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Vera, Chuck, and Dave.
C'mon, I'm closer to 64 than you are.
Ok, I googled it, and now I feel guilty...
It took me a minute to notice which number open thread this was.
Thank you for the delightful reference which I'm now going go humming, as I head out to pick up my sweet friend Lise from the commuter train and sing it to her.
I expect soon to see Sir Paul singing "Oh, she was just 64..."
"You know, such a bore,"
Somebody else is gonna have to complete that.
I think you've mentioned it here before.
Last of Tri-City Mall is coming down
Sir Paul is 64 on June 18th. Of this year. That's less than 8 weeks away,
Will you still be sending me a Valentine, birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
He's has had a lot of sadness on the way to 64. Count the number of major people in his life who have died before their time.
I think we should still feed him, don't you?
dootodoot Doot Doot dodododo
So, are you waiting for Sunday to get your Veronica Mars fix, or do you generally wait for DVD, or are you thinking of "other methods" for getting your HS Noir on?
...And the way she shook was way beyond compare
Oh how could I sit with another,
When I saw her rocking there?
I now regret "shook". "Slouched"? I was going for a rocking chair but I think I may have evoked some unfunny condition.
BSD, are you talking to me? Bittorrent, baby.
Mind you, if they'd just put it on iTMS, I'd gladly shell out.
Some rocking chairs can do a decent imitation of shake. Rattle is a bit more likely.
And a very early happy happy to him, too!
When I read that Particle about Lincoln's duel, I at first pictured the plank as *spanning* the pit, and that the fight would take place on it.
That would rock.
PNH: He's has had a lot of sadness on the way to 64.
Aye. I saw the title of the thread, promptly got the song as an earworm -- and then realised that it must be 7 or 8 years now since Linda died. (I checked - 8 last week.) That song's had a bittersweet edge for me these last few years.
I've got a request for information on behalf of my aunt and uncle. My uncle just accepted a position at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, and they will be moving there in June. They'll visit sometime in May to look for a house, but probably not more than once, since they currently live in France.
So, can anyone familiar with Flagstaff recommend neighborhoods they should look in? An ideal neighborhood would be close to campus, close to downtown (my recollection is that NAU is pretty close to downtown, so that's probably the same thing), reasonably accessible after heavy snowfalls (which I understand are common there), and have 2-3 bedroom houses at something like a reasonable price (I don't know what housing prices are like there, but let's say definitely under $500K, and preferably under $400K). Townhouses would be fine, assuming there are any.
I expect the school will find a buyer's agent for them, but if anyone happens to have a recommendation for one in that area, that would be great as well.
Any advice will be appreciated.
There's such a thing as a good earworm. This one is forever attached to the PBS TV-Movie of The Lathe of Heaven. After all, to go is to return.
And now I'm having defective memory. Wrong song, somehow appended to a favorite movie.
Okay, I give up. I've googled, I've thought, and I've tried to remember. What does "FAQK" mean? Frequently Asked Questions, Kinda?
You might try Zillow. Here's the link to University Ave in Flagstaff. Take their values with a salt cellar; even they admit their data isn't complete.
NAU is indeed right downtown. It's where I-40 and I-17 intersect.
Fiddling around with Zillow a little more, it looks like there are a fair number of $200-250K houses within a mile east of campus. I have no idea what that kind of money buys in Flagstaff.
It's always been a bit of a bittersweet song for me - although I do hope it ends up being true... enough.
I think Spider Robinson has that covered in 'Rubber Soul'...
As my grandparents did retire to a cottage on the Isle of Wight, I have fond memories of the song, and of my childhood visits to the island, which seemed to be designed for children to play in.
On a more serious note, there is a campaign in the UK to freeze music from 50 years ago into corporate thraldom.
Do support ORG in resisting this.
64 has ended up being my lucky number. partly because of the song.
I wonder what the Paul McCartney who wrote the song (er, at the time the song was written) would make of Sir Paul today.
There's your crossover fanfic right there.
"YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"
Amazing story. Broadswords at dawn. I am puzzled by the pit thing (and a small one too - ten by twelve feet, if I read it right), unless his intent was to terrify his opponent out of the duel. Lincoln was a tall chap, with a good reach, and being in a ten-by-twelve pit with him wielding a sword at you would be rather like being in a kitchen blender.
(breaks off to follow the link)
Ah, yes. Indeed it was.
Lord Peter Wimsey makes an aside once about having been challenged to a duel, "but I don't think he cared for my terms. A bullet can go anywhere, after all, but steel's pretty well bound to go somewhere."
I was speaking to you. I kinda figured, and MAN is that tempting.
There's a great RiverWorld Fanfic... uh, short story in a collection by other pro authors in a RiverWorld anthology about musicians in RiverWorld. I can't remember the title.
Anyone read it?
Josh: Yes, but I don't remember the title either.
Took me a while to get it, but then I was 14 when I read the thing. :)
Paul has such an opportunity for a charity concert or tour theme ...
My single music gig was the summer of '63. Summer camp talent show. Since I couldn't play an instrument, I got the idea of parodying The Beatles, and gleefully rewrote a couple of their songs.
"She was just 64
and shaped like a door
and before too long
I barfed over her-errrr..."
Three other girls and I borrowed guitars from our Joan Baez wanna-be counselors, combed our hair forward, and learned a single chord for the beginning, strummed it, began to sing--but did anyone hear my brilliant lyrics? No, because as soon as that camp of about 500 girls heard the opening strains of a Beatle song, they started screaming, and screamed all the way through until we bowed just like the Beatles did in those early days. Testament to the astonishing power those guys had over us all, in those days.
Do people write American President fan-fiction? Maybe young Republicans. Sounds like something Bart Simpson would sneer at.
And no, I'm not googling for it.
Well, there's this.
No fun Beatles song parodies : (, but a boring request for book information: science fiction, interstellar society is recovering after a war with aliens, protaganist's relative dies in a suspicious spaceship accident, causing a chain of events that leads him to stumble upon mysteries involving an idolized great dead hero of the alien war, a former teacher of classical history whose musings on ancient Greek battles lead the way to the ending plot twist . . .
All google gets me is Pournelle's stuff . . .
Thanks . . .
There's also this...
BSD, are you talking to me? Bittorrent, baby.
You know, I'm glad there's finally some media owners realizing this. I don't do P2P. I'VE never done P2P. The husband downloaded a TV show over P2P once, after the third airing of something we wanted to see got moved without warning again (thus thwarting our VCR), and we were ready to go ballistic. If that show had been available in a widely useable format for a decent price (personally, I think that $1.99 is low, but $9.99 is too high), we'd have purchased it rather than take the (very limited) risk of the P2P download.
Do people write American President fan-fiction?
Two words: Fox News
And no, I'm not googling for it.
I'm quite sure that you could find Bush/Cheney slash.
I know you could find Kerry/Edwards slash. Why? Because it was ALL OVER the blogshere last election.
Do people write American President fan fiction?
I don't know about that, but they have been known to write Marx/Engels fanfiction.
Actually, speaking of presidential fanfic, you could certainly apply that label to Parson Weems's biography of Washington --- it wasn't exactly presented as fiction, but many elements, starting with the (in)famous cherry-tree story, were purely inventions of the author...
Do people write American President fan-fiction?
Two words: Fox News
Two more words: Michelle Malkin
Teresa pointed out Bush/Putin slash on the `Annals of short lived phenomena' thread.
Choice quotes are too choice for this forum.
Patrick provided a link to a picture of Mike Resnick's ALTERNATE PRESIDENTS anthology.
Let me add that ALTERNATE PRESIDENTS is, imho, THE best alternate-history anthology. Fascinating stories, based on events most people are unaware of; a lot of the stories led me to seek out the real history of the people and events behind the fictions.
(Although there are people who still haven't forgiven Resnick for making "The Hammer" eligible for SFWA membership.)
And on a completely diferent subject:
I noticed over at FireDogLake that the comments have a number assigned up in the upper right hand corner of the message.
This is a really handy feature for comment-heavy blogs; remembering the number of a comment you want to comment on is a lot easier than remembering the poster and approximate date/time of a post and then scrolling up and down to try and find it.
Might one ask that this be kept in mind for the next upgrade on Making Light?
There's an Asimov story, "Black Friar of the Flame", which involves a re-run of the battle of Salamis, with spaceships. He even included ramming tactics.
Doesn't seem a very good fit with your recollection.
Prompted by the link in Sidelights to Mr. Franks' beat-down of that ever-deserving nudnick Joe Klein, I found the Turnip Day speech, with both audio download and and transcript, courtesy of the Miller Center at the University of Virginia.
Somehow, I don't think Joe Klein could have been talking about this one; maybe there's some other Turnip Day Speech Harry Truman delivered. Or maybe he just got the Turnip Day reference from somewhere, and didn't check its context. Having read it just now: Them's fightin' words, that's what they are.
Please do not be alarmed by Mr. Truman's accent. They didn't do voice coaches back then.
Ah, "64". I remember singing this song, riding my bicycle every weekday from Offenbach to a small town outside the city in the summer of '69.
But times pass, we age. As evidence of my 'out of it' status, I offer "420," which I only learned of this week.
I second Bruce Arthurs' upgrade proposal and add this: Can the date/time be added to the headlines on the "Last 400 Comments" page? Something like this:
April 26, 2006, 01:34 PM: Patrick Connors on Open Thread 64
That will help us out if we miss a day or three.
Or is this a proposal I should submit directly to Six Apart?
This, I've written about before.
As for fan fiction based on Aaron Sorkin's The American President, the closest thing is Aaron Sorkin's The West Wing, I guess.
My recollection from grade school is:
She was just seventeen
And her hair was turning green
And the way she looked was way beyond repair
I'd rather dance with her mother
Since I saw her standing there...
Todd Larason wrote:
Okay, I give up. I've googled, I've thought, and I've tried to remember. What does "FAQK" mean? Frequently Asked Questions, Kinda?
I'd like to know, too. I'm also terribly curious about whether Lore Sjöberg's FAQK is the first such piece to be written by someone who hasn't previously written an autobiography for Wikipedia.
64 is 2^2^2. Which makes it a way cool number.
No, I'm not going to elaborate!
Xopher, that isn't computing. Being as 64 is 2**6... 2**2**3, that works.
Bush/Kerry RPS, in The New Yorker, no less.
I think that numbered-comments thing is a WordPress feature. We use Movable Type, and for that matter we're a version or two back, having been too busy to perform an upgrade. But I agree, it's handy.
Ugh. I should know better than to try to do math at work. 2^2^2 is 16, not 64. I musta got hit with a stupid stick on the way to the office. And, sad to say, 2^2^3 just is not as cool.
I'll be over here.
Some days I need a calculator just to do 2+2. May be a side effect of 'Since when did 9030 - 8925 become 300?'
book information: science fiction, interstellar society is recovering after a war with aliens, protaganist's relative dies in a suspicious spaceship accident, causing a chain of events that leads him to stumble upon mysteries involving an idolized great dead hero of the alien war, a former teacher of classical history whose musings on ancient Greek battles lead the way to the ending plot twist . . .
