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January 24, 2006

Open thread 58
Posted by Teresa at 02:18 PM *

Picture your seed text here!

Comments on Open thread 58:
#1 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 02:29 PM:

Well...
I didn't realize David Brin and Orson Scott Card were...well, pro ID types.

What up with that?

:)

#2 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 02:35 PM:

Speaking of seeds ... ordered some last week. Tomatoes, of course, and summer squash, basil, and rhubarb. (Rhubarb? I like it, and it's hard to find.)

#3 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 02:37 PM:

What's the weirdest name you've ever come across for a real-live doctor, as opposed to a fictionnal one? A few months ago, I had to take my wife to Urgent Care, where she got taken care of by one Dr. Faust.

#4 ::: Annie G. ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 02:41 PM:

I'm not surprised by Orson Scott Card's ID beliefs-- after all, isn't he LDS, and pretty hardcore LDS at that? I can see how the one might follow from the other. I'm more surprised about Brin, but since I haven't read/enjoyed as many of Brin's works as I have of Card's, I'm...less disappointed in him? If that makes any sense?

#5 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 02:43 PM:

What's next? Brin, like Card, will turn out to be a Dubya supporter?

#6 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 02:43 PM:

I've been following the fracas on Brin's blog.

The debate is not over I.D. itself, but how you debate I.D. types.

Brin is not pro-I.D., but he seems to be taking flak for suggesting the attitudes of scientists are partially to blame for I.D. making inroads.

Best to go to the source:

Part I:

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2006/01/supporters-of-science-must-adapt.html#comments

Part II:

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2006/01/supporters-of-science-must-adapt_22.html#comments

#7 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 02:45 PM:

I had a Professor Paine for Math in college, and he was a PhD, so he could have gone by Doctor Paine.

And in an unrelated note, there's a dsmvwllng entry in wikipedia now.

#8 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 02:47 PM:

When we used to live in Toronto, right by Lake Ontario, there was a house near the boardwalk that was the proud residence of a surgeon called Dr. Gore.

#9 ::: Annie G. ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 02:56 PM:

well, my gyno used to be Dr. Cox (pronounced Cocks). My fiance always thought she should have been a urologist.

#10 ::: Carrie V. ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 03:02 PM:

I had an oral surgeon once named Dr. Looney.

My Dad had a classmate at the Air Force Academy whose last name was Marvel. Why, yes, he did reach the rank of Captain.

#11 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 03:03 PM:

Captain Marvel? You're kidding us, right, Carrie?

#12 ::: Laura Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 03:04 PM:

I read that article about the mind-altering parasites last night. Scared the heck out of me. And then I had to clean the litterbox.

#13 ::: Darice Moore ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 03:05 PM:

Annie, a friend of mine went to a urologist whose name was Dr. Cockburn (pronounced CO-burn, but still). We always thought that was rather fitting.

#14 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 03:08 PM:

A friend of mine was delivered by a gynecologist named Harry Beaver. I've seen the birth certificate.

#15 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 03:09 PM:

Slightly off the thread, there's a dumpster company named Looney Bins.

#16 ::: Will "scifantasy" Frank ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 03:13 PM:

My father's ex-boss was named Peper, pronounced as you'd expect, and he had a Master's in English Literature. He stopped before he got his Ph.D--he claims it was because all you can get with a Ph.D in English Lit is teach, but we all know the real reason.

#17 ::: Wim ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 03:15 PM:

New Scientist has been collecting these unexpectedly-apt names for a while.

#18 ::: oliviacw ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 03:18 PM:

There was a discussion over the holidays on here which touched on the inappropriateness of using the Bowie/Queen recording of "Under Pressure" for use in a jewelry store ad. In the same line, I've been somewhat uneasy about the use of "Daydream Believer" by ebay for their recent ads. I finally identified the problem: the ebay ads are all about acquiring "it", whatever "it" may mean.

However, the central verse of "Daydream Believer" contains the following lyrics:

Oh, and our good times start and end
Without dollar one to spend.
But how much, baby, do we really need?

Which is all about NOT making acquisitions!

#19 ::: Carrie V. ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 03:19 PM:

Serge,
I just tried to google the name to find proof. And, well, that was a mistake...

But no, I'm not kidding. And I must say, if it had been me I would have retired right then and had my own letterhead printed up.

#20 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 03:29 PM:

So, there truly was a Captain Marvel, Carrie? Goodness. I hope he didn't look like old-time actor Fred McMurray as he was the inspiration for the comic-book Captain Marvel. Don't believe me? Try catching 1943's movie no time for love, where Claudette Colbert plays a spunky girl photographer, and Fred, nicknamed Superman by his coworkers, is digging tunnels for the New York subway. There's a dream sequence where Claudette is attacked by a mustach-twirling villain, but Fred comes flying to the rescue, all decked in a superhero outfit. He even has the asymetrical cape later seen worn by Caotain Marvel.

#21 ::: Hamadryad ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 03:33 PM:

Ooh, PJ Evans you've made me crave tomatoes. Yum. Have you ever seen this place before? They have more varieties of tomatoes than I ever knew existed.

Tomato Growers

I want to pick out a few heritage tomatoes for next year. Now, if only I could find purple and pink carrots.

#22 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 03:37 PM:

Nichols Garden Nursery has 'Purple Haze' carrots - the picture is quite startling!

#23 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 03:46 PM:

ASpeaking of silly names... I just read in today's San Francisco Chronicle that one the Village People was scheduled to show up in court for a traffic violation. I especially liked the part where they give the DA's name:

...A man who helped make famous the songs "YMCA" and "In the Navy" is still scheduled to be featured on the television show "America's Most Wanted," after failing to surrender in a San Mateo County courtroom today, according to San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe...

#24 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 04:12 PM:

Serge:

When I was growing up there was an optometrist named Glasser.

And my favorite law firm name, sighted when I lived in Albuquerque: Gresham and Lawless. Accident specialists.

#25 ::: Sean Bosker ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 04:14 PM:

PJ Evans, I have a recipe that I have fine-tuned over the years for rhubarb pie that is sooooo good. I'll share it if you're interested.

#26 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 04:24 PM:

Sean, if you're willing to share with all and sundry, I'd be delighted to see that recipe. Rhubarb pie is one of my favorite things.

#27 ::: Paul Eisenberg ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 04:28 PM:

I once interviewed a librarian named Anita Drilling. She was the inspiration for the start of a newsroom list of odd names that also included local sanitary district candidate Charles "Drainage" Smith and a fellow simply named Carp.

#28 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 04:28 PM:

Rhubarb pie, rhubarb sauce on vanilla ice cream, rhubarb cobbler, rhubarb jam, beef stew with rhubarb and parsley (don't laugh, it's Persian and tasty, and they also have rhubarb-ade) ....

#29 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 04:31 PM:

I saw a picture of a tombstone in San Jose that said only 'Ring'. No dates, no other names. We only could come to one conclusion, which is left as an exercise for the readers.

(And the rhubarb seeds are from Kitchen Garden Seeds.)

#30 ::: Rob T. ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 04:34 PM:

I remember hearing of a Dr. Bonebrake practicing in Springfield, Missouri during the late 1960's and early 1970's. Upon trying to google him, I found that there are several currently active doctors with that last name in the area.

Switching gears somewhat, I always got a kick out of knowing one of Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington's earliest piano teachers was named Mrs. Clinkscales.

#31 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 04:38 PM:

Some cousins of mine had a dentist named Dr. Feer, and a dermatologist named Dr. Demento.

Really.

#32 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 04:39 PM:

I don't think mormon doctrine has anything against evolution. I was raised by devout mormon parents who saw no problem believing that God devised evolution Himself. I remember several conversations on the subject whenever we visited a museum with dinosaurs (or that really cool one in Utah, where you could watch them excavate fossils).

But then, there's the problem with the general mormon doctrine and an untrained lay ministry - one bishop may believe that God created the earth from many planets, thereby explaining away fossil evidence and one may be willing to discuss Darwin. The GAs I think would prefer not to say anything definitve, so as not to look either like god-hating liberals to the fundies who already hate them, or like gallumphing ignoramuses to the rest of us.

I guess what I'm saying is that OSC can't use the Church as an excuse to believe the stupid, at least in this case; he's a dope in his own right.

#33 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 04:42 PM:

As I recall, there is an optometrist's window in Cambridge (England) with the name "Dr W.E. Pain". And my friends took some classes with Dr D'eath of the Maths department. And a colleague of mine was named Hu Wei, and so when he was awarded his PhD he became Dr Hu.

Also, the headmaster at a friend's school was named Philip [Barrett?] and proudly displayed his qualifications from Oxford:

Philip Barrett, M.A. D.Phil. (Oxon).

So of course the kids called him "Mad Phil".


#34 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 04:43 PM:
So, there truly was a Captain Marvel, Carrie? Goodness. I hope he didn't look like old-time actor Fred McMurray as he was the inspiration for the comic-book Captain Marvel. Don't believe me? Try catching 1943's movie no time for love, where Claudette Colbert plays a spunky girl photographer, and Fred, nicknamed Superman by his coworkers, is digging tunnels for the New York subway. There's a dream sequence where Claudette is attacked by a mustach-twirling villain, but Fred comes flying to the rescue, all decked in a superhero outfit. He even has the asymetrical cape later seen worn by Caotain Marvel.
You mean "earlier" - Captain Marvel first appeared in 1940.
#35 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 04:47 PM:

Bee-bop-a-ree-bop-a-rhubarb-pie! I have a recipe for rhubarb crisp I've been trying to render as low-carb as possible. In the meantime there's a rhubarb-in-sugar-free-strawberry-jello recipe that comes in at just 2 carbs, if anyone else is still unfashionably doing Atkins.

#36 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 04:53 PM:

Hmmm... That McMurray/Colbert movie did come out in 1943, Dan, at least according to the imDB. Interesting. I guess I had it wrong. And yet Captain Marvel did look like Fred in the comics I've seen - and Alex Ross's graphic novel made that even more blatant. I wonder if the artist saw the movie and decided to change the Cap's looks because of the movie.

#37 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 04:55 PM:

Dr. Demento, Stefan? I think that, circa 1991, the head of Standord University's psychiatry dept was one Dr. Dement.

#38 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 05:06 PM:

Serge, that would be William Dement, MD, Ph.D. I think he's still there.

There's a Dr. Wimpy in our town. Also a Dr. Butt. In my childhood I knew a veterinarian named Dr. Bloodworth.

And not a doctor, but the Georgia State Patrol used to have a spokesman named Sgt. Killingworth, and yes, he did the announcements about how many people were expected to die on Georgia's highways on holiday weekends.

#39 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 05:06 PM:

I've heard a few zinger doctor names - I have a Source.

Not the ordinary foreign names like Draghina Drago Dragovitch*.

No, these are names like Manley Hyde. His middle name is Richard.

The one before that was Ebenezer O'Doom.

Also, Velvet Green.

I grew up with a tough name ["Sanford and Son" was on the air from age 3 to 7, in my life. I had an great-uncle Sanford whom everyone loved. Maybe it made me tough.] Also, in Junior High they will make fun of the name "John."

But for gawd's sake, people, "Bjorn Leader"? That's rough.

*There was a discussion of "how much do they like Vlad Dracul in Romania?" Apparently, THAT much.

In totally unrelated surfing:

http://www.whitedoom.com/Travis/drDoom2.html

#40 ::: Jeffrey Smith ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 05:17 PM:

While vacationing in Hawaii and looking at road signs, it occurred to me that disemvowelled text in Hawaiian would be very hard to reconstitute. 7 consonants...

#41 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 05:24 PM:

My sister had surgery by Dr. Donald Duckles.

