for years.

Of course, I sound like I actually have something published...which I don't. So you may discount everything I just said.

#17 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 09:33 AM:

At my son's daycare place they write the lunch menu on a whiteboard at the front door for our information. Today's dish: Chicken Chaucer.

It took me three beats to realize what he would really be getting, but then I was left wondering what actual Chicken Chaucer would be like.

Google to the rescue!

Chiknes with the Marybones

#18 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 09:59 AM:

Not to worry, Bob; I altered reality.

#19 ::: Paul Walker ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 10:13 AM:

Elese - ActivePerl didn't work for you? That's quite unusual. Did you try installing the Perl which comes with Cygwin?

#20 ::: mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 10:45 AM:

Chiknes with the Marybones sounds tasty! I'd be tempted to add some whole black peppercorns -- would that still be period?

I know I've heard that Elinor Glyn rhyme as a child -- but where? Hmmm...

#21 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 11:29 AM:

TNH> Not to worry, Bob; I altered reality.

I just noticed the warp in the chrono-reality. Thank you.
You are a gracious hostess.

#22 ::: Brianron ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 12:55 PM:

Paul:

The best explanation of your question of whether we write what we like or what we can that I ever heard was from Billy Joel. He had been asked by an interviewer whether he liked to perform his songs more than any other. His response was, "No, if we got to play what we wanted, we'd go out there and play Stones songs all night."

#23 ::: Yoon Ha Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 01:11 PM:

Paul Walker: Basically, I'm just curious as to whether authors tend to write the sort of fiction they like to read, or whether they tend towards some other subject. If the latter, is it by choice, or because they can't write what they like to read, or for some other reason..?

Another datapoint: until very recently, all I could turn out was military-flavored sf/f. I love space opera, but haven't been able to produce one (last attempt turned into quasi-anthropological/Cthulhoid...I'll stop there). I like high fantasy, but don't write it. I sometimes enjoy sf/f with romantic storylines, but am apparently incapable of scaring up anything resembling a romance for my characters. Really like "crooked" fairytale retellings...have started doing that somewhat. Love YA sf/f...have only recently started writing anything remotely in that direction.

And I adore nonfiction of all sorts and about all kinds of topics, but aside from school, the furthest I've gone in that direction is a book review essay or two.

In short: my reading range of things I like/love is far greater than my writing range, to my vexation.

#24 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 01:20 PM:

Paul,
Speaking for myself, I write about what haunts me. Usually it's a place. Can be an actual event, or even something you wish actually occurred. If I find myself thinking about it—or daydreaming about it enough (along with dialogue etc), I figure it's time to start writing it.

#25 ::: Michael ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 01:22 PM:

Speaking from my limited experience as a Web cartoonist, I can say that what I write (extremely random toons which I write in XML and "compile" into graphics using a Perl script I bargained with the faerie for) is not really what I like (which are well-drawn, plot-oriented humor.) I do crack myself up regularly with my own output, but if somebody else were to write something that off-the-wall, it wouldn't be one of the links I checked regularly.

I can only assume that it works similarly for text authors, although I have to admit it's a revelation that the output and input channels can differ so much; I never really thought about it. Pretty cool in retrospect.

Oh, I guess for the odd person out there who's interested in a very complicated way to generate low-grade humor, a link might be in order: http://www.vivtek.com/toonbots.html -- come on and join my three or four loyal fans (if you're cool enough.)

#26 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 01:27 PM:

I've got a publishing question that may not fit into the area of expertise of our gracious hostess, but I'm asking anyway since she may know someone who knows. I followed the great search for Victoria Walker/Victoria Clayton, author of "The Winter of Enchantment" and "The House Called Hadlows" with quite a bit of interest, even though I'd never seen a copy of either. (After all the excitement over finding her stuff, and the proven market of folks so desperate that they're willing to pay several hundred dollars for a copy you'd think Macmillan might want to reprint it, but I gather not...) My question is this: on her offical website she talks a bit about both books, and mentions that she completed another "very different" YA novel, but that when it was submitted in 1994 she was told "that it was too demanding a read for the modern child, too fantastical and too long." Was this often a problem pre-Rowling, and has her success made publishers willing to look at longer works?

Oh, and if anybody's read Mary Bard's "Best Friends" series (I gather it was aimed at women and girls) could you tell me something about it? Since Mary's autobiographies were as amusing as those her sister Betty MacDonald wrote I'm sure the "Best Friends" series was well written, but at $299.00 and up on the used market--well, let's put it this way: I'm unemployed.

#27 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 01:34 PM:

Bruce: try haunting library sales for the next 10 years. Just found a very obscure Gerald Kersh collection that has one online copy at $450 for $2....

#28 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 01:54 PM:

xeger: Jabberwoky is well nigh impossible to translat into ALS - but it has been done, done well, and there's video of it!

I'm guessing you meant ASL, since ALS is Lou Gehrig's Disease. Is this video available online? I'd love to see it. Also I know a young ASL interpreter who'd probably like to learn it.

Niall: Chicken Chaucer...It took me three beats to realize what he would really be getting...

It's taken me a lot longer than three beats. Pity on an aging fool? What will he get?

I never heard of Curzon before this, but now I know where they got the name of Curzon Dax on Deep Space Nine, a diplomat, politician, and (some eps suggest) womanizer.

#29 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 02:10 PM:

Tom: that's what it's going to take. Because based on their comments, the "Best Friends" fans out there have gone well beyond the "pry them from my cold, dead hands" stage and into the "I'm bringing them with me--and remodeling my coffin so they'll be well protected" stage.

#30 ::: Eric Sadoyama ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 02:20 PM:

Bruce: in that case, estate sales might be another good place to look.

#31 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 02:35 PM:

Eric: I hadn't thougt of that, but since all the reviewers have been of "a certain age" you might be right. At least some of them may be at the bad end of the bell curve...

#32 ::: Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 02:59 PM:

I never heard of Curzon before this, but now I know where they got the name of Curzon Dax on Deep Space Nine, a diplomat, politician, and (some eps suggest) womanizer.

Oh good! I thought I was the only one who thought that.

#33 ::: Elese ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 03:10 PM:

Paul - I originally downloaded Perl from a different site, and could not get it to work. Thanks for pointing me to the ActivePerl website - I've just downloaded it. Now it's time to install it and write the program.

Hooray!

#34 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 03:59 PM:

Xopher, Chicken Chasseur is a standard name for a chicken stew around here, and (differing!) recipes abound on the web. Means "Hunter's" chicken.

#35 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 04:09 PM:

Xopher comments correctly that I can't type:

I'm guessing you meant ASL, since ALS is Lou Gehrig's Disease. Is this video available online? I'd love to see it. Also I know a young ASL interpreter who'd probably like to learn it.

I don't know if the video is available online, but it was done by Eric Malzkuhn at Gallaudet University, so their bookstore may have copies.

[and, er, yes. That was ASL :)]

#36 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 04:11 PM:

Word frequency counting: Who needs Perl? If you have Unix utitilies for Windows (and why wouldn't you?), you could try something like this:

tr -c '[:alnum:]' '[\n*]' | sort | uniq -c | sort -n

where the first sort could have an option to ignore case.

#37 ::: Elese ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 04:16 PM:

Alex - I don't have Unix utilities (sob) for various complex reasons, but very much wish I did. For the moment, Xemacs and Perl'll do me.

#38 ::: Sean Bosker ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 04:24 PM:

I'd never heard of Curzon either. I loved the Aragorn poem, and I can't write in any code, let alone PERL.

Why are you all so much smarter than I am?

#39 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 04:31 PM:

Elese - glad to help! Now all I have to do is get you using Python instead. ;-)

Randall/John/Yoon/everyone I missed - thanks for the replies. They kind of confirm what I'd guessed - just because you like to read something doesn't mean you can write it.

Brianron - I still haven't worked out whether that's the same question as I asked, but it's a good quote anyway, so cheers :)

Right, I'll go back to lurking now...

#40 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 04:40 PM:

Doesn't chicken "cacciatore" also mean "hunter's chicken"?

#41 ::: Elese ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 04:48 PM:

As it's an Open Thread:

When I was at school, we read this short story. I can remember the plot, but neither the title nor the author. In case any one here can help me find it:

A man falls off a boat in the middle of the night and is shipwrecked. The island in inhabited by an extremely rich hunter. To say he is obsessed by hunting is an understatement. In the search for more and more intelligent creatures to hunt, he has begun hunting humans. He give the shipwrecked man a good meal and I think a 12-hour head start.

Does this ring any bells?

#42 ::: Matthew Dixon Cowles ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 04:51 PM:

Since it's pretty quiet on the python-help list today, I can't let a Perl program be discussed without doing a Python equivalent:

http://www.mondoinfo.com/wc.py

#43 ::: Pete Butler ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 04:52 PM:

Elese: I believe you're recalling The Most Dangerous Game, by Richard Connell.

#44 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 04:57 PM:

Xopher -

Further to the topic of poetry and ASL, this is an interesting read.

#45 ::: Elese ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 04:59 PM:

Paul, Matthew - You nuts!!! I don't have time to learn another language. But that Python code looks so tempting :P

These lifetimes we get are TOO short.

p.s. the "nuts" is meant in a friendly way :)

#46 ::: Elese ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 05:04 PM:

Pete - that's it, thanks!

#47 ::: Paul Walker ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 05:05 PM:

Elese - we'll get you in the end ;-) I can only write basic Python stuff so far; Matthew looks quite a lot more fluent in it.

#48 ::: Elese ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 05:10 PM:

Paul, Matthew --

You'll find me under my bed with the lights off, madly programming in Perl.

You haven't got me yet!

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha (deep belly laugh...)

#49 ::: Matthew Dixon Cowles ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 05:26 PM:

Elese,
It's quite possible that a look at Python would be time well spent by you. Python has the advantage that it's very easy to get started with but doesn't get in your way when you want to do more sophisticated things. A programmer with some experience can typically be productive in Python in a day or two.

If you (or anyone) would like some advice or clarification of parts of the program that aren't obvious, I'd be glad to help here or by mail.

#50 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 05:30 PM:

Sean Bosker:

"I loved the Aragorn poem..." Thank you! Now, does anyone have a good rhyme for "Gandalf" other than "Randolph?"

"Why are you all so much smarter than I am?" I used to to think I was very very smart. Then it took me 5 years to graduate from a 4-year college, so I decided that I was merely very smart. Then married someone who is a brilliant debater, against whom I've never won an argumnet. Then we had a son, and he's a Junior in college at age 15. So I've decided that I'm not even very smart.

You can make yourself feel better by reciting the mantra: "they only SEEM so much smarter than I am. Really, they are just filled with literary and historical and software trivia, and hide that by being terribly glib."

#51 ::: JM Kagan ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 05:30 PM:

I need make appeal to Ganesh(a), but I can't find the thread here where I learned of this need.

Xopher? I think you mentioned a rosary-like counting device for those of us who couldn't reliably count out that many dimes in the first place. Would that be something easily gotten in a goodly sized Indian grocery store?

Niall---I'll see your "Chicken Chaucer" and raise you our local Italian restaurant's "Dover Sol Meaner." In spring, the same restaurant offers "tentelions" as fresh greens.
Wonderful, most wonderful! I *love* typos, except when they're mine. ;)
Thanks all 'round, Janet

#53 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 06:10 PM:

PNH: correct on "cacciatore", but the results I've seen are very different; as it's been served to me the French has a savory brown sauce and the Italian a red sauce. (Although I wouldn't swear this is the general case; my grandfather (whose cacciatore recipe I grew up on) picked up a lot of cooking styles, from Italian to Japanese, but some of it got filtered through his Pennsylvania-Dutch background.)

#54 ::: JM Kagan ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 06:13 PM:

Kate---YES! Thank you! I was looking thru the open threads and never thought to check drifting threads.
Do malas look like strings of beads? There are several good Indian groceries in our area, many of which also sell Ganesha(s?) and other similarly evocative sculptures...and what look like strings of beads.... Hmm, sounds like my quest for the weekend.
Much thanks, Janet

#55 ::: Kate Yule ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 06:46 PM:

"I am going to ride this" says a particle of Teresa--a roller coaster to be called Kingda Ka.

Is that "Kingdom Come" as pronounced when g forces have plastered one's cheeks back over one's ears?