OK, my brain just threw up a WHOLE lot of chaff. I was trying to think of the name "John Barnes" or the series, including "Duke of Uranium", "In the Hall of the Martian King", and "A Princess of the Aerie".
I'm not sure if those are the books you want.
Things my brain produced instead of the answer: "That guy who does [horrifying thing] in that one book!" * And then "That guy with the 'Crooked Man' in the fantasy book" ** and "It sounds like 'John Brunner' but isn't. . .is it?"
* "Kaleidescope Century", I think.
** "One for the Morning Glory"
Thanks, Alan. I needed to feel older.
I don't regret the loss of the original Tri-City Mall central "fountain," which was a monument to unanticipated effects. It was a circle of floor-to-ceiling strings -- okay, either thick strings or very thin rods -- that had glycerine droplets constantly running down them. I think the idea was that it would look like slow-motion rain.
Unfortunately, flies that landed on the strings got trapped in the glycerine and were turned into nasty black blots. Over time, dust and flies accumulated on the strings in ever-thickening irregular blobs: a strikingly unappetizing effect.
So they had prostitution and cheap motels in the area? It's hard to imagine.
Dan Blum, I can't help you. Back when I knew anything about Flagstaff, the place was so small and backward that its x-rated bookstore carried Lady Chatterley's Lover.
Dan S., I take it from your remarks that you're not looking for Pournelle and Stirling's Go Tell the Spartans?
Patrick Connors, if we added dates and times to the "comments posted" list, it would double or triple in length, be harder to read, and shove the blogroll even further down the page.
Anyone have a URL for the website that keeps a list of (short?) (science?) fiction markets, their response times, and other info? I've seen it before, but can't seem to find my way back. It would list a magazine, and then say that its current response time is 6 weeks or 12 weeks or whatever. Anyway, googling doesn't help if you don't know the right key words.
Are you thinking of Ralan's, Greg? Or the Black Hole?
[no doubt a triple-post by the time I hit submit]
Pretty sure that's Jack McDevitt's A Talent For War. A fine book. McDevitt's last two novels (Polaris and Seeker) are sequels of a sort.
Just curious, does anyone recall the title of a children's book where a boy finds a baby dragon at the playground/park and secretly keeps it in his room? I seem to remember something about him eventually having to set it free lest the dragon get caught. I think the title is "Benenuto" or "Benevedeo" or something similar. Starts with "Bene-" at least and ends with "-o".
Ralan! that was it. Thanks.
Looking at the numbers, its a bit of a relief as well. average response time, according to the mag's page is 4 weeks. Ralan says its more like 9 weeks.
I must hold on before I too go totally mad...
Dolloch, the book I know that's like that is The Dragon that Ate Summer, by Brenda Seabrooke. It has a kid name Alastair with a broken collarbone who finds a dragon and keeps it. May not be what you're looking for-- no bene anywhere.
This seems like as good a place as any to ask a question that has come up on the Bruce's Place Yahoo Group (a Springsteen-fan list).
Bruce's new disk, "We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions"* contains quite a few songs from the public domain. (At least one goes back to the 1700s.) Does anyone get the share of the profits that would normally go as the songwriter's royalty? Does "the Boss" get it because he's credited with the arrangements? Is it a matter of his contract with his record company?
If anyone can shed light on this for our group, I'd appreciate it.
Meanwhile, I recommend the album. It's not a hoot, but it's a hootenanny!
*And yes, a previous thread on the group discussed that the title becomes more interesting if you leave the colon out. Almost a Jack Dannism.
I'm not losing my hair, except by choice -- I keep it very short. But it is going silver. Yesterday was my mother's 87th birthday.
"And the seasons, they go round and round;
The painted ponies go up and down.
We're captive on the carousel of time.
We can't return, we can only look behind
From where we came, and go round
And round and round in the circle game."
Bruce's new disk, "We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions"* contains quite a few songs from the public domain. (At least one goes back to the 1700s.) Does anyone get the share of the profits that would normally go as the songwriter's royalty?
nope. one can argue that all new works are derivatives of Public Domain works, so Bruce's case isn't special other than how much he borrowed a lot from one particular Public Domain song. Profits go to Bruce and his record label as usual.
Cassie - thank you! That's awful close but not quite it. I remember the ending being really sad. The boy (Pablo?) never sees the dragon again. An "If you love something, set it free" type of thing. I also remember the family being Italian or Hispanic. I think it took place in NY. The title of the book was the name of the dragon, although I think it was just hinted at that the big lizard was actually a dragon.
This is incorrect.
--If Bruce writes a song and records it for Company X, Company X has to pay him the compulsory license fee, unless he agrees to waive it. If he records a song in the public domain, they don't have to pay this fee.
--Performance royalties are much lower for arrangements of public domain material than for original songs. In the case of BMI, performance royalties are paid at 20%. I haven't looked up ASCAP, but I'd be surprised if their policy were significantly different.
Company X still has to pay Bruce for performing the song, of course, but that's entirely subject to their contract; there's no statutory rate.
Three months after being promised we'd have no more layoffs this year, we've been told to expect more "by the end of the month," which means tomorrow.
I am so sick of this stuff. The fear of getting tossed out, then the survivor's guilt and the mess of trying to work out how to get things done with chunks of talent missing.
For those of you who knew him, I just received word that Brian Burley has died. Judy just found him this afternoon.
Details are sketchy at this point. I just talked to Judy and she seemed OK, if a little stunned. She had a houseful of people (and given the sort of people she knows she should be all right).
Stefan, I hope things work out well for you.
I keep reading "Battle of the Salamis," which messes the whole thing up in regards to Isaac Asimov.
Of course, I'm way too late in the comments, but that was very interesting stuff in the way of Presidential fiction. I just thought there was Abraham Lincoln in that episode of "Star Trek."
Stefan: You have my sympathy. The modern American workplace is not a pleasant place.
Jack Ruttan: Would that involve hiding the salamis?
I've survived every layoff* for over eight years; maybe I'll luck out again.
If not, I'm well prepared for a layoff: I have 18 months living expenses (less health insurance) set aside, plus extra for birthday and xmas gifts and holiday trips and so on.
But I have *no* idea what I want to do next.
* Well, my entire division got laid off when Oracle sold it, but I had a job with the company that bought it the next day.
Fragano Ledgister :
Would that involve hiding the salamis?
Perhaps if they had cloaking devices.
But I was distressed seeing that I was making jokes after that bad news in the pair of previous posts. Not seemly, but I suppose that will happen in an "open thread."
I don't know the person who died, but reading about him felt the way it did when I was at a rummage sale in the front yard of a church, and a full-dress funeral procession went by just as I was looking at a box of CDs. I stood at attention, would have taken off my hat if I had one. A confusing moment.
"Pretty sure that's Jack McDevitt's A Talent For War. A fine book."
That's it! Found it sitting on the paperback scifi/fantasy rack at the Poultney (Vermont) public library, read it, loved it; next time I came by, it had vanished, lost or sold or whatever (although they had gotten quite a few good books on the state's natural history in the interval, which I count as a fair enough trade), and I of course couldn't remember any author or title info . . .
Thanks! and thanks everyone who made suggestions - new books to consider, since the several-hundred-title backlog simply isn't big enough . . . And sequel-like books too? Oh boy . . .
"Just curious, does anyone recall the title of a children's book where a boy finds a baby dragon at the playground/park and secretly keeps it . . ."
I'm thinking Benvenuto by Seymour Reit - although he finds it at camp . .. .
And hunting that down I heard tell of A Book Dragon by Donn Kushner - from the School Library Journal review on Amazon:
"Dragons are scarce these days, but they can still be found if you know where to look. Young Nonesuch, seeing his proud family wiped out by brutish humans during the Wars of the Roses, shrinks down to the size of a large insect to escape notice . . . Something draws him to a gloriously-illustrated Book of Hours, and he accompanies it on its bumpy journey through the centuries. It comes to rest at last in the back room of a quiet bookstore on this side of the Atlantic, and Nonesuch guards it there still; a small, ferocious presence, seldom seen but comforting nonetheless."
Two more, since this reminds me: a book for perhaps 8 to 12ers, about a boy who finds and befriends a fossil snake? (It comes to life, I think. And talks?) And another - similar (perhaps more 8 to 10-ish) age, about a boy who stumbles into an alternate reality where things are more or less the same, except that all the humans are dinosaurs . . or perhaps it's about a boy who stumbles into an alternate reality where the dinosaurs are humans?
Stefan: My best sympathies. I keep wondering: if you need two incomes to raise kids and pay the rent, and if nobody knows whether they're going to have a job next week or not, could this possibly have a depressing effect on the birthrate? And if, for argument's sake, it did, could this have some impact on the future ability of the Western nations to care for their old people? Which, guys, is us.
So, does anybody around here know a real huge lot about American history and politics from about 1760 to the Constitutional Convention?
I'm especially interested in people doing one thing or another about slavery during that period, from any standpoint, for any goals.
On a related subject, stuff about Benjamin Franklin and his family?
And another related subject -- Henry Laurens and John Laurens?
(Yes, I'm going to the library, but I found some really nice stuff when I asked the nice fellow and he told me to pay close attention to South Carolina)
Walter Isaacson recently wrote a bio of Franklin, which is now out in paperback.
I'd look into the abolition movement in Britain to see if there were contacts with the colonies.
No help with Laurens.
Patrick, numbered comments can be done in Movable Type with the "<MTCommentOrderNumber>" variable. See here.
Thirding the question, "What's a FAQK?"
Does no one know, or is the universal silence part of the NEFA* conspiracy?
* NEFA: Never Explain the Effing Acronyms. Seen frequently prowling the newsgroups.
Jack Ruttan: Clearly, you had a proper upbringing.
Lori: my guess is it's a no-one knows. Acronym Finder doesn't have it. The earliest place I found it was from 1999. It has a similar tone and Lore Sjöberg was involved. Mind, it also relates to dnaA Chromosomal replication initiator protein but I just didn't feel like going there....
For songs in the public domain, if the writer is known but the song's copyright has expired, or if it's just billed as "traditional," there are no mechanical royalties paid. If it's listed as "trad./arranged by [artist]," then the artist gets a percentage of the royalties.
The Strawbs once decided to record a traditional song for the b-side of a single just to get everybody in the band a piece of the royalties. So, on the back of their hit "Part of the Union" was a piece called "Will You Go," credited as "Trad.Arr.Cousins/Hudson/Lambert/Weaver/Ford." But while it was a song often performed by folk artists (also called "Wild Mountain Thyme"), it turned out out to have been relatively-recently composed, by Francis McPeake, so the royalties ended up going out of the band. (Very successful single, too.)
Jesus is my superhero!
Incredibly funny. Has to be seen to be believed.
Just catching up on this thread. Sorry to hear the news. Crossing my fingers for you.
Well, I'm still employed, but at least two close long-term cow-orkers are gone and massive changes in organization and job responsibilities are underway.