There's also a psychiatrist in the area named Dr. Kook.

#42 ::: Victor S. ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 05:29 PM:

Serge -- I had my wisdom teeth extracted by Dr. Fear.

Dr. Dalbert Fear of Ypsilanti, MI, to be precise.

My dentist's alternate recommendation for an oral surgeon was his wife, who had compounded her name on marriage to become Dr. Awsome-Fear.

If you're accepting PhDs as well, consider the name of Dr. (Travis) Doom.

#43 ::: Glen Fisher ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 05:32 PM:

Somewhere in the family tree are Sidney Fly and his wife (whose name I forget). They decided to name their daughter Marietta.

#44 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 05:41 PM:

John Farrel, if you asked me to come up with a discussion I'd be unwilling to have running on Making Light, "David Brin on Orson Scott Card on Intelligent Design" would be at the top of the list.

#45 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 05:42 PM:

A friend of my family was an eccentric priest, Father John Lawless.

A well-off classmate of mine was Richard Stiff, called Rich.

#46 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 05:45 PM:
Hmmm... That McMurray/Colbert movie did come out in 1943, Dan, at least according to the imDB. Interesting. I guess I had it wrong. And yet Captain Marvel did look like Fred in the comics I've seen - and Alex Ross's graphic novel made that even more blatant. I wonder if the artist saw the movie and decided to change the Cap's looks because of the movie.
Well, I didn't say that he had nothing to do with it - Captain Marvel's appearance was based on Fred MacMurray from the beginning, just not on that movie. The people making the movie probably used a similar costume because of this (even if they hadn't read the comics, there was a Captain Marvel movie in 1941).
#47 ::: Glen Fisher ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 05:53 PM:

nerdycellist spake:
I don't think mormon doctrine has anything against evolution. I was raised by devout mormon parents who saw no problem believing that God devised evolution Himself.

That doesn't necessarily mean that evolution is compatible with Mormon doctrine. Your parents might well have been quite devout, yet disagreed with the Mormon Church over that point. It wouldn't be the first time those pesky free-thinkers had ideas of their own.

A little Googling uncovered this and that, which indicate that the matter isn't anywhere near as clear-cut as one might like.

#48 ::: Rose White ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 06:06 PM:

Speaking of rhubarb, my favorite of the fruit liqueurs I made last year came from this recipe:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/database/rhubarbvodka_65975.shtml

It was just right -- not too sweet, not too dry. I can't wait to make a much larger batch this year, as soon as rhubarb looks good in the greenmarket!

#49 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 06:06 PM:

My alltime favorite name is/was (not sure of his status) Jamie Cardinal Sin, an Archbishop from the Philippines.

#50 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 06:07 PM:

Oh, and I used to work for a law firm where one of the partners was named Richard Harden. You can guess what his nickname was. Really. True. I promise.

It takes all kinds.

#51 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 06:37 PM:

Teresa, understood. :)

(just being a trouble-maker--plus, I almost never get the chance to post first on Open Threads, and by chance, there it was, at 2:30 PM--and I couldn't think of anything else).

Well, it's late January, and time for me to dig out your recipe for bacon and egg soup!

#52 ::: Lisa Goldstein ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 06:38 PM:

I spent the last few weeks looking for a surgeon for my dog, and one of the doctors I talked to was named Dr. Hack. (We ended up going to someone who was more of a specialist, though without a funny name.)

#53 ::: Dante ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 06:44 PM:

I was recently referred to a Dr. Barry Getzoff. I had to ask the receptionist to spell it before I was sure.
Not a doctor, but a friend of mine knows a very unpleasant man named Richard Peter Johnson. Behind his back he's known as "Three Dicks."

#54 ::: mary ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 06:47 PM:

I have $50 in Reward Certificates from Amazon.com. Suggestions? Books? DVDs?

#55 ::: Sean Bosker ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 06:56 PM:

Here you are, I have modified it over the years by adding more rhubarb and less sugar. It's nice and tangy and veeery rhubarby:

PIE CRUST:

2 cups flour
1 cup butter
dash salt
dash baking powder
1/2 cup cold water

Mix ingredients in large bowl until dough forms. Roll out thin with rolling pin.


PIE FILLING:
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
3 eggs, beaten
6 cups chopped rhubarb
2tbsp butter

Put ingredients into the pie shell, cover with remaining pastry, put a hole in the top to let out the steam. Bake at 375 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

I hope you like it as much as I do.

#56 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 06:58 PM:

The doc who fixed my hernia was Dr. Grief.

Oddly, the guy who repaired my patellar tendon was Dr. Smith, as was my GP a little later.

#57 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 07:01 PM:

Mary:

I know the feeling. Gift Certificate Paralysis. Not a good thing.

I use my Amazon wish list to keep tabs of things not only that I want for myself, but that I intend to buy (or look up in the libarary). When I get a certificate (e.g., through Discover Card's money back deal) I have somewhere to start.

#58 ::: Keith Kisser ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 07:08 PM:

What's the weirdest name you've ever come across for a real-live doctor, as opposed to a fictionnal one?

Dr. Roger Warlock

He was a member of the Savannah Historical Society and contributed to at least one major publication, a survey of Colonial and victorian architecture.

#59 ::: older ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 07:13 PM:

Way back in 1974, my daughter's foot operation was performed by Dr. Gengis Khan (from Mongolia).

#60 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 07:29 PM:

Serge: I have a friend who was Major Slaugter (He's since been either promoted, or left the service. A little noodling tells me he's with the IG at Forscom, and a Lieutenant Colonel).

I want him to make flag rank. Then I will know a General Slaughter.

#61 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 07:52 PM:

Oh, gee, tell me Col. Slaughter's first name is Enos. ("And Pesky holds the ball!")

#62 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 07:53 PM:

I just bought a bunch of seeds (the local organic/natural supermarket carries Seeds of Change packets).

I bought three types of corn (all red. Hope Pink Flour Corn, Inca Flour Corn and one I forget). I don't know where Maia put them, or I'd better know. They have very different maturing dates, so I can plant them all at once.

I also got some peas, and one other thing. Some we can plant here, and the corn I will put in the ground at Maia's Mother's place, come early March.

#63 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 07:54 PM:

I've met a pleasant fellow from Australia named Richard Head.

Back in the early 90s, I was doing some research in Surinam, interviewing politicians. I passed up the chance -- because I interviewed the other deputy from his party -- to interview a person described by all and sundry as the most honest and upright man in Surinamese politics. His name: Frank Playfair. There's a degree of appropriateness there that I don't think can be equalled by any other politician in the world.

While this doesn't have anything to do with appropriateness, I should note that years ago the Jamaica Public Service Company (which is alleged to supply electricity in Jamaica) had an employee named Nathaniel Peck. The nameplate on his desk read: 'Mr N. Peck'.

#64 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 07:54 PM:

Nope, Robert.

So his kid brother's kids all know that Bob's their uncle.

#65 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 07:55 PM:

Larry Brennan: Cardinal Sin is a was.

#66 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 07:58 PM:

You guys must have American doctors. Most of mine are Polish.

I just ordered some seeds but mine are chocolate and candy-coated.

#67 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 08:28 PM:

I knew an old lady named Laurie O'Leary.

Actually, her name was Annie Laurie O'Leary, as I learned when I read her obituary. Her name does give a clue as to why my father used to claim he wanted a donkey named Maxwelton.

When we lived in southern California, the family dentist was Dr. Toothaker. I won't swear to the spelling; I was about 10 then and didn't make the appointments or sign the checks.

My gynecologist is Dr. Song. His name isn't funny in re his profession, but he's also the best tenor in St. Mary's choir.

#68 ::: Leigh Butler ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 08:43 PM:

Back when I was a wee lass, I read Ripley's Believe It Or Not, which claimed the existence of a sign outside the office of a doctor in colonial Virginia which read:

I. John Lettsom
Bleeds, blisters, and sweats 'em
And if after that they please to die
I. John Lettsom.

I guess it is up to you to decide whether you, well, believe it or not.

#69 ::: MLR ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 08:45 PM:

I thought I remembered reading that rhubarb could be invasive (wanted to give you a heads up, PJ), but a quick search turned up nothing definitive about garden rhubarb. Stumbled across the Rhubarb Compendium with lots of rhubarb recipes, however.

#70 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 09:33 PM:

re Seeds:

Hopi Red Flour Corn
Inca Rainbow Sweet Corn
Mandan Red Flour Corn (this is supposed to be yellow as milk corn, and turns red as you let it dry).

The one I wanted to get was Stowell's Sweet Corn, of which it is purported the stalks can be pulled up, entire, and hung upside down, in a cool place, for some time, remaining ripe.

It's an Iriquois landrace, so it ought to do well in the Northeast.

#71 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 09:38 PM:

Locally, we have raconteur/astronomer and occasional sf/f writer Peter Manly.

With that name, I would have expected him to write porn, rather than sf.

#72 ::: cleek ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 09:48 PM:

What's the weirdest name you've ever come across for a real-live doctor

my father's Dr. is Dr. Slaughter.
my wife had a chiropractor named Dr Tickle.
my brother-in-law had a plastic surgeon named Dr. Scarsella
my mother-in-law had a dentist named Dr Molar

#73 ::: cleek ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 09:50 PM:

What's next? Brin, like Card, will turn out to be a Dubya supporter?

i take it you didn't hear Vonnegut's interview on NPR's Mornign Edition this week (audio is probably available) ?

he's an ID proponent who's convinced that scientists just refuse to admit they don't believe (like everybody else knows) that humans are just too complex to have happened randomly.

#74 ::: cleek ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 10:13 PM:

a friend of mine knows a very unpleasant man named Richard Peter Johnson

there's an Air Force base in eastern NC called Seymour Johnson. it's on the way to Morehead City.

my wife and I have a song:

Get more head in Morehead City
See more johnson, too

sing it like an old-time country singer.

here's the sign that prompts our singing.

#75 ::: cleek ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 10:15 PM:

scientists just refuse to admit they don't believe

make that "...scientists just refuse to admit they really believe..."

#76 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 10:18 PM:

I wouldn't describe rhubarb as invasive (not the eating kind, at least) but it does spread slowly into large clumps. The root mass just gets larger and heavier; I understand chainsaws are useful when dividing it (particularly if it's gotten to a large size). I can't speak for the ornamental kinds, although I've seen pictures of some that are very ornamental.

#77 ::: rams ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 10:27 PM:

A local chiropractor is Dean Bender.

My colleague's O.B. was Dr. Payne --

and a local Indian doctor is Dr. Doktor (as is his wife.)

#78 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 10:41 PM:

My geology professor was named Dr. Staff. He promised us an A if we could come up with a new joke. Of course he also said he'd flunk us if he'd heard it before.

Could someone explain the appeal of rhubarb? I've had it twice and both times went "urgh," but now I wonder what I'm missing.

#79 ::: Craig McDonough ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 10:50 PM:

Slightly off-topic for names:

There is a financial services firm headquartered in Boston (MA) named "Fiduciary Trust Company"

#80 ::: hrc ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 10:54 PM:

When I was growing up in Defiance, Ohio, there was a local undertaker's whose two principals were Stick and Frye.

I just deposed an orthopedist named Dr. Ricketts two weeks ago.

One of the attorneys in my office is named Rusty Fallis.

A guy I went to law school with was named Dick Downey.

That's all I can remember at present.

#81 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 10:57 PM:

TexAnne: It's one of those things ... not everyone likes it, but those of us who do really like it. I still don't know how my father could eat it raw - I tried that and it's too much for me. Of course, he ate one of the milder varieties of lemons straight up too. (I think that's a sweet tooth of a different flavor.)

