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January 28, 2005

Open Thread 36
Posted by Teresa at 07:01 AM *

Gotta run—

Comments on Open Thread 36:
#1 ::: Nick Douglas ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 08:15 AM:

So I'm editing a local zine. At this point I'm still foolishly expecting a profit.

#2 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 08:22 AM:

Postscript to the Marlowe snippet. A kind responder to my LJ points out that Marlowe fights crime on the BBC [internet radio] every Friday. Man, the things you learn! I am soooo pressing that button today.

#3 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 08:24 AM:

Your lunchboxes have been lacking:

http://www.bananaguard.com/index.php

#4 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 08:39 AM:

"Hey sinner man - where ya gonna run to?"

#5 ::: Zvi ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 11:28 AM:

The perils of academic publishing -- may be of interest to denizens of this here bboard.

Language Log: Publishers are Good; Really!

#6 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 12:01 PM:

Firstly, "bboard"? Secondly, it sounds like this author-friend of the article-author (who clearly suffers himself both from at least a little "My text, edited? How dare they!" syndrome and an obvious need for the talents of an editor) had similar problems in previous experiences with this publisher...was he under contractual obligation to stay with them, or what?

Clearly there are bad publishers out there, and bad editors too...but I think I'd try a bit harder to avoid such broad brushes as this article would seem to recommend.

#7 ::: Nabil ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 12:57 PM:

The lurking reader
Comes out of his cave rarely,
Posts, then hides again.

#8 ::: Mark D. ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 01:11 PM:

Gotta go
I'm runnin' out of change
There's a lot of things
If I could I'd rearrange

The Fly (U2)

#9 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 01:34 PM:

Setting the VCR this morning, it struck me that Friday is heavily loaded with geekvision. Star Trek, Stargate, Battlestar Galactica, Monk . . .

Are they trying to ruin what little social life dweebs have, or just figure they don't have one anyway?

#10 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 01:41 PM:

Re: bananaguard.com, "Sometimes a bananaguard is just a bananaguard."

Re: Geek TV, one word, Tivo.

#11 ::: Dan Lewis ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 02:02 PM:

The lurking reader types; and, having typt,
Moves on: nor all you've Entertained or Quipt
Shall lure it back to SmileyFace or Scowl,
Nor even if the post Perl Disemvowel.

#12 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 02:06 PM:

Stefan, Larry's not kidding. It's the new religion. It will change your life.

I used to think it regularly, but I'll go weeks at a time now without it occurring to me how crappy television is...because all I watch is great TV...well, and crappy TV that falls into my particular nostalgia-frequency bandwidth.

#13 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 02:24 PM:

Stefan: Long ago, in the days of Plain ol' Television, skiffy and skiffy-like product used to show up a lot on Friday nights; I believe the idea was that kids were up later then. The CBS Late Movie -- along about '72 they gave up fighting Carson and started running B movies in the late slot -- was always an SF or horror film on Friday; some of them were pretty good, and THX 1138 actually had its television premiere there (which gives you an idea of how long a shadow George Lucas cast back then).

Some of it is probably just counterprogramming -- trying to take away the other channels' audience with stuff that appeals to the same audience (at least, it does so in the budgie-cage minds of TV program planners).

Me, I'm looking forward to Mr. Monk and the Cylon Menace.

#14 ::: Evil Genius ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 02:26 PM:

Teresa continues to claw her way to the top of the Readers Poll book editor category.

#15 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 02:34 PM:

Stefan, don't forget "Numbers". The hero is a ubergeek. I watched the premier, and it was good enough to pose a dilemma tonight - do I watch Numbers or Monk? I can't tape while I watch, not set up for that.

And sometimes, yes, I do have better things to do on a Friday night

#16 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 03:17 PM:

Another vote for Numbers here. Well, two, if you count Juan's vote as well.

#17 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 03:24 PM:

I've heard that TiVo is life changing from others . . . but do I really want to change my life in THAT WAY?

What I'd really love is a robot dog-walker, so I can use that extra hour each day to make headway on the pile of books in my queue . . . but then, walking is my exercise. Arrrrgghhhh . . . (And no, audio books aren't the answer.)

The VCR is my one concession to timeshifting. It does the job.

* * *

"Long ago, in the days of Plain ol' Television,"

I used to love the horror / monster / SF stuff that WNEW (NYC's Channel 5) showed on Fridays. That's when I first saw _Invasion of the Body Snatchers_, which was a real pajama soaker (figuratively speaking) for a twelve-year-old. I checked the bedroom closet and looked under the lower bunk for pods.

In the great SF drought of the 70s, SciFi was ghettoized on Saturday morning (more movies) and weekend afternoons, in the disposable timeslots subject to overflow by ballgames. But since we're talking about _UFO_ and at best _The Outer Limits_ maybe that wasn't a great loss.

#18 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 03:25 PM:

I'm watching Numbers; Monk's not going to be canceled any time soon. (Query: does the network's use of "Numb3rs" mean that l33t is officially Over?)

#19 ::: Zvi ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 03:59 PM:

Skwid: 1) bboard being an old abbrev for computer-based bulletin board, also being a joke kinda thing like.

2) Academic publishers are different than for-profits, and this poor sod probably had no choice at all -- these are the ones that accepted his book, and getting screwed over by bad editing, bad production, and bad everything is not the same as 'don't touch my work'. I wouldn't generalize at all to trade publishers, but I still thought it was a funny story for people here.

Also, the 'tude in the article? That's just the way Geoff Pullum talks.


#20 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 04:01 PM:

TexAnne:

"does the network's use of 'Numb3rs' mean that l33t is officially Over?"

No. Styles come and go. "3" is the New Black.

For descriptions of tonight's basic plot and 2 more episodes, plus still photos, see:

Mathematical Association of America

and scroll down to Ed Pegg Jr's review of Numb3rs. Tonight's the test, ratingswise. If it keeps half of the 21,000,000 viewers of the pilot, it's a hit.

I'd like to see: Monk meets the obsessive math professor of Numb3rs.

You folks notice that the "crawl" at the start of Star Wars Episode 3 has been released today?

I basically agree with John Ford about TV SciFi of The Good Old Days, and wisely choose not to go on at length.

#21 ::: Ariella ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 04:04 PM:

The Bosch figurines remind me of the Pope Innocent III action figure. He comes complete with a Latin scroll that says "Hohenstaufens kiss my ass."

#22 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 04:23 PM:

Fun link, Zvi. I've heard similar horror stories. I haven't had anything quite as bad done to mine (just had a bunch of my serial commas removed once), but I'm just waiting for the editor unfamiliar with Tolkien who takes out all those funny little accent marks...

#23 ::: Tom Scudder ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 05:23 PM:

Two quick questions:

One, would it be daft to just skip Buffy season six altogether and go straight on to season seven? Local DVD supplier has s6 only in zone 2, oddly, but s1-5 and 7 in zone 1, and anyway I've heard that s6 was kind of crap.

Two, isn't John Crowley about due to write book four of AEGYPT &c?

#24 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 07:44 PM:

For your knitting amazement and delight, someone has concocted a pattern for a raw chicken hat.

#25 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 07:46 PM:

Magenta, I'm going to solve my TV-watching problems at 10pm tonight by watching Battlestar Galactica, taping Medical Investigation on one machine, taping Numbe3rs on the other machine, and then taping the midnight showing of Monk on the first machine.

#26 ::: Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 07:53 PM:

For what it's worth, Marilee, I noticed today that USA Network seems to be re-running episodes of Medical Investigation at 7:00 on the following Thursday evenings.

#27 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 07:55 PM:

I might have roused myself once sufficiently to send email to a couple of networks pointing out that I have limited tastes in what they broadcast, and that they are NOT going to get me to watch other types of shows, no matter how much they put the only things I want to watch on their stations opposite the only things I want to watch on other stations. They are NOT going to "capture my eyeballs" for whatever "reality TV" crap about loser jackasses I don't want to be in the same universe with are being featured to perform on this week, or sitcoms or other stuff I don't want to watch, that's on before or after what I'm interested in watching -- the outcome these days usually is deciding I don't want to bother with watching either program that's on at the same time.

That is, Stargate and Andromeda are on at the same time on Saturday afternoon, what I wound up doing was not bothering either way. Andromeda's also on past midnight after Sunday and I sort of watch it then. Saturday afternoon to me is NOT appropriate TV watching time, to start with.

#28 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 08:13 PM:

Teresa, I know you and Patrick are Richard Thompson fans, so if you haven't already check out:

http://www.richardthompson-music.com/audiodownloads.asp

#30 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 09:29 PM:

Teresa, did you see this?

http://www.flamewarriors.com/

You will almost certainly recognize many types.

#31 ::: Bruce Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2005, 11:22 PM:

First of all, thanks to all the advice from folks in an earlier Open Thread my wife got me a Kershaw/Ken Onion Scallion with a partially serrated blade for Christmas. I'm very happy with it, but I figured I'd better ask the best way to sharpen a serrated knife before it becomes necessary to do so...

On another front, I came down with pneumonia last weekend. I'm much better now--the antibotics seem to be doing their job--but I'm still pretty weak. Is there anything special I should do to recover beyond the standard "rest, don't overstrain" sort of thing?

#32 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 01:10 AM:

Bruce, remember to eat yogurt (natural, live-bacteria kind) to repopulate your insides. Through the treatment or at least a couple of servings after the bout of antibiotics.

That's about all I can suggest. Margene got Mumps!!!!! from likely a child contact at New Year's (that's the time range)(and she never got it as a kid....) and the doctor placed her on heavy duty antibiotics to prevent any opportunistic infections taking advantage of her weakened immune system. I'm getting her same kind of thing tomorrow (I hope, snowfall and distance may prevent it....) from Whole Foods Market in Overland Park.

#33 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 02:40 AM:

Ghost Prisoners

The CIA went to Iraq at midnight landed planes,
It took away a group of people battered and in chains,
But back at home the rulers of the country all denied,
Claimed everyone reporting on those prisoners all had lied,
Ghost prisoners, Ghost prisoners in the jails.

Lies from George Bush, Lies from Cheney,
Ghost prisoners in, Ghost Prisoners in Ghost Jails.

A plane's been seen around the world with ownership of spies,
The owners' names are fictional, around the world it flies
It's seen in Bedford Mass and Baghdad, Kabul and Cairo,
And rumors of it tortured victims Bush always says no,

Lies from George Bush, Lies from Cheney,
Ghost prisoners in, Ghost Prisoners in Ghost Jails.

The rumors were of Abu Ghraib and murders in Kabul,
The Red Cross said Guantanamo was full of treatments cruel,
"We do not torture innocents," George Bush he speaks more lies,
"The ones locked up in Abu Ghraib are terrorists!" he cries.

Lies from George Bush, Lies from Cheney,
Ghost prisoners in, Ghost Prisoners in Ghost Jails.

And what's become of human rights and warrants for arrest,
And what's become of freedom and the brightest and the best,
And what's become of liberty and guilt that must be proved
George Bush he is a tyrant and all rights he has removed

Lies from George Bush, Lies from Cheney,
Ghost prisoners in, Ghost Prisoners in Ghost Jails.

And what's become of speedy trials and open charges made
And what's become of justice and the fourth amendment's way,
No longer is that USA a nation under law,
It's Bush's vicious vicious version of a theocratic maw,

Lies from George Bush, Lies from Cheney,
Ghost prisoners in, Ghost Prisoners in Ghost Jails.

Their names are all kept secret their locations secret too,
The USA Star Chamber uses secrecy as glue,
It blocks all information and it hides chains of command,
The torture came from high up in the Bush plutocrats' band.

Lies from George Bush, Lies from Cheney,
Ghost prisoners in, Ghost Prisoners in Ghost Jails.

There's Condalisa Rice and Donald Rumseld and Cheney
Gonzales Bush's tool wrote the torture advocacy,
And then add Margaret Spellings' views of TV kids should see,
Sex and violence yes but ban a lesbian family!

Lies from George Bush, Lies from Cheney,
Ghost prisoners in, Ghost Prisoners in Ghost Jails.

#34 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 09:37 AM:

Hey! Making Light was mentioned on NPR's Weekend Edition this morning! "Highly Recommended", "One of the warmest...", etc. Teresa mentioned by name! I was only half listening so didn't get all the details. They archive the show at npr.org so you can probably find it later today. It was at about 9:35 a.m. EST.

Congrats!

#35 ::: Andrew ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 09:43 AM:

Just mentioned (with encomiums) by Henry Farrell on Weekend Edition Saturday with Scott Simon: Teresa Nielsen Hayden's blog, Making Light, one of three blogs discussed. The link is supposed to be up at npr.org.

The hit counter is about to go wild...and our hostess is from home. The timing is exquisite.

#36 ::: Janet Kegg ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 09:43 AM:

The recommendation of "Making Light" on SatEd ATC was made by Henry Ferrall (sp?) (a professor at American University in DC, I think). It was at the end of the first half-hour segment.

#37 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 10:13 AM:

The link to the text article on NPR.

#38 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 11:18 AM:

Tom, S6 of Buffy [SPOILER ALERT] was frequently depressing and soap-opera-ish, but also features Willow turning evil and flaying a guy, which is pretty frickin' cool, and it has "Once More, with Feeling" which is the singing/dancing episode which is cracktastic. And the overall arc of the season, while a bummer, is done fairly well - Buffy coming to terms with being alive again. They didn't just do the usual "oh, well, that was a dream" or what have you.

There are definitely episodes worth skipping but S7 won't make a ton of sense without watching S6 first, and the musical episode ran 10 minutes longer than a normal one, which means it'll always be skipped or chopped in FX-channel reruns. I'd say you should either pretend the show ended with S5, or bite the bullet and get S6 online someplace so you can have the complete thing.

#39 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 11:20 AM:

note: please excuse my wandering tenses in paragraph one of the previous post. I done just woked up.

#40 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 11:30 AM:

Ah, so I wasn't imagining that NPR plug.

The mind can play tricks on a feller at 6-something in the morning, and then there was the distraction factor of a giant dog standing on the bed rattling her tags by way of letting you know she needs to be walked.

Congrats!

#41 ::: Matt McIrvin ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 12:09 PM:

Season 7 of Buffy was, I'm afraid, worse than season 6. It did have a few standalone bright spots, such as the episode about the life of Anya early on. It seemed as if it were idling in neutral until the last few episodes, when the season arc kicked in in a hurried manner.

Pretending the show ended with S5 seems a good option in retrospect, except that you'd miss a few really good episodes here and there.

#42 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 12:38 PM:

Bravo on the NPR plug!

As for Friday programming, is anyone else here a tennis geek? I was watching the bizarre women's final of the Australian Open (live, from "tomorrow afternoon").

#43 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 12:38 PM:

Stefan - another Tivo note, it can pause what you're watching, so that when your dog appears, rattling her tags in desparation, you can walk her without missing a second of CSI: Dayton.

Re: Weekend Edition, my temporary digs, a dee-luxe apartment in the sky in Seattle, has lousy radio reception. Now I'll have to find an internet cafe (I think there's one down the street) to listen to the piece. (I'm using wireless dial-up right now. Kind of like being on the information cowpath.)

#44 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 01:28 PM:

Teresa:

Congratulations on the NPR praise! I also had a Stefan Jones's "mind can play tricks on a feller at 6-something in the morning," as I keep my bedside radio tuned to the local NPR station (KPCC), and often have a final dream in which Condoleeza Rice or Porter Goss or whomever is being discussed becomes woven into the plot.

Larry Brennan:

"CSI: Dayton." At the Caltech screening of the pilot for NUMB3RS (the 2nd episode of which ran last night), the MC made the mistake of referring to the show as "CSI: MIT."

The Caltech audience booed loudly at this mention of the other geek-school with a Beaver totem, and the MC did a Johnny-Carsonesque recovery with "I mean, after this show is a hit, we'll spin off "CSI: MIT" for the East Coast market." he was lucky that Math-fans don't shoot each other the way that rappers are alleged to in an East Coast/West Coast antagonism.

#45 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 01:45 PM:

Tom Scudder, even bad Buffy is filled with Buffy goodness. Season 6 didn't mesh together terribly well, it has to be said, but it still had some stand-out episodes.

#46 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 01:53 PM:

I almost called you when I heard the NPR plug, but decided it was too early in the morning.

He recommended three blogs: one on the left, one on the right, and you. Brava!

#47 ::: Keith ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 01:58 PM:

Does anyone know where to purchase those Bosch figures? I've been looking online and can't seem to find a store (brick or virtual).

#48 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 02:15 PM:

At a certain notorious party at Boskone not quite two years ago, I was talking with Jeff Hecht and an associate of his in science writing, who had been at Caltech when Jeff was there. The other fellow however had dropped out and not graduated from there, and they mentioned someone else who was a science/tech writer who'd dropped out of Caltech. Daniel Dern, who wasn't in the room at the time and is a tech writer/journalist and Paul Schindler who's a tech journalist, who were a couple years ahead of me at MIT and contemporaries on campus also got mentioned. "Ah, I see the difference between journalists who went to MIT and ones who went to Caltech," I said, "the ones who went to MIT -graduated-."

#49 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 02:26 PM:

One appalling thing about Caltech and MIT -- I got to use the exact same line the same day to two different people [of common ancestry no further back than 2000 years, for that matter, my ancestry's common with their from back then....] one of them a Caltech graduate, the other an MIT graduate at ConJose, "David, you're a geek!"

