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August 31, 2005

Open thread 48
Posted by Teresa at 08:11 AM *

An open thread is an open thread is an open thread.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for info on Katrina and its aftermath, click through to our accumulating collection here.

Comments on Open thread 48:
#1 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 09:22 AM:

Teresa or Patrick,
Just curious as to whether Tor or other SF authors here are getting into podcasting (e.g., sample chapters) as a way of building publicity?

#2 ::: Randall P ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 09:28 AM:

That's a good question, John. I've been wondering whether or not this would be an effective means of promoting your book or whether it was just a waste of time. I've thought about taking some of my long abandoned projects and creating podcasts based upon them. I love the concept of a serialized podcast of my material.

#3 ::: Christopher B. Wright ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 09:36 AM:

Podcasting could actually hurt your book sales, if the sample chapter was poorly read.

#4 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 09:42 AM:

Christopher, yes. I'm assuming you either have a good voice, or know someone who does. :)

#5 ::: Sean Bosker ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 09:48 AM:

On a somewhat related note, there is a zine of Science Fiction short story podcasts. Some of the readers of Making Light have stories on it.

escape pod

#6 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 10:09 AM:

I'd like to opine that podcast readings by Brust would be a surefire success as a marketing technique.

That man can read.

#7 ::: Steve Eley ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 10:55 AM:

Thanks for the shoutout, Sean. I'm very proud of the work Escape Pod has done, and we're getting better every week.

On podcasts of novels, that's starting to take off now and is developing its own following of listeners; the typical approach is to give the whole book away (sometimes an abridged version) a chapter or two at a time, and use that to drive sales of the print book. The site Podiobooks is building a solution to allow listeners to subscribe to a novel podcast from the beginning and get chapters at their own pace.

Right now none of the novelists podcasting are "large press" authors, although I know of at least one significant name slated for a future Podiobooks release. The biggest current success has been Scott Sigler's Earthcore, which was originally going to be published by Time Warner before they scrapped the iPublish imprint. Sigler podcasted it instead, promoted the hell out of it as "the first podcast-only novel," got 10,000 listeners and a lot of press and now the book is out in print.

I personally think there's real opportunity here; as marketing tools go it's about on the same level as Doctorow giving away the electronic versions of his novels. When you release a novel via podcast you're doing it just a little bit at a time, so impatient listeners are going to buy the book. The biggest thing you'd lose is the potential for audiobook sales, of course, but when you look at how few books get an unabridged audiobook treatment these days I'm not sure that's a real loss for many writers, and it can only widen the listener base as long as production quality remains high.

Anyone get the impression I could talk about this all day long? >8->

#8 ::: Kent Roller ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 10:58 AM:

I'm in a mood to stir up trouble or do some good. Since I haven't trolled Making Light for a while, I thought I'd check in and see which opportunity popped up first. Daggit! Looks like I have to do some good by pointing out the typo in the note section below.

#9 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 11:05 AM:

Me, I'm wondering about the impact of Katrina on fuel prices (a lot of refining capacity is out of service), on public ideas of climate change (sudden acceptance or deeper denial?), on the public attitude towards the war, and on the troops, both posted in Iraq and returning.

#10 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 11:22 AM:

Speaking of climate, it seems that Rep. Joe Barton (R-outer space) is harassing three climate researchers. It seems possible these researchers will be subpoenaed to face abuse in front of the House committee on energy and commerce, which Barton chairs, and that he will make an attempt to harass them out of their jobs.


Also coverage in Science, Vol 309, Issue 5739, 1301, 26 August 2005. Available online by subscription to AAAS members, or try your local library's web site.

#11 ::: Kent Roller ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 11:31 AM:


By 'public ideas of climate change', do you mean to say that the unscientifically trained masses should determine if it's really happening? Well, since the pros can't agree, I guess it's up to us.

Here's my scientific analysis. First there was Earth, and it had lots of carbon dioxide floating around but very little oxygen. Then plants evolved and turned the co2 in o2. The plants died and turned into oil. Humans evolved and burned the oil which turned back into co2 for the plants.

Conclusion: People are part of a cycle our planet has been working on for a long time, and a long time to come.

#12 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 11:35 AM:

Here's an interesting article about the "Natural Cures" guy.

(Apologies if you have to sign up to read it).

#13 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 11:48 AM:

Kent --

The pros do agree.

Remember the 'areas of the United States unaffected by acid rain' cartoons, showing Reagan's brain? It's kinda like that, only with even more money at stake.

And, for a wonder, there's an instance in the fossil record of volcanism lighting major coal seams on fire; this has just recently had anything published on it, but it's associated with a major oceanic anoxic event and a mass extinction, as well as high global temperatures.

#14 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 11:48 AM:

You inspire me! I was thinking of podcasting one chapter (my editor said one is fine) of my non-fiction book due out this Fall. But...I also have a novel I would like to serialize in just the manner you mention, to build interest in it.

Thanks for posting your enthusiasm!

#15 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 12:09 PM:


I wonder if this also happens when asteroids and other large rocks come in at high speed. It could explain a little mroe of the results. (And a large enough hit could certainly set off volcanic activity all over the place!)

#16 ::: Jackie ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 12:19 PM:

Actually, the "unscientifically-trained masses" are much more savvy about global warming then they are about evolution vs. creationism. It's hard to get your head around the size of geological time, or a universe that explodes without exploding, with no center, dragging space-time along with it. In contrast, it's easy to understand global warming. Everybody has a grandmother who tells stories about ice skating and 5-foot snow drifts, "and you know, you never see that anymore...." Furthermore, folks are starting to notice it themselves, that summers are hotter and winters are warmer than they remember as children. Sure, the NY Times just published an article stating that Katrina is a product of the natural upswing in Atlantic activity, but you better believe the displaced folks are suspecting something slightly unnatural.

What Barton is trying to do is create debate -- or rather, the illusion of debate -- by holding a witch hunt. He wants to comb through their lives to find that one time when they used the university credit card to buy alcohol... or when they finished work for one grant by pulling money from another, which isn't an uncommon practice. Hopefully, these researchers won't lose their jobs. Their universities are fully behind them, and the National Academy of Sciences has written to Congress that these three scientists have already more than met the burden of proof, and that they believe this is an attack on the scientific process itself, etc. etc. I heard a rumor that there are even people in Barton's own party who are trying to get him to back off... Apparently he's not.

Barton picked these three at random from one plot in the Clinton-era Kyoto accords recommendation document. He doesn't seem to understand that even if he discredits these three data points, there are hundreds of other data points waiting to take their places. Not to mention every American's memory of summers and winters past, which might be much more important in the long run.

You may now continue with your regularly-scheduled lampoon.

#17 ::: Steve Eley ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 12:32 PM:

You inspire me! I was thinking of podcasting one chapter (my editor said one is fine) of my non-fiction book due out this Fall. But...I also have a novel I would like to serialize in just the manner you mention, to build interest in it.

Awesome. The guy you'll want to talk to is Evo Terra. He's behind Podiobooks and the various Dragon Page podcasts. Tell him I recommended Podiobooks to you; he'll say something flippant about me and then help you out. >8-> He might take a few days, though, as he's about to leave for Dragon*Con.