#82 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 10:59 PM:

Rhubarb is tangy. Also, the French word for it is rhubarb.

#83 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 11:17 PM:

And my papa liked wild gooseberries. When we moved out to the farm and were actully there when we could harvest them I always (with great amount of grief and getting scratched up) harvested enough and made him one big pie.

He usually finished it off in a couple of days though it was so astringent that none of us girls (mom, my sis and I) would touch the thing. I personally don't think there's enough sweetness in any sugar to make it palatable, but he liked it.

and I love rhubarb pie (no strawberries that's just gross...).

No accounting for taste.

#84 ::: hamadryad ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 11:22 PM:

P J Evans said: It's one of those things ... not everyone likes it, but those of us who do really like it. I still don't know how my father could eat it raw - I tried that and it's too much for me.

Fresh rhubarb dipped in sugar is good. There are milder, more tender varieties of rhubarb, too. When I was a kid we grew it in the garden, so I could snack on it all summer. I used to like it quite a lot.

Mind you, my mum says I used to drink vinegar until my lips turned white, too. I might not be the best judge.

#85 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 11:37 PM:

Actually, TomB, the French word for rhubarb is rhubarbe. I know, I know, I'm being a pedant. But this brings back fond memories of my childhood. My farmer uncles had a patch of rhubarb and they'd let us take a few stalks. I'd dip the end in white sugar, bite that off, dip it again, bite it again... Yummy.

#86 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 11:40 PM:

For those interested, the first issue of the Sgt. Rock mini-series came out last week. (I wonder if there IS a Sergeant Rock out there in the real world. Probably, if we can have a Captain Marvel...)

#87 ::: PurpleGirl ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 11:47 PM:

Serge, re: weirdest doctor's name. When I worked as a copyeditor for Matthew Bender (legal publishers), I worked on a series called "Gray's Anatomy" which explained medical terms etc. for lawyers. (Yeah, really creative name for the book...) Anyway, we would include information about articles from medical journals for lawyers to read. We included an article by a urologist in one chapter -- by Dr. Penis. Maybe not the weirdest name, but there was something about it that made it memorable.

#88 ::: J Austin ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 11:50 PM:

I had a wonderful Journalism teacher named Richard Seaman, and my parents were married by a Chaplain Leslie Truelove of the minesweeper Ausonia.

Sandy B--on the subject of Vlad Tepes, am I the only person who's noticed the unnerving similarity between the best known painting of the count, and Yanni? Seriously. It would explain so much.

#89 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 11:54 PM:

C'mon, PurpleGirl, there really is a doctor with THAT name?

#90 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 24, 2006, 11:55 PM:

Vlad and Yanni, J Austin? There is also a similarity with Steven Brust, circa 1986...

#91 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 12:18 AM:

Technical question...

My home's high-speed internet connection is with Comcast. The modem is plugged into a LinkSys router, to which we plug our two laptops. Every once in a while, our internet access goes belly up, for reasons unknown, although the Comcast people are usually quick to blame the router instead of their own modem. I usually point out that their modems were unfortunately not designed for more than one connection, thus our not having much choice. They say that we should go wireless. After what happened these last few days, I'm sorely tempted. But I won't take their word for it.

Does anybody have that wireless setup? What does it entail? Do we have to install something inside the laptop so that it can be connected to the modem without a cable? Does that slow the response time appreciably if at all? Also, one of the router's purposes is to be a firewall. Once that's gone, are we leaving ourselves wide open?

#92 ::: Lawrence Watt-Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 12:20 AM:

In my old hometown of Bedford, MA the art supply store was owned by Mr. Schoolcraft.

It was years before I realized the apostrophe on the "Schoolcraft's" sign wasn't a mistake.

Regarding the famous painting of Vlad Dracula, most of the other existing paintings are copied from it; that's believed to be the only one he actually sat for.

#93 ::: J Austin ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 12:26 AM:

I give you,
vlad
Yanni
Charming, though no one can quite explain the attraction, ageless, a consummate showman, does a great deal of basking in the adulation of his fans...
As to Brust, Serge--I've only read the Taltos series up to Issola, I think, and To Reign in Hell.

#94 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 12:27 AM:

My favorite name of all time is on a tombstone in the Odd Fellows' graveyard across Old San Jose Road from Soquel High School, above Soquel Creek: Bozo Choklat.

Just a death date, nothing else. I'm pretty sure it's a human name.

#95 ::: Kylni ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 12:30 AM:

oliviacw (way upthread):
On the subject of totally inappropriate marketing songs, I always remember the car company a year or so ago that used Smash Mouth's "Walking on the Sun."

Of course, they only played the first line of the chorus, which goes:

So don't delay act now supplies are running out
Allow, if you're still alive, six to eight years to arrive
And if you follow there may be a tomorrow
But if the offer is shun you might as well be walking on the sun

Another fun bit that didn't make it in the commercial:

It's just like any fad retracts before impact
And it's just like fashion it's a passion for the with it and hip
If ya got the goods they'll come and buy it just to stay in
The clique


Serge: Does your modem have wireless capability? Because otherwise that just means getting a wireless router, which I don't see improving the situation any, really.

We've got an almost identical setup here, which is Comcast->modem->wireless router. It's so far keeled over dead only once, in contrast to SBC DSL we had last year, where every month or so we'd have to call them and make them reset the connect on their side before it would work again.

Then again, we've got 12 people on this connection. And routers confuse me sometimes.

#96 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 12:40 AM:

Kylni... As far as I know, my current Comast modem doesn't have the wireless capability. Anyway, overall, it sounds like you would recommend that Comcast/modem/wireless setup. It doesn't slow things down noticeably? And does some doodad have to be installed inside your laptop for it to connect to the modem?

Maybe it's because I'm a computer programmer, but I keep thinking there HAS to be a catch somewhere.

#97 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 12:48 AM:

Forgot to ask, Kylni... How far can a computer be from the modem if the whole setup is wireless? And can one computer be in the next room without the wall getting in the way? My apologies for what are probably questions with very obvious answers.

#98 ::: Madeline F ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 12:57 AM:

I once read a drosophila paper by Dr. Welcome Bender of Harvard. Having forgotten the paper, I'd figured it was on alcoholism research, but alas when I just Googled to check it seems he (!) studies development.

However, shout out to all my fruit fly peeps. When it comes to alcohol studies, they invented the "inebriometer." That is, put a bunch of flies in a tube, pipe alcohol vapor through, and as they get drunk they fall off the sides, "titrating" themselves by susceptibilty.

Also, the fly people seem to have more fun. They get to come up with entertaining names for genes, like "groucho" for a gene that when mutated causes bushier bristle growing on the face. The mammalian genes are stuck with names like "receptor activated C kinase". Pfeh!

Drosophila got started out on the right foot by T.H. Morgan, who made the next major step in genetics after Gregor Mendel. I've heard tell that he said (and practiced!), "In order to truly understand an organism, you must eat it." Perhaps if there was to be genetic study of rhubarb, it would result in entertaining gene names.

#99 ::: Kylni ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 12:58 AM:

Serge: No doodad needed to connect to the modem, because that's not what you're doing - the router is connected to the modem, so as long as you get it set up okay, then you pretty much don't care what the modem's doing, because you're connecting to the router. Which is the same as what you're doing now, really, just you'll be doing it wirelessly.

Wireless routers, of course, can be their own can of worms, what with various wireless protocols and types of security encryption and stuff, but as long as your laptops have wireless it shouldn't be too hard to set up. And there hasn't been a noticeable slowdown wired to wireless that I've seen, though logically there should be at least a small one. I just haven't noticed it.

Just saw your second comment - the range, again, would depend on the wireless router (which will be wired to the modem, but depending on the length of your wire, not necessarily in the same place.)

Our cheap router does okay through two or three walls - when you try it down two floors, the signal gets a bit weaker, but you can still connect. I doubt you'd encounter many problems. (In fact, from our living room I can see wireless networks from 2-4 neighbors. Part of that is dense bay-area housing, but...)

I'm a computer programmer too, by trade (well, a student at the moment, but the idea is there) but I've had to get a crash course in the basics of this stuff because somehow all my housemates seem to think being able to program qualifies you to run the house network. Mrg. So, no annoyance at 'silly' questions whatsoever. :-)

#100 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 01:23 AM:

Serge

We have a large two bedroom apartment, and the router is in the back; we can "reach" it anywhere. The catch is that somethings are hard for radio waves to get through--like a wall lined on bookcases.

The Wireless router, by the way, will likely also have a couple of Ethernet ports. I mostly see Windows users using Linksys. You run software that comes with the router, or sometimes, from your cable company, to set up the router. It's pretty straight forward fill in the blanks. You'll want to have information from your cable company ready--they may have a special password and ID, as well as specific suggestions for other settings.

You will also need to set up a password and ID to control admin access to the Router. Write these down someplace safe.

If you only have a few users, you could get the Apple Airport Express, which, while it is designed to connect to a stereo and allow you to wirelessly play music stored on your computer through your stero, also has a port for an Ethernet connection--you'd run a cable from your cable modem to the Airport Express. Up to ten people with wireless cards can connect to it at once, depending on the bandwidth/speed of your cable connection.

Security--there are two main standards--WEP, which is kind of safe, and WAP, which is better, but may not be supported by the wireless cards in your computer, if they're several years old.

It is also possible to set up a wireless router, or "point of presence," so that only those computers on a list can use it (computers have a unique number called a MAC address; the router "see" this).

And if you're using Windows, you might want to use Zone alarm as a firewall on your computer, or a similar product.

#101 ::: Cassie ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 01:34 AM:

Madeline: Genes are great. I want to come up with an interesting protein so I can name it. My favorite from last year was the MuD mutant-- I think it was Drosophila. Short for Mutant-U-Die, because under certain conditions they keeled over.

#102 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 02:03 AM:

Herb Caen coined a phrase for the appropriate names: Namephreaks. There's a nice eulogy for the consummate 3-dotter here.

#103 ::: A. J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 02:10 AM:

In the realm of terrible car commercial song clips, I believe it was a Volkswagen commercial that used the chorus of the Psychic TV track "Roman P.":

Are you free?
Are you really free?
Are you really really really really free?


The song, of course, is about Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate:


Roman, you're outgrowing me...
Roman, you're a mystery...
Roman, in your victory...
Roman, in your destiny...

Are you free, are you really free?
Are you really really really really free?
Is it you, is it me
Or is it simply history?
Are you free, are you really free?
Are you really really really really free?
Is it you, is it me
Or is it simply jealousy?

Sharon walks alone, azure white
Sharon gives her life for a night
Sharon floating, high up above
Sighing, crying, dying for love

(Chorus)

Life of money, life of sex
Life of honey, life of X
Little girls drinking, eating cupcakes
Glitter girls tease you - your greatest mistake

(Chorus)


Really makes you want to buy a Volkswagen, huh?

By the way, hello. In the last week I've been lurking backwards through several months of archives. This blog and its surrounding community seem to be a home for the kind of wonderful, witty, literate net-folk I haven't known since Usenet. And I found it all through Atlanta Nights. :-)

#104 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 02:48 AM:

Serge,

I recommend updating your LinkSys router to its latest firmware before you even think about replacing it. That may fix it for you.

However, if your router is old, and LinkSys isn't releasing new updates for it anymore, you might want to get a newer router, i.e. one with firmware that is getting regular maintenance these days. No, I can't make any recommendations without disclosing more about my day job than I want.

#105 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 03:08 AM:

At the copy shop where I work, we used to have a law firm client called "Larson and Burnham", and another named "Susan Luten". I really wanted them to reorganize into "Luten and Burnham".