[Yeah, I'm one too. Clueless R We... You never my uncle Leo, the eminent psychologist who was the dean of the psychology department at Suffolk University, BA, MA, Ph.D, and Diplomate for Harvard, and not one iota of commonsense.... hopeless cases, one of my mother's cousins was a physicist from Caltech, one of her other cousins went down into a mine after graduating from MIT, on his new job, and headed back east to get JD from Harvard and be a lawyer instead, a first cousin of mine is a physicist who went to MIT, a second cousin's son graduated from MIT, a first cousin of my father didn't merely go to MIT he's still there six decades later, my aunt's brother-in-law went to MIT, my sister and her husband graduated from Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute, etc. NOT MY FAULT!!!!]

#50 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 04:26 PM:

Paula Lieberman:

You and I have exchanged Caltech critiques on these Making Light threads before, so I'm honestly continuing the dialog with you and not just name-dropping (Jeff Hecht has also published Fantasy) or ego-blogging, BUT --

your classification leaves me on a fuzzy boundary, as I am a journalist, DID drop out of Caltech (in the year when my mother was dying of cancer), but then went back, restarted my Soph year, and graduated. So, do I prove your theory, disprove it, or both?

Is this related to the Logic puzzle of whether a black hamster constitutes statistical evidence in favor of the proposition that all swans are white?

#51 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 04:34 PM:

JVP, I've always thought of the logic example as collecting the set of all not grey things that are not elephants. Swans give it a whole new dimension - more graceful but meaner. Swans bite.

#52 ::: -dsr- ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 04:54 PM:

Bruce: to sharpen serrated blades, the best investment is a Spyderco Sharpmaker. However, it costs about as much as a knife. Many manufacturers will sharpen your knife for free if you send them the knife with appropriate postage -- see their website.

#53 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 04:54 PM:

All this alma mater gropius werfel stuff causes me to think that, having been recruited by one well-known university and accepted at two more, but having actually gone to a completely different jernt, I should add to my CV, "Failed to graduate from MIT, Caltech, and Harvard."

No reflection on any of them; I wouldn't have graduated me either.

And can I cite my Boskone Life Membership as an Honorary Degree? (I think it probably puts me ahead of all those members of Our Beloved Administration with Dacron sheepskins from Lagos Internet Correspondence University and Goat Ranch.)

#54 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 04:59 PM:

To offer a fragment of useful information for once, there are commercial sharpening services almost everywhere; quite a few of them are a Guy in a Van who comes to you and does the job on the spot. Commercial kitchens just about always have their knives sharpened professionally -- as distinct from honing, which you can do in the kitchen with a steel. Yellow Pages, "Sharpening Services."

#55 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 05:45 PM:

I don't even have cable any more, but there was one night on CBS that had MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart and, if memory serves, Carol Burnett

It was even then probably the only night of television I ever watched, which is probably why I remember it now as the golden age of TV.

It's something like the process where the handful of brilliant skits that stood out against the self-indulgent stuff that dragged makes me think of early Saturday Night Live as "when it was still funny"

#56 ::: biff3000 ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 06:28 PM:

Bruce: Re: Pneumonia
Been there. After the Zithromax ($8.00 a damn tablet!), I was healed. Sort of. I remember reading old books as a kid, and occasionally they would say of a person, "He recovered, but his health was broken." I always thought, what the hell does that mean? After my pneumonia, I knew. For six solid months, I slept every moment I wasn't working. Not sick, but not well either. If this happens to you, I urge you to let it run its course. You will eventually feel strong again....

#57 ::: Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 07:46 PM:

The most interesting question about CSI: Dayton, of course, is how deep into the Who songbook they will go for its title music. "Boris the Spider"? "Pictures of Lilly"? Trying to predict such things is one of my favorite idle-moment gedankenexperiments, along with anticipating the next Law and Order spinoff (Transit Police? Or do they go geographic, and migrate out to Suffolk County?).

#58 ::: Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 08:03 PM:
I don't even have cable any more, but there was one night on CBS that had MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart and, if memory serves, Carol Burnett

That was Saturday nights, from 1973 to 1978 or so (All in the Family was also on, as the leadoff hitter at 8:00 PM). Generally considered the best single-night lineup in TV history, although some permutations of NBC's strong Thursday night lineups have their defenders.

#59 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 08:10 PM:

The NPR archive link pointed to does not appear to work.

Digging around a bit, I found this:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4461850

Or manually (in case they change URLs frequently for whatever reason), --

http://www.npr.org/

Scroll down; choose "Weekend Edition Saturday"
(on the left hand side)

Scroll down; choose the link right below "Digital Culture", titled "When Web Rumors Run Amok".

Bob should theoretically be your uncle.

I suppose that by next week, the manual instructions will have to include "choose 'Previous Week'" (or a program date of "01-29-2005"). And so on and so forth.

Hearing Henry Farrell's voice, I note that he has an Irish accent.
Which, checking his webpage, is as one might well expect.

#60 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 08:15 PM:

Ray - was MASH on on Sundays? I seem to remember that they had The Jeffersons wedged in there somewhere.

The Bob Newhart Show remains one of my all-time TV favorites. The last sitcom that was even remotely as well written was probably Sports Night.

#61 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 08:20 PM:

Whoops, meant Saturday night, of course.
Also noticed that I unwittingly came back to The Jeffersons after making a reference to its theme song above. And I never really liked the show.

#62 ::: Mygaera ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 09:23 PM:

Not only did our gracious host receive her dues on NPR, she was also once again BoingBoinged:

http://www.boingboing.net/2005/01/28/outstanding_tips_for.html

Faithfully reported by an everwatching lurker.

#63 ::: Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 10:20 PM:

MASH may have moved at some point, but for a time, the Saturday night lineup was All in the Family, MASH, Bob Newhart, Mary Tyler Moore, and Carol Burnett, in that order, I think. Four half-hour sitcoms, followed by a one-hour variety show.

#64 ::: Dave Weingart ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 11:22 PM:

Actually, the more I see of it, the more I like Megas XLR on Cartoon Network.

#65 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2005, 11:29 PM:

Breaking in with very little easement; I just did a local site search here, and the 'search results' template has somehow gained a header with 96pt (or better, I've no ruler) fontsize. If I recall correctly, the 'search' templates are stored in a separate directory structure in the MT scheme, and it's possible that a change made to the CSS might affect the appearance of 'search results' pages independently of the rest of the site.

If this is not news, my humblest apologies for pewling.

#66 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2005, 03:53 AM:

pericat:
This was noted by my own humble self on November 07, 2004, 04:12 AM:, starting: "Aaaiiiieee!!! [quails] Has anyone else tried the search function on Making Light recently?" and Michelle called them BIG GIANT SCARY LETTERS, and wondered if they'd been eating comment spam and had grown uncontrollably as a result, thereupon earning the epithet Comment Spam of the Gods. On December 01, 2004, 05:37 AM:, they had seemed to be back to normal size, but checking after your note, "they're baaack".

Interesting suggestion about the Movable Type system, tho' I don't have any knowledge of it at all, so you can just ignore this sentence.

#67 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2005, 03:54 AM:

Megas is the bomb.

The bomb that blows up the "Conveniently empty building."

#68 ::: Adrian Bedford ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2005, 05:39 AM:

I just wanted to say "bravo!" to Paula Lieberman for "Ghost Soldiers" (way upthread from here). I have many times thought/felt the same things, only not put so eloquently.

#69 ::: Adrian Bedford ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2005, 05:40 AM:

Oh crap. I meant "Ghost Prisoners". My apologies.

#70 ::: Kevin Marks ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2005, 06:01 AM:

Medical Investigations is total dreck - think of it as CSI:ER.
House, on the other hand is a medical 'detective' show with well-drawn characters and excellent plot puzzles.

#71 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2005, 12:22 PM:

The concept of Hieronymus Bush figures just occurred to me.

The Garden of Bibical Delights, down in the refilling marshes where the Tigris and Euphrates head into the Persian Gulf [one positive thing achieved... but the swamp never would have been drained in the first place if not for Bush I's misleadership and turncoat weaseling urging rebellion against Saddam Hussein and then doing nothing when Saddam sent his military and reign of brutality machines to subdue and eradication the rebellion and rebels. Draining the marshes destroyed the entire way of life of the people who had lived there and drove them out of Iraq to Iran, Saddam's goal was to get rid of dissidents and the populace of that area had objected to his rule--so he acted to get rid of them entirely, by violence and destroying the ecology which made it possible for them to survive there...]

Anyway, there could be figurines of torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, gunning down of prisoners in mass atrocities in Afghanistan [I'm trying to remember where the report of that is, but there are reports of it on the Web, [along with a lot of condemantion from is it www.rawa.org regarding US Government backing of warlords who are different from Taliban mostly only in who they're CURRENTLY allied with [remember that Osama bin Laden got US support a long time ago from apparatchik Bush I back when the USSR was occupying part of Afghanistan....], their attitudes towards women and treatment of them is virtually indistinguishable]...], figurines of US tanks a block away from libraries and archives and offices being looted and burned and with not the slightest preventive patrolling or policing done... just think what New York City would be like if the police and firefighters disappeared, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, the New York city archives, the police headquarters and all its records, City Hall and at its records, all the museums, and Central Park suddenly had all patrolling, all guards, and all alarm systems disabled or gone, and hardly anyone on-site even working with them. How long would it be before thieves, robber, looters, and vandals had made off with their choice of goods, vandalized the places, and set fire to them in a ombination of greed and avarice, viciousness, sense of entitlement, thought of selling for lots of money, joy of wanton destruction, the opportujnity to destroy records of their criminal past, and covering over theft and robbery with arson?

And don't forget military caricatures, Schmuck in flight suit in air vehicle landing on diverted aircraft carrier, the picture with the fake Thanksgiving Day turkey on platter, etc.

#72 ::: Barbara Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2005, 01:04 PM:

Taking advantage of the open thread again, this time to ask for writing advice. Murder your darlings - is there a rule of thumb for when it's a darling and when it's just a nice metaphor etc.? (That's nice in the old sense.)
I had figured that if it distorts the flow (eg. I must have one character be OOC so the other can make this witty remark) then it's a darling, but if there's a discussion in more detail anywhere, could someone point me the way?
Thank you!

#73 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2005, 02:20 PM:

Barbara --

I'm going to stick my oar in and say that murder your darlings is bad advice, full stop.

"Do I especially like this?" isn't a good question; authors are way variable on that point, and the same author will often be wildly variable over the life of the work.

"Does this serve the story?" and "Does this serve the story in more than one way?" are better questions, and get away from the (in my view bone stupid) "submit! submit! admit it's not good!" abstract-quality-is-real, it-is-it-is-it-is dance.

#74 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2005, 02:56 PM:

Barbara:

"Kill your darlings" was a phrase I first heard in an acting class: the idea being that any bit of business you grew too fond of would almost invariably grow stale or take on a kind of importance that takes away from the overall performance. On the other hand, a "darling" can be the thing that anchors a performance or gives the actor a point of access for a character.

It works similarly with writing, and it certainly doesn't mean you can't like something you've written or take delight in it ( "kill your darlings" has always had a sort of Puritanistic "enjoyment and craftsman's pride are sins" feel to me. I like enjoying my work). If you find that the "darling" bit takes on more importance than the writing around it, or that you're moving other things around to accommodate it, it's a good time to examine the whole work and see how its holding together. But that "darling" can also anchor a character or plot.


#75 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2005, 04:19 PM:

Medical Investigation was certainly the weakest of those four, but I was able to time-shift to still watch it.

#76 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2005, 04:31 PM:

The NPR plug was wonderful, of course (congratulations, Teresa!), but it did make Making Light sound a little more religously oriented than it actually is: a variety of subjects: Catholic saints, alligators, Mormon politics-- pretty well everything.

#77 ::: cd ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2005, 05:24 PM:

The museum of the Banque Nationale de Belgique are currently hosting an exhibition titled 'Euro Banknote Design Exhibition'. To make a long story short, it is about all the submissions that did NOT make it when the design was selected for the euro. There is a book containing all those 'failed' designs and short bios of the designers, all of them amongst the global top 50 in the field.

Albeit the format is not one of the best ones around and navigation is quite tiresome, the Bank of Greece has actually put up ALL the contents of the book, beginning from this page:

http://www.bankofgreece.gr/en/exhibition-euro/start.html

To find the actual designs, go to the designers' page and click on either the 'Ages and styles of Europe' and/or the 'abstract modern' icons. Some are cool, some are so-so, some are, um, less than inspiring.

#78 ::: Barbara Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2005, 11:26 PM:

Madeleine and Graydon, thanks for the words of wisdom. It had seemed to me that carried through, murder your darlings would lead to featureless utilitarian prose, but ... The Puritanical aspect is a good point, and serving the story is a better criterion.
I'd been recalling an anecdote I read long enough ago to have forgotten all the identifying details (so, last week then?) about a Renaissance(?) sculptor who finished a figure only to have everyone rave about the hands and ignore the rest of it. So he smashed the hands because they overwhelmed the whole figure.
If it had been me, I'd probably have sawn the hands off and sold them separately, but well, that's artists for you.

#79 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2005, 12:31 AM:

Evil Genius, I view that poll with alarm. I'm on it, but Beth Meacham isn't? (Also my name's misspelled, but that's nothing new.)

Zvi, Julie, you've been particled.

Tom Scudder, don't skip season 6. It must have been rough going, watched one episode a week; but a season on DVD is like a novel, and much easier to take. Also, you'll miss the musical, and you'll never sort out what happened with Willow or Tara or Spike.

Robert, Patrick says yes, he's known about it, and he was just checking it this evening.

Ray, that would be "Marry, Ageyn Hic Hev Donne Yt"? Snarf city, first time we heard it. It's weird: he makes it come out sounding complex and a bit archaic and threatening, just like any other Richard Thompson song.

Mad, I've long known about the Flame Warriors site. He's got a lot of the major types nailed. He's left out the stuffy pretentious youngish person who thinks the possession of an opinion constitutes a license to be listened to; and the probable sociopath who always skirts the edge of what's allowable while never quite going over the line; and the unexpected but inseparable allies who, when a flamewar starts, turn out to have fought on the same side in innumerable campaigns on three or four different bulletin boards; and the intelligence analyst who focuses the power of Google on the online history of the person with whom he's arguing; and the earless wonder who denounces the unfairness and hypocrisy of a board where (for reasons the e.w. can't fathom) his or her posts aren't valued as much as those by more gifted writers; and the participant who announces that she's small, cute, and stacked, then runs around loose playing "ain't I cute."

More tomorrow --

#80 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2005, 09:22 AM:

Flame warriors, heavens! I know about six of these types, personally, and that's only the ones I share my own head with.

#81 ::: Alter S. Reiss ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2005, 09:25 AM:

In regards to the Richard Thompson thing, he did an album called something like "A Thousand Years of Popular Music", and, in addition to "Marry, Ageyn Hic Hev Donne Yt", there's also a recording of "Oops, I did it again."

Also, there's a good deal of music hall.

#82 ::: Rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2005, 09:50 AM:

Nicole, Re:The bomb that blows up the "Conveniently empty building."
In addition to the many excellencies of Megas, please consider Kim Possible, to wit: the OBoyz episode. ("Wow. He really is the smart one!")

Or, at least consider the devilishly ironic premise of the series: a typical swashbuckling super spy with ditzy blonde sidekick, (often in need of rescuing,) with the expected genders swapped.

#83 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2005, 09:53 AM:

"Kill your darlings" sounds almost like my observations on style, years ago. Basically, I concluded that style -- in a drawing or cartooning sense, anyway -- was the sum total of one's imperfections and inadequacies. Any time an element of one's own style was noticed, it should be worked on, if not expunged outright. Too many artists (like Rich Corben) disappeared into their own styles and never came back out.

On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with having a tool chest of elements or shticks to draw from in realizing a performance or work of art. The question is who's to be the master, that's all. (Hmm, I guess I still believe all that, more or less. Though I no longer think photo references are cheating.)

#84 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2005, 02:42 PM:

Stupid Bogus Entrail Reading

[from something I posted in a different forum.... what, a simultaneous submission?!... it's not as if no-pay commentary necessarly has Exclusives on it...]

And now that that got everyone's attention... "Stupid Bogus Entrail Reading"
is probably MORE accurate about "the Crisis [pah...] in Social Security" than the claims about "Social Security will have to cut benefits in 2052."

But "science" and scientific analysis aren't things that the regime in DC actually bases its policies on, as opposed to Faith, Junk Science, and redactions massaging the data and information to produce the desired "support" for the conclusions.

I mean, it's the regime that required the placement of a Creationist j/o/k/e/b/o/o/k
book about the Grand Canyon which discussed the the Biblical Flood made the Grand Canyon in as a "science book" in the federal park store there....

It's the regime which sneers and deprecates global warming, it abolished collection of data that provided statistical bases used for proving systematic discrimination in hiring and promotions on gender and such, it removed information on the NIH/public health sites that particular religious sects object to on religious grounds (but which other sects do find objectionable), it rewrote a report on stem cell research to comply with regime prejudices and values that are based on particular religious views that are not universal in the country, etc.

But getting back to Stupid Bogus Entrail Reading.... projects are based on all sorts of -assumptions-, and assumptions don't tend to be all that accurate for decades forward detailed predictions of longevity, birth rates, immigration/emigration rates, death rates, productivity rates, etc. They're GUESSES, repeat GUESSES, and often, are -biased- ones.

I did market research full of five year compound annual growth rate forecasts for five or six years in the 1990s. I liked doing research and analysis, I didn't like make guessing about market share of Company A, Company B, Company C... because of Engineer's Disease, "Make an engineer unhappy, TAKE A GUESS!" I wasn't happy with the level of uncertainty and guessing that I had to do, and couldn't put in effect error bars on--that is, the precision I was required to work to was FAR greater than the accuracy. Doing the qualitative analysis, writing up why things were likely to head the way things were being orecasted, I was MUCH happier with--

That is, I actually predicted that digital still cameras and digital camcordrers would be sizable future markets for analog to digital and digital to analog converters, back in the early 1990s, based on "see Kodak's $20,000 1.3 megapixel digital SLR [or whatever else was around back then, that model was actually out a few years earlier, but the technology was a long way from the consumer models with 3.2 megapixels for under $200 of today...] and on the then highly expensive digital video camcorders.... Predicting quantitative numbers though, aargh -- volume grows furiously when end products' Average Selling Price to the end buyers drop and when end buyers see the product out and marketed and available and get the idea that this is something they "need."