#56 ::: Sajia ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 07:02 PM:

In Bengali a mala is a necklace or garland. Never heard of a counting device like you described.

#57 ::: Bill Blum ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 07:25 PM:

As programming languages go, I'll stick to
MATLAB for my needs.... but Python looks interesting.


( I will resort to C/C++/Fortran in an emergency. )

#58 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 08:09 PM:

"Kingda Ka" is Hyperborean for "Snapper of spines."

Or, possibly, Lemurian for "He who hurls unrestrained toddlers into the stratosphere."

#59 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 08:24 PM:

Patrick: Yes, one is French and one is Italian. Given they are both romance languages the 2 words even resemble each other. Of course, what French huntsmen and Italian huntsmen had to work with may have been very different.


MKK

#60 ::: Yoon Ha Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 08:26 PM:

On the off chance it'd amuse people here:
http://www.KerryHatersForKerry.com/

#61 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 08:39 PM:

Thank you, Sajia.

At Valiant Comics, we'd sometimes see the Italian-language copies of one of our titles: TUROK, CACCIATORE DI DINOSAURI. If you're an American of non-Italian descent, the only thing "cacciatore" means is a way to cook chicken, so that seemed somehow appropriate.

Kate, my immediate assumption was that "Kingda Ka" is how you pronounce "Kingdom Come" under extreme circumstances. I find it a very promising name.

Yoon Ha Lee, Bill is still my guy, but Kerry is my hamster.

#62 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 08:49 PM:

I have moved to Python after years (and I do mean years; my Perl experience predates Perl 4.0 and the first edition of the Camel Book) of writing Perl. I'm much happier.

#63 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 09:27 PM:

Hey, since it's an open thread:

1. what are people drinking these days?

2. How do authors here deal with snotty reviews? I ask this from a slightly different venue, having just had an indie feature released on DVD. I've had some people like it (people who like independent film), while the more purist among Shakespeare fans think it's a low-budget bucket of swill.

Anyway, it's a strange feeling to have your work hated by someone you've never met, and I'm curious as to how some of the authors visiting here react to their own reviews.

(he said, as he helped himself to another vodka gimlet)

#64 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 09:43 PM:

In "Carpe Jugulum," Terry Pratchett has one of his characters say that "Memororabililia" is "keepsakes and whatnot." In that case, would Memorabibilia be the study of books that are sold to tourists on vacation at historical sites?

#65 ::: Matthew Dixon Cowles ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 10:53 PM:

Niall:
Chicken Chasseur is a standard name for a chicken stew around here

Patrick:
Doesn't chicken "cacciatore" also mean "hunter's chicken"?

Those bring a rather amusing image to mind. I mean, has anyone recently needed to hunt a chicken? And what would you use to catch one? Even Elmer Fudd hunted wabbits.

Perhaps the origin is in early humans hunting Pleistocene chickens that were as big as kangaroos.

#66 ::: Harry Connolly ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 10:57 PM:

John Farrell, I like to have a glass of red wine before I go to bed. Good for you, I understand.

I've had one negative review of my work. It made me laugh.

#67 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2004, 11:16 PM:

At the risk of being serious, "cacciatore/chasseur" would be more idiomatically translated as "hunter style;" it's the means of preparation, suitable for out in the woods -- one pan, with tomatoes and other stuff that can be gotten on-site (whether or not you tell the farmer you're getting them) -- not a recipe particularly for chicken. Most cuisines have some sort of "hunter-style" preparation.

"Luigi, we cannot cut up this entire elephant for one dinner. Besides, if we are captured and Mr. Hannibal smells elephant on our breath, he will likely be very angry. How about if we cook the chicken the unfortunate beast fell upon in his last moments?"

"Well . . . I'm very hungry . . ."

"Then it's either the chicken, or Mario. It was a careless elephant."

#68 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 12:43 AM:

John: I'm drinking gin and tonic, or if I can get Plymoth gin, martinis, up, with a twist, or Lagavulin. I also had a glass of shiraz with the duck and figs tonight. They were too sweet for it, but it was good anyway.

MKK

#69 ::: Steve Eley ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 01:11 AM:
#!/usr/bin/perl

# Usage: perl unique.pl [textfile(s)]
# Iterates through the text file, counting the instances of each
# word. Case doesn't count (all words are converted to lowercase)
# and punctuation is stripped, but plurals and contractions count
# as separate words.

while (<>) {
tr/-/ /; # Turn dashes into spaces
tr/A-Za-z' //dc; # Get rid of anything not a letter/apostrophe/space
s/(\W)'(\w)/$1$2/; # Get rid of apostrophes at the start of words
s/(\w)'(\W)/$1$2/; # Get rid of apostrphes at the end of words
foreach $word (split) {
$count{lc($word)}++; # Lowercase and increment hash
}
}

foreach $word (sort keys %count) { # Now print the list
print "$count{$word}\t$word\n";
}

#70 ::: Steve Eley ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 01:14 AM:

Urgh. Sorry about the double-spacing -- no idea why <PRE> does that.

(Also sorry if I ruined Elese's fun by posting this thing. I figured by now she's almost certainly gotten it, or gotten annoyed with the relative inscrutability of Perl. Me, I dig it for its efficiency, but I'm funny that way.)

#71 ::: Steve Eley ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 01:29 AM:

And because the exercise amused me, here's my current novel under submission, The Day of Clouds, with slightly lossy compression. (Hopefully posting it online like this will not ruin my publication chances.) >8->

#72 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 02:08 AM:

Chicken Marengo also has a place in History.

And, since I've owned a home on Marengo Avenue for 16 years, it's easy to guess one of our favorite recipes. Rabbit or veal can also be prepared in the Marengo way, but you need good crayfish, properly pickled onion, and -- of course -- toast (as the default replacement for "Soldier's Biscuits").

Listening to the first Bush/Kerry debate, I wondered which was more important to the certainly wrong but still "certain" Emperor Bush II: protecting America, or avoiding "mixed messages." Or, as he said once, deer-in-headlightishly: "Messed mixage, uh, mixed messages."

I expect that Republicans are sure that their man won, and Democrats are relieved that their man at last took the gloves off and fought to an honorable tie. What on earth did the independent and undecideds think? I've already posted, on another thread, the scientific analysis of the lack of coherence of such undecided. But we'll see.

And please don't take my reply to Sean Bosker the wrong way. The issue of how to react to people who seem smart is related to the issues of how to react to a rejection letter from a smart editor or an attack by a purportedly smart reviewer.

#73 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 02:56 AM:

Steve Eley wrote:

> And because the exercise amused me, here's my current novel under submission, The Day of Clouds, with slightly lossy compression. (Hopefully posting it online like this will not ruin my publication chances.) >8->

I've had quite good fun with Microsoft Word's 'autosummarize" (or whatever it's called) feature - if you run it over the body of a novel till you're down to about 100 words, it provides a nicely surreal executive summary.

#74 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 04:17 AM:

"1. what are people drinking these days?"

The doctors make me drink 8oz of cranberry juice and 32oz of Gatorade a day. I prefer skim milk and iced tea. (Sometimes hot tea, although about half the time I cheat and microwave iced tea.)

#75 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 04:23 AM:

Thursday's WashPost Home section has an article on a local decorators' show home. Included:

"To fill the built-in shelves, he bought 300 encyclopedias for $25 at a Salvation Army store, painted them white, had a faux finisher paint on gold crests and sealed them with floor wax for an antique look.

That created one more unexpected behind-the-scenes challenge: Kelly left the rows of books to dry overnight outside the chateau. When he came back the next morning, he found that a raccoon had tiptoed all over the paint.

But the show house went on.

"It's an inexpensive way to create a great look. Many people do not have expensive leather-bound book collections," says Kelly. When the show house is over, he plans to install the books, tiny footprints and all, in his own dining room. "

#76 ::: Elese ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 04:31 AM:

Steve - nope you haven't ruined it for me. When I first started programming, I used Fortran. Discovering Perl was a revelation. I never get annoyed with it, just more and more impressed by its versatility and how simple it can be (c.f. Fortran) once you've got the hang of it.

Although for various reasons I haven't done any programming in 2 years, so I'm a little rusty.

Matthew, I am intrigued by Python and expect to be playing with it soon :)

#77 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 04:33 AM:

Niall:
Chicken Chasseur is a standard name for a chicken stew around here

Patrick:
Doesn't chicken "cacciatore" also mean "hunter's chicken"?

Aaah, but the recipe starts, "First you steal a chicken..."

#78 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 06:57 AM:

Raccoon-footprint binding. Cool. I'd like that.

JVP, the right is not certain its guy won, not at all. The instant polls after the debate last night were running heavily in Kerry's favor. Even the Wall Street Journal's poll ran 60-33 in Kerry's favor.

Also, last night I had the joy of listening as Wesley Clark, interviewed by John Stewart on The Daily Show, responded to a question about how the right was taking Bush's poor performance by explaining, as though it were the most natural thing in the world, that the right-wing blogs were in complete disorder: demoralized, not seizing upon anything Bush had said, but rather reduced to trying to nitpick Kerry for small inconsistencies.

I guess weblogs are now just part of the landscape.

#79 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 07:45 AM:

Python is a fun language. I've never liked PERL (whichever capitalisation you prefer) much, although I have used it quite a bit. Some of the syntax still remains an arcane art to me.

For anyone here who doesn't have PERL, but is interested, I wrote a similar Windows program a while back. For some reason that escapes me it seems to be limited to 64K of input, but it's good enough for examining your work a chapter at a time.

It should still be available at http://www.moscow.org.uk/WordCounter.exe

#80 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 08:22 AM:

In a vain attempt to get George Nathanial Curzon and Professor Jowett out of my head, I wrote the following couple of clerihews yesterday on the bus:

His name was simply Patrick Hayden
Until he met a charming maiden
And when he married Miss Teresa
He put the "Nielsen" in to please her.

My name's Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Words are the thing I build my trade on.
I edit SF books for Tor;
My character has one slight flaw.

#81 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 08:26 AM:

John: Red Bull. Lots and lots of Red Bull. That's how I get my corn syrup in the morning.

#82 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 09:52 AM:

John, The last alchoholic beverage I drank was a bottle of Dos Equis Amber, which was on sale and a reasonable alternative to the Shiner Bock which the store had sold out of, but a Guinness is always nice.

#83 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 09:58 AM:

John: the white sangria as served up by local tapas restaurant Jaleo. It is made with (among other things): cava, liquor 43, brandy, and lovely fresh fruit. YUM. (I have the recipe, for anyone who is interested).

#84 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 10:14 AM:

Quoth CHip, upthread: Although I wouldn't swear this is the general case; my grandfather (whose cacciatore recipe I grew up on) picked up a lot of cooking styles, from Italian to Japanese, but some of it got filtered through his Pennsylvania-Dutch background.

As a child of the Lehigh Valley ("If you ain't Dutch, you ain't much") myself, I can only say: Oh, my.

And because my imagination has never known when to quit, I'm now haunted by the possibilities of Iron Chef Pennsylvania Dutch. "The ice cream matchine has a werra paarful enchin, bah Chees." Okay, stopping now.

(Drink of choice these days is Sam Adams Octoberfest, which is pretty good even if they don't spell it with a K.)

#85 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 11:54 AM:

Teresa:

Thank you for correcting my political prognostication. After the speech, I sampled a few blogs, and they looked mixed. Soon, though, Instapundit.com took forever to load. Elephants looking for reassurance?

Drink: I once ordered an odd favorite of mine at the bar at a con. "Campari and Tonic, with a twist of lime." Jerry Pournelle grimaced, and opined: "Why don't you just drink wormwood?"

Hmmmm. Coincidently (except to Apocalyptics and cryptohistorians) isn't the Russian word for "wormwood" better known as "Chernobyl?"

Python: can't claim to be a real Python programmer yet, but can say that, after having programmed in well over 30 languages for 38 years, and taught 12 in grad school, Python was very near the top in my ability to very rapidly get useful results -- within minutes. This was also true of APL. There is much debate on slashdot and similar venues as to whether Python programmers are in some sense better than Java programmers or PERL programmer, with the strange argument ("The Python Paradox") that people can get better jobs as a Python programmers, because people don't learn Python to get a better job, but only becuase they, like, really dig it, man.