#106 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 03:24 AM:

What I posted in the "email the Senator" section on John Sununu's Senate website:

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

I am completely and utterly disgusted that a fellow MIT alum is supporting Mr Alito for a seat on the Supreme Court. I was at MIT back in the days when there was still massive gender discrimination against women there, which situation was STILL in existence regarding tenure decisions, until very recently.

Mr Alito is yet another bigoted white Christian male supremacist whose attitudes are that women shouldn't have control over their own reproductive organs and insists that his religious beliefs be forces on those not of his creed. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is female--more than half the population of the US is female, and not Catholic, where is the "no taxation without representation" and equal protection for women in this country? Mr Alito seems to have never met a discrimination case he didn't rule in favor of rich white men and corporations for and against women and minorities and workers.

As a woman, and someone who had come close to having been raped, I have no use whatsoever for someone who appears to be trying to inflict his religion's official pronouncements what constitutes a family, about sexual intercourse, about birth control, about abortion, about the place of women in society, on everyone else in the country, regardless of their creed, values, and beliefs. I am not Catholic, I do not accept Catholic official policy on birth control and abortion and marriage--I am not married, have never been married, and consider it an abomination that some suppsoed-to-be-celibate male priest's values should be imposed on me, by Mr Alito, Mr Kennedy, Mr Scalia, and Mr Roberts. None of them have ever been threatened with an unwanted pregnancy and with rape that could result in a pregnancy--but they are very quick to rule that their views should be imposed on the women of the USA, be they Catholic, Protestant, Islamic, Hindu, Jewish, Wiccan, atheist, Mormon, Presbyterian, Unitarian Universalist... Mr Alito does NOT respect separation of Church and State. He does not respect the Constitution and preventing the current occupant of the Oval Office from turning the USA into damned Christian totalitarian democracy....

I remember school prayer, and hated it. I don't want it back, ever, in public schools. I don't want to hear songs about Little Lord Jesus in the schools sung by the schoolchildren...

I spent six years in the USAF, commissioned as one of the first three women in ROTC at MIT. My reaction about the Christian religious proselytizing at the Air Force was fury; the presumption of the chain of command allowing that sectarian bigot seems to come straight down form the top of the US Executive Branch of government, along with the promotion of that Christian bigot Lt General Boykin, who SHOULD have been cashiered--but wasn't.

I am not anti-Christian, I am anti-evangelizing, and against imposing religion on the US population. I would feel the same way were there proselytizing Wiccans or Buddhists or whatever getting preferential treatment and seeking to impose their religion on the US population, demanding that their religious documents be on the walls of courts, and the laws of the USA be rearranged to comply with their religion's rule regard gender relations, marriage, etc.--polygamy is legal in Vietname and Tibet and much of the Islamic world, why is the USA so phobic about it? In the Bible, Jacob and Moses and David and Solomon, and Mohammed and a number of Roman emperors were polygamists, and it was legal during the time of Jesus for Jews, just what is the hangup about "marriage is between one man and one woman" anyway? Just how is same-gender marriage, or polygamy, going to invalidate American nuclear family marriage? Nobody advocating same gender marriage is calling for terminating heterosexual monogamy!

What is this that people like Alito feel so compelled to interfere with other people's private lives where the other people are consenting adults, and authorize spying on them? Don't the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights make it amply clear that "unreasonable search and seizure" and spying on people without warrants, and limiting "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" violate the basic

The "consent of the governed" is supposed to matter. I do NOT consent to the judgment of Alito, Clarence Thomas, Anton Scalia, and Kennedy, I do NOT accept that they are impartial and disinterested and put aside their personal religion's values and judge on the basis of the USA being a nation of people with diverse religions and lifestyles, as opposed to a rightwing fascist Christian theocracy. What would Jesus do? Jesus would not be banning abortion--go look up Jewish Halachic Law regarding pregnancy, if the life of the woman is threatened, abortion is almost mandatory, and that has been the situation since before the time of Jesus. Jesus would not be siding with corporations over workers. Etc.

I am appalled that you support Alito, a rightwing bigot, the type of bigot who helped keep women's presence at MIT in the student body and on the faculty to a tiny minority for decades, and prevented women from gaining tenure for the same level of quality of work and professional achievement as men, until very recently... go look up the reports of the status of women at MIT. And the bigotry is still around--the President of Harvard, who is a member of the same class at MIT as I am, is someone who obviously isn't impartial on the subject. Had I gone to the 30th reunion of my class--I was unemployed so I didn't, something about women being discrminated against STILL in technology, especially when it comes to getting hired in an economic downturn, and the older the woman, the worse it gets....--I was intending on tearing a virtual strip off his hide, if he were there also....

Anyway, I am VERY deeply disgusted, with the direction of the USA and ANYONE who advocates putting an extremist suppressor of women's rights, everyone else's rights, and the Constitution like Alito, on the Supreme Court of the USA.

#107 ::: Eimear Ní Mhéalóid ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 04:51 AM:

There used to be a firm of solicitors called Argue and Phibbs in Sligo.

#108 ::: A. J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 05:15 AM:

I used to walk past a law firm in Tacoma called "Seelye and Brown".

I kept wondering if the former had a brother called Unseelye, and what, perchance, might transpire if that fellow was allowed into a courtroom . . .

By the way -- apologies for posting the full song lyrics earlier; I discovered that the one place they were available on the web was the Google cache of a long message board thread, and didn't want to bother making them linkable elsewhere.

#109 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 05:56 AM:

Thanks, Kylni, Lisa & JH, for the answers about the wireless router.

#110 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 06:01 AM:

Linkmeister... Your bringing up Herb Caen is like a breath of sweet-smelling nostalgia to me. I never got anything printed by him about namephreaks, although I did for some silly things I had observed when living around SF's East Bay: one was for a sighting, between the Bay and Sacramento, of a big brawny bearded biker, who had a tiny teddy bear for a passenger.

#111 ::: OG ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 06:40 AM:

Serge, there is nothing that a wireless network will do for you that a wired doesn't except keep you from having to mess with cables. My experience has been that wireless is slightly less reliable than wired, enough to be noticable with online gaming. The usual recommendation with a network problem is to switch from wireless to wired.

I have to take my modem off my network and reset and reconfigure it about every two months. Keep a page with the whole routine near the modem. Reconfigure for a direct line from modem to a single computer before you call tech support, and don't tell the ISP that you even have a router in the same building. I was in a recent argument with one who insisted we couldn't proceed until I had reset my router even though the router had been removed from the cabling loop and was powered down. My issue? I had reset the modem and couldn't get into the configuration screen.

#112 ::: Paul Herzberg ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 07:08 AM:

Apparently doing the job your name is appropriate for is calles Nominative Determinism, New Scientist used cover this quite a bit in its Feedback section. The only one I can remember was a paper on some weeing disorder written by Whedon and Splatt.

I used to go to school with a Wayne Scales, I don't know what he does now, but part of me hopes he's a market stall holder, or somesuch.

I friend of mine claimed to know a Chris Moss. I don't think he became a priest, though.

There should also be some law where by people with certain names should not be teachers, it only distracts the class. I had a teacher called Mr Beighton, where the Mr often was mispronounced Master, and a colleague swears that he had a headmaster called Mr Riddick.

#113 ::: Michelle K ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 08:24 AM:

Jeffrey Smith:
While vacationing in Hawaii and looking at road signs, it occurred to me that disemvowelled text in Hawaiian would be very hard to reconstitute. 7 consonants...

Then bad posters on Hawaiian boards are disconsonant?

#114 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 08:25 AM:

I once ate three quarters of a pound of rhubarb, all in one sitting. Later that day I went to eat a grapefruit (yeah, I guess I liked sour as a kid) and discovered I couldn't taste it. I thought it was something wrong with the grapefruit, and threw it out and got another one. Which I also couldn't taste, which was when I realized I'd stunted my taste buds with the rhubarb. It was several days before my sense of taste returned to normal.

I just got the Edible Landscaping catalogue in the mail yesterday. The only part of it that fails to delight me is the number of plants that aren't hardy in Zone 6.

#115 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 08:36 AM:

You liked sour as a kid, Carrie S? Did you do the following? I'd bite into an apple, put some salt on the exposed pulp, bite into that, salt, bite,salt, bite, until the apple was all gone.

#116 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 08:40 AM:

Thanks, OG... I will keep in mind what people said about wireless routers. I probably should get a new wired router eventually, but things on the home front have finally settled down and I'm reluctant to mess with things. I certainly don't intend tomorrow to be like the last two days, since tomorrow is our 20th wedding anniversary.

#117 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 09:48 AM:

Names, continued: local neurologist (or chiropractor?) Doctor Bruce Weary used to advertise the Weary Pain Clinic, but maybe he got tired of the jokes -- now his sign just features his name.

Inappropriate car ad songs: As a boomer, the ones I recognize feature instrumental intros to the Animals' "House of the Rising Sun" and one of the great Who songs (name escapes me at the moment) where the chorus howls about "Teenage wasteland/ It's a teenage wasteland!" More Who in yet another ad: "I can see for miles and miles...." Quite distracts me from whatever it is they're selling.

#118 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 09:48 AM:

A Dr. William Jerkovsky did some research for my Dad a number of years ago, and I sometimes get calls from an artist manager named Jackovsky. How did these guys ever survive junior high!

#119 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 09:48 AM:

By the way, welcome, A.J.!

Nominative determinism: My mother's name is Marian and she works in a library part-time...

#120 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 09:58 AM:

Because of Chimpy's assertion that he does too have the right to spy on Americans, this person sent an actual letter to the Attorney General asking if he belives that the President also has the authority to kill kittens with a hammer...

#121 ::: rm ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 10:04 AM:

At my university, the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences is named Schoolmaster.

Please, no one google it, there's nothin' to see here, don't want no trouble . . .

#122 ::: Suzanne ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 10:18 AM:

I've got too much snow on the ground to be thinking seriously about seeds, and yet here I am doing exactly that. Someone gave me a bunch of very-old (10 year?) packets of seeds for Japanese Larch, and I'm trying to figure out my best chance for getting them to propagate, assuming any are still viable. I was sort of thinking of filling a planter with potting soil, burying the seeds, and then putting them outside for the remainder of the winter. Maybe the cold, followed by spring, will kickstart one or two of them.

Anyone have any suggestions? I have hundreds of seeds, but given their age if I can get even one to grow I'll feel particularly lucky...

#123 ::: PurpleGirl ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 10:22 AM:

Serge -- Re: Dr. Penis the urologist. We took the medical journal information from Index Medicus. I worked at Matthew Bender back in 1982/83. I'll do some research later tonight (from home) and see what I can find.

#124 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 10:38 AM:

I think I like rhubarb, although I've so seldom had the opportunity to partake in it that I'm not entirely certain. For instance, I think this dessert I had in Scotland might have been rhubarb with clotted cream...but I ordered it and never have remembered what it was I ordered since. It was tangy and tasty, although so much like flesh in color and texture that Tina was rather loathe to try it. I like pies of almost every variety, though, and I might give rhubarb pie a go sometime.

Serge, a couple more points on wireless routers that I haven't seen specifically addressed:

Firstly, you need to find out if your laptops have internal wireless network capability. Many do, these days, but many still do not. USB or PCMCIA cards are readily available and relatively inexpensive, though, so that's probably not a major impediment.

Secondly, with regards to signal penetration through walls and whatnot, folks in most modern homes have few difficulties...but some older homes with plaster walls or other situations requiring a wire mesh (think chicken wire), may. It just so happens that a standard spacing used in chicken wire for construction purposes is of the right size to block the 2.4 GHz frequency that 802.11 wireless uses to transmit its network signal. Basically, plaster walls (not drywall) sometimes act like a Faraday cage and block the signal. You can also get interference from 2.4 GHz phones (get a 5.8 GHz phone instead), and from microwaves, which run at a similar frequency.

