Back to previous post: LiveJournal’s attack on women and mothers

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: How much Bush & Co. don’t care about terrorism

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

June 1, 2006

Open thread 66
Posted by Teresa at 11:35 AM *

You took a carriage to that battlefield
Now, I suppose, you take a motor-bus
But, then, it was a carriage and you ate
Fried chicken out of wrappings and waxed paper,
While the slow guide buzzed on about the war
And the enormous, curdled summer clouds
Piled up like giant cream puffs in the blue.
The carriage smelt of axle-grease and leather
And the old horse nodded a sleepy head
Adorned with a straw hat. His ears stuck through it.
It was the middle of hay-fever summer
And it was hot. And you could stand and look
All the way down from Cemetery Ridge,
Much as it was, except for the monuments
And startling groups of monumental men
Bursting in bronze and marble from the ground,
And all the curious names and gravestones.

So peaceable it was, so calm and hot,
So tidy and great-skied
No men had fought
There but enormous monumental men
Who bled neat streams of uncorrupting bronze,
Even at the Round Tops, even by Pickett’s boulder
Where the bronze, open book could still be read
By the visitors and sparrows and the wind:
And the wind came, the wind moved the grass,
Saying … while the long light … and all so calm …

“Pickett came
And the South came
And the end comes,
And the grass comes
And the wind blows
On the bronze book
On the bronze men
On the grown grass,
And the wind says
‘Long ago
Long
Ago’”

Comments on Open thread 66:
#1 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 11:48 AM:

Has the LJ-breastfeeding post been closed for comment? I'm not getting a comment-posting box on it anymore.

I'm not getting one on the Celebration post either, but that's not showing on the front page yet. (It does show up as the "Forward to next post" link for this post.)

#2 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 11:55 AM:

Seconding the question about comments on LJ/breastfeeding post. It didn't seem to have devolved into flames yet. I was going to comment, but perhaps it would have been out of line, in any case. I suppose I'll go clutter up my own blog with my opinions, then.

On a toally different subject, does anyone know the origin of the word bee (as in spelling or quilting)? It can't be related to the stinging insect, can it? That wouldn't make much sense.

#3 ::: Octobarb ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 12:07 PM:

Enjoyed the poem. The War Between the States always brings me such a sense of melancholy. So many boys--more than an entire generation--to decide where the power lies.

#4 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 12:12 PM:

Now I shall be haunted by _Ashokan Farewell_ for the rest of the day, and:

"The years creep slowly by, Lorena..."

#5 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 12:17 PM:

I was dumbfounded a few days ago on reading that the Brangelina tot had been named "Shiloh".

#6 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 12:24 PM:

True, "Shiloh" is a Civil War battle, but I can think of another usage besides that and the Bible. Neil Diamond:

"Shiloh, when I was young,
I used to call your name,
When no one else would come,
Shiloh, you always came,
And you'd stay..."

#7 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 12:24 PM:

I need to get back to turning some of the family papers into HTML: my great-grandfather and his older brother were in the Union army (41st Illinois) all the way to Goldsboro. I'm trying to put their letters together as a chronological set of pages, with uncle Ques's journal as the frame and the letters linked in. Not difficult coding, but the journal is more than 250 pages, typed, single-spaced.

#8 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 12:38 PM:

Photography for Logophiles.

I love Fark's Farktography contests...

#9 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 12:39 PM:

I suppose you should be flattered that (since I was not familiar with the poem) I was about to post gushingly (as opposed to bleeding-from-an-open-woundedly) about the astonishing beauty of the poem you'd written.

But then I searched on the first line and I discovered it was by Steven Benet, at least according to this page. (That page is marked "July 1, 1863". Is it just a coincidence [or non-coincidence] that you posted it on the first of June? Sorry, I see connections everywhere I look. One time I even plugged my coffee grinder into a USB port just to satisfy a Dark Urge.)

#10 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 12:41 PM:

Sarah: why doesn't it make sense? A quilting bee has a lot of people gathered together, working busily at some productive task and muttering quietly to each other - sounds quite bee-like to me.

#11 ::: Rachel V. ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 12:42 PM:

See, when I hear the name "Shiloh" I think of that young adult book about that dog.

I grew up going to Civil War reenactments, and so I have all these odd and slightly disjointed memories of sitting on grassy hills, watching while soldiers marched by and cannons fired. It's just part of growing up Southern, I suppose.

And I have no idea why I'm delurking to post this, of all things.

#12 ::: robert west ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 12:43 PM:

Sarah, the OED says in its definition for 'bee':

(4) In allusion to the social character of the insect (originally in the US): A meeting of neighbours to unite their labours for the benefit of one of their member; eg, as done still in some parts, when the farmers unite to get in each other's harvests in succession; usually preceeded by a word defining the purpose of the meeting, as apple-bee, husking-bee, quilting-bee, raising-bee, etc. Hence, with extended sense: A gathering or meeting for some object: esp spelling bee, a party assembled to meet for the spelling of words.
----

It lists as its first text recording of bee in this sense 'spinning march, or what is called in the country a bee' from 1769, followed by 'quilting bee' in 1809, with 'spelling bee' in 1884.

#13 ::: rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 12:50 PM:

P J Evans,
Are you using OCR?

Facinating project! I wish my family's letters were better organized and in an OCR-able format!

-r.

#14 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 12:51 PM:

Michael, I'm no great poet, but I'm extremely fond of John Brown's Body, and would recommend it to anyone. If the books were unpacked, I'd give you one of my three copies.

Avram, I shut down the LJ thread (later than I should have) while I wrote the statement you can now find there. Because the argument was starting to boil up in Open thread 65, I shut it down too. Then I opened this new thread, opened the older open thread, and finally opened the LJ thread while hitting POST POST POST on my comment there.

#15 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 12:54 PM:

Lori, at least "Ashokan Farewell" is a pleasant earworm.

And of course it's not the original "Lorena" that plays in my head, but your esteemed ex-mother-in-law's filk.

#16 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 12:57 PM:

Ajay: Well, if you put it that way, I suppose it is rather bee-like. It's not exactly a connection that springs right to my mind, though. And I still say that spelling bee is a stretch.

Robert West: Thanks for that! To be honest, I was expecting some sort of corruption of a French word, or an obscure Middle English term. But just bugs, huh? I'd never even heard of an apple bee or a husking bee. Must be my relentlessly urban upbringing.

"A meeting of neighbours to unite their labours for the benefit of one of their member:" I'm trying to apply that to a spelling bee, and I must say, it makes me smile to think of kids uniting for the benefit of proper spelling.

#17 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 12:59 PM:

rhandir, I'd use OCR, but it would take just as much time fixing the typing errors as it does to type it myself (1930s manual typescript). I'm working from a photocopy; the original is at UNorth Texas in Denton, in the oral history collection, or so it's marked.
One of Ques's letters had its last sheet mislaid, and the original turned up with his brother's letters, so that one is now put back together.
That's the bad part, when I have to read the originals. Inkblots, pen-width whatevers, the spelling is phonetic (and sometimes even consistent), and the handwriting is difficult. The writing paper is in better shape than might reasonably be expected, though, and when I had some of the originals I sorted them into packets by date and wrapped them in acid-free paper.

#18 ::: Robert West ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 01:05 PM:

I've never heard of these various different types of bees, either, and I suspect that the terms went out of fashion in, say, the 1940s. However, it does make the name of the Applebees Restaurant make more sense to me. :)

#19 ::: Kirby ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 01:08 PM:

I knew a Shiloh in high school. In the irony department, perhaps, her last name was Savage.

(I wonder what happened to her. She was neat.)

#20 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 01:18 PM:

Anne Sheller: Ahh, yes -- the filk edition of _Lorena_, about the Manassas resident who was the Civil War maiden's namesake, was written by Buck, not Juanita.

Michael 'Moonwulf' Longcor is also known to perform it on occasion.

I can report that Juanita was in good voice and spirits at Marcon this year.

#21 ::: rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 01:19 PM:

P J Evans
Very cool. Do you have a source for best practices on keeping and sorting this stuff? I have a couple hundred pounds of letters from the turn of the (last) century, all very stinky, dusty, and fragile, tied together in brick sized bunches. Needless to say, aside from posting on Making Light, I don't have oodles of free time to scan the stuff. (Nor can I read some of the languages it is in.) I am really at quite a loss, and any encouraging, practical words would be very kind.

-r.

#22 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 01:19 PM:

My brother sometimes mumbles about there being enough Civil War reenactors in the UK to form a full-strength regiment, and actually show what things would look like. Our Civil War, not yours.

He says the ACW reenactors in the UK have, at the end of a big display and with due regard to safety, formed up and fired a battalion volley (blanks) at the audience.

I once saw some members of the Napoleonic Association at Bolsover Castle--half a dozen muskets, fired together, is more than enough.

#23 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 01:30 PM:

Anybody else has seen X-men: The Last Stand? It was too short by 30 minutes to contain all the stuff that was happening in it, but it had some absolutely beautiful moments, like when one young mutant, given the possibility of having his wings removed, decides instead upon the freedom of the skies.

#24 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 01:34 PM:

Rhandir, this is where'd I'd start looking (something I need to do anyway):
http://www.cyndislist.com/preservation.htm#General

Cyndi's List is a good place to start looking for a lot of things.

#25 ::: Christina Schulman ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 01:50 PM:

They're liveblogging the National Spelling Bee over at A List of Things Thrown Five Minutes Ago. The Bee blogging crew includes special guest blogger Shonda Rhimes, the creator of Grey's Anatomy.

I had Serenity Fung in the pool, but "alcazar" just knocked her out of Round 5.

#26 ::: rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 01:59 PM:

Thank you P J!
-r.

#27 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 02:09 PM:

Serge, personally I thought Angel was tragically underdeveloped...but there's certainly nothing new there. I enjoyed the film, but I have very mixed feelings about it as a fan of the characters in other contexts...

Review up here.

#28 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 02:18 PM:

Serge: I enjoyed X-Men, but it did feel like a lot of the characters were there just to satisfy the loud fans who wouldn't let up up with the where's my favorite character? diatribes. The Angel seemed completely unnecessary to the plot, although I admit I loved that he was there.

It felt a bit cluttered for what ought to have been the conclusion of Wolverine's story arc, but on the whole, some fabulous violence, all very pretty, and a fine way to spend a rainy Monday afternoon.

#29 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 02:25 PM:

I just received an email with the truncated subject line "The Lexicon of Ear". I thought it was spam, but was curious enough to look at it before deleting and very pleased to be completely wrong.

#30 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 02:27 PM:

Rachel: I grew up going to Civil War reenactments, and so I have all these odd and slightly disjointed memories of sitting on grassy hills, watching while soldiers marched by and cannons fired. It's just part of growing up Southern, I suppose.

Happens up here, too. I don't go to battle reenactments, just to balls (I only want to reenact the Fun Parts). I'm leading a ball for reenactors at Gettysburg on Remembrance Day this year - should be interesting.

#31 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 02:36 PM:

Skwid... Sarah... Yes, Angel was undevelopped, but the movie still managed, in all the razzle-dazzle, to make him to starkest illustration of the mutant situation. To me anyway.

The movie's structure almost makes me think that they wanted to make a total of four movies, not three, but three it turned out to be so they decided to cram as much of #3 and #4 into one movie. Hell, just the resurrection of Jean Grey should have been its own movie.

By the way, Hank McCoy has always been my favorite X-man and I thought Kelsey Grammer did a great job with what little screen time he had, but there just wasn't enough of him.

Damn.

#32 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 02:43 PM:

Anyone got any new summer drink recipes (because it's finally getting hot up here in Boston)?

My new one is pretty simple. Tequila with some 7-up and a dose of fresh-squeezed orange juice on top. (It has to be fresh squeezed, no cheating with concentrate).

Happy almost summer...

:)

#33 ::: Joe J ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 03:00 PM:

As far as bees are concerned, in the summer on the road I used to drive from the Chicago suburbs to DeKalb, there are signs announcing the coming of a “Threshing Bee.” Visible from the road are few antique threshers that I assume are the feature of that bee.

#34 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 03:27 PM:

Serge and co.: could you label the X-Men spoilers, please, as some of us haven't seen it yet?

#35 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 03:28 PM:

Phil Frank/"Farley" update, according to today's SFGate (Leah Garchik column): "star Chronicle cartoonist, collector of all things historical and all-around pal Phil Frank has been laid up with a pretty serious illness, but it seems the sudden storm has passed. He's home recuperating and is hoping to be back at work on Farley in a week or two."

I guess he must have done those "Elderberries" cartoons in advance. Best wishes for his quick recovery!

#37 ::: theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 03:51 PM:

"Shiloh" seems to be a synonym for the Messiah, according to a number of sources.

I guess if you can name your kid Jesus, why not?

#38 ::: James Palmer ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 04:08 PM:

Darn it, Geoffrey Hill's SHILOH isn't online anywhere, and I can only remember the first four lines, or a rough version thereof.

Oh marching ground of the shod word! So hard
On the heels of the damned red man we came
Geneva's tribe, outlandish and abhorred
Bland visage milky with Jehovah's calm ...

There's a couple of great lines later - 'In deserts dropped the odd white turds of bone' - but I can't remember the rest.

#39 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 04:18 PM:

Avram, thanks for that link. I am totally jazzed at the idea of lighting units "like sheets of glowing paper."

#40 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 04:28 PM:

Susan... I didn't think I had revealed anything about X-men that wasn't already revealed by the various coming attractions. My apologies if I did. Hell, I myself avert spoilers like the plague if I can.

#41 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 04:29 PM:

Faren... Thanks for letting us know what's been going on with Phil Frank.

#42 ::: Barbara Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 04:32 PM:

Semi-related to the original post, while googling up the text of Harry's St. Crispin speech, I found this which explains how Henry "uses the five practices and commitments of the Charismatic Leadership paradigm."

Apparently the appeal to "close the wall up with our English dead" fits under "Envision an uplifting future." I think I have to agree with their disclaimer that "the text does not do justice to Shakespeare's work."

#43 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 04:38 PM:

Serge: Susan... I didn't think I had revealed anything about X-men that wasn't already revealed by the various coming attractions.

I see so few movies (two or three a year) in theaters that I rarely see trailers or other publicity (no TV either), but I do intend to see X-Men.

#44 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 04:41 PM:

I hope you enjoy X-men, Susan. Me, I'm really looking forward to Bryan Singer's Superman returns. Woohoo!!!

#45 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 04:45 PM:

Serge, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about Superman Returns. It's just not going to be the same without Christopher Reeve.

I'm trying to wrap my head around your assertion that the Angel is the starkest illustration of the mutant situation, but I'm not seeing it. I'd love to discuss this with you more in the next open thread, when we run less risk of ruining the movie for others.

Does anyone have thoughts on the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean movie? I loved the first, but I can't say I have high hopes for a sequel to a movie that, by all rights, ought to have been awful. Which is a shame.

#46 ::: Mark DF ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 04:57 PM:

In deference to Susan's appropriate plea for spoiler notice on the X-Men: SPOILER NOTICE

I'm a multi-decade X-Men reader. I'm not a fanboy in the sense that such-and-such character should say this or so-and-so would never be like that. I've been through enough writers on the book to be well over consistency. I have a harder time not getting worked up about logical, good story-telling. So...

Was anyone else a little uncomfortable about the motivation of the end battle? I understood the need to stop the Phoenix, but I also felt that the X-men were clearly protecting the lab---a lab responsible for weaponizing something to eliminate their nature (protecting Leech from being murdered felt more ancillary than primary). Moving the mutant analogy to homosexuality (as is often done), I think even the most apathetic gay person would be hesitant to protect such a weapon in the hands of government. And further, I was really uncomfortable when W used the weapon--in his moral world, I think he would have killed rather than used that particular weapon (Actually, that last sentence might be fanboy-ish).

#47 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 05:22 PM:

Sarah...

True, the Superman movie won't have Christopher Reeve, but remember that even he couldn't save the movies that came after the 2nd one. Thinking of the one with Solar Man, where Superman blocks the baddie's power by moving the Moon between the Earth and the Sun still makes me wince. And let's not delve on the one with Richard Pryor.

That being said, the new movie's director is Bryan Singer, who was the first person to make a comic-based movie that was right from beginning to end. And I read somewhere that there are two movies he saw as a kid that made him decide that movie-making was what he wanted to grow up to do: Spielberg's Jaws, and 1978's Superman.

Out of curiosity... Who would you cast to play the various characters? Assume that you could snatch any actor from the Past. Me, I'd have Gregory Peck as you-know-who, and Katharine Hepburn as Lois Lane. Perry White would be either Spencer Tracy or Humphrey Bogart. What about Lex Luthor? Yul Brynner, of course.

#48 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 05:25 PM:

Mark DF... Agreed. My approach to the X-men movies is pretty much like yours. I'm not interested in the specifics, but the essence, yes... And the plot point you refer to actually goes to the very essence of the X-men:

Sworn to protect a world that fears them and hates them.

#49 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 05:25 PM:

John Farrell:

I've been in full-on 'I wanna be on a patio!' mode now that the weather in Boston has finally turned nice. The rain that was forecast for today never materialized, and the view from the office I've been holed up in working all day is all trees, and birdsong is coming in through the window, and the temptation to just blow off this project and go sip a cool drink somewhere in the sun is (almost) irresistible.

My favourite summer drinks are the classics, I think - gin with real lemonade, Pimm's with lemon-lime soda and a long wedge of English cucumber (no measly slice), and vinho verde - it's a lightly carbonated, low-alcohol wine from Portugal that is the ultimate patio wine. But your tequila drink sounds great - I'll have to give it a try.

#50 ::: Electric Landlady ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 06:08 PM:

rhandir, there's a book I've been meaning to look for called Saving Stuff, which apparently explains how to conserve absolutely everything. Written by a senior conservator at the Smithsonian, so it should be on the money. Has anyone come across this?

In unrelated news, I learned today that some sharks practice intra-uterine cannibalism. I bet everyone else here knew that already.

#51 ::: James Goodman ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 07:01 PM:

This seems like a good place to mention, yanno…just in passing, that my friend Joni Leviness was arrested during a protest at the Halliburton Annual Shareholder’s Meeting. She decided to appear in court with a plea of “Not Guilty”.

I can only hope some good comes out of it.

#52 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 07:24 PM:

"In 2006, two Good Things happened, and three Bad Things happened..."
--Thread 66 And All That

#53 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 08:14 PM:

Avram, for the record, that started life as one of my theories.

Speaking of reenactments, we have what sounds like a continuous artillery barrage going on outside ... sht! That one was close.

#54 ::: HP ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 08:16 PM:

Serge: "the new movie's director is Bryan Singer, who was the first person to make a comic-based movie that was right from beginning to end."

Serge, have you ever seen Mario Bava's Danger: Diabolik (1966)? If so, did you not like it? If not, you should seek this movie out. If you're not hooked by the end of the "cops dressing up as chauffeurs" sequence, I don't know what to say.

Granted, Diabolik is not a very well-known comic book outside Italy/France/Spain, but it's a comic book nonetheless.

Danger: Diabolik is the only comics-based film that I've enjoyed in the same way that I enjoy comics, if that makes any sense. If there's a false note in it, I couldn't find it. I showed this film to several generations of my extended family -- none of whom particularly care for foreign films or low-budget films or "old" films -- and they were all entranced. Stunned, even.

Image Entertainment released a fully restored special edition DVD just about a year ago. I don't think it was ever released in the US on VHS, except for collector-distributed bootlegs.

#55 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 08:19 PM:

This storm's bad enough that I just unplugged my external hard drive. Porco Bruno is visibly upset by the noise.

#56 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 08:51 PM:

Serge: [..] Hank McCoy has always been my favorite X-man
and I thought Kelsey Grammer did a great job with what little screen time he had,
but there just wasn't enough of him.

There is a scene in X-men 2
where the 'mutant menace' is being discussed on television
( which is playing in the background ).

A 'Dr. Hank McCoy' is presented,
who is neither blue and furry,
or Kelsey Grammer.


#57 ::: April Grant ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 09:51 PM:

A friend once told me that Daredevil is the patron superhero of Hell's Kitchen. I like this concept. Is there a superhero (X-man, mutant, what have you) who's from Massachusetts? X-Men 2 has Nightcrawler hiding out in Boston, but he seems to be just passing through.
I wish our patron superhero could be Wolverine, but he's Canadian, as I recall. We need an X-Man named Eastern Coyote. Or perhaps a superhero named Beaver... she has the ability to instantaneously build dams and divert waterways. When danger threatens she slaps the water with her tail. And she has big yellow teeth.

#58 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 10:25 PM:

Gettysburg is just amazing. Went there a couple of years ago on vacation, but it's also a place I remember from being 2-years old and visiting.

If you do go, get out of the car and walk the fields. You have to see the ground to grok what happened. I never understood the order of battle on July 1st, but once I saw the lay of the land it suddenly clicked as to why things went the way they did. If you only get out at one place you have to check out where Pickett’s charge came over the Angle. Stand on the Union side and look out over the field. It looks like a smartish jog, a bit long to go with the cannon from Little Round Top (to your right) plowing through, but not to bad.

Now cross over the wall and look at it from the South’s side, see what they saw. Oh, Madre Dios! St. Francis on a pogo-stick, they had to charge up there, clamber over the wall, and then start attacking? No wonder they lost over sixty-percent of their troops.

You really have to see it to believe the difference. I was very striking.

#59 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 10:46 PM:

Anyone got any new summer drink recipes (because it's finally getting hot up here in Boston)?

Hail, fellow Bostonian!

Nonalcoholic, but one I find incredibly refreshing is an Italian soda with peppermint syrup. The mint really cools you off...

#60 ::: A. J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 11:34 PM:

Apropos of nothing:

How do you know if you have the Archaic Transportation computer virus?


. . .

. . .

You wake up hoarse and buggy.

#61 ::: Phil ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 12:14 AM:

Since this is an open and friendly thread...

I've been reading all sorts of fantastic literary blogs for ages, and have decided to throw up one of my own (how gastro-intestinal). But... how does a starting blogger get people to look at his blog? I almost feel like a six year old kid who's decided to open a lemonade stand on a busy Monday morning, and is anticipating sitting there in silence and smiling hopefully at all the traffic whizzing by...

Any advice?

And, er, do you have to own your own domain name to be taken seriously?

#62 ::: Euan ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 12:16 AM:

Shiloh sounds like a wondeful name for a child to me. Think of all the other great battlefields there are out there, just waiting to be bestowed as names on some lucky child!

Kharkov Jones--I see him as a very manly man. Probably bearded. Very muscular.

Naseby Witherington--a undoubted dandy. Weak in the center.

Gallipoli Pamuk--somewhat dense. Lacks direction. Always digging himself into tight spots.

Passchendaele Mahon--very dirty child. Always playing in the mud.

Issus Balyuzi--very decisive. Vigorous, even.

#63 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 12:21 AM:

John Farrell: I used to be partial to an ounce of peach schnapps in a pint of cranberry juice; it slightly rebalanced the tartness of straight cranberry juice (getting harder to find nowadays). We called it Hairy Toes, in a weak link spawned by the source of cranberries. I haven't made one in many years, possibly because it takes too long to use up the peach schnapps.

debcha: an hour after you posted, it was dark and windy (and wet soon after) in Needham. Don't you know better than to provoke the weather gods?

#64 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 01:01 AM:

Daredevil became the patron of Hell's Kitchen by choice; he lived there, and decided to make his particular beat. If I recall right, this happened on Frank Miller's watch, as part of his recasting of the character.

While most mainstream superheroes were associated with particular cities -- mostly NYC at Marvel, and the various DC semi-fictional urbi -- watching over an individual neighborhood was unusual. (I mean, Dr. Strange lived in the East Village, in an identifiable building, but as often as not he wasn't even on this plane of reality.) Even "your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man" didn't have an identified neighborhood.*

It's true that, while NYC is very definitely a city of neighborhoods, that isn't perceived outside of the boroughs; at best it's recognized that Brooklyn is, well, different in some mysterious fashion. (It the game Deus Ex, a big chunk of the action takes place in Hell's Kitchen . . . in Brooklyn. The designers lived in Austin.)

A certain amount of highly stereotypical fun could be had by coming up with Neighborhood Superhero Leagues for various cities. St. Germain's Baguette Mortel, London's Northern Line Phantom ("The hour is late, and so is he!"), and Seattle's Masked Geoduck are probably more than enough examples.


*Though the elevated train near Peter's (presumably) Manhattan window in the movies narrows the choice down quite a bit. -- M.U. Car Mike.

#65 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 01:27 AM:

Oh dear. Is it a bad sign that the only underwear perverts my imagination conjures for various Dallas neighborhoods are either deeply ineffectual hero concepts or potential villains?

Highland Park could have the Stratonose...Addison might be terrorized by the White Zin...Plano would have the Minivaninator...maybe downtown could have the Big-Ball Wonder? Valley Ranch could have the Coked-up Cowboys...oh wait, sorry, that's reality already.

Somebody save me from my own brain, please?

#66 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 02:12 AM:

Phil writes "And, er, do you have to own your own domain name to be taken seriously?"

See Atrios @ Eschaton. See Digby @ Hullabaloo. Both highly regarded, both on blogspot.

As to driving traffic to your site, I'm in no position to advise; I average about 180 visitors a week. ;)

#67 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 02:39 AM:

People planning to see X-Men are apparently advised to stay until the end of the final credits. Unfortunately I found this out only after I'd seen it and left too early, so if anyone *did* stay and wants to rot-13 what happened, I'd be grateful...

(I've pretty much worked it out, I think, from hints elsewhere - but still.)

As an extremely casual reader of the comics but someone who happens to have watched X2 last night, I can add that in the movies at least, Iceman comes from Boston (and they visit his parents in the movie - filmed in Vancouver, of course).

#68 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 05:23 AM:

re: neighbourhood superheroes: I'm afraid Essex Man is already a recognised phenomenon...

Neil Gaiman has already handled things for London in "Neverwhere", with characters like an angel called Islington, an Earl who lives under Earls Court, a Knight (with a Bridge), various Black Friars, and an old man called Bailey. For that matter, Auberon Quin managed the same out of whole cloth when he invented the "primaeval hero, the Blacksmith, who with his Hammer broke the chivalry of Kensington at a battle so long and bloody that the field is still called, with austere irony, the Ravenscourt." ("The Napoleon of Notting Hill".)

#69 ::: OG ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 06:51 AM:

Candle:

Zbven jnyxf vagb gur oenva-qrnq zna'f ebbz. Ur gheaf uvf urnq gb ybbx ng ure naq fnlf, "Uryyb, Zbven." Fhecevfrq, fur erfcbaqf, "Puneyrf?"

As for the movie itself, I think I would have enjoyed it more had I not been a fan since long before the day Storm, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, etc., became the New X-Men.

Loved Hank, thought Kitty was spot-on. Couldn't warm to the casting for Warren.

Gur svyz qvq xrrc gur birenyy gentvp-ybir-fgbel srry bs gur bevtvany Cubravk Fntn, ohg vg unq gur jebat znyr yrnq. Gung obgurerq zr, n snvag anvyf-ba-oynpxobneq srryvat, guebhtubhg gur zbivr. V sbhaq gurve fbyhgvba gb raqvat gur svtug jvgu Zntargb oryvrinoyr fvzcyl orpnhfr V qba'g guvax Ybtna oryvrirq Unax jbhyq unir tbar nybat jvgu xvyyvat uvz bhg-bs-unaq.

#70 ::: OG ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 06:55 AM:

Rob Rusick, Hank turned himself blue and furry while trying to boost his powers. I thought having the human-looking version in X2 was a nice nod to the comics.

#71 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 07:20 AM:

Neil Gaiman has already handled things for London in "Neverwhere", with characters like an angel called Islington [...]

Indeed, we are already aware of that one.

(And this is not entirely self-serving, as the CBLDF, a really-truly Hall of Justice, gets a cut.)

#72 ::: Sarah S ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 09:02 AM:

John Farrell

Mojitos. They're just about perfect, so far as I can tell...and I've given the matter rather intense study.

Classic Mojito
Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 oz light rum
- 1 tbs superfine sugar
- Lime wedges
- Club soda
- Mint sprigs

Muddle mint leaves, superfine sugar and lime in a mixing glass. Add 1 1/2 oz light rum and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake. Strain the mixture into a tall glass and top with club soda. Garnish with fresh mint sprig. Sugarcane syrup can be used to replace superfine sugar.

#73 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 09:35 AM:

Sarah S--my wife LOVES mojitos. Debcha--thanks for the tip. How could I forget gin and lemonade!? Lis--yours sounds perfect for weeknights--but I will need to go to the store for peppermint syrup.

CHip--hairy toes will go onto my list. In fact, we have some straight tart cranberry juice and I was wondering how I could use that up. :)

Teresa, we got a bit of a thunderstorm up here--but not the level we expected...it must have fizzled somewhere...and my daughters were upset the thunder was so weak we couldn't play 'count the seconds after the flash'...

#74 ::: Mark DF ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 11:17 AM:

Serge: I agree it fits the X-men motto...but the implications of the end I am still troubled by....