#86 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 11:59 AM:

Marilee: if you want to combine what you should and want to drink, Ocean Spray has a new juice & tea mixture with several juices, including cranberry. This is the first time in years I heard about something on a TV ad and went out to try it, but I really like it. (Reminds me a bit of my hard-to-find-in-hicksville old favorite, pomegranate juice.)

In unrelated matters, I've been having a nightmare renewing, and then trying to get a refund on, Symantec's anti-virus updates. I've already switched to a different company, but it now seems unlikely that I'll ever get a penny out of the old company's hideous online system. You folks may not have suggestions (I can't afford high-powered lawyers), but I want to warn all impoverished computer naifs to avoid Symantec like the plague!

#87 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 12:19 PM:

Related to our ongoing discussion of Mary Sues, use of computers, sociology of blogosphere, and writing for love:

Amateur Revolution
[Fast Company]
From: Issue 87 | October 2004, Page 31
By: Charles Leadbeater

"From astronomy to computing, networks of amateurs are displacing the pros and spawning some of the greatest innovations."

"Rap inflects global popular culture from music to fashion. Linux poses a real threat to Microsoft. The Sims is among the most popular computer games ever."

"These far-flung developments have all been driven by Pro-Ams -- committed, networked amateurs working to professional standards. Pro-Am workers, their networks and movements, will help reshape society in the next two decades."

"The 20th century was marked by the rise of professionals in medicine, science, education, and politics. In one field after another, amateurs and their ramshackle organizations were driven out by people who knew what they were doing and had certificates to prove it. Now that historic shift seems to be reversing. Even as large corporations extend their reach, we're witnessing the flowering of Pro-Am, bottom-up self-organization."

Sorry I didn't give a hotlink. I found this through slashdot a few minutes ago.

The article says something similar to what I've been saying in lectures for 30 years, including panels at cons. At first, I was predicting the social effects of computer networking outside the establishment (having worked in the 1970s with Ted Nelson who invented hypertest etecetera). Soon, I was explaining what was really going on, unnoticed by mainstream academe and press. Now, I'm telling people something that they consider so obvious that I'm a fool for wasting their time to tell them what they know. The next step is everyone saying that they thought of this first. Of course, I'm somewhat doing the latter.

#88 ::: Tiger Spot ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 12:50 PM:

Right now at this moment, I am drinking Oregon Chai cocoa chai, purchased in a large box of concentrate at my local Hippy Co-op and mixed 50/50 with 1/2% milk. It's very good.

I am also eating some excellent Middle-Eastern type salad stuff I put together because we were out of beans. It is half a cucumber, one small firm tomato, and a small quantity of very finely chopped red onion, with lemon juice, olive oil, and a little salt and pepper.

#89 ::: Laura Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 01:14 PM:

isn't the Russian word for "wormwood" better known as "Chernobyl?

"cherno" means "black" in Russian, doesn't it? Not that that means anything . . .

I have a "name that story" question. This is science fiction, don't remember title or author.

A man goes to a certain planet, which IIRC was both a popular vacation spot - tropical paradise sort of planet - and the place where people infected with a certain sexually transmitted disease went to die.

The man ends up having sex with a woman who was infected but didn't tell him (apparently she thought he was already infected for some reason.) He takes this surprisingly well, however, and they decide they're in love and stay together on the paradise planet.

The last scene of the story describes how she gave birth to mutant children (affected by the disease) and they "bury the bodies in the sand."

#90 ::: Jimcat Kasprzak ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 01:20 PM:

On what's to drink:

Last month I got a sampler of six-packs of some beers that seemed appropriate for the fall. It was hit and miss:

Rogue Dead Guy Ale: excellent full bodied ale with a pleasant and persistent taste.

Hunterdon Berwing Company's Jersey Ale: had to be loyal to the local brewers, but it was actually kind of bland.

Allagash Double Ale: man, they know how to brew in Maine! Definitely a good cool-weather beer.

J.W. Dundee's American Amber Lager: undistinguished, might as well be Samuel Adams. (Not that I don't like Sam Adams, but I'd hoped for something less generic.)

This month I plan to sample a few interesting Octoberfest brews.

#91 ::: Keith ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 01:28 PM:

In re: paul's writerly question:

I have a wide range of reading interests but a narrow range of writing ones. Mostly, I try to write the sort of stories that I would like to read but can't seem to find.

#92 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 01:42 PM:

Bush, last night:

"Free nations will answer the hopes and aspirations of their people."

"A free Iraq will enforce the hopes and aspirations of the reformers in places like Iran."

"Russia's a country in transition. Vladimir's - is going to have to make some hard choices, and I think it's very important for the American president, as well as other Western leaders, to remind him of the great benefits of democracy, that democracy will best, uh, help the people realize their hopes and aspirations and dreams."

Teresa said: Scammers are forever going on about hopes and dreams because all aspiring writers have them, they’ll take it to mean the scammer truly understands them (as opposed to understanding this common characteristic of aspiring writers), and it spares the scammers from having to say anything specific about manuscript submissions they haven’t actually read.

Teresa, I'm thinking you could generalize that statement to other types of scammer.

#93 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 01:47 PM:

"Chernobyl" translates as "black woods," though "dark woods" would also be a reasonable reading. Which is gloomy, but not apocalyptic. The "wormwood" "translation" showed up in all the usual paper-prophet locations within a few months of the event, though as with most such things its index-case source got vague very quickly.

#94 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 01:48 PM:

I have another writer/editor question that I suspect this community is well-suited to answer.

I'm looking for a word that describes all the types of fiction in which every word of the story is explicitly said or written by a character. In purely epistolary works, for example, the only things you read are written by characters within the context of the book.

Stories written as journals are another obvious instance. There are more subtle forms, though: Gene Wolfe's "The Friendship Light" is written as a story written by a character and submitted to magazines. It also contains the transcript of a recording of another character. Of course, in this vein there's also Spinrad's The Iron Dream.

There are edge cases on the other side. I don't think merely being first-person narration qualifies; Holden Caulfield is speaking, but that act of speaking isn't an action within the book (is it?). John Crowley's Aegypt is clearly about someone writing a very similar book also called Aegypt, but I don't think it's the same book. (For one thing, the character isn't named John Crowley.) Such meta games are fun but aren't what I'm looking for. His Engine Summer, though, is almost all spoken by Reed that Talks (but not all of it).

I've been loosely calling them "formal narratives," but I think I may have made that up.

#95 ::: Elese ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 02:08 PM:

Alex:

All 4 of J.D. Salinger's published books, including The Catcher in the Rye are apparently written by one of J.D. Salinger's other characters: Buddy Glass.

One of the stories (I think it is 'Seymour, An Introduction') is written in first person. Buddy Glass is the narrator, and he describes his other writings, which include a story about a young man spending a weekend in New York (Catcher) and Salinger's other stories.

#96 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 02:11 PM:

JM Kagan: They look like strings of beads, with a flag (sometimes a tassel) on them. There should be 108 beads, not counting the tassel bead. For Ganesha sandalwood is best (he likes sandalwood).

To do puja to Ganesha, you need an image of Ganesha (a picture will do), a mala, sandalwood incense, and a sweet.

Set the sweet in front of the image of Ganesha. Light the incense.

Counting with the mala, and filling your heart with true devotion, say "Om Ganesha ya nama" 108 times. You may om for a while after that if you feel so moved.

Eat the sweet. I like to use one that will slowly melt in my mouth, and do the puja from a medium-length fast if possible. When the sweet is all gone, extinguish the incense; the puja is complete.

I got my malas from a friend who imports them; I don't know if a grocery store would have them. If there's a yoga center near you, they might, or might know where you can purchase one. I'd look in a clothing store in an Indian neighborhood first, then ask the proprietors, and tell them why. I'm not sure any of these things exist where you live of course. As a last resort, try the Yellow Pages under Religion, and look for a Hindu Temple. They may know where you can purchase a mala.

#97 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 02:58 PM:
A man goes to a certain planet, which IIRC was both a popular vacation spot - tropical paradise sort of planet - and the place where people infected with a certain sexually transmitted disease went to die.

The man ends up having sex with a woman who was infected but didn't tell him (apparently she thought he was already infected for some reason.) He takes this surprisingly well, however, and they decide they're in love and stay together on the paradise planet.

The last scene of the story describes how she gave birth to mutant children (affected by the disease) and they "bury the bodies in the sand."


"The Trouble With Sempoanga" by Robert Silverberg. It's in his collection The Conglomeroid Cocktail Party, and possibly others as well.

#98 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 03:33 PM:

Not live, not particularly spectacular, but still pretty neat.

Look for the "Steam, ash erupt from Mt. St. Helens" video link:

http://www.kptv.com/

#99 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 03:57 PM:

Faren, I saw those advertised, but haven't had a chance to look at the labels. A lot of those mixed juice drinks have very little cranberry in them and mostly white grape juice.

Janet, malas are pretty common on eBay.

#100 ::: Laura Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 03:58 PM:

"The Trouble With Sempoanga" by Robert Silverberg.

Dan - thank you! I read it in some anthology, don't think it was all Silverberg.

Weird tale.

#101 ::: Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 04:30 PM:

Faren Miller,

We use Avast (http://www.avast.com/) and forced my parents to switch to it was well (we're their tech support, thus we have such power). It's free for home users, and automatically updates when you get on-line, so you can install it and forget it. We've been using it for about 2 years now, and are very pleased--pleased enough that we'd pay for it if it wasn't free.

#102 ::: Rivka ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 04:36 PM:

What I'm drinking these days: water. My midwife recommends three liters a day, not that I come anywhere close. That's a lot of water.

What I'd be drinking if I weren't the host of an alien parasite: You never hear about Baltimore as a beer town, but in fact there are several delicious local beers. My usual in-the-fridge beer is McHenry, a comfortable everyday bitter "brewed in the old Baltimore style."

For special occasions, I like to walk up to the Brewer's Art, a microbrewery just five or six blocks from my house, for the Resurrection or Proletary Ales. And the rosemary garlic fries, oh my, yes.

#103 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 04:41 PM:

Marilee, IME when people want to do puja to Ganesha, especially for the first time, they want to do it now. Today. If not, she could get it on eBay I guess. But she could also order one, or make one (though the not-being-able-to-count-to-108 problem would resurface there).

#104 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 04:49 PM:

Xopher, didn't you once suggest using stacks of pennies if a proper mala wasn't available?
This would call for ten stacks of ten, with another of 8--and while I easily lose track with larger numers [somehow the eighties always get me off-track], I can do ten, even without recouse to my fingers.

#105 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 05:54 PM:

1. what are people drinking these days?

Bombay Sapphire and red vermouth (preferably Martini & Rossi), over ice.

And a whole heck of a lot of inexpensive Genmai-Cha from my local Japanese grocery. I like it better than the version Peet's sells for something like six times the price.

What I really wish I could find is a nice bottle of Kölsch. It seems that all the importers like to age their stock for a decade or two before it makes it into stores... I find some, get all excited and buy it, chill it and open it to nearly inevitable disappointment.

Maybe the story that Kölsch has to be drunk within sight of the Cologne Cathedral really is true.

#106 ::: Tracina ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 06:28 PM:

fidelio, I think that was a roll of dimes, plus eight. Not that pennies wouldn't work, of course.

#107 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 10:28 PM:

Mary Kay,
Plymouth is great stuff. I hadn't seen it much around here until about six months ago. Maybe it's a new market push...

White Sangria sounds delightful, too. Jill Smith, I would love the recipe.

The other night I started to make my wife a Cosmo...and just after I poured in the Absolut and Cointreau, realized we didn't have any cranberry...so I substituted a little margarita mix. Wasn't bad. (No idea what to call it....)

#108 ::: Steve Eley ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2004, 10:39 PM:

Drinking: Not much, as my wife is also hosting a parasitic organism and I'm abstaining beside her for moral support.

Except at Worldcon, of course. That was a special occasion. And, uh, the upcoming trip to Ireland. And on major holidays, such as Columbus Day, Grandparents Day, or the Birth of the Bab. And whenever's there's pizza. (You can't not drink beer with pizza! Just think of the consequences!)

#109 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2004, 12:48 AM:

Cinnamon schnapps, as I sit and type this. Lawson Creek Vanilla Stout. Ale 8, a Kentucky ginger ale. Vanilla soymilk. A mixture of tomato juice and Bloody Mary mix (the mix is too spicy to drink straight up as juice). Coffee, by drip funnel, with evaporated milk. Calcium-fortified orange juice. Tap water, usually from the jug in the fridge, ultimately from the Ohio River.