You never get used to these things. It gets worse.
I made three pans of brownies last night and left them in the break room. As my manager says, "chocolate prozac."
Now I just need to make it through the reorg meeting so I can go home and make up for getting one hour of sleep last night.
Dan S. - OUTSTANDING (or a big Charlie Brown "That's it!" - take your pick)!!! Thank you so much. It's one of those books that I loved as a kid and for some reason lost. The title has been niggling in the back of my brain ever since. Every time I see the "Eragon" cover it stirs up old memories.
Lucy K., an article in the current Smithsonian has an interesting take on slavery and freedom during the American Revolution. See http://www.smithsonianmagazine.com/issues/2006/may/presence.php. The author (Simon Schama, a man who knows how to write history) says "Seeing the Revolutionary War through the eyes of enslaved blacks turns its meaning upside down." Following the links, turns out this is from his new book _Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves, and the American Revolution_, due out May 1 according to Amazon. Should be controversial and fascinating...
And if, for argument's sake, it did, could this have some impact on the future ability of the Western nations to care for their old people? Which, guys, is us.
Well, as a thirty-something, I'm praying that social security and pensions are enough to get my parents and in-laws through retirement/old age without leaning too much on us;* and pretty much convinced we (husband and I) will be getting absolutely no help from the gov't in our old age.
*personally, I would be willing to pay more taxes to see this happen.
Loved the particle on how to do the Haka. Not that I ever would. It's sort of like wearing a clan tartan when you're not entitled, only more so. And I am here to say that, done properly, it's freaking terrifying.
hp: There is a fairly easy quick-fix to the Social Security problem. Remove the wage cap built in to OASDI.
(Puts on former SSA employee hat.)
Currently, you (generic) pay OASDI taxes on wages up to $96,000 per year. It has been noted by some experts that if this cap were removed, the money coming in would offset the baby boom bulge...
The Republicans don't want to do this as it would be raising taxes. (I think of it as everyone paying their fair share, especially if they're planning on collecting benefits down the road.)
As for your parents' and in-laws' situation, do you know if they will be getting pensions or have any sort of savings toward said retirement?
Social Security benefits are meant to meet one third of a beneficiary's retirement income needs. The other two thirds should come from a pension and personal savings.
If your parents and/or in-laws do not have these other income sources, things could get difficult.
(takes off former SSA employee hat)
Dave Luckett: I've heard this rumour that, in the filming of the Two Towers, a bunch of arty students (playing the Elvish army at Helm's Deep) were somewhat intimidated by the physically larger stuntmen playing Orcs.
So they did a Haka at them.
Unfortunately for them, almost all of the 'orcs' were rugby players as well as stuntmen and did a haka back. In full Uruk Hai makeup.
That doesn't appear to be on the DVDs, but I'd certainly pay to see a squadron of Uruk Hai doing the Haka.
(and diasp oir.net (without spaces) still triggers a ban for questionable content.)
I haven't seen any tape of Uruk-Hai doing a haka (that would be coool though). But on the DVD, they explain that the Uruk-Hai all banging their spears on the ground in unison started off as a blowing-off-steam sort of thing, and they put it into the movie.
Lore wrote several FAQKs for his now-deceased humor magazine Brunching Shuttlecocks. They started with his Vampire: The Masquerade FAQK, so one presumes it was meant there to be all gothick, though after the subjects diverged, he responded to a questioning reader that it stood for "Frequently Asked Questions, Kevin".
Fossilized snake! I read that!! Isn't there a little girl involved, who sometimes wears the talking fossilized snake as a bracelet? The snake rests in a small piece of rock, and when it's not there, it leaves a little coiled indentation. (I have no actual information to contribute, you realize.) (And suddenly I understand why I instantly liked Spellbreaker.)
TNH, speaking of:
"It was a circle of floor-to-ceiling strings -- okay, either thick strings or very thin rods -- that had glycerine droplets constantly running down them. I think the idea was that it would look like slow-motion rain."
I recall seeing such a thing in minature as a kid. There was this...statue-tchochke-thing that was made of a golden dome hanging over a cupid (?) statue, with the rods at 45 degree angles. A faint hum emenated from the base as the gylcerin (or oil?) was endlessly recirculated. It couldn't have been more than ten or twelve inches high. The fake gold color, the bright light in the base, the over the topness of the decoration, the nudity of the cupid and the artificialness of the "rain" combined into a metaphysical squick that was exceptionally creepy to my 7 or 8 year old sensibilities.*
Very creepy. Anyone have any idea what it actually was?
*I mean, we're talking an enduring sense of wrongness, like cthulu fthagn, ai type.
Stefan: Glad to hear you've still got your job.
The in-laws have a very good chunk of investments + a pension from a large corp that still hasn't done anything to cut pension benefits yet. I suspect their investments are even more than we know about.
The parents have (1) a 25+ year teacher's pension, (2) a partial federal pension (father was an on-and-off gov't employee; I don't fully understand what benefits he has from these jobs), (3) a small pension from a large NFP. But no investments and a small 401(k) balance, although my father is still working and still putting moneny into a 401(k). I believe the teacher's pension (mother) is one of those that results in opting out of her social security benefits, so that's a hit to them. They do have a house currently worth half a million, though.
(Most worried about the parents, obviously; I think the in-laws should do fine.)
I worked as a volunteer for a hospital in the early 70s, they trained us bigger teens to be transportation orderlies (the lifting training has stayed with me to this day and is why I have a good back...)
They had one of those lamps in the Radiology Department, it had a light, and a venus statue in the middle, and strings around it with a constant glycerin or oil-like fluid dripping down. If I recall, the thing was about 24-28" tall, and it was a hanging lamp.
I really really don't want to think about one that large (in the shopping mall). Eeuw. though if it attracted insects, I'd be inclined to believe the liquid was glycerin.
hp: Being a teacher, your mother is covered by that State pension you mentioned. It's considered to be equivalent to Social Security benefits.
If your father is eligible for Social Security, your mother can file for it as his spouse BUT any benefits she gets will be subject to the 'pension offset' which WILL reduce the amount she receives. Lots of married Federal and State employees are running up against this one (women take a worse hit on this than men do, usually because they're in lower paying jobs).
Federal pensions are odd beasties, how much your father receives will be based on how long he worked (total) for the government. Encourage him to put as much in the 401(k) as possible.
Sounds like the in-laws are set, but I think you've got grounds to worry over the parents.
rhandir, search "rain lamp" on eBay and you'll see lots -- with Venus, Cupid, generic nekkid wimmen, and even Madonnas. Very kitschy, even back in the day. I remember them in places like Italian restaurants with grotto-themed decorations and the kind of department stores that sold gilded flatware and brocade luggage sets.
As a youngster, I used to stand outside the lighting shop (Bowery Lighting, IIRC) in Kings Plaza and mock those lamps, with their pathetic faux-gilded Venuses and gooey stuff dripping down fishing line.
Many of my neighbors actually owned those lamps, because they went so well with the Rococo Italianate furniture (slipcovered in plastic, of course) and the plush olive carpeting.
I would, however, have loved to see a giant version, if only for the outsized mocking it would inspire.
Now I almost want one of those lamps...
Oh dear. Rain lamps. I remember those. Sort of like a hidden-in-sight trip toy.
From the funky of the 70's, oh Lord, deliver us!
Thanks, Lori, that's exactly what I need. But I'm going to order it from Bookshop Santa Cruz, not Amazon, because BSSC is a fantastically reliable place to order from and when I walk twelve blocks to pick up my order I get to browse around some more.
Larry Brennan wrote: "I would, however, have loved to see a giant [rain lamp] version, if only for the outsized mocking it would inspire." May I present ...
Australia's (& "the Southern Hemisphere's") first "shopping - community centre" - Roselands - opened on October 11th, 1965. Its centrepiece and symbol was the Raindrop Fountain: 15 miles of clear nylon thread suspended from the ceiling, with drops of water constantly trickling down into a pool. An image: Raindrop Fountain, Roselands
It was removed in a remodelling project in 1988. A new, quite different fountain was recently installed.See Suburban Icons: A Celebration of the Everyday, by Steve Bedwell (ABC Books, November 1992 ISBN 0733301908 a "45,000 word (160pp) humorous Australian social history book") for more.
Just to nitpick, Ka Mate isn't the All Blacks' Haka.
It is one that they perform, but isn't theirs. It was originally a Ngati Toa haka, in celebration of the high chief of Ngati Toa, Te Rauparaha, surviving after hiding from another chief in a pit. The fact that it is the All Blacks Haka gives rises to oddities, such as South Island Maori performing a North Island haka, historic enemies of Ngati Toa performing a Ngati Toa haka, etc.
One thing to encourage is people perfoming haka other than Ka Mate. It gets wearing at sports events seeing that nth rendition of Ka Mate.
Lori, I've been disabled so long that the SS COLAs are bringing my SS up to almost the same amount as the private disability insurance (which doesn't have COLAs). On the other hand, the private disability stops when I turn 65.
Thanks for the google-fu! You are very kind.*
Now I almost want one of those lamps...
Now I am tempted to photoshop a cthulhu statue into one of those pictures. I think it would be...appropriate.
What is it about some kinds of kitch that to the subsequent generation you get the "ugghh" reaction sometimes and the "oooh!" reaction other times?
["Oooh!=restaurants in the shape of brown derbies. That's cool!]
*as are a number of other people in the Fanfiction thread who quoted or responded to me. Yay!
Oh my, the things you find when you start googling those rain lamps. An ebay seller named "britney naked". Someone putting in vegetable oil instead of mineral oil and "It turns out that the smell from that stuff gets pretty bad in a warm house for a couple of days."
Then there is the story of the inventor, Darrell Johnson Who prior to inventing* it worked at a Hollywood set company... "Clark Gable was my favorite because he would take me once a month to get his car serviced and buy me a malt while we waited," And after his rain lamp business was cut short by a hurricane... ...he later had walk on roles in "Kojak," "Hunter," "Highway to Heaven," "Dallas" and "Xena Warrior Princess."
Oh, and to bring it full circle, in the very forum
where I dug that last bit up:
...there was a mall, very 50's/60's style, that had a HUGE one of those in the middle of the mall. ..
I guess it wasn't a lamp per se, but had to be 20 feet tall, with plastic plants under it, and oil dripping down the guy wires. Got kinda nasty as the mall got more abandoned, that stuff collected a lot of dust....
I was fascinated by it.
btw: Best resource yet: http://www.simnia.com/rain_lamps/
*okay, there were multiple patents issued to multiple people. History isn't that tidy.
Re: Presidential fan-fiction
You've all seen this, right? You really have to follow the whole thing... it develops in ways that you just can't anticipate.
Thanks, Taper! I'd found the Brunching Shuttlecocks FAQKs, but not the reader mail.
Another entry for the "Wingnut or Satire?" file.
Tim: Unfortunately, the author slipped up and said "but might do some day." Clearly a non-American construction. Still pretty funny, though.