But, forecasting in 1994 say that there would however many xx.x million digital cameras sold in 2004, is a matter for utter hilarity. Similarly, forecasting Social Security in red ink in 2052 or 2042 is a stupid bad joke, on the order of the Augustine's Law that "based on the current trends in growth in the costs of military combat planes, in the year 2020 there will be -one- combat plane, half the year used by the Air Force, the other six months by the Navy, and by the Marines on leap days." This was all done on a forecast showing a graph with the increasing cost per plane over time versus budget for planes, and the lines crossing in 2020.


Social Security payouts are not straight linear projections and the uncertainties far outweigh any ability to do really accurate forecasting out 40 or 50 years. There could be a pandemic wiping out half the retirees in the country, and that would make a giant difference. There could be massive immigration full of people founding high growth rate high productivity companies paying high wages. There could be major changes in birth rates, and death rates. There could be an economic collapse, or boom, or series. The Madras Fault could let loose and wipe out the middle of the country. Etc.

Treality about forecasts is that they are -forecasts- and depend on lots of assumptions that often don't match what turns out to happen... that's why economic forecasts rarely go out beyond five years, and the forecasts get iffier and iffier in those... the forecast for the fifth year out might not be in the realm of -fantasy-, but the accuracy predicting economics and trends out to that fifth year, tends to be -poor-. Forecasting Social Security out 40 or 50 years, is in the realm of drekkish fantasy... it's all based on -assumptions- and a slight variation in the assumptions can make a HUGE difference.

Bottom line, the regime's focus on Social Security with its claims makes Eye of Argon and Atlanta Nights look like well-written coherent non-fiction.

It's abominable and MALICIOUS, bad fantasy.

#85 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2005, 02:46 PM:

Paula Lieberman:

Was it Yogi Berra who said: "predictions are difficult, especially about the future?"

Of course, faith-based predictions are easier, as faith (by definition) allows for ignoring evidence or lack of evidence.

And wasn't it George W. Bush, in his first presidential campiagn, who deflected quantitative questions with the phrase "fuzzy math?"

#86 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2005, 02:48 PM:

(but which other sects do find objectionable)
should be

"but which other sects do not find objectionable)."

Sigh...

#87 ::: novalis ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2005, 02:48 PM:

Thanks for coming to Vericon, Teresa and Patrick (and Jim, whom I know reads ML, and everyone else who reads ML and was there). It was a lot of fun to meet you all, and I enjoyed listening to you on panels.

#88 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2005, 06:16 PM:

I think I saw this on The Regular first, and I thought our hostess and the host next door might be interested - Interview with a Comment Spammer

#89 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2005, 07:10 PM:

"Wonderfalls" is out on DVD!

#90 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2005, 09:51 PM:

There's an interview in The Register today with a link spammer:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/01/31/link_spamer_interview/

Evil man.

#91 ::: Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2005, 10:57 PM:
"Wonderfalls" is out on DVD!

I've been eagerly eyeing February 1 on my calendar ever since Wonderfalls first appeared in DVDPriceSearch's database a while back. Wheee!

As a distant tie-in to a larger point, I can see absolutely no chance that this would ever have happened if it weren't for theoretically illegal Bittorrent downloads.

For months after the show was killed, new episodes would trickle out onto the net, ripped from screener copies or stolen by mysterious insider gnomes, and the Bittorrent networks would go crazy for them. I'll eat something edible but vaguely unpleasant if someone didn't take a very good look at those internet traffic figures when trying to decide about releasing it on DVD.

This is not without precedent: It is an open secret that American distributors of Japanese anime and manga titles carefully track the popularity of fan-translated versions of Japanese originals which aren't otherwise available in America when making decisions about which properties to license for stateside distribution. Theoretically illegal fan-translated versions of Naruto, for instance, were hugely popular before it was licensed (they're still hugely popular, but, well, that's another story). Fruits Basket, I think, is another title which never would have been licensed for America if the internet underground hadn't demonstrated its appeal.

I've often wondered about how the Japanese companies feel about their American counterparts' carefully averted official gazes, especially given that those Japanese companies are much more likely to be huge media conglomerates like Sony.

#92 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2005, 08:56 AM:

It is apocryphically said of Eisenhower, when planning the Normandy landings, that he asked his meteorologists to provide him with detailed weather forecasts five days in advance. They quite reasonably objected that the state of the art did not admit of an accuracy that differed noticeably from chance (within the physically possible) so far ahead. The General was said to have replied that it didn't matter, but he had to have something to go on.

A substitution of the names and purposes in the above, germane to the discussion, is left to the audience.

#93 ::: Rodney Mehendra ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2005, 10:19 AM:

Taking advantage of the open thread...

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/ap/20050201/ap_on_re_mi_ea/israel_palestinians

"Israel is going to slow its planned pullout from five West Bank towns after a day of violence strained an informal cease-fire, and it will stop the process altogether if Palestinians don't halt all attacks"

Is it just me, or is this a recipe for permanent war?

The palestinians attack jewish settlements because they're pushing into what was supposed to be palestinian land. The isreali's won't pull out until the palestinians stop all attacks on their illegal settlements.

I know we're not supposed to be here, and we took your land from you, but its OK for us to stay here as long as you attack us.


#94 ::: Alice Keezer ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2005, 12:37 PM:

Ray:

As I understand it, most tolerate it. There is one company who is looking into the potential of suing US bittorrent distributors, but that hasn't gotten anywhere. Yes, it's covered in international copyright, but it's difficult to prosecute when the person isn't making any money off it.

So far, the most newsworthy clash of fansubbers vs. faceless corporations came with the Ninja Scroll TV series, which was being funded by a US company due to its popularity here (not so much in Japan, apparently). When they were about to release the first DVD (already having owned the rights to do so since it was in pre-production), they asked the fansubbers politely if they would please stop distributing this title. Most fansubbers responded that of course they would. One company thumbed their collective nose, responding that licensed anime was so expensive, they had a right to distribute it for free.

I never did find out what happened to that group . . .

#95 ::: Alice Keezer ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2005, 03:56 PM:

Hey, speaking of which:

http://news.com.com/Anxious+times+in+the+cartoon+underground/2100-1026_3-5557177.html?tag=st.num

The article has an annoying habit of referring to anime as 'cartoons,' or worse, the redundant, 'anime cartoons,' but it has a lot more in-depth information than my above ramble.

For those who wanted to know . . .

#96 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2005, 04:06 PM:

If you liked KeyKatcher (from Particles) you'll love RealTime Spy.

#97 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2005, 04:27 PM:

Someone just walked into my office and explained that this story, about an American soldier captured by Iraqi bad guys, may be explained by this.

#98 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2005, 04:30 PM:

See, I knew you'd appreciate that article.

#99 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2005, 04:54 PM:

The high-school sex map one is interesting, but they don't address the incredibly obvious flaw: lying. The article doesn't say anything (that I could find) about what makes them think the reported sexual habits of these kids are ANYTHING like their actual behavior.

Identifying your partners by NAME?!?!? Good grief, that would get you killed in a lot of places.

I noticed also that there were only two same-sex hookups on the map page: one blue-blue and one pink-pink. Now I don't know whether to be surprised that any were reported (see above) or, if I believe they used nipple and scrotum electrodes to make sure the kids were telling the truth, amazed that there weren't more.

My general take: it's a hoax.

#100 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2005, 05:56 PM:

Xopher, I'm not sure I'd agree that it's a deliberate hoax—if that's what you're saying here, and I'm not sure that you are—but I do agree with you that the question of whether or not the researchers got the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is, um, questionable.

And in my case, too, the big red flag is the conspicuous absence of same-sex activity. I really don't buy the assertion that there were only two same-sex pairings over the eighteen months, regardless of where these kids go to school.

#101 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2005, 06:26 PM:

Xopher, I looked up the original paper when I saw the link on Boing Boing. If it is a hoax, they've taken the journal in too, and it would be on the order of the Great Sokal Scam. That would be cool.

When I sent the link to my father, he pointed out the lack of same-sex couples (couplings?) as well. I sent him this reply, based on extracts from the paper:

This might have something to do with it (emphasis mine):

Jefferson High is an almost all-white high school of roughly 1,000 students located in a midsized midwestern town. Jefferson is the only public high school in the town. The town, "Jefferson City," is over an hour's drive from the nearest large city.

According to the paper (conveniently accessible via the Penn library website), there are almost no self-declared gays or lesbians in the high school:

While homophily is strong, the preference for similarity does not extend to all characteristics, most obviously sex and age. Almost every single reported romantic relationship at Jefferson is a cross-sex relationship, and as is true in most high schools, girls at Jefferson tend to be involved with older boys. Ninth grade girls tend to be in relationships with ninth and tenth grade boys, tenth grade girls with boys in the tenth and eleventh grades, and so on. Among all partnerships involving Jefferson students, we observe a mean grade difference of .9, less than expected if relationships were formed independent of age (mean difference = 1.23 in the randomly assigned pairs), but evidence of a female preference for older boys (or male preference for younger girls).

Obviously that constitutes a criticism of their data set. (Or you could just take their results to apply primarily to midsized midwest towns.)

#102 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2005, 07:28 PM:

Three pairings. There's a second M-M in the big circle.

But yes, I did wonder that they seemed to be taking the students' word for it all around.

Unfortunately, the by-name would be necessary to get the data in the first place, or you could never make the connections. I presumed some obvious level of concealment regardless - that every student told the researchers whatever they told in terms of deep confidentiality.

Since the point is partly to consider things like the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, even partly accurate information that shows a link-up that big is significant, especially since the most likely way anyone will lie is by omitting partners.

#103 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2005, 08:27 PM:

Robot hip-hop office worker existential anxiety - Scent of a Robot.

#104 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2005, 09:09 PM:

Beautiful amazing works of paint on glass here:

http://www.carolcohen.com/pages/coglass1.html

#105 ::: Kate Yule ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2005, 09:10 PM:

re. presence or absence of specific worthies in the Readers Poll book editor category-- last year at the Hugos, Ginjer Buchanan bemoaned the way that book editors get no respect when it comes to rocketships for Best Professional Editor. Well yeah, but that's because the magazine editors have their names on their work. I know Tor identifies the editor at least sometimes -- do other publishers?

#106 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2005, 09:39 PM:

Look at what fraudulent malicious piece of shit showed up in my email... antivirus software nuked the rid of the malicious worm or virus payload. Note the identity fraud with the malicemail having a faked sender....

===========================================

X-Symantec-TimeoutProtection: 0
X-Symantec-TimeoutProtection: 1
Received: from mx08.gis.net ([208.218.130.52]) by mail.gis.net; Tue, 01 Feb 2005 16:15:48 -0500
Received: from your-marvm4jnjy ([172.216.15.183]) by mx08.gis.net; Tue, 01 Feb 2005 16:14:55 -0500
Message-ID:
From:
To:
Subject: I'm nude
Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2005 21:15:21 +0000
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="jy>"
X-Rcpt-To:
X-Spam-Checker-Version: SpamAssassin 2.63 (2004-01-11) on spamassassin.gis.net
X-Spam-Status: No, hits=0.3 required=5.0 tests=NO_REAL_NAME autolearn=no
version=2.63
X-Spam-Level:
Return-Path:
X-DPOP: Version number supressed
X-UIDL: 1107311310.138545
Status: U

--jy>
Content-Type: text/plain

--jy>--

#107 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2005, 09:50 PM:

Oh, the From: line had pnh [at] panix.... and the To: address was my email address. The probability of it being real email from Patrick being NFW, I figured posting the headers here would do be the most sensible thing for me to do, given attitudes, connections, and abilities of various of the people here.... Fraud, identity theft, forgery, malicious code in email....

#108 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2005, 10:21 PM:

fyi, the new No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency book is out.

#109 ::: Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2005, 10:28 PM:

More likely than fraud or identity theft per se is that someone who has both you and Patrick in their e-mail address book has gotten hit by an e-mail virus. Much like I used to regularly get virus payloads sent to me via e-mail which claimed they were from Terry Karney.

The virus payload grabs one address at random from the address book, and uses it as the "From:" field.

The reasons why this is a good idea from the viral POV tie right into the same Social Network theory that researchers are trying to address in their studies of "Jefferson High School," of course. :-)

#110 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2005, 10:36 PM:

There's still fraud and identity theft involved, though, on the part of the person who wrote the virus and infected other people's equipment with it. That's fraud and malice intentional on thee part of that perpetrator, the intentional originator was deliberately sending out a tool committing/designed to falsify identity and spread maliciously.

#111 ::: Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2005, 10:52 PM:
So far, the most newsworthy clash of fansubbers vs. faceless corporations came with the Ninja Scroll TV series, which was being funded by a US company due to its popularity here (not so much in Japan, apparently). When they were about to release the first DVD (already having owned the rights to do so since it was in pre-production), they asked the fansubbers politely if they would please stop distributing this title. Most fansubbers responded that of course they would. One company thumbed their collective nose, responding that licensed anime was so expensive, they had a right to distribute it for free.

Yeah, the general social norm which has evolved is that once the title is licensed, the licensor lets the fan community know, and asks them to stop the fansub distribution; and once the licensed product is actually available, they ask again. :-)

At that point, the fansubbed episodes do tend to fade away; and if they don't vanish entirely, they do at least become a lot harder to find. As long as the licensor can at least pretend not to notice it, they seem to be okay with it; but obviously, there are times when it becomes impossible to ignore, and that's when the lawyers parachute in.

The other factors involved seem to be how large the backlog of original fansubbed material is, and how fast the new material is reaching the market. The fansubbed Narutos that are out there right now, for instance, are years ahead of any possible legitimate American release, which may be why no one seems to be getting bothered about them.

It's an interesting balance that is being struck here, and it's not hard to see how it could be seriously upset at any moment; for the time being, however, it's an arrangement which does a pretty good job at maximizing both product availability for fans and profit for licensors (and hence, by extension, for licensees). I'd like to see it survive.

Lord knows the economy of Japan has gotten a lot more money out of my pocket then it would have had Bittorrent not existed. And if any American publisher would see fit to license Anne Freaks or Death Note, they'd get a little more.

#112 ::: Bill Blum ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2005, 11:07 PM:


Recent incarnations of malware will snarf email addresses from ANYTHING they can find on your system-- address books, browser cache, etc.

#113 ::: Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2005, 12:51 AM:

And, wouldn't you know it, just on the heels of this discussion, comes an entry on Slashdot pointing to a CNet article about just such a legal threat from a Japanese studio, Media Factory.

Looking at the list of offending titles, and the larger list of titles the company produces, I don't see much of a pattern. Two or three of the titles, such as School Rumble, are popular online as fansubs and not yet otherwise available in English; RahXephon, on the other hand, has its own shelf at your local Best Buy. And then there's Genshiken, which has managed to fly completely under my radar, at least, despite the fact that Del Rey has evidently licensed the manga it is based on, with the first volume scheduled in April (but of course Media Factory has no connection to the manga; that's Kodansha's business).

Like I said, I hope that other studios and publishers in Japan do not follow suit.

#114 ::: Rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2005, 08:24 AM:

Re: The Structure of Romantic and Sexual Relations in High School (or the nifty chart)

It took me a few minutes to work out what you were talking about. (Apparently I have not been following the preceeding threads here closely enough.) I took the liberty of tracking down the original citation for the curious:

http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/chainspix.htm
Cited in: http://www.boingboing.net/2005/01/28/romantic_and_sex_rel.html

I'll point out that while it is impossible to rule out a hoax, the research required to produce such a chart is not impossibly difficult. People, even (especially?) high school students like to talk about themselves. Reading the article, proper, one discovers that this is an analysis of data collected in 1995 as part of a larger survey.

Note that 63 pairs were "traditional" dyads, precisely the kind of thing that teenagers would be willing to report. ("Do you have a girlfriend? No, but I used to.) The low numbers of same-sex coulples isn't terribly surprising either; the incidence of homosexuality in the general population is about 3%, but being homosexual is not the same as being able to find a partner, any more than being heterosexual. (Note the large number of respondents who did not claim a relationship!) It would also be reasonable to assume that given this and a reluctance to admit to deviant (in that society's context) behavior.

Oh, did I use that semicolon correctly? I was told in grade school that people weren't going to be useing them anymore by the time the 90's came around.

#115 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2005, 11:43 AM:

An astonishing picture of Escher done in Legos.

#116 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2005, 12:16 PM:

Re: The Structure of Romantic and Sexual Relations in High School

I go to conferences in this field, such as Carnegie Mellon University's "North American Association for Computation in the Social and Organizational Sciences."

I've said a lifetime's quota about this, on ML, as it deals with Asimov Number (not Romantic, but who coauthored who whom who coauthered with Asimov).

Here's my grain of salt about the Particle:

The Social Networks as charted in publications are limited by:

(1) The methodology for obtaining the data. Example: one Professor of Mathematical Sociology bemoaned to me over drinks that she keeps getting grad students who assume that "A Likes B" is the same as "B likes A." The issues of avoiding lies from experimental subjects by proper questionnaire design.

(2) The mathematical assumptions and implementing software is used to database and process. Competing vendors sell Social Network software to Furtune 500 companies and Homeland Security, as well as academics, and the adherent of each grind their axes at conferences.