Oh! Speaking of: if anyone else here is insane enough to go to D*C, drop me a line, I'd be happy to get together. It's far from my favorite con, but it's local to me and I managed to wrangle myself a guest pass and a panel or two about podcasting, so I may as well enjoy it.

#18 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 12:33 PM:

Put another way: Barton is part of the F.U.D. (Fear, uncertainty, and doubt) campaign funded by the fossil fuel industries and managed by ideological terriers in think tanks like the Cato Institute.

They're taking many approaches, from outright denial that anything is happening, to full acceptance that greenhouse gasses are changing the climate but claiming that this is a good thing.

The vague, hand waving, comment Kent Roller tossed off comes in between, a kind of "gee, these things are big and complex, so who are we to say what's right and wrong?" dismissal.

All of these approaches are effective, on various segments of the population. So far it has done a pretty good job of keeping anything from being done.

Being done by the federal government, that is. Some of this nation's leaders don't owe fealty to the oil industry, and have set up state auto emission standards geared toward reducing CO2.

Good for them, and screw the Exxon Occupation Government and their cadre of dupes and useful idiots.

#19 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 12:41 PM:

P J -

The kind of asteroid strike it takes to set off vulcanism (people have looked at this in detail, trying to tell if the Chicxulub impact and the Deccan Traps were correlated[1]) does one of two things -- it blows a hole to a significant depth in the upper mantle, or it causes upper mantle displacement waves. In the latter case, issues of multi-cellular life surviving are moot; in the former, maybe something in the deep oceans, sorts of things. Nothing that big has hit since the Precambrian.

The Ocean Anoxic Events are not as well understood as everyone would like; sometimes the cause may be purely ecological, or involve oceanic methane hydrate release after a fairly standard ice age provides a trapping mechanism. (It's getting much more likely that this is what we're in for, if that second trillion barrels of oil gets burnt.)

The way an asteroid could set off an ocean anoxic event -- I know of no evidence that this has happened, I'm just theorizing -- would be by being in the size category and type range that breaks up, rather than making a big hole, and flash-frying a hemisphere with the radiated thermal bloom. If it's the heavily forested hemisphere, the resulting fires might provide the CO2 starter kick for the carboniferous organism bloom.

[1] consensus is that they're not. Having both happen in the same million years wasn't good for the dinosaurs, but they're not correlated events.

#20 ::: Zed ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 12:57 PM:

Here's my scientific analysis. First there was Earth, and it had lots of carbon dioxide floating around but very little oxygen. Then plants evolved and turned the co2 in o2. The plants died and turned into oil. Humans evolved and burned the oil which turned back into co2 for the plants.

Hint: Trolling works better if you don't first announce you're a troll.

#21 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 01:14 PM:

The Deccan Traps/Chicxulub was what I had in mind - hadn't heard they were that far apart in time, but a million years isn't much on a planetary scale. That crustal motion might cause some otherwise-delayed eruptions was also in mind (being from California, where earthquakes can trigger other earthquakes). And a big-enough impact might really do a number on a lot of things.

#22 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 01:31 PM:

The precise relative dating of both the Decan Traps -- all the various layers of them -- and Chicxulub (nailed down by K/Ar in zircons) -- is still slightly squishy, but the miss between active flood vulcanism and the impact is generally accepted to have been considerable, hundreds of thousands of years. (There's still contention on a lot of the details.)

The impact earthquake has been modelled as being in the Richter 10 range; you can get lots of earthquake with a large impact.

#23 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 01:56 PM:

In case it's been missed, Real Climate is a blog which hasn't been updated in three weeks, but one which attempts to address/explain the science. The post the link goes to is one entitled "Scientists respond to Barton."

#24 ::: Harriet ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 02:17 PM:

I'm asking here in the Open Thread instead of the Katrina, but it's a related issue:

One of the Katrina refugees whose story I was reading on her LJ this morning was particularly mourning the loss of her 2000+ books, many of them going back to her childhood, which she had to abandon and which will surely have been pulped as she lived near one of the failed levees.

Once things settle down a little, and the refugees have space and time to start rebuilding their lives, does anyone know of any programs through which those of us with more books than shelfspace could donate books to help folks whose whole libraries have been pulped at one blow? Or some kind of want list/match program where people could list their very favorite titles, the ones that leave a real hole in your life when you lose them -- maybe especially kid's lit situations? So that people with extra copies or copies that aren't core parts of their personal collections could send them to bereft readers?

I suppose I should ask about this over in the various librarian-communities on LJ, as well; just think of all the school libraries and town or city libraries that have lost their books....

Harriet C.

#25 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 02:28 PM:

I received a rather disturbing phish email recently. It used the usual link-redirect trick -- and the redirect went to a domain chosen to be deceptive. This one was aimed at Bank of America customers (of which it happens I am one) and clicking on the link in the email would have taken me to a login page at "". I know that there's no necessary connection there (and since I use a text client, I could see the headers that said obvious phish) but it seems like that one could really fool people.

I did forward the email to; I hope their lawyers Have Words with the registrar that sold that domain name and the ISP that hosts it.

#26 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 02:29 PM:

On a totally lighter note, I ran across an amusing music video via a motorcycle mailing list I read, who in turn lifted it from yesterday's All Things Considered. The thing has evidently gotten over 500k downloads much to the surprise of the band. It's really amusing - a bunch of guys approaching middle age doing an elaborate dance routine.

Here's the video at reasonably high fidelity (.MOV file).

Other formats on this page (including for the bandwidth

The interview on ATC on NPR.

OK Go.

#27 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 03:05 PM:

Well, I suppose it's time to throw in a writing or editing related comment again. I've been thinking ahead on the assumption that I will actually write a novel and then will go through the equal labor of beating it into shape to submit it for publication.

I noted the comments a while back that it's easier to get a novel read seriously if you can cite some published short stories. While that sucks for people who just don't do short, everything I've written to date has been short. However, it's also all or nearly all been posted to Usenet or the web or both for public entertainment, about 10 years back. I understand that kills first publication rights, so a magazine editor definitely won't buy it and an anthology editor is not likely to buy something by an unknown which neither got magazine exposure nor is a first publication.

However, if I seriously revise and rework a previously posted story - and I think even my best couple stories will probably need it when I look back at them - is it then fair game to submit it for publication? I assume I would need to disclose that an earlier version was publicly released?

#28 ::: Luthe ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 03:07 PM:

From the Department of What The Holy Frell: Fearless Leader compares War on Terror to WWII, himself to FDR

#29 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 04:07 PM:

"[Roosevelt] knew that the best way to bring peace and stability to the region was by bringing freedom to Japan."

Yep, who could forget all that "Freedom for Japan!" propaganda?

#30 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 04:32 PM:

Did the Shrub mention how many years it took us to bring freedom to Japan? After they surrendered formally? Does he understand that terrorists won't surrender?

#31 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 05:17 PM:

On the "Lesser Known Proofreading Marks" -- I've actually seen one of those in the wild! My 11th-grade English teacher was well known to put the "shovel" one next to people's less, er, substantive arguments.

#32 ::: Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 05:22 PM:

Wait I thought we conquered Japan and then restructured their government and rewrote their constitution.