Another one for the annals of self-publishing:
I still get a mental impression of one of those lamps every time I smell certain incense flavors or walk into a brass shop. I don't know why. It's the same incense that makes the tip of my tongue go numb.
For some reason it brings to mind wire butterflies with a panty-hose like fabric stretched over their wings, and those capiz shell hangy things, too.
I hesitate to make fun of any sixties/seventies decor item, because every time I do, someone will come in and ask if we stock it. We just got big wooden spoon and fork pairs in on the seasonal truck. Blech.
J Austin: We just got big wooden spoon and fork pairs in on the seasonal truck. Blech.
*Snork* My old neighbors had these too.
Then again, we put in a dropped ceiling in the kitchen to hide the original tin. To say nothing of the copper-colored appliances, faux-marble formica counters and wood-like laminate cabinets. (Of course, this took the room from 1920 to 1972.)
Then again, we put in a dropped ceiling in the kitchen to hide the original tin.
I recently removed a number of 1970s expanded polysterene ceiling tiles from my kitchen. Of course, this involved taking one outside and putting a match to it. In the interests of science and all.
The experience was educational and sobering. We'd had those tiles for three years and done nothing about them until then.
Randomly changing the subject: has everyone seen this? I'm aware there's a solution out there now, but am still trying to crack it myself. :)
For reference, the cryptogram is:
It's unclear whether 'smithycode' is part of the cryptogram or the key.
OK, what's a haka? Other than a kind of dance?
rhandir sez: Now I am tempted to photoshop a cthulhu statue into one of those pictures. I think it would be...appropriate.
rhandir, that would be ... well, I can't decide between eldritch and squamous, but that would nudge it from "almost want" to "the world would somehow be a better place if this existed." And it needs to go on the cover of a collection of Lovecraft parodies and fanfic.
Ack! I broke the blog!
Well, Cthulu has this cousin, see, patron Elder God of LiveJournal.
Ow! ow! ow! That's great!
Greg, I thought I broke the blog with my longing for a Cthulhu rain lamp...glad to see it wasn't necessarily the Elder Gods decreeing some things were not meant to be.
Yeah, I think that was the sound of one of the upstream nameservers falling over and getting rebooted. After painstakingly investigating the cause of the outage, I emailed TNH with my findings. Naturally, things were resolving again just fine as soon as I hit send.
A haka is a sort of dance the way scumble is a sort of drink.
a haka is a dance the way ol' painless is a sedative.
crap, no hotlinking allowed....
WOW . . .
Rush Limbaugh arrested for prescription drug fraud.
Wait . . . RELEASED ON BAIL? For cripes sake, how can we feel safe if they allow people like that to roam the streets?
It says on CNN, fraud by concealing information to get prescriptions. Not strictly drug charges, but drug-related. (Sounds like he wasn't telling doctors he had prescriptions already.)
Re: the Limbaugh thing, I wonder if this is new purchasing behavior or related to the old scandal.
If it's new, the preferential treatment he's getting is totally outrageous. If he was a poor kid from Appalachia or the Intermountain West, they'd be throwing the book at him. (Hillbilly Heroin, dontcha know.)
I also can't imagine what kind of doctor would write a painkiller Rx for him right now. Sounds negligent to me. (And maybe this is where pharmiacists could ethically refuse to fill a prescription.)
Greg, you do not speak of the drink, then, but another Ol' Painless? ... <rummages further> ... Ah, good description in a review here.
For those with fast connexions,
brings up individual, street, student, TV commercial, & even scottish versions of the haka, including the footage of the new All Blacks' "official" version of the words, "Kapa O Pango" in action, rather than the "Ka Ma-te" one they'd been using, given in the originally particulated pictographic instructions.
this hand-held weapon was utterly believable.
Hehe... Yeah... Sure...
I liked the way Jesse "cocked" Ol' Painless in the movie by rotating the barrels backward and then forward. That had me laughing out loud the first time I saw it. And the idea of lugging the battery pack needed to spin the barrel assembly through the jungle was an immediate "yeah but", not to mention the 6,000 rounds a minute those things churn through. That's a hundred rounds a second. Do you know how much a second of ammo weighs? Jesse, apparently, had a "Bag of Holding" in that ammo backpack.
Oh well, the whole movie was a cartoon anyway, so I managed to let Ol' Painless slide. And of course it paid for itself when the one guys freaks and clear cuts a pie wedge in the jungle. It's like watching a 20d6 attack in live-action characters. Wee!
Belated thanks to those who offered tourist guidance on Seattle. The trip was great and I fell in love with the place. Weather was uncharacteristically beautiful the whole time, which led several group members to speculate that the rain statistics are fictional and intended to discourage would-be settlers.
The blog was certainly broken when I tried to get on yesterday (sniffle, a morning treat denied). In other news, if anyone else here is interested in the San Francisco music scene from the Sixties to somewhere much nearer the present, SFGate's Culture Blog is having a "Top 25 Lists" discussion. Since the Sixties San Francisco music scene was my real fannish era, I weighed in for good old Quicksilver Messenger Service.
Did anyone else read the "The tongue, like FireWire for the brain" side particle and think of Dr. Lizardo's steel-wool-clamps-on-the-tongue neural VCR from "Buckaroo Bonzai" (the best movie of all time, by the way, staring Peter Weller of course)
I remember watching the movie the first time and just loving the whole cheesyness of it, and the steel-wool-clamps-on-the-tongue VCR was hilariously cheesy. Now, apparently, it's based on reality. Oh well, I still love the movie...
I shouldn't do this, but...
Greg London: Is there also a version with a non-staring Peter Weller?
...running for the border with all deliberate speed...
Line that leapt out from an online film review:
... a Hallmark Channel movie based on a Jules Verne novel starring Patrick Stewart
Now, I'd read that book in a moment.* I've long been one of those curmudgeons who holds that, as entertaining a writer as Verne is (especially now that good translations are available), his credit as a "predictor" was overrated, as most of the inventions imaginaires in his books were things other people had written about, and in some cases built early versions of.** Now, with the appearance of his more sociological stuff in English, I'd modify this view a bit, but coming up with Patrick Stewart definitely counts as, well, something. Projective geometry, maybe.
(Stewart might have been an interesting Phileas Fogg, to the extent that Fogg is actually an interesting character. It might also be fun to see him as Professor Arronax, up against Ben Kingsley as Nemo.)
*No, I'm not gonna write the thing. Please, let's not bring the fanfic arguments over here.
**Verne was loudly insistent that he was not a fantasist of any sort, and complained that Wells had invented Cavorite to get people to the Moon, while he had used the extremely practical method of blasting them into wet pulp with a cannon.
Dan S, I believe that's The Fossil Snake, by L. M. Boston, Bodley Head 1975, a fine writer and well worth reading entirely, but best known for her Green Knowe series.
A couple of years back I was able to visit her home, Hemingford Grey, the original of Green Knowe. It was an ultimate fan experience. Fortunately I got the squeeing out of my system while still outside the house, and didn't embarrass either myself or Diana Boston.
So, since I last checked in, 2006 has been added to the list of copyrights. That's good--I was getting worried.
Question for all those with publishing expertise:
How does one go about registering a copyright in a year that hasn't happened yet? I noticed last quarter that one of my textbooks and its associated materials is copyright 2007. WTF?? (For those who wish to check, it's the 9th edition of "The Art of Public Speaking" by Lucas.)
Lila: considering that it's been pissing down rain since noon and that I've seen three multiple car accidents on the road today I'll say "Sure! We're making it all up!"
The "bluest skies" weather is from late May through mid-September. Outside of that, if you wear glasses you carry umbrellas and wear hats a lot.
Greg London: Did anyone else read the "The tongue, like FireWire for the brain" side particle
and think of Dr. Lizardo's steel-wool-clamps-on-the-tongue neural VCR from "Buckaroo Bonzai" [..]
I remember watching the movie the first time and just loving the whole cheesyness of it,
and the steel-wool-clamps-on-the-tongue VCR was hilariously cheesy [..]
Buckaroo Banzai may have been on the neurotech cutting edge...
When I saw the googles with the cycling LEDs
which John Lithgow was wearing as he was piloting the alien spacecraft,
I remembered seeing them before...
The CBS late night news show Nightwatch (with Charlie Rose)
once did a 'New Age' theme week.
One of the things featured
was the Whole Brain Wave Form Synchro-Energizer;
those self-same googles (google synchro energizer; it's still out there).
The LEDs were synchronized to music played over headphones;
stress reduction was only one of the claims made for the device.
They had a volunteer demonstrate the device on the show,
who claimed he could feel the effects.
However, this volunteer had been on the show the night before...
one of three people brought by a hypnotist, and said to be susceptible
(which is why they were brought to demonstrate hypnotism).
Presumedly suggestible too;
a good judge of the effects of the synchro-energizer.
Re: the previous post...
Replace 'googles' with 'goggles' where appropriate...
Oh my . . .
I want a uterus and ovaries implanted so I can have Stephen Colbert's Baby.
I wouldn't even have to come near him to get knocked up, because cojones like his probably operate in five dimensions.
Just . . . wow.
Was that an honest to goodness real news story?
It was so... wonderful.
And it ended with one of the Doobies in a kilt.
I am hesitant to believe it actually happened.
Echoing Stefan Jones, here's a link to Crooks and Liars, which has video of that amazing performance. There were no comfortable people in that room when Colbert was done. Remember Jon Stewart on Crossfire? Multiply the audience he had by several hundred, including the most powerful members of the media and the President and his wife, imagine what Stewart said about Begala and Carlson's show, multiply that by a megaton or two, and that's what Colbert did tonight.
Barbara Gordon: Green Knowe!!!! How could I forget Green Knowe? And it's real and you've been there? (Oops. I should limit the squee when our gracious hostess has a hangover, shouldn't I?)
Faren: QMS over Jefferson Airplane?
Well, I was never really up on SF music; is there any QMS findable that you'd recommend? (cf the first Airplane albums being reissued on CD.)
CHip asks: QMS over Jefferson Airplane?
Well, I don't know about "over", but certainly "next to".
There's a 2-disc retrospective on Rhino called "Sons of Mercury 1968-1975" that's probably all the QMS any sane person ever needs.
But, now that I look at it, including the "single edit" of their "Who Do You Love" jam is just stupid. So maybe instead you might need the first album ("QMS"), plus "Happy Trails".
I have no idea if any of these are currently available.
John Cipollina was one HELL of a guitar player.
I want a uterus and ovaries implanted so I can have Stephen Colbert's Baby.
Too late: he already has a baby, and it's an American Eagle, born in San Francisco.
CHip: Bob Oldendorf basically answered your CD compilation question by mentioning the Rhino 2-CD set. Certainly a good introduction, even if (as he also notes) it has some omissions. Thanks, Bob, for passing the word in a timely fashion!
I have the Airplane's boxed set as well, and it's nice how far back it goes -- to the Airplane before Grace, and vice versa. As I noted above, Bay Area music of that era was my real fandom. I liked a lot of the groups, but the Quick just blew me away. At one point, I even had a ridiculously unhip scheme of starting a QMS fan club (hey, I was just a teenager, and it didn't pan out, but I did get to meet their manager; first time I ever heard the word "lifestyle").