(3) The human interpretation of the structure as found by software. No known software has produced Shakespeare's analysis of Noncommutativity and the Tragic consequences of "A Loves B" not being the same as "B loves A."


#117 ::: HP ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2005, 12:31 PM:

Bill Higgins, Beam Jockey, re. the Stockholm Syndrome Playset: I especially enjoyed the blogger in your second link attempting to spin this as "we've got the terrorists on the run!" I saw it more as an attempt to sow disinformation and humiliation all in one go, but then I'm a glass-half-empty kind of guy. (How dumb do the Iraqis think we are? Funny you should ask....)

It does give me a warm-and-fuzzy feeling when I reflect that, whether we're Christian, Muslim, or Jew, English-speaking or Arabic-speaking, we all sound the same when we put on a butch voice and try hard not to giggle.

#118 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2005, 12:43 PM:

Glee!

Because apparently learning that MC Chris will be performing in the area this weekend wasn't confirmation enough that it's a good time to be a geek in Dallas, I just discovered that TNH and PNH will be GOH along with SKZB at a con 10 minutes from my house! I will so be trying to be there.

Any ideas what sort of panels may occur, or is this not going to be quite so organized of a con for all that?

#119 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2005, 04:08 PM:

[homer simpson mode]
Hm.... Escher Legos...
[end mode]

#120 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2005, 04:30 PM:

Rhandir, you used the semicolon correctly.

Where are you getting that 3% figure? I would contend that it's virtually impossible to get accurate figures in society as a whole, given the strong environment of homophobia we live in. Frex, remember the "study" that claimed we were only 1%? They did that by going to people's homes and asking them. Imagine: "Hi, I'm conducting a study. Are you Thomas J. Jones? And this is 4711 Koeln Street? And are you homosexual?" It's astonishing they got a figure as high as 1% with that methodology.

In addition, there is far more homosexual behavior in highschools than there is homosexual identification. In fact, if my own highschool experience is anything to go by, there are plenty of guys who do what any reasonable adult would call "having homosexual sex" with a known "faggot," but never acknowledge homosexuality themselves, possibly lifelong.

And yes, people, especially highschool students, love to talk about themselves. They don't, however, tell the truth. What did the researchers do when a boy says he had sex with a certain girl, and she says she didn't? IME boys tend to inflate their number of sexual partners, even naming specific girls, and girls tend to deflate theirs. I don't think promising to wait 10 years before releasing the data would do much to change this; they're lying to themselves as much as to the researcher.

Also, teenagers tend to have a very distorted view (from an adult-outside-a-courtroom POV) of what consitutes sex. Is fellatio sex? I'd say yes. A typical teenage boy would say yes if he was fellated by a girl (and a typical teenage girl would disagree), and no if by a boy. And he would claim the other boy WAS having sex.

I should read this and see if any of these issues are addressed. Don't have time now. Forgive me if they are.

#121 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2005, 04:48 PM:

Lenora Rose: You're correct about the second M-M pairing. Boy that was hard to spot.

Notice that that one is between two boys who each had THREE female connections (no overlap, either). Unlike the other, where one boy had no other connections at all.

Makes me want to know the story. Or write it. :-)

#122 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2005, 05:30 PM:

Fearmonger, liar, rules over the land
Destroying the earth and the seas.
Fearmonger, liar, sees Rapture at hand,
To end all world's ill and disease.

He has Faith as absolute, Jesus so stern
John Knox himself he'd think evil to burn,
Riches he sees as proof of piety
And friends or enemies monochrome.

Fearmonger liar, goes into Just War,
Or so he tells us is true
Fearmonger liar has values so core
Those who dispute he calls whore.

Read? He won't look at a paper or screen,
Which shows anything that he wants left unseen
He shuts off all input disputing his view,
And smears them as speaking untrue.

Feamonger liar, destroyer of worlds,
Dismantl'ing supports for the poor,
Fearmonger liar cuts funding for food,
He'd much rather waste it on war.

Charity? Give funds to Faith-based in caves,
Who never hire Jews and treat women as slaves,
He's shackled all freedom imposed bigotry
And dismantled all checks and redress.


Fearmonger, liar, he changes his words,
And uses them all for attack,
Fearmonger, Liar, the bully hurls turds,
All who dispute him get sacked.

"There's freedom in Baghdad!" he claims, it's his spoke,
Then louder claims Social Security's broke,
It's his way of changing the focus and theme,
Claim vict'ry declaring he wins.

Fearmonger, liar one can't pin him down
The Noise Machine gives him support,
Fearmonger, liar, the Big Lies in town,
His bigots are packed on the courts,

He sees himself leading the Legions of Good,
He sees himself warlord he thinks that he should,
His hubris is boundless he's murd'ring the world
Will any of us still survive?

#123 ::: Rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2005, 09:02 PM:

Thanks; Xopher
You asked: "Where are you getting that 3% figure?"
Sadly I do not have a solid source. There have been a number of (flawed) studies, but 3% is considered to be the "common wisdom" according to people who (I have reason to believe) understand the primary literature pretty well.

Of course it's problematic, since whenever you do science, you are using an operational definition. Sometimes you define homosexuality as any consensual same-sex sexual activity, sometimes you define it as that plus a claimed homosexual identity. As a scientist, you might not even use the term "homosexual" except in the abstract, or in the department press release, (the link in question is such a release).

People bandy about figures like 3% to 5% for male homosexuals and 1% to 3% for female homosexuals. Even if the real number is not known, it should be possible to tell that there is a statistically significant difference between the populations. It should be possible to estimate the magnitude of difference between hetero- and homo- groups; stats really is quite a useful tool for that. I'll also point out that 3% is a really, really big population. (Approximately 8,790,827.13)

In the interests of full disclosure, I am heterosexual.

#124 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2005, 10:20 PM:

Peeve:

Why can't phishing scammers spell-check?

Case in point: "Dear Washington Mutual costomer,"

Sheesh! Can't they preserve the illusion of a problem with my account for even ONE LINE? I mean, respect me enough to make a fair effort, you know?

#125 ::: James J Murray ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2005, 10:28 PM:

Having seen much the same numbers bandied about in a somewhat different context, perhaps an enterprising grad student could get a thesis out of attempting to determine the percentage of gay/lesbian Mac users in the population?

#126 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 01:18 AM:

For the purposes of the military academies in the USA, apparently, "experimentation" once or twice in high school didn't count as "homosexuality," it was "experimentation," or was back in the 1970s or at least that was what someone who'd said he'd tried it and was in the military told me....

#127 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 03:40 AM:

Observation from that pot-smoking pinko liberal Edward Luttwak:

"However moderate he may be, the pronouncements attributed to Sistani reveal a confusion between democracy and the dictatorial rule of the majority, for they imply that whoever wins 50.01 percent of the vote should have all of the governing power. That much became clear when Sistani's spokesmen vehemently rejected Kurdish demands for constitutional guarantees of minority rights. Shiite majority rule could thus end up being as undemocratic as the traditional Sunni-Arab ascendancy was."

-- "Iraq: The Logic of Disengagement," Foreign Affairs, Jan-Feb 2005, pp. 29-30

Does this sound, oh, I dunno, familiar? I know what's missing: the word "mandate."

The entire article (and, indeed, the issue) is worth reading; when someone like Luttwak says that it is time to get the hell out of Dodge, and offers a serious plan as to how to go about it, it deserves a look by anyone not excused from responsibility by holding a Cabinet post.

The problem with Luttwak's plan (which, it should be noted, is for a withdrawal, not abrupt abandonment) is that it depends heavily on solid diplomacy -- telling all the other players in the region that an anarchic Iraq is not to their advantage, no matter how much hay they have been making from it in the short term, and offering something other than infantile bullying in exchange for their assistance and cooperation.

This is a large problem when your diplomatic corps all trained at the Rufus T. Firefly School of International Relations.

(Was that me? That didn't sound like me, except maybe for the last graf.)

#128 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 01:09 PM:

Teresa:

Great thanks to you for linking to the particle "Mathworld: When bad publishers happen to good websites."

Eric W. Weisstein is a hero to me, above and beyond his being a co-author, co-alumnus from Caltech, creator of the greatest Math encyclopedia of all time, and astonishing Ghod of MathWorld, PhysicsWorld, and AstronomyWorld, all of which are unbelievably great web domains.

I know of no equivalently kafkaesque example of a book publisher who Just Doesn't Get It, and a cadre of lawyers who Just Don't Care so long as they are billing hourly.

Thank you for pointing to him objectively, as my prior attempts to do so on Making Light were so obviously subjective and self-axe-grinding.

#129 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 01:45 PM:

> telling all the other players in the region
> that an anarchic Iraq is not to their
> advantage, no matter how much hay they have
> been making from it in the short term

Isn't this a "tragedy of teh commons" scenario
where Iraq is the Commons?

#130 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 01:55 PM:

OK, finally looked at the 'sexual relationship' chart. is it me, or does anyone else think it exceedingly ODD that they entire network topology can be laid FLAT?

There is one circular network.
The rest of it is all flat trees and forks.

completely random players would have created a three dimensional ball of twangled-up yarn.

The chart shows a completely flat network either because

(1) the data is totally wrong (i.e. the interconnects that would make it 3-d are too embarassing for the individuals to reveal, and so the primadonna fails to mention her affair with the audio-video geek)

(2) there is some really, REALLY weird psychology in the subconscious that would make it work out flat for an entire community. Wonder if there is some darwinistic advantage to a flat topology... Keeps jealousy to a minimum, perhaps?

#131 ::: Rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 02:00 PM:

James J Murray, thank you for that! I literally laughed out loud! (When I finally made the connection...it was like hitting a switch.)

In the interests of full disclosure, I do intend to move to Iceland.

#132 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 02:02 PM:

This is driving me nuts. I've been trying to think of a word to describe something, came up with the perfect word, and then was foolish enough to think I could write it down when I got home. Of course I forgot it by the time I got home.

Anyway, I'm looking for some brainstorming, free association, what not, from people ot see if I can work my way back to the word again. So, I'm looking for words, vocabulary, etc, that would describe the non-zero-sumedness of ideas (in contrast with the zero-sum-gamedness of a physical object).

must be "neutral"
must define positively (i.e. without negatives)
cannot use "not" or "un" or "dis", etc.

for some reason, the only word that comes to mind now is "insubstantial", which fails every test.

Anyway, the term would epitomize how you can transmit an idea without losing the idea yourself.

any ideas?


#133 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 02:19 PM:

Greg London:

The first word you seek for "completely flat network" is:

Eric W. Weisstein, Planar Graph. From MathWorld--A Wolfram Web Resource.
"A graph is planar if it can be drawn in a plane without graph edges crossing..."

The second word you seek is:
"ideosynergy."

However, I just invented it.

Or maybe: "inforeproducible."

Or perhaps: "conceptocopyable."

Or "Cornucopiate" (of the masses...).

#134 ::: Eric Sadoyama ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 03:33 PM:

Greg, the planar nature of the network may be related to the fact that most of the individuals represented have only one or two connections, because they're young and haven't gotten around that much yet. Give 'em ten more years of dating, and the topology will probably get more complicated.

#135 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 03:35 PM:

Skwid, we have no idea what to expect at ConDFW, except that I believe Steve and I will make some music.

#136 ::: Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 03:41 PM:

If I recall correctly from other articles I have read about that study, the researchers themselves were astonished that the graph was planar, because the typical social network graphs that they expected it to resemble aren't. They noticed one rule that explains most of it was that a girl would not date her ex-boyfriend's girlfriend's ex-boyfriend.

In other words, say you have two boy-girl pairings, {B1, G1} and {B2, G2}. Now break them up, and have B1 date G2; G1 will not date B2.

That alone will tend to spread out the graphs a lot.

#137 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 04:04 PM:

When the sous-chef is an inkjet

...He also plans to buy a class IV laser to create dishes that are "impossible through conventional means." (A class IV laser, the highest grade under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's classification system, projects high-powered beams and is typically used for surgery or welding.)

Mr. Cantu said he might use the laser to burn a hole through a piece of sashimi tuna, cooking the fish thoroughly inside but leaving its exterior raw. He said he would also use the laser to create "inside out" bread, where the crust is baked inside the loaf and the doughy part is the outer surface. "We'll be the first restaurant on planet Earth to use a class IV laser to cook food," he said with a grin.

He is testing a hand-held ion-particle gun, which he said is for levitating food. So far he has zapped only salt and sugar, but envisions one day making whole meals float before awestruck diners...

#138 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 04:17 PM:

NASA ANNOUNCES PLANS TO EXPLORE LANGDON SPACE
For Immediate Release As Soon As We Find Some Money

As part of its "Mission Earth" program to do things that might, you know, be comprehensible to the average American (see "Manned Mars Program to Incorporate 'Survivor' Elements" above), the agency today announced its "Mission to Langdon Space," in which teams of EVA-suited scientists would be "inserted" into multiply-connected Occupational Use Terrains (MachOUT universes) with the intention of discovering who is, in physical-science terms, getting any, with whom, and in what combinations.

The first question that came to reporter's minds should be obvious. The second question was, "What if everybody just, like, fibs?" Mission Specialist Victor von Kinsey (winner of this year's Nash Trophy for Interesting Paramathematical Behavior) replied, "We naturally expect respondents to fall back on constructions such as 'It depends on what you mean by "whoopee" and 'Nudge nudge say no more.' The purpose of this project is to collect interesting data from which results suitable for premium-cable distribution can be redacted. Everything else is error bars."

Asked what the practical application of this effort might be, Dr. Kinsey said, "Global warming," and ran off singing "Du, du, bist eine kleine Teekanne."

#139 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 04:33 PM:

Eric,

Sorry, I don't know the name of this game, so I'll have to describe it. take a sheet of paper. On the left, draw 3 points in a vertical line. label them "electrical", "gas", and "phone". On the right side of teh paper, draw 3 points in a vertical line. Label them "Alice", "Bob", and "Charlie".

You're the city planner and you have to get electrical, gas, and phone to alice, bob, and charlie. But safety requirements for the city prevent any lines from crossing. Electrical could spark a gas line or would cause too much noise on phone line. Phone lines could spark a gas fire as well.

It is an insolvable situation, because it requires a non-planar network.

6 individuals with 3 interconnects each.

That's all it takes.

And this high school with all the star-nodes and all the individuals didn't find ONE non-planar network. With all the students involved, even if it were only two interconnects per student, it would have been a rat's nest if the pairings were "random".

Cliques might result in several smaller rat's nests, possibly connected by a few nodes.

But there are NO rats nests.

none.

the data is suspect, or there is some psychology affecting the players to behave in far less random ways than one might initially guess

#140 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 04:38 PM:

Ray,

yeah, that must be at least some of what's going on here. But it's interesting that "girl would not date her ex-boyfriend's girlfriend's ex-boyfriend" is so strong that its not just taboo, its hardwiring.

I wonder how many (if any) girls broke that rule in reality, but witheld the information during the interviews...

very odd.

#141 ::: Mike Bakula ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 05:01 PM:

A political conservative with a military history bent, discussing the idea of W's administration being facist. His technical definition of the word doesn't match my understanding, but I found it interesting nonetheless.


Duce?  Not To Us by William S. Lind

#142 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 05:11 PM:

Correction: NASA announces that, owing to a confusion over the metric value of "up," an orbital apostrophe failed its primary insertion mode in the document above and made a suboptimal touchdown.

The agency does not regret the error, just that it was so darn obvious.

#143 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 05:11 PM:

Not to mention that big ring with no lines going across it. I'm sorry, but my hoax detector is still going off (the damn reset button is stuck again, too).

#144 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 05:14 PM:

Oh, and: anybody have a theory as to why some of the smaller constructions are drawn curved? Or what the difference is between B-G-B in a straight line (npi) and arranged in a triangle? (No, they don't have both, but why the particular arrangement choices? Just an artist trying to make them look nice? Or is there some meaning here that I'm missing?)

#145 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 05:54 PM:

John M. Ford: "Orbital Rendezvous"

#146 ::: Chad Orzel ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 06:41 PM:

Not to mention that big ring with no lines going across it. I'm sorry, but my hoax detector is still going off (the damn reset button is stuck again, too).

I think the problem here is that the way they've drawn the graph creates a false impression of closeness. You look at it, and you think that all the people in the ring must hang out together, but there's no reason why they even have to know each other.

If I had to try to interpret that, I'd say that the big "ring" structure probably represents a minimum of four different social groups, with four or five individuals who have dated between groups. Thinking back to my high school, it's not hard to see how to construct that sort of structure.

What would be really interesting (but damn near impossible to obtain) would be temporal information. Does the "ring" start with one of the people in the big loop, or does it start with someone off on a branch?

#147 ::: Aquila ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 06:43 PM:

There's a copy of the original academic article available for free.

http://www.sociology.ohio-state.edu/jwm/chains.pdf

#148 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 07:28 PM:

I was just reading a Publish America thread on WritersWeekly.com (while sobbing and pounding my head on the desk, naturally), when I noticed one of the posters there coming up with the perfect analogy:

(paraphrasing from memory)
[Yes - Publish America gives unknown writers a chance to be published, just as the porn industry gives young women a chance to get into the film industry.]

Oh my.

#149 ::: Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 08:18 PM:

I think that's almost an insult to the porn industry. I'd be tempted to narrow it further, by comparing it to Girls Gone Wild videos instead.

#150 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 08:21 PM:

Ray Radlein wrote:

> I think that's almost an insult to the porn industry. I'd be tempted to narrow it further, by comparing it to Girls Gone Wild videos instead.

Good point. And even more tragic - you can't sink much lower than a false promise to break into the porn industry.