(I love this rot13.com thing)
Ol pneelvat gur zbggb gb guvf pbapyhfvba, V sryg gur K-zra ol qrsnhyg jrer qrsraqvat n xvaq bs trabpvqr, juvpu vf jung V sbhaq qvfgheovat cnegvphyneyl orpnhfr gurve xvaq jbhyq or gur fhowrpg bs gung trabpvqr. V qba'g guvax, ubjrire, guvf jnf vagraqrq. Gur fperrajevgref rffragvnyyl unq gjb fgbelyvarf--qnex Cubravk naq gur pher---gung gurl gevrq gb erfbyir jvgu bar fbyhgvba. Va fbyivat gur sbezre, gurl raqrq hc jvgu, VZB, n zbenyyl gebhoyrfbzr fbyhgvba gb gur ynggre. Rffragvnyyl, V guvax vg jnf onq fgbelgryyvat---gurl jebgr gurzfryirf vagb n pbeare naq whfg guerj hc gurve unaqf ubcvat ab bar jbhyq abgvpr orpnhfr gur K-zra ner gur tbbq thlf, fb ertneqyrff bs gur vzcyvpngvbaf, vg jnf n tbbq guvat gb qb.

Bu...naq qba'g lbh jvfu gurl unq qnex Cubravk fzvyr? Bar bs gur fpnel guvatf nobhg gung punenpgre vf ubj fur eriryf va jung fur qbrf.

#75 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 11:38 AM:

OK, I need help. I have a number of questions about Orthodox Jewish death customs, especially the significance of the Sh'ma. I can look up the rules, but what I'm after is the feelings Orthodox people (especially ones who became more Orthodox in adulthood) might have about them.

It's for a fictional use. I'm not Jewish, and I want to get it right and respectful, since the story is about a Gentile interacting with a dying Jew.

#76 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 11:51 AM:

Um, meant to say, if you can help, please contact me on the email linked to my name. (Leave out the NOSPAM, of course.)

#77 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 12:43 PM:

Sarah S -- Muddle mint leaves ...

What happens if you aren't a fresh mint fan? Is it still a mojito, a bastard mojito, or something else entirely?

#78 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 12:58 PM:

Is there a superhero (X-man, mutant, what have you) who's from Massachusetts? X-Men 2 has Nightcrawler hiding out in Boston, but he seems to be just passing through.

During George Perez' run on the comic, Wonder Woman lived in the Greater Boston area with Harvard professor Julia Kapatelis (and her teenage daughter Vanessa).

It's been a while since I read them, but Perez is a great artist, and Boston was recognizably Boston (including a memorable scene in a traffic jam on Storrow (or was that Mem Drive?)).

#79 ::: rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 01:37 PM:

Lis Riba, John M. Ford, et. al.,
Long ago, I had a DC comic book that purported to show the actual locations of Metropolis and Gotham:* sister cities on the opposite sides of Delaware Bay. Kind of logical, really, the only freshwater inlet on the East Coast not already populated by a city. Do any of you know how I could lay my hands on that comic? (80's-90's vintage)

I have heard that they've been moved - again! with Gotham occasionally acquiring NYC-specific architechture.

Speaking of which, John mentioned Dr. Strange lived in an identifiable building in the East Village - are there pictures about? I have found the street address, which is the apartment where one of the original authors of the series lived, (via wikipeida) but the pictures therof don't match the illustrations.

-r.

*Smallville too, but they put it in Pennsylvania or Ohio or something, which was too unbeliveable for someone who had lived in both Ohio and Kansas. Clearly it was Kansas. But I digress.

#80 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 01:53 PM:

I may be misinterpreting a glitch here. but Avedon Carol's The Sideshow appear to have lost comments, after posting a fairly large piece about Robert F. Kennedy's article in Rolling Stone, asking Was the 2004 Election Stolen?

I hope I'm making a wild leap, but is this such a hot topic that the Republican attack puppets have been unleashed?

#81 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 01:54 PM:

rhandir -- I put that badly. The address was real, but unfortunately Doc's sanctum (which has an enormous circular window on the gable-roofed upper floor, excellent for viewing . . . uh, eldritch bicycle messengers and parking violations that disrupt the cosmic flow, I suppose) is a product of the art department.

I mean, if I'd ever had an apartment like that -- and it would have been rent-controlled, too -- it would have taken the Dread Dormammu and his entire legal department to get me out.

#82 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 01:58 PM:

Thanks, OG. I had worked out roughly what it was, but it's good just to have the scene described (and not have to reconstruct it from discussions of its implications).

I wasn't a fan of the Warren casting, either, although I was glad to see the character there. But as someone said, it looked like they were trying to squeeze too much in, and didn't give some of the characters enough to do. Naq gurl unir arire jbexrq bhg jung gb qb jvgu Ebthr.

I actually thought it was the best of the three movies, hagvy gurl qrpvqrq gb gel gb erfbyir rirelguvat va n uhtr onggyr ng gur raq. Ohg ng yrnfg vg jnfa'g whfg n frevrf bs qhryf ntnva, juvpu ernyyl naablrq zr nobhg gur cerivbhf barf.

Much of the fun for me in X-men is in seeing how the various powers interact. Having Wolverine fight Lady Deathstrike in X2 seemed a complete waste of time. They might as well have had swords.

As for the ending, vg qvq frrz n ovg hayvxryl gb zr, rfcrpvnyyl jvgu Fgbez orvat va ba vg. (V pna ohl vg sbe Jbyirevar naq Ornfg, whfg nobhg.) Ohg onfvpnyyl vg jnf gbb ovt na rguvpny qrpvfvba gb qrny jvgu va 30 frpbaqf be fb. Zl qrpvfvba jnf gb nffhzr gung gur ivyynvaf nyjnlf pbzr onpx va gur pbzvpf, fb gurl svtherq Zntargb jbhyq svaq n jnl nebhaq vg va gur raq.

Ohg V qvq jbaqre jul Ybtna qvqa'g hfr gur fnzr grpuavdhr gb qrny jvgu Cubravk: tvira gung fur nyybjrq uvz gb hfr uvf pynjf, jul abg nyybj uvz gb hfr gur pher gb oevat Wrna Terl onpx? Ohg gurer znl or K-yber V'z hanjner bs urer.

#83 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 02:02 PM:

I love the way rot-13 looks: "hagvy gurl", "cerivbhf barf", "K-yber". It's even better than slf-dsmvwllng.

#84 ::: rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 02:04 PM:

John M. Ford,
I laughed out loud - the Dread Dormammu and his entire legal department - excellent! "By the Crimson Counsel of Cyttorak!"

I had thought that was the case, but there are some really odd Queen-Anne derivative rowhouses* in Baltimore that have nifty features not unlike that window, so I thought it possible that there was a real-life model. You never know what lurks in the odd corners of a city.

-r.

*I'll post some pictures sometime.

#85 ::: rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 02:12 PM:

Oh, more super hero neepery:
A nice map showing key NYC locations for marvel heroes. Including the Shield Secret Headquarters. You'd think that the DHS would be more interested in protecting that, wouldn't you?
[ See other (1) threads(2) for context. ]

For those joining us late, a quick and easy copy/past descrambler is available at: http://www.rot13.com/index.php

-r.

#86 ::: OG ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 02:56 PM:

Candle:

Gurl hfrq nyy gur flevatrf gurl unq ba Zntargb.

In the original Dark Phoenix Saga, Phoenix had -- they thought -- been depowered from cosmic-level to something close to her pre-Phoenix level. An enormous fight erupted when agents of an interstellar empire showed up to deal with her for her actions while Dark Phoenix, in particular the destruction of an inhabited star system. Dark Phoenix took over again, IIRC when she thought Cyclops had been killed, and she flipped back and forth between Phoenix and Dark Phoenix. Wolverine tried to kill her and lost his nerve; she was Dark Phoenix when he tackled her and Jean when they landed. She eventually arranged to commit suicide.

V pna pregnvayl haqrefgnaq yrnivat gur Fuv'ne bhg bs vg; guvatf jrer pbzcyvpngrq rabhtu nyernql. Ohg gur jubyr fntn eribyirq nebhaq Fpbgg naq Wrna orvat jung'f pnyyrq n fhcrepbhcyr va gur fbncf. Jvgubhg gung ybatfgnaqvat eryngvbafuvc, V guvax gur fgbel ybfrf zhpu bs vgf vzcnpg.

BTW, for Firefox users, there's an extension that will convert highlighted text to any of a number of encodings, including ROT-13: Leetkey.

#87 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 04:16 PM:

The most convenient ROT-13 tool I've ever used is the Bookmarklets Dori created and posted in this Making Light thread. Extremely handy, and browser-portable.

#88 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 04:23 PM:

Dave Bell: "is this such a hot topic that the Republican attack puppets have been unleashed?"

If that's the case, they're showing their usual level of competence. It would be far more intelligent to disable the RS site itself.

I didn't excerpt from it, but I did post about it.

#89 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 05:48 PM:

Gaaah! Mr. Bush has his panties in a wad over gay marriage again! Run in circles, scream and shout (and misdirect any attention from things that really matter.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060602/pl_nm/rights_gay_bush_dc_1

Look this way! Nothing to see over there, no, not nothing at all. Move along.

#90 ::: rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 06:13 PM:

Historical Bush admin approval ratings, in one handy chart.

#91 ::: Lisa Goldstein ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 06:18 PM:

Re: comic book dwellings -- Thessaly in the Sandman comics appears to live in a house my brother once lived in. It's the house in "The Kindly Ones" -- Thessaly asks to be taken to at the corner of Sweetzer and Melrose in LA, and later there's a picture of it. I have no explanation for this -- my brother lived in the house in the back, but doesn't remember any comics artists or artists' friends living in the front house. Maybe it was chosen at random; maybe there really was a 2,000-year-old witch living there.

#92 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 07:54 PM:

Wonder Woman lives in DC. We see her regularly on local TV.

#93 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 12:52 AM:

thanks, Rhandir! that's a beautiful thing.

#94 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 03:54 AM:

I see what you mean, OG. But gurl zvtug unir gubhtug gb xrrc onpx bar be gjb. Jura gurl jrer qrpvqvat, V ernyyl gubhtug gung gurl jrer cynaavat gb hfr gurz ba Cubravk. Zntargb jnf bayl guebjvat pnef nebhaq, nsgre nyy...

Gosh, I've never used the word "gurl" so much in my life.

#95 ::: OG ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 08:25 AM:

Candle:

Synzvat pnef. Bagb crbcyr. Juvyr Wrna fvzcyl fgbbq gurer naq jngpurq.

Senaxyl, V guvax gurer jnf fgvyy fbzr ubcr gung vs gurl pbhyq gnxr njnl Zntargb'f vasyhrapr, gurl pbhyq unaqyr Wrna. Va gung, ng yrnfg, gur zbivr qvq zveebe gur bevtvany fgbel, gubhtu gur cevag irefvba unq n qvssrerag ivyynva'f vasyhrapr gevttre ure genafsbezngvba.

#96 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 02:23 PM:

Discovered by the Hub whilst googling other things: Hamster parkour.

Go on, you know you want to look.

#97 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 03:32 PM:

Dr. Strange lived at 177A Bleecker Street, which is more West Village than East. I used to live at number 177; the brownstone, if it is there in any form, is not visible to mundane eyes. As I wrote up on my blog a while back, this was a bittersweet discovery indeed.

#98 ::: Lorax ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 05:49 PM:

The HST images at etacarinae.net (in the Particles section) don't appear to be properly credited, which NASA generally wants for people making the images available (as opposed to having one as a desktop background). There are even more nice high-res HST images at the HubbleSite and the Hubble Heritage site -- I recognize a lot of the images at the etacarinae.net site as being Hubble Heritage images.

#99 ::: rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 06:07 PM:

Andrew Willett,
There's a bit of video out there from the Travel Channel, where they take one of the guys who used to live there back to the apartment complex. He remarks on the fact that the "A" in 177A is missing from the building, but that it used to be there.

I'll find a link for you sometime.
-r.

#100 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 06:46 PM:

I know another Marvel hero who grew up in Hell's Kitchen: Avpubynf Shevbfb, urer fyvtugyl Yngvavsvrq gb xrrc sbyxf sebz pbhagvat gur yrggref orsber thrffvat. Pbzr gb guvax bs vg, ur urnqrq hc gjb gvgyrf. Uvf oebgure, nyfb sebz Uryy'f Xvgpura, znqr nccrnenaprf va obgu nf jryy. (Thanks to Firefox's plug-in "Leetkey" for the quick Rot-13 translation. Or should I say, - .... .- -. -.- ... - --- ..-. .. .-. . ..-. --- -..- ' ... .-.. . . - -.- . -.-- --..-- . - -.-. .-.-.- )

#101 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 06:53 PM:

Our Asymmetrical Galaxy: Spiders 1, Snakes 0.

Mike, isn't that the logo of some supervillainous organization? It looks vaguely familiar.

#102 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 07:10 PM:

Abi, what magical thing is going overhead, that the Siberian hamsters fall over while watching it?

#103 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 07:14 PM:

Kip, Gubh neg jvfr, naq n trrx.

#104 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 07:15 PM:

James Palmer, that's very interesting. Have you found the text yet?

#105 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 07:16 PM:

Which? The edge-on Milky Way? Don't specifically recall it, but supervillain organizations never seem to spend too much of their ill-won money on graphic designers. SPECTRE had the symbolic but crude-looking octopus (nice rings, though), and Galaxy (from Our Man Flint) used a G inside a Fifties orbiting-electron-whirly that Frigidaire might have come up with for one of its Kitchen of the Future displays. Don't get me started on the THRUSH badge, which was just plain embarrassing for people with technocratic pretensions.

One does imagine an East European bossnik (with a name like Ivan Ratzinovitch Ptuyi, of course) glaring at his Art Department and yelling "Nyet onna knout! This is Constructivist, and I specifically demanded Suprematist! Feed them to Niki the Hamster."

#106 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 07:31 PM:

Teresa,

Honestly, I don't know. That video came up when my better half was looking for clips on parkour to show our gymnastically inclined son.

My first thought that it was the classic repetitive behaviour of over-caged animals, like polar bears who sway. My second was simply that it was damned funny. Seeing as you're hamster people (I mean that in a good way), I thought you might be interested and amused, as appropriate.

#107 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2006, 01:19 AM:

BTW, I mentioned you to the classmate I said I'd mention you to this afternoon. We were supposed to talk further later in the day, but I didn't have the chance. I intend to remind him somehow in the coming days. More when I know more.

#108 ::: Kate Yule ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2006, 02:12 AM:

re summer drinks: There's a liquor store next to my dentist's office, and I often treat myself to a bottle of something nummy after I've been a good girl. (Lollipops are so 40 years ago.) Last month I laid in a bottle of Bendistillery's Desert Juniper gin, featuring handpicked wild juniper-berry-ness. Ooooooh. I'll get around to tonic and limes for it, but for now I've been sipping it straight.

#109 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2006, 03:39 PM:

re the particle 202 liters of coke...

Awesome!

Better than the bellagio, because the bellagio uses computers to syncronize all it's water spouts to music, and these two guys worked together to do it all by hand.

Just plain fun.

#111 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2006, 03:48 PM:

Dang. That'll teach me to read a thread backwards.

#112 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2006, 04:04 PM:

abi, I rather think your first thought is right.

Poor hamsters. That's an extremely sparse environment, and crowded.

#113 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2006, 04:08 PM:

Ach, Dave, now you make me feel bad for laughing at it.

#114 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2006, 07:12 PM:

Spotted today in PetSmart:

Two plastic cages, each with a layer of litter and a few pieces of play furniture and a FREE tag.

The gerbils inside were returned for being agressive . . . not only attacking other gerbils, but their humans.

Alternate spelling for returned, agressive gerbil:

Snake Food

#115 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2006, 08:06 PM:

Re the ending of X3: Ubj jbhyq Jbyirevar unir tbggra gur "pher" gb Cubravk jvgubhg vg qvfvagrtengvat? Gur ragver ernfba ur jnf gur bar jub unq gb xvyy ure jnf gung uvf syrfu ertrarengrf naq uvf fxryrgba vf vaqrfgehpgvoyr. (Uvf unve fubhyq unir synxrq bss nf ur jnyxrq gbjneqf ure, gubhtu.) Gur "pher" qnegf jrer zrer cynfgvp (creuncf jvgu fbzr prenzvp pbzcbaragf). Vapyhqvat, nccneragyl, gur arrqyrf, bgurejvfr Zntargb pbhyq unir qrsyrpgrq gurz.

I had plenty of complaints about the movie, but that wasn't one of them.

#116 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2006, 08:51 PM:

One week later in PetSmart:

Two slightly battered small animal cages inside a Large Barred Big Animal Cage, with a guy in a Red Man suit nearby.

Sign: GOT A SNAKE PROBLEM?

#117 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2006, 09:42 PM:

Gerbils on a Plane!

#118 ::: Dori ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2006, 09:55 PM:

Skwid: I'm glad to hear that the bookmarklets work well for you; I've been surprised how often I use them myself.

Others: that link Skwid posted above goes to both ROT-13 and disemvoweling bookmarklets. If you try them and run into problems, please let me know.

Every so often I think about trying to come up with an emvoweling bookmarklet (i.e., one that does the opposite of the disemvoweling bookmarklet), but I'm not that insane. Well, not usually.

#119 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2006, 10:24 PM:

Excerpted from The D VNC VWL MVMNT:

"According to these disheveled documents found on one of the dismembered victims of the dyspareunic Hoving Massacre --"
"Would that be the renownedly famously richly smart art snob Calder Criblecoblis?"
"The renownedly same. Anyway, the paper -- authentically written in his own bilious bile -- says that a vitally urgent clue may be found in the MN LS."
"Gruelly thin indeed. Minnesota is a territorially large state."
"Undeniably true. But I believe we should begin at the internationally shoptaculous Mall of the Americas. Perhaps among the gessopathologic Kinkade shop."
"The Mall of the Americas, or, as they call it in the immigrational vernacular, El Mallo de las Borrascas? Well, it seems a horizonally challenged long shot, but your research has been infallibly spot-on to this point."

#120 ::: Steve ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2006, 11:40 PM:

April,
http://jl.toonzone.net/fate/fate.htm
mentions that Dr. Fate (DC) lives in Salem, Massachusetts.

#121 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2006, 11:48 PM:

Guinea pig, not hamster, but have you heard about Sooty?

Male guinea pig, escaped from his pen into a nearby cage containing 24 females, spent one night with them (and slept for two days after), and is now the proud father of 43.

Not a bad night's work...

#122 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2006, 11:53 PM:

Ooh and Kate, thanks for the word on Bendistillery. I'm going to have to find a bottle of that gin...

#123 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 11:27 AM:

I have just learned that in the Late Quantum and Early Uranium eras, from 1936 to 1943, the American Institute of Physics offices were in the Flatiron Building. So important physics journals were published there.

The building appears on the cover of Physics Today this month as AIP celebrates its 75th anniversary.

The linked page also has some photos of hot-type journal production in the 1960s and minicomputer-based photocomposition later.

#124 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 12:55 PM:

Yet another entry in the logs of "Why I call myself a liberal but not a Democrat:"

Dems sponsor (mostly) bad videogame legislation.

Both sides suck on these issues, but I linked to the Slashdot story specifically so that some of you might go read the comments...the first post puts it well:

You can either vote for the party that pisses all over the middle of the bill of rights... or you vote for the party that pisses all over the top of the bill of rights.

AWESOME!

Won't anybody tell people to stop "thinking about the chiiiildrun" and start thinking about parenting instead of legislation?

#125 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 03:37 PM:

Skwid...

Still calling myself a Democrat.

By the way, saw Frank Capra's Mister Smith Goes to Washington on TCM yesterday. Amazing how a 60-year-old movie still applies to what goes on today. You have Smith trying to get his message out about corruption, but his opponent controls the media, has radio personalities speak against him. We even have fake 'spontaneous' campaigns telling Smith to step down.

One can be pessimistic and optimistic after watching that movie. Pessimistic because corruption always finds new ways to ooze its way back in. Optimistic because, bad as things can seem, eventually the rats get sent scurrying away.

(As for Capra being sappy... Considering that one of his most famous movies is about a man who spends his whole life denying himself his own wishes so that others can have a good life, and, on Christmas Eve, facing financial ruin, he contemplates suicide and instead literally stops existing... Sappy? I don't think so.)

#126 ::: Joe J ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 04:06 PM:

I came across this article in the New York Times today. Since it’s about publishing, I wanted to see what those cool people at Making Light might would make of it.

Digital Publishing Is Scrambling the Industry's Rules

#127 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 04:36 PM:

Don't get me wrong...I'll continue to *vote* for and monetarily support Democrats, given the importance of the divide issues and the perils of third party distraction, but I think many Dems have some serious, serious failings on civil rights issues wherever they intersect with technology and especially new media, and I think it's sad that there's not more discussion about those failings amongst the non-geek liberal set.

#128 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 04:40 PM:

Skwid... The problem with those Democrats is that they are chicken-shit spineless cowards. And should be called that way to their face where everybody can hear. Shaming them might do the trick.

#129 ::: tavella ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 04:52 PM:

That said, however, I do think that edits should be restricted to registered users, who can be booted if they vandalize (not just disagree, but actually post deliberately rude or erroneous material). That would cut down on the problems a bit, I think.

I don't know, it would also reduce the drive by corrections. For example, I ran into the article on Oradour-sur-Glane, and was horrified that some nazi apologist had edited the account of the incident to load it up with excuses for why the Nazis did it, and to claim that the deaths were accidental byproducts of the Resistance storing ammunition in the buildings and then shooting at the Nazis who were just checking identity papers.

This despite the surviving witnesses and their court testimony! Amazingly, it had stood in that condition for months. I and a friend cleaned it back up, but if we had had to register I'm not sure if we'd have gotten around to it.

#130 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 05:34 PM:

Ah, Nazi apologists, tavella... That reminds me of when I was living east of San Francisco and working south of it. That meant long car-pooling rides. One day, for some reason, the subject of the Holocaust came up and one of the guys mentionned that some people don't think it happened, and said so in a tone that didn't reject the very idea. I shot back that they probably were Nazis themselves. That, to say the least, put a damper on conversations for the rest of the ride.

#131 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 05:52 PM:

some nazi apologist

I would assume, and this assumption is based on an overall view that mankind is fundamentally good*, that the number of registered nazi apologists working on any article would be outnumbered by the number of non-nazi apologists working on the same article.

The fact that the article had been bumped to "registered editors only" would generally mean that the number of edits would be "N edits per day" rather than "N days per edit", so if its a troubled, high traffic, article, I think someone would fix it. And if it isn't high traffic, then "mob rule" isn't the problem. So, saying the structure doesn't fix a problem it wasn't designed to fix is sort of missing teh point.

*for sufficiently high level and long term views, and for some definition of "good".

#132 ::: moe99 ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 06:07 PM:

Apropos of nothing, I was reminded of the sci fi novel adapted from a short story that a planet with two suns has this occurrence every few thousand years where both suns are gone from the sky, leading to unaccustomed darkness and complete societal derangement.

Tomorrow is 6/6/6. I look forward to the right wing Xians to make a similar case....

#133 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 06:18 PM:

Various things:

Long long long ago Emma Frost, The White Queen, was at IIRC "Massachusetts Academy," located in Concord or some other such place with private schools.

At least one of the versions of Iron Man had Tony Stark having gone to MIT.

Doctor Strange was independently very very wealthy, and thus able to live even in whatever highly expensive area of NYC he wanted to.

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

The Schmuck's latest screed is simply more of the same sort of distraction/BWB ("Baffle with Bull[excrement]") deflection from substantiative issues... when in doubt or being attacked, if you are the Schmuck, makes lots of noise about Potemkin Village issues and put up elaborate flashy backdrops, send out t/h/e W/a/t/e/r/g/a/t/e p/l/u/m/b/e/r/s Slime & Bucket Brigade throwing stinking slops around in all directions, unleash the Vile Hunt slobbering minions, drop baksheesh but the megabuck to paid pandering article writers in paid propaganda (masquerading as reporting) placement slots in publications which the advertisers have control of the editorial content...

Make noise and Scmuck in his usurper position as POTUS gets the media to drop other stories to instead like slobbering syncophants putting whatever BS he blathers on instead, driving out, again, content.... it's Gresham's Law, the gay marriage Schmuck urination stream has completely washed away attention to the US military official policy that abrogates all provisions in US law about "cruel and unusual punishment" and all other rights regarding prisoner abuse, all the gag orders on government scientists about climate and environment and medical marijuana and birth control and anything ELSE the religious fanatics in the politics and relgion bandwagon the Schmuck is have policies based on Belief that scientific researchs in the government hasn't been completely perverted to support, the election fraud stories, the falsity of the unemployment rate dropping (doesn't count long-time out of work people and doesn't count people in jobs paying less than the jobs the people lost), etc. etc.

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

Depose the usurper

#134 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 06:35 PM:

moe99... You're thinking of Asimov's Nightfall, aren't you? It seems like one of those ideas that hold together at short-story lengths, but anything longer... I never read Silverberg's novel version so I'm not sure how even he succeeded at distracting people enough that they wouldn't go waitammint about the whole concept after a few chapters.

#135 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 06:56 PM:

Does anybody know if L.A.con will offer DisneyLand passes to con members at a lower rate like they have in the past? I saw nothing about that on the con's site, but maybe I was looking in the wrong place.

#136 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 07:58 PM:

[I left out "facist monsters" between "depose" and "the"...]

Heard on the radio the other day that unmarried women have low voting registration and voting rates... and religious fanatics have high voting rates, particularly the female worker ones.

Hmm, Gordy Dickson missed it with the Friendlies, the army of the Faithful who make the difference, mostly are married women...

#137 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 08:25 PM:

Serge, I read the novel version, and like many short-to-novel extentions, the short was better.

We have two guys campaigning for the Democratic nomination to replace Senator George Allen (he of the mouth tobacco and spittoons). Neither shine out to me, but I really don't trust James Webb, so I'm voting for Miller.

#138 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 08:50 PM:

Serge: [..] saw Frank Capra's Mister Smith Goes to Washington on TCM yesterday.
Amazing how a 60-year-old movie still applies to what goes on today.

Somewhat in the same vein,
I picked up a second hand copy of It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis.
Seems equally topical.

Haven't read it; hope to find the time.
I'm spending too much time on these blogs...

( $4 for a hard cover copy at Barnes & Noble.
   Looks like it might be a first printing.
   Even if it isn't, I'm patting myself on the back
   for getting a good HC for less than the price of a paperback...
)


#139 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 09:58 PM:

The planet in Asimov's "Nightfall" (its name was Lagash) had six suns, not two. There had to be an exceedingly rare combination of suns-below-horizon and suns-eclipsed-by-moons for complete night to occur.

The current wisdom is that multiple-star systems don't have biospheres -- a planet might be possible, but the climate would be so variable that life would be unlikely to evolve. But hey, that's science fiction for you.*

It seems to be one of those stories that people feel a need to have conversations with (the archetype being "The Cold Equations," The Space Horse That Will Not Die). Though, sociologically, it's more interesting to consider the effect on Isaac of being constantly told that a story he published in 1941 was the best thing he ever wrote (except for those who thought "The Last Question" was the best thing he ever wrote).

*The smart money is holding out for femtotechnology.

#140 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 10:03 PM:

Serge, I will ask around and post, either privately or here. I'm sorta tangentally on committee (site selection on-site).

#141 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 10:45 PM:

Old Geezer mode enabled:

Our house is a block down from a middle school. Apparently, when school got out today, some kid threw a rock into one of the windows of our house and smashed it.

I'm just a little irate, but I can't think of anything that would actually make a difference. Police? Part of me wants to buy a bunch of security cameras and tie them all to a massive tape drive, not that I'd be able to do anything with a fuzzy picture of a bunch of kids.

I was on the verge of ording some thermal replacement windows for our rope and pulley windows, and this has me wondering if anyone makes a "transparent aluminum" version. We have aluminum framed storm windows that I was thinking of getting rid of, but now, I'm thinking maybe I'll keep them to act as a rock barrier.

Anyone make a security window that looks like a window (or a mesh bug screen), but would actually be able to stop, say, a brick? When the villagers try to storm the castle, at least I'll be able to hold them off a little longer...

(Shake's cane.)

Old Geezer mode disabled.

#142 ::: Paula LIeberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 11:36 PM:

Plexiglass, Lexan etc.

#143 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 02:44 AM:

Greg, these guys have a local dealership, and they did an estimate for us once. We've got a zillion floor-to-ceiling plate windows so it got real pricey real fast, and we never followed up on it, but it's worth looking into if there's a dealer near you. The product is a laminated film placed over glass.

#144 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 06:05 AM:

Encouraging news of a sort:

Narcolepsy Drug Helps Brain Tumor Patients
By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter Mon Jun 5, 7:08 PM ET
SUNDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- A drug used for narcolepsy improved the quality of life for patients with malignant brain tumors, a new study shows.
...
In addition to its use for various sleep disorders, modafinil, known as Provigil, is also being used to help treat depression and to fight the fatigue associated with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, stroke and HIV infection. It has also shown promise as a treatment for cocaine addiction.

#145 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 07:40 AM:

Paula Helm Muray... Thanks. I did remember your posting a few months ago that you were on a future con's committee, but it hadn't occurred to me that this'd give you close access to such L.A.con information as DisneyLand passes. Thanks again. By the way, which con are you with? That, I don't remember.

#146 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 08:38 AM:

And my apologies for misspelling your family name in the above post, Paula.

#147 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 02:59 PM:

I've ordered Grease Monkey via Powell's. Oh the joy of anticipation!