Must have been a different history class.

#33 ::: Alan Hamilton ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 06:57 PM:

The bogus BofA domain is offline now.

#34 ::: Lisajulie ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 07:57 PM:

On a different thread, there's mention of NPR replacing Daniel Schorr. I might suspect that he's actually retiring. After all, he is in his late 80's, IIRC. (Wikipedia says he was born in August 31, 1916, so that makes him 89 today.)

#35 ::: Vito Excalibur ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 08:43 PM:

Another bookstore closing: Kepler's in Menlo Park, in case any of y'all know it.

Not a disaster on the order of thousands dead, but still sad news.

#36 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 09:33 PM:

Another bookstore closing: Kepler's in Menlo Park, in case any of y'all know it.

Oh, that's too bad. A fine store.

The last books I bought there were Scott Westerfeld's The Risen Empire and John C. Wright's The Golden Age. I recommend both, but I'd avoid Wright's sequels.

#37 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 09:35 PM:

When Florence had a disastrous flood years ago, there were papers and artwork saved by freeze-drying them.

Microwaving paperbacks will dry them out, but be careful of the spine/glue/perfect finding.


People I wish were at the bottom of Ponchetrain [spelling]: Rep. Barton, Sen. Santorum. Etc.

#38 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 10:16 PM:

Kepler's had a choice location, right on El Camino Real with parking down below. I'm not surprised the rent had become unaffordable.

* * *

C'mon, Paula. There's enough toxic waste there already.

#39 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 10:32 PM:

What damage would few bodies more down there to feed the fish do? Besides, once they're at the bottom of the lake they're not -live- toxins anymore, once out of US politics and business and religion and such, the hazardousness level of them will drop... they'd be no more or less noxious than other corpses.

#40 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 10:42 PM:

Dang! Kepler's was a fine bookstore - certainly the best in San Mateo county. Also one of the few places I could reliably find German magazines like Der Spiegel and Fokus. :-(

#41 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2005, 11:48 PM:

Brooks Moses: On the "Lesser Known Proofreading Marks" -- I've actually seen one of those in the wild! My 11th-grade English teacher was well known to put the "shovel" one next to people's less, er, substantive arguments.

As did mine, only it was 10th grade; he also had a rubber stamp that said "BOLOGNA"; on one composition he regarded as particularly egregious, he spelled out the student's name with the rubber stamp.

Don't tell me you went to Landon, too...

#42 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2005, 01:13 AM:

Finding the link to the chudwah definition wasn't easy, but was worth it.

#43 ::: Tina ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2005, 01:34 AM:

Harriet, I think that a book donation program is a fine idea. I know I must have duplicates of some of my books, if for no other reason than I had a bunch of stuff in storage and probably bought dupes of things I forgot I owned. I'd happily donate those even though I don't really have the money to go out and buy things specifically for donation.

But I don't know how one would best go about organizing it; maybe your enquiries to the librarian community will help with that.


Would anyone like some good news for a change?

I've done gone and got myself a fiancé.

#44 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2005, 03:32 AM:

Congratulations, Tina!

Okay, I'm about to use this space as a time-stamped public Place of Record.

In another venue, I talked about one scenario of the next several days (going to NASFiC leaving tomorrow evening about 7) as optimum; and the next best scenario (leaving the following day sometime between 1 and 3 PM) as "optimoid". I refused to go into the "pessimum" or even "pessimoid" variants.

Okay. There are maybe two google usages in English for optimoid, at least one a noun rather than an adjective. There are no google usages for pessimoid as an adjective. Pessimum seems to be semi-standard, with 14K mentions, meaning about what I wanted it to mean.

I claim independent creation. I don't get precedent in the OED. But I'm happy with the words.

Venue of record.

#45 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2005, 04:12 AM:

Robert: No, this was Pulaski County High, in Virginia. The professor in question was rather an entertaining character in other ways; he had long hair and a very bushy beard, and one year assigned a first-week homework assignment of "find a large grassy soft hill, lie down at the top of it, roll to the bottom, look up at the sky. Write a short description of the experience."

(Actually, I'm not even sure that last bit was in there; the assignment might have just been to roll down the hill and get dizzy.)

#46 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2005, 04:14 AM:

Well, of course "pessimum" is (semi-)standard -- it's just Latin for "worst" as "optimum" is Latin for "best".

#47 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2005, 04:16 AM:

Oh, and congratulations indeed, Tina. That's wonderful news!

#48 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2005, 04:43 AM:

Tina, my felicitations and best wishes.

#49 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2005, 10:32 AM:

As a break from the relentlessly depressing news front, here's something from the "sounds skiffy, but now it's real" newsfront:

"Australian Scientists create mice that can regenerate joints, internal organs, even hearts."

Here's hoping they call them "Logan Mice..."

#50 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2005, 10:35 AM:

My bad...these guys are at U. Penn., it's just the paper that's from down under...

#51 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2005, 10:38 AM:

Er...Penn State.

I give up.

#52 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2005, 10:57 AM:

Brooks: Our 10th grade English teacher was an eccentric older guy, a Civil War buff (nearly all the reading assignments concerned it in one way or another), and a strict grammarian. He was tough on us, but I'm grateful to him now in some ways. I've also had to unlearn a good bit of what he taught us. I think I only ever got the shovel symbol one, on some composition I wrote very hurriedly. Having to crank out these impromptu essays three times a week or so gave me a permanent love/hate relationship with writing....

#53 ::: Destro ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2005, 12:03 PM:


You can try Reader to Reader. They are a charity that provides books to underpriviledged school libraries. They might be planning something for the Katrina refugees or be able to hook you up with a group that is.

#54 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2005, 03:02 PM:

Harriet -- doing it by want list would be best. Because having a random box of someone else's duplicate books to replace one's lost and beloved books might make things worse.

All this stuff about emergency kits and "what would you grab" and so on reminds me of the packing to leave bit in one of my favourite children's books, Judith Kerr's When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit -- which I believe had an even dumber than usual title change in the US and is called something like In the Hitler Time. On the "Story For Beginners" thread people were talking about learning things, or not learning them, from fiction. I learned from that book what you take when you leave, much better than I'd ever have learned it from something sensible and practical like Jim's list, because I learned it emotionally and gut deep.

#55 ::: Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2005, 03:16 PM:

RE: Goldberg

I knew the let them eat cake statement was coming. I just lost the bet on who.

#56 ::: Hilary Hertzoff ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2005, 04:32 PM:

Regarding book dontations - the libraries in the area probably won't be in any shape to coordinate book donations for a while.

Here's contact information for two Louisiana library organizations if anyone is interested.

Louisiana Library Foundation

We are asking that financial donations for libraries be sent to our Louisiana Library Foundation and we will forward the money to the appropriate library or community. If someone
wants to donate to a specific library, they can just indicate that and we will make sure they get it.

At present, we have not been able to assess actual damage or needs for materials because of power and phone outages. When we have a better idea of the actual needs, we may try to coordinate some donations of materials.

Again, thanks so much for your offer of help. Here is the contact info for the Foundation:

Make checks payable to:

Louisiana Library Foundation
PO Box 2583
Baton Rouge, LA 70821

Louisiana Library Association

Please post widely.