#151 ::: Eric Sadoyama ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 08:21 PM:

Upon closer reading of the article, I realize that the study only accounted for relationships within the previous six months. So much for my idea that these kids' relative inexperience was a factor. There are a few kids in the network who have five or six relationship links in that six-month period. One boy has nine! Yipes!

#152 ::: Chad Orzel ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 08:35 PM:

Upon closer reading of the article, I realize that the study only accounted for relationships within the previous six months. So much for my idea that these kids' relative inexperience was a factor. There are a few kids in the network who have five or six relationship links in that six-month period. One boy has nine! Yipes!

I wouldn't put too much weight on that. Unless they interviewed the students regularly over those six months, I bet there's a lot of slop in that window. I'm constantly thinking that things that happened two or three months ago were just last week, and I doubt any of the students really thought all that carefully about the timing.

Also, the summary article at least always says that the links are "romantic and sexual relationships," so the graph doesn't necessarily mean that the one guy had sex with nine partners in six months. "Romantic" relationships at that age are sometimes pretty fleeting, and I could easily believe that some of my classmates were "going out" with nine different people during the course of one school year, way back in the 80's.

#153 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 11:11 PM:

> relationship links in that six-month period.
> One boy has nine!

lucky stiff

(ducking)

#154 ::: Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2005, 11:28 PM:
I wouldn't put too much weight on that. Unless they interviewed the students regularly over those six months, I bet there's a lot of slop in that window. I'm constantly thinking that things that happened two or three months ago were just last week, and I doubt any of the students really thought all that carefully about the timing.

But your life is probably a lot less structured than that of a high school student. For instance, if you ask them six months into a school year, it seems almost certain that they won't have doubts about whether things happened in that time period or not.

#155 ::: Mark D. ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2005, 12:28 AM:

Greg L. - lucky? Walking down the locker row every day must have been a nightmare for him!

#156 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2005, 12:34 AM:

Mike Bakula - Lind lost me in the second non-quoted paragraph. Lind: the greatest threat to freedom in America is the left’s ideology of cultural Marxism. Cultural Marxism? Give me a break.

julia - re: Laser Chef, I wonder if Cantu will be giving Laser Floyd shows between courses. As far as the ink-jet sushi goes, I'll take a pass.

#157 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2005, 12:51 AM:

Nobody gets off the Chart alive, and even death won't release you.

#158 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2005, 10:16 AM:

I'm with you on the printed sushi, Larry. For the prices the Times article quoted, there better be genuine dead animal in my food...and a precious metal souvenir plate, or something. Damn.

#161 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2005, 11:00 AM:

Ayn Rand's Cookbook Marginalia really is a parody, but honest to God, I had to read a fair amount of it to be sure.

My favorite observation of Ayn Rand's 100th birthday was from Incoming Signals: "Today would have been Ayn Rand's 100th birthday. In celebration, I'm going to bake a cake and then not share it with anybody."

#162 ::: Mike Bakula ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2005, 11:21 AM:

Larry Brennan - "Lind lost me in the second non-quoted paragraph. Lind: the greatest threat to freedom in America is the left’s ideology of cultural Marxism. Cultural Marxism? Give me a break."

Yes, it's too bad he put that in, but it's not central to his argument. (Honestly, I read right past it the first time, since it seemed prologue to this point anyway.) The concept of abstract nationalism, and the imperialism that it suggests is what I thought was interesting about the piece -- that, and the differentatiation Lind makes between conservatism and his view of W's ideology. Just because one is not a conservative, doesn't mean that one might not have points of agreement with conservatives.

As abstract nationalism and imperialism goes, is it too far a reach to see some parallels in the current situation with the Japanese Empire of the late 30's?

#163 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2005, 11:56 AM:

Mike Bakula:

"In a progressive country change is constant; and the great question is not whether you should resist change which is inevitable, but whether that change should be carried out in deference to the manners, the customs, the laws and the traditions of a people, or whether it should be carried out in deference to abstract principles, and arbitrary and general doctrines."
-- Disraeli

#164 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2005, 01:16 PM:

I finally found a source where you can order those Hieronymous Bosch action figures - Arcana Arcana in the UK.

#165 ::: Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2005, 05:35 PM:

Oooooh, and they even have the Salvador Dali figures from that same collection. For a moment, I thought that they were even selling "geopolitical child" watches, until I realized my parsing error. Still, it would be fun if it were true; it's about time [ed. note: Ha ha] someone made some non-melty Dali watches.

I rather like their PTerry's Luggage figurine, too.

#166 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2005, 11:05 PM:

Rob Schneider commits career suicide by taking out a snooty full page ad in Variety, attacking a reporter who disliked "Deuce Bigalow"

http://www.defamer.com/hollywood/gossip/rob-schneider/by-request-rob-schneiders-attack-ad-032113.php

or

http://tinyurl.com/5cfto

in case that url gets folded.

#167 ::: Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2005, 05:19 AM:
Rob Schneider commits career suicide[....]

This phrase contains a hidden assumption which I am not sure I agree with.

#168 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2005, 05:36 AM:

I had no idea that Disraeli agreed with me so completely. I must email him with my congratulations. Anyone got his eddress?

#169 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2005, 06:25 AM:

Ray Radlein writes:

>> Rob Schneider commits career suicide[....]

> This phrase contains a hidden assumption which I am
> not sure I agree with.

Well... yes. Perhaps I spoke carelessly.

#170 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2005, 07:34 AM:

"Romantic relationships" don't necessarily mean a sexual relationship. I've been "in love" with three women in my life, and only ever ended up having sex with one of them. (Fortunately, the one I married. Works a lot better that way, for some reason.)

(No denigration intended towards women I had casual or "friendly" sex with. There were some it's nice to think might have become deeper relationships if circumstances had permitted....)

The high-school chart seems like a starting point, but a LOT more detail and fine-tuning would be needed for an accurate picture of relationships there. There are no shades of grey in the chart.

#171 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2005, 07:53 AM:

Old book alert:

I am trying to remember the name of a children's/YA book. Unfortunately, my memory of the details are truly sketchy. It begins with the protagonist (female) going to visit her cousin (male) and aunt. The aunt is, I believe, a witch and has disappeared. Kids go off on a quest to find her and at some point someone (the cousin, I think) gets turned into a mouse.

Like I said, my memory is really sketchy. I may not have read it since I was about 10.

#172 ::: Connie H. ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2005, 09:10 AM:

I remember that Roald Dahl's THE WITCHES has a cousin-turned-into-a-mouse, but the aunt is not a witch, IIRC. It was adapted into an excellent movie by the Henson production company that really should be better known.

#173 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2005, 01:27 PM:

It wasn't a Dahl story, that I know.

#174 ::: James J. Murray ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2005, 03:09 PM:

Rhandir, no problem. The Iceland link was equally as entertaining for me, and I've been there for over 10 years now.

All y'all'll find this piece by Mark Morford amusing or infuriating, depending on your persuasion.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2005/02/04/notes020405.DTL&nl=fix

#175 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2005, 04:03 PM:

Jill, the closest I have to that is DWJ's Aunt Maria (published 1991, which would be old to *you*). I'll type in the backcover blurb in case it helps:

Mig loves happy endings. But can there be any in Cranbury-on-Sea? Mig's family is staying with old Aunt Maria in this seaside village, which they've quickly realized isn't as peaceful as it seems

The men are gray-suited zombies; the children are orphans who act like well-behaved clones; and the women nervously flock around Aunt Maria's tea parties to do her bidding. She looks like a sweet little old lady, but she's as deadly as poison.

Then she turns Mig's brother Chris into a wolf! If Mig's family is to escape, Mig must find out what has given Aunt Maria her power -- and defeat her!

#176 ::: Bruce Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2005, 04:41 PM:

I heard a report this week on "This American Life" which involved a convention for romance writers and on romance writing, including readings from some spectacularly inept cover letters and listening to some "pitch sessions" to editors--apparently they do something like the "portfolio critiques" you see at SDCC. The reporter made a small fuss over how everyone there was so supportive, and how the high proportion of women in the field must be a big part of the reason. I'm glad the reporter came away with such a positive opinion, but the pitch sessions seemed jolly yet brutal enough in approach to me that I can't picture them happening at a SF or Fantasy convention...

#177 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2005, 05:17 PM:

Fanthorpe alert:

He's going to be on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory on the 8th (Sarah's birthday). The subject is "Knights Templar and the DaVinci Code." All I know is I saw it on the web site when I was following the link to "funny phone call" reported by Mark Evanier.

ps: Sarah's web page is updated, with pictures she took.

#178 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2005, 05:24 PM:

Oh, and if you follow the link, it takes you to Fanthorpe's home page. Looks like a busy guy, but then wasn't he always?

#179 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2005, 07:03 PM:

JVP: What was Disraeli's conclusion on this?

The "Arcana Arcana" Discworld stuff is nice, but it still never looks like the pictures in my head...

#180 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2005, 08:16 PM:

Greg London: is the word along the lines of "substantive?" I'm afraid I'm having trouble getting a handle on the concept you're describing (which is probably because you can't remember the word for it, laff).

As for the oddities of the high school map, keep in mind that this is based on a school that is the only high school in a small town. This means that everyone knows each other, and has since childhood, and will for possibly the rest of their lives. Dating works differently in a fishbowl like that - you can't, for instance, dump someone and never see them again, or seduce someone with elaborate lies since they already know you.

The thing about not dating your ex's new gf's ex just seems like common sense to me - all you have in common is how you both got dumped - or anyway that's how other kids will see it. So they'll constantly rub your faces in it.

#181 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2005, 01:58 AM:

I've been feeding my beast all weekend trying to coax him into telling me the word. This morning he swears he told me "abstract". It isn't clicking in my memory that it's the word I should have written down, but it seems like it's good enough to do the job.

#182 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2005, 09:47 PM:

marilee: Black Maria was my first thought too -- but IIRC the aunt is all too present for the length of the book. damfino what Jill read.

#183 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2005, 11:12 PM:

Kip -- I'm still chuffed about getting Fanthorpe to the Tor party at a Worldcon and getting to introduce him to Tim Powers. Both sides felt I'd managed a major coup (and I felt I'd just done a good small hostly thing for lots of people I like).

#184 ::: Jonathan Shaw ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2005, 11:19 PM:

Speaking of Diana Wynne Jones, one of my co-workers, who moonlights as a children's book reviewer, opened her physical, hard-copy mail on Friday evening and found an unheralded, uncorrected proof of the forthcoming Chrestomanci novel. Thereupon she got on the phone and did a very good impersonation of someone who had in her possession something fabulous that she knew damed well almost no one else in the known universe has seen. I'm so galled I can't remember the novel's name: Conrad's something. My colleague read it in one sitting and has proclaimed it most satisfactory.

#185 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2005, 12:09 AM:

If it's the one on the Locus list of upcoming books, it's Conrad's Fate.

#186 ::: Connie H. ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2005, 09:31 AM:

One abbreviation that the McSweeney's guy missed, for Civil War Internet Shorthand That Should Have Existed:

ihste:( = I have seen the elephant

Note that there =was= an actual online lingo that existed at the time of the Civil War -- telegraphers' abbreviations. There's a really cool book called The Victorian Internet that I recommend highly.

#187 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2005, 10:22 AM:

Jill: I have a vague memory of a book that might be the one you mean. By Ruth Nash, maybe The Witch Next Door (maybe one of her others). The kids found that being mice made it easier to investigate the witch's house and spy on her. The copy I read was a skinny paperback, early to mid 1970's, probably from Scholastic.

--Mary Aileen

#188 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2005, 10:26 AM:

All of a sudden my usual email address is blocked for "questionable content." What's so questionable about themouseh*le.org?

#189 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2005, 10:32 AM:

That may have been it, Mary Aileen. Hm. Off to do some Googling - thanks for the additional data!!!

#190 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2005, 12:08 PM:

Drat. Can't find anything about that volume (just a picture book of the same name by another author on Amazon).

I'm sure it's way out of print.

#191 ::: Jeremy Osner ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2005, 12:57 PM:

Hi all, I have not been following this thread so this may already have come up; but: Sean Carroll has a delightful post up on the neurophysics that lie behind visual hallucinations. The url is: http://preposterousuniverse.blogspot.com/2005_02_01_preposterousuniverse_archive.html#110749122667904763

#192 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2005, 01:30 PM:

Jeremy, that is seriously cool.

#193 ::: Stephanie ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2005, 01:31 PM:

I have it on excellent authority that the ConDFW schedule has not been done yet. Now would probably be a good time to send in any requests.

#194 ::: Laura Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2005, 03:23 PM:

I have a "name that children's book" question:

A boy (named Timothy I think) goes to live with a woman who is a "good witch." He meets a girl and together they fight a "bad witch." At one point they drive her off with rowan berries, along with the following spell:

"Rowan berries and red thread
stop a witch in her speed."

#195 ::: Metal Fatigue ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2005, 04:05 PM:

Laura: I know I've read that book, because (not then having read Chaucer) I remember being puzzled by the failure to rhyme, but I have no more idea than you what the title might have been. Probably less.

#196 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2005, 06:48 PM:

Bruce Durocher II: I heard a report this week on "This American Life" which involved a convention for romance writers and on romance writing.... The reporter made a small fuss over how everyone there was so supportive, and how the high proportion of women in the field must be a big part of the reason.

I thought the reporter or interviewee also attributed this to the high demand for romance novels. Anyway, I was a little suspicious of the whole "romance publishers are so much more supportive than other houses" bit. It sounds too much like the publishing myths we see about how you need an agent/lying cover letter/bribe to get published by a traditional publisher.

The antithesis used in contrast to the openness of romance publishers was Doubleday. Does anyone know if they have a particularly impermeable transom?

My hypothesis for the abundance of support and cameraderie is that this was a convention, which has at least two effects. First, the writers and editors have more pleasant concerns than the usual empty mailbox and towering slush pile, respectively. Second, they are face-to-face, where each will better enjoy conversational topics other than the evils of the other.

#197 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2005, 08:58 PM:

RE: Romance Writers of America conventions

They had one here in Kansas City a while ago (Spring in 2003 i think). Some friends from St. Louis came over to attend and they paid LOTS more than you even pay to attend a Worldcon, however they sort of made it up in free books.

Plus there was a cover model competition -- one of the young men saw my friends as 'grandmotherly' types and gravitated to them (bwaaa haaa haa).

I'm still not sure it was worth the $400+ it cost them.

#198 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2005, 10:54 PM:

Mary Aileen: Re blocking of "m*useh*le" I wonder if it has anything to do with connotations stemming from the phrase "f*ul m*useh*le" as used in Dylan Thomas' "Lament", in the 4th stanza, which begins:

"When I was half the man I was
And serve me right as the preachers warn"

Apparently this poem was used as the lyrics for an unreleased song, performed live by John Cale. Sounds interesting.

#199 ::: Ari ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2005, 11:25 PM:

Maybe you've all already heard about this but I managed to miss it on the news: One in three high school kids think the first amendment "goes to far."

http://www.cnn.com/2005/EDUCATION/01/31/students.amendment.ap/

That's seriously disturbing, to say the least.

#200 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2005, 04:36 AM:

OK, everyone go check out The Cuddly Menace right now.

#201 ::: Harry Connolly ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2005, 08:49 AM:

David, that's hilarious.

#202 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2005, 10:19 AM:

Epacris: I suspect mouseh*le is somehow regarded as sexual. (!) The really dumb thing is that I've been using that address here at Making Light with no problem until yesterday.

#203 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2005, 12:22 PM:

Hmm. According to the spam filter, my eBay account has just been suspended for the sixth time this week, and it's only Tuesday. (Last week it was suspended four times in one day.)

I might be worried about this level of criminality on my part, had I ever had an eBay account in the first place. (Note to Washington Mutual: I'm closing my account with you guys too. Send me all my money plus interest right now, or I will order Mrs. Sani Abacha to sit in your offices and sing the entire score of Mamma Mia!)

#204 ::: Bill Blum ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2005, 01:02 PM:

My PayPal account has been suspended 39 times today.

Wow. :)

#205 ::: Pink Zogg #783 ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2005, 01:35 PM:

The Cuddly Menace was inspiring.

The Dollar Tree has shelves full of kids' books that could be similarly repurposed.

#206 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2005, 01:39 PM:

One clade of "your account" spam I've been getting manages to hijack the AOL mail window. The normal Forward, Reply, and Reply All buttons are gone, replaced with a second set in the message display box.

I haven't clicked on these faux controls. I can't imagine it would be helpful to do so.

Clever bastards.

#207 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2005, 02:13 PM:

Laura, that's Timothy and Two Witches, by Margaret Storey. I adored that book as a kid, via a battered paperback I got from a 'used' bin somewhere. I've avoided re-reading it, out of fear that it can't possibly stand up to the burst of warm fuzzies that accompany thinking about it--but who knows? Maybe it's one of those books that's actually as fabulous as you thought it was when you were nine.

I seem to recall the back cover mentioning another book of hers, Timothy and the Dragon's Sister, but I never found it.

#208 ::: Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2005, 02:31 PM:

I marvel at the ebbs and flows of spam and phishing attempts that come my way. Why has Washington Mutual suddenly become the attack du jour? What was wrong with Citibank? There's a WaMu branch down by the Kroger where we get our prescriptions filled; I sometimes wonder if I should pop in and ask them.

And why did Rolex watches suddenly become the hot spam item a couple of months ago? For a while, Rolex watches were outpacing all forms of chemical "male enhancement" products combined in my inbox. Who thinks about Rolex watches these days?

And then there's the pure Old School thrill I felt when I recently got an actual, honest-to-God Green Card Spam. Wow. Memories.

#209 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2005, 03:02 PM:

You know what's good?

Cut an apple into slices. Lay out along the perimeter of a plate.

Cut a chunk of layered chocolate havlah into slices. Interleave with the apple slices.