I try not to think too much about the tap water. It looks and tastes OK. We are downstream from Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Wheeling, Marietta, Parkersburg, Gallipolis, the entire Kanawha valley, Huntington, Ashland, and Ironton. Oh well, at least we're upstream fron Cincinnati.

#110 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2004, 01:32 AM:

What's a mala ??

#111 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2004, 01:35 AM:

Tap water here is water that flowed out from under a piece of National Park... come out of the Concord River, downstream (as in -north!-, the Concord flows -north-) from Minuteman National Park.

#112 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2004, 01:35 AM:

Paula Lieberman:

I dunno. What's a mala with you?

#113 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2004, 02:13 AM:

Oh dear, Teresa. I thought for a minute you had said raccoon foot binding....

John: Forgot to mention the cider. There's a very good brand around here called Spire Mountain which I haven't seen anywhere else. It's heavenly on tap, but bottles will do. Woodchuck isn't bad and it's what the new 'Irish Bistro' down the street has to offer. I've been drinking Plymouth gin for a couple of years now. I keep a bottle at home but usually you can only find it at really upscale steak houses. Fortunately, I like big bloody hunks of meat too.

MKK

#114 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2004, 03:36 AM:

"The other night I started to make my wife a Cosmo...and just after I poured in the Absolut and Cointreau, realized we didn't have any cranberry...so I substituted a little margarita mix. Wasn't bad. (No idea what to call it....)"

I believe that's a Cosmopolatino. Unless it's a Ciscopolitan. And of course if you swap gin for vodka it's a Cosmoprotestant.

Oh, me. I would speak well of Young's Double Chocolate Stout, which large beer emporia have in widget cans ("canned draft"). And Talisker is always reliable, though not for everyday.

There's usually some Myers's Rum about, though lately I've mostly used it to cook with (does marvelous things to blond roux). But that's another thread.

The other night, Elise and I were watching a wild-game cookout competition (a "World Championship" that involved just five teams from the same part of Alabama). Three contestants were deep-frying wild turkeys, and thus inspired, I took out the bottle of same and proposed to get lightly fried myself. (Actually stopped at one shot, but it's the thought that counts.)

#115 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2004, 07:57 AM:

John Farrell (and anyone else) you can download the White Sangria recipe in pdf form here (I'm not violating any copyright hoodoo, I don't believe, as the restaurant gave the recipe to the WaPo a while ago and it was published on their website).

#116 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2004, 08:45 AM:

Did everyone see this fabulous piece by David Orr in the NYT?

The Widening Web of Digital Lit. It's a collection of descriptions of literary-themed web sites, and includes standouts like fanfiction.net and Bookslut.

The NYT reviewed fanfiction.net!

You probably finished ''Pride and Prejudice'' thinking, ''That was fine, but I'd have liked at least one hot encounter between Darcy and Wickham, especially if it involved exposed chests and a healthy slathering of cheap cologne.'' Reader, they've written it.

#117 ::: G. Jules ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2004, 10:50 AM:

1. what are people drinking these days?

Usually hard cider, if I'm drinking alcohol. The best brand I've located is Woodchuck, but I haven't been able to find a source near my new apartment, and Magners or Cider Jack just isn't worth it, IMO. (I'll have to look for Spire Mountain.) The other cider drink is hot cider with the addition of homemade lemon-cinnamon liquor.

Question 2: I just had the vaguely surreal experience of reading the reviews when an awards ceremony I help out on was slashdotted. The reactions and information ranged from very positive to curious to nitpicking and nasty to just plain, well, wrong, as in the guy who came up with this very complicated explanation for something that was, to the best of my knowledge, a simple change in scheduling. My guess is that the hard thing (especially online) is stopping yourself from writing back. (Note the lack of a comment involving the name Rice.)

#118 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2004, 11:23 AM:

Drink? We know that a Sidecar recipe is (Original from Harry's Bar - Paris):

1 1/2 oz. Brandy
1/2 oz. Triple Sec
1/2 oz. Lemon or Lime Juice

Once we ran out of Lemon or Lime Juice and my wife substituted Herb Bishop's 1938 invention, [based on Citrus Club, a regionally popular non-carbonated soft drink bottled in Phoenix, Arizona]: Squirt.

It wasn't bad. We call it a SQUADCAR.

#119 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2004, 12:19 PM:

G. Jules, Woodchuck is passable (I like their Granny Smith, particularly), but you might add Ace to your list of ciders to look for. It's a bit more readily available than Spire Mountain. I particularly recommend their Pear cider, although some find it too sweet. If you prefer a less sweet cider, I'd look for Hornsby's Draft Cider.

On a completely different note, have y'all seen these Latter Day Action Saints?

#120 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2004, 01:47 PM:

Here's a rather good video mashup of The RNC's fearmongering tactics.

#121 ::: Kate Yule ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2004, 03:00 PM:

What I'm drinking: reconstituted "Emergen-C" powder with a dash of actual fruit juice for verisimilitude.

What I'd like to be drinking: G. Jules' hot cider w/homemade lemon-cinnamon liquor, mentioned above.

What I'd REALLY like to be drinking: hot buttered rum -- any of a dozen versions featured on last winter's drinks menu at Salvador Molly's Pirate Bar. Hot buttered yum.

Re wormwood & cider: at the Brighton Worldcon lo these many years ago, someone asked me in the fan lounge "What are you drinking?" I contemplated my glass for a moment, said "Anteater piss", set it down and walked away. (They'd been asking out of curiosity, not offering another round, which is just as well really.) I'm afraid my opinion of Hornsby's Cider is that the rhino on the label is truth-in-advertising...

But then I do like a sweet (hard) cider, and get impatient with the way all the brands on the shelf here brag about being dryer-than-thou, yeah verily, arid unto dustiness! The ideal solution is a trip to England for Taunton's Autumn Gold. Barring that, one can just add in a little fresh apple juice.

#122 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2004, 03:42 PM:

Today I *finally* got a photocopy of a primary source document from 1722 by the central figure of an incident that I've been chasing after information on for years: there have been three or four non-fiction books about the subject but so far none have done it justice. (The most recent one brings to mind a line from "The Virginian" by Owen Wister: "as if some one should say, 'Let me persuade you to admire woman,' and forthwith hold out her bleached bones to you.")

I've been trying to decide if I'll write something about this: I understand that the events have been mentioned in romance novels, but I don't believe any of them have gone into it in detail. (Bujold would love it, since it's almost a Miles and Ivan adventure as it is--and I'd pay heavy money to see it, but that's another matter.)

Anyway, I've got this photocopy of the 1722 edition (interestingly enough, not from any of the libraries that the LOC lists as having a copy: I love the Reference Desk at the King County Library System, where The Can Do Spirit Is A Way Of Life), and what's stamped on the title page in red ink?

"NOTICE: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code)"

This is my nominee for the most pointless cover-your-butt stamp in the history of inkpads...

#123 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2004, 04:50 PM:

I'm drinking tea, possibly in larger quantities than ideal. Since I'm posting from home, it's the Golden Assam I get at McNulty's on Christopher Street (overpriced for anything you can get elsewhere, but Porto Rico didn't have a decent loose Assam last I looked).

#124 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2004, 06:23 AM:

OK, so how's the tshirt business going?

#125 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2004, 06:30 AM:

About a year ago, the BBC showed a live broadcast of "Richard II" from the Globe Theatre.

A few weeks back, they did the same for "Measure for Measure".

You'd have to be pretty slow-witted not to notice similarities to modern politics.

#126 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2004, 07:05 AM:

Hang on. Someone got into trouble - was it in Elizabeth I's reign? a Stuart? - for staging a performance of Richarch II, it being about the forcible deposition of a monarch.

Don't think Verdi's operas count in quite the same way, but I always enjoy the rant about courtiers that Rigoletto goes into when he's looking for his kidnapped daughter. We had a production here that was set in the world of La Dolce Vita and it truly did make the human dramas set 400 or 500 years ago feel pertinent.

#127 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2004, 09:07 AM:

Hi all,

Could use some help, bookwise... In a newsgroup thread, someone posted:

it is also the case a lot of SF that works well as SF just doesn't work very well as a *novel*. I think those of us who read a lot of SF don't always notice it because our brain goes straight to the SFnal elements [..] For reference, we are talking about SF books whose literary merit can be discussed without reference to the world-building.

I suggested maybe she wasn't reading the "right" books; not unreasonably, she then came back and asked what the right books were. :-)

So far, I'm thinking probably Neuromancer and A Fire Upon the Deep. However, my memory's now given up on me and refuses to co-operate. Any other offers...?

The other option, of course, is that I'm wrong. But I'm hoping I'm not.

#129 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2004, 11:28 AM:

Paul:

Poul Anderson Guardians of Time

Octavia Butler Lilith's Brood

C.J. Cherryh Cyteen

Samuel R. Delany Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand

George Alec Effinger When Gravity Fails

John M. Ford Growing Up Weightless

Nicola Griffith Ammonite

Robert A. Heinlein Double Star

I don't have an "I" and I don't want to be here all day, but I could be. The thing is, though, that good SF can't really be talked about independently of the worldbuilding, because the characters are the people they are because of the world they like in. You mentioned A Fire Upon the Deep -- you literally can't talk about some of the most important characters without talking about worldbuilding. Pham doesn't make sense without his background, and his background doesn't make sense without that universe, yet it is a character novel about Pham quite as much as it is anything else.

#130 ::: Dave Kuzminski ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2004, 12:49 PM:

I don't have a copy to post or a URL to point to at the moment, but there is considerable discussion occurring on a change in Ingram's policies about keeping copies of POD books in stock. Sounds to me like some of the author mills have finally placed the last straw on Ingram's back.

#131 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2004, 02:30 PM:

Dave Kuzminski:

Sooner or later, "in print" and "in stock" have to be redefined, and with that redefinition, an alteration in standard book contracts. Time will tell.

Off the topic so far, I've got to say what a thrill it was to see the Dodgers win the National League West division championship in the penultimate game of the regular season, with a walk-away grand slam home run against the Giants in the bottom of the 9th inning. I'd have been unlikely to write such a dramatic ending in a story -- too Hollywood.

Within an hour of that, the Anaheim Angels won the American League West division championship, and Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki beat George Sisler's 1920 record for most hits in one season. It's the season, folks. Brooklyn residents (Teresa et al.) do not necessarily have to decide if the L.A. Dodgers are reasonably related to the historical Brooklyn Dodgers. But the Dodgers-Giants rivalry goes back to the year 1900. Neighbors of mine speculate about the possibility of an Angels-Dodgers "freeway" World Series, similar to "subway" series of times gone by.

There are several nice Science Fiction stories about baseball (and one novel that I know of [Brittle Innings]) but that's another subject.

#132 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2004, 02:31 PM:

JeanOG, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree.

Capish?

#133 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2004, 05:27 PM:

The story about Richard II and the rebellion is pretty short and simple. The Earl of Essex paid Shakespeare's company to put the play on, several years after its first run, as part of an effort to rouse the London mob.

Unfortunately, so the story goes, he dithered so much about which shirt to wear that the mob went home before he turned up to lead them.

More at http://www.pbs.org/shakespeare/events/event147.html


That was the 1601 rising of the Earl of Essex. Shakespeare and the company was questioned, and told the story that they did it for the money. "He paid us to put on this old play..."

#134 ::: Antonia Tiger ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2004, 05:48 PM:

With no modesty at all, but with a certain caution over one-way tickets to Gitmo, I feel right chuffed over coming second in an art competition at www.rendervisions.com -- currently the result is on the site's default page.

Funny thing is, I'm not sure it exactly met the specification of the contest rules...

#135 ::: JeanOG ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2004, 06:14 PM:

Er, Skwid, I was thinking from the POV of the sleeper. That one's not particularly functional. For sleeping, that is.

However, I have passed it on to a friend currently in the middle of a contentious divorce. I hope to hear of the soon-to-be ex's reaction soon. *eg*

#136 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2004, 07:32 PM:

Congrats, Antonia! I like yours better than the first, that's kind of sappy.

#137 ::: Bill Blum ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2004, 07:37 PM:

I don't have a copy to post or a URL to point to at the moment, but there is considerable discussion occurring on a change in Ingram's policies about keeping copies of POD books in stock.