The Louisiana Library Association (LLA) Disaster Relief Fund is now accepting monetary donations to assist school, public, and academic library restoration efforts in Southeastern Louisiana.

Please make checks payable to: LLA-Disaster Relief

And mail to: LLA
421 South 4th St
Eunice, LA 70535

#57 ::: Hilary Hertzoff ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2005, 04:36 PM:

And one more:

The statement from the American Library Association regarding the situation.

#58 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2005, 05:39 PM:

Felicitations, Tina!

Too bad they can't regenerate human joints! A friend's mother is having the first shoulder & socket replacement in the US next month. I'm sure she'd rather just grow new ones.

#59 ::: Tina ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2005, 10:35 PM:

Thanks everyone!

Marilee: Yeah, it sure would be nice if they didn't have to do replacement surgery; my stepmother had to have her hips replaced a couple years ago and it took quite a while for recovery.

On the plus side, artificial joint design is one of the areas where they're making a lot of breakthroughs, so hopefully the replacement will go smoothly.

#60 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2005, 11:41 PM:

Marilee: Too bad they can't regenerate human joints! A friend's mother is having the first shoulder & socket replacement in the US next month. I'm sure she'd rather just grow new ones.

My mother had a knee replaced six months ago (no cartilage left; she'd been scooting around backwards on a walker for a year). She now can do stairs with just a cane, and walk to the market - happiness! Her surgeon is extremely pleased by her progress, and wishes all his patients did as well. BTW, she's eighty-four years old.

#61 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2005, 10:32 AM:

CDBaby has thousands of titles on sale with the proceeds going to Katrina relief. I particularly recommend Emily Bezar.

#62 ::: Hilary Hertzoff ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2005, 10:55 AM:

Some more information about donating books:

From my Young Adult Library Services Association Mailing list.

I'll post more information as I get it.

We are grateful that so many members are stepping forward with offers of help and resources to those affected by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. YALSA and ALA's Chapter Relations Office are working with the Texas Library Association and the Houston Public Library to organize a book drive. They need to put a receiving and distribution system in place, first however, and have asked that individuals hold off for a few days before sending books. Once they
are organized on the ground in Texas, YALSA will send out an announcement with information about where to send the materials. So, at this point, if you have books to donate for evacuees who will be staying in the Astro Dome, please just hold on to them for the moment.

#63 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2005, 02:16 PM:

Patrick's "Elsewhere On Live Journal" reminded me to ask, re:

Possible Historic Teresa Sighting

Teresa, as I recall, you and Patrick lived in Seattle for a while way back when. A couple of questions:

1) Was this around September, 1982?

and 2) Were you still active in SCA at the time?

I ask because the latest TOURNAMENTS ILLUMINATED has a SCA-historical article on the beginnings of the An Tir kingdom, and one of the accompanying photos, featuring a guy with "an unknown lady", made me go "Hey, that sure looks like..."

#64 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2005, 04:49 PM:

We did live in Seattle in 1982, but neither of us has been in the SCA since we were very young people, years before, in Arizona.

(To clarify--as Bruce probably recalls, both of us were briefly in the Arizona SCA in the 1970s, and we knew a number of the same people, but we didn't overlap and we didn't meet until we were both in SF fandom a couple of years later.)

#65 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2005, 06:16 PM:

The Middle Ages was a big place. Even bigger when you annex the Early Renaissance.

It's only in fantasy epics that everybody on the continent, if not in the world, whose vocabulary is larger than "There be evil maunderings here" and "Ye hast yon visage of an protagonist about ye summat" all wind up at the same orc-B-que at the same time. And there it usually happens deep into the first volume.

"Red foreshadowings be afar off, and a great darkness on the land be to follow."
"Amongst our people be that y-clept 'sunset.'"
"Clepe it to thineself, then, lest fear come among the affrighting classes."
"Yon aleful one with the clerkly hairdo look sayeth that, in a place far off, there be a new guise of yon verb, 'to be.'"
"I think it be but another bloody foreshadowing, but when hast one of them pattens ever failed to drop?"

Uh, sorry. Too swiving easy.

#66 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2005, 10:25 PM:

An article published locally by a friend which might be of interest, both generally and lately: Thirty Years after Rollerball:

“Rollerball” pointed out that the board members and directors of corporations aren’t elected leaders, yet make decisions that control the economy and millions of lives. Inside our democracy is a tyranny of manipulated rule. Public rage doesn’t seem to matter. Scandals erupt, quickly go to the back pages of our newspapers, then disappear as the press finds new stories elsewhere. When my movie was remade a couple of years ago its political and social themes were removed. The new film — I’ll never watch it — is a senseless ode to male violence. Deeply corrupt corporations often get a free pass in the press — and in the entertainment business as well.
#67 ::: OG ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2005, 05:20 AM:

CDBaby has thousands of titles on sale with the proceeds going to Katrina relief. I particularly recommend Emily Bezar.

And I particularly recommend The Brain Surgeons. Piece of Work is probably my favorite of their releases so far. Even if you don't like hard rock, check out the tracks "Biloxi" and "Lady of the Harbor".

#68 ::: Bergitte ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2005, 04:27 PM:

I am attaching a letter from the Governor of Lousiana requesting aid from the Federal Government - specifically to George Bush that was dated August 28th.

I would like you to do 2 things: First, read it and secondly, send this along to everyone you know and if you know anyone in the news media please encourage them to run the letter and have them ask our Commander in Chief why he saw fit to wait 5 days for help to arrive.

This is unspeakable.

#69 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2005, 04:42 PM:

well I put this in another thread but I guess I'll put it here to

"They're doing a good job," one former FEMA executive says of the Bush administration's response efforts. "And the reason why they're doing that job is because it's so close to the election, and they can't f--k it up, otherwise they lose Florida -- and if they lose Florida, they might lose the election."

so why did they wait 5 days?

What part of New Orleans is a democratic town full of darkies don't you understand.

or maybe it's just that Jeb Bush is in Florida, and New Orleans ain't.

#70 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2005, 05:26 PM:

"And the reason why they're doing that job is because it's so close to the election, and they can't f--k it up, otherwise they lose Florida -- and if they lose Florida, they might lose the election."

So what about all the other states? Are they planning to lose/steal/miscount the rest of the country's ballots? I can tell you that there are people in California who are wondering what, if any, help we might get if - when - we have our next disaster. After all, we have blacks - and Hispanics - and Asians - and, worst of all, liberals.

#71 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2005, 06:30 PM:

Knitting as a pick-up line. Note - contains the A word, but should still be SFW.

#72 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2005, 11:19 PM:

Well Chief Justice William Rehnquist is dead. That's another one Bush will get to appoint....

#73 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2005, 11:37 PM:

Don't bet on it, Jim--I don't think the Senate is going to be in a particularly compliant mood.

#74 ::: kate ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2005, 11:56 PM:

So I have a question.

A friend of mine got an email which disturbed her. I'm actually fairly sure it's quite logical and probably also true, given this Administration. But she can't find outside confirmation. So. Has anyone heard about this on CNN or other broadcast media? (I didn't find it on a quick scan of the CNN website, at least.)