Prepare a hot cup of coffe.

Slowly work your way around the plate, occasionally drinking coffee.

#210 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2005, 03:30 PM:

Who thinks about Rolex watches these days?

When I glance through the chum my spam-filter nets, I find myself wondering about Rolax watches...

#211 ::: Laura Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2005, 03:59 PM:

Andrew Willet:

Thanks! I do intend to track the book down and check out the endurance of the warm fuzzy factor.

I never heard about a sequel before. Interesting.

#212 ::: Laura Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2005, 04:00 PM:

oops, sorry for leaving the last "t" off of "Willett."

#213 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2005, 06:21 PM:

Backing up a little (like, 140 years) would not the e-mail for "I have seen the elephant" be something like i

#214 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2005, 03:25 AM:

Well, that was odd. It seemed to preview right, but it should have gone on: "something like i > :Q, followed by :Q sux. (Which also means "Give the elephant muscle relaxants, but that's another matter entirely.)

#215 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2005, 04:30 AM:

Taking advantage of the Open Thread to ask a quick question of the Noo Yawkers here.

Have you seen/experienced Christo's latest work, in Central Park, called "The Gates"? I think it's just opened, or about to open. What do you think of it?

#216 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2005, 04:51 AM:

Ahem. Sorry, did the above before checking back on thread.

Apparently the creator of The Cuddly Menace prefers to link to his own site, aka deep fried chopped liver (?).
And Mary Aileen, reading the Dylan Thomas poem, yes, there could just be a slight trace of s3xual imagery there. [koff]

#217 ::: Jeremy Osner ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2005, 09:53 AM:

David, thanks for the Cuddly Menace link, that is my favorite thing all week.

Today on Crooked Timber, Daniel Davies has reprinted Peter Griffiths' narrative of his time in Sierra Leone, under the title "How Economists Kill People". Reading it sent me right over to Amazon to buy Griffiths' book.

#218 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2005, 10:26 AM:

Just flicking through and noticed a comment I'd missed:

Mary Dell: Why can't phishing scammers spell-check?

I believe that the spelling errors are intentional. 95% of people never notice them (when you're reading quickly, an 'o' looks very like a 'u', doesn't it?), the people who do notice are the people unlikely to fall for the scams in the first place, and the errors allow the messages to get through filters that are designed to block messages identical to ones people have already reported as scams/spam.

#219 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2005, 10:29 AM:

On phishing, the Schmoo group describes a new kind of link spoofing method using homographs, also described by Gabrilovich and Gontmakher.

On an entirely unrelated topic, I can't resist touting this marvelous lecture on the history of the wikipedia heavy metal umlaut page. Both found in Thane Plambeck's blog, full of linkalicious particulate matter.

#220 ::: Barbara Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2005, 10:56 AM:

I hope this doesn't count as advertising - if you are trying to identify a long-lost book from your childhood, I know of two good places to go.
One is Loganberry Books website at http://www.logan.com/loganberry/stump.html
where Harriet will charge you $2 to post a stumper for amateur sleuths to solve. It is worth your while to read through the Solved Stumpers pages, as many books (like Margaret Storey's Timothy books) show up repeatedly.
The other is the ABEbooks community forum Booksleuth - you have to watch your way there, as a lot of people end up posting their queries on the general boards, thinking they've reached Booksleuth.
Both of these sites rely on helpful amateurs, but a fair number of queries do get solved.

#221 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2005, 11:14 AM:

Dang, Dan Hoey - I was just scurrying over to comment about the Wikipedia movie/lecture as well!!!

#222 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2005, 11:46 AM:

Although he does use the loaded word "cockamamie," there is interesting analysis, just in time for Valentine's Day, for Harvard president Lawrence Summers and gender inequality, with Science Fiction references aplenty in:

Two Girls for Every Boy
By Wil McCarthy

#223 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2005, 11:47 AM:

The Gates opens Saturday, weather permitting. It's being put together now. I took a brief look a few days ago, when all that was visible from the southwest corner of the park was lines of concrete(?) objects, with orange steel brackets at each end of them. Weather permitting, I will take another look tomorrow, before it opens on Saturday.

#224 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2005, 01:39 PM:

Epacris, Thanks for asking about The Gates. I just hopped on the train and went up to Central Park to take a look. I watched them raise two or three of the gates near the Columbus Circle exit, adding to the long lanes already up. It's looking good already, in an odd but appropriate orange-against-gray cheerful way. If it's snowing tomorrow morning, I may have to stop off on the way to work.

#225 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2005, 10:36 AM:

Having said that the spelling errors were intentional, I just received a spam informing me that a fiend had suggested I look at their web page. I can't imagine that one was. :)

#226 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2005, 01:41 PM:

We're going to see "The Gates" next week, along with an out-of-town vistor who's very interested.

Apologies over the accidental blacklisting of "themousehole.org". It's been fixed.

#227 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2005, 01:41 PM:

Sigh, Jonathan. How much of it is CULTURAL? The damned culture tried forcing -me- to burn -my- brain because of being -female-. I was a three year old who DESPERATELY wanted to grow a penis and be -male- because everything I heard and saw and read was so completely asymmetric. Girls were told they must become Mommies and diaper babies and cook and serve all meals and teach or be nurses or secretaries. Women were banned from being astronauts, military pilot, airline pilots.... girls were told math and science were for boys--and Caltech didn't admit women until 1971. ETC.

I did NOT want to do stinking HOUSEWORK. I wanted to explore, invent, not be locked in purdah with chronological babies and a adult male demanding a Mommy to do all the scutwork and succor him and prop up his ego.

I didn't burn my brain like the culture tried its damndest to make me do. It had OTHER effects, including a never-to-be-extinguished set of permanent angers and resentments at bullshit like the comments my lousy classmate made.... if we're both at the reunion and I recognize him.... he had the damn counterevidence in his FACE in four years at MIT with female classmates who'd FOUGHT to get where we were. Obviously he was stinking OBLIVIOUS.

Go to www.mit.edu and look up the reports on the status of women at MIT. Summers SHOULD have been AWARE of those studies--MIT and Harvard do a lot of collaborating and he DID graduate from MIT. He's been cited BEFORE about being oblivious to discrimination against women at Harvard....

#228 ::: Barbara Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2005, 02:37 PM:

Apologies if this has already been posted - I googled and didn't find it here, but it could have been in links back in October.
Seniors in a home in Hobart, Tasmania, knit themselves a 1950s room. The article has pics of knitted teacups, a radio, cake, etc.
http://www.abc.net.au/tasmania/stories/s1212449.htm

I can't knit. I just look on in awe.

#229 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2005, 03:56 PM:

Sigh, Jonathan. How much of it is CULTURAL? The damned culture tried forcing -me- to burn -my- brain because of being -female-. I was a three year old who DESPERATELY wanted to grow a penis and be -male- because everything I heard and saw and read was so completely asymmetric.

When I was little, I remember asking my mother if she would "tell me a story from when she was a little girl." Her response was that she was never a little girl, but back when she was a little boy...

If you read mysteries, Amanda Cross' No Word from Winifred has a story within a story about two writers who both wanted to be boys at that age. I think it must have been very common.

#230 ::: G. Jules ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2005, 05:16 PM:

*nods* Thank you, Paula.

I keep telling myself it's getting better, but I don't know. Six years or so ago I told a college recruiter I was interested in going into physics. He told me I'd be more comfortable at his school than at a techy school like MIT, since his school had a humanities program and would therefore be much nicer for a girl like me. (A girl like me being, I assumed, a female. Needless to say, I chose not to apply to his institution. Harvard has its problems, but the departmental representatives in the areas I was in tried, and the geology department was lovely.)

I suspect I may have had the female physics professor who was cited in JVP's link as an undergrad advisor, actually, albeit not for very long. (And here I elide the continuing rant I started to type out about my experiences, because I've written about it in other places and really, it's not particularly relevant.)

I don't remember wanting to be a little boy, but I was raised by parents who were progressive in those matters. I do remember getting to school, however, and getting called ugly (and far worse) and being hit with chairs for being interested in science. The boys who were interested in science, as I recall, were mostly called dorks and left alone. Society likes to assert itself, even on the younger levels. Or perhaps especially.

#231 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2005, 05:23 PM:

Totally changing the topic, because I'm burning with curiosity - have any of our New Yorkers visted the McNally Robinson Booksellers that recently opened? How is it doing?

Sorry, but the Winnipeg branches remain my favourite bookstores in the universe even in the face of other mega-store competition (and in spite of a web site whose search engine, last time I tried, was inimical to a back button - it's the physical locale, not the computer world).

#232 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2005, 05:35 PM:

And on topic: I wasn't raised to think that, But I suspect I count as the next generation, and definitely as a progressive household. (My ending up in the arts was entirely my own preference.)

part of the reason mom was the progressive one though is that she wasn't allowed to go into medicine in spite of the grades and the brains (She ended up in physiotherapy, mostly on her own money IIRC), because, of course, her parents' college fund was being "saved" for the 3 boys...

... and she's the only one who graduated from any form of post-secondary.

The family now acknowledges her the smart one out of the actual siblings (A close second is one of my aunts who married in).

The oddest phenomenon is watching my uncles. They, all of them, sometimes seem to *want* to be more conservative than they are, and do the male dominant thing sincerely instead of jokingly - but they can't. They're too smart, and they don't seem wired to do it, and they all favour intelligent women who can stand up for themselves and call bullsh**. I sometimes wonder how my conservative grandma managed it....

#233 ::: Seth Breidbart ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2005, 05:56 PM:

The boys who were interested in science, as I recall, were mostly called dorks and left alone.
In my experience, the words they used were different. The second part just wasn't the case.

#234 ::: G. Jules ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2005, 06:37 PM:

Seth: good point -- mea culpa. I should have separated out the phenomenon of those interested in science being picked on in general, regardless of gender, from females interested in science being looked down upon. The main difference (which I should have paid more attention to) is that females, also get to put up with the cultural denigration from the gender bias -- including a gender bias from those who are also in science -- as well as the baseline denigration from those who are in the general pick-on-geeks population.

#235 ::: Rose ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2005, 07:27 PM:

Back to Epacris asking about The Gates -- I'm very excited about it, and going to see the panels unfurled on Saturday morning. I wrote up a lot of my thoughts about it in my blog today, but in short, I think it will be beautiful, and it's already making me really happy.

#236 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2005, 01:41 AM:

Seniors in a home in Hobart, Tasmania, knit themselves a 1950s room

My daughter is busily making an abdominal cavity complete with all the organs, of crochet and knit (she's making it up as she goes along, with her physiology textbook as a reference). She made a uterus already, but she's making a new, less cartoony one for this project. (she has made a pair of opera gloves, a skull sweater which is too small, and intends to make a shocking-color wig)

Here's where she found the cartoony uterus pattern:

http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter04/PATTwomb.html

lots of cool things at knitty.

But I can't find a tunisian crochet sweater pattern anywhere and I'm afraid I'll have to make it up from scratch.

#237 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2005, 12:54 PM:

Following the craft thread: During our Centenary of Federation celebrations back in 2001, amongst a number of community & artistic events there was a travelling exhibition of portraits, by a single man, of all our 25 Prime Ministers. Apart from the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, it travelled to Sydney and many regional centres. A common heading was "our leaders as you’ve never seen them before" (aka Our Prime Ministers as you Have Never Seen Them Before [check caps?] ) and "Fuzzy Prime Ministers" - they were woollen hooked rugs.
I just got the teatowel, myself - on a bad political day it can help to wipe your dirty teacups on your least favourite leader's face [hehehe]

#238 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2005, 01:13 PM:

Just read that theres a The Gates blog at
http://nycgates.blogspot.com
It includes some photos as well as comments and links. You can add your own photos. It was apparently mentioned recently in the NY Times and Wired, so might have some heavy usage now.

#239 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2005, 02:47 PM:

That Zogg site is hilarious, and very frightening at the same time. Thank you. (I think)

#240 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2005, 04:02 PM:

My dog has a high prey drive and is obsessed with cats. Therefore, I take great pains to make sure she never gets near a live one. (The few times she has had a close encounter ended with her backing away from a hissing angry feline, but with a running start Kira's target might not get time to react.)

This morning we came across a dead cat. Roadkill, fairly intact except for, well, the lack of a face.

Kira approached the corpse somewhat gingerly, acting as though it might Go Off. I don't let he get near roadkill too often, but her treatment of the body seemed much more respectful than she gives a squished squirrel or that unfortunate beaver.

After a general scan she sniffed under the tail, then backed off. As we left the scene, she turned around and barked twice at the deceased, with a happy / defiant look on her face.

I'm wondering what to make of this.

Was her parting shot a kind of "nyah-nyahh!", or was it an attempt to rouse the cat so she could chase after it?

#241 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2005, 04:41 PM:

Stefan: I don't suppose your dog was out driving a car last night?

#242 ::: JamesG ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2005, 05:11 PM:

I just downloaded the Panel Schedule for ConDFW and I am glad I did. I was planning on arriving sometime Friday evening. I see now that would have me miss your discussion on "Escape from the Slushpile".

Hopefully you will be back to feeling like yourself again.

#243 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2005, 06:37 PM:

Laramie Sasseville has put out a new edition of the Discordian Coloring Book. She says "This one has actual color covers! (Unlike the original edition, of which there are only a few remaining copies.) ... This was beyond my means in the old days, and only possible now due to the wonders of print-on-demand technology."

http://www.cafepress.com/sasseville.16788989

#244 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2005, 06:39 PM:

Oops, I didn't test that URL. Go here: http://www.cafepress.com/sasseville and the coloring book is the second item.

#245 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2005, 07:09 PM:

Barbara G.: I actually emailed T that thing about the knitted room, but apparently I did it the weekend that Panix had it's little problem and I don't think she got it. Those are just amazing pictures. Everywhere I turn these days it seems there is cool knitting stuff. I trying mightily to resist the temptation to take up yet another hobby.

MKK

#246 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2005, 08:10 PM:

There's a program schedule for ConDFW? Wow, you're ahead of us.

#247 ::: JamesG ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2005, 09:28 PM:

Yes, and it says that at 6 on Saturday that you will be doing an acoustic piece with Steven Brust.

#248 ::: Zzedar ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2005, 11:01 PM:

All English majors and linguists should read http://www.boxjamsdoodle.com/d/20050210.html. It will make you realize that you've been living a lie for years, and cause you to question all that was once certain. So that's neat.

#249 ::: Metal Fatigue ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2005, 11:10 PM:

Zzedar: any linguist can tell you that. Suzette Haden Elgin's LJ often contains diatribes and animadversions against the system of English instruction in US schools.

(Not that, as far as I know, it's any better in any other Anglophone nation.)

#250 ::: Zzedar ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2005, 12:22 AM:

Bah! Trouble me not with your piddling facts!

#251 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2005, 12:27 AM:

Jack Chalker has passed away:

http://www.jackchalker.com/news.htm

#252 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2005, 12:56 AM:

I'm glad that I had a final conversation with Jack Chalker near Thanksgiving at LosCon, where he was Guest of Honor. Although he was in serious discomfort, he told me that he felt an obligation to return the honor that the con people had offered him. He was thus, I saw, a gentleman to the end.

I will miss the far longer conversation we had had over the decades, in cities scattered like stars ... practically monologues as I'd mention some bit of magazine obscuria and he would explain the deeper truth behind what little I knew, from his monumentally sound understanding of the history of our genres and the human beings behind them.

I believe that fate has cut short a prodigious talent. All the best wishes to a family and constellation of friends who know that Jack can never be replaced in our hearts.

#253 ::: Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2005, 06:20 AM:

It's worth noting that advice to read Boxjam's Doodle is always good, even if you aren't an English major or a linguist.

#254 ::: Jackmormon ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2005, 11:05 AM:

I'm really excited to see the Gates. I'll have to wait until Sunday, though.

I have a question for the literati here. I've followed our hostess's links to sf how-to sites eagerly, and I wonder if anyone knows of similiar discussion sites for building historical novels. Any suggestions?

#255 ::: Bill Blum ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2005, 02:10 PM:

The first time I logged onto Delphi for one of the Wednesday night chat sessions that were moderated by Gardner Dozois, I was several minutes early... and the only other two people online at the time were Jack Chalker and Janet Kagan.

Over the course of several months, I grew to really appreciate the discussions I had with him-- and it was at his urging I made my first few attempts at submitting short stories to Analog. (none published... yet)

RIP, Mr. Chalker. You'll be missed.

#256 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2005, 06:52 PM:

Open thread, right? This may be of interest to some here.

#257 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2005, 11:09 PM:

I saw "The Gates" today, and took some pictures, if anybody's curious.

#258 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2005, 11:49 PM:

Andrew - nice shots. They give Christo's project more of a sense of scale than anything I've seen in the media. In truth, the scale seems much smaller than one of his more typical projects.

The orange really does seem to be the color of a Buddhist monk's robes.

When I was in Berlin, I stayed in the home of an architect who is obsessed with Christo - I think I'll drop him a note and see what he thinks.

Personally, I would have liked to see the wrapped Reichstag. Perhaps we can get Christo to wrap the White House in an impermeable barrier - and leave it that way. (Well, we could let the dog out first...)

#259 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2005, 11:57 PM:

Thanks for the pictures, Andrew.

"The Gates" seem Japanese in effect to me. I'm envisioning orange-clad samurai, hands on swordhilts, running quickly beneath them.

(Ah. Of course. I watched HERO recently, and the banners on The Gates evoke that scene where the Emperor and the assassin duel in a hall filled with billowing draperies.)

#260 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2005, 02:38 PM:

That's *dogs*, Larry. Bush gave his wife a puppy version of Barney. I don't know how they'll tell them apart when it grows up. (Well, the new one is female, but you don't want to turn them over every time you talk to them.)