It's not just the author mills that are causing a headache, as I understand--- a few technical book publishers that keep their backcatalog around using POD tech are getting annoyed.

#138 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2004, 02:26 AM:

Rivka, is Carling Black Label still (if it ever was) a Baltimore beer? I seem to remember seeing a lot of it (not drinking it, I was underage) while living outside DC.

Mr. Van Post, a walk-off home run to beat the hated Giants (the best rivalry in baseball, because no one team pounds on the other all the time, like that Boston-NY one) made my entire weekend. The first 8 1/2 innings I nearly gnawed my arm off with despair, but all turned out well in the end.

#139 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2004, 02:38 AM:

Unpasteurized apple cider [around here the fresh-pressed stuff tends to get referred to as cider] appears to be almost commercially extinct, the federal regulations have done it in. -washing- of the apples and -not- using "drops" were the the sorts of things that not doing with unpasteurized apples in cider caused people to get sick--apples contaminated by fresh animal manure were used by various slimy commercial outfits--still are, except that pasteurization kills the nasty gut bacteria.... inspired the federal regulations, requiring pasteurization generally.

A few companies tried to tough it out making unpasteurized apple cider in bulk, washing the apples and such, but just couldn't sustain it economically. Sigh.

There was a place in Harvard, MA, off of route 119? south of there 119 and 2 intersect, which made handpressed fresh cider, I don't know if they still do there. Perhaps I should check... it was Good Stuff.

#140 ::: liz ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2004, 03:38 AM:

Niall McAuley wrote:
"At my son's daycare place they write the lunch menu on a whiteboard at the front door for our information. Today's dish: Chicken Chaucer."

Daycare with gourmet chicken? How much are you paying per hour?

#141 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2004, 07:07 AM:

Paula - I believe you're thinking of Bolton's - we used to pass it on our way to and from my grandparents' house when I was a kid. I believe the smaller places in and around Hollis, NH (where I grew up) may still make it (Kimball's just over the line in Pepperell, MA and Lull's in Hollis).

#142 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2004, 10:01 AM:

Hi liz, as noted upthread "Chicken Chasseur" is just a fancy name for a fairly simple chicken stew, and not gourmet fare.

#143 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2004, 10:55 AM:

Unfortunately, so the story goes, he dithered so much about which shirt to wear that the mob went home before he turned up to lead them.

Ah yes, you can always count on English nobility; just don't count on them for much. The Scottish version of the battle of Stirling is very different from the pitched field affray shown in Braveheart; according to the local exhibit, the English army started crossing the local river (at the only bridge for some distance around) but were called back so the two commanders could have the honor of being the first to cross the (symbolically important?) line. This gave Wallace plenty of time to gather forces which waited until the English force was well-divided, then came out from behind the local equivalent of Ayers rock and carved up the forward half of the invaders.

wrt cider:
Paula: I'm not sure pasteurization is the key factor. The obvious difference is that Chase Farms (the Littleton presser) doesn't use sorbates as a preservative; the result doesn't keep forever, but can be made into cider jelly (~8:1 concentrate) or fermented.
Kate: dryness in cider is very much a matter of taste; my wife likes the sharp flavor and finds 95% of what's sold in this country too sweet. (One of the biggest contrasts is Merrydown, which was fine in England even in bottles and sticky-sweet here. Blackthorn is wonderful stuff when you can get it....) My cynical assessment is that the sellers in this country think cider drinkers are women who don't like beer or dry wines but want to drink \something/ when taken to a bar.

#144 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2004, 11:43 AM:

That fellow who hit the Dodgers' winning grand slam is none other than former Arizona Diamondback Steve Finley. Back in the glory years before they sold 99% of their best players to other teams, the D'Backs won a thrilling World Series title. These days, they're the worst team in the nation. (Apparently, the same thing happened to the Florida Marlins after their *first* championship, not the latest one.) Kinda makes it difficult to root for the home team!

#145 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2004, 12:54 PM:

It was dimes. And it was just something I did the first time, since I didn't have a mala. And it seemed to work perfectly well. Spectacularly, in fact. Even though I also forgot the sweet.

#146 ::: Laura Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2004, 01:45 PM:

I just tried Woodchuck's Dark & Dry and liked it quite a bit. I'm also one of those "women who doesn't like beer or dry wines." Except for Corona.

Is it an accurate sterotype that women don't like such drinks, and if so, why?

#147 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2004, 02:20 PM:

Dave Bell and CHip:

I point you towards two nice web pages by my wife:

William Wallace and the Battle of Stirling Brig

Artist's impression of the battle of Stirling Brig "... The Scotsman newspaper reported on 7 April 1997, that divers from Stirling University had found the remains of the ancient bridge under the river. This indicates that the ancient brig of Wallace's battle crossed the river diagonally."

#148 ::: james h ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2004, 03:06 PM:

John Farrell "How do authors here deal with snotty reviews?"

I'm a scriptwriter rather than an author, but my first (co-written) sitcom is out in the UK, so I'm on a steep learning curve as far as taking criticism goes.

Non alcohol-based survival tips:

1. Don't write comedy if you worry about reviews. Wow do some people hate you if you fail to make them laugh.

2. Ignore any internet-based criticism that contains even a single spelling mistake. These people are simply morons.

3. Don't ignore any internet-based praise of your work. These people have clearly been moved by the quality of your work to such a state of childlike enthusiasm they can be forgiven the little things.

4. Don't put the name of your work + 'review' into Google. Seriously. You will go mad.

5. Make sure you like the final result before you release it. Criticism only really really hurts if you think there may be a grain of truth in it.

6. Only correct reviewers if they've made a factual error, and even then... try and let it go. To be honest, the best response I've found to a bad review is to say 'Yeah? Let's see your show/novel/album then.'

7. Don't read reviews.

I had quite a weird result to my show by having the most mixed reviews I've ever seen. I think it's harder if 90% of the audience are saying the same thing, but my/our reviews were so ridiculously extreme on the love/hote-ometer it all became quite abstract quite quickly.

As I said, I'm quite new to this, so I suspect there are much cleverer things to be said by much more experienced people. If so, let me know.

Also on a writing tip, I'm doing a talk soon at the local university about scriptwriting, and they've asked me to do a workshop. And I have no idea what to do. I've googled about and haven't found anything inspiring. Anyone got any ideas?

#149 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2004, 03:26 PM:

james h: To be honest, the best response I've found to a bad review is to say 'Yeah? Let's see your show/novel/album then.'

Whereas I think that's a very bad response. But I would, since I review books and couldn't write [*] my way out of a paper bag.

[*] Fiction, that is.

I'd suggest "sorry to hear you didn't like it," if a response is genuinely required.

#150 ::: Steve Eley ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2004, 04:01 PM:

Kate:
I'd suggest "sorry to hear you didn't like it," if a response is genuinely required.

"And did I mention that my next work will be ten times better? You should definitely buy that one."

#151 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2004, 04:12 PM:

I suspect y'all have known about this site, a directory of agents, editors and publishers that grew out of a writers efforts to get published, for a while, but just in case, her you go:

http://www.everyonewhosanyone.com

It is . . . interesting. It was mentioned in a NYT article today or yesterday, I'm not sure which since the URL was emailed to me.

#152 ::: james h ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2004, 06:19 PM:

"to be honest, the best response I've found to a bad review is to say 'Yeah? Let's see your show/novel/album then.'"

Sorry, should have made it clearer. I'm not suggesting, you know, ringing the person up, or emailing them or anything, but it's a good thing to say out loud to oneself if one is getting ticked off with the pointlessly petty reviews that are sometimes out there.

In fact, yes, that's still stupid, isn't it? I don't ignore good criticism from someone just because they've never written anything themselves. Hmmm.

So what about the people on this site who've been writing proper grown-up books for decades? Do you still get steamed up by bad reviews, or you just have the maturity to accept that not everyone will get your stuff?

#153 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2004, 06:43 PM:

Remarkably offensive new 419 variation showed up today.

Since you know the backstory, we'll cut to the details: highly trusted figure in the Swiss gummint, tasked with passing on escrow funds from Holocaust victims to legitimate heirs, has decided to slip a few million to anybody willing to apply grease.

Funny, I usually only look Jewish to drunken redneck hecklers. But that's another story.

My favorite bit is the part about "persons who died interstate."

If you haven't seen this one . . . don't worry, you will.

#154 ::: Sarah G. ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2004, 07:37 PM:

I found this site (http://www.everyonewhosanyone.com/) off a NYTBR article titled "Where to Find Digital Lit" that described it as "One of the great treasures of the Web, this site is a listing of every agent and publisher the writer Gerard Jones contacted in his quest to get his various manuscripts published -- in other words, everyone who's anyone. Jones has reproduced many of his e-mail exchanges with his targets verbatim, which in some cases makes the publishing community look like decent, sensitive people doing the best work they can in a difficult field (here's to you, Daniel Menaker!). Other times, not so much. Either way, the site will tell you more about the book world than any five ''How-to-Publish'' treatises combined.

I went to the site expecting to see some interesting commentary from a writer looking for representation, and it is interesting. One email to an agent includes the seemingly serious sentence "It will be a tricky book to get published, however, partly because everybody's scared of offending Oprah Winfrey but mainly because it's good and agents and editors traffic primarily in schlock these days." He also includes emails from agents asking him politely and firmly not to post their email on his site next to the posting of their email on his site.

Has anyone else seen this? Any other opinions about what he's doing?

#155 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2004, 09:00 PM:

James H,
Thanks for your input. Cheered me up—and congratulations on the sit-com!

#156 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2004, 09:04 PM:

I have seen "Everyone who is anyone."

First, he's missed a bunch of people who are anyone.

Second, he's a jerk.

Third, he expects other people to do his work for him.

Fourth, he includes known scammers in his list, without differentiating them from real people who are anyone.

Fifth, he's a jerk.

There is no sixth.

Seventh, he's a jerk.

#157 ::: abby noyce ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2004, 09:23 PM:

Paula, Lull's in Hollis still makes unpasteurized cider. It's one of the things I miss most about having moved out. I don't know of anyplace else in that area that still makes their own; Kimball's hasn't in a few years.

Jill Smith, you grew up in Hollis? When? Do I know you? *boggles at the small-world-ness of the internet*

#158 ::: Steve Eley ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2004, 11:06 PM:

everyonewhosanyone.com:

Stumbled on it once via a Google detour, looking up an agent. As a portrait of self-aggrandizement, it's pretty impressive. As a reference, it rather sucks. Shame on the New York Times for throwing him a bone.

#159 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2004, 12:14 AM:

And now for something completely different --

No, not a man with three buttocks.

This would probably fit better over on Electrolite, but I'm a bit better known here. I was at a fundraising party for John Kerry (I can now wear a button that says "Ask me about GELACs", which are the current really obscure fundraising device). It appears there will be a chance for folks to hold fundraising house parties this weekend for Kerry, and hear a realtime phonecall from Joss Whedon, who as (as of Sat) raised about $500,000 for Kerry. The $25 or more you donate to go to the party will not be tax-deductible, but it will free up other money for serious advertising in swing states. This is a real short turn-around thing, and I want to mention it here only because some folks here will care. If you don't, no bad, just make sure you vote if you legally can.

E-mail me offline for more info. We now return you to your regularly scheduled open thread, free of political bombast since at least 17:30 today.

#160 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2004, 07:33 AM:

abby - I truly did grow up in Hollis, NH. I started going to private schools in the 6th grade, so there are a lot of "Hollis kids" I don't know. Before I got married my last name was Sawdon - your name is ringing a bell, but the memory's not what it was....

Feel free to e-mail me at jill(at)writingortyping.com

#161 ::: Paul Walker ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2004, 07:38 AM:

John Ford:

If you haven't seen this one . . . don't worry, you will.

Probably not, actually. SpamBayes does an extremely good job at filtering out spam, with a nice low false positive rate. You should try it. :-)

(Hey look, we're back to Python again...)

#162 ::: Janice in GA ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2004, 08:54 AM:

I'm not sure whether this is cute or ghastly:
Giant Stuffed Microbe Toys.

#163 ::: Steve Eley ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2004, 10:25 AM:

Giant Stuffed Microbes: I vote "cute." My wife picked up a yeast at Worldcon.

#164 ::: Jimcat Kasprzak ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2004, 01:25 PM:

Steve Eley:
Giant Stuffed Microbes: I vote "cute." My wife picked up a yeast at Worldcon.