"...The email claimed that CNN reported that "homosexual persons seeking assistance in locating Domestic Partners, and the acquisition of what limited resources are available for families, are being turned away by both local aid organizations and Federal relief."

This is apparently because Louisiana's DOMA makes it specifically illegal for any local organization which receives state assistance to provide aid for gay and lesbian families. This apparently goes for emergency relief as well. According to the email, FEMA has cited the Federal DOMA for refusing services."

#76 ::: cd ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2005, 06:49 AM:

And, in other cheerful news, the NOAA said, back on August 2nd:
Bulk of This Season's Storms Still to Come"

"NOAA expects an additional 11 to 14 tropical storms from August through November, with seven to nine becoming hurricanes, including three to five major hurricanes"
From the August 2005 Update to Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook:
"NOAA is calling for a 95% to 100% chance of an above-normal 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, according to a consensus of scientists at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center (CPC), Hurricane Research Division (HRD), and National Hurricane Center (NHC). This forecast reflects NOAA’s highest confidence of an above-normal hurricane season since their outlooks began in August 1998."

#77 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2005, 07:00 AM:

It would be impertinent and indecent of me to comment on US politics, especially now. But I've just been over to Power Line, and found that they haven't much to say about the hurricane, except to tell the world that the citizens of the Gulf Coast owe the President a debt of gratitude, because he is said to have called the Governor of Louisiana and urged immediate evacuation.

Apart from that, I learn that it is possible that the Supreme Court Justice nominated to replace the late Chief Justice will come from Louisiana, and that would be opportune just now.

Can anyone detect just the faintest hint of desperation in this?

#78 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2005, 07:08 AM:

Dave: I can think of SEVERAL Louisianans who'd do just fine on the SCOTUS. And I can virtually guarantee that none of them are under consideration for nomination.

#79 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2005, 12:08 PM:

[Uncharitable rancid comments department....]

So where's my job?

Mayor Mennino of Boston is saying the the new Convention Center in South Boston is available to host 2000 refugees, that they'll get healthcare at the hospitals in Boston, presumably they'll get food... no comment about who's going to pay for this.

-I- don't have healthcare. I don't have a job. I send out resumes into the bitbucket. I talk to recruiters who submit me as a job candidate and never hear back from the recruiters, sometimes not even after three phonecalls.

I feel sorry for a lot of the victims--on the other hand, the one who were True Red Bush supporters... I've watched what Bush has wrought the part four years. They voted for the Schmuck, I'm unemployed nad have been for most of the past three and a half years as a result of his "leadership" and actions and policies and the people he associates with and the attitudes they promulgate. Older women looking for work, ha, ha, ha, "you're overqualified" for scut retail. For professional jobs, middleaged and female and not working in the particular field for more than six months, ha, ha, ha.

Gender and age discrimination? This the Schmuck era, all the mechanisms for collection of data that provided the statistics showing discrimination have been discontinued by Executive Order. Related example: DACOWITS, the Defense Advisory Council on Women In The Service or some such title, which was formed by Congress, got mutated by Schmuck into a Family Values agency concerned with Mommies and Kiddies--not that there shouldn't be people tasked by the US Government to track quality of life and such issues regarding military families, but spouses of military members and their children are not in the military! Queen Bitch Elaine Donnelly, one woman screed operation with federal funding for her bogus "studies" as "The Center for Military Readiness" which is a shrill for "women should be in purdah diapering babies and cooking" --but not -her-, and not the person whose was her patron into politics, Phyllis Schlafly, is one of the DACOWITS members these days I think. Queen Bitch Donnelly's monologues in audio and in print, are all about how women don't belong in the military and combat--but somehow Queen Bitch Donnelly never mentions women with the poor judgment to happen to have been living in Baghdad, etc., where they didn't have any choice about a war and violence arriving in their neighborhood and them unable to leave. Queen Bitch Donnelly's world, I suppose it's just fine for women to be combat and warfare and violence victims getting raped and wounded and maimed and murdered, but not be armed and trained to defend themselves in military units which they might have a chance of shooting the bastard successfully preventing the bastard from shooting/maiming/raping/murdering them.

Now if 2000 people move into the Convention Center in Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts gets stuck with the direct support costs, the costs of operating the facility without income from it, the loss of revenue of any shows and visitors who were supposed to come here for shows in the Convention Center, the costs of the healthcare, what about -me-?

Yeah, callous of me. But remember, those states VOTED FOR BUSH. I am unemployed because of Bush. I heard all sorts of insults about "Damn Yankees: and "Yankee Dimes" from people from Good Old Boyz from Alabama and Mississippi and Lousisana State University, and now with months and months of red ink in my life, I'm expected to be gracious and generous and charitable to people from areas where generally the residents insulted my values, insulted me, insulted where I'm from, and who contributed to the mess they're in?

No, not all them voted for Bush, or are Southern jackasses who make Greg Benford when drunk and on his the South fell and it can't be bothered doing anything except bitch about it rant despite it being 140 years later, look like the most gracious sensitive etc. fellow in existence. But, the majority of people in Lousiana, Mississippi, and Alabama -did-, the surrounding states also did. They should be the ones who get hit with the heaviest costs to provide assistance. Their choice of "leader" made the devastation and harm orders of magnitude worse in misery and loss of life than it would have been, with competent leadership rather than patronage schmucks in FEMA and the bloated inept blimp etc. Department of Homeland Secuirty and patronage job "privatization" "disaster planning" by the likes of IEM.

Voluntary private charity and taking refugees by people who didn't vote for the Schmuck, sure. [Note: I am NOT speaking for Elizabeth Moon, I am reporting on something she posted. I am not Elizabeth, and I suspect she wouldn't particularly approve of much of the sentiment I have been expressing here....) But anyway--Elizabeth Moon mentioned on her newsgroup that she and her husband live in a house, and there's an empty house that they also own. Elizabeth tried most of last week to contact Authorities and say "I have a house available to put refugees from the disaster up in." She working on reading the house for inhabitants, and then found out that there weren't going to be placements of refugees out where she lives, not in one of the major cities where people are being evacuated to.

And any part of Texas is a lot closer to the Gulf Coast, than Boston is. And it gets COLD in the winter here. And the price of heating oil and natural gas is going to make life worse for the people who live here--and Exxon and the gas producer companies etc. jacked up the price last week far above their production costs, and they have all those federal financial benefits....

Don't look at ME for involuntary charity. If/when I have a job and income perhaps I will contribute--if I can be convinced that the contribution is going to actually be worthwhile, as opposed to more incentive income for Halliburton exectives and such.

I'm not Houghton, the Boston Computer Society to a degree put me into Volunteer Fatigue and disenchantment--watching how that organization died its painful lingering death, from hey, affluent white males on the board of directors who were breaking state law about charitable organzation financial information availability and organizational control, isn;'t something I was consciously thinking about lately until just now, but there are some resonances between that, and the crony-laden paralyzed-for-dealing-with-crises US Government.

Getting back to "where's my job?" either any displaced able-to-work persons brought here are going to be given jobs, or there's going to be massive problems with them having too much time on their hands with nothing to do and nothing to feel worthwhile for.... I expect there there might be big pushes, maybe even federal jobs placement program for them.