Bob, I agree that Cipollina was fabulous (he was handsome too), but fellow lead guitarist Gary Duncan brought in the jazzier influences; and singer Dave Freiberg was a great belter -- more cantor than rocker?
If anyone with a lot of idle time on their hands wants to see my account of the band in those days, it should still be online somewhere (sorry, it's been a few years and memory fails) -- google Faren Miller + The Quicksilver Diaries.
I watched the Colbert video after making my post above. It's . . . awesome. Oh man.
Here's a deep link to the Culture Blog "essential Bay Area music" discussion that Faren Miller mentioned above. Hmm. The Kingston Trio?
I googled for Ms. Miller's Quicksilver diaries and found a mention of them on a site for The Ace of Cups, but no link.
TexAnne, yes, very real. Check out L. M. Boston's second volume of autobio - Memory in a House - for the story of how she found and fell in love with Hemingford Grey, uncovered the Norman house from within several centuries of additions and revisions and how it inspired her to write. She wrote her first book in her sixties, and after that it was a book and an incredibly intricate quilt every year. The quilts are on view as well.
Website is here: http://www.greenknowe.co.uk/
and you can see pictures of the nursery, the Green Deer, and so on.
Over the years, friends, family, and fans of the books found those artefacts that had been mentioned in the books but weren't in the house, like the birdcage, the model ship, and so on. So it's come closer and closer to Green Knowe.
Diana Boston has the house open for tours at specific times, book ahead - she's a very gracious lady, and says that she particularly likes to show the house to fans of the books. It also gets visitors who are interested in the quilts and in historic architecture. I was the only 'Green Knowe' person in that tour, and so got a few extras that the others weren't as interested in - like getting to hold Tolly's netsuke mouse (pause for squeeing).
Peter Boston's original artwork for the UK editions hang on the wall of the stone staircase, and at least one is available as a poster. There's a small giftshop on the ground floor, where you can buy postcards of the house and book illos, and a video about the house - yes in a US-viewable format because the books are very popular in Japan, same format as US and Canada.
I got to sit in the chair she wrote in, and saw the school notebook she wrote the first draft of Children in.
You'll guess by now that I very much recommend a visit, if you're a fan of the books. It's like walking into Green Knowe itself, from the gardens to the nursery upstairs.
There's a terrific article in this weekend's Salon Magazine detailing how the VA system has been systematically and criminally underfunded, and is basically utterly incapable of coping with soldiers returning from Iraq as well as aging veterans from previous wars. Salon requires subscription or viewing of an ad; they reprinted the article from here (no reg required)
Faren Miller - thank you for the kind words. I know QMS only on record - I'm enough of a fan that I actually own Man's Maximum Darkness LP - and I'm duly impressed that you were there. I'm just enough younger to have missed those days in person.
As Linkmeister noted, your Quicksilver Diaries don't seem to jump out of a simple Google search, and I'd be interested in reading more.
Bob: A brief scan through the Sent Mail I saved from the main time of diary postings (2002) yields this: "I have been posting many of these on the John Cipollina site (Discussion Group)." Hope that's still operational and retrievable!
For those who like reading AND for those who are looking forward to the return of the 4400 in June... I came across a TV special about the show the other day and learned something interesting about actor Bill Campbell, who plays cult leader Jordan Collier and who is not to be confused with William Campbell 'famously' known as the Squire of Gothos. Bill Campbell and the young actor playing a healer were both asked the following question:
Which would you prefer to have? Four thousand and four hundred TV channels, or four thousand and four hundred books?
The young actor predictably chose the TV channels. Campbell chose the books. In fact, he revealed a big secret: when you see him in a scene where he's holding a hand behind his back, that's because he's holding a book.
For those searching for Faren C Miller's Quicksilver Diaries (memoirs, &c.); the best source I've found so far is at:
I'm back online - barely - but still v low on time & energy, so am leaving further investigation to an other.
oh, i spent about 4 hours this watching all the "Red vs. Blue" episodes that I could find. Thats some funny stuff.
About Jules Verne... Yeah, he didn't predict anything, really. What he did was to take the current technology and push it. Then again, his aim wasn't predictions. I think I once read that he decided to publish his Voyages Extraordinaires because the state of science education among French schoolboys was so dismal that he'd find a way to teach them a few things, in a way that'd be appealing.
Ben Kingsley as Nemo, and Stewart as Arronax... That would be quite interesting. Put them both aboard the Nautilus of the Michael Caine version and that'd make one great movie.
How about Stewart as Professor Lindenbrock? That'd be an improvement over Treat Williams in that role.
Re: QMS: it appears that Collector’s Choice Music has eight QMS titles, including original releases and best-of sets. I’ve found their stuff to be reliable.
Open thread tangent...
Water heater broke.
flooded basement this morning.
plumber came today.
Yeah, Collector's Choice does nice stuff--their re-releases of The Jam are high-class.
Get you the first Quicksilver album, the self-titled one, and you've got the best of their work, in my opinion. I think I've got all the original releases on vinyl, and I've listened to 'em all, but the first one I go back to over and over again.
I'll be getting me _Lost Gold and Silver_ when the chance arises.
Yesterday's WashPost Bookworld had a new column, Book Notes, about the book industry, which covered the, er, stuff that a publicist sent one of the editors.
What with all the recent brouhaha about the Spanish-language version of "The Star-Spangled Banner", Language Log has compiled a set of older translations into various other languages, including Yiddish and Latin.
Haiku should convey in the first line an image of weather, the seasons or nature, preferably admitting of several meanings; the second may contain an extension of that image, or a specification or exemplar of it; and the third, something that encapsulates or sums it, in some way linking it to some universal or eternal truth or experience. In all of these, a deep subtlety should be disguised as simplicity. It seems to me that Greg London's example, above, meets those criteria.
Julie L, I'd think Bush was being silly if he was opposed to a Spanish translation of the national anthem. I don't know if he even knows it's not a translation, though, but that does bother me. Many ideas have been changed. If they want to change ideas, they should write a new anthem.
Complete tangent - I got shown this earlier, which clarified some things about nuclear power. I've been in favour of it in the past, as the best way to keep the lights on over here, but I always had a definite feeling that the numbers didn't add up, and this article shows how.
Found via Transition Cult. It's also a very good basic primer on how nuclear reactors work and why a lot of them don't.
I'm taking advantage of this open thread to state publicly, that I'm betting the bus bomber on Veronica Mars is... Beaver Casablancas.
I think we're going to discover that his sexual hangups were caused when Woody molested him, and that he'll do anything, including murder, to hide his own shame.
urk. Gotta love those randomly distributed commas.
job, stormtrooper, funny stuff.
Greg, sorry to hear about the water heater. Been there, done that.
Thank you for the link to Pharyngula and the May 3rd post. The comments were great; I found out that today is Pete Seeger's 87th birthday. Happy birthday, Pete.
As lng as we're predicting end-of-season revelations for tv shows:
On 24, my bet is that the First Lady will shoot President Logan after she discovers Aaron Pierce has been killed. Since she's been in and out of mental hospitals before, the President's death can be attributed to her mental state, and the entire real scandal kept under cover. She goes back to the mental hospital, quite likely at her own suggestion.
RE: third of may. some folk have lost their freakin mind. or maybe never had it. the good ol' days of unrestricted warfare? shhessh.
Today is the anniversary of the shootings at Kent State. I was up late last night reading "They Just Started Shooting Us Down" by "kainah" on DKos. It's third in a series. I'm planning to go back and read the first two later when I have more time. Good research and writing, many good comments, some stunning ones from people who were in town or nearby when it happened.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Abu Ghraib
We had a fifty-gallon model blow an inside seam once. It was loud! Fortunately the overflow went into the garden (it was in a sort of closet outside, next to the boiler), and it was still under warranty. No damage, except to nerves.
P J Evans --
We had a fifty-gallon model blow an inside seam once. It was loud! Fortunately the overflow went into the garden (it was in a sort of closet outside, next to the boiler), and it was still under warranty. No damage, except to nerves.
Nor do you wish to make the unpleasant discovery that there is water leaking into your open top-loading washer from the area immediately above, which was that spot in the attic devoted to the water heater. A trip upstairs revealed that the whole thing had fallen almost all the way over after one of its little feet had rusted out. (The heater had been placed in some sort of metal catch-the-drips pan; the drips, having no pipe for bleed-off, sat around and ate the feet.) Looked rather like a becalmed rocket ship.
We had a fifty-gallon model blow an inside seam once.
mine went with a whimper and I woke up with a flooded basement. luckily, no books, no furniture, no nothing down in the basement, just concrete floor and limestone foundation. The wife has previously suggested we finish the basement into a room, but I think this is yet another reason it's a bad idea.
While the plumber was installing the new one, I was hanging around like the pesky kid who keeps asking questions. So I learned that water heaters have two valves. One is a suction? valve, which I guess can kick in if the fire department is next door pulling all the water out of the mains. I didn't figure out exactly how it works, but somehow it prevents the water in your house from getting sucked back out into the mains? The other is an overpressure valve which kicks in if something happens like the boiler freaks and super cooks the water and the steam can't go anywhere.
Whenever I'm asking questions in a situation like that, I always wonder if the guy is pulling my leg about something, cause some things just sound weird.
Yeah, sure, they pour molten glass on top of molten tin and it comes out perfectly smooth. Right. Uh huh.
Joann: When my mother and I moved into a house in town in Texas, ten years ago, she required that they install a pipe from the drip pan into the garage (a distance of about five feet) so the water could get out with minimum damage to the house. They argued a little, but not much - we were ready to push it. (We knew some people with a sunken living-room who had the water-heater leak while they were on vacation, right after they'd redone said living-room. It was, um, salutary.)
a question for Patrick Nielsen Hayden (I think there is at least one other Patrick around here):
You said something on another thread some time ago about arguing about the edges of a debate versus arguing about the center, or something to that mutilated recollection effect. If this rings any bells, and you know what the heck I'm talking about, would you mind repeating it? Or pointing to it? Thanks.
Has everyone heard about S.1955, the "Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act"? This bill would "modernize" the marketplace by pre-empting state requirements on insurers. Mammograms? State mandates. Mental health coverage? State mandates. Off-label drug coverage? State mandates. Birth control? Diabetic supplies? Cervical cancer screening? Second opinions? State mandates, all. Certain drugs advertised by people like Bob Dole or Rafael Palmiero? Don't be silly; those don't need mandates when old men are running health insurers.
To stay under the spam threshold for link inclusion, see Universal Hub's take, which is where I first saw it. Links from there to fact sheets, MeFi, etc.
Also, my notes on the sponsor, a Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY, and isn't that first letter a huge surprise?). Campaign contributions? Second on his list, the insurance industry.
"Among the handful of principles that are fundamental to any true protection for health care consumers, probably the most important is allowing states to continue in their role as the primary regulator of health insurance."