The asked where I'd learned of them ... that's like asking where I learned of science fiction. Or something equally part-of-the-evironment.

#148 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 03:01 PM:

Paula, Linkmeister, thanks for the info/links. Will do some research.

Not as upset today as yesterday, which is also good.

#149 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 03:15 PM:

Linkmeister, if that laminated film in anything like what I used to get adverts on (farming, hence food industry, hence extreme precautions against glass fragments), it will not stop the glass breaking. All it does is hold the broken sheet together, for greater safety, and some extra security.

I think I still have a couple of lightbulbs in stock which have this anti-shatter coating.

#150 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 03:35 PM:

In the Lexicon of Ear
Happy in word-geekery
I note the sad decline today
Of nifty calepinerie

(That used to be a normal sentence until I realized it rhymed and could be made to scan. I claim no poetic talent whatsoever.)

We just don't make dictionaries like this any more:

Were=wulf. This name remaineth stil known in the Teutonic, & is as much to say as man=wolf; the greeks expressing the very lyke, in Lycanthropos. Ortelius not knowing what were signified, because in the Netherlandes it is now cleane out of vse, except thus composed with wolf, doth mis-interprete it according to his fancie. The were=wolues are certaine sorcerers, who hauing annoynted their bodyes, with an oyntment which they make by the instinct of the deuil; and putting on a certaine inchanted girdel, do not only vnto the view of others seeme as wolues, but to their own thinking haue both the shape and nature of wolues, so long as they weare thesaid girdel. And they do dispose themselues as very wolues, in wurrying and killing, and moste of humaine creatures. Of such sundry haue bin taken and excuted in sundry partes of Germanie, and the Netherlands. One Peeter Stump for beeing a Were=wolf/ and hauing killed thirteen children, two women, and one man; was at Bedbur not far from Cullen in the yeare 1589. put vnto a very terrible death. The flesh of diuers partes of his body was pulled out with hot iron tongs, his armes thighes & legges broken on a wheel,& his body lastly burnt. He dyed with very great remorce, desyring that his body might not be spared from any torment, so his soule might be saued. The Were=wolf (so called in Germanie) is in France, called Loupgarov.

(Take THAT, Ortelius! Biff! Pow!)

#151 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 08:05 PM:

Dave Bell, you're right that it won't stop glass from breaking entirely. But it does add a layer of thickness which might prevent breakage if the blow was relatively light. The company claims a lot of things. One of their local tv ads shows a guy with a large rubber band holding a rock/ball/something about twenty feet away, with the camera directly behind a window treated with the film. He lets go, and the glass stars like crazy but doesn't shatter.

#152 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 08:35 PM:

Dave, it isn't just laminate coatings, they have some product that they say is for "high crime areas" and for countries experiencing "civil unrest".

One of them probably costs more than my house, but, it's fun to window shop.

#153 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 08:36 PM:

erm, that pun wasn't intended...

#154 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 09:13 PM:

"erm, that pun wasn't intended... "

Oh sure.

#155 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 11:47 PM:

As informatin for all, I am part of the committee to bring the WorldCon to Kansas City in 2009. I'm the data geek. I will get pushier about mentioning it next year when it's vote time (for those who don't know, you have to 1) be a supporting member of Nippon and 2) pay the voting fee. The supporting money goes to Nippon, the voting fee goes to whoever wins the vote - Worldcon voting in less than 100 words. There you go).

And Serge, as long as you realize that some version of Murray is my family name, you get a prize I had no middle name on my birth certificate, when I got married I moved my maiden name to the middle name position. and it looks good at the top of story, just below the title....

I'm working site selection in Los Angeles this August, for the reason mentioned above (my geekery). (I was shanghai'd. I swear it.)

#156 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 11:56 PM:

Shouldn't this be Open Thread 666? At least unofficially?

#157 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2006, 12:30 AM:

(I think this got overlooked in the recent flurry of activity here.)

Larry Brennan, did you see this?

John Crowley admires Larry Brennan's poetry (in particular).

Pretty damn cool.

#158 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2006, 08:00 AM:

Faren...

Phil Frank is back on the Chron's web site. No Velma Melmac and her RV-from-Hell though, but Hilda the Bear has apparently been fish-farming.

#159 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2006, 08:01 AM:

Paula Helm Murray... Kansas City? Duly noted. And you really were shanghai'ed?

#160 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2006, 09:05 AM:

The exchange between Paula Helm Murray and Serge has reminded me of the famous statement of Nebraska senator Kenneth Wherry back in the 1940s: "With God’s help, we will lift Shanghai up and up, ever up, until it is just like Kansas City."

#161 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2006, 09:36 AM:

"Paula Helm Murray was a girl programmer. One day, she was casually walking around the Kansas City data port when suddenly the lights went out. When she woke up, she found herself on a data-mining ship on its way to Shanghai by way of Anaheim."

(OK, so we can't all be good at this like Mike Ford is.)

#162 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2006, 10:25 AM:

Fragano - not to dis KC, but that was setting the bar a bit low, especially considering that Shanghai was already one of the world's great cities at the time that was said.

Re: John Crowley's comment, all I can say is that we should all be collectively blushing. I know I read quite a bit of that thread aloud to friends and co-workers.

#163 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2006, 10:38 AM:

Larry Brennan: Indeed!

#164 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2006, 10:45 AM:

Shanghaied from Kansas? Man, that's a heck of a boat they've got...

#165 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2006, 11:01 AM:

Way up in the pantheon of American cinema, one will usually find Citizen Kane and Casablanca. Where is In Which We Serve in the British pantheon? TCM shows it every once in a while. Great cast, mostly unknown to me as I don't know as much as I should about British cinema, but some familiar faces like John Mills, James Donald and... hey! Isn't that a very young Richard Attenborough?

#166 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2006, 11:26 AM:

Greg, it's not that big a deal from Kansas City, which is mostly in Missouri, and is located on the river of that name, which is still navigable at that point. They'd have to shift from a shallow-draft vessel to a more sea-worthy one once they reached the mouth of the Mississippi, but it would be doable. Or they could have used the airport, although one hopes they have their own van, as it's waaaaay out, and the cab fares for a regular shanghai'ing operation would add up pretty fast.

#167 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2006, 11:41 AM:

Surely a valuable techie like PHM would be shanghaied in a comfortable limo? Wouldn't want her to wake up with a stiff neck.

#168 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2006, 04:53 PM:

(Belatedly) Serge, thanks for the "Farley" info. I'll go check it straightaway.

#169 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2006, 07:35 PM:

I'm looking for buttons.

Not any kind, mind you. I'm having someone make a hall costume and recently found some buttons at a local store that were shaped like tiny clocks with roman numerals. I bought the few that they still had, but I need more.

Does anybody know of a site that would carry such items? My own google search came up empty, but maybe someone has the in on such places. URLs would be appreciated, or phone nbrs, email addreses too.

#170 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2006, 08:13 PM:

http://www.ornabead.com/
has interesting beads, I could have sworn they carried buttons too. but it doesn't look like it.

My favorite store for buttons is Cy Rudnick's, In Crown Center. I was hoping they'd have more of an online presence, but it looks as if you'd have to go in and look. Cy does things like go to estate sales and buy buttons.

You could always call and ask. (If you look up Cy Rudnick online, they're the first to pop up.)

#171 ::: oliviacw ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2006, 09:07 PM:

M&J Trimming. Based in New York, but with a great web site. They currently have five clock buttons, two of which have roman numerals (but probably the cutsy one with the mouse isn't appropriate for your application.)

http://www.mjtrim.com/search.aspx?query=clock%20button

#172 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 12:22 AM:

Thanks, oliviacw & Paula. I'll try these places asap.

#173 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 10:38 AM:

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is dead. In case anyone missed the happy news.

It's a significant but definitely not crippling blow to the "insurgency" (in quotes because Zarqawi wasn't really an insurgent, just an opportunistic terrorist monster).

On the downside, it's good for the Bush Administration. But the world has lost one of its most evil men, and that's cause to celebrate.

#174 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 01:18 PM:

What impresses me is that Bush sounded pretty cautious this morning. Not the slightest hint of "now the end is near" talk.

Maybe enough blows on the head with a 2 x 4 *does* learn a person up.

#175 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 06:25 PM:

Zarqawi is not the Alexander of international terrorism. And for that matter, the death of Alexander didn't cause the lands he conquered to revert to native rule, his empire split into three, each controlled by one his generals, at least two of whom established dynasties.

For that matter, too, Alexander had a rather centralized structure for governance. Al Qaeda uses cells and distributed operations. There are no phalanxes, there are actions by one to a handful of attackers for the suicide bombers, and small cadres involved with other operations, as opposed to massed armies.

Zarqawi was uninvolved with the atrocities in Bali, in Spain, of 9/11, and other operations carried out by Al Aqaeda and groups with strong ties to it.

Another factor is that there was an alleged $25 million bounty on his head... that ought to be more than sufficient for whoever did the informing on him to relocate elsewhere in the world in comfort, with a new identity.


Meanwhile the stuff that's not getting much media attention about the Schmuck, while the malevolent moralists take the public attention pushing their religisity at everyone else via legislation up to and including attempting to amend the US Constitution to match their religious sects' rules regardless of congruence with other sects' rules, includes:

"Bush's Elimination of Income Survey Avoids Awareness of Poverty Levels
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/060806B.shtml
The Bush administration has proposed cutting the Survey of Income and Program Participation. It is the government's only survey that repeatedly questions thousands of people over time about how income changes affect their poverty status, health coverage and use of government services...."

and


GOP Corruption Found in Financial Link to Contractor
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/060806D.shtml
A political fundraising committee headed by a defense contractor has paid thousands of dollars in fees to the stepdaughter of House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) at a time when the contractor has been lobbying Congress for funding..."

And just what is going on with the investigation/Grand Jury that is continuing looking at Plamegate, anyway, and why is the trial involving Libby's obstruction of justice not occurring until 2007, months after the fall election season? And why is Karl Rove not even on administrative leave, and why is that election-tampering Republicrap scum from New Hamphire not only out of jail today, but back working as in the same capacity he was working he when he orchestrate the election tampering (paying a company to jam the phones of the Democrats who had the phone lines set up for arranging transportation to Democrats for them to vote, and calling people reminding them that it was election day and they should go to the polls).

Scmuck's actions and words have cost a lot more people their lives than Zarqawi is responsible for the deaths of, and many of the deaths consequent to Schmuck's gratuitous invasion of Iraq, were ones of pain and suffering, such as the person or persons dead of torture committed by US nationals. There was an NPR interview about a senior military officer in either Afghanistan or Iraq who was tortured to death. The interrogator and others present saw him in distress and figured he was faking it, when he was undergoing death throes....

#176 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 06:53 PM:

Owwwwwwwwwwch!

Jason Kottke dug up this amusement:

Portrait fetches record-setting price for photography.

#177 ::: protected static ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 07:12 PM:

I'm surprised no one has picked up on Dan Simmon's pissy response to his April Fool's 'story'. I can condense it for you:

* Everyone who disagrees with me is stupid, a science-fiction fan, a Marxist, or some combination of the above.

* I will rebut your points by first attacking you personally, and then restating my points without actually, you know, addressing your criticisms.

* I am willfully blind to any historic or contemporary trends that contradict me.

* Lastly, I am firmly against genocide... except when it comes to defending Civilization As We Know It, because there is no such thing as excess in defense of Civilization As We Know It.

At least, that's what I took home from it... The actual piece is much... longer.

#178 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 08:09 PM:

So, he's become a neocon. Good career move!

#179 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 09:16 PM:

Chaucer's blog has a Cafe Press section. And it's a hoot!

http://www.zazzle.com/contributors/products/gallery/browse_results.asp?cid=238105334212149259&general_recs_per_page=12

#180 ::: protected static ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 10:10 PM:

Stefan: Evidently, he's no longer a 'science fiction' writer, either... He now wishes it to be known that he writes 'speculative fiction'.

Puttin' on airs, 'e is. Thinks 'e's too good fer the likes'f us.

#181 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 06:36 AM:

Earlier this week (on 6-6-6 in fact), the 2nd and last DVD set of The Time Tunnel was released. I notice that it also contains Irwin Allen's later TV movie Time Travellers. And the unaired 2002 pilot for The Time Tunnel. I seem to remember Mike Ford posting that it was supposed to be not very good. But the set contains the episode of the original show where silver-skinned aliens invade a 19th century town of the West so that they can steal the local cow herds.

#182 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 10:36 AM:

Somebody please, please tell me I wasn't the only one who read through "Where in the world is Abu Musab al-Zarqawi?" getting more and more worried about what had apparently transpired since last time I had looked at a newspaper, and *then* noticed the dateline...

#183 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 11:40 AM:

Posting this here till the next time an Open Thread happens...

I'm looking for the title of a story I read in Omni sometime between 1990 and 1994. I don't remember if it was a new issue, or part of the school's collection of back issues.

In the story, one becomes an actor by having one's past-life memories activated. If you want to play Cleopatra, you'd better have a past life who lived in Ptolmaic Egypt; if you want to play Richard III, one of your past lives should have lived during the Wars of the Roses. And so forth.

Someone's going to be putting on a production of a play about Joan of Arc, and as the lead role they have a famous actress who's just about to enter the "Get me a young John Wayne" period of her career. But then they discover a new young actress whose past life was Joan of Arc. She is immediately cast, with the famouns actress (whose name I seem to recall beginning with B) in some supporting role.

At the insistance of Joan, the whole play is altered to be more in line with her memory of how things happened, including the idea that she was basically manipulated by the higher-ups among the French. Problem is, the young lady can't act, and she sucks.

The climax of the story, though not necessarily the last scene, is the original actress showing how she would have played it to the narrator; I believe the narrator was male, and I don't remember how he was connected to the whole thing except that he had little power over things like casting. The experienced actress, of course, is able to work with the material and does a great job.

Anyone?

#184 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 12:56 PM:

Lexicographical moment of the day:

a Saywhat. 73.1. definitio. corruptly called a definition: but for that it is a saying which telleth what a thing is, it may more aptly be called a saywhat.

I have to admire the logic.

#185 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 06:56 PM:

Can I share my favourite typography pun? It comes off of my bookbinding listserv.

Bill Minter, one of the finest bookbinders alive today, spent a year in London in the late seventies. He was doing some typesetting while there, and couldn't find a "/" in the typecase. He went to the bloke in charge and said, "I need a slash."

The guy pointed down the corridor and said, "first door on the right." Assuming it was another composing room with more typecases, Minter followed the directions.

It wasn't. It was the gent's toilet.

#186 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 07:46 PM:

Carrie, Ellen Datlow will have the list.

#187 ::: Fiendish Writer ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 09:02 PM:

I did search and not find this link amongst the Particles, and so I make bold to post it here:

The Marie-Suzette Generator

#188 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 10:28 PM:

Fiendish Writer, that is EEEEEEEViL. Thanks for sharing it.

#189 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 08:35 AM:

OK, I need help again. Can anyone identify this flower? Need the species name if possible, or I can look it up if you can uniquely identify it:

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y77/bearriffic/my%20other%20favorite%20things/star020.jpg

By the way, the guy who took that photograph is a friend of mine. I think he's very talented, but he works crappy jobs in clothing stores. I'm trying to get him to believe in his photographs as art, but it's an uphill battle.

#190 ::: Michelle K ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 09:38 AM:

Xopher,

It's hard to tell from just the flowers. Maybe a relative of campanula?

#192 ::: petra ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 06:10 PM:

Xopher:
IMO it's a leopard lily or belamcanda chinensis.

#193 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 06:55 PM:

Thanks petra! I'll pass that on. Do you other gardenerds agree?

#194 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 07:00 PM:

Hmm I found lots of images of that species on Google, and they don't look much like this flower. The b. chinensis ones have much more separated, elongated petals, and there are leopard spots on them. Also the b. chinensis flowers are more distributed on the plant, whereas the flowers my friend photographed are in dense clumps.

Is this some odd variant?

#195 ::: Andrew ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 07:52 PM:

Xopher, I don't think petra has made a correct identification; my garden has belamcanda, and it isn't like that. Belamcanda acts more like a tiny daylily, and you get nice seed pods in the fall after blooming is over.

I think it's ornithogalum dubium. The plant in your picture has a visible BloomRite label, and while your picture is a redder orange than the ornithogalum examples, it's pretty close to BloomRite's picture for their Blooming Plants icon. As best I can determine, BloomRite calls this "Sun Star".

#196 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 08:44 PM:

A question for the rose growers:

Years ago, my husband and I bought a yellow rosebush. It nearly died-at one point all that was left was a single slimy, peeling stick.

Somehow it survived and came back to life. This year it has a bud on it.

The flower's red. My husband's POSITIVE it bloomed yellow once before. How could that happen?

Thanks!

#197 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 09:07 PM:

Yep, Andrew, that's it. Thanks!

#198 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 09:11 PM:

Melissa Mead: Lots of roses are grafted, and you're probably seeing the flowers from the rootstock. Enjoy!

#199 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 10:40 PM:

Thanks!

I'm amazed the thing's alive. I've seen livelier-looking toothpicks, and now it actually looks like a rosebush!

#200 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 11:10 PM:

From a CNN article:

"The results suggest that 24 percent of Americans between 18 and 50 are tattooed; that's almost one in four."

Arg! ARGHH!

#201 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 11:46 PM:

Just got back from "A Prairie Home Companion."

A very odd, disjointed movie that will probably baffle and turn off many, but I enjoyed it a lot.

(Disclaimer: Been listening to the radio show for 22 years or so.)

There's a bit, toward the end, where Dusty and Lefty the cowboys let loose a string of amazingly gross, juvenile jokes. In context, totally hilarious.

NB: The theater was packed. Mostly older folks, a few families. It was the only theater for a long way around playing the film, so perhaps this is a result of enthusiasts packing the first evening performance, but still!

#202 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 11:46 PM:

What's the arghh about tattooing? The math is sound, so I assume that's not it.

Really, people with tattoos are just like people without tattoos, though maybe a bit more colorful. ("Maybe" because there are tattoos all in black, and some people wear gorgeous rainbow clothing.)

#203 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 11:48 PM:

Mary Dell - So what? Then again, I'm one of the 24%.

#204 ::: Andrew ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 11:53 PM:

Any time, Xopher.

Has anyone here had any success growing ornithogalum dubium from a bulb? I never have, but seeing this picture tells me I was using a pot that was way too small; I think I was fooled by the size of the bulb.

#205 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 01:14 AM:

Wow, that's really nice work Larry. Beautiful Tibetan image. Please post a follow-up link when it's completed; I'd love to see how that comes out.

I've never been tattooed - other than 4 tiny dots on my belly - because I'm too much a perfectionist. (Kudos to those who figure out the 4 dots without having the same themselves.)

#206 ::: protected static ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 02:52 AM:

Larry, that's some gorgeous ink... What artist/studio are you working with?

#207 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 03:14 AM:

BTW, thanks to everyone here for ROT13ing the X-Men spoilers! I finally saw the movie today with my sweetie, and thanks to the posts above I knew enough to stay to the end of the credits, but without knowing what I'd get. A nice twist, it ties back perfectly to the earlier groundwork laid for it.

#208 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 10:39 AM:

Clifton: I daresay you have tattoos for the same reason I do. I wonder if we're included in the 24%?

--Mary Aileen

#209 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 10:47 AM:

Clifton - I bet I know why you have those dots. Enqvngvba gurencl?

#210 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 12:27 PM:

I've mused on the idea of a tattoo now and then, but I've always balked for several reasons:

1) I've never been sure that any tattoo I might get would be something I'd be comfortable/non-bored with for the rest of my life.

2) So many people are getting tattoos these days that if I got one for myself, I'd want it to be something special and distinctive. (I did realize the other day that Steve Ditko's artwork would adapt well to tattoo...)

and 3) Getting a tattoo would mean I'd be disqualified for a year from donating blood, one of the few good habits I just can't seem to break.

#211 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 12:51 PM:

Bruce: The CDC won't let me give blood, because I've had sex with another man since 1977. (Note: people who've used IV drugs are only banned for five years after they stop.) So I don't have that issue.

I've been thinking of getting one for a long time. After 9/11, I wanted to get my Social Security number tattooed on every part of my body, but I thought better of that, fortunately! My current plan is to get a recycle symbol right over my heart, after I sign up as an organ donor. I'm pretty sure I won't change my mind about that.

#212 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 12:59 PM:

I can no longer give blood, having received it. It's a pretty tough position to be in, emotionally, since I'm grateful for the transfusion. I used to donate, but never enough to prepay the debt I owe.

I have a tattoo - a phoenix - on my upper arm. It has a number of layers of personal meaning. I got it at the age of 30, at which point my 16 year old sister became obsessed with getting one herself. Three years on, she defied parental bans (based on her youth and short sightedness) and got two, one related to her swimming and one to her college (Pomona).

At that point my mother surprised us all by saying that she no longer had to hold the line against tattoos, and came home one day with a ladybug on her shoulder.

It's an interesting view on the changes in attitudes toward tattoos in our lifetimes. Mom never got one in her fairly adventurous youth, not because of any beliefs about the body itself, but because it never occurred to her - tattoos were for sailors and Hell's Angels. Neither of her daughters found the idea of getting one at all untoward.

#213 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 01:09 PM:

When I was a college student, I never saw a gay guy with a tattoo or a straight guy with an earring. Now straight guys can wear as many earrings as they want, as long as the count on the left is greater than the count on the right, and gay guys get tribal whorls all over.

#214 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 01:25 PM:

protected static - the tattoo is being done by Bishop @ Artcore Studios in Georgetown (Seattle).

Bruce - The blood donation hiatus thing is one reason I held off so long before starting such a big project. I made sure that I gave as often as I could before I started on it.

abi - you did your part on the blood donation front. Be glad the system worked for you.

Xopher - I don't know if that earring asymmetry generalization applies anymore, at least on the west coast.

#215 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 04:10 PM:

Larry Brennan: I don't know if that earring asymmetry generalization applies anymore, at least on the west coast.

Around the time when straight (...non-piratical...) men first began wearing hoop earrings, Peter deVries wrote a matronly character who was (surprisingly) not offended by a young man's hoop: "As long as it isn't two, dear."

I think of this every time I see a guy with multiple hoops.

Xopher: When I was a college student, I never saw a gay guy with a tattoo or a straight guy with an earring. Now straight guys can wear as many earrings as they want, as long as the count on the left is greater than the count on the right, and gay guys get tribal whorls all over.

Around 1991, I went to my first wedding where the majority of the bridesmaids were (visibly) tatooed. I formulated a theory, which has not yet come true, but which is so elegant that I want to share it:

When I was young, sailors and bikers had tatoos, and young women had pierced ears. I was wondering if we were going to live to see it switch: no straight man would get tattoed because it would be considered too femme, just as no woman would get her ears pieced, because it would be seen as too butch.

So far, we're seeing everybody try everything. Another lovely theory shot down by reality.

#216 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 04:46 PM:

Tropical Storm Alberto has now joined us, if anyone here is keeping score.

#217 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 06:00 AM:

I have this odd feeling that maybe Partick came across an old game called "The Morrow Project".

I'm not so sure that the V150 Commando is actually cute.

On the other hand, there's the Pink Panther. It's perhaps the most famous example of a series of Land Rovers adapted as long-range patrol vehicles for the British Army, as well as bolt-on kits for the current "Wolf" militaryspec variant and the Ranger Special Operations Vehicle.

#218 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 09:46 AM:

RE: V150 Commando

Armor: Cadloy steal plate protects against 7.63mm fire

It seems a little thin-skinned.
But I suppose it's better than the sheet metal
that's in my compact car.

#219 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 02:05 PM:

Melissa Mead:

If you're in the USA that rose rootstock is probably "Dr. Huey."

*Most* roses grown in the USA are grafted. When you plant them, put the bud union -below- the ground so that the grafted part will grown its own roots. They'll survive better.

There are some nurseries that specialize in "own root" roses, unfortunately they usually more expensive than the grafted ones.

#220 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 02:23 PM:

7.63 mm is the round that the AK-47 uses.

#221 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 02:43 PM:

And the M-60 machine gun that Rambo used, I know.
It's just that american civilians can own up to a 50 caliber rifle, and that would seem like the minimum level of protection I'd want if I were to spend that kind of money to armor up.

If I'm going to get all paranoid, might as well go all the way.

#222 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 02:46 PM:

Greg, with minor changes:

Skin seems a bit thin.
Better, I guess, than metal
In my compact car.
Doesn't mention a season or time of day, of course. But hey.

#223 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 03:01 PM:

Cadloy steal plate

What part of the auto business did these guys start out in?

#224 ::: Joe J ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 03:16 PM:

The particle Teresa linked to, “Bush asserts his right to disobey laws,” was disturbing to read.

Then there are the final sentences:

Fein said. ''There is no way for an independent judiciary to check his assertions of power, and Congress isn't doing it, either. So this is moving us toward an unlimited executive power."

Which is chilling, but I couldn’t help but be reminded of Star Wars: Episode III when the Emperor was killing Mace Windu and screaming, “UNLIMITED POWER!”

Our country has become prequels bad.

#225 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 03:27 PM:

Quoting the self righteous Washington Post article defending the appointment of Roberts to the Supreme Court:

the Federalist Society, which was founded in 1982 to propound the philosophy that "it is the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be."

Conservatives ... have not viewed the court as a vehicle for imposing conservative principles on an unwilling public.

When conservatives say that we want "conservative" judges, or "strict constructionist" or "constitutionalist" judges, what we mean is pretty simple: We want judges who won't make stuff up. We want judges who won't view the Constitution as a mirror in which, at every turn, they see reflected their own opinions and policy preferences.

I'm waiting to hear the Washington Post shout its howls of protest as Bush makes stuff up about separation of powers, as he makes stuff up about the Bill of Rights, as he views the constitution as reflecting his personal opinions and policy preferences.

Until such howls of protest present themselves, I'll assume WP and the writers of the article are simply full of their own hypocritical shit.

#226 ::: D. ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 03:42 PM:

Serge: "Phil Frank is back on the Chron's web site. No Velma Melmac and her RV-from-Hell though, but Hilda the Bear has apparently been fish-farming."

Yeah, but the char-beaver is trying to get to Yosemite.

Apparently Phil Frank was sick for a while.

#227 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 04:38 PM:

gees, took me a while to find the thing, but if you're gonna go survivalist, and if you don't mind driving French hardware, this armored car has the advantage that you could give it a paint job and it could conceivably blend in an urban environment. It looks like a jacked-up and funkified car. Plus, it floats/is amphibious. Armor is probably only good up to 7.62 mm, but can't have everything. I haven't seen any at the local used car lots, though.

#228 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 04:47 PM:

I still claim that I've never gotten a tattoo because I can't shock my mother with one. Annoy her by design or placement, yes, but not the mere fact of a tattoo. ("Death Before Dishonor" on the forearm was right out.) She said it was a fad among ladies of her mother's and grandmother's generation to get a dainty little tattoo -- a rose, or butterfly -- somewhere where only her husband could see it, and some society ladies (such as Winston Churchill's mother Lady Randolph Churchill) even had them where they could be seen by all.

#229 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 05:29 PM:

Lori-Thank you! Yes, that looks familiar. In fact, I suspect our "rosebush formerly known as Yellow" is the same kind as our Red Rose bush. Which now has little white dots on its red flowers. This has been a weird year for our roses.

#230 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 06:11 PM:

Many modern armies are acquiring lightly armoured vehicles to replace unarmoured tactical transport of the Jeep/Hummer type. Maybe more at the upper end of that range.

The British Army had (has?) the Shorland, a light armoored troop carrier baed on the Land Rover, once a common sight in Northern Ireland. The weight of the armour was a bit too much if you went off-road.

Land Rover used to do some seriously well-armoured versions of the Range Rover, as inconspicuous as a luxury 4x4 can be (and apparently highly regarded by the SAS). But the Range Rover is no longer an off-road truck with a classy body on the chassis.

The last armoured Range Rover I saw figures for was better armoured than the V150, had something over 350HP from the engine, and was comfortable.

Luxurious, even.

No doubt the Secret Service could point you towards something similar, and American.


#231 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 07:02 PM:

Hey Greg - I wonder if the VBL comes in a hybrid.

Re: TS Alberto, I spoke with a colleague in Tampa earlier today, and they're might gun shy down there this hurricane season. I suspect that when an evacuation order comes, more folks than usual will high-tail it over to their designated shelter.

#232 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2006, 01:17 AM:

The Particle for the Federal Institute of Heraldry reminded me that I'd found their homepage while looking for a particular unit insignia. (My brother's old unit, as it happens.)

#233 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2006, 05:32 AM:

Something a little odd that I cam across elsenet--a list of things and places which may lead to problems in commercial photography.

Here's the list.

Some of them are fairly obvious, others start to look a bit excessive. I see that the Flatiron building is on the list, but how prominent does it have to be in a photograph before one needs a rights clearance?

#234 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2006, 06:23 AM:

The British Army had (has?) the Shorland, a light armored troop carrier baed on the Land Rover, once a common sight in Northern Ireland. The weight of the armour was a bit too much if you went off-road.

Shorland's out of date now - actually having things with turrets patrolling the streets was thought to be too provocative. Nowadays the police (PSNI) use an armoured non-turreted version called the Tangi, nicknamed the "Snatch". (Don't ask.) The military version is called the Hotspur. They're big in Basra. Very hot to ride around in. (Berry Rydell drives one for IntenSecure in "Virtual Light").