HTH!

#125 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 10:40 AM:

Basically, plaster walls (not drywall) sometimes act like a Faraday cage...

Whoa.

#126 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 11:00 AM:

Suzanne, I thought the whole point of seed catalogues was that one looked at them when winter was too dreadful to bear and fantasized about what life would be like when spring and summer came around, assuming they ever showed up at all to rescue one from the endless drear. Without garden catalgogues to yearn over, people's options for winter coping are narrowed down, leaving them at risk for those unsafe winter activities, substance abuse and random acts of violence.

#127 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 11:09 AM:

Faren: The reason you don't remember the name of the "teenage wasteland" song is because it's #1 on the list of Non-Intuitive Song Titles: "Baba O'Reilly"

(Speaking of The Who, what's with CSI shows using their songs as title music?)

Serge: Now, that I never did. But Granny Smiths (mildly sour, green apples) are among my favorites even now.

#128 ::: MLR ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 11:15 AM:

Suzanne,

I found this note regarding Japanese Larch:

Larix kaempferi, Japanese Larch, zone = 4 , sow 2m @ 39ºF, move to 70ºF for germ.

Good luck

#129 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 11:48 AM:

In today's column, Jonathan Carroll tells us about how he and his wife are taking waltz lessons at Big Al's Brainlock Ballroom. He then goes on to talk about the Scandalous Dance, aka the waltz, and how it led to the decay of people's moral fiber, unlike, say, the minuet.

#130 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 11:54 AM:

Fidelio, susan: After long discussion, we decided that was why they showed golf on TV. It's the equivalent of the "log fire" [was it PBS who did that?] except it's a warm sunny day.

cleek: Vonnegut, I recall from a distance of 15 or 20 years, is a very strong opponent of "trying to make sense out of things". Finding out that he's an ID fan just confirms my stereotypes. . . ID people can believe in God, they just can't believe in anyone smarter than they are.

la di da, so it goes, the world doesn't make any sense, I'm an idiot and so are you.

#131 ::: Meredith ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 11:54 AM:

My sister once lived with a succession of medical students, one of whom hurried to get married before graduation so she wouldn't become Dr. Pennypacker.

On the other hand, one of my mom's doctors kept her maiden name so she wouldn't be Dr. Placenta.

#132 ::: OG ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 12:08 PM:

On the subject of inappropriate music, the use of "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" as the opening and return-from-commercial theme for a recent Superbowl comes to mind.

#133 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 12:35 PM:

Names: I was very amused as a little 'un when I read the liner notes to Barry Manilow's double-LP "Live" album and saw that there was a drummer named Reak Havoc.

Links: Just got finished posting the link to the Lego Knitting Machine Movie to the last open thread, unaware there'd been a new one.

OSC, Brin, and the like: One of my biggest disappointments in OSC's editorial was his assertion that "people who think that ID is just another iteration of Creationism are just silly! ID'ers aren't necessarily proposing that God is the designer! Nooooo!" thus proving that he didn't actually know much about the movement he was defending. Deep *SIGH* The folks at Pharyngula (a related blog?) have an interesting thread on the matter with links to many further interesting articles regarding the conundrum that is OSC.

#134 ::: Harthad ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 12:53 PM:

Slightly off topic, but where else would I get an opportunity to share this? Real businesses:

Slack Nursing Home (Yes, Slack was the owner's name.)

Weak Storage (Used to be outside Omaha; presumably Weak was also a family name.)

Maximum Integrity Air Flight School. In their ads, they sometimes use the name MIA Flight School.

Even more off-topic: While living in the deep south, I noticed a tendency for wildly unrelated business ventures to be operating under the same moniker. My favorites: The Copy & Wig Shop (wigs on one side, photocopiers on the other), and Tire Service & Religious Gifts (a small alcove in the front of the store held Catholic statuary and 3-D pictures of Jesus; this made me wonder about the reliability of their tires).

#135 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 01:06 PM:

Rhubarbe rhubarbe rhubarbe

#136 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 01:09 PM:

The latest proof that not all idiot politicians "from Texas" are actually from Connecticut is this asshole. Star Locke is trying (and will certainly fail) to be the next Republican candidate for governor of this state, and he's a real prize. Key to his platform is the elimination of all state property taxes. His proposal to compensate for this loss of revenue? Punative taxation of violent video games, fried foods, sweet foods, and (the real gem) a $10,000 per abortion tax (warning: graphically distasteful aborted fetus pic) on those who perform the operation.

The good news is that there's not a chance in hell he'll capture the nomination away from Perry, who is immensely and inexplicably popular. The fantasy news is that Strayhorn (who's been mentioned in these parts before) is running as an Independent, and could potentially split the vote. It probably won't be enough, but I'm still kind of hoping that my governor will be Kinky!

#137 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 01:12 PM:

Skwid... From reading Molly Ivins, I got the sense that Texas politics are a barrel of laughs, but this is too much.

#138 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 01:19 PM:

We can always hope that the idea of a sin tax on fried and sweet foods -- this, in the homeland of the chicken-fried steak! -- will sink the guy's candidacy.

#139 ::: Tully ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 01:32 PM:

Locally we have a Dr. Bonebrake (chiropracter) and a Dr. Lenz (optometrist).

#140 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 01:32 PM:

If nothing else, trying to put a sin tax on fried and sweet foods, in a state where pretty near everybody will eat fast food at least once a month, guarantees a lack of votes. (DQ: Home of Blizzards, Breezes, and Dudes.)

#141 ::: Eric Sadoyama ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 01:38 PM:

Michelle K:

Jeffrey Smith: While vacationing in Hawaii and looking at road signs, it occurred to me that disemvowelled text in Hawaiian would be very hard to reconstitute. 7 consonants...

Then bad posters on Hawaiian boards are disconsonant?

Ouch.

"Ua mau ke ea o ka ʻāina i ka pono"

would, disemvowelled, become

"m k k ʻn k pn"

Yeah, that would be completely unreadable.

Except that almost nobody in Hawaiʻi actually posts in the Hawaiian language; it's mostly English, albeit flavored with a generous helping of Hawaiian and other languages. This site offers some side-by-side texts in both Hawaiian and English for the curious.

#142 ::: Anne ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 01:54 PM:

Rhubarb: I'll just state the obvious, on the off chance anyone needs it said. Rhubarb is sublimely delicious, but if you've tried it raw and found it inedible, that's not surprising. It's very tough and very sour when raw. For palatability to most people, it must be cooked and sugared within an inch of its life.

Names: my dad has cousins named Harold and Alexander Weiner. Their nicknames are Harry and Sandy.

Incongruous business combinations: in the Pioneer Valley, Massachusetts, there's a famous and long-lived store called "Soda and Pet Food City".

#143 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 01:55 PM:

the Editor of Eldritch Tales and local (for me) SF/horror fan is named Crispen Burnham. Pretty appropriate. And if you'd meet him, you would so not think there's that side to him... (bwaa haa haa)!

#144 ::: Anne ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 01:56 PM:

Also, in Arlington VA, there's the "Indian Spice and Appliance Store". They're an Indian grocery and take-out place, and they sell refrigerators etc.

#145 ::: P J evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 01:59 PM:

In Northridge, CA, there's a sign for "Bright Smile Dental Implants" right above one for "Construction Loans".

#146 ::: Nancy C ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 02:16 PM:

Around here, there's a chain of funeral homes run by a family. The Amigone family.

And a standalone that bears the nameplate, "Bury & Bury."

Many, many years ago I knew a Noel Carroll. He was born on Dec. 25.

#147 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 02:18 PM:

Since we're on a roll with funny firms... Herb Caen once mentionned one of those roadside outposts that combined a restaurant with a gas station. They had a sign on the outside that said:

"Have food. Get gas."

#148 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 02:24 PM:

We have housing developments in Norman called Summit Valley* and Summit Lakes**. I suspect and _hope_ that's because the developer's name is Summit, and not because people on the prairie have a weak grasp of basic geography...

*known to us as Oxymoronica Estates
**okay, you COULD have a Summit Lake if is was a caldera, but volcanoes seem kind of rare around here

#149 ::: cmk ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 02:25 PM:

"Have food. Get gas."

My late mother-in-law always got a kick out of a freeway exit sign (I think it's still there) between here and San Franscisco. The sign is for a service station, but as you drive by it stands above a restaurant.

"Fast gas."

I don't know how I've gotten this far and missed out on strange and interesting names like those given above.

#150 ::: Suzanne ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 02:29 PM:

(answering several comments at once)
Anne wrote:
Incongruous business combinations: in the Pioneer Valley, Massachusetts, there's a famous and long-lived store called "Soda and Pet Food City".
Ah, except it now goes by the name "Dave's", with the "Soda and Pet Food City" part in much smaller print (actually, I think they got a new sign, and it may now just be "Dave's". Will have to look when I go buy dog food and soda, next week).

When my father used to publish a magazine I often helped him (especially in the early days) with mailing labels and such. I distinctly remember coming across a subscriber named Richard Floten, who happened to live on Island Drive.

fidelio, you're right of course. Last winter I ordered myself a ton of plants, and when they all showed up in the spring it was a significant project getting them all planted fast enough. I swore this year I'd pace myself (-:


#151 ::: cleek ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 02:35 PM:

Real businesses:

there's a car wash on NC64 (outside of Siler City, IIRC) called "The Wet Spot".

#152 ::: Glen Fisher ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 02:37 PM:

Around here, there's a Valley Crest landscaping company. (Google reports that they're around elsewhere, too.)

#153 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 02:45 PM:

For many years, there was a funeral home in Porter Square, Cambridge, owned by the Long family.

The sign said "LONG FUNERAL SERVICE".

Sadly, it's now gone. (We do still have the East Cambridge "Live Poultry Fresh Killed" sign, however.)

#154 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 02:53 PM:

Sandy B, one of the reasons the Hawai'i Visitors Bureau fights so hard for the golf season to open out here is precisely because the Mainland weather is typically so bad in January that we look great in comparison.

Michelle K, as a frequenter of Hawai'i message boards, I can tell you that we usually converse in English or pidgin, but that doesn't rule out disconsonance.

#155 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 02:55 PM:

Somewhere in Oxfordshire there is a sign that reads "Cookham and Burnham Crematorium". Yes, those are two local villages, and the "h" is silent in each.

#156 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 03:15 PM:

My husband's urologist is Richard Chopp. He goes by the usual nickname. Yes, he does dabble in surgery.

Down by the State Capitol here in Austin, there's this great SpaceAge Moderne-style gas station that got taken over by the state as pumps for their propane-driven vehicles. The sign read "Compressed Natural Gas." Eventually the station was closed down, and a taco place rented out the space. The gas sign didn't come down for months ...

#157 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 03:42 PM:

Gone but not forgotten 2: The Kosher Burrito in downtown LA. (Got taken out for a CalTrans building, which now is trying to make itself more attractive to passers-by. Go figure.)

#158 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 03:47 PM:

disemvowelled text in Hawaiian would be very hard to reconstitute

Disemvowelled text in Welsh, however ...

#159 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 03:50 PM:

Disemvowelled text in Welsh, however ...

You'd have to take out the Ws and Ys also (seven vowels)!

#160 ::: Ignatz ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 04:25 PM:

I met a neurosurgeon once named Dr. Wonder. Yup, first name Stephen...

#161 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 04:46 PM:

cleek: There used to be a car wash I'd pass that had a (huge) sign, "All hand-job $5."