Well yeah, but the sort of people who buy these things at Worldcons would vote "cute" on anything up to and including suffed cthulhoids.

#165 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2004, 01:48 PM:

I have my Cthulhu slippers. From beneath, It devours.

#166 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2004, 02:06 PM:

Indeed, Fluff the Plush Cthulhu was at Worldcon and ate a lot of brains (image-heavy link).

#167 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2004, 03:52 PM:

Kate, that's a very nice collection, indeed.

I'm very happy with my Wizard's Attic Plush Cthulhu. He's Leng Grape!

#168 ::: melissa ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2004, 04:08 PM:

Open thread... here goes.

I too am racking my brain trying to place a short story I read years ago. Unfortunately, I have less detail - but the ending scene sticks clearly in my head... I know it involves a doctor retelling a fantastic story about a pregnant patient he had. The end of his story (which sticks for obvious reasons) has the patient in a terrible car crash which beheads her. He arrives, delivers the child and the woman's head whispers "thank you" (?)

For some reason, I keep thinking this is an Asimov story - but none sound quite right.

Throwing this onto the accumulated wisdom that is the Making Light readership - all you whose presence I am barely worthy to be in (flattery always helps when asking favors - right?)

#169 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2004, 04:22 PM:

Melissa: That's "The Breathing Method," by Stephen King, the last novella in _Different Seasons_ (and the only one not to be a movie!).

#170 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2004, 07:40 PM:

Ah, I heard Fluff went to Worldcon with Charlie & Feorag, but this is the first I've seen pictures!

#171 ::: Leigh Butler ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2004, 08:01 PM:

What's everyone drinking these days?

After successfully fending off my Girly Drink predilection for a while with generous application of vodka and 7s, I have recently fallen off the Mature Alcohol wagon and am all about the strawberry martinis.

There's a place in Hollywood called Lola's which is snotty as hell and overcharges shamefully for their beverages, but damn if they don't make the best strawberry martinis ever.

Also, vanilla martini, raspberry martini, and the ever-reliable appletini.

I know, it's sick and wrong.

#172 ::: Bill Blum ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2004, 09:02 PM:

What's everyone drinking these days?

Generally, I'm drinking Vernors. I've never had anything stronger than beer, and don't care to, either....

#173 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2004, 09:34 PM:

Vernors is heavenly stuff. It's my dad's favorite soda, and I've been known to buy mass quantities over the web as a birthday gift. You can't get it anywhere around MA (where he lives) or in this part of PA (Bucks county).

I'm more of a ginger beer person. That's hard to find also, so I've been stuck drinking Goya, the worst ginger beer ever brewed.

#174 ::: Sarah G. ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2004, 09:49 PM:

oh, Leigh, it's not sick and wrong to me. I'm a huge fan of flavored martinis, since I like the general martini idea but really don't like olives, vermouth, or gin. (Ok, so basically I like vodka and martini glasses.) I prefer appletinis and raspberry martinis, but I've gone so far as to have a watermelon martini. It was a bit Jolly Rancher, but not bad.

Also, thanks for the opinions on everyonewhosanyone, I was hoping it was a good agent reference site from a writer with a bad attitude but between the email to that "f*cking c*nt" of an agent and the posts here... yeah, not so much. I find it hard to believe the New York Times actually read that far and still did a piece on the site. For once, I hope they didn't and crap research is to blame for the writeup they gave him.

#175 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2004, 10:12 PM:

Andy, we can buy Vernor's here (KC, MO), at ONE grocery chain, but only in select stores (I'm guessing the ones that have more high-dollar customers).

We were introduced to it many, many years ago by a friend from Michigan, who would bring down as much as she could stand to buy when she went to visit family. Since then they've started selling it here.

We invented the Devil's cream soda, which is what Esther Freisner called our mixture of Vernor's and Stoly Vanil. Jim has the exact measurements, I don't drink hard liquor these days except on rare occasion, and the Devil's Cream Soda is far too dangerous to learn how to mix. I'll drink one on occasion, but otherwise remain innocent of it.

#176 ::: melissa ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2004, 10:19 PM:

Thanks Kate! Its been bugging me - no idea what brought the story to mind, but its been stuck there for days.

#177 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2004, 11:16 PM:

Paula, my dad is from Michigan. This data point may be significant. Our relatives in upstate NY know to import when they visit him.

Personally, I think vanilla ice cream and Vernors would be my favorite combo. I've only had it once due to scarcity of Vernors. I'm thinking that the addition of the Stoli can only help.

#178 ::: gesso ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2004, 11:48 PM:

I, too, am trying to find the title/author of a story - in this case, a science fiction one my mother read in the 60's.

In it, an Earthman arrives on a distant planet to study the local inhabitants (may have been a cultural anthropologist?), and forms a bond with one of the aliens. He becomes concerned when the alien starts acting strangely, and discovers that at 'puberty' the aliens walk off into the lake or swamp, put down roots and become tall, mute plants. He tries to stop his friend from doing this; whether or not he succeeds, my mum can't remember.

Does this ring any bells with anyone, O wise Making Light readership? *beg, plead*

#179 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2004, 12:57 AM:

And it's back to drinks.

I have a vague feeling that it was actually a discussion of ginger beer that led to me delurking in the first place...

#180 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2004, 01:17 AM:

A while ago, I mentioned Fotolog, a sort of blogger for pictures. Well, I ran across a community on the site called Grammarpuss that consists of photos of various public displays of spelling errors and grammar goofs.

It looked like something the Making Light crowd would enjoy. Much like here, read the comments...

#181 ::: JM Kagan ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2004, 03:17 AM:

gesso: I should know this one because the same story whacked me upside the head when I read it, yeah, in the (late) '60s. The anthropologist, in trying to save his alien friend from what he takes to be a disaster, gets it oh so wrong.... He thinks it's a rescue but it's not. End line (from the narrator telling the story about this mission) was something like, We don't have the heart to tell him [the anthropologist] he's got the wrong bush. Harry Harrison would be my first guess; Robert Sheckley, my second. Maybe that's enough to help somebody else here pin the story down for sure. (Or maybe tomorrow I'll wake up with the title and the author front and center---in which case I'll post it here whenever I can next get to the posting end of a thread.)

#182 ::: Jakob ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2004, 05:57 AM:

Drinkies!

Here in the UK Fuller's has just released their seasonal ale Red Fox on draught for the first time in ten years - very tasty indeed. In bottles, I've been drinking Hoegaarden Grand Cru, which is excellent, although I'd love to find some of their Verboden Vrucht; alas, I am no longer resident in the Low Countries.
I also have acquired a bottle of the Macallan 10 y.o., which is rather nice of an evening before bed.
And tomorrow brings a trip to the CAMRA Wallington Beerfest; happy days.

#183 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2004, 07:40 AM:

gesso & JM Karan: Not the same story, but that reminded me of one of the alien races in the Ender series of Orson Scott Card (if I may mention his name here).

They were called 'piggies', but the life-cycle was rather complex, and managed to involve 2 or 3 books, I think.

#184 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2004, 09:03 AM:

Have you tried a Ginger Beer with Ice Cream Float? Yum!

Epacris:
"... 'piggies', but the life-cycle was rather complex, and managed to involve 2 or 3 books, I think." Many of us on this blog have life cycles that involve more than 2 or 3 books at once.

When I owned 11% of E. S. Nesnon (Nonsense spelled backwards), the student-owned vending machine cartel at Caltech, we stocked the soda vending machines with Vernor's, driven in by one stockholder. We also ran candy machines, cigarette machine, hot food machines, and pinball machines. We beta tested "Pong" and "Computer Space" (later released as "Asteroids") on which I was briefly World Champion of each. Sadly, I rejected their creator's, Nolan Bushnell, suggestion that I sell my 11% and buy, for $1,000.00, a half-percent of this new company he was forming, called "Atari." That was worth $400,000,000 a few years later. Missed my chance for my first million bucks while still a teenager.

#185 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2004, 10:09 AM:

In the gift shop at the Albuquerque Biopark, I saw plush stuffed jellyfish. Very pretty, but is it really a good idea to encourage thinking of jellyfish as "cuddly"?

On drinks: Way back when, I invented the Hairy Frog, a combination of Vernors and sloe gin. Tastes much better than it sounds, actually. (Don't try substitutiing regular ginger ale for the Vernors; the result is dreadful.)

Can't pinpoint a title or source for the story gesso describes, but "Silverberg" was what first popped into mind.

#186 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2004, 10:30 AM:

JvP: Ginger beer with raspberry sorbet. Not that I would indulge in such a sugary monstrosity today, he said virtuously...but those of you who can tolerate it should really try it. It's even better than it sounds.

#187 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2004, 10:31 AM:

I forgot to give this URL, which I found through Arts & Letters Daily:

"... 1898 when it merged with New York City. At that time, Brooklyn was the fourth largest city in the U.S. (A couple of decades earlier, it had risen to third.) What many people don't know is that if Brooklyn were independent still, it would be the...fourth largest city in the U.S. Brooklyn is more populous than Houston or Philadelphia.
Anyway, the City of Brooklyn grew out of the 17th-century County of Kings..."
Gentrification: Good or Evil?" by Francis Morrone, and about Brooklyn

#188 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2004, 10:46 AM:

I used to put two scoops of raspberry sorbet in the freezer, and pour ginger beer over them in layers, freezing between each one. That made a yummy as was YUMMY when it was done.

Also, raspberry and mango sorbet are good together, especially if you alternate or combine bites.

#189 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2004, 12:01 PM:

Speaking of lost fiction, I'm still trying to figure out the name/author of a kids/YA series that involved time travel, a 'family' of red haired/green eyed kids trying to find all the shards of a shattered stone that scattered them through time - and a corresponding set of slightly older villans. It was definitely on the fantasy side of things, but I can't for the life of me recall anything else.

I'm reasonably sure that it wasn't anything related to the Darkover books - at least I've never read anything similar in the Darkover books, and they're usually filed under 'adult'.

#190 ::: JeanOG ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2004, 01:10 PM:

To add to the list of lost fiction, I've been trying to recall a short story I read years ago about a near future society where a "none of the above" option had been added to Presidential elections in the form of Franz Kafka. Most of the story was the characters talking about how there was no plan in place for what to do if Kafka ever won the election and how Kafka's percentage of the vote had risen steadily with each election since he was first added. At the end, the news came in that Kafka had won a majority of the popular vote.

#191 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2004, 03:05 PM:
They were called 'piggies', but the life-cycle was rather complex, and managed to involve 2 or 3 books, I think.

They emerge from their cocoons as paperback genre fiction (250-450 pages) and begin the long struggle up the bestseller lists. Only those reaching the top ten positions will get to mate and produce offspring.

#192 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2004, 03:14 PM:

All you Vernors-lovers know you can buy it online, right? You can get a subscription, even.

#193 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2004, 05:24 PM:

Leigh,

I never, ever, ever judge people by what they drink. (Maybe by what they read—but never by what they drink.) I myself prefer classic martinis, but I have to say, I've been eyeing those new bottles of Absolut Raspberry I see everywhere I go now....

And the Capital Grille makes an awesome Stoli Doli with pineapples that goes down real easy.

Speaking of truly, truly lost stories, does anyone here remember a collection of YA ghost stories from about 30 years (way) back, called 13 Ghosts? A collection of ghost stories from different countries. I would love to find that for my daughter.

One story in particular, from Britian, called The Ghostly Hand of Spridal House....

#194 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2004, 07:20 PM:

John, it's not 13 Ghosts: Strange but True Stories, is it? Abebooks.com has that book, but its copyright date is listed as 1988. I think I've read that one, but my copy (if it is the same book) lies in a basement 350 miles away. All I remember of it is the tale of the loup garou, and somebody wanting his taily-po.

(The Cauld Lad of Hilton took the loup garou's taily-po to give to the fisherman's daughter one dark Hallowe'en on the fen. But unknown to the Lad, fish grrl had a thing going with Herne back at the tree house. The way I heard it, the Hounds of Doom wouldn't stop barking one night, and that upped the jig. The infamous "Lad Hilton" tape hit the web the next week.)

#195 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2004, 07:23 PM:

Bruce said: In the gift shop at the Albuquerque Biopark, I saw plush stuffed jellyfish. Very pretty, but is it really a good idea to encourage thinking of jellyfish as "cuddly"?