The next step up is the Saxon APC, the second-ugliest military vehicle ever built. It replaced the Humber Pig - also available in Flying Pig, Holy Pig/Popemobile, Kremlin Pig and Squirt Pig versions - which was the ugliest military vehicle ever built. I am not making this up.

#235 ::: pedantic peasant ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2006, 08:27 AM:

One of those "open thread comments" on one of TNH's Particles (Bush asserts his right to disobey laws)


an excerpt from the article:

Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to "execute" a law he believes is unconstitutional.

Hmmm, ignoring or overturning a law because it's "unconstitutional". What is it the right keep saying about that mindset?

Oh yeah, "When is someone going to do something about these reactionary ... presidents!?"

Oh, and "They don't have the right to arbitrarily overturn the laws just because they don't agree, especially when most of the people agree."


Well, hey, at least the judges are allowed to do it by the Constitution. What's Supreme Commander's excuse? Shouldn't he follow the "wishes of most of the people"?

#236 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2006, 10:19 AM:

I wonder if the VBL comes in a hybrid.

Hey, it gets 14 mpg and has a diesel engine.
Concievably, you could retrofit it with a
grease kit and burn used cooking oil.
Not too shabby.

#237 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2006, 03:29 PM:

I just got a spam with a truly remarkable subject line. If it hadn't had an attachment, I would have opened it.

Here's the subject:
RE: "Suture Self Magazine", the home guide to personal surgery

#238 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2006, 03:45 PM:

While "VBL" would certainly sell as a name (at any time I expect to see the Cadillac FU2), it might not go over with, say, the suburban housewife who may be called on to provide interdiction fire for a soccer game.

I suggest that Renault import it as "Le Char."

#239 ::: Lisa Goldstein ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2006, 05:11 PM:

Karl Rove seems to have got off scot-free. Dang.

#240 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2006, 06:35 PM:

Something for Doctor Who fans, revealing why Chris Ecclestone quit.

Yes, it is video.

#241 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2006, 07:30 PM:

just to be xopher to the punch:

14 mpg
diesel engine with grease kit
burn used cooking oil.

#242 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2006, 08:06 PM:

just to be xopher to the punch:

KHAAAAANNNNN!!!!!

s{be}{beat}

sigh...

#243 ::: Mina W ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2006, 02:38 AM:

About the particle on the housecat & the bear—cute to see a picture that shows the whole scene.

My sister saw a bear chased off once, at our cabin in Northern idaho. Going out to feed the kittens in the evening, arms full of cat food dishes, kittens all around her feet. She heard a hiss & the kittens vanished under the cabin; looked up & there was the bear coming down the trail towards her, less than 10 feet away. The 2 mama cats (mother & daughter) puffed up their fur and leaped at the bear; it turned tail & ran away.

Always thought that meant "Don't mess with the mama", but maybe not since another cat has done it too.

#244 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2006, 03:14 PM:

Tycho and Gabe of the infamous Penny Arcade website/webcomic have apparently discovered Steven Brust's Dragaera novels, leading to hilariously mixed results.

There's still hope for Gabe, if he's reading Alistair Reynolds, but he's missing out on some damn good stuff with that ruleset...

#245 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2006, 06:28 PM:

Chiming in late on the tattoo theme, like Clifton and Mary I'm dotted - a trio - for enqvngvba gurencl. I was planning decorative additions at the 5-year mark, but it's less than that yet, and it now looks like I might be getting another set for another batch in a different area in spring (Sep/Oct).
Am currently in purzbgurencl, which is causing 'interesting' effects, hence my long absences from online discussions.

Do any of the tattooists/tattooees 'round here have experience with (non-touching) additions to these dots, and the attitude of enqvngvba bapbybtvfgf to dealing with them?

#246 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2006, 06:51 PM:

MORE stinking grandstanding and partisan politican bigotry by the sack of shit who stole two elections...

[Now watching ABC news watching the segment about the employment of foreign nationals without legitimate paper for being present and working in the USA, at sensitive US national facilities...]

Then there is the pay raise that members of US Congress and the US Executive Branch are getting, 2.7%, one in a series of annual raises, while the minimum wage hasn't gone up in years and has no such automatic increase.. those getting $150,000+ per year getting a raise that's roughly HALF the pre-tax gross income of minimum wage workers, while the minimum wage workers, many without healthcare benefits--which the Congressslime get the best paid-for-by-the-taxpayers one--have their meager earnings' purchasing power continuing to shrink, and not cost of living increase whatsoever.

"Marat we're poor...."

#247 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2006, 03:20 PM:

In yarncraft news:

The life-size, knitted Ferrari

Made with 12 miles of yarn!

#248 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2006, 04:46 PM:

And it gets better gas mileage than an actual Ferrari. Easier to maintain, too.

#249 ::: Dolloch ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2006, 06:59 PM:

Bush creates marine sanctuary

Huh? Am I just growing paranoid, or is my searching for some really f'ed up news to follow this just cynicism?

#250 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2006, 07:44 PM:

Stopped clock, yadd-yadda.

This could have been planned for a while, and is being announced now in a desperate attempt to raise ratings. Pundit fodder.

#251 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2006, 08:43 PM:

Stefan, it may be pundit fodder, or more likely it's "legacy establishment," but whatever it is, it's great news for the monk seals and the coral reefs that are out there. There's only one island in the group which can sustain people at all (Midway, and even there you gotta wait for the gooney birds to move so you can land your plane or ride your bike). Plus, it only ticks off about 7 (I kid you not) fishing boat captains. It's gotten way too expensive to gas up the boat to get there these days.

#252 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2006, 10:52 PM:

My fave comment about the Australian ocean vortex comes from Kieran Healy, who pointed out that being "visible from space" isn't as impressive as it used to be.

#253 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2006, 01:17 AM:

Congrats, Charlie Stross. You made Bruce Schneier's Cryptogram newsletter, for this:
http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2006/05/17/#id-card-3
... which I must say I find depressingly plausible.

#254 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2006, 01:22 AM:

Linkmeister:

I'm sure you saw the headline in the Star Bulletin "Bush creates huge"... That was as much as I saw from the roadside newspaper vendor holding it up, and my mind immediately completed it with "ROBOT ARMY!"

#255 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2006, 01:37 AM:

Mary Aileen, Xopher, Mez:
Yes, exactly. I guess the quatloos go to Xopher, assuming he has no personal experience.

I have no complaints - the beam apparently did the follow-up job as needed. (Well, OK, I have one complaint: Where are my super-powers???)

#256 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2006, 02:07 AM:

Must not be any accessible oil there... and what's the depth down to the ocean bottom in that area? Hawaii has the world's biggest mountain, measuring from the sea bottom to the mountaintop, it dwarfs Everest.

#257 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2006, 03:11 AM:

From Extreme Science: Mauna Loa is 33,132 feet high (10,099M) from sea bed to top. Only about 13,448 ft/4100m of Mauna Loa are above sea level.

So the depth around the Big Island is 20,000 feet/7,000M or so. If you move northwest 1,600 miles to Kure Atoll, I'd imagine the depth remains pretty constant.

#258 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2006, 11:41 AM:

Of course with sea levels continuing to rise, that mountain is going to "shrink" even more. Good news about that new refuge/monument, though, whether or not it originated as political grandstanding.

#259 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2006, 12:23 PM:

PNH: Some of us believe that Lord Macaulay should always be referred to as 'Thomas Babington'.

#260 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2006, 01:08 PM:


To quote from the particle Thomas Macaulay on copyright law

"The principle of copyright is this. It is a tax on readers for the purpose of giving a bounty to writers.

(weeps) There is truly nothing new under the sun.

And I can only wonder if we are doomed to repeat and continue the same mistake that Macaulay tried to correct.

oh well.

#261 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2006, 02:46 PM:

Fragano, is he the one who was beheaded for plotting to kill the best monarch Britain ever had (I refer of course to Elizabeth I)?

#262 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2006, 02:49 PM:

I thought Babington was drawn and quartered, the typical punishment for traitors, not just beheaded...

#263 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2006, 03:45 PM:

Clifton: my personal experience is strictly secondhand, I'm happy to report (while knocking wood).

#264 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2006, 04:03 PM:

I just spent an embarassing amount of time Bouncing Bush off of Bubbles.

You should, too. Quite therapeutic.

#265 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2006, 04:06 PM:

Babington was drawn and quartered, the typical punishment for traitors, not just beheaded...

erm, what? are we talking about the same guy, or is this yet another obscure reference to dead people that I'm missing?

#266 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2006, 04:10 PM:

Bouncing Bush off of Bubbles.

Whheee! if you grab him by the foot, you can really whip him around!

#267 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2006, 04:58 PM:

Xopher: No. Babington, in this case, was Macaulay's middle name. All my youth I saw references to him as 'Thomas Babington Macaulay' -- though I have to say I was quite impressed with his getting lays in ancient Rome.

#268 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2006, 05:53 PM:

Stopped clock, yadd-yadda.

This could have been planned for a while, and is being announced now in a desperate attempt to raise ratings. Pundit fodder.

Stefan, I read somewhere (on the net, of course) that Bush saw a movie about the ocean and got all excited about the idea of a marine sanctuary, so he decided to create one. Kind of like how we went to war in Iraq.

*bangs head on table, gently*

#269 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2006, 06:59 PM:

Half-listened to an interview on NPR yesterday; sanctuary has been planned and fought for for quite a while.

But Bush will get the cap feather because it came up for authorization on his watch.

#270 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2006, 07:03 PM:

Oh! Almost forgot to plug this:

Rob Cockerham is going to be on ABC's "20/20" tonight, talking about his sliced-up-but-accepted credit card application story.

[snark]
John Stossel will conclude the segment by suggesting this is what happens when liberals try to regulate the credit card industry, and call for a cut in capital gains taxes.
[/snark]

#271 ::: Lisa Goldstein ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2006, 08:07 PM:

Xopher: That was Anthony Babington. Dunno who this other guy is. And I agree with you on Elizabeth.

My first thought at hearing about Bush's marine sanctuary was that this was more Bushspeak -- Clean Air Act = pollution; No Child Left Behind = poor education; marine sanctuary = oh, shooting fish in a barrel?

#272 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2006, 03:07 AM:

Unbelievable scumbaggery

9/11 thefts not prosecuted

NEW YORK - A disaster relief company that took supplies that were supposed to go to Sept. 11 rescuers at the World Trade Center escaped punishment after the government discovered its own employees had stolen artifacts from ground zero, once-secret federal documents show.

Kieger Enterprises (KEI) of Lino Lakes, Minn., managed a Long Island warehouse for the government that was filled with supplies donated by Americans for the rescue workers.

The FBI developed evidence from whistleblowers that the company had dispatched trucks to the warehouse and loaded hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of donated bottled water, clothes, tools and generators to be moved to Minnesota in a plot to sell some for profit, the records show.

The lead investigators for the FBI and the
Federal Emergency Management Agency told AP that the plan to prosecute KEI for those thefts stopped as soon as it became clear in late summer 2002 that an FBI agent in Minnesota had stolen a crystal globe from ground zero.

That prompted a broader review that ultimately found 16 government employees, including a top FBI executive and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, had such artifacts from New York or the
Pentagon.

"How could you secure an indictment?" FEMA investigator Kirk Beauchamp asked. "It would be a conflict."

ARRGGGHHHHH!

#273 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2006, 10:37 AM:

Well, gee. Go ahead and indict them all. Especially Rummy.

#274 ::: Mark DF ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2006, 01:05 PM:

"How could you secure an indictment?" FEMA investigator Kirk Beauchamp asked. "It would be a conflict."

Wait! What? I'm having a <geek> Star Trek Nomad moment</geek>. Isn't this a circular argument that's so lame it makes your head shoot sparks, then explode?

#275 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2006, 02:53 PM:

I read somewhere ... that Bush saw a movie about the ocean and got all excited about the idea of a marine sanctuary, so he decided to create one.

Gotta make that man watch more PBS! (Though "Sesame Street" might be more his speed than "Nature".)

#276 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2006, 07:10 PM:

Faren Miller: You do realise that the result of that would be that Oscar the Grouch would be appointed to the Cabinet, don't you?

#277 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2006, 07:14 PM:

Oscar would undoubtedly be put in charge of the EPA or HUD.

#278 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2006, 08:18 PM:

Oscar would undoubtedly be put in charge of the EPA or HUD.

Oscar might be an improvement.

Teresa, I just got my copy of Grease Monkey (missed my Wed. mail run; there were a couple of freight locomotives derailed and things got jammed up a bit, otherwise I'd have gotten it sooner). Whee!

#279 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2006, 08:45 PM:

Thanks for sharing Questionable Content with us ("The airbrushed van theory of fantasy literature" particle)

Jim didn't get to bed until 4:30 this morning. It's that addictive. And if you're tempted to go read through, remember to pay attention to the backgrounds if there are words.

I've started but I'm not that obsessive... It's wonderful!

#280 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2006, 11:02 PM:

Bush [...] got all excited about the idea of a marine sanctuary

"The Japanese-American Entirely Scientific Whale Grounds and Marine Life Study Center*."

*Study Center Recipes available online.

#281 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2006, 11:06 PM:

Ah! History Channel is running Errol Morris' The Fog of War tonight. 9 pm, and the wee hours.

#282 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2006, 03:02 AM:

For composting, I would prefer coffee grounds to whale grounds.

#283 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2006, 05:29 AM:

Just a quick query for people who might know more about this than I do. I'm looking for sources of info on disemvowelling, trying to improve the wikipedia page on it. I'm particularly looking for anything that wasn't written by Teresa (i.e. is effectively independent) and which contains any of the following information:

* Speculations as to why it works
* Evidence that it does (either statistical or anecdotal; the assertion I need to source is that 'proponents believe' that it works better than other techniques)

I'd also be interested in information about how often it happens that posters who have been disemvowelled have all of their subsequent posts disemvowelled regardless of content (e.g. through an automatic IP-address based disemvoweller), and how often they are simply banned outright (Mrk Yrk is insisting on adding an assertion that this happens in 'many' cases; as far as I know he is very unusual in that it happened to him), or any negative effects the technique may have compared to others.

Due to wikipedia's rules concerning acceptable sources, this would really have to be from a named individual with appropriate experience in running discussion forums.

Thanks for any pointers you can give me! :)

#284 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2006, 10:33 AM:

I am feeling grumpy, after spending a while trying to get an old Win98 laptop working with a particular wireless-network PC Card.

But one thing I want to share, which might save you a lot of hassle.

Use a PCMCIA (or PC Card) adaptor for Compact Flash memory, and the computer just loads up its standard IDE drivers. And a Gigabyte of Compact Flash is pretty cheap.

OK, so it was a new enough machine to support USB, and Win98SE, but I had to transfer the drivers, which would have been one of those chicken/egg situations.

Now, it might be the same for the other types of memory card that your digital camera (or other gadgets) use. I don't know, but I reckon it's worth checking.

Heck, I could boot from a Gig of CF...

#285 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2006, 11:23 AM:

I could run my entire system from a gig of flash, but I'd worry about the lifespan of it; too much writing can kill it fairly quickly.

#286 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2006, 11:38 AM:

Jules - I've been commenting here for something like 2 1/2 years and I don't think I've seen someone's prior comments (other than the offending ones) disemvowelled, and certainly none outside the hot thread.

I also only recall two people getting banned, and mrk yrk is one of them. (There may be more - but I can only name two.) Among other things, mrk was trying to be two people in order to further his argument. That's pretty darn foolish and didn't do much for his credibility.

I think mrk yrk has an axe to grind. Google him and see what you find out.

#287 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2006, 11:49 AM:

Oh, by the way, yesterday was the Fremont Solstice Parade, an event not known for it's reluctance to express political opinions, despite signs with written words being one of the few things not allowed.

So, this is what the float builders think of Beloved Leader and his policies.

(Apologies for pimping my pictures, I was just overwhelmed by the consistency of theme across so many paraders and the enthusiastic response they got from the crowd.)

#288 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2006, 12:48 PM:

Due to wikipedia's rules concerning acceptable sources

I don't know anyone who would qualify as an "acceptable" source, but I don't get out much.

#289 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2006, 12:49 PM:

Fremont Solstice Parade

wowsers. I like it.

#290 ::: rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2006, 01:39 PM:

Question about the makinglight atom/rss feeds: I see one for entries (full and titles) but is the "last 400 comments" (newbackthreads) bit available as a feed? That would be kinda handy for me to help follow the conversations without loading the full 400 unit thread. (I am marooned on the isle of dialup for quite a while.)
-r.

#291 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2006, 03:07 PM:

Open thread wild tangent:

My dad's having a heck of a time keeping the deer away from his ~2 acre garden. Anyone know of any solution for keeping the critters from turning his hard work into a free buffet? It would be good if you or someone you know actually tried the solution and saw it work.

I was thinking of getting him a sentry gun as an early xmas present, but thought I'd look for more indirect approaches first.

#292 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2006, 03:23 PM:

Jules - I did some casual reading on flash life cycles recently. I gather that instead of the 100,000s of write cycles they used to be rated for when I was working with them professionally, current flash chips are now rated in the 1,000,000s of write cycles - and that's very conservative. It's still a little bit better to use USB type devices because then they have some onboard intelligence and will rewrite blocks less than if you use it as a hard drive emulator. I've got a USB drive set aside and am trying to find time to set up one of those Linux-on-a-keychain distros on it.

#293 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2006, 03:57 PM:

Greg - your dad could always think of his garden as venison bait. :-)

#294 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2006, 05:30 PM:

venison bait

Apparently, there is some legal wranglings going on that are preventing him from getting a permit to shoot outside the season. I suggested getting a dog to scare them off, but he didn't go for that. If I could find a technical solution, I figured I could buy him one for his upcoming birthday. I just don't want to buy something that turns out to be a junk gimmick. I'll be googling for a solution, I just figured I'd ask here in case someone already knew an answer.

#295 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2006, 09:15 PM:

I came here to ask essentially the same questions as Jules. Mark seems to believe

1. That anyone who disagrees with the crowd is disemvoweled, merely for having a dissenting opinion, here or on any other forum that uses disemvoweling,

2. that he was disemvoweled for the purpose of public ridicule (which I can see, sort of),

3. that people who are disemvoweled are never again allowed to post unaltered text, no matter how well-behaved they are,

4. that most disemvoweled posters are then banned, and

5. that TNH does all this at the first sign of a dissenting opinion.

Furthermore, he wants Wikipedia to reflact all five of these opinions.

I really believe Mark is incapable of recognizing that it was not his opinion of Jenna that got him disemvoweled and tossed, but his rudeness, defensiveness and name-calling in pressing it. Similarly, he believes that anyone who doesn't want to allow him to turn the Wikipedia article into a one-sided attack on disemvoweling is both a) a friend or fan of AW and Teresa, pursuing an agenda, and b) Mark's bitter enemy, and out to get him. And that's the mild version of the accusations.

I've called in a mediator, but what is really needed, as Jules says, is factual, sourceable material. Off the top of my head I can think of one person who politely disagreed with most people over on the NYC landmarks thread, had what was probably a mutually enlightening discussion about the budgetary problems in the cities and the hinterlands, and was not disemvoweled, much less banned. It's a good counterexample, but it's still only anecdotal. The real question is whether there is something somewhere that can help to stabilize the article into a text the acknoweldges both the claimed advantages and the controversies without straying into factually inaccurate attack. Any help would be appreciated!

(Yes, it know we're extremely unlikely to win him over. Still, it needs to be done, for the article if not for peace and harmony.)

Thanks!

#296 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2006, 09:27 PM:

Finally went to see X-Men 3 today, after deciding to skip boring things like cleaning house in favor of watching the first two on DVD as prep.

Thanks for mostly avoiding spoilers, folks. I was actually surprised by all sorts of things in it.

(Though not necessarily pleased - the climax of the Phoenix saga, in its graphic novel form, was what first got me started reading X-Men, and this is, shall we say, not how I would've done it.)

Am I the only X-Men fan ever who has always thought Wolverine is just not particularly interesting, no matter how decorative the actor playing him is? (And he is, oh yeah.)

#297 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2006, 10:53 PM:

Paula: That suddenly makes me think of something. In all four novels where we get much of a look at the Friendly worlds, the male-female balance seems pretty even, yet the Friendlies are noted for sending their young men off as cannon fodder. This imbalance is especially noticeable in the two books that focus on Bleys. It's not as bad as in The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, but it's interesting.

Mez: This goes at it from the other angle.

There's a lot of powerful writing on that weblog--I recommend it to all.

Susan: I liked Dave Sim's version of Wolverine quite a bit.

#298 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2006, 11:31 PM:

Karen, Jules - Is this LGF where dissenters get attacked with DOS and huge volumes of hate mail when they diverge from group opinion? I don't think so.

Just ask die-hard libertarian Clark E Meyers (sp?). He hasn't been disemvowelled (to the best of my knowledge) but he disagrees with PNH and TNH all the time.

As I said above Mrk Yrk clearly has an axe to grind.

Oh, and BTW, while I strongly believe that the Nielsen Haydens shouldn't be slandered, who the heck believes anything not externally verifiable on Wikipedia anyway? Chloe, maybe?

#299 ::: rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2006, 11:47 PM:

Paula,
Wolverine has been a really neat character to many people in an assortment of ways, and each time he has become popular, Marvel, et al have found ways to milk that franchise for all its worth.

I found Wolverine really interesting twice:

In the eighties, when I first picked up comics seriously; having a brooding, introspective, homicidal maniac who wanted to be humane and in control of himself was a novelty for me. (Context: bland Superman comics and shows like "Superfriends" on TV.) If it had been done before*, I hadn't known it, I was too young. All the usual stuff came into play: he had personality (thanks to Claremont, all the x-men did to some degree), I felt I could relate to this good-guy-with-bad-impulses**, etc. Classic reader-identifying with hero stuff. Yes, I was a bad-tempered, easily taunted weird kid. Classic nerd.

The second time I thought Wolverine was cool, was long after he had gotten popular. There were some really astonishingly good artists working on the solo comic, and some really remarkable writing and dialogue. By this point, he was doing the mentor thing with young girls (first Kitty Pride, then Jubi Lee), and was safe from turning into the Heinleinian Ubermensch due to the tremendous amounts of physical and psychic suffering the writers put him through. I really liked the mentor thing, I really liked the "universally competent hero" thing, and I respected the suffering of the character.

Maybe it was the "girls want him, guys want to be him" thing, but it felt a little different than that. The real-ness, the directness of the character (Where's my beer, bub?) unmixed with faux good-ole-boy crap was pretty appealing. Most manly men types in our culture are depicted as mindless brutes, or dumb, or uncultured to balance out their hyper-masculinity. I think Wolverine got a free pass due to the aforementioned suffering. How else do you explain a near-immortal, motorcycle riding, katana-weilding, vampire killing***, doomed-to-love doomed women, amnesiac berserker who isn't afraid to cry or drink his weight in beer?

Or, he could be a mary sue. But I wouldn't say that to his face.

-r.

*the Moores hadn't done their thing, that I had known, Wolvierine didn't even have a mini series, and The Shadow might have barely possibly surfaced on AM radio's radio drama reruns.
**thats what giant robot anime is all about, you know - adolecents and pre-adolecents trying to conceptualize control over their bodies/lives. That deserves an essay, but I don't have time to write it tonight.
***the first four were combined into a really cool one-comic story sometime in the 90's. I recall that the story had both unity of form, and a level of successful suspension of disbelief that was pretty remarkable. Hey, wait, Neil Gaiman didn't ever write for Marvel, did he?

#300 ::: rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 12:02 AM:

Argh, Susan, I meant Susan, not Paula.
Apologies to you both!
-r.

#301 ::: rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 01:18 AM:

More open thread bait:
Scoble has a bit on trademark infringement in Second Life. (3d graphical social type MUD) I'll quote the juicy bit:

I see brands being attached to lots of things inside Second Life. I like that, but in most cases it's not being done by the trademark owners. My son, for instance, bought me a virtual Apple Macintosh computer for my virtual office.
Anyway, I posed the question of how public a trademark misuse/violation has to be before someone has to take action, for assorted values of public. After mumbling on for a bit, dragging in copyright, and citing C. E. Peit (badly) I realized that this kind of thing is more you guys' kind of thing, so I thought I'd share.

Uh, highlights version:
A one-on one interaction in SL, (or email) is clearly private, but how many participants makes it public? This is like the old “How many people in the to: line before it becomes a listserv?*"
So, basically, private use and misuse of trademark (and copyright) is not punished, so how high do the walls have to be and how many people can you invite to the party before the cops get called?

I recall reading reccomendations for fiction to avoid the use of trademarks, but if you have to include them, follow the meaning, usage, and typography guidlines for them. Or, ask you publisher if they have good liablity insurance. Is that still so? I have heard from 'sources'** that the industry has gotten gun shy mainly due to buget cuts for the legal department.

-r.

*or before you get to the center of a Tootsie Pop(tm)
**love them scare quotes!

#302 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 07:10 AM:

Maybe it was the "girls want him, guys want to be him" thing, but it felt a little different than that. The real-ness, the directness of the character (Where's my beer, bub?) unmixed with faux good-ole-boy crap was pretty appealing. Most manly men types in our culture are depicted as mindless brutes, or dumb, or uncultured to balance out their hyper-masculinity. I think Wolverine got a free pass due to the aforementioned suffering. How else do you explain a near-immortal, motorcycle riding, katana-weilding, vampire killing***, doomed-to-love doomed women, amnesiac berserker who isn't afraid to cry or drink his weight in beer?

I think this must be a guy thing. I don't want to either explain or, particularly, read about him. (Hyper-masculinity sort of sums up the turnoff.) And while some girls may want him, this girl didn't, though Hugh Jackman is quite scenic and (to me) vastly unlike Wolverine-as-drawn.

Speaking of vampire-killing, I met Marv Wolfman and Len Wein at a party once, and probably startled them both by turning from Len to Marv and going all fangirl over "Tomb of Dracula", of all things. I like to think of it as the original Scooby gang (in the Buffy sense).

#303 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 09:24 AM:

I came here to ask essentially the same questions as Jules. Mark seems to believe

1. That anyone who disagrees with the crowd is disemvoweled, merely for having a dissenting opinion, here or on any other forum that uses disemvoweling,

2. that he was disemvoweled for the purpose of public ridicule (which I can see, sort of),

3. that people who are disemvoweled are never again allowed to post unaltered text, no matter how well-behaved they are,

4. that most disemvoweled posters are then banned, and

5. that TNH does all this at the first sign of a dissenting opinion.

Furthermore, he wants Wikipedia to reflact all five of these opinions.

(snort) (cough) (HACK!)

(wiping mt. dew from monitor)

See, this is exactly the sort of crap that drove me insane on wikipedia. tell knucklehead that he's doing original research and if he keeps it up, he'll get banned from editing that article.

The article on disemvowelment should simply reflect what it means to disemvowel a post. How any particular moderator on any particular blog uses disemvowelment is non-notable, unless and until some notable source expounds on the merits and demerits of disemvowelment and how specific blogs are using and misusing it. At which point, the disemvowelment article would probably be better off linking to an article on blog moderating or some such thing, since all forms of moderating can be abused.

#304 ::: DaveL ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 10:04 AM:

My dad's having a heck of a time keeping the deer away from his ~2 acre garden. Anyone know of any solution for keeping the critters from turning his hard work into a free buffet? It would be good if you or someone you know actually tried the solution and saw it work.

Almost any solution you try (short of a ballistic one) will eventually stop working. The deer have a stronger interest in getting to the buffet than you have in protecting it.

Some things we have tried that work, more or less:

* Plastic deer netting. This is great unless the netting gets blown off or a heavy snow pulls it down (from a tree), or it's a really hard winter and the deer bite through it anyway. They will, of course, eat anything that protrudes. The netting is a pain to put on (early winter) and take off (spring). It's fairly cheap, though, and you can't really see it when it's on. Netting is probably not a practical solution for a garden though; we have bushes such as rhododendrons and holly that are mostly eaten during the winter.

* Any of the rotten-egg-smell preparations. We and our neighbors have used several commercial ones (Google is your friend here). They need to be applied several times a year (at least) and eventually the deer stop caring about them. They can also be fairly expensive. They will also sell you "sealant" that supposedly makes it last longer. I don't think it helps.

* A dog. Our new next-door neighbor has a large yellow Lab who has definitely been a help. On the other hand, the presence of coyotes in the neighborhood seems to have no effect.

* Bow-hunters. We allowed one one year, he took the legal limit of deer, but other less scrupulous hunters heard about it and "poached," at least one with a rifle. The neighbors were less than amused and the neighborhood association refused to sanction a repeat.

I am told that motion-triggered noises and bright lights work for a while, and an eight foot high fence works indefinitely, but we haven't tried either.

#305 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 10:23 AM:

DaveL,

Thanks for the info.
For a moment, I was thinking about hiring a
company to install an 8-foot fence for my dad,
but then I remembered that he uses a tractor,
disc, and harrow to till the garden in the
spring. It would have to be a removable fence.

damn it.
Will have to think about it some more.
I'll try googling some of your suggestions.

Thanks,
Greg

#306 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 10:38 AM:

Greg:
Make the fenced area slightly larger than the garden and put a path just inside the fence, wide enough to leave the tractor room to turn.

#307 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 10:40 AM:

Very belated return to this thread:

CHip wrote: ...an hour after you posted, it was dark and windy (and wet soon after) in Needham. Don't you know better than to provoke the weather gods?