There wasn't any such thing for me though when the Cold War ended and I was like hundreds of thousands of other defense workers, thrown out of work. There wan't any such thing when the telcom/computer business came crashing down with the US Government blowing off punishing Microsoft (that's what initiate the dotcom implosion) and its 9/11 incompetence to do anything about scrambling fighters as soon as the hijackings occurred, and it mishandling of the US economy in the wake of 9/11 (the time from alert to figher plane in the air, back when I was in the Air Force, was two minutes, yes, that's not a typo, it was two minutes).

But I expect that because this was so public a spectacle and the disaster happened in such a short time, that there will be a major federal effort to get the disaster victims jobs. The fact that there are something like 150,000 people in this state who STILL are unemployed from the 2001 depression, hasn't gotten any attention that's got us even crap jobs, much less jobs that paid anything like what we had been making--the employment figures of those who -are- employed, the erosion in pay and benefits from the prior jobs where the lost-their-jobs types found other work in-state, don't tend to get mentioned.

And here come 2000 people looking for work, who are going to get THEIR healthcare free, and whose presence may be cutting off planned business and income to the people already in the state from visitors--there is a substantial part of the economy based on tourism and tradeshows here, in case anyone hadn;t noticed the hotel room prices at Noreascon.

It's not "charity" when the government moves people into your locality without asking the residents first. That's government interference in the lives of the private citizens without asking the citizen's opinion. There's a huge difference between volunteering and being volunteered particularly when financial losses are involved....

I wonder--Cape Cod is full of hotels and motels. With Labor Day weekend, the tourist season for people staying in motels there is mostly over. Some of them even shutdown from October to May or June. Why isn't the state government looking into putting people into those places, which are setup for hospitality already and in that business? And it would provide jobs for some of the refugees, not wonderful ones, but jobs.

Again, this is the Uncharitable Rancid Comments Department. Yes, I have a house. I also had an utterly miserable childhood, eleven years from first grade through 12th in which I was spitwadded, beaten up, sneered at, had doors slammed in my face, was poked, incessantly verbally harassed... there are lots of people I really, really, really do not like, and want my own place where they won't be. Oh, right, siege mentality? Yup. George W. Bush is an old-fashioned smirking sneering schoolyard bully, and perhaps at the gut level one of my strongest resons for to utterly despising him.

The people who voted for him and put in into the position such that New Orleans drowned last last week, aren;'t my friends, aren't people that when I am feeling besieged and am jobless and in red ink cashflow for -months- because of Bush misadministration I want anywhere near me, and reminding me that I don't have a job, don't have healthcare, etc. Yes, I have a roof over my head, and possessions, a working car, am not a refugee, but then again, I don't live in a flood plain, either. My house is somewhere between the 100 and 500 year flood line, and de facto is above the 100 year flood line--there were two of them the same spring four years ago, and the flood waters weren't threatening my property.

Yes, I understand that when one is poor one doesn't have much choice about living in undesirable area generally more susceptible to disaster from flood, fire, etc., than people with more economic choice about what to live. I also understand that a lot of people in New Orleans are not people who voted for George Bush--but the state of Louisiana as a whole did, and the Gulf Coast areas of Alabama and Mississippi did, and Texas did.

Texas is the second largest state in the country, and has all the oil money. They voted for Bush, let THEM bear the main burden of reparation and restitution and support for dealing with the magnitude of the disaster occurring because the Bush Misadministration turned FEMA into a political patronage repository for shyster Republican fundraiser lawyers incompetent at doing anything except playing bagman for campaign contributions and with the most expensive equipment and most of it in the world for command and control, can't provide usable communications and leadership because it can't LEAD, can't think, can't do ANYTHING competent when it comes to GOVERNING, and dithers around spending its effort developing photo-ops and putting Smirking Chimp in position to smile for the press and try to LOOK Presidential.

Halliburton has billions in fraud-laden contracts to the US Government, including apparently for Lousiana rebuilding. Don't ask ME for charity and for graciously supporting people getting healthcare I don't have in the state I live in, when Halliburton's getting its fat returns on investment, and the Schmuck from Christian Hell is still in office, and Rehnquist just died and this former democracy is a police state that the heads of state of East Germany would envy for the domestic spying operations.

Charity begins at home. I want the US Government to provide aid and assistance, but put them up in places that were DESIGNED for people to sleep in, not convention centers and sports stadiums! And what about those towns in the US Midwest where there are empty houses, because the economies in those areas croaked? Oh, right, can't get around in those places without a car, because the US Government cut all the train service, and once the population dwiindled, there weren't any more local buses, either...

So, where are there places with empty housing, and bus service? Detroit had an exodus year ago leaving abandoned houses because the US Government was essentially subsidizing the US Southeast and Texas to -grow-, but I expect most of that housing is long since rendered uninhabitable or was flattened.

Hmm, that was the US Government promotion of the Southeast, more ammunition for me to have a hardened heart. This area gets what it is, something like 80 cents back in federal spending for every dollar the fed gets from the are? Mississippi gets something like $1.80 back, and Lousiana gets more than a dollar back, Texas I think gets more than a dollar back...

The Mississippi Gulf Coast having recently been having its economy brightened by the gaming industry, federal assistance getting that back up and running, I heartily approve of--that's private enterprise that was involved in that business I thought, not federal redistribution to parasites on the taxpayer like Cheney and his Halliburton buddies and Mr Brown and the siting of Stennis Center in Mississippi and Keesler Air Force Base continung to be there. Surely converting Keelser into a nature center could help the tourist trade? Look at all the vistors that Yellowstone and Yosemite a federal seashore in Mississippi would keep developers out of the area and provide natural protection for the rest of the Biloxi area....

#80 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2005, 12:31 PM:

Dave - The Powerline people live in a fantasy world, where Dear Leader rescues widows and orphans and personally brings in the harvest. I don't care what they have to say, even if it's cries of desperation that Kim Il Bush's codpiece may have come unstuffed.

And yeah, Bush probably could find a raving loonie from LA who thinks reinstating Plessy v. Ferguson would be just dandy to send to the Supreme Court - I just don't think that that particular card is playable right now.

#81 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2005, 12:33 PM:

Whoops - Just remembered that Dave is Australian. LA = Lousiana (postal abbreviation) not Los Angeles, and Plessy v Ferguson was the Supreme Court ruling that allowed segregation.

#82 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2005, 03:36 AM:

Er. Um.

The news about Rehnquist snapped my temper, when added to everything else--I live in Massachusetts, and New England, which were the special targets of Base Realignment And Closure. There were the Nixon Reprisals back during Nixon's time. Watertown Arsenal went away. Ft Devens, the last Army base with active duty boots-on-ground troops in New England, got axed some years back. Pease Air Force Base in New Hampshire got whacked. Loring in Maine got whacked. The Boston Navy Shipyard went away long long away. NASA's Electronics Research Center in Cambridge got extirpated by Tricky Dick so fast the equipment was hauled to Natick and buried rather than time and effort and money spent inventorying it and handing it off to anyone--some MIT types managed to play a relative of Midnight Supply and grab some of it for use instead of trashing as planned for all equipment.
The National Magnet Laboratory got excised from MIT and moved down to Florida as Congressional spoils to a Florida university which had to contract back to MIT researchers beacuse there was no one capable or competent down at Florida to do the magnet design and production.... There had been a Naval Air Station in Weymouth, MA, that shutdown sometime in the 1980s or 1990s.