My all-time favourite in the Really Bad Plush Toy Concept competition is the plush toy blue-ringed octopus. Yes, teach the little darlings that an octopus displaying blue rings is a really good thing to cuddle...

#196 ::: Leigh Butler ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2004, 07:25 PM:

John Farrell writes:

I never, ever, ever judge people by what they drink. (Maybe by what they read—but never by what they drink.)

Heh. I probably shouldn't tell you what I read, then.

I read - shhh - fantasy.

(The thing is, it's kind of sad that that's a joke only in certain company...)

And then:

One story in particular, from Britian, called The Ghostly Hand of Spridal House....

Oh wow. I think I read that book! If it's the one I'm thinking of, of course. Which it may not be, but I distinctly remember a book of ghost stories with one that featured a hand, though naturally I can't remember what the hand was actually doing.

(Mind like a steel trap, I tell ya.)

Was there also the tried-and-true "people play hide-and-seek in creepy old house and find corpse, possibly of bride, in process" story in there?

On a slightly-related note, I always enjoyed the cheekiness of Climax for a Ghost Story, by I. A. Ireland. They do say brevity is the soul of wit... (And it was, bizarrely, pretty chilling, too.)

#197 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2004, 08:38 PM:

There's also a "13 Ghosts" by Dorothy Gladys Spencer, c. 1965.

#198 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2004, 10:33 PM:
There's also a "13 Ghosts" by Dorothy Gladys Spencer, c. 1965.

Her last name appears to actually be Spicer, but that's got to be the one, based on listings I see for her other books (she apparently did a whole series, including 13 Giants, 13 Goblins, etc.).

#199 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2004, 10:37 PM:

Andy Perrin: any Trader Joe's around you? The ones near us (MA) have Reed's Ginger Brew.

#200 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2004, 12:29 AM:

Christopher: None around, where 'around' means 'in walking distance.' In Philly it makes no sense to have a car, as there's no place to put one. Bikes get stolen. You can see their metal skeletons rusting on racks, wheels and seats absent. Gruesome.

#201 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2004, 08:18 AM:

Leigh,
I don't remember that story about the bride. I do remember the hand (used by some thieves to put a spell on the household of the inn while they plunder the place). Also a story about a haunted Viking ship (excellent), a retelling of Varney the Vampire...hmm...can't think of others offhand.

Dan, I found one by D.G. Spicer on Amazon. Yes, 1965. That may be it (no image available).

#202 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2004, 09:54 AM:

There are also numerous copies available through Bookfinder, if you want to buy one (most are cheaper).

#203 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2004, 10:22 AM:

Dan: Spicer, right, not Spencer. Someone asked me a reference question as I was typing it in, and I got distracted. Glad to hear it's the right one.

#204 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2004, 11:06 AM:

"STOCKHOLM The Austrian novelist, playwright and poet Elfriede Jelinek will receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swedish Academy said Thursday, citing her 'musical flow of voices and countervoices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society's clichés and their subjugating power.'...."

NPR says that she sometimes uses tropes from Science Fiction films in her disturbing phantasmagorical works. Anyone know the details of that?

Christopher Davis:

Trader Joe's was founded 5 miles from here, in Pasadena. I've been a patron since about 1968 or 1969. They buy tasty, wholesome foodstuff in wholesale batches for cash on the barrelhead for less than wholesale cost, and thus sell excellent food and wine at below retail prices. They publish an amusing newsletter, and hire local chalk artists for interior signage. They repackage and label some things themseleves, never have exactly the same inventory, and are a major source of all that my family eats ands drinks. Founding owner Joe Colonna sold out for a hefty profit. Good choice!

#205 ::: mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2004, 11:50 AM:

Poor Andy. Trader Joe's has the bestest dark chocolate in the world. It's called Terra Nostra Organic Dark Chocolate. I go into withdrawal when they run out.
There's a TJ near my work (Devon) -- not sure if it's on a bus route. I can check if they have Reed's, in case you do come over to the KOP/Devon area at some point.

#206 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2004, 02:23 PM:

Is it just me, or does this season's Smallville really suck? Last night's "Kryp/Tuck" (Jeebus) episode had plot holes you could fly that silly little space cradle through.

#207 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2004, 06:36 PM:

Thanks, mayakda, but I hardly get into center city [*] these days. I'll have to remember to try some when I go back to Boston for Thanksgiving. My vice of the moment is chocolate espresso beans. [There is a problem in the previous sentence that I don't know how to fix. Help!]

[*] For non-Philadelphians: 'Center city' is what Philly people call downtown. I live west of center city in an area called University City. There is a T-shirt— for sale at Penn's campus police department— that reads, "University City: Left of Center." Also, in this part of the world we don't have "ATM machines." They are "MAC machines."

#208 ::: Deborah Roggie ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2004, 08:20 PM:

Chocolate espresso beans are my vice of the moment.

[?]

#209 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2004, 10:05 PM:

Andy: We live in Cambridge, and we don't own a car. Travel is all by T pass, Zipcar, or good ol' feet. It does seem that for a few bottles of ginger brew and a package of chocolate covered espresso beans, a bus/subway/trolley trip to the Center City store with a backpack could work. It'd probably be cheaper than traveling to Boston.

#210 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2004, 09:48 AM:

Deborah, they take espresso beans (which I understand to be a form of coffee bean, although I'd always thought espresso was a means a preparation, rather than a type of coffee) and dip them in dark chocolate. The result is highly caffeinated, chocolated bliss. And crunchy.

a bus/subway/trolley trip to the Center City store with a backpack could work

I don't think there is a TJ in center city. I was trying to say that most weeks I'm too much of a slug to walk into town, much less out to the suburbs. As for Boston (technically Southborough for you MA people-- I simplified), the TJ near my dad's house, where I'm going anyway for Thanksgiving, is not really out of the way, and he has a car.

#211 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2004, 10:47 AM:

This being an open thread, I thought I'd direct your attention to this Smallville Episode in Regency style.

The repeatedly-blushing Clark Kent caused me a little facial warming, too.

Really. Take a look. It's great stuff.

#212 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2004, 11:40 AM:

Rewriting Reality department.

I still wonder about The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2004 that was awarded to Elfriede Jelinek, an Austrian novelist, poet, playwright, and translator. Translator? Yes, "Ms. Jelinek has also published translations into German of work by Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Pynchon, among other authors."

Thomas Pynchon? Maybe one of his more science fictional novels? Light might be shed by anyone who looks into a copy of the scholarly "Rewriting Reality: Elfriede Jelinek and the Politics of Representation" (Berg Publishers, 1994), by Allyson Fiddler (professor of German and Austrian studies at Lancaster University, England). I don't have a copy handy, and am busy meeting deadlines for tax returns and some legal papers, as well as being backlogged in grading homework from my 55 Intermediate Algebra students. But I wonder...

#213 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2004, 11:43 AM:

Espresso is a style of coffee made using pressurised water heated to a bit less than boiling temperature. It's an Italian style, but looking at www.lavazza.com, their espresso coffees are blends of African and South American arabicas and robustos (at the cheaper end), so there isn't really a particular coffee bean you could point to and say that it's an espresso bean.

Italian espresso blends tend to be full flavoured without the French Roast burnt flavour (or Starbucks carbonized flavour, for that matter), so I'd guess that the chocolate coffee bean makers settled on a particular bean/roast combination which matches the average taste of an Italian espresso blend.

Yes, I did get a Gaggia for my birthday.

#214 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2004, 01:21 PM:

The June, 2002 issue of Scientific American has a wonderful article on coffee and coffee brewing. ("The Complexity of Coffee" by Ernesto Illy).

#215 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2004, 01:58 PM:

There are available here at least two blends (flavours?) of instant coffee called "Espresso" (Moccona and Nestle). Is this one of those internally inconsistent, self-contradictory phrases -- like the Pacific War? Probly going for that 'typical' flavour.

#216 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2004, 02:52 PM:

I'd interpret "espresso bean" as being an Italian or Heavy roasted bean, because that's what most people would use to create espresso, the beverage.

To me, there are two things that could be called espresso. The first is what a coffee bars make in shot-sized portions with super-expensive equipment. The second type is made in one of those wasp-waisted vacuum pots on the stove top.

In many Italian-American households, stove-top espresso is also called "black coffee" to distinguish it from American style drip "brown coffee."

If you want to be ahead of the curve on coffee trends, why not take up roasting your own?

#217 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2004, 02:55 PM:

Funny, the MT filter objected to the words "h_o_m_e r_o_a_s_t_i_n_g" which I intended to use above. I wonder why that would be a popular spam phrase? Or, to use MT jargon, questionable content.

#218 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2004, 05:44 PM:

Maybe they think it sounds homerotic.

#219 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2004, 03:49 AM:

Southborough is further west of Boston than the Sheraton Tara in Framingham is--instead of getting off route 9 at the Sheraton Tara, keep going west. If you get to 495 you have gone half a mile too far.... Southborough is about 30 miles or so west of Boston. I don't really know if the center of Southborough is north or south of Route 9, I just know that route 9 goes -through- part of Southboro (Westborough is west of Southborough. Northborough is northwest of Westborough. Westborough just west of 495, in fact, the exit -after- 495 heading west, and then turning right on the exit ramp head back eastwards towards 495, goes to the hotel that two or three Readercons were held on the site of).

Anyway, it's "Boston" the way Valley Forge is "Philadelphia" or Habrouck Heights is "New York" and there is I think a bus that runs along route 9 sometimes. I don;t know if the rail line from Worcestor to Boston goes through Southborough or not. But it's an area where -car- is essentially essentially. I don't know where the closest TJ's is to Southboro, but there's one on Route 9 in Framingham, and I have to think about if it's east or west of the Sheraton Tara... east, I think. It's west of the center of the center of Framingham, which is east of the Sheraton. There are no really conveniently located TJ's to where I am, there's one in Tyngboro in the same strip mall as a JoAnn's Fabric store, just on the MA side of the MA/NH border, across from the parking lot of Nashua's Pheasant Lane Mall and on what in NH is the Daniel Webster Highway, full of strips malls and multiple Market Baskets and a big Shaw's, a Costco, a Sam's Club, Circuit City, Best Buy, Comp USA, Staples, big furniture stores, a Border's, a Barnes & Noble, etc. The reason for TJ's being in MA probably is that while NH has no sales tax, MA doesn't have a sales tax on most foods -- it has a meals tax on prepared hot food to go, but not on food ingredients and bread and and cheese and such, which NH has ferocious real estate taxes and investment taxes and interesting fees, oh, and state liquor stores, to make up for the lack of sales and personal income tax.

That's nearly 20 miles north. There's one in Arlingon on Mass Ave, that's takes longer to get to than the one in Tyngsboro, because there is no high speed route for the 17 or so miles to the store in Arlington, it all local old twisty narrow roads, not a limited access superhigh (whch is finally approaching reconstruction completion... but it's still faster than the alternatives.)

There's the one on Memorial Drive in Cambridge, that's 20 miles away on even icky routing --Cambridge thinks only Cambridge residents should had the privilege of having cars,everyone else should use mass transit, and got rid of all the parking usable by casual visitor to MIT in to with a grassy expanded expanse by the Charles which will just get ridden over the by same bicycles and trod over by the same MIT students who were there anyway, it's not as if it's going to attract tourists to an boring urban stretch with MIT buildings on the north sid of Mem. Drive, the river on the south side, the 365.5 Smoots of it shakes coldest-place-on-the=planet-according-to-Adm-Byrd Harvard Bridge going over to Boston, and no place for a drink of water or an ice cream cone or to get something otherise to eat for a couple miles in either direction, and lots of traffic.... with fewer lanes for it than there used to be, and the lanes also narrowed on MassAve, and more buildings and more people in the Kendall square environs driving through, meaing more traffic. Blech.

Anyway, the one in Cambridge is a worse PITA to get to than the one in Arlington, the traffic is worse, the roads are full of worse congestion and snarls...

There's the one Boston, across from the Hynes., at least there's a parking of on the one in Cambridge on Memorial Drive. And the traffic and driving are even worse in Boston. The one in Boston is a LOT closer to an MBTA subway station, if one is a subway user.... otherwise, it's irrelevant. And, it's crammed down blow street level.