#261 ::: Eleanor ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2005, 05:41 PM:

Laura Roberts:

"Rowan berries and red thread
stop a witch in her speed."

is similar to the refrain of a song called The Twelve Witches by Steeleye Span.

This song spooked me because I put a red thread into my novel (as a means of breaking a spell - it didn't work because they couldn't get the thread to the person who needed it) and thought I'd made it up. I knew the song, but only from an old and poorly copied tape on which I couldn't hear the words properly. The tape is so old that at the end there's a recording of my mother telling a story she made up to keep me amused on long car journeys, in which one of my naughty toys sneaks downstairs and steals biscuits.* I apparently liked Steeleye Span already when I was two.

(* I'm British, so that would be cookies.)

#262 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2005, 06:39 PM:

I had a delightful time wandering around Central Park this morning, all that orange and blue and cheerful people. Here's a write-up, sans photos:

http://www.livejournal.com/users/redbird/574482.html

#264 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2005, 08:46 PM:

Interesting for what's missing, Clark.... and at least one typo recognized on a 1 minute scan. Still, an interesting collection. Nice paper.

#265 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2005, 10:04 PM:

I didn't get to the park today, but the husband and daughter came home with a square of Gate. They're apparently handing them out to discourage souvenir hunters/eBay entrepreneurs from chopping the piece up.

It's a very pretty saffron color. If they made shantung silk in hunter orange it would look sort of like this.

#266 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2005, 11:47 PM:

Marilee, with some dogs, you really are better off if you turn them over every time you talk to them.

#267 ::: Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2005, 06:08 AM:

Eva Whitley has posted memorial details on her LiveJournal. For the sake of convenience, I've excerpted and hyperlinked them below:

"A Memorial Service for Jack will be held on Monday, February 21 from 7-9 PM at The Marzullo Funeral Chapel, 6009 Harford Road, Baltimore, MD 21214." [410-254-5201]

"A special room rate has been arranged under 'Chalker Funeral' with the Best Western Hotel and Conference Center at the Baltimore Travel Plaza, 5625 O'Donnell Street, Baltimore, MD 21224. They can be contacted for reservations at (410) 633-9500 or 800-633-9511."

"In lieu of flowers, donations are being accepted at the Sierra Club, Save the Bay/Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Baltimore Science Fiction Society and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Emergency Medical Fund."


Like I said elsewhere, leave it to veteran conrunners to think of negotiating a room rate.

#268 ::: Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2005, 06:09 AM:

Eva Whitley has posted memorial details on her LiveJournal. For the sake of convenience, I've excerpted and hyperlinked them below:

"A Memorial Service for Jack will be held on Monday, February 21 from 7-9 PM at The Marzullo Funeral Chapel, 6009 Harford Road, Baltimore, MD 21214." [410-254-5201]

"A special room rate has been arranged under 'Chalker Funeral' with the Best Western Hotel and Conference Center at the Baltimore Travel Plaza, 5625 O'Donnell Street, Baltimore, MD 21224. They can be contacted for reservations at (410) 633-9500 or 800-633-9511."

"In lieu of flowers, donations are being accepted at the Sierra Club, Save the Bay/Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Baltimore Science Fiction Society and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Emergency Medical Fund."


Like I said elsewhere, leave it to veteran conrunners to think of negotiating a room rate.

#269 ::: Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2005, 06:10 AM:

Eva Whitley has posted memorial details on her LiveJournal. For the sake of convenience, I've excerpted and hyperlinked them below:

"A Memorial Service for Jack will be held on Monday, February 21 from 7-9 PM at The Marzullo Funeral Chapel, 6009 Harford Road, Baltimore, MD 21214." [410-254-5201]

"A special room rate has been arranged under 'Chalker Funeral' with the Best Western Hotel and Conference Center at the Baltimore Travel Plaza, 5625 O'Donnell Street, Baltimore, MD 21224. They can be contacted for reservations at (410) 633-9500 or 800-633-9511."


Like I said elsewhere, leave it to veteran conrunners to think of negotiating a room rate.

#270 ::: Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2005, 06:13 AM:

To continue from the last message (Making Light would not post it, because it had too many hyperlinks, and ML does not have a "pending comment" template defined, evidently):

"In lieu of flowers, donations are being accepted at the Sierra Club, Save the Bay/Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Baltimore Science Fiction Society and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Emergency Medical Fund."
#271 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2005, 07:04 PM:

Xopher -- that's \almost/ as disturbing as Ed Stauff's rendition of some of the scenes as hard-core. (Sorry, no link -- I saw it in hardcopy and I'm not surprised it's not findable on their public site.)

#272 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2005, 07:24 PM:

Xopher, you're truly, truly wicked. That's superb.

#273 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2005, 07:56 PM:

CHip and Lenora Rose: thanks. My actor friend David wants me to write the rest of the play and submit it to the Fringe Festival. I pointed out to him that so far I have ONE SCENE and very little idea what to do with the rest...but I'm thinking about it.

#274 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2005, 01:18 AM:

Chris Noth's character in Sunday's L&O:CI:

"The Patriot Act? I read it with the original title, 1984.

#275 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2005, 10:35 AM:

OK, the link to "TAFF Home" from the FAQ page is broken, and reading over the rules without knowing what they applied to didn't make much sense...so for anyone else who was wondering, this link works.

#276 ::: Thel ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2005, 12:31 PM:

Oh, Teresa, thank you for the "Query Letters I Love" link. I haven't laughed that hard in months. I feel so much better than I did an hour ago.

My favorite so far, from the October archives:

"BONGO the Clown, aka DRAKE, steals a locket that will reverse the stronghold the order of Clowns has over the entire world. Once in thehuman world, Drake and reporter MICHELLE, photographer CONOR and his girlfriend CATE must join forces with IKE the talking dog to battle BACKBONE, the king of all clowns. With the world in turmoil, clowns turning to soy, a beautiful clown assassin and a journey under thesea, an army of Viking midgets these clowns may be our only hope."

Clowns. Turning to soy. Oh, gods, I'm giggling again. Make it stop!

#277 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2005, 02:28 PM:

An army of Viking midgets? Even more than the soyification of clowns, this strikes me as an indicator of they-can't-be-seriousness.

#278 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2005, 03:31 PM:

Fine fine query letters - thank you.

I only wish I could read something similar from the literary world. I think I've just got a whiff of what a slush pile is really all about - and bad writing isn't all of it. Desperation and a strange sense of unreality are there as well.

One of the comments on that site leads to:

http://www.moviepoopshoot.com/delusions/archives.html

which is more of the same.

#279 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2005, 06:40 PM:

Ever notice that Kim-Jong Il looks a bit like Poul Anderson?

I guess it's just the hair. But still.

#280 ::: David Bilek ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2005, 09:19 PM:

Just an obvious heads up - some spammers have clearly harvested Teresa's blog for email addresses. Unless she decided to email me a suspicious attachment in an email entitled "Sex", that is. Perhaps I should run the attachment to make sure...

#281 ::: Steve Burnett ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2005, 09:36 PM:

Xopher, if you write more of the piece, please share. Thank you for the part you wrote and shared, regardless of what else you might do.

Marilee, thank you for the L&O:CI line: I don't watch so I wouldn't have caught that otherwise.

#282 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2005, 10:48 PM:

David Bilek writes:

> Just an obvious heads up - some spammers have clearly harvested Teresa's blog for email addresses. Unless she decided to email me a suspicious attachment in an email entitled "Sex", that is. Perhaps I should run the attachment to make sure...

For some reason, I get spam from (a simulated) Kate Nevpeu now and then - but have never received spam from any other name I'm familiar with.

#283 ::: Jeremy Osner ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2005, 08:40 AM:

A couple of links from today's Times -- I see on the editorial page that Eleanor Gould Packard, copy editor for the New Yorker, has passed away; Verlyn Klinkenborg writes a nice appreciation.

And on the front page, the news is of new robots being developed to fight our wars for us -- my first reaction (well second, after "oh shit, more killing...") was to wonder how they are going to override the first law.

#284 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2005, 08:43 AM:

Thought you might like to know. Testing the new Google Maps service with some locations in Noo Yawk, I got the following response: "We could not understand the location Times Square." (I saved this as an image file too, just to show people.)

#285 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2005, 10:11 AM:

Steve Taylor, I'd like to think that the spammers' appropriation of only my identity to spam you was some kind of warped compliment, but, well, no.

#286 ::: OG ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2005, 10:42 AM:

Jeremy, my hubby heard about that a week or so ago and announced over dinner that the Bolo Mk I would soon be in production.

#287 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2005, 11:19 AM:

Jeremy, that's easy; they'll just tell the robots that they're doing it for 'humanity,' and that'll invoke the Zeroth law. With a suitably skewed definition of 'human' it should be no problem.

#288 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2005, 12:45 PM:

Thanks Steve. My brain is working some stuff there...Puck's prologue, for example, which may end with

Will Shakespeare told you lies at our behest;
He would not die, so show'd us at our best!

#289 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2005, 12:49 PM:

Tim, are you implying that Poul trimmed his hair in accordance with a Socialist lifestyle? And if not, shouldn't you be?

So Patrick, any other comments on the ConDFW schedule, or is it more or less in order despite its apparently, er...ad-hoc nature?

#290 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2005, 02:08 PM:

Going back to Christo's Gates, I'd like to recommend Rion Nakaya's excellent fotoblog entry.

#291 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2005, 02:17 PM:

>The programme allowed men aged over 50 seven centimetres
>of upper hair to cover balding.

I know some guys who'll be glad to know that a combover repels the enemies' manoeuvres to infiltrate corrupt capitalist ideas and lifestyle and establishes the socialist lifestyle of the military-first era.

#292 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2005, 02:57 PM:

Tim, Skwid,

so far as I know, Poul Anderson trimmed his hair according to principles of Astrophysics, in which he would have earned a degree had circumstances allowed him to matriculate. He did, after all, first conceive the idea of a supernova blowing off the hydrogen/helium of a Jovian or super-Jovian planet, exposing a terrestrial-sized sphere of silicon, magnesium, oxygen minerals and laced with heavy metals. When such was actually discovered (and this week, a 4th planet around the pulsar announced), Poul got an academic citation, of which he was very proud. But "black holes have no hair."

#293 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2005, 03:34 PM:

You know, in some ways I'm going to *miss* the North Korean regime once it's gone.

The ghastly socialist realist poster art, the over-the-top saber rattling, the creepy stadium shows ("mass games"), the bizarro pronouncements like this latest hair missive, the mixed themes of desperation and denial evident in traveller's stories*. It would almost be funny, like a giant Paranoia LARP . . . if it weren't for the human misery and the nukes.

* Apparently, they only run the Pyongyang subway when tourists come to see it.

#294 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2005, 10:16 PM:

Kate Nepveu wrote:

> Steve Taylor, I'd like to think that the spammers' appropriation of only my identity to spam you was some kind of warped compliment, but, well, no.

I have in the past thought what a cool domain name "steelypips.org" is. It's possible I wasn't wearing my tinfoil hat at the time, and spammers read my brainwaves.

Sorry for mangling your name above, btw.

#295 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2005, 01:27 AM:

Apparently, they only run the Pyongyang subway when tourists come to see it.

Two Republican conventions ago, the organizers paid the permanent floating population of the NY subway five bucks a night to Relocate Elsewhere for the duration.

This time it was far more egalitarian: everybody who lived in Manhattan was denied access to the city.

#296 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2005, 09:07 AM:

The link to the Mike Horvat fanzine collection news release reminds me:

Out in our garage is a box containing a number of A WOMEN'S APA mailings from the late 70's, when my wife Hilde was a member.

AWA was a private apa, not for public consumption, with the specific proviso that it was for-women's-eyes only.

The box is taking up space, and I've been wondering for years what the proper thing to do with it would be. Hilde has suggested that I just trash them.

"But, but, but... they're FANZINES!" And trashing fanzines feels, to me, akin to burning books. One just doesn't DO that. (As the head-high, three-box wide stack of my own fanzine collection can attest.)

So... is there an ethical way to clear the garage space, preserve the fanzines, and maintain the confidentiality the participants wanted when they wrote their contributions?

(And is it really possible to be both "private" and "published" at the same time? Is there a statute of limitations on confidentiality?)

I did a Google search about a year ago to see if AWA still existed in any form, but it seems to have faded away for good in the late 90's.

Since Teresa was a member during the same period, perhaps she'll have a suggestion.

#297 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2005, 09:16 AM:

Bruce: a university that has a strong women's studies program might be interested in taking them - a public university probably won't be able to restrict access based on sex, but a private one might.

The Kinsey institute collection at Indiana University (my alma mater) requires a special reader's card - you have to invent a plausible-sounding academic project and they'll let you have access. I'm sure there are lots of other collections out there that have similar or stricter controls in place.

#298 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2005, 10:11 AM:

Steve Taylor: don't worry about mangling the name, it is eminently mangle-able. I'd been using "The Steelypips" as an Organization: header on Usenet when it came time to get my own domain, so it naturally presented itself to me. I do keep hoping steelypips.com will come up, though, just for the occasional confusion of friends who don't notice the TLD.

(It's a good thing I didn't decide to get a domain back when I was using "GSV Size Isn't Everything" as my Organization:, because who knows what I would have come up with then . . . )

#299 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2005, 10:16 AM:

To change the subject entirely:

Is there something about the people in the Flatiron Building we haven't been told about?

See the image here.

#300 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2005, 10:48 AM:

I wonder if someplace that's women-only like Wellesley or Mt Holyoke might be interested. Wellesley would be very ironic, given that I was in AWA once upon at time and sustained some grudges against the place [a President of Wellesley quoted on "Wellesley students and MIT men" at the time that I was an MIT -female- student, is a concise indication of the Issues I had with the place and some of the attitudes there.]

#301 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2005, 11:19 AM:

Open Threading, here, but did anyone else notice the Flatiron Building analogue in the credits sequence of the Cowboy Bebop Movie?

Congrats, Teresa...your office building's been anime-ized.

#302 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2005, 12:36 PM:

Ohhh Teresa! Pretty rocks! Cats!
http://www.livejournal.com/users/ksp24/38489.html?#cutid1

MKK

#303 ::: Rose ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2005, 12:53 PM:

Relating to cats, and Gates: The Somerville Gates.

So silly. So terrific.

#304 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2005, 06:48 PM:

Sales are down, authors are despondent, salons are closing and literary lunches have become drab affairs.

From The Guardian.

#305 ::: Edo ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2005, 08:41 PM:

Sqwid: I missed that but it's been awhile since I've watched the Cowboy Bebop movie. It's not surprising that I missed it since I'm not terribly informed about architecture. Structures shaped like the Flatiron Building are pretty common here in Japan, though—partly due to the non-uniform lot shapes and sizes. I'll see if I can dig up some photos. But then I'll have to finish the config on my web server so that I can post them. After I re-read the motivation thread. And that link posted awhile back about procrastination. And…

Changing the subject entirely, I'm not a knitter nor do I live in NYC. Nevertheless these photos of a yarn shop on Sullivan are quite lovely.

#306 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2005, 10:01 PM:

A Women's APA (AWA) did not fade away in the 1990's. My wife Sally Beasley is still a member, and it still arrives, fairly regularly. More than this I cannot say, since (of course) I do not see inside it. Perhaps she would care to post, once I show her this thread

#307 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2005, 11:11 PM:

As the cats were giving me the time-for-breakfast m[ae]ssage this morning, someone on the radio talked about the administration's policies that would give the terrorists paws. As if our furniture isn't in bad enough shape already.

ObLatella: Pause? That's different. Never mind.

#308 ::: Harry Connolly ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2005, 11:24 PM:

This is a lot of ad space, but I'm not sure it's worth $3K.

Yet more proof of the end of civilization

#309 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2005, 11:40 AM:

Art Center sketches out plans for new facilities, programs
By Cindy Chang , Staff Writer

Visionary-in-Residence Bruce Sterling and Art Center College of Design President Richard Koshalek both spoke of the future at the State of the College Address at the Hillside Campus in Pasadena on Thursday...

I taught a graduate program there in String Theory and Multidimensional Geometry. Not many schools have done what Art Center College of Design has done, in employing me (for a month or so) and Bruce Sterling (duration unclear to me). Similar to MIT having Joe Haldeman as Writer-in-residence alternate semesters for lo these many years. Does anyone have data on active science fiction authors employed by colleges and universities, not for science fiction as such, but for other value-added to students and faculty?

#310 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2005, 01:29 PM:

Structures shaped like the Flatiron Building are pretty common here in Japan

They're pretty common, period. I know of several in San Francisco, and one in Santa Cruz, though it's shorter and squatter, being a small town building. And being that it's been rebuilt after the earthquake, it's now a postmodern building with off-balance gewgaws all over it, but it does have golden bears marching around the top, which gives it some coolness points at least (which do not extend to its owner/developer, who is a jerk).

#311 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2005, 02:13 PM:

Lucy Kemnitzer:

There are wonderful life-sized statues of Bear and Smilodon on the ground floor of the Ronald Reagan building in Los Angeles, where I often go to file things with the State Supreme Court and the Appellate Court. This gives it some coolness points at least (which do not extend to its president). A framed print of the famous Flatiron Building photo, as poster from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, hangs over the fireplace in our TV room. That's the fireplace with the Vietnamese BFE in it, and Cambodian tiles with ceramic Buddhas with begging bowls which are incense stick holders, as opposed to the fireplace in our Family Room, which we actually use to burn wood.

#312 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2005, 02:20 PM:

Epacris: That's very funny - especially as Google maps is the ONLY online map service so far that can map the way to my house in Winnipeg without pointing to an illegal turn, physically impossible turn, or the wrong way up a one way street.