Given the weather we had in New England this spring, I think the weather gods might have been sufficiently provoked already. Or possibly there are other reasons. (I saw An Inconvenient Truth last night. I bought a Terrapass first thing this morning.)

joann: I had a terrific drink last night at a Hyderabadi bistro that was coconut rum, pineapple juice, and muddled cilantro leaves. I bet a cilantro mojito would be terrific. (And yes, I know that lots of people hate cilantro. I am hoping you didn't do so unfairly in the genetic lottery that you can't stand either cilantro or mint.)

rhandir: Hey, wait, Neil Gaiman didn't ever write for Marvel, did he?. Not in the same era, obviously, but you can check out the alternate-history X-Men miniseries, 1602, and he has another miniseries starting next month, The Eternals.

#308 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 10:48 AM:

I just moved into a nice established suburban neighborhood with deer. Lots of deer. I counted seven of them in the parking lot of the local Lutheran church in broad daylight. There are two deer trails through my yard, but I haven't actually seen any deer because I walk my dog back there on a regular basis (and carefully check for deer ticks afterward).

Friends told me that a good way to discourage deer, though it has to be renewed every few weeks, is male human urine. They recommended that I invite the guys over every two weeks to drink a case of beer and then go pee in the yard. It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it, they said. Did I mention these helpful friends were all guys?

#309 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 11:15 AM:

put a path just inside the fence, wide enough to leave the tractor room to turn

This is the sort of tractor I'm talking about. My dad has a couple hundred acre farm.

#310 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 11:19 AM:

male human urine.

Hm. well, if it works, it works. probably means I'll have to think of something else for a birthday present, though.

#311 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 11:25 AM:

It looks a bit large for a garden. A fence is still your best bet: I understand one method is two fences, spaced so the deer can't clear both at once. (You can have shorter fences that way.)

My father's tractor was a bit smaller than that (it was mostly used for lawn-mowing; there was an acre and a half of yard, including the house, the garden, and Arthur). If he needed more tractor, he borrowed a neighbor.

#312 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 12:53 PM:

Greg London: Lion dung. Friends of mine have tried this with some success. Available free from your local zoo (bring your own bag). It doesn't smell to humans (except in large quantities) but to deer it is very obviously the smell of a large carnivore, and they keep well clear. Scatter it in small quantities around the flower beds.
If you don't have a lion handy, any other large carnivore would probably do.

Not suitable if you have cats - they'll be terrified too.

#313 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 01:04 PM:

Debcha: I love cilantro. It had just never occurred to me to put it in a drink. I'll let you know how it works out -- probably a couple of weeks till I buy some more.

#314 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 01:08 PM:

What about cat dung? Although personal anecdotal evidence may be against it, as we have a flower bed next to the house. At one end, some cat has been attempting to use it as a litter box; we discourage this with used expresso grounds. At the other end (10-15 feet away) is a rosebush. We have just realized that the reason it appears to be non-blooming this year is that the deer are pruning it.

#315 ::: Lisa Goldstein ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 01:45 PM:

Susan: Am I the only X-Men fan ever who has always thought Wolverine is just not particularly interesting, no matter how decorative the actor playing him is? (And he is, oh yeah.)

Well, as Ebert or Roeper (can't remember which) pointed out, what's the big deal about having retractable claws? Wouldn't, say, the ability to control the weather be more useful? (Haven't seen 3 yet, so I don't know if this is addressed. Please don't tell me if it is.)

Still, I'm firmly in the camp that likes the guy. And it sure doesn't hurt that he's fun to look at. How many times did he take his shirt off in this movie?

#316 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 02:00 PM:

How many times did [Hugh Jackman] take his shirt off in this movie?

Not enough.

#317 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 02:20 PM:

How many times did [Hugh Jackman] take his shirt off in this movie?

My wife generally hates all my movie selections, but oddly she never objects to seeing another X-men movie.

window shop. buy at home.

;)

#318 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 03:05 PM:

I'm glad you Sidelighted that "Faith of a Happy Warrior" post of Corpsy's, PNH. Not just because I'm quoted extensively in it, either: it was a detailed reminder of things I (and many of us on the left) tend to forget. Despair is a luxury we cannot afford, even if we can only fight a delaying action.

#319 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 03:24 PM:

Okay, let me make a quick, limited request for info on this Wikipedia thing, however futile the effort may seem to some of you. Can anyone give me an example of a person who was disemvoweled but subsequently was allowed to post new, unaltered comments in the same venue (i.e., was forgiven)? That seems to be the crux of the argument now, whether that ever happens, and it's a little hard to research by Googling. Thanks!

Karen

#320 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 03:42 PM:

Karen, some of the best of us have had all or part of a post disemvoweled. Hmm...can't point to an example right off. I'm almost certain one of my posts got partially disemvoweled early on.

And I'm pretty sure someone just recently had to make a second and third try at a post to get it to keep vowels. She and TNH were both quite patient.

#321 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 03:48 PM:

Well, as Ebert or Roeper (can't remember which) pointed out, what's the big deal about having retractable claws? Wouldn't, say, the ability to control the weather be more useful? (Haven't seen 3 yet, so I don't know if this is addressed. Please don't tell me if it is.)

I won't go into which mutation is more useful in the third movie, but Ebert or Roeper missed the little detail that the retractable claws are not Wolverine's mutation - his mutation is "off the charts regeneration." The claws and metal-clad skeleton were done surgically, and he could only survive the surgery because of the super-healing. This is print canon (as much as anything is in comics) and was explained on film in one of the first two movies.

Still, I'm firmly in the camp that likes the guy. And it sure doesn't hurt that he's fun to look at.

In the movie, sure. The print character doesn't light me up at all either as a personality or as decorative scenery, and the movies suffer (for me) in making him 1) hot and 2) the center of the whole story arc, especially in a story (#3) he was pretty much peripheral to originally. That bothered me less in the other two because the original stories drawn on to create those plots didn't have such strong central characters in the book, but this one really irked me.

How many times did he take his shirt off in this movie?

debcha beat me to it, but I'll repeat: not enough! And, y'know, he sings, too! (Um, not in the movie. On Broadway in real life.)

#322 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 03:55 PM:

Karen,

you're fighting this on MrkYrk's terms, and his terms are messed up. Before MrkYrk can modify a wikipedia article to say "people disemvoweled are never allowed to post again", he must quote a notable source that supports it. If no notable source asserts that, it is original research. If you wish to allow him to do original research, and I strong recommend you resist giving the troll a single millimeter on this, then you would have to require that he report specific examples in the article and refuse to allow him to make generalizations.


(1) "MrkYrk was disemvoweled here (url) and has not been allowed to post since."

(2) "Disemvoweled victims, once disemvowled for a single post, are generally never again allowed to post on the forum from which they were disemvoweled."

The first is a single fact that can be supported by a URL or two. The second is a sweeping generalization that is exactly the sort of original research that editors of wikipedia are not allowed to make. If MrkYrk cannot find a notable source (who is not MrkYrk) who asserts this, then he cannot have the article report it.

The fact that wikipedia cannot prevent even the most basic violations like MrkYrk's axe grinding without getting into mob votes and 3RR's is the reason I left that madhouse.

#323 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 04:26 PM:

I just looked at the wikipedia article for disemvowelment. This block of text is unencyclopedic horseshit:

It was pointed out (pointed out by whom? weasel word alert) that having left an example of an offense for all to see intact would effectively "ridicule" offenders. One person who had been banned from a site discussed took issue with its use. (irrelevant. pointless. anecdotal. anonymous. unverifiable. unencyclopedic.) Nielsen Hayden stated that she would use it much more quickly at Making Light if a poster had behaved badly. (irrelevant to disemvoweling, except that the next sentence implies that TNH is subjective in her moderating.) The decision to disemvowel a post is extremely subjective and varies among moderators. (says who? no notable source mentioned. original research. complete horseshit.) Moreover, it may be impossible for a targeted poster to respond even cordially, since in many cases every message is subsequently scrambled in this fashion. (Says who? No notable source. original research. complete horseshit.)

Wikipedia rules for articles are clear that this block of text should be removed from teh article. The only reason that it is in there is because some troll came along and put it there and is using troll-like behaviour to force it to remain in there. Do not negotiate to the point that the rules for articles are broken. don't meet a troll half-way. Meet them where the rules draw the line. Don't let them set an anchor in the middle of some axegrinding and demand you meet them halfway into that swamp.

Gawds! must the trolls always win?

#324 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 04:31 PM:

Mrk Yrk and his disemvoweling antics on Wikipedia. If anyone would like to weigh in, I'd invite them to come along. Trolls generally can't be stopped by anything but the hardest of rules, and a simple 3RR violation on their part is grounds for a block.

Also, comments on the talk page which point out that several users view his antics as nothing more than axe grinding can help the uninvolved filter out his BS. If a decent moderator comes along, then it should be fairly easy for them to figure out that he's trying to hijack the article for his own purposes.


#325 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 04:33 PM:

Karen, a little hunting later, a counterexample. pixxelpuss made a post which Teresa disemvoweled; Teresa offered to let her try it again without the offensive material. pixxelpuss tried again, and removed the wrong things. Teresa elected not to disemvowel the second try in favor of making another announcement instead.

pixxelpuss went on to make twenty-odd further posts in that thread, without being disemvoweled at all.

Mrk Yrk is all fucking wet, on this topic as on virtually all others.

#326 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 04:35 PM:

The second is a sweeping generalization that is exactly the sort of original research that editors of wikipedia are not allowed to make.

This is why I don't do much editing on Wikipedia - for the articles full of junk which I could improve with actual knowledge, that knowledge is based on my original research. Which apparently I can't use. I've de-junked articles occasionally, but I notice they then get edited to put it back in. Isn't a policy forbidding people with actual knowledge to include it kind of backwards for an encyclopedia?

As far as I can tell, what I would have to do is 1) write and publish a book, and 2) then get someone else to cite it - since it isn't original to them, it's no longer a problem. Since this doesn't seem worth the effort, I mostly ignore Wikipedia, on the theory that if it is that bad in the fields I know a lot about, it's probably not reliable on the ones I can't personally check.

(Alternatively, I can wait patiently and eventually someone will plagiarize one of my website writeups and post it uncredited, which also gets original research on there without it being posted by the original researcher. I suppose I could deliberately set this up if I really cared, but it occasionally happens spontaneously, too.)

#327 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 05:06 PM:

that knowledge is based on my original research. Which apparently I can't use.

The idea is that cited sources are irrefutable. Any uninvolved editor can verify the accuracy. If the point of view of the source becomes contested by another editor who reports some other source with a different POV, then the original cite can be phrased "notable source A states that disemvoweling is useful. (url) Notable Source B states that disemvoweling is inherintly unfair. (URL)."

I got into some long drawn out battles on wikipedia with people trying to remove points of views they didn't like from articles. The reply to that is to put it in the form of "A stated X (URL)" and it cannot be removed. The trolls will then try to argue it is irrelevant to the article or will try to rephrase the text before and after to downplay the part they don't like. which is a different battle.

But the idea isn't to prevent you from using your own knowledge in an article. It's just that as soon as your knowledge becomes contested by another editor, you have to use your knowledge to find notable sources that you can report and cite with a URL. If you didn't know what you knew about the topic, you wouldn't be able to find the sources in the first place.

Someone could still remove your information after you leave the article. But an uninvolved and neutral editor may see your content, with sources and url's, and put it back in. I worked on some of the most controversial articles and the ones that I managed to frame in terms of "A stated X (URL)" are still pretty much intact long since I left. But it was my knowledge of the subject that directed me to know what to look for, who to cite, what part to quote, etc. I didn't give up on wikipedia until a pack of politically motivated administrators descended on an article and made sure it sounded exactly the way they wanted it to sound. Mob rule applies whether your an IP contributer or an administrator.

#328 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 05:07 PM:

administrators on wikipedia should be put up for reelection every couple of years.

#329 ::: HP ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 05:39 PM:

Re. disemvowelling: Someone somewhere once made the point that various cruel and unusual punishments from the past that we moderns decry actually represent a moderation over previous punishments. "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" seems barbaric, until you realize that it supplanted the earlier standard of "escalating-cycle-of-vengeance-culminating-in-the-mass- torture-and-slaughter-of-innocents for a tooth."

Disemvowelling is certainly a much more civil way of dealing with trollery than summary banning (which, actually, I find perfectly reasonable) or, -- God forbid -- DOS attacks, viruses and trojans, false charges lodged with ISPs, posting personal information about the troll (with or without incitement to violence), or the myriad other forms of vigilante justice found on the electronic frontier.

Perhaps someday we will look upon disemvowelling-as-punishment the way we currently view the stocks, but we shouldn't forget that the stocks represented a great improvement over breaking on the wheel.

#330 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 06:10 PM:

Greg --

Male human urine doesn't, a priori, work as deer repellent.

Any human urine when the humans in question have recently been eating red meat in quantity works as much as it's going to, which is oft enough reported to be pretty well.

What's really wanted is a couple of Homotherium, but that presents lamentable logistical difficulties.

#331 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 06:35 PM:

Iconic modern American illustrator Tim
Hildebrandt dies
By Tish Wells
Knight Ridder Newspapers

Tim Hildebrandt, half of the famed Hildebrandt
Brothers illustration studio, whose images fired
popular imagination in the late 20th century, is
dead from complications of diabetes. He was 67.

http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/news/local/14840296.htm

#332 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 07:36 PM:

adamsj: the Friendlies (whom Dickson reportedly preferred to the Dorsai) were conceived before the Religious Wrong started making fusses about interference with reproduction; Dickson might have had in mind any of several ways they could have increased the fraction of male births without transgressing their code.

#333 ::: Seth Breidbart ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 07:50 PM:

Susan, if your original research consists of reading 17th century publications, you can reference those in the Wikipedia article.

What their rules prevent would be me writing an article on quantum cryptography or spam measurement without reference to published stuff by other people.

#334 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 08:38 PM:

Method for repelling deer: hang scented soap in the trees.

#335 ::: Zack ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 08:40 PM:

I've had my go at NPOVing the Wikipedia article. I doubt I'll have the patience to keep it up in the face of repeated troll-reverts, but it was fun to try.

#336 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 09:35 PM:

Zack,

much better.

Detractors argue that the technique can be used to stifle criticism and honest debate

My quibble is that "detractors" remains unsourced. As far as I can tell, no one has ever said this, except for Mrk Yrk. If there is no one notable who can be quoted as saying this, and Mrk Yrk is not notable, then it should be removed.

It would seem that he's inserted his original research and is demanding that other's prove him wrong, which isn't how wikipedia rules work. if content is disputed, he must provide the reasons to justify its addition, not demand that others justify its removal.

#337 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 10:10 PM:

CHip,

I wouldn't be shocked if Dickson prefered the Friendlies--Soldier, Ask Not and Young Bleys are awfully well-written books, maybe the two best in that bunch (note to self: Pick up that cheap first of Young Bleys at the used book store)--but I suspect most of those who read the series wouldn't share that opinion. I gotta tell ya--and I bet I've done it before--getting my active sympathy for fundamentalists is hard, but Dickson did it.

I wish he'd gotten Childe written, or at least done enough that it could be released in some form. The other Dorsai protagonists defeated their opponents, but it was never enough. I wondered if Hal Mayne would find a way to join with Bleys.

#338 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 10:21 PM:

"Gawds! must the trolls always win?"

One has to have the courage to say no to them--surprisingly difficult for many people, it seems.

Now, my problem with Wikipedia is that the licensing terms make it impossible to document any 20th century art or architecture. Even of older work, where the original work is not covered by copyright, trademark, or patent, the images or graphics must themselves be free, and it's quite a lot of work to create them--if, for instance, one wanted to upload an image of the Mona Lisa one would have to go and photograph it oneself (if that would be allowed); if one wanted to cover, say, the Crystal Palace, one would have to used scanned or traced public-domain drawings, which would be fairly hard to find. All of which makes Wikipedia a very poor reference for any non-literary art and hopeless for 20th-century work.

#339 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 10:28 PM:

But the idea isn't to prevent you from using your own knowledge in an article. It's just that as soon as your knowledge becomes contested by another editor, you have to use your knowledge to find notable sources that you can report and cite with a URL. If you didn't know what you knew about the topic, you wouldn't be able to find the sources in the first place.

*nod* And it's extremely annoying of people in previous centuries not to have published on the web and had URLs I could cite instead of musty old books that can only be looked at by either physically going to various libraries or by ordering microfilm. I'm having trouble believing that "has a URL" is any sort of standard for accuracy.

For what it's worth, I've put some bits of original research into a Wikipedia article, some of which have stayed in. I've also corrected errors of fact and had them un-corrected by people emotionally invested in the, um, I'd have to call it at best attractive b.s. and at worst outright lies. It goes something like this, using an unrelated made-up example:

Article: "Anderson's novel The High Crusade is a great book of medieval history."

My correction: "Anderson's novel The High Crusade is a fantasy novel set in an alternate medieval setting. It should not be taken seriously as history."

Re-edit: "Anderson is well known for writing medieval history in The High Crusade."

(For those who haven't read it, in The High Crusade, a group of knights and ladies take off for space on a hijacked space ship stolen from the bug-eyed monsters who attacked their castle. Great fun. Not history.)

I don't actually have the patience to go back and forth repeatedly on stuff like this, and I can't cite URLs to prove that they keep posting b.s. because the proof that it is b.s. is scattered among multiple centuries-old sources which few people (in some cases no one but myself) have looked at in sufficient detail to pull all the clues together - a sentence here, a sentence there, a line in an advertisement, an allegorical figure in a poem, etc. And since the b.s. is popular, it keeps coming back.

I thus mostly ignore Wikipedia because it raises my blood pressure to have to look at pseudohistory passed off as facts.

#340 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 10:38 PM:

Susan, if your original research consists of reading 17th century publications, you can reference those in the Wikipedia article.

My original research consists of reading thousands of pages of material covering five centuries and five languages (modern and older versions), and then pulling together clues from these sources, which do not say "we did things such-and-such" - that's the part you have to figure out from what hints they give or what they leave out based on having a large knowledge base of what such things typically say. It's hard to cite particular quotations except at a level of detail that really is not needed in a Wikipedia article.

What their rules prevent would be me writing an article on quantum cryptography or spam measurement without reference to published stuff by other people.

So someone who is a recognized authority on spam has to cite other people instead of himself but it would be okay for anyone else to write an article citing you as an authority?

Is it just me to whom this makes no sense?

#341 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 11:09 PM:

musty old books

ah, book title, author name, publisher, page number. if an old public domain book with multiple versions, publishers, etc, I'm sure there's a consistent way to point to something specific. ISBN's help a lot in making thing consistently look-up-able for other editors, and nicely satisfies notable sources.

There were some references I made in various articles that were to magazine, issue, article name, author, and magazine page number. They generally were treated as undisputed pov's by the most rabid trolls.

Once a specific source was named, identified, and made completely look-up-able, I found most trolls left that alone, and attacked from some other angle, such as adding their own original research to counter said source. Still frustrating, but progress, none the less.

The High Crusade, a group of knights and ladies take off for space on a hijacked space ship

heh. sorry that isn't funny. ha. Yeah, you'll get editors who completely refute reality and replace it with their own version. A look-up-able source will generally help you recruit uninvolved and neutral editors to come in and keep the morons at bay. That's the attraction of URL's though. If you can produce a URL that says it was a fantasy book, the moron keeps trying to say it was history, then all you need to do is wave down a couple editors to check your URL, then they tell the moron to chill it, and that puts most of them in check. Then they go off and muck with somthing else, of course, but you made some progress.

To settle the debate about The High Crusade, the URL to amazon.com's description of the book should settle it for most passerby's. Then you can get a couple other editors to back you up, and the troll will go off to muck something further down.


#342 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 11:26 PM:

I thus mostly ignore Wikipedia because it raises my blood pressure

Did I mention I stopped editing after getting a serious wiki-ulcer? I saw a PhD on highly technical subject leave wikipedia completely after a couple of administrators worked together to enforce their view of reality on several articles. One would edit. The other would act as admin, selectively enforcing rules. And they did this on several articles, trading roles to keep it interesting and break up the obvious pattern. Game the system? Admins can be the worst.

Admins shouldn't be allowed to use pseudonyms, should be up for reelection as admin every two years, and should not be allowed to edit any articles, just enforce rules. strict vandalism reversion might be the one and only exception to the no editing rule. but even that can be gamed.


#343 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 11:34 PM:

Susan, I'm intrigued. What sort of history do you do?

#344 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2006, 11:35 PM:

"The idea is that cited sources are irrefutable."

"Opinions differ on shape of earth." (Paul Krugman)

I find it interesting that this problem of journalism is also a problem of Wikipedia. Google, on the other hand, uses a scoring system; that's a mixed blessing. I recently had occasion to research the history of New Orleans on the web, and I realized that that scoring system reflects US shame and Puritanism, and so I could not quickly locate a good history. Without, after all, music, dance, gambling, liquor, sex, and racial and cultural conflict, one doesn't have much of a history of New Orleans.

I suppose there's a sense in which academic review and qualification are a scoring system. A thought for when I am awake.

#345 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2006, 12:15 AM:

Method for repelling deer: hang scented soap in the trees.

Now if only it also worked for trolls...

#346 ::: Keir ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2006, 12:50 AM:

The `no original research' rule is rather odd. It means that this guy can't edit this article.

However, for every Einstein proposing his General Theory via Wikipedia, there are a million Lysenkos. I can understand the motivation, but it seems a pity.

By the way, what was the article involved in your wiki-ulcer, Greg?

#347 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2006, 01:14 AM:

"Opinions differ on shape of earth." (Paul Krugman)

quantities can be entered into the article. so if a small number of people believe the earth is flat, their point of view can be reported as a small minority as compared to the majority point of view. For sufficiently small numbers, the article about the earth may not have to mention flat-earthers at all, or may mention it only in passing toward the middle or end of the article.

citing a notable source is not sufficient to find every crackpot and report them as mainstream views. trolls like to argue that, but it aint so.

#348 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2006, 02:53 AM:

Well! What a day! Xopher, your citation helped a lot. Thanks! Zack, your edit is a big improvement. There's one gap of extra space or spaces, and a sentence that goes on too long, but overall it flows much better, cites sources (mostly, anyway), and is about as NPOV as it gets. Best of all, it's got everyone satisfied, which I consider fairly miraculous. (I've since discovered an additional reason for the sudden cessation of hostilities, but that's okay.)

Now, if everyone will be reasonably content with my Barbara Bauer edit, maybe I'll be able to get some work done around here. By the way, she made two more attempts to turn it into a BB praise-a-thon last night. The second attempt stood for all of four minutes before being reverted.

#349 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2006, 06:20 AM:

Something I blogged yesterday:

NASA managers on Saturday picked July 1 to launch the first space shuttle in almost a year, despite recommendations against a liftoff attempt by the space agency's chief engineer and safety offices.

The decision to launch Discovery on a trip to the international space station was made after two days of meetings by NASA's top managers and engineers at the Kennedy Space Center. The flight would be only the second shuttle mission since the Columbia disaster in 2003.

During a poll of top managers, representatives from NASA's Office of Safety and Mission Assurance and the Office of the Chief Engineer recommended against flying until further design changes are made to the external fuel tank. Despite their recommendations, the dissenting managers didn't object to making a launch, NASA officials said.

The ultimate decision to fly was made by NASA administrator Michael Griffin, who said he would shut down the space shuttle program if there was another vehicle lost like space shuttles Challenger and Columbia.
From a different article:
The head of the US space agency, Dr Michael Griffin, overruled warnings that there was a "relatively high" chance the shuttle's external fuel tank could shed some of its solid foam coating when it launches on 1 July, carrying seven crew
That's the same problem that brought down Columbia.

And isn't this precisely how the shuttle got into trouble the last two explosions? Not this specific problem, but the management team overruling the engineers who warned of safety issues?

#350 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2006, 06:40 AM:

Re:wikipedia, get a load of This article on danah boyd. Like bell hooks, she spells her name in lower case, and has had her name legally changed to that format. But Wikipedia won't allow her entry to reflect that.

Unfortunately, you seem to have a misconception of how Wikipedia works. I strongly recommend reading the policies and guidelines at Wikipedia:Autobiography, Wikipedia:Verifiability, and Wikipedia:No original research. In a nutshell: Wikipedia is not for placing “the truth”, it is for placing summaries of information that is already published in other credible news sources. If you can’t convince the NY Times, NPR, USA Today, and Fox News to lowercase your name, that makes a really tough case to argue on Wikipedia, since the policy here is to only incorporate information after it’s been published elsewhere.
According to danah, her Wikipedia entry repeated mistakes because mainstream media wrote something inaccurate:
What really weirds me out about all of this is that everyone acts like i'm dead and incapable of speaking for myself. It is culturally inappropriate for me to edit my entry, even when there are parts of it that are dead wrong. No one asks me to fact check - journalists matter more than me.
Anyway, I just found this interesting and thought I'd share it...

#351 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2006, 10:35 AM:

the reason danah boyd is frowned upon for editing her wikipedia is not because of danah boyd; it's because of Barbara Bauer and her types. Some folks turn their article into a cheerleading section. but blanket rules that discourage people from editing the articles about themselves were likely created by a group of editors who felt as if they owned the article and especially didn't want their spin deleted by the person the article was about. The rule that people can't edit their own article is one of the most moronic rules on wikipedia. It is a clear example of making sure people who might know the facts are prohibited from posting them, and instead deferring such decisions to a mob of anonymous and pseudonymous editors. The reasoning behind this? well, obviously people who post under fake names and pseudonyms and duplicate accounts have nothing to hide, right? So we should give them the power to determine what is true. Not "danah boyd" because "danah boyd" is biased. On the other hand, "BoManWeavel"* is an editor to be trusted, even though we have no idea who the hell BoManWeavel might be.

Sometimes Wikipedia is little more than a set of rules that rewards itself.

*I made that username up. If he actually exists, don't harrass him for being randomly selected in an unrelated rant...

#352 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2006, 10:40 AM:

The ultimate decision to fly was made by NASA administrator Michael Griffin, who said he would shut down the space shuttle program if there was another vehicle lost like space shuttles Challenger and Columbia.

And there are how many shuttles left to lose? Geeze, didn't they have it shut down so they could fix the problems, or at least find ways to fix the birds after the holes get put in the tiles? (mumbling about non-thinking admin types)

#353 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2006, 11:05 AM:

Look, the simple fact that you idealists seem to miss is that you can't justify spending lots of money on a new spaceship design and construction until you've blown up the old fleet. So don't go whining about safety and all that crud. There are government contracts at stake.

#354 ::: Andrew ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2006, 11:06 AM:

Karen, now that Zack's done further editing in disemvowelling, it looks fine to me. In the Barbara Bauer, I tripped over "Mrs. Nielsen Hayden" -- why "Mrs." rather than "Ms."? Unless Teresa were to express a strong preference for the former over the latter, I'd think it should be changed as a matter of course.

You also might want to add the Absolute Write external link to the Barbara Bauer entry, instead of just "Absolute Write" (in quotes) as it is now.

#355 ::: rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2006, 11:48 AM:

re:wikipedia
I hate to ask the obvious, but wouldn't it make sense for experts to citing themselves, but logging in as BoManWeavel in order to do it? So if you have citable publications (journals, web sites, etc.), you could just link those? I mean, if you are an expert you hardly need the ego boost of "being yourself" on Wikipedia.

(passes over in silence other defects of the wikipedia system)

(omits other comments)

Suggested improvement to wikipedia:
forking.
It works for CVS/subversion, why not here?
(omits snarky comment)

-r.

#356 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2006, 01:06 PM:

yahoo.com is trying to get people to answer questions in a sort-of-wikipedia way. Their headline question for the day? "How did eyebrows evolve?" The answers generally reflect the same distraught, uninformed, high schooler mentality, whereby many question the validity of evolution itself.

(sigh)

#357 ::: Harry Connolly ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2006, 01:17 PM:

One of the responses to Yahoo's eyebrow question, that Greg London links to above.

Originally only women had an eyebrow. It was just one big hairy eyebrow that started growing with the onset of menopause. As men became more wimpy, they also started growing an eyebrow As mankind's head became larger the eyebrow split into two parts as you see it today Sort of similar to Continental Drift. As more and more people are becoming small minded, I think that in the future the eyebrows will once again join and may even form a complete circle around the head.

Continental Drift! Priceless.

#358 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2006, 01:24 PM:

Discovery launch on July 1st? And the engineers are saying, "No go?"

I have a bad feeling about this...

When is she scheduled to land?

(Crosses fingers...praying that we don't have another fireworks show...)

#359 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2006, 04:33 PM:

Andrew: thanks. I'll look at those issues on the BB article tonight.

TNH: thanks for the comment. I agree about Mrk, generally, but I was trying to work with the system and treat him gently, something that might not be appropriate elsewhere. If he were to behave that way at the Outpost I would probably delete his comments, something I almost never do. Fortunately, it looks as though he's decided to disengage(!), even from the Wikipedia stuff. I'd like to think it's because I wore him down with my relentless niceness, but I'm sure a warning he got yesterday has more to do with it.

Re self-citing on Wikipedia: I've slipped in at least one of these,. I'm not saying where, except that it's not related to the two entries I've been ranting about here. Shame on me, but it was too good to leave out. And in a different article, someone else had already cited my L'Engle web site, so I figured that opened the door to at least paraphrasing some material from it. (Heh.)