Sounds great, doesn't it? That's someone who really believes in helping consumers, right? Well...that's Mike Enzi, in 2000. After all, the bill he said that about would have added some Federal requirements to insurers, instead of removing state-level mandates.
According to Garrison Keillor's "Literary Almanac", May 3 is also the birthday of Niccolo Machiavelli. For those who prefer a more subtle kind of warfare....
Remember . . .
Saturday May 6th is Free Comics Day:
Breaking news: CIA director Porter Goss just resigned to "spend more time with his family".
Wow. Christopher Eccleston has been cast as Number Six in a new remake of The Prisoner.
Porter Goss is out as the head of the CIA!
Christopher Eccleston has just been cast in a new remake of the Prisoner.
I see the tradition of appointing inept Number Twos continues.
Was there a particle labelled "Lucy Literary?" Did it go away?
RE: the Particles listing for Virtuoso Origami, the actual front page for HOJYO Takashi is here.
Hojyo is a virtuoso with the human figure. But for things like Final Fantasy creatures, you'll want KAMIYA Satoshi (yes, he's done a Chocobo); the club they both belong to, Origami Tanteidan; and their publisher, Origami House.
For the math and theory, you want Robert Lang. Origami Design Secrets is a masterwork.
And if you just want to mess about with secret codes hidden in folding instructions, then, there's always Nicolas Terry.
I just want to say that if you don't click on "39 Stairways" and listen to the version by the Leningrad Cowboys backed by the Soviet Red Army Men's Choir, you have no soul.
Greg London: Patrick attributes the saying about edge cases to Chip Delany here and here.
It's past my bedtime but Patrick challenges the existence of my soul with unusual music so I'm sitting here waiting and waiting and waiting for the mp3 file to fucking play already.
I found the Lucy Literary link. I think my earlier problem was due to the iffy connection where I was earlier.
I'm still waiting.
Okay, it loaded. I love the Red Army Chorus. And the balalaikas. Balalaikas go a long way towards making things better.
RE: 39 Stairways
Pardon me while I pick my jaw up off the floor.
Ok, that's better.
Try the one from Rolf Harris, too. Tie me Kangaroo Down, indeed.
Lucy Literary makes some excellent points. But: female dogs don't lift their legs to pee, unless they're masculinized in the womb with male hormones. (And btw male dogs will pee without lifting their legs if feminized with female hormones.)
OK. Just had to say that. I definitely don't want to change Lucy Literary, even the last line.
"female dogs don't lift their legs to pee, unless they're masculinized in the womb with male hormones."
Uh . . . my spayed female dog lifts her leg to pee on occasion. I've read about other bitches doing this as well. I think Kira is just an especially dominant alpha-female type. She carefully marks territory, squatting or lifting as required. (She also straddles to pee. That is, she finds a nice low bushy plant, stands over it, and lets loose.)
It has been claimed that no movie based on Shakespeare is a failure (well, maybe...).
And the big money is in action and adventure; the spectacle of the summer blockbuster. And perhaps too often a remake or a sequel.
So lets run this up the flagpole.
William Shakespeare's Where Eagles Dare!
Fluellen: Now hath confusion blossomed like unto a briar rose, passing sweet to see though sharp with thorns, yet I shall cut, like Alexander, through this Gordian knot. My blade is keen, yet simply made. And so, in short, MacMorris and myself have lit upon a knavish plot to ease France's woes, by making a bloody end to France.
Orleans: Thou liest!
Mountjoy: Keep thy seat! I mean to have the truth of this, for in this time of war even the gallant may like spies appear, when found so closeted; England and France in secret complicity. Thy rank is no protection for thy neck; you must find safer guard.
I have a Red Army Chorus LP (yes, vinyl) on which they perform "It's A Long Way To Tipperary." Does that mean I have extra soul?
"Does that mean I have extra soul?"
If you do, it's undoubtedly "blue-eyed." Or maybe you just own some.
Oh, I knows an Challenge when I sees yt.
MYSSIONE MOST UNLIKELYE
Wyth, naturally, Rowan Atkinson as Lord Daniel and Tony Robinson as Hys Henchfellow, and Fry and Laurie in there Someplaice.
Baldryck: Now is the recording hoist with his own petard.
Lord Daniel of Brygges: Out, briefe Taper.
Baldryck: My lord, thou has explain'd to me the plot full forty times,
Yet my small braine cannot contain its tenth.
Lord Daniel: Why, Baldryck, that's its soul; these petty men,
Who think to say "to do's" to've done the did,
Are undone quite with biding as they're bid,
And never see the lie beneathe the lid.
Baldryck: It is a cunninge Plann, my lord, whatever the Hecke it is.
Lord Daniel: Baldryck, to you the BAFTA awards are just an excuse to fall asleep in free pudding, aren't they?
Baldrick: And wobble cods with posh ladyes, my lord.
Lord Daniel: True. Now to our plottinge strong,
'Fore god, that title sequence was most long.
We'll build a treason out of lyttel things,
And tiny Blaires may make an end to kings.
Baldrick: I've brought my clubbe, my lord.
Lord Daniel: Pish, tiddle, and bang, quotha, making the requisite Monty Python reference. The candle burns low, henchman, and the attention spans grow shorter by the minute.
Time for our Masque. Canst counterfeit the King?
Baldrick: Mmmphmmm mph ptoo.
Lord Daniel: 'Twill have to serve. A Knave may play a Count,
In this game Calumny is Paramount.
Let's toss another lordling on the fire,
And what's Impossible may yet Transpire;
A thousand misdirections make a Doom,
And we'll choke off this Cruise line in the womb.
Baldryck: Rat on your left, sir.
(No, wait, the Author thynkst, he hath already Writ thys Booke. Aha, quoth he, it is the East, and this is the Sequel.)
The Leningrad Cowboys backed by the Red Army Chorus are indeed amazing--I have a tape of most (not all, it didn't all fit on the tape) of their "Total Balalaika" show, live in Helsinki.
Re Strunk and White: the bit of that that I still find useful is "When in doubt, recast the sentence." Sometimes it's worth remembering that the way out of a grammatical or stylistic thicket is to start over, not to see what happens if you change one word here or add one there. The context I found it in--opposition to singular and generic "they"--is annoying, but gold is where you find it. I am also known to mutter "rule 1" when faced with possessive singulars in s' rather than s's.
May I take this opportunity to remind readers that the fine file, A Matter of Life And Death, has also been released under the title Stairway to Heaven
Xopher, I have evidence that otherwise normal-acting female dogs have lifted their legs to pee. Truffle does it regularly though not consistently (I believe it has to do with the terrain as well as what she's marking): my stepmother's dog did when she was younger: and the nasty old Jack Russell I sometimes take care of does it too.
I think the thing is that female dogs lift their legs less often and it means something different. It's related to dominance -- Truffle and Maggie are both moderately dominant dogs (though dominance is not the simple thing people seem to think it is, in dogs). Nappy, the incredibly old and unsympathetic Jack Russell, is not dominant -- she hates other dogs with a deep, abiding hatred, and will have nothing to do with them at all.
Since it's an open thread, here's what comic book art would look like were men's bodies treated the same way women's bodies are (possibly NSFW, depending how cool your boss and co-workers are.)
Link courtesy of Diane's fine blog Nobody Knows Anything.
I know we have a number of comic book geeks here, so for those of you who have been living under a rock, Alan Moore's and Melinda Gebbie's Lost Girls is finally due out in August , and wannabe readers can help fund the publication. Top Shelf Comix is helping cover its print-run cost in advance by selling pre-orders of a limited run of signed/numbered editions at twice the regular price. (Interesting twist on the business model there - I could see that working for regular books for some authors.)
As a 3-volume hardbound set, it's not cheap, but I have hopes that it will be worth it. I have the first two issues from Kitchen Sink, and they are truly joyously and unabashedly pornographic, and both beautiful and thought-provoking. (Maybe this should be under "Joy"?)
Mike wrote: I see the tradition of appointing inept Number Twos continues.
What about Leo McKern's Number Two?
Which reminds me of something interesting about Leo. It is the tradition at Turner Classic Movies to end the year with a montage about movie-related people who died during the previous 12 months. When Leo passed away, did they use something from A Man fro All Seasons? Nope. From LadyHawke? Not that either. They showed his last scene from The Prisonner, with him happily walking thru London.
(About those TCM end-of-year monatges... Their best probably 2003's ending with Katharine Hepburn saying something about a last goodbye. Left me with a lump in my throat.)
Gee, the image stuck in my mind is Leo McKern in "Help", the Beatles' not-nearly-as-good second movie. Or am I thinking of someone else?
Faren: Yes, same actor. McKern was in a lot of things -- he's probably best remembered these days as Horace Rumpole.
And yes, there were a couple of Numbers Two who were worthy opponents. McKern's was the only one who came back for a rematch -- he's in the second (aired) episode, "Chimes of Big Ben," and returns for the next-to-last, "Once Upon a Time" and the concluding "Fall Out," which are arguably one two-part ep (as if there was anything about the show not "arguably").
thanks for the links. That was what i was looking for.
Mike, what did you think of Peter Wyngarde as Number Two? And there was also the Number Two from the episode many happy returns...
I think that the Aubrey Beardsley illustrations done for Lysistrata are a lot more the equivalent (with the proviso that the Lacedaemonian [spelling...] ambassadors' unclothed state would need clothing added...) for males of the extremely exaggerated shape of females in so much comics art. There is the issue of what's considered "obscene" however, which includes IIRC "-turgid male... whether clothed or unclothed.-" The Beardsley art, even were the ambassadors clothed, would still fall into "obscene". The art is exaggerated beyond purple prose exaggeration of size in extremely trashy romance novels.
(I can see using some of these in parody....maybe a new VP exercise.)
#20 is my favorite.
Every year, English teachers from across the country can submit their collections of actual analogies and metaphors found in high
school essays.These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers across the country. Here are last year's winners.....
1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse
without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.
4 She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.
5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.
8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a
surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.
9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.
10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.
11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie,surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and
Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.
12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.
13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.
14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.
16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.
18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.
19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.
20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.
22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.
23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.
25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.
My vote goes for #17, Valerie.
#19 rather sticks out from the heap as something different. It has the feel of a quote from some English writer of the first half of the last century. I don't think it's Wodehouse or Charteris, but it feels as if it could be. Perhaps Roderick Spode is spending a pleasant country-house afternoon reducing the pheasant population? Maybe Mr. Templar has instructed Hoppy Uniatz to distract Inspector Teal and his blue-coated myrmidons of the law?
It's an odd turn of phrase for a modern American, unused to that craft and more accustomed to stacks of injection-moulded soundbites tumbling out of shipping containers from Shanghai as a cultural revenge for the Opium Wars.
I think I'd better go and check that I took my medication.
So why can't the SF community have writing workshops in Greece? When I first checked the webpage, I thought the belly dancing was a required part of the writer's workshop. A new approach to writing indeed.
I'd go for number 9, with that unexpected inversion.
A lot of those sound familiar.
"9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't" sounds very like Douglas Adams: "The yellow ships hung in the air in exactly the way that bricks don't".