#162 ::: protected static ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 04:54 PM:

Regarding surnames - my first job after college was working for a firm that conducted marketing research for politicians - basically, we'd try out ideas for ads or direct mail appeals by telephoning people during supper and ask 'em all kinds of annoying questions. Sometimes we'd do pseudo-random-digit dialing, but other times we'd work from voter registration lists.

Can I say for the record that Western Kentucky has some of the best-preserved pre-Victorian Anglo-Irish surnames I've ever seen? Think of the Hobbit surnames, like Proudfoot, only toss in some raunchier ones... Biggerstaff, anyone? Anyone?

#163 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 05:00 PM:

Guy Davenport, in one of his essays in _Geography of the Imagination_, claimed that the Lexington KY phonebook provided all the hobbit surnames. I was living there the fall I read LOTR and _Hobbit_, and I must say I never came up against Baggins or Brandybuck, much less Proudfoot or Took. Seems like I would have noticed. But then many years later I picked up a scholarly book about Bluegrass folklore, and my reaction was, "Did I really live in the same town?"

#164 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 05:17 PM:

My sister's married name is Gotobed.

#165 ::: HP ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 05:19 PM:

(We do still have the East Cambridge "Live Poultry Fresh Killed" sign, however.)

I used to regularly drive past a farm that had a big sign advertising "Rabbits -- Live & Dressed." Try explaining to an excited little girl that they do not sell bunnies in cute costumes.

#166 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 05:35 PM:

On the subject of law firm names, there's a solictor's practice in Leamington Spa, England, named "Wright Hassal".

Given that the firm does not seem to employ anybody of either name, my suspicion is that they just made it up. But it sounds good. :)

#167 ::: hrc ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 05:37 PM:

actually when I lived in KY 39 years ago, one night we got a bit loaded and spent the evening going over a state map identfying weird names of towns like Monkey Paw. I still have that handwritten piece of paper somewhere.....

#168 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 05:40 PM:

Hmm... I just saw a photo of, Steven Harper, Canada's new Prime Minister. For some reason, he reminds me of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, but without the chin. (When I was living in Toronto, one of my buddies used to refer to Brian as the Chin Who Walks Like A Man.)

#169 ::: clew ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 05:57 PM:

Hamadryad, the Territorial Seed Co. has purple and white and yellow carrots; I vaguely remember ruddy orange ones, but maybe not this year.

Green and orange cauliflower, too... rainbow chard, purple and yellow pole beans, amaranth, sunflowers, purple shiso.


I keep extra rhubarb by chopping very finely, making a quick heavy syrup, and freezing it for "pink lemonade" mix.

#170 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 06:16 PM:

On a road just off the interstate here, we have a restaurant which, though it has a real name, has a giant sign in front that just says, "EAT". About half a mile down the road is a Sleep Inn. Given that pattern, I've always kind of wished someone would open a brothel on the same road.

#171 ::: Renee ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 06:23 PM:

About ten or fifteen years ago, there used to be a hot dog here in Calgary, called 'Big Dick's'.

The stand didn't last, but people still laugh about it.

#172 ::: Renee ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 06:23 PM:

"Hot dog stand"

Gee, I tipe gud.

#173 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 06:51 PM:

Another item from Herb Caen... When they were converting the lower deck of SF's Bay Bridge to automobile traffic, for a time there was a slight difference in level between the deck and the access ramp, which drivers were warned about by a sign that simply said:

"Hump."

I understand that it was taken down very quickly.

#174 ::: Rich Magahiz ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 07:05 PM:

Am I the only one with a Dr. Strange? (Actually, he was my mother's doctor in San Francisco.) As far as I know, he didn't have any occult talents.

#175 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 07:15 PM:

Rhubarb: When I was a kid we used to go outside with a big bowl of sugar and a knife, cut a rhubarb stalk, wash it under the outdoor faucet and then pull strips and dip them in sugar to eat. mmmmm

Strange company names: When I was driving to BWI to pick up Kip & family for Capclave last year, I passed a small building in Maryland that had a sign that said "Ballroom Boxing." Yes, just next to each other like that. I wish I'd had a camera with me.

#176 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 07:57 PM:

The reference to Mulroney is originally from Alan Fotheringham.

Oddly enough, by all accounts, Harper, who's basically an introverted policy wonk, is far closer to Trudeau in personality than he is to Mulroney, who wass an extraverted schmoozer.

#177 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 08:13 PM:

Re: weird names, I went to school with a guy named Lance Justice. Poor kid. And in the small town where my husband got his first newspaper job, a gentleman named Mr. Savage died and the headline on his obit read, I kid you not, "Savage Rites Held."

The same part of the world held a lady whose MARRIED name was Azalea Bush, and a combination bookstore and grave monument company.

Re: Rainbow Inca Sweet Corn--I've grown it; it's tiny but DELICIOUS. And beautiful.

Re: gene names--my favorite is sonic hedgehog.

Fidelio, re looking at seed catalogues in the winter: I now no longer have a garden (having moved to a lot forested with oaks) but I look at seed catalogs anyway. Tomato porn.

#178 ::: Kylee Peterson ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 08:36 PM:

I went to a Dr. Rencher for an orthodontic consultation once, and when my cousin finishes vet school she'll be Dr. Barker.

Rhubarb is wonderful, like most sour things. My mom made an apple-cranberry pie a couple of years ago, which she refuses to make again because it was too sour for her. I need to plague her for the recipe again. (But what do salted apples have to do with sourness?)

#179 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 08:50 PM:

Ah, Pierre Elliott Trudeau... My own anecdote comes from a friend who was a Mountie stationed in Ottawa. One day, he was on duty as Trudeau's bodyguard and they were waiting at the Prime Minister's residence for the official car to show up. Which it didn't. Very annoyed, Trudeau's attitude basically was screw-this and he got into a VW car, with the Mountie having to hop in as a passenger.

#180 ::: Michael ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 09:47 PM:

My two bits on WiFi: first, down here in Puerto Rico where the weather's great and the houses are concrete, your WiFi probably won't reach the entire house, because reinforced concrete is *really* hard for those WiFi waves to get through. That said, I use WiFi -- because it's hard to drill through the walls, too. (When I wired my wooden house in Indiana, I had a great time drilling holes here and there...)

My laptop doesn't have built-in WiFi, so I have a Belkin USB WiFi adapter -- I have to say it's great, because you can move the adapter around on its cable if your reception is iffy right where you're sitting. The Belkin adapters are about $60 at your average OfficeMax/BestBuy kind of place, and you need one per machine if they don't already have built-in WiFi.

If your ComCast modem has WiFi built in, then it is in fact a router and performs the same firewall services that a standalone router does (probably -- mine does). And tech support will be less panicky if you don't have your own router attached, that's for sure.

#181 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 09:48 PM:

Since half our immediate neighbour's backyard (And occasionally, bits of our own) is wild rhubarb, I would like to say that yes, it can proliferate like a weed.

Of course, the usual question here is, "How is this a problem?"

Yes, Rhubarb stalks are deeply astringent left to themselves. (And the leaves are outright poisonous, thus placing wild rhubarb in the "Do not eat!" section of the survival handbook).

Sprinkled liberally with sugar and baked into a pie or a crisp, however...

They're like sour cherries, as far as I'm concerned; they make Better pies than their nearest not-sour equivalents.

I'm of the opinion strawberry rhubarb pie is one of the best desserts out there. Colin would subtract the strawberry before he agreed.

#182 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 09:50 PM:

lila, I have one strip that gets enough sun (I live in a forest in the middle of a city, go figure.). If I buy seeds, I'm going to share them with a friend of mine how may grow them to planting size if play my cards right. I have cat who thinks indoor plants, aside from our Monstera philodendron --you bite it's leaves it prickles you with oxalic acid..., last time I grew out tomatoe seedlings, she waited until they were to two leaves and finished off the flat. And I had the yard where I could have planted 20 tomato plants. dammit.

#183 ::: Juli Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 10:04 PM:

My cousin in South Dakota has a recipe for rhubarb kugan that qualifies as food of the gods. She also makes rhubarb custard pie to die for. She lives by a lake, and her husband built a system of irrigated terraces where her rhubarb grows in clumps like large bushes. (He also put in a water slide while he was at it.)

I'm thinking that I need to go visit them again, since I'm starting to drool on my keyboard.

(Incidently, why do I never see frozen rhubarb in the grocery store? Everyone I know who has access to rhubarb freezes it, and no one ever has enough. Seems like it would be an obvious money maker.)

#184 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 10:37 PM:

Juli, I figure they don't sell frozen rhubarb because not enough people know how to use it - I've seen it in stores, but not often and not consistently. (Fresh is also hard to find: why I hunted down seeds.)

#185 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 11:22 PM:

Combined businesses: Out in rural Scioto County is Tom's Welding and Naomi's Beauty Shop. Over in Proctorville there's a combined hot dog stand/tobacco shop. Care for a sprinkle of Mail Pouch on your chili dog? White Owl on a bun with mustard? The mind boggles while the stomach cringes.

#186 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 11:45 PM:

I'm still trying to think of a dish I can call LaBoeuf, Lamb, and Greens.

Perhaps some sort of mixed grill and salad.

#187 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2006, 11:54 PM:

Dr. Strange, Rich? I was wondering if someone had ever come across one although I did know it was a real family name. I wonder if there's a Dr. Frankenstein somewhere out there...

#188 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 01:14 AM:

Lila: I'll have to plant lots then. Does it dry well?

#189 ::: Jeffrey Smith ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 01:24 AM:

One of my favorite signs was in a church parking lot a few blocks from my house, where there were markers for reserved spaces. Some were reserved with names, some with titles, and one with a title that the sign-maker thought was a name:

"Pastor Al Counselor"

#190 ::: cd ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 02:18 AM:

Seen in Gothenburg: "Satellite Dishes and Present Store" and "Pipes (the kind you smoke in --cd) and fishing equipment".

#191 ::: Emily ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 02:20 AM:

My gratuitous amusing sign reference was at a camping store, in summertime: "Now is the discount of our winter tents".

The newspaper that Herb Caen wrote for (the San Francisco Chronicle) published an interesting anti-Bush screed today (Wednesday) by Mark Morford: read it here.

#192 ::: protected static ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 02:26 AM:

While admittedly not that uncommon a combination, I seem to remember a strikingly garish (hot pink w/ black trim, iirc) combined bait shop/liquor store on the road to the Lake of the Ozarks...

Bourbon & bloodworms - two great tastes that taste great together.

#193 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 03:19 AM:

"Pastor Al Counselor"

My first thought was: I wonder if he's a relative of Pastor Al Dente?

#194 ::: Judy ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 04:48 AM:

Coming out of lurk to say:

Serge, when I was demonstrating searching on the Science Citation Index some years ago I did indeed find a Dr Frankenstein, author of a number of articles on neurology if I remember. And another Dr Frankenstein who was an economist, but somehow that surprised me less.

Returning to lurk

#195 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 07:56 AM:

Gone but not forgotten: the Chinese restaurant near Greengate Mall in Greensburg, PA, that was called "FU KWEI Palace".

I've seen frozen rhubarb in the grocery store. It was short pieces, and I haven't looked lately.

#196 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 08:48 AM:

I managed to get rhubarb to grow here in the Phoenix desert once by planting it next to pumpkin vines. The shade from the pumpkin leaves kept the rhubarb from toasting out. (Fairly puny rhubarb, though; only got to about half the size of the stalks in the grocery.)


Names: Back when we were trying to sell our first house, we had it listed with one Fireside Realty. They were a small, struggling realtor; so small and so struggling, in fact, that they ended up operating as Fireside Realty & Macrame before folding up completely.