#220 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2004, 08:15 AM:

Niall: so I'd guess that the chocolate coffee bean makers settled on a particular bean/roast combination which matches the average taste of an Italian espresso blend.

I'd be surprised if there were any connection; I assumed when I heard about "chocolate espresso beans" that they were using the meme "espresso == strong coffee"; biting into a whole bean will certainly give you a coffee-flavored jolt, but I'm not a coffee drinker so can't specify what kind. (My suspicion is "cheap", as that's the common solution to "what grades of two random things do you mix together?"; I expect that at the right (wrong?) place you could pay a lot for CEBs but I don't know whether they'd be worth it.) Does anyone who \does/ drink coffee want to experiment?

Paula--there are also TJs in Coolidge Corner (the former Bildner's, even closer to a T stop than the Hynes one), and next to the Mass Pike in Newton (in between the Newton Corner and West Newton (outbound only) exits); the latter is quite convenient to the highway system if you're jonesing.

#221 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2004, 11:57 AM:

CHip, I suspect you're right about the beans. They taste strongly of coffee, but with the dark chocolate it would take an expert to figure out what kind. My current brand is made by Java City, but it doesn't appear to be sold on their website and the package doesn't list what kind of bean. If the beans were in any sense "premium" then you would expect them to advertise it.

#222 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2004, 12:23 PM:

Front Page Spelling Department:

Proffesors oppose Bush `theology'

PASADENA -- A group of Fuller Theological Seminary professors, saying they are responding to a "grave moral crisis' in America, are signing a statement opposing President Bush's alleged convergence of God, church and nation and what they call his "theology of war....[MORE]

I just know there's a double letter in there someplace...

#223 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2004, 12:36 PM:

About that thread some time ago that Mathematical terminology is strange, mathworld.com begs to differ. Its leader, Dr. Eric Weisstein, points out that Mathematical terminology is filled with very ordinary words, used in strange ways. For example:

Agricultural Terminology

Field
Root
Seed

Biological Terminology

Cell
Child
Species

Botanical Terminology

Germ
Root
Seed
Tree

Medical Terminology

Analysis
Degenerate
Pathological
Brace
Ear
Radius
Calculus
EKG
Sequence
Retraction
Caustic
Germ
Root
Cell
Homotopic
Set
Chart
Injection
Sinusoid
Colon
Leg
Skeleton
Condition
Lift
Surgery
Crown
Medial Axis
Suspension
Cut
Mouth
Degeneracy
Operation

Follow the hotlinks and be amused, or baffled...

#224 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey finds comment spam everywhere ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2004, 02:54 PM:

I see at least 26 comment spam messages, in a variety of threads, this afternoon.

#225 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2004, 06:49 PM:

This seemed to be the place to ask where someone might actually know: how would I find out whether it's possible to get posters or prints of Gilles Chaillet's giant map of ancient Rome? Obviously, I've tried Google.

More generally, does anyone know of good sources for posters/prints of paintings, etc., too obscure to be featured at allposters, barewalls, and the like?

#226 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2004, 11:11 PM:

Andy: Center City TJ's.

Center City (#634)
2121 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 569-9282
Entrance & parking off Commerce Street
*Beer & wine NOT available at this location

Looking at the SEPTA map, it appears to be very close to a stop, and only a short ride from University City.

#227 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2004, 11:26 PM:

Bad cess to the spammers. I kill them filthy.

#228 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2004, 12:46 AM:
This seemed to be the place to ask where someone might actually know: how would I find out whether it's possible to get posters or prints of Gilles Chaillet's giant map of ancient Rome? Obviously, I've tried Google.

It appears that the only thing available is a portfolio, which apparently reproduces the map in sections. You can see it on French Amazon, which is probably also the easiest place to buy it, assuming you feel like dropping 94 Euros (plus shipping) on it. It is limited to 1000 copies. I couldn't find a site that shows any of the plates, including Glenat's (the publishers).

Chaillet's book (which you can see links to on the portfolio page) is cheaper but less amenable to display.

#229 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2004, 01:11 AM:

Goodness, a TJs! I welcome these signs that Philadelphia is turning into a real city, with ginger beer. I would never have guessed. Thanks, Christopher.

#230 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2004, 01:21 AM:

Teresa's comment reminds me that I should put The Stars My Destination on my to be re-read pile.

Andy: you're welcome, and may it have all the things you want. (I've become a big fan of the "Triple Berry-Os" cereal of late, and it seems I'm not the only one because they've had trouble keeping enough on the shelf at the local stores.)

#232 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2004, 09:24 AM:

Thank you all for signposting that nasty comment spam. Do please feel free to keep doing that when it shows up.

#233 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2004, 10:29 AM:

Chip, the two you mention are convenient for people in Newton and Brookline. They are not convenient to the "northwest suburbs." Arlington is less inconvention than those. Going down US 2 to 28 to the roll road I-90 and into Newton in more expensive and takes longer than going to Tyngsboro or Arlington for me.

There is alson one in Needham, which is a mile or so west of 128, if one is going to New England Mobile Book Fair, which I have not done in quite a while, it's not that out of the way for going book-buying.

The TJs are convenient for the urban dwellers like, but I don't live in Boston or Cambridge. I wish there were one in Burlingon, which is laden with stores at the intersections of 128 and the Middlesex Turnpike, 128 and US 3 south, 3A north , the Middlesex Turnpike and Mall Road (yes, that's the name of the street) (which the Readercon hotel is located at), etc. There are three large Market Baskets and a very large Shaw's within four miles of me. Within six miles, add a large Roche Brothers. Add another mile or two, and there's at least one other Market Basket and more likely three or more, and three Stop & Shops, and probably other supermarkets, too, the roads going "east" involve mostly north or south directionality occasionally zigging or zagging east or go northeast or southeast, and are easy to get lost on because the signage is poor, and the roads are narrow and anything but straight. Take a look on a map of how routes 129 and 62 meander around....

But anyway, all of those, and even more, are closer and less inconvenient to get to, that Newton, Coolidge corner, Arlington, Needham, Cambridge, and Boston.

#234 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2004, 03:03 PM:

The Mt. St. Helens VolcanoCam site has some movies of the recent eruptions. See the Hall of Fame! Giant flies land on the mountain, possibly causing earthquakes.

#235 ::: Harry Connolly ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2004, 01:34 AM:

The drudge report is reporting that Christopher Reeve has died.

#236 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2004, 01:52 AM:

Google news agrees on Reeve. I'm sorry he died, but I have mixed feelings about his activism. He used his celebrity to push for spinal cord advances when there are hundreds of thousands of people with SCI who are stuck in nursing homes, costing the feds more than helping them stay at home.

#237 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2004, 02:25 AM:

Marilee - agreed that it's sad that Reeve has died. Perhaps it's because it's late and I'm a bit sleepy, but I don't understand how his activism has hurt those folks with SCI (Spinal Cord Injury, correct?).

Perhaps it has caused funds that would have helped them live in their own homes into research with a low probability of success? Or diverted attention from the development of assistive devices?

In an ideal world, we'd be able to do both research and provide for an optimum quality of life. In the real world, I'd like to see us do better on both fronts.

#238 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2004, 02:48 AM:

J. M. Kagan writes:

> Niall---I'll see your "Chicken Chaucer" and raise you our local Italian restaurant's "Dover Sol Meaner." In spring, the same restaurant offers "tentelions" as fresh greens.

Coming in to this very late, but with a worthy entrant: I saw a cafe offering "cup of chino"

#239 ::: L.N. Hammer ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2004, 03:48 PM:

The Bushisms link seems mungy — I got the local 404 page.

---L.

#240 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2004, 04:40 PM:

As far as corrective maps go, I've always liked the Dymaxion Map. Of course, Buckminster Fuller got it right, as North America is pretty much in the center of the map.

#241 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2004, 06:22 PM:

Larry, SCI is indeed Spinal Cord Injury. My complaint is that he could have used his celebrity to try to change a law that would have made an *immediate* difference for hundreds of thousands of people. He saw stem cell research as the priority because he didn't live in a nursing home, but stem cell research isn't going to provide something that can be used on people successfully, if at all, for many years.

#242 ::: Therese Norén ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2004, 02:09 AM:

(Psst! Your link to the Bushisms is broken.)

#243 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2004, 01:38 PM:

Ooooh. Corn mazes. Not too sure about the Reagan maze, though. I think that one might get permanently lost therein.

The local Sisters of Mercy campus has a hedge maze tht I often visit when I feel I need to clear my head.

#244 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2004, 01:45 PM:

On "Words Fail Me," I think it just shows that they're so steeped in the idea of war-as-(domestic)-politics that they forgot they were lying about it. Or just realized that most people will never notice.

Canada is looking better and better, I must say.

#245 ::: L.N. Hammer ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2004, 04:08 PM:

Okay, that's weird. In “Look quick, before it goes away” just now, I can't see comments below the lowest ad even after pressing F11 to go full screen. First time the workaround doesn't work.

---L.

#246 ::: Alice Keezer ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2004, 07:22 PM:

Any Sox fans in the room?

#247 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2004, 07:25 PM:

Alice - yes.

#248 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2004, 08:15 PM:

And what is with the awful pregame stuff? Though it is nice to know that Hugh Laurie is going to have his own U.S. series... And it's on Fox. Go figure.

#249 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2004, 08:33 PM:

Larry, here in the DC area, we have a Coach Gibbs maze.

#250 ::: Ayse Sercan ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2004, 09:48 PM:

Not on any particular topic, but has anybody else read this op-ed in the Times?

It's a good read, and fast, too.

#251 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2004, 11:57 PM:

Random wibble:

There was a Democrat "register to vote!" table in Mountain View's high street today. (All right, it's not *called* High Street, but that's its function.) I'm sure that it was not a coincidence that they set up shop right between the doorways for the new bookshop and the second-hand bookshop.

#252 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2004, 01:16 AM:

Julia - Oh, you mean the other Castro Street. For Yank ears, try "Main Street." :-)

As a reminder to any unregistered Californians reading this, the cutoff date for registration is 15 days before the election, or October 18th. (Although I doubt there are too many unregistered US citizens reading this.)

Remember the Jersey City maxim - Vote Early and Vote Often!

BTW, a Republican registration table appeared outsied the San Mateo Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago; it was immediately surrounded by hecklers.

#253 ::: Steve Eley ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2004, 04:05 PM:

Alice Keezer:
Any Sox fans in the room?

Alas, I predict disappointment for the Red Sox -- not because they don't deserve a World Series win, but because Stephen King can never write satisfying endings.

#254 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2004, 04:14 PM:

Steve: Alas, I predict disappointment for the Red Sox

To be a Red Sox fan is to know - nay, experience - the fact that the "law of averages" is no law at all. It's not even a bill stuck in committee.

No need for predictions.

#255 ::: Sarah Avery ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 03:14 AM:

Jacques Derrida, who bears the greatest share of personal responsibility for the rise of deconstruction, has died. This is the sort of obituary you can hope for if your work spawns legions of professional apologists:

http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,6109,1324635,00.html

#256 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2004, 03:18 PM:

Mayakda, when my computer crashed, I lost my email messages. Please email me again -- I'm set up to tape the four hours of the Peacekeepers War tonight.

#257 ::: Ian Elliott ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2006, 01:38 PM:

This is the correct verse and author:

"First come I; my name is Jowett.
There’s no knowledge but I know it.
I am Master of this college:
What I don’t know isn’t knowledge."
Henry Charles Beeching

#258 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2011, 09:14 PM:

2011 chimes in (to squash a spam message).

I was unhappy when Vernors cans were redesigned to eliminate the gnome. I am glad to see that he seems to have returned.

(I lived in Detroit from the third grade through the seventh, and acquired a taste for Vernors before it was more widely distributed.)

#259 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2011, 11:53 PM:

Bill, #258: So did I! And I'm not convinced that what you can now buy nationwide is the same stuff I drank back then; I remember it being stronger-tasting. A friend in college said it was "the most alcoholic-tasting non-alcoholic drink" he'd ever tried.

Vernors and milk in a 1-to-1 mix produces something rather like cream soda.

#260 ::: janetl see possible spam test ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2011, 01:42 PM:

#260 is by a first-time poster, and looks very generic. Wonder if Nodeerabe is testing the perimeter defenses.

#261 ::: Xopher HalfTongue is pretty sure janetl is right about the spam ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2011, 01:45 PM:

Yeah, that's pretty classic.

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