BRAC initially listed Portsmouth Naval Shipyard at the Maine/New Hampshire border (I'm not sure which state it's in), Groton (sub base) in Connecticut, Otis on Cape Cod, and other New England facilities for closure. New England got a highly disportionate proposed closure and loss of jobs and personnel plurality of the proposed cuts. There were going to be 1000 jobs added to Hanscom, which is a non-flying base--purely R&D, and there's a chunk of MIT resident there, Lincoln Laboratory, which had been at the MIT Radiation Laborary out on rat-infest wharves in Boston (a relative of mine was involved, he was highly disappointed at being forced to dismantle his ratkiller device, which involved a flat metal plate and a bank of large capacitors, enough to have killed a human stepping on it; the rats that met it, got exploded all over the room. Got an even more socially suspect relative who went to MIT--the first cousin who sat through his only sibling's wedding ceremony grading physics papers) which was instrumental in the US having working radar during WWII when the tech came over here from Great Britain. Hanscom's there arguably because of MIT, Harvard, and the other universities around Boston.

Review of the initial recommendations got Portsmouth and Groton removed from the closure list, Otis left on it but the fighters from it to be moved inland to Westover 90 or so miles from the coast, that doesn't make sense, air defense fighter-interceptors should be on the coast--makes slight more sense than having the Hurricane Hunters at Keesler instead of in Florida on the Atlantic coast and sticking down toward the Gulf of Mexico but that's not saying a whole lot, and no personnel are to be added to Hascom. There's at least one small facility, in Maine, also closing, and the residual use of what the government kept at Ft Devens would be closed down regarding Weekend Warrriors.

Meanwhile, the US Southern Tier had gained the jobs and staffing and military that got cleared out of New England over the years. The Navy Construction Battalion at Gulfport, MI, had gotten relocated there from Rhode Island.

Political influence tends to overshadow all regarding location of federal facilities. There's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, for example, instituted sometime after NASA's Electronics Research Center in Cambrige was extirpated.

But anyway, when I heard the news that Rehnquist was dead, meaning that the Schmuck get to pick another push-Schmuck-agenda Supreme Court candidate, my temper snapped, and in the direction of Red State and Their Values and the Redistribution of National Resources Disporportionately to Them, and Their Smirking at Blue States and Theocratizing and Denial of Rights to Women and Homosexuals etc. etc. etc. and out came the rancidity.

#83 ::: Joel Davis ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2005, 07:30 PM:


Well, amidst all the very real tragedy and news of political import, I have a rather mundane question.

If a country boy is flying into New York City on a Friday, what would be the don't miss attractions?

I'm traveling to Princeton to attend a memorial service, but since I'll be in NYC for the first time in my life, I want to at least look around for a couple of hours.

Any idea, o gentle folk?


Joel Davis

#84 ::: Kate Yule ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2005, 08:50 PM:

Joel -- my take on that is that you could go just about ANYWHERE in Manhattan and happen across things that will make you say "Oh wow! I'm in New York! !!!!!!"

My first time there was under very similar circumstances to yours. I spent far more time that weekend staring longingly at the skyline from my grieving in-laws' New Jersey apartment than I did on the ground in NYC. But we did get a few hours over in Manhattan, and I saw the Dakota. I saw hot dog stands, and heard the taxis, and had lunch in Greenwich Village. And lo, it was good.

Is there a book or movie set in NYC that you're fond of? Some food you've always wanted to try? Pick one thing and go for it, and be open to serendipity around it.

Too vague? OK. These'll kick-start your itinerary:
* Go stare at the Flatiron Building, Broadway & 23rd Street. It is a weird and wondrous thing and it gets talked about on Making Light a lot.
* Veselka Restaurant, 144 2nd Avenue at 9th St. Ukrainian. Good. Never closes. Go there. Eat.
* Grand Central Station. Feel the energy, watch the crowds, gaze at the ceiling. The food shops and the Oyster Bar in Grand Central are also worthwhile.

#85 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2005, 09:56 PM:

The "couple of hours" is what makes this a challenge. (It takes obvious targets like the Strand Bookstore and the Metropolitan out of consideration, f'rinstance.)

I'll guess you're leaving from Penn Station. The Empire State Building is a couple of blocks east; this will also take you through Herald Square, with Macy's, the Cylon outpost that replaced Gimbel's, and bunches of streetlife. The ESB Observatory is open all day long; you can get an advance ticket online at and save a possible wait in line. I think, if you had time to do Just One Thing, seeing the city from that point would be as New York Experience as you could get.

Going eleven blocks south along Fifth Avenue from the ESB (short uptown blocks, fifteen minutes' walk if you're unladen and swift, or a short bus ride) will take you to Greeley Square and the Flatiron Building. (This is a less exalted stretch of Fifth than the area in the Fifties, where Tiffany and Saks are.)

I have always loved Rockefeller Center, though you may have to have a Deco/Moderne jones to love it that much. It runs from 49th to 52nd Sts. between Fifth and Seventh avenues. This is where the big gold Deco statue of Prometheus is. The object here would be to see that, and the RCA building, walk through the black and gold lobbies and the underground shopping concourse (which is now mostly familiar chains).

I think I'll just stop, and let the people who still live there pick up the ball.

#86 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2005, 11:56 PM:

The Official and the True Histories of the Short Story. Read the sidebars on them.

They should be written in letters of diamond upon sheets of beaten gold, and installed in crystal cabinets over the entrance to every University English Literature department in the world. I have read things that have told me truths I felt to be intrinsically true, but almost never have I felt truth soaking to my bones like ice and fire in this way.

#87 ::: Jeremy Osner ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 12:26 PM:

All you usage mavens -- here are some questions about yo-yos: Is there a transitive verb for the activity of playing with a yo-yo? I'm thinking something like "spin" as in "Whatcha doin'? Oh, just spinning my new Duncan butterfly." but don't know if that's it. And can "yo-yo" be used as an intransitive verb? Also -- is there a name for the novelty toys that look like yo-yos but are not quite, since the string is glued on to the axle?

Also -- what about a transitive verb for attempting to "spin" a yo-yo but not getting it to come back? "Drop" maybe?

Dating myself -- I was born about 20 years too late for the yo-yo fad (I think -- it was in the late '50s - early 60's, right?) But on a recent vacation I had a lot of fun with one of the novelty toys I referenced above, enough so that when I got back home I went out and got myself a genuine Duncan butterfly (and a standard Duncan, but I'm having a lot more luck with the butterfly) and am trying to learn to do tricks. No dog-walking yet but I can pretty reliably make it sleep and then come back.

#88 ::: Jeremy Osner ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 03:24 PM:

Answering two of my own questions: Duncan's yo-yo FAQ thinks the transitive verb is "throw" and the intransitive verb is "yo".