I like 18 - it doesn't quite stretch the simile beyond use - and 20, for wit.
#17 is also the underlying metaphor in the Jim's Big Ego song "Concrete."
that was some freaky stuff. The choir at the very end is just crazy. And I kept getting image of men in olive drab russian military overcoats and hats, singing. I put it on repeat and listened to it a bunch of times.
Yes, #18 sounds more like a witticism than a malapropism, but most of the rest are hilarious. Can we expect to see published novels from these kids a decade from now -- novels that retain the styles on display here? Scary thought!
Today's Newsday (picking up an AP story) informs ne that polygamist leader Warren Jeffs is now on the Ten Most Wanted list.
Jeffs is the patriarch of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona, where teenage girls are forcibly married to older men, and teenage boys are shipped out and dumped on the streets of Salt Lake City. [There's a lot more on this in old Making Light/Electrolite posts.]
I don't know exactly how to feel about the sudden abandonment of Strunk and White. I always hated both that and On Writing Well, but whenever I said so people would look at me funny. And now I find that other people are saying some of the same things. Am I vindicated? I don't know.
I loathed Strunk & White from long long long ago, back when I was in the early stages of developing loathings for English classes (English classes in public school among other things destroyed Shakespeare for me, as regards it having prior to that having been pleasure reading for me and not deadly annoying chore reading-work devoid of pleasure and enjoyment).
Valerie, I think MOST of those were deliberate! Adolescent wit, but wit nonetheless.
I once wrote that my mind was a steel trap, in the sense that nothing comes out of it undamaged. And yesterday a friend asked me about my love life, and I commented that my love life is like my pet unicorn: lovely, but imaginary.
Vicki, that's good news. I suppose they no longer list people as wanted dead or alive, do they, he asked in wistful tones.
Open thread news: Iran wrote a letter to Dubya, the first such letter from Iran to teh US in 27 years. Some see it as a sign of Iran attempting to avert sanctions from the UN and possibly to avoid a military confrontation with the US by trying diplomatic solutions.
And all I can keep thinking is Bush doesn't read.
Sigh--Dial B for Blog appears to have gone dark.
Valerie, those are almost certainly from the WashPost Style Invitational. The archives only go back a year so I can't find the list.
The Style Invitational that closed yesterday was about photos of Funny Fruit.
The WashPost BookWorld has a back page with ads, most from bookstores, but some from authors and/or editors. Yesterday there was an ad for a self-published book that started "As in the late Beatles song," and I don't think all the Beatles' songs have died, so maybe he's just missing an apostrophe.
My favorite is #16...I'm a sucker for the complete non sequitur.
And yesterday a friend asked me about my love life, and I commented that my love life is like my pet unicorn: lovely, but imaginary.
"My self-control is legendary. Half history, half myth." (some Niven character or other)
"my love life is like my pet unicorn: lovely, but imaginary".
Reminds me of a quote I read once, it may have been about Bette Davis. An actress was asked about how she was able to bring up different emotions and said words to the effect of:
"When I need to laugh, I think about my love life; and when I need to cry, I think about my love life."
Indeed, yes; I can identify with that.
Back in Open thread 61 I mentioned hand-powered LCD flashlights. I left one in the glove compartment of my car, thinking it'd eventually come in handy. The other day I was idly playing with it, and cranked it up. Nothing happened. Well, to be precise, very little happened. It took a lot more cranking than usual to generate a light, and the thing wouldn't hold a charge worth beans. Now, these gadgets have some sort of rechargeable battery inside, to hold the charge when you crank 'em. Might the heat stress of being stored in a car's glove compartment, parked in the hot sun almost every day, have somehow damaged that battery? I'm not enough of a battery geek to know the answer... but perhaps someone here does.
Wait a second, Dolphins give each other names? What the? How come I didn't get the memo on this?
Oops, of course I meant LED flashlights.
Mez: I've frequently heard that thought attributed to George Burns.
Eric, sorry, don't know nothing bout no batteries. I heard some of 'em got some kind o' memory, but I'm not shore what dey mean by dat.
The Holy Grail contract in TNH's sidelights or pinpricks or whatever the hell they are (sorry, I forget) is totally wonderful. Thank you, Teresa. That idea did not come from Schnectady.
Ooops. Schenech --- Scheemata -- Schenebunkport -- oh, the hell with it.
Lizzy L: You were very nearly right the first time. "Schenectady".
My fortune cookie refuses to rise to its destiny:
"Come back later...I am sleeping. (yes, cookies need their sleep, too)"
"Sinn Féin to nominate Paisley as First Minister"
Sinn Féin to nominate Paisley as First Minister
I'm sorry, could you run that by me again?
Niall -- the sky is orange. Snow comes up.
What alternate universe are we wandering into?
>Sinn Féin to nominate Paisley as First Minister
It seems quite logical to me. Adams is hoping that either Big Ian's head will explode with cognitive dissonance at hearing that Sinn Féin have nominated him, or he'll will refuse point blank to accept any nominations from the nationalists.
Adams will then nominate any one of the other Unionists, who will all refuse for the same reason, and he'll be "reluctantly" forced to accept the position of First Minister.
Even if they do take the position, Adams will have taken the moral high ground (such as it exists in Norn Iron politics, anyway) by offering the top job to the opposition.
That makes lots more sense, dave. Personally I'm hoping for the head exploding scenario myself.
>or he'll will
D'oh! That should be "or he will". Damn finger macros.
Niall: Could you get me some of the stuff that Gerry Adams has been smoking? It sounds a lot more potent than the usual.
(I suspect, though, that Dave is right.)
Feh. It has come to my attention that many many battery FAQs state that storing a charged rechargeable battery in a hot car is a Very Bad Idea. Well, now I know.
Probe into warrantless wiretapping killed because
NSA won’t grant Justice Department lawyers required security clearance:
An ignorant and possibly bigoted question: A good friend's son died recently, and the services are today. They're Mormons, and I'm wondering whether there is anything unusual or odd about the service that I should expect or be prepared for?
Now you know.
A possibly bigoted answer - Funeral Potatoes.
Intellectual Reserve says:
Funerals: A Latter-day Saint funeral is similar to traditional Christian funerals in practice. However, the funeral is usually directed by the ward bishop and held in a chapel. The spirit of the funeral is generally peaceful, reflecting the religious belief that families can be reunited after this life. So funerals are conducted with a spirit of hope and sometimes joy. Of course family and friends grieve for their loss, but they know that they will be with their loved one again. This understanding brings great comfort. It is appropriate to send flowers, unless the family indicates otherwise, or if it is contrary to local custom.
Burial may be in temple clothes.
I expect that folks with a strong belief in resurrection would avoid cremation and many do.
The best advice I've had was Dear Abby - share a pleasant personal memory of the deceased with the family - I remember how nicely (s)he would......
And as it turns out, I was misinformed--my friends are Jehovah's Witnesses, not Mormons. It was a very nice service--I say this as a general non-believer--and I spent a long time there afterwards talking.
Wow. This is amazing. From Lucy Kemnitzer, it's A Twelve-Step Plan for the United States.
Anyone catch the final episode of "Malcolm in the Middle" last night?
Resigned to not having enough money to go to Harvard, boy genius Malcolm leaps at a chance to go to work for his friend Stevie's uncle . . . for a six figure salary.
His mom forbids it, and launches into an amazing speech about why he was going to Harvard, no matter how much suffering, begging, and hard work was involved . . . because the suffering, begging, and hard work was the point.
She wanted him to be President, but she wanted him to get there the hard way, so that when he was President, he would know what it was like being a struggling slob.
In the final scene, he's at Harvard, hurrying to put a mop and pail into the janitor's closet so he could make it to his next class.
new reports of old news
Justice system catching up to polygamous sect
By David Kelly and Gary Cohn
Los Angeles Times
First of two parts
COLORADO CITY, Ariz. — For half a century, while members of this remote, polygamous enclave engaged in widespread sexual abuse and child exploitation, government authorities on all levels did little to intervene or protect generations of victims .......
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, once visited the FLDS church in Hildale and played the church organ. He later defended the group when asked about its alleged abuses.
"All I can say is I know people in Hildale who are polygamists who are very fine people. You come and show me the evidence of children being abused there, and I'll get involved," he told local reporters. "Bring the evidence to me."
Stefan - I tend to wait for the season DVD sets to watch MitM, so I didn't see the finale. Your synopsis just reinforces that however disfunctional Malcolm's family may be, there's a hidden wisdom there that puts it on my short list of Best Shows Evah. That and the TMBG theme song.
Stefan, I did see it -- and both the "message" and some genuine laughs indicate that despite the "long past its prime" discussions by TV reviewers, the series still did have something to offer. Yes, the boys are mostly too old now, but I wish (in vain, I'm sure) it could generate some spin-offs. As things stand, my TV comedy viewing is dwindling to maybe a couple of shows, and I don't like the dramas. [Harumph, said the crone!]
"New federal guidelines ask all females capable of conceiving a baby to treat themselves -- and to be treated by the health care system -- as pre-pregnant, regardless of whether they plan to get pregnant anytime soon."
And health guidelines are all based around EVERY woman as pre-pregnant anad focusing on protecting a possible fetus, rather than emphasizing what's good for the woman herself.
Source: Washington Post
Clark -- this week's Newsweek reports that the leader of the FLDS is now on the 10-Most-Wanted list.
The Particle "Border security theater" leads to an article from Defense Tech that asks, among other things,
2. Where are they going to live? Unlike with Border Patrol agents, the federal government will be responsibility for providing temporary housing for members of the National Guard deployed at the border.
Ah Ha! I know that answer! Bush is planning to quarter them in houses without the consent of the owners. I think that he's planning on a grand slam: violating every single one of the articles in the Bill of Rights (that one's Article Three).
And I bet they're not looking in Texas (apparently they bought land and built an elegant, expensive enclave somewhere in western Texas, I'm not sure where but the story gave me the willies... )
The date-palm link (aka Ye! utuvienyes!) in the particles is lovely. I remember reading about the seed when it was first found, and this update makes me as happy as that first announcement did. It feels a little like the stories about the ivory-billed woodpeckers in Arkansas.
One thing that I haven't seen discussed, though, is how we go from one seedling to a reintroduced strain. If the palms are either male or female, how does one plant help us? Wouldn't both sexes be required for fruit, or am I misunderstanding the mechanics involved? It seems almost worse to see the cultivar return and then gutter out once more than to have it remain lost to time.
Oh, and also: pursuant to Patrick's comment twenty days upthread, Movable Type does provide for comment numbering via the <MTCommentOrderNumber> tag. If you decide to go with comment numbers--maybe just before the commenter's name, followed by the usual three-colon divider?--you could add the tag to your templates in a heartbeat.
Well, if you do add comment numbers at least you'll do it better than Unfogged where I can't tell if the number goes with the comment above or below.
Personally, I prefer no numbers because it forces us to a bit selective quoting when posting responses to others.
What does the title of the date palm link mean, by the way?