#313 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2005, 04:15 PM:

Just saw this over at Writers Weekly: Kirkus Reviews is sponsoring a lit competition and charging $150 per entry! What is up with that?

"The winning author will be awarded a trade-paper publishing contract from Kirkus's Literary Award publishing partner."


#314 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2005, 04:24 PM:

Rose: thanks for that link to The Somerville Gates. Delightful indeed!

#315 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2005, 10:23 PM:

The New York Times today printed excerpts from remarks of Lawrence H. Summers, president of Harvard University, at a conference on "Diversifying the Science and Engineering Workforce" on 14 January 2005, as transcribed by Harvard. The full transcript is at:

http://www.nytimes.com/education

As the son of a Harvard man, and the husband of a woman who fought sexism in the very male-dominated Physics profession, and rose to full-time Professor of Physics, in a hostile workplace blighted by an obviously unqualified male Chairman of Math & Physics, I am not satisfied with Lawrence H. Summers' copious subsequent apologies.

"To take a set of diverse examples, the data will, I am confident, reveal that Catholics are substantially underrepresented in investment banking, which is an enormously high-paying profession in our society; that white men are very substantially underrepresented in the National Basketball Association; and that Jews are very substantially underrepresented in farming and in agriculture."

Yes, he's being deliberately provocative. Yes, it might make a good basis for an edgy stand-up comedy rant by Dennis Miller or Rich Vos. Yes, he had a First Amendment right to say so. But his position demands leadership, which these remarks fail to provide. Women are underrepresented in tenured faculty positions in the sciences at universities such as Harvard. But instead of self-serving unscientific rationalizations of the old-boy network, Lawrence H. Summers would have better served faculty, students, and society as a whole by actively recruiting the best female Math and Science candidates possible, and setting a pro-active example that discrimination is not to be blamed on genetics.

I wish that my mother were alive to tell me her opinion on this. She fought hard, late in her short life, to get her Master's Degree and her teaching certificate, and fought for equality in a terrible inner-city elementary school in Brooklyn. And she succeeded in getting poor black children to learn Math, and to succeed, when the parents, churches, and school system had given up on those children.

That's what "leave no child behind" should mean. And "leave no female math or science student behind" is a meaningful subset of that proposition.

#316 ::: Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2005, 05:57 AM:
Just saw this over at Writers Weekly: Kirkus Reviews is sponsoring a lit competition and charging $150 per entry! What is up with that?

"All entries... must include elipses... breathless prose!... and lots of superlatives!"

"If you only enter one contest this year, make it this one!"

"Unstoppable! This contest is a tour-de-force to be reckoned with!"

#317 ::: Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2005, 08:32 AM:

I already mentioned this on Electrolite, but, Victor Gonzalez is reporting that F. M. Busby died yesterday afternoon in Seattle.

Details will presumably be updated on his CaringBridge patient web page (with guestbook).

#318 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2005, 09:03 PM:

"Strange, that movies about Satan always require Catholics. You never see your Presbyterians or Episcopalians hurling down demons."

--- From Roger Ebert's review of Constantine

You folks should be aware that you are all very happy I have too much work to do already, because I would bet one of the two obols I've been saving for my eyelids that R. J. Pennyworth, Universalist Demonhunter would boot Dan Brown right off the Times list.

#319 ::: Metal Fatigue ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2005, 02:17 AM:

This appears to be fairly old, actually, but I'd never seen it before: Spot the Fake Smile.

I scored 16/20, and the ones I got wrong were generally where I second-guessed myself.

#320 ::: Connie H. ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2005, 07:34 AM:

Rose beat me to linking to The Somerville Gates which continues to make me giggle every time I click to it -- and really, it's not because I love living in Somerville. Or like cats. Or think my home would only be improved by the addition of small orange banners....

#321 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2005, 08:47 AM:

Anyone else having serious problems with reading Vatican University Starts Classes in Satanism as Vulcan University Starts Classes in Satanism?

Brain hurt.

#322 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2005, 11:00 AM:

It's remarkable how quickly The Somverville Gates project has reached the mainstream media. Yesterday the New York Times online had a story about it, and today that was imported into the San Francisco Chronicle online edition. It's probably spread a lot further. And the Times reported that the site had a stupendous number of hits within its first 24 hours. I'm not sure it's the "anti-Christo" they've been calling it, but it sure has a cute cat!

#323 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2005, 04:17 PM:

Graydon wrote:

Anyone else having serious problems with reading Vatican University Starts Classes in Satanism as Vulcan University Starts Classes in Satanism?

Dammit! I was doing Just Fine ignoring that up until now! I'll have to go back to Chinatown and take a picture of the HMAN Parts Store now by way of revenge.

#324 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2005, 05:36 PM:

Graydon:

Made me think of that famous Catholic film
"Saint Joseph and the Volcano."

John A. Ford knows the complete cast, too. Not the remake with Madonna, of course.

#325 ::: HP ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2005, 11:13 PM:

Graydon: "Anyone else having serious problems with reading Vatican University Starts Classes in Satanism as Vulcan University Starts Classes in Satanism?"

Xegar: "Dammit! I was doing Just Fine ignoring that up until now! I'll have to go back to Chinatown and take a picture of the HMAN Parts Store now by way of revenge."

Gee whiz. I've been spending the last three weeks' worth or trips to Making Light thinking there was a post called "Moron: The Atlanta Nights Story," but I didn't think to mention it.

#326 ::: Bruce Bethke ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2005, 11:22 PM:

John M. Ford: "Strange, that movies about Satan always require Catholics. You never see your Presbyterians or Episcopalians hurling down demons."


Well, I'm afraid that's because we Episcopalians don't actually believe in fighting demons. We'd rather invite them in for coffee, try to convince them we sympathize with their problems, tell them we understand their frustrations, and then hit 'em up for a contribution to the building fund.

#327 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: February 21, 2005, 12:09 AM:

Hunter Thompson killed himself tonight.

AP obit:
http://tinyurl.com/44ybf

#328 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: February 21, 2005, 01:48 AM:

Who, What?

Driving home from Boskone, I heard a rather peculiar radio interview on WBZ --someone I never heard of pumping his novel with the radio announcer saying how people should vote for it for a Hugo. I have a difficult time taking seriously someone who says "Interactions" is the 2005 World Science Fiction Convention and that "NoReesCon" [pronunciation] was last year's. "-If anyone out there is a member of either of them they should vote for this for a Hugo-". The person interviewed said that "Interactions" was going to be in the fall in Scotland. There was some comprehension about there being a preliminary vote to get work nominated and the final voting being done from works nominated in the first ballot, but no discussion of Hugos other than that they are given out by World Science Fiction Conventions, and that members of last year's, which the announcer said had been "here in Boston," and this year's can vote for what gets onto the final ballot.

The book being promoted was _Singularity_ by Bill DeSmedts published by Per Aspera Press.

WTF is going on with that, anyway? I mean, whoever heard of "NoReesCon," anyway, or "Interactions" or can't tell the difference between summer which is when Interation is, and fall... This puts Darrell and Jody Scott into the bush league when it comes to shameless self-promotion.... -and- there is that half-bakedness about doing the research regarding name/pronunciation for Worldcons!

#329 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: February 21, 2005, 02:00 AM:

Thinking about it a bit longer, Bill DeSmedts sound like looks like an peculiarly deserving candidate for a Black Hole Award for Outstanding[Un]Professionalism, at a Ranquet.... his novel features a black hole, apparently, and his event horizon clues about Worldcons aren't the most clueful.

#330 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: February 21, 2005, 02:23 AM:

Oh, I forgot--the interview included the special offer that for just $4.99, a savings of $20 or so from the list price of the book, people who are members of Interactions [sic] or NoReesCon [sic]because they can nominate for Hugos can download from Per Aspera Press' website the novel _Singularity_....

#331 ::: Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: February 21, 2005, 03:42 AM:

Speaking of Worldcon memberships and all, I was wondering: Now that site selection has returned to a two year lead time, what will be done for future NASFiC bids? Obviously, 2007 will be voted on this year, just like always; but what will happen in the future? Is NASFiC going to a one-year bid cycle? Will NASFiC bids be run contingently with overseas Worldcon bids? Or will NASFiC just be retired?

#332 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: February 21, 2005, 04:24 AM:

Ray Radlein:

I figure that site selection will continue to slip, from 3-year to 2-year to 1-year to 0-year to -1-year lead time. That way, we can be sure to vote for where we actually went in the previous year, or risk a time paradox.

#333 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: February 21, 2005, 08:53 AM:

Paula: absent internal capitals, the pronunciation of "Noreascon" is not clear out of context. One reviewer of N2 said that Sean Connery, in his personalized greeting in a promo for Outland, addressed us as "Norriscon" -- which is ironic in retrospect, considering the problems conventions had with weapons in the 1980's.

Feel free to nominate DeSmedts for a Hogu, but put him in the perspective of the mess of 1989.

Ray: I've poked around a few sites but not seen any report that the NASFIC lead time was altered. Before the Worldcon lead time was increased to three years, people would bid NASFICs on spec: Louisville showed up in 1977 hoping that Brighton (England) would defeat New Orleans. There are arguments that the \World/ SF Society rules should not have anything to do with a strictly North American convention; possibly the combination of views will leave the NASFIC to sink or swim on its own. I haven't seen any plausible propositions for compressing the lead time; one year time for a convention of that size is possible -- if you don't care where you go.

#334 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: February 21, 2005, 09:55 AM:

But CHip, what about the "Interations" versus
"Interation." Can't they -read-??!!! And Interaction isn't in the fall, it's in the summer. Whatever happened to fact checking before going live on air? And if I recall correctly, there were radio ads for Noreascon 4 on WBZ back in August, with the name pronounced correctily.... the same station with both radio announcer and author mispronouncing it, the announcer I highly suspect taking his cue from the author who was on air for self-promotion.

It never occurred to me, not back when I was 17 and had never been to -any- science fiction convention, ever, that the pronunciation might be with a long o in it--it would be pronunced the same as e.g. a "nor'easter" short for "northeast..." And I can't really recall anyone seeing the name for the first time and pronouncing it using a long o.

#335 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: February 21, 2005, 01:23 PM:

I could potentially see how someone could mispronounce the "NorEas" part of the thing (although this Texan never did), but they really pronounced con as cone? That's what a "long o" is, right?

Bizarro.

#336 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: February 21, 2005, 04:49 PM:

TNH, I'm not sure, but I think that girl may actually have a whole supply of similar-looking hamsters which she is actually consuming at a steady , but slow and thoroughly relished rate...

Just sayin'...

#337 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: February 21, 2005, 05:30 PM:

Skwid - that's scary. My first thought was, "Oh, she ate the adult one... and now she's got a new adolescent hamster... Make it stop!!!"

#338 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: February 21, 2005, 09:18 PM:

In yesterday's WashPost Events This Week under Books and Authors:

"Bill Katz and Jonathan Laden -- Thursday at 7pm. The two top fantasy and science fiction writers, featured in "Writers of the Future, Volume 20," talk about writing short stories. Barnes & Noble blah blah blah"

I was wondering who made up the blurb because ISFDB hasn't heard of them either. Even if they meant to say "These two top..." they'd be wrong.

#339 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: February 21, 2005, 10:02 PM:

Paula Lieberman, CHip, Marilee:

I'm the last guy in the world to criticize anyone for self-promotion. Pot, Kettle. But I reckon there's enough success in the world that I lose almost nothing when someone else toots their own horn, however shrill and distorted from overblowing. I'd add something about raining on someone else's parade, but Los Angeles has had twice the rain this season that Seattle has, is already at the 5th rainiest year in recorded history, people have died in mudslides, and up in the San Gabriel Mountains above LA where I live, I have lots of wet rugs and warped doors from runoff that evaded the sandbags. But, on the brighter side:

Frozen oceans on Mars!

Dare I unearth my 1986 poem "The Methane Rains of Titan?"

#340 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: February 22, 2005, 01:03 AM:

Jonathan, you're not out there on radio pushing for the general public to nominate your first novel for a Hugo. You're not trying to -use- me... the author of that book was--I have nomination rights as a member of Interaction, and even if I weren't an Interaction member, I was a Noreascon 4 member, which would have given me nomination rights to submit a nomination ballot for this year. You're part of the SF community, and wouldn't be going on-air mispronouncing or misnaming contemporary Worldcon names, and giving wrong dates for them, I strongly suspect.

I can't remember if I've nominated any first novels for a Hugo. But someone I've never heard of, from a press I've not heard of, going on the radio pushing for Hugo nominations, AFTER the past several weeks' events with _Atlanta Nights_, looks anti-prepossessing to me.

Were you at the Texas Worldcon where the author of the self-published book The Pleistocene Redemption was hailing all passersby trying to get us to buy his book, and adding himself to panels of his own volition?

Driving home from Boskone and getting part of a radio show hour of someone pushing for his novel to get a Hugo Award was rather surreal. I don[t know if it's an instance of Gresham's Law or not.

#341 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: February 24, 2005, 11:46 AM:

Looks like the only night I'll be able to do ConDFW is Friday, which means I'll miss Patrick and Steven's concert. Major bummer.

Any others of the Making Light/Electrolite crew planning on attending?

#342 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: February 24, 2005, 11:58 AM:

Paula Lieberman:

I stand corrected. You explained your position well. I do self-promote, but well inside the border. I've never pushed for a Hugo -- albeit I'd be pleased to get a few nominations for best SF website. I have sent copies of stories of mine to Active SFWA members when it seemed possible that a story could get a Nebula (and once got the most written recs for any short story).

Actually, the closest I've come to the border was to NebRec a story by my wife, before the rules were changed to allow NebReccing a lover but not a spouse. Isaac Asimov seconded my NebRec for Harlan Ellison's famously unproduced "I, Robot" screenplay. Isaac was told sternly that one can't recommend one's own work. "It's not mine," he said. "It's Harlan's."

I've surely mentioned cons on the air, and in broadcasts from cons, but was promoting the cons and the genre, not explicitly myself. I have my freebie copy of The Pleistocene Redemption, but have stopped responding to emails urging me to promote it on my website.

Giving people an opportunity to volunteer for something is okay, "using" people is not.

On another point:

Our Godless Constitution
by BROOKE ALLEN
The Nation

[from the February 21, 2005 issue]

"It is hard to believe that George Bush has ever read the works of George Orwell, but he seems, somehow, to have grasped a few Orwellian precepts. The lesson the President has learned best--and certainly the one that has been the most useful to him--is the axiom that if you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it. One of his Administration's current favorites is the whopper about America having been founded on Christian principles. Our nation was founded not on Christian principles but on Enlightenment ones. God only entered the picture as a very minor player, and Jesus Christ was conspicuously absent."

#343 ::: JamesG ::: (view all by) ::: February 24, 2005, 12:27 PM:

Looks like the only night I'll be able to do ConDFW is Friday, which means I'll miss Patrick and Steven's concert. Major bummer.

Any others of the Making Light/Electrolite crew planning on attending?

I will be there, but then I post here so seldom, I doubt if I would be considered part of the "crew" :)

#344 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: February 24, 2005, 01:01 PM:

Skwid: Me, but I'm not sure I'm part of the crew. (Recently-pressed landswoman, maybe...) Will you have "Skwid" on your nametag?

#345 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: February 24, 2005, 01:23 PM:

I certainly will. It's also embroidered on the back of the cap I plan on wearing, so I'll be spottable both coming and going...

#346 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: February 24, 2005, 01:52 PM:

I would appreciate your help in locating a book(s) concerning a Joan-of-Arc type character that I read in the early 1960s. It is classified as fantasy sci fi, I would guess. The story line had her (I believe in a suit of armor with sword) descent into hell or Hades where “nameless demons” snapped around her heels in a red-grey gloom. I scared me to death as a youngster, and for the life of me I can not remember the book so I can re-read it.

Can you help, please?

Thanks!

Glenn Harrison

#347 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: February 24, 2005, 02:47 PM:

Jon passes along a query from Glenn Harrsion:

The story line had her (I believe in a suit of armor with sword) descent into hell or Hades where “nameless demons” snapped around her heels in a red-grey gloom.

Guessing: C.L. Moore's Jirel of Joiry? This page hints that the story may be "The Black God's Shadow." But it's been too long since I read it, so I'm not sure. These stories have been in print as recently as 1996 (Ace paperback) and 1997 (SFBC hardcover), so they shouldn't be too hard to find.

#348 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: February 24, 2005, 04:33 PM:

Skwid: I'll look for you. I'm a tallish, bespectacled brunette, and I'll be wearing an obviously handknitted sweater. (EZ's Medusa pattern, for those keeping score at home.)

JVP: I think Bill's right about it being Jirel of Joiry.

#350 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: February 25, 2005, 02:19 PM:

I just got some spam from an outfit called "Christian Family Loans."

The address given was a P.O. box in San Francisco.

Jeeze, if I were some loan-hungry faith bumpkin that would sure fill me with confidence.

Why not go all the way and rent a box in Sodom, NY?

#351 ::: Kat ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2005, 09:51 AM:

Marilee--I would give my right arm for copies of your Medical Investigation tapes...Lol...a die-hard fan!!

#352 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2005, 06:09 PM:

I'm sorry, Kat, I just timeshift and after I've watched them, tape over with something else.

#353 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2005, 06:29 PM:

Zzedar: The most disturbing item ever on e-bay, and that's saying something.

Cmon, it doesn't take that much googling to find out what a snuff mull is. And how do you figure a ram's head to be more disturbing than whalebone or elephant ivory? Or hamburgers, for that matter.

The resale that lost me my faith in humanity was thirty years ago, on the computer lab door. Someone wanted to sell his copy of Knuth's book on logarithms.

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