#360 ::: rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2006, 10:04 PM:
Wikipedia seems to get/be the place for people that fought against each other on the Usenet in good old days.
-Comment by Uwe Keim on Scobelizer. The context was Scoble shaking his head in disbelief that someone I'd never heard of was considered "not noteable" enough to warrant an entry. Oh, the irony, the irony. it burnssss ussss

-r.

note that the fellow was "a high-profile venture capitalist who founded Flatiron Partners and Union Square Ventures." Funny how that building keeps cropping up.

#361 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2006, 11:04 PM:

BTW, for anybody already registered as a Wikipedia editor, I found a few more words for the List of fictional expletives Teresa linked to in the upper-left.

Specifically, they've got nothing from Tanith Lee's Don't bite the sun/Drinking sapphire wine.
I blogged the candidates for inclusion but don't feel like going through the rigamarole to be allowed to edit entries myself.

#362 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2006, 03:34 AM:

Urk. I note that Teresa has linked to BoingBoing's review of Jo Walton's Farthing. While I too think Farthing is a terrific book, and am glad to see it get publicity, I can't help noticing that the review in question contains gigantic honking spoilers.

So, everyone out there: I urge you to read Farthing when it comes out in a couple of months. I urge you not to read the BoingBoing review until afterwards. (In fact I urge you not to read the flap copy or the back cover blurbs, either. My ideal world is one in which everyone comes to this book as unaware as I did.)

#363 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2006, 04:24 AM:

I suspect I've already been somewhat spoiled for Farthing, but I'd like to present a slightly different view of the book.

This is a detective mystery, and like all such it deals with the question of good and evil. Most take it as a given of the plot structure. There is a detective (good) seeking a murderer (evil). The better sort blur the edges.

Farthing has the appearance of the detective mystery, but the core substance doesn't depend on there being a murder. It would be a different book, a different way of looking at that world, if there wasn't a murder and there wasn't a detective, just as An Inspector Calls would be--would have to be--a different play. The structure, so cosily traditional, puts you at the rotten heart of that world. The detective may still represent the side of Good; the murderer's place in the ranks of Evil may arise from other actions.

#364 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2006, 10:05 AM:

Much as I deplore violence, this does my heart good.

#365 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2006, 10:08 AM:

Lis,

I was wondering where "kink" (The Door Into Summer) and "frimp" (I Will Fear No Evil) were myself. Those seem like they'd be right up Wikipedia's alley...to say nothing of "asshat".

#366 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2006, 02:53 PM:

Loved, loved, LOVED the Sphere review in the Particles. Awesome.

Signs that we need a new Open Thread:

  • The current thread is rapidly approaching 400 posts.
  • The RSS feed has rolled past the current thread
  • Folks appear to be grabbing at older Open Threads because they missed the current one.
  • In additional randomness, bulleted lists look somewhat odd in this style sheet. Huh.

    #367 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2006, 03:14 PM:

    this does my heart good.

    Buzz Aldrin punches guy who accuses him of never landing on moon? my gawd. haven't we got the technology so that people could buy a telescope, point it at the moon, and see the lander? Would this require Hubble technology to detect? Or could a big Meade telescope see it? couldn't a moon-conspiracist simply go to an observatory and ask to point the scope at the moon? The ability of people to dismiss reality in the face of their personal hobgoblin is sometimes pretty amazing...

    #368 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2006, 03:35 PM:

    Greg, they still may not believe it.

    You can imagine the rationalizations: There could be a slide in the telescope, or an unmanned lander could have dropped props on the surface. They won't fool me!

    #369 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2006, 07:06 PM:

    Family Values.... where AREEEEE you....

    In a supermarket the other day, the tabloid the Globe had on the front cover that there are Problems in the marriage of [the Schmuck]. The article inside said that Laura B*sh went to a hotel after a big fight with [the Schmuck] alleging that he and Condi Rice are having an affair. The article mentioned that the Madsen report on-line had reported the information. So, I went googling...

    http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/2006_05220603.php

    Other less than complimentary material about Schmuck,

    http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2006/01/george-w-bush-bill-bennett-and-strange.html

    "Wednesday, January 18, 2006
    George W. Bush, Bill Bennett, and strange sex (with an update on male cheerleading!)"

    Since Karl Rove and the Schmuck go around sliming making slugs and snails envious, I figure that they deserve have every bit of possible muck dug up and revealed that could be damaging to the perceptions about them.... there is that whole Gannon/Guckert thing and just what was a male sex worker spending nights in the White House, anyway, and with whom? The tabloid's been publishing articles claiming Schmuck returned to hitting the booze, back around the same time or even earlier, that Darth Cheney used a hunting buddy for bird target practice.

    Given what the Republicrap slime and bucket brigade have done to Kerry, that former Representative who was disabled and demembered from war injuries, the Clintons (and the witchhunt that the House of Representatives went on after Bill Clinton), etc. etc., just why is the Schmuck getting a bye in the media (except from one tabloid!) on all this Family Values-outraging stuff, anyway?

    #370 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2006, 07:31 PM:

    When Condi referred to shrub as "my husband", i remember thinking that's about the weirdest slipup I've ever heard. good grief, I'd be willing to sacrifice a body part for some photos of shrub and Condi in the sack, especially if they came out about two or three weeks before the next election.

    #371 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2006, 09:13 PM:

    Karen, I apologize for not responding in full. I can answer these assertions of Mrk . Yrk's because Making Light has always had explicit policies covering all these issues. Mrk . Yrk has gotten every one of them wrong. He's speaking from dudgeon, not research.

    I came here to ask essentially the same questions as Jules. Mark seems to believe

    1. That anyone who disagrees with the crowd is disemvoweled, merely for having a dissenting opinion, here or on any other forum that uses disemvoweling,

    Incorrect. Making Light's policy has always been that civil, illuminating disagreement is not only allowed, but cherished. For a good example, see the long fanfic discussion--currently at 865 messages, with multiple large arguments running through the thread.

    See also the far more contentious breastfeeding and LiveJournal thread, where the clashes were fierce but only a few messages got disemvowelled. Late in the thread you can see a poster get disemvowelled, rewrite her post to remove what she thinks got the first version disemvowelled, get it wrong, and have her second version stay up anyway.

    Summary: It's demonstrable that incivility, not dissension, is what gets you disemvowelled.

    If Wikipedia doesn't think my word on that is sufficient, they're mistaken. I'm the inventor and chief evangelist for disemvowelling, and the moderator of Making Light. If anyone in this world knows how and why Mrk . Yrk got disemvowelled here, and what the policies are that led to that, it's me.* If they want more examples and compurgators, we can provide them.

    BTW, Mrk . Yrk seems to be implying that he's been disemvowelled in other venues. Has he? I thought Jenna just kicked him out.

    2. that he was disemvoweled for the purpose of public ridicule (which I can see, sort of),
    Absolutely untrue. The purpose of disemvowelling has always, explicitly, been to keep my readers from having to read the offending posts. (See also.)They can puzzle them out if they want, but they won't automatically read disemvowelled text that falls under their eye.

    Furthermore, if I want to expose someone to public ridicule, I leave their posts up, vowels and all. If my readers decide -- on their own, without my prompting -- that the offender deserves ridicule, they're more than capable of dishing it out.

    3. that people who are disemvoweled are never again allowed to post unaltered text, no matter how well-behaved they are,
    Malarkey. This can easily and objectively shown to be untrue. See the aforementioned incident in the breastfeeding thread. See also the career of Jonathan Vos Post. I can't begin to count the number of times JVP got disemvowelled. He always came back. When he posted appropriate material, it stayed up.

    Quite a few of Making Light's long-term regulars have gotten disemvowelled at one time or another. I can't even remember which ones have and haven't. I've always made it my explicit policy that getting disemvowelled cancels all debts. Civil discourse from a previously disemvowelled reader is as welcome as civil discourse from anyone else.

    By the way, what would Mrk . Yrk know about the treatment afforded people who behave themselves after being disemvowelled? He never did.

    4. that most disemvoweled posters are then banned,
    Almost no disemvowelled posters are banned. Banning is separate disciplinary measure. In fact, the two punishments tend to preclude one another. Disemvowelling means you can indicate displeasure without deleting comments or banning the poster. Banning happens when disemvowelling just isn't enough.

    Many disemvowelled posters leave and don't come back, at least not under their original names; but as I've already explained, if they wanted to come back, they'd be free to do so.

    5. that TNH does all this at the first sign of a dissenting opinion.
    That assertion could only be believed by someone who never reads my weblog. I can tell you right now that Mrk . Yrk doesn't believe it, no matter what he's claimed on Wikipedia. Before a single message of his got disemvowelled, he had posted thirty unrelentingly nasty, quarrelsome, and unilluminating messages in that thread, and had more than once been put on notice by the moderator (me). Things had gotten to the point where other readers were warning him that the axe was about to fall. His response was to sneer at them.

    Note: that sneering response was the first message of his that got disemvowelled. Afterward, I went back and disemvowelled the last few messages leading up to it.

    And what were the specific sins that drew this reproof? The big one was his constant, gratuitous, self-indulgent nastiness -- the sort of thing that drains and coarsens a conversation, and leaves the other participants heartsick and weary. Also: Importing irrelevant quarrels he'd had in other places. Taking other participants' arguments as an opportunity to come in and dump dirt on the person in the weaker position. Ordering readers who objected to his tone to go elsewhere -- that one went straight up my nose, I can tell you. And here's the runner-up for biggest sin: Being uninterested in any part of the conversation that didn't offer him an opportunity to talk trash about someone.

    Furthermore, he wants Wikipedia to reflact all five of these opinions.
    I'm sure he does. He sets a high value on his opinions.

    I don't know of a single online venue he's found satisfactory. I doubt Wikipedia will make him happy either. If they don't disappoint him in this squabble, they will in the next.

    I really believe Mark is incapable of recognizing that it was not his opinion of Jenna that got him disemvoweled and tossed, but his rudeness, defensiveness and name-calling in pressing it.
    I wish it were otherwise, but I fear you're right. He's an online type. I've disemvowelled more than a few of them. They're self-important, bad-mannered, bitterly defensive, and perpetually convinced that their dignity isn't getting enough respect. Their opinions are generally unremarkable: objectionable enough to argue with, but nothing memorable. Here's the genetic marker for the species: when you disemvowel them or throw them out, they're always convinced it was because you couldn't cope with their terribly challenging opinions. Nothing you say will convince them that it was their manners that were at fault.

    I don't have a background in psychology, but recently one of my readers described one of them as "narcissistic", and that sounds right to me.

    Similarly, he believes that anyone who doesn't want to allow him to turn the Wikipedia article into a one-sided attack on disemvoweling is both a) a friend or fan of AW and Teresa, pursuing an agenda, and b) Mark's bitter enemy, and out to get him. And that's the mild version of the accusations.
    True to species. They're never wrong, and everyone's out to get them.
    I've called in a mediator, but what is really needed, as Jules says, is factual, sourceable material. Off the top of my head I can think of one person who politely disagreed with most people over on the NYC landmarks thread, had what was probably a mutually enlightening discussion about the budgetary problems in the cities and the hinterlands, and was not disemvoweled, much less banned. It's a good counterexample, but it's still only anecdotal. The real question is whether there is something somewhere that can help to stabilize the article into a text the acknoweldges both the claimed advantages and the controversies without straying into factually inaccurate attack. Any help would be appreciated!

    (Yes, it know we're extremely unlikely to win him over. Still, it needs to be done, for the article if not for peace and harmony.)

    He won't be won over. That's not in his behavioral vocabulary. As for the article, all I can offer is authoritative primary data. If that's insufficient, I'll take suggestions.
    ___________________________
    *(Shush. I'm being vernacular.)

    #372 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2006, 09:19 PM:

    David Goldfarb: "So, everyone out there: I urge you to read Farthing when it comes out in a couple of months. I urge you not to read the BoingBoing review until afterwards. (In fact I urge you not to read the flap copy or the back cover blurbs, either. My ideal world is one in which everyone comes to this book as unaware as I did.)"

    This is the second place where David Goldfarb has bitched about this, and it's making me cross.

    I seem to be going through a season of complaints that my flap copy contains too many "spoilers," and while I've turned a soft answer up until now, I'm beginning to wonder if I should. The thing potential readers want to know is what is the damn book about. It's what smart non-book-industry people talk about when they're trying to get a friend to read a book they enjoyed.

    Maybe David Goldfarb could have written magic flap copy that would bewitch readers into picking up Farthing without "ruining" (i.e., describing) any of the precious perfect perfection of the super superior surprise experienced by readers who NEVER READ A MYSTERY NOVEL BEFORE. If so, I'll be happy to pay him to write flap copy. Not being magical myself, I do as well as I can.

    But I want to suggest in the kindliest possible terms: You know those things that authors think are a gigantic surprise, the surprisingness of which is what makes their books work? In fact, they are usually not so much of a surprise. And it's not why their books are good.

    Oh, and by the way: Jo Walton's Farthing. Kick-ass book. Don't forget to buy and read it when it comes out in about a month.

    #373 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2006, 09:30 PM:

    Apologies, Skwid. I had some undealt-with business in this thread, so I've been putting off the new one.

    Adamsj, I absolutely love the footage of Buzz Aldrin punching out that jerk. He would not be convicted by a jury of his peers.

    #374 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2006, 09:33 PM:

    The other day Michael Bérubé taught me a new word (epigone), and now I've learned another one: compurgator.

    Thanks.

    #375 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2006, 10:04 PM:

    You're welcome.

    Bet you a year's rent Graydon knows it.

    #376 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2006, 10:20 PM:

    epigone: what you call your epipen (R) after it's been used.

    compurgator: what you call your computer after it's been eaten by an aligator

    #377 ::: Jonathan Shaw ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2006, 11:01 PM:

    *(Shush. I'm being vernacular.)
    i intend to use that line often.

    #378 ::: Echidna ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2006, 11:22 PM:

    Greg asks: my gawd. haven't we got the technology so that people could buy a telescope, point it at the moon, and see the lander? Would this require Hubble technology to detect?

    Much, much more. Hubble doesn't come close.

    Being very generous, you'd need resolution of one meter to be able to see the lander. You'd need a lot better than that to convince skeptics that the dark patch isn't just a boulder, but this is a back-of-the-envelope calculation anyway. At a distance of 4*10^5 km, the angle thus subtended is 2.5 * 10^-9 radians. The diffraction limit of a telescope -- the smallest angle it can ever resolve if limited only by the laws of physics and not imperfections in the manufacture or turbuluence in the Earth's atmosphere -- is given roughly by lambda/D, where lambda is the wavelength of observation and D is the diameter of the telescope. For observations using visible light with a wavelength of approximately 5000 Angstroms (5 * 10^-7 meters), the telescope required to detect the lunar lander from the distance of the Earth would need a _minimal_ diameter of 200 meters. The diameter of the Hubble Space Telescope is approximately 2 meters; you'd need a telescope a hundred times larger (or space-based interferometry between two telescopes) to do this. Doing it from the ground (where the biggest telescope misses only by a factor of twenty, rather than a hundred) would require much better adaptive optics (correcting for the distortions introduced by the earth's atmosphere) than exist at present.

    It would be considerably easier to see the lander from lunar orbit, but if someone doesn't believe in the manned missions they'll be unlikely to trust images from NASA-funded missions, and would probably call them faked or doctored as well.

    #379 ::: Clark E Myers ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2006, 12:46 AM:

    Lunar Laser Ranging (see McDonald Observatory) could be done with advanced high school/college equipment - assertions that this required targets placed by the manned missions with the further assertion that laser ranging was tried prior to delivering proper targets and didn't work might be disputed.

    I'd have trouble initiating violence for a personal insult - even as here (if I understand the reference) an accusation of personal dishonesty. On the other hand I'd be annoyed with somebody who alleged that Grissom, Chaffee and White died for nothing.

    #380 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2006, 12:52 AM:

    Summary: It's demonstrable that incivility, not dissension, is what gets you disemvowelled.

    I very much regret to say that this does not reflect my own experience.

    I can't speak for what gets you disemvowelled, for that has never happened to me, but I can say that what I would call incivility, even straight-out personal and general insult, is not necessarily disemvowelled. Clearly I do not understand the regime involved, and I have resolved not to post again unless I do.

    #381 ::: Andrew ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2006, 02:03 AM:

    *(Shush. I'm being vernacular.)

    At least you know how to. Most people, when they try, commit vernacular homicide.

    #382 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2006, 02:04 AM:

    Re disemvoweling:

    2. that he was disemvoweled for the purpose of public ridicule

    I think I know where that comes from. It's the popcorn commentary and the appearance that we're sitting around enjoying the show. Yes, there is a pleasure in watching justice be done, particularly when the sins have been repeated and excessive. But I wonder if we've not been playing the "disemvowelment as a spectator sport" card a little heavily lately. I know I have.

    I think, personally, that I am going to back off the popcorn scenes. They feel like rubbernecking at an arrest, and I wonder if they make it harder for a poster to reform his/her style and return to the fold (or join it in the first place). I may still laugh aloud, here at home, but my husband is used to that, and no one else need know.

    Patrick,

    Please don't stop writing good flap copy. I like knowing what the book I'm buying is about before I read it. (I don't actually like surprises that much.) I enjoy books because they're well-written, not because they surprise me. The proof of that is that I reread books frequently, when I know fine well how they end.

    #383 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2006, 03:58 AM:

    abi, Mrk Yrk's performance was not just an ordinary disemvowelment. For ten or maybe twenty comments he was like the coyote, having chased the road runner clean off the cliff, still running, still focussed on his prey, and quite unaware of the chasm beneath.

    Of course the audience found it funny.

    #384 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2006, 06:18 AM:

    Patrick: If you really want me to apologize for liking Jo's book and being concerned that people have the best possible experience of reading it, then I will. To be honest, I rather despair of most readers getting to have the book's full impact; but I can't help thinking that I ought to try.

    (I've quite recently had somewhat of an object lesson in that: I re-read Use of Weapons for the first time in ten years, finding that I remembered basically nothing of the plot...except the ending. The book made much less of an impression that way.)

    (And yes, both books have many virtues that don't depend on surprise. They both read better -- at least the first time through -- with surprises intact.

    I frankly don't think that I've been complaining about the matter excessively...but then I wouldn't, would I?)

    As it happens, I have amused myself by composing a blurb for Farthing, although at the time I was thinking more of a paperback back-cover blurb than hardcover dust jacket. Of course it's much easier to tease without giving things away in a shorter space. If you'd like me to submit it so that you can consider using it on the eventual paperback, I'll be happy to.

    #385 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2006, 07:02 AM:

    Oh, and by the way: Jo Walton's Farthing. Kick-ass book. Don't forget to buy and read it when it comes out in about a month.
    I will second (third? fourth?) that recommendation; I lucked into a galley at PLA, and reviewed it here

    #386 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2006, 07:11 AM:

    I had to sleep a little before trying to wrap my brain around this again. Apologies.

    Teresa: Wow! What a thorough set of answers. Now I have to figure out what to do with them. Other than that one complaint I posted in my blog, the truce seems to be holding over at Wikipedia, and I'm reluctant to disturb that just at the moment. On the other hand, there's good material there, and some stuff I'd like to clean up in the article based on your remarks. I think I'm going to hold off a day or two, and see whether Mrk, the Wiki advocate, or anyone else says or does anything further. Otherwise, another major edit by me right now is going to look like provocation and the breaking of an agreement.

    Dave L, that's part of the point. People do get rude around here sometimes, but the repercussions aren't necessarily immediate or final. The person in question kept on being unpleasant for comment after comment, adding nothing new to the discussion except ill-will, until Teresa had had enough.

    abi, that's exactly what I meant in saying, "(which I can see, sort of)." Yes, the public ridicule angle, such as it is, is not on Teresa's part, but in the popcorn and spectator sport remarks, etc., from other people. A friend of mine who lurks here sometimes commented in IM to me that people weren't terribly nice to Mrk just prior to the disemvoweling. (She does admit that he fully deserved what he got, however.) This isn't surprising, though, because milder comments early on were met with defensiveness and insults. On the other hand, this does illustrate Teresa's point, that "If my readers decide -- on their own, without my prompting -- that the offender deserves ridicule, they're more than capable of dishing it out." They don't need to see the missing letters before doing so. But yes, my friend Sara thinks, and I sorta kinda agree, that that can get a little over the top sometimes. Nevertheless, it has little or nothing to do with the disemvoweling per se, or the reasons to do it.

    On the made up words list: I've been cringing every time I see my typo "reflact" quoted. Perhaps I should claim it's a portmanteau of reflect and refract. Looking over the actual list, what struck me is that a large proportion of them are substitutes for the same infamous word.

    On seeing reason through a telescope: heck, I can't even see Mars clearly on the Flandrau Planetarium telescope, even when the planet is relatively close. I can well believe that seeing stuff humans left behind on the moon would be something the average (or idiotically ill-informed) person could not do.

    I kind of like Buzz Aldrin, but he wouldn't sign our Rocket to the Moon poster, either. (Link denied for questionable content.) I suppose I don't really blame him for that, much less this.

    #387 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2006, 07:44 AM:

    Niall,

    As a noted klutz in all matters physical and social, I know that my various pratfalls are funny. Nonetheless, I'd prefer that people don't laugh at me where I can hear them.

    Mrk Yrk was an egregious example, since he came in already pursuing old quarrels. I still felt a little sordid for mocking him when the swift hand of justice was already poised over the keyboard.

    Perhaps I am too delicate. But it does look like the stocks, even if the mockery and the disemvowelment are different actions by different agents. And of the two, I think disemvowelment is the more appropriate punishment.

    The only practical upshot of this is a resolution not to participate in that phase of things...at least not past the "comment preview" phase.

    David,

    I don't tend to reread Use of Weapons, because apart from the surprise I didn't find it the most memorable of Banks' Culture books. I'm much more prone to return to Player of Games. I find it better written, with more balanced characters and a more interesting plot. (Yes, I know, there is a minor surprise at the end there, but it's not the hinge of the book.)

    If Farthing is another one of the Use of Weapons class, where it is only really good if I come at it with the right mindset and knowledge level, then I am much less likely to enjoy it at all. It rather puts me off buying it, frankly.

    Teaser blurbs drive me nuts. If I didn't want to know anything about the book, I would not read the blurb*. What I want is a reasonable shape of what I'm getting into when I put my money and my time into reading something, because neither is infinite. I'm even happy to have my preconception subverted, but I want some sort of expectation, or I won't buy the book at all. I don't like pigs in pokes.

    I recall the storm of protest when the BBC's listings magazine, the Radio Times, published a picture on its cover which gave away the ending of Pride and Prejudice. (They were serialising it at the time.) The overall concensus, after much Sturm und Drang, was that if your enjoyment of that book (or serial) was dependent on the surprise of the ending, you were missing out too much to be helped.

    I know that mine may not be, in some views, the optimal approach to reading books. However, my book buying pound is as valid as anyone else's (or their dollar, euro or yen, as adjusted for exchange rates).

    * Much less the last page, which I can do if a book starts dragging. It isn't a When Harry Met Sally death before finishing thing, it's just to encourage myself that there is a way that it all works out. I've done this so many times that I'm adept at picking the bits that don't reveal that the butler did it.

    #388 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2006, 08:04 AM:

    Oh, and Patrick, one question occurs to me, slightly belatedly: Why are you getting all sarcastically defensive of your own cover-copy writing skills when the topic at hand was a review; one not written by you?

    #389 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2006, 11:12 AM:

    Jo Walton's Farthing. Kick-ass book. Don't forget to buy and read it when it comes out in about a month.

    I will. And my wife will kill me....

    #390 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2006, 11:15 AM:

    the telescope required to detect the lunar lander from the distance of the Earth would need a _minimal_ diameter of 200 meters.

    dingo kidneys.

    For some reason, I's suddenly imagining the guys from MythBusters lining one of those radio telescopes (those honking craters in the ground) with mirrors from Home Depot, trying to bust this one. oh well. will have to wait until Spaceship One starts selling tickets to the moon.

    #391 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2006, 11:34 AM:

    I consider disemvowelling an extremely elegant solution, which leaves a post present and, with a certain amount of effort required on the part of the readership, still readable.

    As a tool for enforcement to Community Standards or rather, behavior that the owners of the forum find allowable, disemvowelling provides, again, an elegant answer where the offender is being publically shown as transgressing, while the content of the transgression is still available for access, and immediately viewable. The signal's had the redundancy removed that makes reconstruction of the content more difficult, but again, the essence is there for someone who considers it worthwhile to reconstruct the content from the remainder left after the disemvowelling.

    As for disemvowelling as spectactor sport--the readership here tends to be highly literate and fond of wordplay. Disemvowelling involves deletion of vowels, and therefore falls into the wordplay arena. Also, the audience tends to notice writing style and content and tone and orientations otherwise, and tend to do extreme amounts of reading for pleasure. Hence, someone coming in a ranting, tend to elicit certains perceptions in the readership, who wonder how far the ranter is going to go before the usual suspects start deciding it's active play time for them--sort of like something jumping into a roomful of cats ready to play with whatever live toys present themselves as prey to start swatting around to one another.

    The disemvowelling, extending the simile, is what happens when the Top Cat decides that it's Top Cat intervention time.

    #392 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2006, 01:04 PM:

    David: I understood the topic at hand to be the sentence "In fact I urge you not to read the flap copy or the back cover blurbs, either." The fact that Patrick quoted it at the beginning of his response is, I feel, something of a Clue.

    #393 ::: Mrk . Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2006, 08:30 PM:

    Wll tht's qt crtq frm smn wth n psych trnng. t's ncrrct t. Hw mny tms ws pncd n by Sn, Jn Mr nd Rgr Crlsn nd th thr W's n tht thrd fr pstng cntrry vw f jnn? gss thr "mnnrs" gt pss? Tht knd f rltvsm cn d wtht thnk y. By th wy, s y lv psts p f thy'r cvl. Ths wll b th tst f tht plcy.


    (If this was a test, Mark, you flunked it. --TNH)

    #394 ::: Xopher sees a relapse of Mrk Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2006, 09:30 PM:

    Not if the person has proven to be a troublemaker enough times. You must be using a new IP, or you'd have been shrpshred by now.

    #395 ::: Mrk . Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2006, 09:56 PM:

    "BTW, Mrk . Yrk sms t b mplyng tht h's bn dsmvwlld n thr vns. Hs h? thght Jnn jst kckd hm t."

    Hw s. Ths ws nly tm fr m n ths vn. ddn't knw wht th hll dsmvwllng ws r hv ny rsn t. Tht's hw tsd th clb rlly m. dn't d sc-f thr bng rl scntst nd sd t hngng wth thm. Rd wknng hr cmprd t tht rdt grp.

    "Mny dsmvwlld pstrs lv nd dn't cm bck, t lst nt ndr thr rgnl nms; bt s 'v lrdy xplnd, f thy wntd t cm bck, thy'd b fr t d s.

    Fnny hw ppl r whn thy'r pmmld by crwd.

    "5. tht TNH ds ll ths t th frst sgn f dssntng pnn."

    nvr sd ny sch thng vr. Krn s cnjrng ths p n hr wn. t S my xprnc wth t, nd dn't s mny vrfbl xmpls f ths wh dd. Prhps f thy cld cm frwrd w'd hv sm dt t nlyz n t?

    Nt fr t d s t ll. cm bck ndr nthr nm nd ws bnnd fr t. Jls cts ths xplctly.

    Th prblm strtd whn skd qstn bt my frnd Lws Prd whch TNH nswrd n my blg mplyng h's crzy. H sn't blv m. Fr frm t lthgh ths my b th TR prty ln. Hll, t s th TR prty ln.

    D yrslvs fvr nd dn't tlk bt ppl bhnd thr bcks. t cld cm bck t bt y.

    #396 ::: Mrk . Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2006, 09:59 PM:

    s tht thrt Gphr? t rmnds m f hw prr dgs pst sntnl. Thr's my wldlf bckgrnd shwng gss. nd sch frndly hl t. 'm shckd.

    #397 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2006, 11:26 PM:

    Oh, here we go again. Mark, I'm not trying to insult you or offend you or gang up on you. I'm trying to provide factual, sourced material, and remove demonstrably incorrect material. For example, per your claim that you never said anything about being disemvoweled "at the first sign of a dissenting opinion," you said,

    "I've proven it leads to banning and the only reason to use it or invent it in the first place is to humiliate and remove dissenting opinion in comment threads." - Marky48 17:23, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

    As for my trying to attack you in public, the very reason I did not link to Teresa's refutation of your arguments (or the most accurate and dispassionate summary of same that I could muster) when it was posted a month ago is that I did NOT want to exacerbate or renew the conflict. So even though she provided examples that could settle things (Jonathan Vos Post, pixelpuss, and unnamed regulars, which I'll grant isn't exactly chapter and verse), I left the article the heck alone, until you reintroduced material that is specifically contradicted here. Even then, I was careful not to refer to you in any way in my subsequent edit. I'm even willing to leave out the link, if you're willing to admit that examples may not be all that hard to find.

    Regards,

    Karen

    #398 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2006, 11:49 PM:

    "Shropshired," Xopher? What does Vaughan Williams have to do with this?

    (srsly, I have no idea how to reconstitute what you said.)