"Lo! I have found it!", if I recall my Tolkien correctly. Aragorn's words on finding the scion of the White Tree in the hills above the city.
Tavella: You are quite right. In between the words in the Particle there is a link to a fanfic story that begins with the relevant quote.
(I didn't read much past the quote, myself; slash doesn't interest me and the opening couple of paragraphs gave every indication of being Frodo/Sam.)
That's a very sneakily hidden link, there.
Teresa found a Particle (Carl Zimmer's excellent zombie cockroach article) via my blog. Squee! I should point out that Zimmer also posted two followups, here and here.
At his request, Mr. Thomas was buried Tuesday in his "Tom Corbett, Space Cadet" costume.
Now I'm stuck trying to imagine Jack Lemmon as Tom Corbett.
Nope, not working, He keeps coming out as Duck Dodgers, with John Fiedler as the Eager Young Space Cadet and Walter Matthau as Dr. I. Q. Hi. (Just as in the TV version, Lemmon would double as Marvin the Martian.)
The story, however, is oddly touching. And I wonder what Neil Armstrong is thinking tonight.
This one is nice, too.
And hey--I own one of his books!
You will find if you spend some time 'round here that the 'hard-hitting moderator' of the threads, our gracious hostess, has a fine hand for such links — tho' it's only a quite small part of why I respect her.
An piece on NPR a few days ago, mentioned that there are areas in Mexico that are getting very depopulated--the people who are still there mostly are the very young and the very old, the children and the old folks too old to get across the border and get work.
On the date palm:
The Romans seem to have exterminated a number of species--the Asian lion in the ranges where the Romans had access to (hunted to death), the giant carrot family member plant that was ingested to prevent pregnancy, the persimmon plant (no, not persimmon tree) from which apparently the oil that was used to annoint the kings of Israel and Judah had been made, and many many many other species. The Romans knew that lead was unhealthy, but used it for drinking water pipes anyway...
Seen today on a local church sign:
WORRY IS A WASTE OF TIME
WHEN GOD IS IN CONTROL!
SEMINAR - MAY 16 AT 7 PM
I leave the interpretation to others.
Police investigate Gorean cult
I'm not sure which of these I find most disturbing:
* That people actually do this
* That the police investigated it seriously
* That the BBC reported it as serious news
* Or that they linked on the same page to reports about the FCLDS and sex traficking offences.
Jules - The police were told that a woman was being held against her will, investigated, and found that she wasn't. What's disturbing about that? It all sounds perfectly appropriate to me.
Compare and contrast with Operation Spanner.
"The police were told that a woman was being held against her will"
Were they? All the article says is this:
She later contacted a friend in United States, who then contacted the police, saying she wanted to leave but couldn't as she had burnt her passport and return ticket.
Doesn't sound to me like anyone even claimed she was being held against her will; it sounds much more like a problem to be dealt with by the US embassy rather than the police.
Second paragraph of the BBC article:
Durham Police discovered the bizarre sect after raiding a home in the area, after receiving complaints that a woman was being held against her will.
Sounds to me like it was the friend in the States who contacted the Durham police and told them she was worried that the woman was being held. If the friend thought the problem was just the lack of a passport then why would they contact the police?
Not disturbing, anyway, IMHO. If I had to pick something from the story to find disturbing, it's the description of the Kaotians as a 'cult'... although I admit that 'community' or 'fandom' don't seem quite right either.
The Wikipedia has a lot of backgound on Goreans, with links to other sites. It's not my idea of a good time, but if it's genuinely consensual...
What I find disturbing is that people are still reading John Norman. Jumping Jeebus--talk about a hack writer!
Go buy someone who can string sentences together competently, like whoever wrote Kushiel's Dart--it'd still be a hellish world to live in, but at least it'd be described competently.
Glen: Makes perfect sense to me. There's a difference between preparing for disaster and worrying about it
It's like the joke about the guy on a roof, watching the water rise. A neighbor in a canoe comes by to get him "no, I'll be fine. God will provide for me". Same thing with another boat. Then a chopper comes by, and he says the same thing. Then the water gets deeper and he drowns. He gets to the Pearly Gates, and complains to God "hey, I thought you said you'd provide for me?" God says "what do you want me to do? I sent two boats and a helicopter for you."
What weirded me out about the one Gor book I tried to read (which was from later in the series, and I'm told the first few were better) was the wrenching changes of pace. The example that sticks in my mind was a discussion of boat types, complete with how much they could carry and rigging and whatnot. A page and a half later, it was on with the semi-hardcore bondage porn. Odd.
What I find disturbing is that people are still reading John Norman. Jumping Jeebus--talk about a hack writer!
I've never read any myself(*), but I thought this comment from Cory Doctrow on BoingBoing was illuminating:
When I worked at a science fiction bookstore [...] One customer told me that he bought the books for the sex, and didn't really care much that the writing was clunky -- he said it was still miles better than the average porn novel.
I gather the same principle applies to Jean Auel's novels?
(*) When I was fifteen, one of my schoolmates read some and told me he found the attitude to women a bit offensive. When a fifteen year old boy at an all-male boarding school not noted for progressive attitudes tells you that, you tend to believe them.
Rare American Chestnut Trees Discovered
An AP story to file with the date palm and the ivory-billed woodpecker. They speculate that these trees may be naturally resistent to chestnut blight.
This is news that gets trotted out every so often, and while it's cool, it's not as utterly cool as the date palm and the ivory-bill.
My brother-in-law has been involved for several years with the American Chestnut Foundation, a group doing a great deal of work to bring back the chestnut by selective cross-breeding with the Chinese chestnut, and through other resesarch projects. As they are always anxious to hear abouut surviving native specimens, I believe they are keeping an eye out for possible naturally-resistant American specimens as well, with some sort of registry.
This year for Christmas I got a small baggie of chestnuts--which was flattering, as he normally saves all the nuts to replant! They are smaller than the European and oriental chestnuts we are more accustomed to seeing, and sweeter as well.
The ACF sells t-shirts...
...a discussion of boat types, complete with how much they could carry and rigging and whatnot. A page and a half later, it was on with the semi-hardcore bondage porn...
It's a guy thing, Carrie S...
Re Kushiel's Dart and its sequels -- the author is Jacqueline Carey, and I've been favorably reviewing her books in Locus for the last five or six years. My column in the June issue [plug, plug!] will include the latest volume in a discussion of what I dub (for the occasion) "subversive fantasy." Those books, and some others like them, may tend toward doorstop size but they're nothing like hackwork.
I don't know, Faren, I'm not sure there's anything subversive about the Kushiel's Dart world other than maybe the sex. Based on the first book, the society is intensely oppressive, and I wouldn't live there on a bet.
(And what am I doing in the American South? Hmm...)
DaveL: Rare American Chestnut Trees Discovered
fidelio: This is news that gets trotted out every so often...
I think he means that your story's a bit of an old chestnut, Dave.
(Sorry about that.)
I guess I should branch out into another topic and leaf this one alone before it blights the thread further.
adamsj, what made it seem "intensely oppressive" to you? It didn't seem significantly more oppressive to me than many other books, particularly pseudo-historical/alternate history or epic fantasy novels.
For example, the Europe portrayed in 1632 and its sequels seems far more oppressive to me than Terre d'Ange does.
DaveL, I think you should find the root of your problem first. Your budding awareness may grow, and come to full flower.
What a pistil!
DaveL, if I had realized what a door I was leaving open, I'd have just bragged on the ACF and let it go at that.
The T-shirt with the botanical print on the back is way cool, though.
Nancy C, you mean he should tree to find what his problems are stamen from? Or try to stem the phloem of his difficulties?
Xopher, how long do you think we can keep it up in this vein?
For as long as there are saps around, Nancy C... Now, where is that photo of Twiggy?
Or try to stem the phloem of his difficulties?
Of course now I expect you to find one for xylem.
Then you can go on to auxim and gibberellin...
Xopher, you're barking up the wrong tree, unless I left it home in my trunk.
You are, however, running rings around me.
Michelle, anything I try for xylem (lovely word!) or auxim will be gibberellinish....
Nancy, I'd as leaf not keep up the timber of the conversation; it's going against the grain. I'm just going to go home and play the xylemphone. Or maybe the vibraphloem, since that one has a sustain petal.
I'll let you know what transpires.
Somewhere there's a village smithy who's gonna be very happy.
Somehow I don't think that an actual replacement chestnut tree is going to be planted on the site the poem was about (it's over by the Cambridge Adult Education Center, and there's a stylized metal "tree" up against the wall in commemoration).
Okay, Xopher and Serge (sorry I got you confused with Xopher at 4:44) and DaveL.
I guess we can't beat this with a stick anymore...
There's a mature Chinese chestnut tree in my yard (I had planted two long ago, but only one survived). I don't know whether it's self-fertile to a limited degree, or if there is an American chestnut tree which the various bees, flies, and other pollination vectors to be found amongst the flowers of the tree carry pollen from, but there are fertile nuts: the proof thereof sprouted in my yard, presumably planted by squirrels, though much the worse for whatever it is/they are which feed on young trees and "prune" purple raspberry canes (but not red, black, or gold ones..) off near ground level (and then don't actually eat the canes or the bark on them, only chew -through- them, grrr!) and chew the sapling chestnuts.
The leaves of the saplings have some significant differences from the parent Chinese chestnut tree, which is one of the reasons that I wonder if there is a mature American chestnut around somewhere. Another reason is that there had apparently been a mature American chestnut in the center of town before the property it was on was turned into a strip mall... there are still black walnuts in the center of town, though most people haven't got a clue in a bucket about it, even when the nuts littered the driveway out of the local Post Office... If there have been one mature American chestnut in town, perhaps it wasn't the only one...
Lexica, when you say
It didn't seem significantly more oppressive to me than many other books, particularly pseudo-historical/alternate history or epic fantasy novels.
you answer your own question:
what made it seem "intensely oppressive" to you?
Nancy C wrote: Xopher and Serge (sorry I got you confused with Xopher at 4:44)
Hey, Xopher, are you SURE you won't go to L.A.con? We could switch badges again and again and again throughout the con and, by the end, people would wonder who is whom.
Since we're the same in every way except our names, you mean?
You could just pretend to be me half the time. This has the added advantage of not requiring me to go to LA.
Unfortunately, Xopher, you go for the Lex Luthor look while I'm more a General Zod kind of guy. And I refuse to shave off what pilosity still adorns my skull.
adamsj: subversive to certain fantasy tropes, but not politically progressive in its background
Faren, I didn't read it closely enough to discover whether it was subversive relative to other fantasy. (Mostly, I read it in between pages of the book I was reading by looking over at my wife's copy as she read it while we Amtrak'd from LA to Oakland.)
It didn't strike me as anything but straight-up fantasy with kinky sex stirred in. Where does the subversiveness lie? (I know, I know, read the article--but is there a short sharp answer that doesn't do violence to what you've said at greater length?)
Quoth PNH, waaaaay upthread:
He's has had a lot of sadness on the way to 64.
He's had even more since the thread started. Poor bloke.