#197 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 09:47 AM:

Bruce: congratulations on getting rhubarb to grow in Phoenix (one of the twp zones the garden book says don't try it in).

Terry: TJ's had strawberry-flavored dried rhubarb a year or so back. It was actually quite good. Some sourced says rhubarb doesn't dehydrate, but I've seen instructions for doing it.

#198 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 09:50 AM:

When I was living in Toronto, there was a Chinese restaurant near the very east end of Queen Street the actual name of which I can't remember because everybody called it "The Goof". That came about because, for the longest time, their neon sign right outside was on the blink and didn't fully advertise "Good Food" anymore.

#199 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 10:25 AM:

Serge: Aren't you familiar with the epigram on the death of the eighteenth century legist Sir John Strange:

Here lies an honest lawyer, and that is Strange.

#200 ::: Kayjay ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 10:34 AM:

I remember hearing of a Dr. Bonebrake practicing in Springfield, Missouri during the late 1960's and early 1970's. Upon trying to google him, I found that there are several currently active doctors with that last name in the area.

We have a Dr. Bonebrake in Madison who is an orthopedic surgeon.

My mom once filed an insurance claim for a Dr. Hardy Harhar.

#201 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 10:39 AM:

and for a different kind of 'what??' (via firedoglake):
Here is National Republican Congressional spokesman Carl Forti in today's Cincinnati Enquirer:
"You may see Democrats trying to discuss (ethics issues) but we're going to ignore it because we don't think it's relevant," Forti said.

Isn't that special? Ethics --behavior that provides some degree of integrity to our laws and institutions--is not "relevant".
Ok, we'll just ignore it then, as you suggest.
Or maybe not. Asshat.
froggermarch | 01.26.06

#202 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 12:05 PM:

OK, plant people - help, please!

I have been craving some plant life on my balcony. There's a huge (5 ft tall, 4 ft wide) jade plant crammed into the corner of my apartment building next to the dumpster. Though it has burst through its pot, it's blooming beautifully. The landlord apparently has no plans to re-plant this thing, and I think has just been waiting for someone with superhuman strength to lob it into the dumpster. Before that happens, I'd like to maybe buy a bag of potting soil, some cheap pots, and take some cuttings.

Since I have never done anything like this before, and because of my proven inability to keep anything in the plant kingdom alive, I'd love some advice. I recently read an article in the Home section of the LA Times which implied that pretty much anyone could pick up a branch from a jade plant that had been knocked off the tree by a dog, and just magically plant it in the dirt and it would thrive. I suspect I could screw that up. So, is there a specific angle I need to cut the branch at? A particular kind of potting soil I should look for? A size of pot to avoid?

#203 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 12:09 PM:

The United States of America has a Secretary of Education named Miss Spellings.

#204 ::: Michelle K ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 12:23 PM:

nerdycellist,

Jade, like Christmas cacti, take root really easily. The easiest way to start a new plant is to break off a leaf, and set that leaf on top of some moist potting soil. The leaf will dry out a little, but then should send out root feelers. Once it's rooted, just pay occasional attention to it. Occasionally--but only occasionally--this doesn't work. You know, because the leaf will look rotted. If you're not sure, it's probably okay.

You might even look in the base of the plant and see if you see any fallen leaves that look like they're putting out feelers, or have started to root themselves.

To take a cutting, simply break off a small section (try for a joint), stick it in moist potting soil, and keep an eye on it.

#205 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 12:25 PM:

I know of two ways to kill a jade plant or its cuttings: Water it copiously every day for two months or Don't water it at all for three months.

You can root cuttings of all sizes from a jade plant. You can root it in water or in dirt.

For dirt potting: Take pieces of any size you like, and place them in pots whose size matches the size of the cuttings. (If the cutting looks like you need a magnifying glass to find it, it's in too big a pot; if it looks like it's top-heavy and will fall over if you turn around too quickly near it, it's in too small a pot.) Keep the soil damp but not mucky-wet. After a couple of weeks, water when the soil is dry when you stick a finger in the dirt. Standard potting soil is fine; stick some small rocks or pieces of broken pottery in the bottom of larger pots to help drainage.

I'm serious about the cuttings of any size part; I've mostly rooted small bits from jade plants, but a friend once had a plant break when it was knocked over by a half-grown pup--the plant ended up in four pieces, plus some leaves, and she was able to root three of the four--the fourth suffered another dog-related encounter, with even worse results than the first one. I think she tried water rooting and then transplanting on two of them, and direct-to-soil planting on the other two.

#206 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 12:33 PM:

Carrie S: Thank you for the link to Edible Landscaping. What fun. I kill most plants, but find herbs survive my (lack of) gardening skills.

Good grief! I didn't realize Rose of Sharon was edible! I can't kill that one, either.

#207 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 12:39 PM:

The oral surgeon who did my bloody biopsy (as opposed to the second, bloodless biopsy I had later) was Dr. Stein. His partner was Dr. Frank. When I referred to them as "the Doctors Frank & Stein," their nurse acted like she'd never heard the joke before. Claimed no one had ever pointed that out.

#208 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 01:04 PM:

And I just encountered a person whose last name is Turner. First name Paige.

Her parents must have liked suspenseful books.

#209 ::: J Austin ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 01:13 PM:

Serge--On Dracula and Yanni, two days later I do a Google search on Steven Brust and look at the images. (I'd never seen a picture, so it didn't click that you were talking about the man himself.) Yeah, he's got a great mustache going on, but lacks the truly creeped out grue I get when I stumble across a pic of Yanni;)
This is why I just lurk--not too quick on the uptake.

#210 ::: mary ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 01:24 PM:

cmk: I remember that "Fast Gas" sign on the way down to SF! I always laughed at it too--yeah, it's a huge sign right over a restaurant.

#211 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 01:27 PM:

Many moons ago, I worked for the Gleaner in Jamaica. One morning, we reported on a speech made by the local government minister who announced that garbage collection in Kingston was thenceforth to be on a two-shift system. We left out the 'f'.

#212 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 01:31 PM:

Has anybody seen the movie Tristan and Isolde? It just came out and I was curious to hear if it's any good. When I first saw the poster, it brought back to mind an interview with Ridley Scott, circa 1980, which showed lots of pre-production art for a project that looked quite interesting: it told the story of Tristan and Isolde, but in an post-cataclysm setting, with things that looked designed by Moebius and by Philippe Druillet. I always thought it was a bummer he had never gotten to making that movie. But, yeah, it turns out that he did. Unfortunately it's set in the Middle-Ages. Now, I'm really bummed.

#213 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 01:31 PM:

Jade plant: I killed one once by failing to water the pot for several months. Pot - wide as your hand gently spread wide; plant - piece as long as your hand, finger tip to wrist. Why that size? For those of us who kill plants with too much regularity, especially those in pots, this is a nice size to be able to tell when to water it. Stick the piece in the soil, add water when you stick your finger in the pot and it doesn't feel really wet. After a week or so, water when the leaves start to look wrinkled. I used to have a potted jade plant next to a couple of other houseplants. When the jade looked a bit dry, I'd water everything. It kept me from overwatering the other plants.

Also relatively unkillable: mint, rosemary (can be huge but pruning it smells really good), basil, oregano, iris! I've got iris in a pot that is not only still alive but florishing. And it's green all year. Agapanthas (try dwarf) are also negligence resistant. Lavender. I'm one of those people who doesn't like the smell of plain lavender (I like it in blends), but I've got two pots of the stuff. I haven't been able to kill it yet.

#214 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 01:32 PM:

Last night I spotted ABC News "Personality" Josh Talkington. (Not news announcer, not newscaster, not news reporter -- news "personality.")

#215 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 01:35 PM:

"I am NOT Doctor Frankenstein! My name is... Frankenstone."

Gene Wilder as the modern-day descendant of you-know-who.

#216 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 01:44 PM:

J Austin, the pan flutist Damian Draghici has a certain resemblence as well, but looks a bit too healthy to be Vlad, and also doesn't seem to be wall-eyed, which the portrait of Vlad seems to suggest.

#217 ::: Sylvia Sotomayor ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 01:46 PM:

More on names:
There's a Dr Pepper in the Geography Dept at USC.
Also, I once met a woman named Aida Verdi.

#218 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 01:54 PM:

re appropriate names: how could we forget

Henry Hite, the world's tallest man
Kurt Shmoke, the mayor who wanted to legalize marijuana
White House spokesman Larry Speaks
John Wayne Bobbit

#219 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 01:55 PM:

Spotted long ago, in a PA town by the Delaware Water Gap:

ERNEST F. DUH

Attorney at Law

#220 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 01:58 PM:

P j Evans: Wrong plant. I am of the idea that rhubarb is pretty, but not very palatable. Maia makes a dish (grunt) which is a sort of apple/rhubarb crumble which I like, so maybe it was the slimy/glutinous texture of the strawberry rhubarb pie I had as a child which put me off.

I was asking after the Rainbow Inca Sweet Corn.

#221 ::: J Austin ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 02:00 PM:

Fidelio--Way too healthy, and his features are more pretty than....pointy. He does look as though he'd like to be, though. Vlad's full bottom lip in the portrait is striking, too, makes me wonder if the luxurious mustache is disguising a hair-lip. Or big, nasty, pointy teeth.

#222 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 02:04 PM:

Serge: Actually, it was Fraunk-en-Steen.

#224 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 02:08 PM:

"Fraunk-en-Steen"... Right, Lenora. Speaking of Young Frankeinstein, guess who was the Best Man at the wedding of John Lennon and Yoko Ono? Peter Boyle, who played the Creature. Guess who was the Best Man at Boyle's wedding? Lennon.

#225 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 02:09 PM:

One of the grocery stores around here has what appears (and smells) to be rosemary in short shrubbery form around their store. It's delightful!

My balcony is on the south facing wall of the apartment, and so gets full L.A. sun nearly every day of the year. I'd love to put flowers out there, but some years we've had problems with flies and bees so I'm going to with plants with minimal blooms so I can enjoy reading on my balcony more often.

It looks like we'll be going with lots of succulents.

Now where to put the Jolly Roger?

#226 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 02:10 PM:

Does Steven Brust still sport that Vlad mustach? Way back then, I kept thinking he should be going around dressed up like Michael York's Norman Invader character in Alfred the Great, and with a big battle axe.

#227 ::: protected static ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 02:11 PM:

"Now where to put the Jolly Roger?"

Proudly on your mast, of course! How else will you strike fear into the hearts of those you are about to board and loot?

#228 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 02:29 PM:

My favorite candidate for The Plant That Will Not Die is my cane begonia (formerly known as angel-wing begonia), which I've mentioned before. It looks almost exactly like this photo.

In the 11 years since I inherited mine from my mother, it's survived a drought-flood-drought pattern of watering and living on a balcony that got 10 minutes of sunlight a day, max. The only way I know it's not thoroughly happy is that I don't need to pull out a machete and hack it back by 50% every three months, the way Mom used to.

Whenever I can, I give rooted cuttings of this plant to friends -- just doing my part to help this plant take over the world. :-)

#229 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 02:29 PM:

Wait - do I need to build a hull first? This week's "To Do" list has grown exponentially more complicated:

1. Make cuttings of jade plant.
2. Enclose balcony in hull
3. Erect main-mast; hoist Jolly Roger
4. Plunder house of Armenians next door. Or nearby Jr. High, whichever has better booty. Armenians probably have that awesome strong coffee, but Jr. High can provide bouncy red rubber balls.

#230 ::: J Austin ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 02:31 PM:

Gah. Harelip. I meant harelip. Uh...look over there! It's a local DJ named Jack Mehoff!