    #399 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2006, 12:05 AM:

    Mark A. York wrote,

    How so. This was only time for me in this venue. I didn't know what the hell disemvowelling was or have any reason to. That's how outside the club I really am. I don't do sci-fi either being a real scientist and used to hanging with them. Rude awakening here compared to that erudite group.

    Whoopie, I've said nastier things to better scientists than you are (got the blackboard eraser thrown at me in class by Prof. Kleitman for saying something that throwing the chalk wasn't punishment enough for (long time ago in class, he used to throw the chalk--or the eraser, at obstreperous students in his lectures), took an extremely unflattering rearview picture of the foremost magnet designer in the world pouring a bucket of paraffin into Bitter plates that had been arcing (how to burn a hole in concrete--bury a resistor in the concrete floor. Turn on high field air-core transformer and Bitter plate toroidal magnetic containment system, run field up to several Tesla, having the current up in the kiloamps range and the voltage in the kilovolts range, and have arcs between the Bitter plate, and the field finds the transistor.. ZAP! Hole in concrete...), have said some vicious sarcastic things over the years to Stallman, etc.

    And oh, a first cousin of my late father has been at MIT over 60 years, his entire adult life he's been there, one of my first cousins who's probably geekier than thou (I doubt if you attended your only sibling's wedding in grubby experimental physicist attire grading physics papers) graduated from MIT, I graduated from MIT, and I have had other blood relatives and family connections who graduated from there, my sister's an RPI graduate... I'm not impressed by "I'm a scientist" and there are quite a number of scientists who are science fiction fans, if not writers...

    SF writers who are scientists or engineers: Greg Benford, Geoff Landis (who named the rock on Mars Yogi, Wil McCarthy, David Brin, Jayge Carr (though she hasn't written any SF lately), Catherine Asaro, Cheryl Franklin I think, etc. etc.

    News: there are scientists and engineers who hang around here....

    SF fans who are scientists include Guy Consulmagno, SJ, Vaticcan Astronomer and I'm sure I landed a number of sarcastic comments on him when were were both MIT Science Fiction Society Keyholders, Jordin Kare, etc. etc.

    #400 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2006, 12:08 AM:

    TexAnne, the program that automatically disemvowels posts from a particular source is called shrpshr. It's named after Phillip Shropshire, the original disemvowellee.

    #401 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2006, 01:57 AM:

    Just a quick update: an admin has removed all pro- and anti-Disemvoweling text from the Wikipedia article. Now it basically says, a) this is what it is, b) it was invented and named, c) this is what it looks like, d) there are two spellings, and e) the process can be automated. Period. The End. I'm hoping that's the end of it.

    The Barbara Bauer article, on the other hand, has had some weird anonymous edits this past week, basically attacking TNH. And that's all I care to say about that.

    #402 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2006, 09:43 AM:

    "Shropshired," Xopher? What does Vaughan Williams have to do with this?

    (srsly, I have no idea how to reconstitute what you said.)

    I usually think of Housman in that connection....

    #403 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2006, 03:59 PM:

    Hell, it is the TOR party line

    ...said the tourist in New York, just before being overwhelmed by a conga line of dancers singing in Middle English...

    #405 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2006, 04:27 PM:

    MrkYrk: I don't do sci-fi either being a real scientist and used to hanging with them.

    I've worked as an aeronautics engineer and find you extremely tedious. Please pass my condolences to those you "hang" with.

    #406 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2006, 04:35 PM:

    abi:
    If Farthing is another one of the Use of Weapons class, where it is only really good if I come at it with the right mindset and knowledge level, then I am much less likely to enjoy it at all. It rather puts me off buying it, frankly.

    Replying belatedly: I have only recently read Use of Weapons for the first time, so I'm not sure how it will stand rereads. I'd never read any Iain Banks before. I have, however, read and reread Farthing several times in the last year, including an immediate reread after finishing it the first time. I don't find that it suffers from pre-knowledge at all. It's pleasingly ambiguous - I know how the book ends but I still have no idea how the story ends - and the process of getting there is still very, very fine reading on the nth time through.

    I think that Use of Weapons will probably not stand as many rereads, but I'll probably give it at least one so I can look for all the clues I missed the first time around.

    #407 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2006, 05:20 PM:

    *gleeeeeee*

    re: the particles - Did anyone else notice that the Playboy Playmate suing the NYCBlog used a vanity press to publish her books?

    I chuckled mightily when I saw that.

    #408 ::: Mrk . Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2006, 07:47 PM:

    "fnd y xtrmly tds." Lkws Grg. Lt s knw whn y hv sccss wth vnty prss "nvl." Th mprtnt thng t nt hr s Wkpd rmvd vrythng Krn nd Jls wrt. Tht's vctry fr trth nstrd f h sd sh sd blg snpng.

    #409 ::: Mrk . Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2006, 07:53 PM:

    nd Pl thnks fr th fmly hstry. Thr's n mrkt fr t 'm frd. fnd th ppl wh wrk fr NS fr sprr nd frndlr thn wht 'v wtnssd hr. Smtms gfy cvrs nd nblvbl strylns r wht thy ppr t b, wth th nvtbl xcptn f crs.

    #410 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2006, 08:19 PM:

    "The important thing to note here is Wikipedia removed everything Karen and Jules wrote. That's a victory for truth instread of he said she said blog sniping."

    That is, of course, not what happened. A Wikipedia admin removed the entire "Value" section of the Disemvoweling article, which by that point had more of Mark's words in it than Jules' or mine, having been largely rewritten by someone else a month ago. It was indeed the "he said she said," pros and cons section, and the article is better off without it, as I've said both there and here.

    By the way, for Wikipedia to remove everything I wrote would require major and minor edits to dozens of articles, most of which have nothing to do with BB or ML.

    #411 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2006, 11:22 PM:

    Why is this bozo still here? Why do his posts still have vowels?

    I'm beginning to worry that Teresa's sick or something.

    #412 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2006, 01:06 AM:

    So I actually went and read the Barbara Bauer and disemvowelling articles. They were fun. And so I also procrastinated a bit from the work I was supposed to be doing by searching out some other people.

    If you think somebody's interesting and/or important enough to have a Wikipedia article but they don't, do you just write it and submit it? How do you submit it? And how do people do fact-checking? Does fact-checking only happen if people are stimulated to do it?

    #413 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2006, 01:22 AM:

    First of all, I didn't do much writing on that article at all. Other than possibly a few reverts, the main thing I did was one revision specifically designed to try to satisfy all parties, including you, Mark. Then someone else wiped that out with an edit that improved the article considerably. Then I left the article the heck alone (except I think for a typo or something) until you, Mark, put in more unsourced opinion, with a typo incidentally. That's when I rewrote one of your two edits to try to make it acceptable to all, and replaced the other with information that refuted your unsourced claim, and linked to this page. You reverted that, so I again had basically no words left in the article. Then Will did his edit, which incidentally does still mention TNH, although the inventor bit is, as you say, gone. We both agree that the article is better now. Why must you turn it into a further source of conflict?

    #414 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2006, 01:46 AM:

    Lucy, I think the current rule is you have to be a registered user to start a new article, but registering is a quick and painless process. Then you search for the person, place or thing, concept, literary creation or what-have-you. If it doesn't exist, Wikipedia offers you a nice box to write one in.

    BUT: large numbers of editors keep an eye on what gets created. If they deem it to be a vanity article (e.g. you wrote it about your best friend), (non-notable (e.g. an article about that new game the 11th graders made up last week), or an attack article (e.g. "Professor Maxwell at S.U. is the worst teacher ever!!!!"), it will be "speedily deleted," or put up for public comment with an "Articles for Deletion" page. If it might be okay but you haven't included citations that Wikipedia considers necessary and sufficient and of the right kind, the article will get a "prod" tag, which means, "Fix this article or it will go away."

    In my experience, most articles have at least a few people watching over them via their "watchlists." I'm currently watching 77 articles this way, most of which I did some work on at one time or another. There are also "recent changes patrollers" who watch for vandalism of articles, and people who use 'bots to fix common misspellings, add category tags, etc. By and large, anything to do with tv, sf, religion, certain nationalities, and other geekish or contentious subjects gets a lot of scrutiny. An article on the village of Manlius, NY, or the other hand, probably gets little attention. If I were to edit it to say it was a terrible place to spend one's childhood, however, I'm sure the article would be reverted - and I would get a stern warning.

    #415 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2006, 02:54 AM:

    Cheap shot department:

    Andrea Yates' ex-husband works for NASA, is he an example of the type of person Mark A. York prefers to associate with?

    ======

    I did write "Cheap shot department" above...

    #416 ::: Mrk . Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2006, 07:48 AM:

    'm ssmng thy r stll ntct bcs th crwd cmmnts r th "ncvcl" trblmkrs nt . ctlly th NS flks ssct wth r t rlclmt.rg. "Chp" d hmnm s stll chp nd stll d hmnm. nd wrkng s jntr t NS dsn't cnt.

    #417 ::: Mrk . Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2006, 08:03 AM:

    Wll Krn y hv yr vrsn nd cn dscrb t ny wy y lk. My ddtns wr t blnc th nsrcd pnn y pt thr. Lnks t blgs stll dn't cnt nd lnks t blg cmmnts srly wll nt srvv. Thts ll y prvdd.

    #418 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2006, 08:32 AM:

    Mark, I was rereading Teresa's description of the elements of your previous conversation that she found unpleasant. I've condensed them here, and I do wonder if you're trying to prove her point for her?

    - constant, gratuitous, self-indulgent nastiness
    Likewise Greg. Let us know when you have success with a vanity press "novel." (July 18, 2006, 07:47 PM)
    Is that a threat Gopher? (July 17, 2006, 09:59 PM)
    And working as a janitor at NASA doesn't count. (July 19, 2006, 07:48 AM)

    - Importing irrelevant quarrels he'd had in other places.
    How many times was I pounced on by Sean, Jean Marie and Roger Carlson and the other AW's on that thread for posting a contrary view of jenna? I guess their "manners" get a pass? (July 17, 2006, 08:30 PM)
    The problem started when I asked a question about my friend Lewis Perdue which TNH answered on my blog implying he's crazy. (July 17, 2006, 08:30 PM)
    The important thing to note here is Wikipedia removed everything Karen and Jules wrote. That's a victory for truth instread of he said she said blog sniping. (July 18, 2006, 07:47 PM)
    I have other articles at Wikipedia that luckily, no troll is interested in. Thank heavens for that. (July 18, 2006, 10:06 PM)

    - Taking other participants' arguments as an opportunity to come in and dump dirt on the person in the weaker position.
    not evident, perhaps because the thread has petered out

    - Ordering readers who objected to his tone to go elsewhere
    Now get out of my life. (July 18, 2006, 10:06 PM)

    - Being uninterested in any part of the conversation that didn't offer him an opportunity to talk trash about someone.
    What are your views on Use of Weapons, Mark, as opposed to Player of Games? Or, more generally, on books that depend on a surprise at the end for the reader's enjoyment? How much do you think the cover copy of a book should reveal or hide the content of the book?

    I'm assuming they are still intact because the crowd comments are the "uncivcil" troublemakers not I.
    The rest of us are assuming Teresa is otherwise occupied. You were the first in this exchange (everything in July, basically, because the thread was dead until you reappeared) to indulge in all of the behaviours listed above.

    To quote Teresa again, this is the sort of thing that drains and coarsens a conversation, and leaves the other participants heartsick and weary.

    Prove us wrong, Mark. Prove Teresa wrong. Say something that isn't insulting, belittling, or tiresome. Talk about what's happening here and now, on this thread or another on this site. Tell us something that you've enjoyed lately, or some terribly clever and interesting thing that your scientist friends have said or done. Bring someting constructive to the conversation, instead of taking away. Make a pun, write a poem, tell a story.

    #419 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2006, 08:33 AM:

    Susan,

    I reread Use of Weapons immediately after finishing it, looking for clues and watching the structure come together. When I went through a Banks phase a couple of years later, I found that I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I did Player of Games - or even Consider Phlebas.

    All grunching aside, Farthing is on my list of books to buy. I just have a real aversion to the view that there is One and Only One Way to approach a given book (particularly if that One and Only One Way isn't mine.)

    #420 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2006, 08:56 AM:

    Blimey, I've been away for two months and I walk back into the same conversation. I think, though, that it may be worth observing that Mark A. York was first disemvowelled for incivility and then, later, banned for sock-puppeting. Not the same thing, although it may stand as anecdotal evidence that people who engage in one form of unacceptable blogging behaviour are inclined to engage in others.

    (Incidentally, what Greg and possibly wikipedia were calling "original research" earlier in the thread would be better described as "anecdotal evidence", I think. As someone pointed out, original research is fine if you can cite primary sources. On the other hand, if you are putting together original arguments on the basis of hints in the primary sources then you need to look towards peer-reviewed publication before adding it to Wikipedia.)

    Irrelevantly:

    Some of us believe that Lord Macaulay should always be referred to as 'Thomas Babington'.

    I'm one of those who believe that the medieval philosopher Robert Grosseteste should always be referred to as "Bob Bighead".

    #421 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2006, 09:16 AM:

    How many times did [Hugh Jackman] take his shirt off in this movie?

    Not enough.

    It's never enough!

    the retractable claws are not Wolverine's mutation - his mutation is "off the charts regeneration." The claws and metal-clad skeleton were done surgically, and he could only survive the surgery because of the super-healing. This is print canon...

    Nitpick: He has the claws even without the metal; this is shown when Magneto pulls the adamantium off of his skeleton. They go "shlurk" instead of "snikt".

    Wolverine is an example of a set of mutations that don't really make any sense unless there's Someone Up There playing around. Which, in a meta sense, there of course is, but within the context of the Marvel universe people ought to be looking around going, "OK, which superpowerful being we know of might be playing God with the mutants?"

    Spiderman (super-strength and speed, clinging to surfaces, limited precognition, gadget-based grappling attack) gets a pass because his powers have a reason to all be spiderlike. But Wolvie is a pure and simple case of "Here's our theme, what powers support it?" The result is a grab-bag that doesn't make much sense.

    This does not stop me loving Wolvie. I loved him even before I discovered the coolness factor of his Japanese connections. But his powers are incoherent.

    #422 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2006, 09:57 AM:

    Mark,

    You seem to be seduced by your own self-righteousness around whatever stupid, meaningless, irrelevant point you were trying to make. It's been two months now that you've been harping on this same stupid, meaningless, point. And all you've managed to do is get a bunch of people on this blog to consider you an ass for being such a bother. No one here cares about whatever "injustice" you've decided to fight. You've been too much of a jerk for anyone here to bother caring about.

    You were a jerk so you got disemvoweled.

    Go tilt windmills somewhere else. Come back when you grow up. Or at the very least, come back when you've finally decided to stop carrying around whatever "wrong" you think was done to you. No great injustice has been done against you to match the size of the chip on your shoulder.

    #423 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2006, 11:08 AM:

    Greg (and others, including me) we need to take a deep breath and remind ourselves of the simple principle embodied by the initialism DNFTT.

    Let him post whatever he wants, and don't respond. TNH will take care of him when she gets back.

    This does not apply if he takes up abi's suggestions (as one example). If he actually engages the conversation I think we should notice his participation.

    If not...he's just noise. Treat him as such, and ignore him.

    #424 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2006, 11:42 AM:

    "My additions were to balance the unsourced opinion you put there. Links to blogs still don't count and links to blog comments surely will not survive. Thats all you provided."

    Um, no. Your additions were to an edit (which was not mine) that you agreed to let stand, only to renege nearly a month later. Only then, did I...aw, the heck with it. Why do I bother? There will only be another factual distortion in response.

    abi, I like your comment a lot. Xopher, I'll try.

    Carrie, "snikt" may be the greatest comic book sound effect word ever.

    #425 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2006, 11:54 AM:

    "snikt" may be the greatest comic book sound effect word ever.

    I personally think it is rivaled only by "bamf", which was perfectly rendered in X2. For all that film's many flaws, Nightcrawler totally rocked.

    #426 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2006, 06:15 PM:

    "Primary research" includes things like performing surveying and reducing the data from the surveys, "secondary research" consists of searching extant literature and generating results based on extracting and analyzing information from what other people collected or researched originally. I.e., doing a literature search is secondary research. Picking up the phone and interviewing someone is doing primary research.

    #427 ::: Mrk . Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2006, 08:25 PM:

    Pls d gnr m nd dn't rspnd. t ws y ppl wh wr tlkng bt m nt th thr wy rnd. r y rlly ths mypc tht y cn nslt ppl nd xpct t hv thm lk t.

    Y nsltd m frst th sm wy s bfr. ny bjctv bsrvr wld s tht. Thr r nn hr f crs. Hd nt fnd myslf dfmd hr wld hv nvr cm bck. ll ths s s pybck. tll ppl wht thnk. Y cll m jrk Lndn? Y hv lt f cmpny hr. Myb thy'll by yr bk nd tht wll b fr cps sld?

    " thnk, thgh, tht t my b wrth bsrvng tht Mrk . Yrk ws frst dsmvwlld fr ncvlty nd thn, ltr, bnnd fr sck-ppptng."

    Ths s bfrctn. n dmnds th thr r lvng f n's wn ccrd whch s th gl. Y hv clb mmbrs nd tsdrs r nt wntd. Snc pstd fr yr wtht vn rspns tht's gd ndctn f 1. hstry f cvlty hr nd 2. clq f sc-f frks. Whtvr.

    ncvlty gs bth wys. Hd nt bn blgswrmd by bsltwrt wldn't hv gvn thm ds f thr wn mdcn.

    #428 ::: Mrk . Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2006, 08:29 PM:

    "Wht r yr vws n s f Wpns, Mrk, s ppsd t Plyr f Gms?"

    blv nldd gns mk xpnsv clbs nd gms r fr ppl wth n ds. dn't ply.

    #429 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2006, 01:51 AM:

    Mark,

    Both Use of Weapons and Player of Games are books by Iain M Banks.

    Use of Weapons contains a surprise at the end, which requires the reader to completely reconsider everything that happened in the book. Player of Games, set in the same milieu, doesn't.

    They make a good minimal pair for discussion of books that reveal a secret at the end. Are they as good, on balance, as books that do not? Can they be reread?

    If you haven't read either, do you have more general views on the topic? Are there other, better minimal pairs in literature for discussion of this distinction? They don't have to be from any particular genre. I can even picture the possibility of such a device in a non-fiction book, though I've never run across one. Have you?

    I tell people what I think.
    Please do so on this topic - or any other subject of the website (do you knit?). I'd be interested to hear another perspective, and you (as you say) come from outside the context.

    #430 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2006, 04:02 AM:

    I have to admit I was kind of hoping that I could go on pretending that little unpleasantness between me and Patrick never happened. Oh, well.

    I've adopted a policy of never reading the jacket copy on books I know I want to buy: no matter how spoiler-free it may be, it necessarily will interfere with the author's intended pace of revelation. I find I have a better reading experience trying to come to stuff as fresh as possible -- others' mileage of course will vary. Of course I'm not arguing that the jacket copy should not be there.

    It took me quite a long time, relatively speaking, to realize that I shouldn't read the jacket copy. I mean, it's text. You read text, that's what it's for. So perhaps I'm overzealous in trying to impart that revelation to others.

    #431 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2006, 11:30 AM:

    You insulted me first the same way as before.

    Oh my gawd. Are you in second grade or something? Why not just sit there and whine "You started it."

    I don't give a damn who started it. All I care is that you keep being an ass on this blog. Yes, you are an ass. Your "I don't read SF. I'm a real scientist" is you being an ass. Your reponse to Xopher about Gophers was something I'd expect out of a six year old. Your bringing in my book was nothing but more ad hominems. "working as a janitor at NASA doesn't count"?

    Your only intent for being here is to troll, stir the pot, cause trouble, aggravate, and get back at those you think wronged you.

    No? You disagree?

    Then what have you done since your recent return to apologize for your prior behaviour? You're so damn righteous about whatever wrong you thinks been done to you that you excuse every asshole comment you've made. And since you're too juvenile to see that, I'm done wasting my time with you.

    Oh, and just so you know, responding to this by pointing out more wrongs done to you would simply be more juvenile behaviour. Until you start cleaning up some of the crap you've pulled here, nothings changed.

    #432 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2006, 11:54 AM:

    Greg, you're still feeding him. Starve him until he eats the wholesome food abi has generously offered him.

    #433 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2006, 11:58 AM:

    This is a bifrication. One demands the other or leaving of one's own accord which is the goal.

    I confess I don't know what bifrication means, although I presume it means roughly the same as bifurcation. And the claim would be true only if you exclude the possibility of continuing or returning to the discussion in civil fashion.

    Not that civil discourse is a prominent feature on this thread any more. Xopher is probably right that we should all leave well enough alone.

    abi: I admire the attempt but I don't think it's likely to work.

    Paula: yes, I think I was just being slack in my terminology (and it's not all that easy in my own field, when the objects of my primary research are often authors in their own right). Presumably if you could carry out a methodologically-sound study which could be checked and reproduced by your peers then there would be no problem in putting up the results on Wikipedia; but I guess in order to prove that you would need to publish the study in some other place first. Primary research is rightly excluded from wikipedia, I think, when it isn't sufficiently rigorous to be accepted by the academy.

    Of course, the academy may be missing out on the Truth, but the Truth is neither here nor there on Wikipedia. As was pointed out already.

    (I realise you may not have been disagreeing about any of this, but I wanted to be clearer anyway.)

    #434 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2006, 12:29 PM:

    The basic policy on Wikipedia is "NOR," meaning "no original research." As I understand it, the idea is to say essentially nothing that can't be confirmed by a citation from some source other than yourself. Blogs don't normally qualify as sources, and Google searches don't normally qualify, which makes it tricky to write about something that happened entirely online, such as a certain Googlebombing. Teresa has written about the foolishness of this on the Talk: Barbara Bauer page, and in fact there is a proposal on Wikipedia now to allow blogs as souces under certain rigorous conditions.

    David and abi, you may be interested to know that there's a huge debate politely raging right now on Wikipedia about doing away with all "spoiler warnings" in the articles, on the premise that saying (in effect) "you may not want to read this next bit before seeing the movie" is pushing a point of view, namedy that knowing ahead of time will spoil your enjoyment and that you therefore shouldn't read that part of the article. I find it incomprehensible myself that some people don't understand why many people want spoiler alerts. Heck, when I was in high school, and reading The Lord of the Rings for the first time, my boyfriend told me that when he first read it, his friend asked him, (spoiler) "Is Gandalf dead yet?" A few days later, the friend asked, "Is Gandalf alive yet?" Since I hadn't gotten as far as Moria myself, I did not appreciate these spoilers at the time, but it makes for a mildly amusing story now.

    And Carrie, I'm sure I wrote something yesterday about the sound of Nightcrawler teleporting also being a great sound effect, and more pronounceable than a certain Canadian resort with a similar spelling. But somehow I managed not to post it.

    #435 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2006, 01:03 PM:

    Hey Seth, are you hanging around here?

    If so, got any comments?

    [Likely there are people who can appropriately decipher the above. Likely also there are people who can't...]

    #436 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2006, 01:10 PM:

    But somehow I managed not to post it.

    Willpower?

    #437 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2006, 01:23 PM:

    I don't understand how "NOR" applies to the Barbara Bauer thing. Is someone claiming that "Absolute Write" is non-notable? Otherwise, what "Absolute Write" says happened to Absolute Write is a valid point of view to report.

    And whether "Making Light" is notable or not seems irrelevant. If Absolute Write is notable, then when the Absolute Write folks came over to Making Light and reported what was going on, that qualifies as a point of view to report. It doesn't matter if they stated it on Absolute Write or Making Light. If they're notable, then they have a reportable point of view.

    As for Making Light being notable, it would seem to me that given that the list of moderators behind Making Light include two professional editors, and two commercially published authors, that that gives Making Light enough notability with regard to Barabara Bauer being a good agent or not that their point of view can be reported.

    Now, if the topic were something not related to publishing, then Making Light might not qualify as a notable source for wikipedia, but in the case of BB, you've got four individuals who work commercially in the field of publishing. That's notable and relevant to the topic of BB.

    Am I to understand that Mark York has taken his grudge against Making Light for getting disemvoweled for being a jerk and taken on the Barbara Bauer article as a way to obstruct reality?

    Good grief, he's worse than I thought. The classic maneuvar of a troll is to not contribute to a solution but to extend the problem as long as possible. Acting as a speed bump that must be negotiated over is classic troll-like behaviour. Doesn't want to lead to a solution. Doesn't want to follow anyone to a solution. Just wants to get in the way, to inflict punishment on those who did wrong to him.

    Makes me think of George Carlin putting his hands on his hips, saying "I obstruct." George Carlin is at least funny about being a jerk.

    #438 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2006, 01:32 PM:

    Incivility goes both ways. Had I not been blogswarmed by absolutewrite I wouldn't have given them a dose of their own medicine.

    Ah, so, they made you be a jerk, which makes them responsible for your actions, and which absolves you of any wrongdoing. Any jerk-like behaviour on your part, even if it got to the point of getting disemvoweled, isn't your fault and should be overlooked. You're simply trying to right a wrong by committing another wrong. It all makes sense to me. They started it. They made you do it.

    Congratulations. You've got the maturity of a six year old.

    #439 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2006, 03:10 PM:

    abi: I admire the attempt but I don't think it's likely to work.

    Perhaps not. But it's worth a try. Maybe there is a secret wellspring of poetry between his ears, or even just a reference to a nonfiction book that depends on a surprise ending.

    And I am conscious that there is only one person on the internet whose civility I can control. I'm not keen to abandon that.

    #440 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2006, 03:43 PM:

    Greg, you make want to glance at the Talk: Barbara Bauer page I pointed to earlier. Or not: it's fairly painful, for the same reasons you speculate on. As for sourcing on the article, two admins pretty much decreed (based on policy) that most blog references were invalid, the exceptions being blog authors referring to what happened to them personally. I still kinda disagree, but I can accept it. Ultimately we found enough acceptable citations to cover everything but the Googlebombing, which in the long run probably isn't terribly important anyway, and claims about AW being partly at fault for the takedown, which can't be referenced without bringing the Cordrays into it. The most recent discussions have to do with Bauer's anonymous and unsourced claims from a couple of recent edits, both attacking TNH, both reverted. I think the article itself has stabilized, though.

    "And I am conscious that there is only one person on the internet whose civility I can control. I'm not keen to abandon that."

    I like that a lot. I feel much the same way, but I'm not sure I always live up to it. I try, though.

    #441 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2006, 05:14 PM:

    Karen, I looked at the BB talk briefly. Generally, arguments on wikipedia cause my wiki-ulcer to flare up. Almost always, someone takes some rule that supports the version they want and ignores every other rule that would say their version is wrong. And then they beat on that rule until all contributers are bloody. As for admins, I think I mentioned I witnessed some admins being the worst rule violators. Admins need to be put up for reelection every two years, so the abusive ones get filtered out. Or the voting page for admins needs to be kept "live" so that folks can add or remove their votes over time and if the support falls below the point where they would not have gotten elected, they get de-admined. something.

    Actually, anonymous voting might be better, since most of wikipedia seems to encourage the mobbing together of like-minded people, and then supporting votes on one topic are rewarded with quid pro quo on some other article. If voting were anonymized, people wouldn't be accumulating and trading favors. Polls and elections both.

    #442 ::: Mrk . Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2006, 07:58 PM:

    "N? Y dsgr?"

    s w hv lt f fss brts hr. Ys dsgr. Y nsltd m rptdl nd s lkd t yr "bk" nd dcdd t mpl th ttck ftn sd n m. Hw d y lk t?


    s sd, ws drwn hr b Krn's bcssn nd fnd myslf th tpc f dscssn lngr ftr ws rn t f twn n rl. f 'm n ss, y r th hl. t wsn't m dscssng Grg Lndn n m blg. t ws y dscssng m hr mnths ftr th fct. nd thn Krn hd th nrv t lnk ths thrd t th Wk rtcl. Prhps cld lnk t n cllng hr ns ft nd gl? Hw wld tht st? Y ppl nd t lk n mrrr. Pls stp dscssng m. hv n s fr n f y. 'm smpl dfndng myslf frm blg gng. t sms mm sn't mch n th dscpln dprtmnt nlss t's wth strngrs. Tht's bd prntng.

    'v nt rd ths "gmmck" bks nd dn't cr t. M ltrr tsts rn hghr. Th sd prt s grps lk y dn't vn knw hw nsltng y r. Pls st tgthr nd w frm m. t wll stp whn y d.

    #443 ::: Mrk . Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2006, 08:04 PM:

    "Jst wnts t gt n th w, t nflct pnshmnt n ths wh dd wrng t hm."

    Y rll r n nsffrbl jrk. M "bstrctns" stppd rlrdng f n src lrd cnvctd n ths ntrnt Kngr crt f prtsns. Crdr s t f t nd tht ws m nl cncrn. Th Br ttck s jst "rvng f th frm." Br's t s trgt t mttr xcpt n smll crcls.

    #444 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2006, 08:37 PM:

    You insulted me repeatedly and so I looked at your "book" and decided to employ the attack often used on me. How do you like it?

    Besides being full of shit yourself, your version of history is full of shit. But hey, you've made yourself the downtrodden hero in this tale. Why stop now, right?

    As I said, I was drawn here by Karen's obcession

    She made you come, I'm sure. Twisted your arm and put a gun to your head, no doubt.

    and found myself the topic of discussion longer after I was run out of town on a rail.