#91 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 10:13 PM:

Today's Cognitive Dissonance:

Just flipped on a British-made doc on Ancient Rome (lot of that goin' around this week). It's not bad, concentrating on the magnitude of Early Empire Rome, especially in comparison with the modern cities we think are so advanced.

But then, the narrator finishes setting the scene by saying, "This is Rome, almost exactly two thousand years ago; a new millennium . . ."

Uh. Right. Was 1 a good year?

#92 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 11:39 PM:

If anybody besides me could use some dorky fun to help wash the bitter taste of the last few days from their palate--if only for a moment--teh C4nt3rbury T4l3z is a decent start. Ch4ucz0rd!

#93 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2005, 12:22 AM:

Regarding Schmuck--time to sack the quarterback and take him down so far he leaves the field of play, and take the offensives linesmen down at the same time, too....

Bush is like a baseball manager who encourages his players to thrown beanballs, etc.

#94 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2005, 12:25 PM:

Paging Pamela Dean:
Jo Peshek has checked in:

Pamela Dean, Re: Jo Peshek.

She asked me to post this message for her as she doesn’t have your email on her current machine.
> Hi Burt,
> I was in Gallup NM on the morning that Katrina was grinding up the Gulf Coast. Zane and I had just finished selling SF at Bubonicon in Albuquerque and we headed up toward Seattle for NASFIC this past weekend. We are traveling back south now. Should be there to see my house by next Saturday, then Zane will head off to Fort Worth to work…because his office is right next to where a levy broke in New Orleans, no power there anyhow. His house in Kentwood LA withstood the winds, he wasn’t in danger of flooding. My house took on about 3
feet of water (oil, sludge, the odd leech, crawfish, or maybe a catfish or two). Anyhow, my feet are dry, Zane’s feet are dry, Lonnie’s feet were dry as he and our 4 cats weathered the storm at Zane’s house. Don’t know where I’ll be staying unitl the house gets fixed or replaced. My 1989 240sx was kept from floating away by it’s new woody hood ornament. I’m thinking GEICO is going to total it and give us 35 cents. foo

> Anyhow, I’m getting a nice look at America. A little restaurant in Ellensburg WA where we ate last evening next to the cash register had a white box with a hole in the top and the words “HELP! KATRINA” scrawled on the front. It was almost full of bills. Made me smile.
America is taking this storm to heart.
Gotta go,


#95 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2005, 04:41 PM:

So, I started a livejournal. i haven't been really emanign to advertise it, especially as the single largest entry so far is literally half finished, and the main other one yet is a collection of links, mostly from here or found through your blog (Thanks, all)

But Now I'd like some responses to this (Something I think Jo Walton was also considering):

#96 ::: Joel Davis ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2005, 09:31 AM:

John and Kate:

Many thanks for the NYC travel information. :)

I'm definitely going to have to make the pilgrimage to Flatiron Building. And the Veselka, too -- I heard the borscht call my name.

Yes, I'll be hitting Penn Station to take the train to Princeton, so from John's description, I'll be in the thick o' things.

Oh, and on a completely unrelated topic. I'm an avid Flickr user, so I'm doing my part for Hurricane Katrina relief by auctioning a print of some homemade beefcake (okay, I use that term both sarcastically and with tongue firmly tucked in my cheek).

#97 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2005, 01:40 PM:

Fossils show flying reptiles 'much bigger'

They're talking about pterosaurs with eighteen meter (60 feet) wingspans. Think big!

#98 ::: Bill Blum ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2005, 11:45 AM:

Look, a Serenity desktop background (JPG, includes River with sharp things).

Knowing that movie's coming out is pretty much the only thing keeping me sane right now.

#99 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2005, 11:19 PM:

High and mighty thanks to Patrick, because the "Blippety Fling-Flang" sidelight is splendiferous. Having their programs 'translate' a page makes it sound like Pogo on a really bad day. Or possibly Miz Beaver.

#100 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2005, 11:38 PM:

This week's New Scientist has an article on reducing noxious introduced species by eating them. It has a recipe for nutria.

I sincerely hope that the FEMA guys don't read this. I can see the headline:

Chertoff Announces New Plan for Disaster Survivors to "Take Control of Their Own Sustenance"
Each 50 Internees to Be Issued Heavy Stick, One Can of Sterno, Five Reusable Plastic Forks
Strike "Internees", new term is "TexTemps"
Doug, don't write corrections on proof!

#101 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2005, 12:02 AM:

JMF - That's the post disaster do-it-yourself survival kit.

The estimable Fafnir tells us about the pre-disaster version.

#102 ::: sean Bosker ::: (view all by) ::: September 13, 2005, 12:59 AM:

About the Japanese self-defence force recruiting ad, I showed it to my wife and she was horrified. She's Japanese. Despite the cute Broadway musical dancing, the flag that is shown is not the current Japanese flag. The flag is the nishoki, the red circle with the rays, which was the flag during the empire. It is an extremely nationalistic symbol, and is not the red circle on a white field, which is the actual flag of Japan.

They are also singing "Love Japan, love peace." But they are not using a singular personal pronoun, they are using a collective voice. It's very revisionist. My wife found the whole thing to be "sneaky, and disturbing, with a lame dance."

#103 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: September 13, 2005, 01:02 PM:

What the Community of Dildo web page doesn't tell you is how close they are to the town of Spread Eagle.

#104 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: September 13, 2005, 03:24 PM:

THis open thread is pretty old, but it's the only appropriate place to say that if you follow the ten plagues finger puppets link you get to TES which is mostly Judaica for your computer and doesn't, alas, have the finger puppets as mentioned, though it does have plastic placemats for seder with stickers to go on them at appropriate times, and some of those represent the plagues. I was disappointed, though I was charmed by some of the other oddities.

#105 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: September 14, 2005, 01:00 AM:

If you like the Community of Dildo, you should love the town of Fucking, Austria (they had to put in specially reinforced street signs because English-speaking tourists kept stealing them).

#106 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: September 14, 2005, 04:19 AM:

OK, 'fess up. How did you find the Community of Dildo? Or to put it another way, what, exactly, does one put into Google to get there, huh?

#107 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: September 14, 2005, 07:27 PM:

Avast maties! Get ready to swill yer grog, 'cause September 19 be Talk Like a Pirate Day, arrr.

Get yer own pirate name! I be Marty Rackham, scourge o' th' seven seas.

#108 ::: Georgiana ::: (view all by) ::: September 14, 2005, 11:40 PM:

W00t! You've got my friend Jeannie's An Apology poem as a Particle. Most excellent. Her work is so much fun.

#109 ::: Eric Sadoyama ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2005, 03:28 PM:

Sean Bosker:
About the Japanese self-defence force recruiting ad, I showed it to my wife and she was horrified. She's Japanese. Despite the cute Broadway musical dancing, the flag that is shown is not the current Japanese flag. The flag is the nishoki, the red circle with the rays, which was the flag during the empire. It is an extremely nationalistic symbol, and is not the red circle on a white field, which is the actual flag of Japan.

It's not the national flag, but it's still used as the naval flag of the Japanese maritime self defense force. Here's a reference.

My wife found the whole thing to be "sneaky, and disturbing, with a lame dance."

I kept thinking of the Village People.

#110 ::: Lee sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2012, 11:24 PM:


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