#231 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 02:35 PM:

Serge's "The Goof" reminds me of another Cambridge institution (also gone): "Nick's eef and Bee Ho se".

#232 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 02:37 PM:

Awr, awr... Shiv me a... Oops, it's too early for Talk-Like-a-Pirate Day. But remember that Blackbeard the Pirate, which I understand is responsible for what we now think of as Pirate Talk will be shown on March 19 on Turner Classic Movies. Be there.

#233 ::: protected static ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 02:38 PM:

Ever see a neon sign for a "Black Angus" restaurant with that oh-so-critical 'g' missing?

Not a pretty mental image...

#234 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 02:41 PM:

J Austin--I feel that picture minimized the nose. There's more of it there than you'd think from that angle.

#235 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 02:47 PM:

Ever see a neon sign for a "Black Angus" restaurant with that oh-so-critical 'g' missing?

Yes. And later in the day, the entire sign had been turned off.

#236 ::: Michelle K ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 02:51 PM:

Locally, an historic (cough) downtown hotel has a always had a large neon sign on the roof proclaiming HOTEL MORGAN.

After many, many, many years of waiting, the E,L, and the M finally burned out all at once.

#237 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 02:53 PM:

Aw, I want an angel wing begonia! Such beautiful leaves. And hard to kill is definitely a bonus.

I get cranky when I see people wasting water on impractical and boring grass, when there are so many neat plants that will grow with little encouragment, even in this climate. Plus, lemon trees! I think those of us willing to not waste resources should be given a 50% discount on buying a house. You want lush grass? Fine. Go live somewhere that's not an arid desert. And don't get me started on backyard swimming pools.

Serge, we may only celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day once a year, but we should keep pirates in our hearts all year round, no matter what the secularists say. Booty be with you. (and also with you. Yarrrrrr!)

In other news, my favorite privateer, The Royaliste will be featured in a History channel program on pirates later this year. Huzzah!

#238 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 02:56 PM:

nerdycellist says that "...we should keep pirates in our hearts all year round, no matter what the secularists say..." Actually, guess what we secularists and atheists do say about that?

Awr, awr, awr...

#239 ::: protected static ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 03:00 PM:

Oops. It has been pointed out to me that I'm 2 days early for Challenger... my bad.

#240 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 03:43 PM:

Lin: I didn't know about Rose of Sharon either, till I found that site (I was looking for saffron crocus). My dad hates the stuff, because his neighbor has one and it keeps dropping seedlings over the fence and into the tomato patch.

#241 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 03:43 PM:

I had rhubarb pie once in my life, the next morning I was covering in tiny red spots from my throat down to my waist. I have avoided rhubarb ever since.

#242 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 03:46 PM:

Plunder house of Armenians next door. Or nearby Jr. High, whichever has better booty.

I'm shocked at this statement. I would never go younger than high-school seniors...when looking for the best booty.

Oh! You meant...

Never mind.

#243 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 03:48 PM:

Paula, if you'd kept eating it you might be completely red from head to toe now! What an opportunity you missed. Think how striking that could be.

Yes, I'm kidding. Allergies suck.

#244 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 04:13 PM:

Terry: re the corn drying well or not: I don't know, we ate it all in the sweet stage. Have the water boiling before you go out to pick the corn. Unbelievably good.

#245 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 04:27 PM:

nerdycellist, if you're in/around LA, you might appreciate this blog I ran across via the LA Times.

It's a day-by-day account of Los Angeles in 1947 with a focus on true crime and architecture (that doesn't do it justice, but what the heck).

#246 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 04:41 PM:

Names of real people at the university where I work: Sandy Beach and Candy Hart.

#247 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 05:04 PM:

My HS had a teacher named Candace Sweet. And yes, she went by Candy.

#248 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 05:32 PM:

Patrick Farley snarkanalyzes the Seahawk's logo redesign:

http://pfarley.livejournal.com/83684.html

" . . . if I had to choose a team based on nothing else but the semiotics of their respective logos, I'd have to go with the Steelers. No snarling, bestial caricatures on their helmet; their elegant, abstract logo consists of three hypocycloids representing the three materials used to produce steel (yellow for coal, orange for ore and blue for steel scrap.) The subtext of this logo couldn't be clearer: the Steelers' derive their strength not from brute-animal-muscle force, but from the power of human intellect, as expressed through science and industry!

(Holy shit, that sounded eerily like Ayn Rand.)"

#249 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 05:38 PM:

Terry K: Let the whole corn plant stand until it's dry. The ears will then be dry, and you can break them off and shuck the kernels (I recommend gloves or the use of something like a putty knife, since the cobs are rough too and will shred your hand: experience). (This is what's known as 'field corn': the stuff we eat fresh is 'green corn' in the old cook books.)

#250 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 06:45 PM:

I turned out to be Captain Malcolm in Which Serenity Character Are You?.

#251 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 08:01 PM:

I came out to be partly Book and partly Jayne. Which, come to think of it, is partly right, and partly wrong.

#252 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 08:02 PM:

Terry K: oh yes...it was a good thing I had to go out looking up rhubarb dehydration. The bookmark I had was dead. So you did me a favor. Thanks!

#253 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2006, 10:44 PM:

David Neiwert writes about Jack Abramoff and some of his friends, and I can't help recalling the discussion here awhile back about Tom DeLay and the labor conditions in the Marianas Islands.

Neiwert quotes at length from his friend Mike Hood who writes...

There's no question the ultra-religious Abramoff shares the racial and cultural imperiousness of his friend, spiritual mentor and business associate, Rabbi Lapin. Abramoff has had no compunction making millions cynically exploiting the ignorance and corruption (and by implication, the inferiority) of under-developed nations- from the American Indian tribes to the unregulated sweat shops of Saipan to black South Africans.
That Lapin hails from Apartheid-era South Africa where racism was strictly codified and staunchly defended with Christian arguments, we think, is more than of passing interest.
It was in South Africa that Abramoff began his friendship with the Lapin brothers.

This is the first I've heard anything about this angle of the Abramoff affair, and I confess it comes as a bit of a shock, even to me. (I'm pretty damned cynical.)

#254 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2006, 02:33 AM:

Next time y'all look at Google, check out the doodle. They're (it's) celebrating Mozart's 250th birthday.

#255 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2006, 03:20 AM:

It told me I was Mal, but had the same rating (60%) for Wash. I think this reflects badly on the quiz -- there was another one, probably on OKCupid, that told me I was Simon, which is clearly correct.

#256 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2006, 11:26 AM:

65% match with Zoe and 65% with Wash. I think this comes out to "None of the above, but married. . ."

#257 ::: Nancy C ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2006, 11:41 AM:

Yay! I am Kaylee mostly, with Book the runner up!

(Says the girl who should be writing code, not reading blogs.)

#258 ::: Kate Yule ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2006, 10:40 PM:

An item on the news tonight led to a vigorous kitchen discussion over where the emphasis belongs in the word "protesters". We have now batted it about so much that I can't even remember which way sounded right to me.

Googling around tells me that some folks think there are two pronunciations of the verb with a corresponding subtle difference in meaning (to PROtest in the streets vs. to proTEST one's gas bill). I don't get any sense of how universal this is... and even so, does that imply two pronunciations of "protester"?

Thoughts? Citations?

#259 ::: Steve Eley ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2006, 11:07 PM:

Hey, can I bring up another round of Name That Story? Just got this question in e-mail:

"Also, on a side note, i've been trying to track down the name/author of a story where these people are running out of oxygen in their solar-powered space suits on a small planet so they have to chase the sun as it sets to stay alive. I've been looking for the name of that story forever, I read it when i was a little kid. If you know, or if you have a good sci-fi network of people who might, maybe you could put the word out and see if anyone knows...???"

Anyone have a thought? The querent is a musician who just gave me permission to podcast one of the most powerful SFnal songs I've yet heard, so I really want to help him out.

#260 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2006, 11:20 PM:

Well, what a surprise, The Book of Daniel has been canceled. I guess our Brave American Patriots couldn't deal with a show about a priest who questions things, who is addicted to pain pills and who has an homosexual son whom he loves. And they won't have to hear Jesus say "Boriiiing!!!" in reaction to one of Daniel's sermons.

#261 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2006, 05:31 AM:

Steve Eley: Your story sounds like "A Walk in the Sun", by Geoffrey Landis. There was only one person, and it was the Moon rather than a planet -- but how many stories can there be with that specific premise? It was published in Asimov's in October of 1991 (ye gods, was it really that long ago?) and won a Hugo Award. Depending on the age of your interlocutor that might track with "a little kid".

#262 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2006, 11:15 AM:

That BBC style guide in the sidelights is fabulous. Can you imagine--there are people out there who don't find such things fascinating?

#263 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2006, 02:27 PM:

Great story, "A Walk In the Sun." I reprinted it in New Skies.

#264 ::: JennR ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2006, 03:30 PM:

PJ: Best way I've found to shuck corn is to rub two cobs together. You still need gloves, and a dowel (held parallel to the thumb) is handy for getting the tail-end kernels off. My dad had a shucking peg which strapped around the hand, and my sister and I used to argue over who got to use it.

#265 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2006, 05:48 PM:

Kate, as near as I can tell, I always say PROtest, no matter the environment.

JennR, I've found that the way to get the strings off the corn is to microwave the cob with the strings & husk and then both husk & strings come off easily.

#266 ::: HP ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2006, 12:07 AM:

A request: I'm looking for alternatives to Site Meter and Technorati for tracking visitors and links. Any recommendations?

I seem to recall our hosts finding an alternative to Technorati that got the thumbs up, but the search engine didn't return anything, and I couldn't find a link on the front page. (Although I could simply be linkblind.)

#267 ::: JennR ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2006, 12:02 PM:

Marilee: that works fine for fresh corn, but I was talking getting kernels off dried-on-the-cob corn. The strings pretty much crumble away when you pull the husks off.

#268 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2006, 05:35 PM:

Well, what a surprise, The Book of Daniel has been canceled. I guess our Brave American Patriots couldn't deal with a show about a priest who questions things, who is addicted to pain pills and who has an homosexual son whom he loves. And they won't have to hear Jesus say "Boriiiing!!!" in reaction to one of Daniel's sermons.

And the rest of us won't have to put up with an ODTAA, or maybe an ODTSWA, that can't be bothered to have a reality consultant and therefore has an Episcopal Bishop visit but not preach, and wear a mitre during the sermon. I'm not saying your reason wasn't the reason; just that it wasn't that great a show, and it's just possible that hardly anyone watched it.

#269 ::: Steve Eley ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2006, 10:02 AM:

HP:
A request: I'm looking for alternatives to Site Meter and Technorati for tracking visitors and links. Any recommendations?
Does your Web host give you access to your log files? If so, there are several software packages you can run that work well. I'm a fan of AWStats; it's moderately complex to install, but gives just the right level of detail for me.

You can also try Google Analytics, which is free and has some very nice reports. My only problem with it is that it's intended primarily for online marketing types, so you'll have to ignore a lot of stuff about "goal conversions" and other voodoo concepts.


I seem to recall our hosts finding an alternative to Technorati that got the thumbs up, but the search engine didn't return anything, and I couldn't find a link on the front page. (Although I could simply be linkblind.)

IIRC they were talking about IceRocket. I personally find IceRocket's interface annoying, and Technorati appears to have improved in the past few months so it's not as frustrating anymore, but it is there as an alternative.

#270 ::: Mina W ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2006, 02:07 AM:

Strange name combinations — strange restaurants. Does anybody else find the combination of Tacos & Espresso weird? And in Truckee (I think, it's on the radio), there's Java Sushi.

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