    For being a jerk and not knowing when to quit. You know, if nothing else, you are consistent.

    If I'm an ass, you are the hole.

    (chuckle) Really, I have to ask, how old are you? Thirteen?

    It wasn't me discussing Greg London on my blog. It was you discussing me here months after the fact.

    I think it's been at least a month since your name came up, only because you were being a jerk on the disemvoweling article on wikipedia and Karen was frustrated by your "speed bump" tactics. I looked at the article, told her it was crap, point out specific bits of crap, and you haven't crossed my mind for a month until you showed up again squawking about some victimization.

    And then Karen had the nerve to link this thread to the Wiki article.

    Oh, the nerve of that woman. It's all about you, isn't it? She probably plots about how to thwart you every night and schemes every morning.

    Perhaps I could link to one calling her nosy fat and ugly? How would that set?

    From the guy who keeps saying "You made me do it" and "You started it", that would sound just about right for you.


    You people need to look in a mirror. Please stop discussing me.

    We did, a month ago. You really aren't that interesting, you know. You're just good pinata material when your here. When you finally leave, we'll probably get a few more kicks out of the debris that's left, and move on to more productive discussions.

    I have no use for any of you.

    Oh, if only that were true. But you see, you're a troll and you're looking for nurishment.

    I'm simply defending myself from a blog gang. It seems mama isn't much in the discipline department unless it's with strangers. That's bad parenting.

    You should know. You seem to be the product of bad parenting.

    I've not read these "gimmick" books and don't care to. My literary tastes run higher.

    Full of sound and thunder, signifying nothing, are you?

    The sad part is groups like you don't even know how insulting you are.

    I know you are, but what am I?

    Please stay together and away from me.

    I'm sorry, is this your blog? I must have come to the wrong place. Oh wait, no, the URL is right. What are you doing in my friends' house? And how exactly do we stay away from you when you inject yourself into a month old thread?

    It will stop when you do.

    We did. A month ago. You came back anyway.

    Given that we can't take you for your word to go away if we stop, there seems little incentive to stop. the only choice seems to be to beat you like the pinata that you are and at least get some goodies out of you.

    This will continue until you go away, at which point we'll probably talk about you for a bit more, then file your name under "troll", and move on to more productive conversations. If you don't know what productive conversations mean, just know that it's what grownups talk about at the big table, and you'll get to join someday when you're bigger

    Now, here's some scissors. Go play in the freeway until dinner's ready. OK?

    #445 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2006, 08:45 PM:

    You really are an insufferable jerk.

    Shoot. I am? I must have started reading your part of the script.

    My "obstructions" stopped a railroading of one source already convicted in this Internet Kangaroo court of partisans.

    Oh, the inhumanity.

    Cordray is out of it and that was my only concern.

    Well done, noble knight.

    The Bauer attack is just "revenge of the forum." Bauer's too easy a target to matter except in small circles.

    You really are a big fish in a little pond. There's a whole ocean out there. Feel free make use of it.


    #446 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2006, 10:09 PM:

    I'd just like to point out the utterly irrelevant but slightly amusing fact of a flame war between "London" and "York." All we need is my friend John Wales to join in and we can have a complete Diplomacy move. (A Wal S A Lon->Yor, not that that's a particularly useful thing to do.)

    #447 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2006, 10:50 PM:

    No, no, Alex, we need Lancaster!!!!

    #448 ::: Mrk . Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2006, 11:59 PM:

    G f... yrslf btthl. Y rp wht y sw yng mn.

    #449 ::: Mrk . Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2006, 12:03 AM:

    "Nw, hr's sm scssrs. G pl n th frw ntl dnnr's rd. K?"


    Hr's wht y rnd: Fck yrslf wth ccts stlk. Hw mn f ths mthr fckrs d y hv n Lndn? Thr, tht's dsmvwlbl nd rspns t fckng sshl. lcl hr. Fck y.

    #450 ::: Mrk . Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2006, 12:06 AM:

    nd yt y shwd p rd t fght. Wht pthtc twt. M ncstrs tld y t fck ff n . Cnsdr ths th xclmtn pnt n tht. t sht nd d.

    #451 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2006, 03:52 AM:

    Oh, my!

    #452 ::: Mrk A. Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2006, 07:43 AM:

    nd thr y hv t. yt n mntn t th "knd" nd "gntl" flks wh lv hr. nslts nd nstgtn frm thm r jst fn nd dndy s sd. Rltvst.

    #453 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2006, 08:22 AM:

    Another York uprising? Heavens.

    Things just haven't been the same since the days of the Raven King.

    #454 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2006, 08:55 AM:

    Dan Layman-Kennedy: The nameless slave shall rule!

    #455 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2006, 09:45 AM:

    war between "London" and "York."

    maybe someone could call Paris Hilton and have her let a volley fly broadside.

    #456 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2006, 09:47 AM:

    That's odd. Is the letter "y" disemvoweled when used as a vowel? Is the script written intelligent enough to know when its a consonant versus a vowel? If so, that's actually pretty cool.

    #457 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2006, 09:51 AM:

    As a complete aside: Were the movie version of my life to have a soundtrack, the moment I started reading this thread this morning, the song "Candy" by Cameo would have cued up and started playing.

    The imagination is such a funny thing.

    #458 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2006, 09:56 AM:

    You really are a big fish in a little pond. There's a whole ocean out there. Feel free make use of it.

    The extinction of all aquatic species isn't really something to which I look forward.

    #459 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2006, 03:56 PM:

    Fragano: Let's hope so. A Fgrcura Oynpx on the local Faerie throne would not go amiss.

    #460 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2006, 04:32 PM:

    Note, Mrk Yrk, that your posts prior to resorting to name calling and "G fck yrslf" were not disemvowelled. The K&G folks here haven't been disemvowelled at all, but we would be if we talked to you like that, which we haven't.

    Now all yours are. I expect you're no longer welcome here. I don't expect you care; people who leave when they're no longer welcome have places to go where they are welcome. Your social life must be interesting. Or not. (And no, your reports of your social life will not change my opinion of its likely quality or lack of same, since the value (using the term loosely) of your discourse has already been noted and is taken into account in evaluating any further statements.)

    #461 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2006, 04:46 PM:

    Sigh.

    I didn't really expect much else, but it was worth a try. Just think if that passion and energy were turned to building something up rather than tearing things (and people) down.

    #462 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2006, 05:16 PM:

    "If only his powers could be used for good instead of evil!" Yeah, abi, it was worth a try...not in the sense that it was even marginally likely to succeed, but in the sense that it was more in keeping with the kind of person you are than not trying would be.

    #463 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2006, 06:07 PM:

    Dan Layman-Kennedy: That's indeed so.

    #464 ::: Mrk . Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2006, 08:06 PM:

    "Nw ll yrs r"

    N Gphr th rn't nd nn n th nfms ffndng thrd wr css wrds. ws dng t t mk pnt. Whn grp pnds n n ngh n xplsn s nvtbl. Dn't prtnd t knw knw m r tlk bt m. M pwrs r sd fr gd nd 'm nt "vl." 'm pblc srvnt dng thngs y cn't pssbl ndrstnd. Th rcrd s thr fr nyn t s. Ppl wh nslt n sght rrl gt t d nythng ls.

    #465 ::: Mrk . Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2006, 08:10 PM:


    "Th xtnctn f ll qtc spcs sn't rll smthng t whch lk frwrd."

    'm fshrs blgst wh wrks n ndngrd spcs. Nt nl d nt lk frwrd t ths trgd f th cmmns 'v bn dng smthng bt t fr yrs. Wht hv y dn?

    #466 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2006, 11:17 PM:

    Well, I must say how impressed I am again by this disemvowelling thing. It's worse than useless for this fool Mrk Yrk to post that sort of crap here. He looks like a complete idiot each time he comes back here and behaves like that. I can't understand a word he says except the occasional "fck" and "sshl" and such.

    Oh, and how can I tell he's posting crap when I can't even understand a word he's saying? Because I trust the moderators, that's how. Trust is a wonderful thing, when it's been earned.

    #467 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2006, 11:29 PM:

    "sshl" -- sashale? soshul (well, it IS MrkYrk)? sshlo? No, that was sstsho or something.

    Oh, I know. Never mind. :-P

    #468 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 01:02 AM:

    Oh look, a trussedy troll, all disemvowelled up and down, being grilled and basted in his own juice.

    "Now being served on Making Light..."

    #469 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 01:21 AM:

    And look at what the ineluctable troll sent me in email, makes me embarrassed to have a science degree...

    Received: from mx07.gis.net ([208.218.130.51]) by mail.gis.net; Sat, 22 Jul 2006 01:07:10 -0400
    X-Spam-Checker-Version: SpamAssassin 3.1.0-gis (2005-09-13) on
    spamassassin.gis.net
    X-Spam-Level: ***
    X-Spam-Status: No, score=3.9 required=4.5 reject=8.5 tests=DNS_FROM_RFC_ABUSE,
    DNS_FROM_RFC_POST,FROM_HAS_ULINE_NUMS,HTML_MESSAGE,
    MSGID_FROM_MTA_HEADER,RCVD_IN_SORBS_SPAM,SPF_PASS version=3.1.0-gis
    Received: from bay0-omc1-s29.bay0.hotmail.com ([65.54.246.101]) by mx07.gis.net; Sat, 22 Jul 2006 01:10:25 -0400
    Received: from hotmail.com ([65.54.175.83]) by bay0-omc1-s29.bay0.hotmail.com with Microsoft SMTPSVC(6.0.3790.1830);
    Fri, 21 Jul 2006 22:07:51 -0700
    Received: from mail pickup service by hotmail.com with Microsoft SMTPSVC;
    Fri, 21 Jul 2006 22:07:51 -0700
    Message-ID:
    Received: from 71.105.91.31 by BAY104-DAV11.phx.gbl with DAV;
    Sat, 22 Jul 2006 05:07:50 +0000
    X-Originating-IP: [71.105.91.31]
    X-Originating-Email: [mark_y48@msn.com]
    X-Sender: mark_y48@msn.com
    From: "Mark York"
    To:
    Subject: Stupid is, as stupid does
    Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2006 22:07:51 -0700
    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
    boundary="----=_NextPart_000_0057_01C6AD12.1BA43240"
    X-Priority: 3
    X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
    X-Mailer: MSN 9
    X-MimeOLE: Produced By MSN MimeOLE V9.20.0029.3000
    Seal-Send-Time: Fri, 21 Jul 2006 22:07:51 -0700
    X-OriginalArrivalTime: 22 Jul 2006 05:07:51.0823 (UTC) FILETIME=[C86B41F0:01C6AD4C]
    Return-Path: mark_y48@msn.com
    X-Rcpt-To:
    X-DPOP: Version number supressed
    X-UIDL: 1153545076.2067986
    Status: U
    X-Antivirus: AVG for E-mail 7.1.394 [268.10.1/390]

    This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

    ------=_NextPart_000_0057_01C6AD12.1BA43240
    Content-Type: text/plain;
    charset="iso-8859-1"
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable


    You dear, are are a stupid bitch. There aren't enough degrees to =
    accommodate you..=20
    Sincerely,
    Mark A. York

    ------=_NextPart_000_0057_01C6AD12.1BA43240
    Content-Type: text/html;
    charset="iso-8859-1"
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable


    You dear, are are a stupid bitch. There aren't enough degrees to=20
    accommodate you.. 
    Sincerely,
    Mark A. York

    ------=_NextPart_000_0057_01C6AD12.1BA43240--

    #470 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 01:31 AM:

    No, stsho are more reasonable, even if they are susceptible to personality dissolution.

    I wonder what next paraliterate hostile missive drivel Mr York is going to attempt to slime up my email box with? Better scientists than he have senses of humor, too...

    #471 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 06:35 AM:

    Heh. I deleted the urgent missive he sent me unread. Inasmuch as the subject line was "Sh*theads R Us". Whadda maroon.

    #472 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 09:02 AM:

    Hmm, it just occurred to me that the email sent to me, just might violate msn.com's end user license.... hmm.

    #473 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 09:04 AM:

    He posted nasties on my blog, too. I'm not as nice as Teresa; I just deleted it. He won't be posting any more comments there.

    He showed a profile pic, too. Before, I only knew he was an obnoxious jerk. Now I know he's an ugly obnoxious jerk. And btw, judging by the picture I'd say he's around 50...so he really has no excuse for acting like a 6th grader.

    #474 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 09:52 AM:

    Competent scientists have open minds....

    I wonder how Mark A. York compares to Gannon/Guckert, remember him, favorite rightwing media sockpuppet, Official Whitehouse Press Corps favorite "reporter" for the Schmuck to grace with favor for accepting questions from, until outed.. and there still has never been any explanation for how Gannon/Guckert got those White House Press Corps credentials and how the background check was one or more of done so airily, doctored, or allowed to pass anyway.

    Meanwhile, I'm surprised that no on'e comments made any comments about George the Groper's sordid tacky undignified tawdry sexual harasser behavior.... and WHERE are the true social conservative/modesty in behavior/do NOT -touch- people not of one's gender other than diapering babies and such whom one is not related to?

    I wonder how Al-Jezeera's audience looks at the situation--it very much is an offense to observant members of Islam who follow modesty=between-genders rules!

    It's One more Gag Order George offense agasinst decency, good taste, respect, competence, sound judgment, respect, etc.

    #475 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 11:16 AM:

    Yes, Paula, but at least he's not gay.

    OK, so in my dialect of English, "gropes" would be the wrong word, but that doesn't change how wrong he is to do what he did.

    And he doesn't even have the excuse of being French.

    #476 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 01:25 PM:

    Teresa has indeed been ill. Sorry about that. Give me just a minute here while the Infernal Device warms up ...

    Feel free to furnish sound effects.

    #477 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 02:24 PM:

    Hmmm. some folk's language after disemvowelment is less readable than others, but I was amused by:
    M pwrs r sd fr gd nd 'm nt "vl." 'm pblc srvnt dng thngs y cn't pssbl ndrstnd.
    He has an awfully high opinion of himself considering he can't even manage to engage in civil discourse. And public servants need to have their work understood (at least in the broad sense) by the public they serve.

    There are occasional rude comments in my posts too, but they're disemvoweled, inconsonant, and unpunctual.

    #478 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 02:54 PM:

    Mark 01904,

    It's an interesting theory that, because you're a pblc srvnt (whether or not we can ndrstnd what you do), you get a free pass to be rude here. I'd never realised that karma was a zero-sum game.

    Perhaps if I'd been motivated to Google you, or click through to your blog, I'd have seen your virtues. But unfortunately, nothing you have said here makes me keen to spend any time doing so. What in the tone or content of your prose would make me want to read more of it?

    I hope you turn that passion and energy to more constructive projects in future, but I doubt I'll ever see them.


    Xopher,

    You are kind, but it's more an example of what I would like to be than what I really am.


    Teresa,

    I hope you're better now.

    #479 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 03:48 PM:

    Mrk . Yrk's remaining messages here have now been disemvowelled, with the exception of this one, which I'm leaving up so I can continue to snicker at "bifrication", and also because it's used as an example in one of my comments on the Barbara Bauer Wikipedia entry.

    For the record, if anyone's interested, Will BeBack is a pismire of some variety who's been harassing me at Wikipedia for some time now. You can find his grubby prints all over every Wikipedia entry where I've had significant input. My best guess about the reason for his vendetta is that I once stetted a correction he'd made to a sentence he'd misread. I don't know how else I could have offended him.

    Whatever the cause, in his own mediocre way Will BeBack has pursued his revenge every bit as energetically as Mrk . Yrk. So far, the high points have been him insisting that I can't speak with any authority about the history and mechanics of SF publishing, and declaring that I'm neither reliable nor a resource on the subject of disemvowelling. Mostly, though, he's been rulesmongering my entries. If his supposed standards for documentation were applied to Wikipedia generally, a vast number of their entries on contemporary subjects would be left in tatters.

    At one point I tried to figure out how one has these disputes adjudicated on Wikipedia, but the procedures and procedural language were complex and murky, and it appeared that one of the people one is supposed to appeal to is Will BeBack.

    Patrick keeps exhorting me to stay away from Wikipedia. I'm starting to see his point.

    #480 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 03:55 PM:

    Teresa,

    You missed one.

    #481 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 04:04 PM:

    Thank you, Abi. I've zapped it.

    ANNOUNCEMENT:

    If Mrk . Yrk shows up again, let me know -- and yes, I'll be watching more carefully. In the meantime? He's fair game. Wolf's head. You can do anything to him as long as it doesn't distress your fellow posters. He has no rights here.

    #482 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 04:21 PM:

    If he shows up and is genuinely constructive, I would be distressed to see him tormented about his history here. (Of course, if he shows up and is genuinely constructive, I may be so busy watching the stars go out one by one that I don't notice.)

    #483 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 04:35 PM:

    I've seen him in multiple venues, and he's never genuinely constructive. He's a malign nutcase with enough control of his written language to temporarily pass for sullen-but-normal.

    #484 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 04:54 PM:

    I love abi's most recent remark, and concur.

    Teresa, I'm sorry you've been ill. I've been constructing a series of theories the last couple of days about your letting Mark run amuck here, mostly involving an experiment to see how far Mark would go to force a disemvowelment.

    Will removed your recent remarks from the Talk pages as "personal." (I read the BB ones in history - and yes, I thought of the Inigo line, too.) Would that he did the same for personal attacks on Jules and myself, but that never happens. I do think that he's trying to uphold certain principles as he sees them, but there does seem to be some bias there. Still, Mark has already admitted that he misspelled bifurcation, even as he insists it means whatever he wants it to mean. Perhaps he's read Lewis Carroll.

    I've been wondering today whether the lack of a personal insult in my email or on my blog stems from the fact that I try hard never to insult Mark or call him names, or whether it's because he's been able to insult me and call me names on Wikipedia, repeatedly and without consequences, and therefore doesn't feel the need, except for that one particularly nasty potshot here. Mark, you can link to me calling myself fat if you like.

    I have much the same theory about BB leaving me alone, by the way. But maybe I'm just a little fish in that situation, except insofar as I've put a few positive/neutral items in her Wiki article.

    Meanwhile, my friends advise me as Patrick advises you, to walk away. But I'm not ready to do that.

    #485 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 05:02 PM:

    Hm. My own experience with Wikipedia has been pretty good, though I've mostly limited myself to minor changes.

    I did remake a paragraph in the Florida election recount entry which you'd think would be contentious, but my edits still stand after more than a month. (Here's the old version; I rewrote the last paragraph before the chart.)

    #486 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 05:04 PM:

    "Bifrication"? Would that be like frottage a trois?

    #487 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 05:08 PM:

    Self-correction: I said Mark insults others on Wikipedia without consequences, but that's not quite true. The consequences have been people asking him nicely (and less nicely) to stop doing it, an abortive attempt at mediation, and the placement of template "no personal attacks" notices on his talk page, the latter of which he sees as a personal attack.

    As for what one is supposed to do in this situation on Wikipedia. There's a whole series of dispute resolution procedures. Mediation didn't work, a request for an advocate didn't work (and the advocates system is in disarray right now), so the next step is probably a Request for Comment. But I've been trying to avoid escalation.

    #488 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 05:23 PM:

    Another self-correction: I finally got to the Talk:Disemvoweling page. Teresa's remark is still there, with replies. Will mostly didn't want Mark named, and reiterated his NOR and no-blogs positions. There's also the idea that nothing interpersonal that happens off-Wiki should be cited on-Wiki. I guess it's okay if Mark does it, though.

    #489 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 05:42 PM:

    Teresa,

    I don't expect him to return here and be constructive; thus the parenthetical comment about the stars going out. But I can hope. (Mind you, it's easy for me to be a big softy. He hasn't left his messes all over my blog.)


    Karen,

    I've been following those talk pages, though I'm not on Wikipedia. (I burned out of that sort of thing on E2 a couple of years ago.) Can I just say that I admire the passionate rationality that you display there? You keep your head very well in circumstances that would have caused me to flee.

    I guess it's okay if Mark does it, though.

    If someone like Will were the arbitror of OK, yes. But what a strange universe that would be.

    #490 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 06:03 PM:

    Hmm. I've come to the conclusion that Wikipedia is idiotic. If a jackhole like Will BeBack can just remove the dismvowelling article because it's from "unreliable sources," when those sources are precisely what the entry is ABOUT...something's extremely wrong.

    Is the "Blog" article entirely sourced from non-blog sources? I haven't looked, but I doubt it.

    I think I'm going to automatically put a "dubious" tag on anything from Wikipedia, since these idiots appear to have free rein there.

    #491 ::: Lisa Goldstein ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 06:57 PM:

    Can I get back to the X-Men movie for a bit? I have now seen it, and I want to thank whoever it was who said that people should stay through the entire credits section. Everyone got up and left after the movie except my husband and me and another couple, and when we left we sort of looked smugly at each other.

    And I agree (having asked the original question) -- Not enough!

    #492 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2006, 07:20 PM:

    abi - that's the nicest thing anyone has said to me in weeks. Thank you.

    Lisa - I never did get to the second X-Men movie, but I've had a policy for many years of always sitting through the credits (which many tv networks have now rendered nearly impossible with their half-screen, sped-up versions). Back in the day, actually reading the things yielded such treasures as "Credits for the Moose" (Python) and "Next year: Superman II." These days, many films seem to have easter eggs during or after the credits, and I'm always disappointed when there aren't any. When we went to see Pirates last weekend, about a hundred people stayed to watch the one at the end of that film. Usually there's hardly anyone other than John and myself.

    #493 ::: Mrk . Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 12:26 AM:

    Th wrn't "msss": nl rspnss t prsnl ttcks. ttcks hv srcs. s rl nbd ds nythng t f th bl. Thr hs t b frst ht. Frst bld. Ths s dcmntd nd nt n m shldrs. Th vdnc s crystl clr n ths fct.

    #494 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 12:57 AM:

    Patrick keeps exhorting me to stay away from Wikipedia. I'm starting to see his point.

    I know I'm a one-trick pony when it comes to wikipedia, but well, it's all I've got.

    The problem with wikipedia is that the obvious and visible rules of wikipedia always come down to mob rule. And more subtly, nothing in the dispute resolution system appears to have any awareness of, say, negotiation, arbitration, or mediation. All forms of dispute resolution on wikipedia come down to majority vote wins.

    The frustrating thing is that a vast majority of the problems could be fixed simply by changing some of the rules so that majority vote doesn't win all. The minority pov should have a voice, even if the majority pov is against them.

    I have about a year's worth of training as a life coach and some of that was learning how to coach two people in some sort of relationship, either business or personal. And having that training and actually worked with one pair of business partners and a number of couples, all I can say is wikipedia is doing almost everything wrong as far as resolving things.

    I've given up on wikipedia. As long as the system of rules is set up to create win-lose scenarioes, there isn't much point in trying to work towards a win-win solution on any particular article.

    And from what I've seen, those in control at wikipedia aren't interesting in changing the rules, because for them to be in control they've "won" and their opponents "lost" and to change the rules would mean they'd have to allow 'win-win' systems. And they're not generally interested in letting their opponents "win".

    When you get the entire system of rules is broken, it becomes pretty frustrating trying to make controversial articles good only to have a mob come along and tear it all down.

    #495 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 01:00 AM:

    Oh, and sorry to hear you've been sick. Glad to hear you're back and better.

    #496 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 01:13 AM:

    Xopher: If a jackhole like Will BeBack can just remove the dismvowelling article

    But it's still there, Xopher. I just looked.

    #497 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 02:53 AM:

    Well, if it's mob rule, then clearly we need to shout the bad knowledge down. I just added my own update to the disemvoweling entry, changing "inventor" to "earliest known usage" (prove me wrong, ya bastards!) and explaining that the Shrpshr plugin comes directly from the ML thread.

    #498 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 03:05 AM:

    In that Talk:disemvowelling page, Will BeBack says: Do not post the real life names of editors - it is a serious offense. But the only whole real-life name that's posted in the page is Teresa's and she posted it herself. The rest of the post looks like he's talking to Teresa. Is he chastising her for using her own name? Or did she originally write "Mark York" and WillBeBack or Teresa changed it later?

    Why is it a serious offense to post the real-life names of editors? Why should editing a public encyclopedia be a pseudonymous venture? Is there a law against it somewhere? A gulag for Wikipedia editors? Or a cult dedicated to blowing them up in their homes? Seems unlikely.

    I was reading the rules and I realized that it is impossible to write a biography of someone for Wikipedia. Also that if you applied the rules literally none of the articles about persons or events of the internet could be published, because the only sources of information about many of these are specifically outlawed in the rules: first-hand narratives, informal interviews, blogs, newsgroups, all of which are deprecated.

    I understand the reasoning behind the rules, but I don't understand why nobody's refined them so that they can encompass reliable first-hand sources and blogs.

    (not to mention that what I was thinking about is a biography of a person whose life has not yet been profiled except in obituaries and personal statements.Well, I guess there are a few other sources, but not for what made his life interesting, mostly: it could be done elsewhere, but not at Wikipedia, under current rules)

    #499 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 05:31 AM:

    Lucy, I think Teresa originally gave Mark's full name on both articles' Talk pages. Will removed her entire comment from the BB one, someone put it back, and Will shortened Mark's name to M. His name is not exactly a secret, but okay, fine. On the Talk: Disemvoweling page, he removed the rest of Mark's name, but unless I missed something he didn't remove her remarks completely. The article itself he sorta-kinda gutted on 7/18, removing the pros and cons section completely, which is probably for the best, and the bit about the technique's invention, which is probably about this whole blog-citing issue, and deeply foolish IMO. But oh, well. He's also removed Glenn's edit, which he assumed was Teresa's.

    And yes, the idea that a blog can never (or almost never) be a reputable source is kind of ridiculous. Teresa has argued at some length about this. The proposal seems to be tha certain blogs will be citable, if the blog authors are experts in the field about which they are quoted. That would certainly settle the issue of whether Teresa can be cited about Disemvoweling. However, someone like Glenn or Jules or myself would have to do the citing, because if Teresa says it, it's Original Research!

    Greg, there is supposed to be real mediation as part of the dispute resolution process, and decisions are supposed to be by consensus, not by raw head count. We're supposed to talk things over until we arrive at a solution we can all live with - and that's exactly what I've been trying to do, these past two months.

    #500 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 12:47 PM:

    I consider it an enormous waste of my time to have to answer such nonsense, but I've posted a very large explanatory screed in the Talk: Barbara_Bauer area on Wikipedia. Scroll to the bottom. It's the last 2,000 - 2,500 words.

    #501 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 01:32 PM:

    Why is it a serious offense to post the real-life names of editors?

    Because it's far easier for some anonymous jerk to be an asshole in public if he/she knows they are immune from any and all repercussions.

    My experience on wikipedia would seem to indicate that the people who were open about their real names were the most able to resolve issues with other editors, and that the editors most intent on maintaining a secret identity were most likely to be a complete asshole. This rule seems to extend into administrators as well.

    If resolving something ends up in a win-win scenario, then the identity of your oponent is irrelevant because you got something you wanted. If the resolution ends up with someone winning and someone losing, then the winner generally wants to remain anonymous in case the loser decides to carry a grudge.

    Now, if you take a situation like Will BeBack who appears to be holding a grudge against Teresa and switch it so that Will BeBack must operate under his real identity, then I would predict that WBB wouldn't be such an ass.

    There should be no anonymous accounts on wikipedia, but for this to work, the entire dispute resolution system would have to be reworked into working towards win-win scenarios. The rules are currently designed to lead to win-lose situations.

    #502 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 01:41 PM:

    Wow! I can't blame you for jumping in to set the record straight.

    Elswhere on that page someone has pointed to a discussion of a new policy regarding the citation of blogs as sources. So far it looks reasonable. Your posts on the writing and publishing business would be useable as source material under this propsed guideline because you are an acknowledged expert in that field.

    The policy is a work in progress, and it is open for comment.

    #503 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 01:43 PM:

    As an extension of the anonymity on wikipedia conversation, and how the rules on wikipedia encourage bad outcomes, it is considered to be in very bad taste to ask another editor what their personal point of view is about a topic.

    This is more "anonymous allows abuse" problem. Generally, many editors proclaim at least some of their basic biases on their user page. But it isn't required. And when an editor gets involved in a hot debate, you aren't supposed to ask them where their personal opinion is on the topic.

    Why?

    Because it inplies that they may be biased and to do so is an insult, apparently.

    This has got to be the biggest crock of shit I've seen. People are biased. People have prejudices. It is a function of being human. Often, those biases and prejudices don't get in the way of day to day living. But when an article gets turned into an edit war, obviously, someone has a bias.

    And at that point, the first thing a life coach trained as mediator does is find out where the individuals stand. What is their personal opinion on the topic? For or against?

    Sorting this out then allows you to "bin" the article into different points of views, and prevents a mob of editors from outvoting and annhialating an opposing point of view. The people "for" some topic, get to vote on the "for" point of view. The people "against" some topic get to vote "against".

    And then it doesn't matter if it's 10 "for" and 2 "against", the "against" point of view is still reported.

    But to ask an editor if they are "for" or "against" a topic is considered insulting on wikipedia. It's simply more abuse of Gyges ring. To maintain the illusion of being neutral by not declaring their real biases, an editor will start shoveling shit about how they're simply "making the article better" or "following wikipedia rules for NPOV" or "copyediting" when in fact they are deleting and downplaying the view they disagree with and pumping up and maxing out they view they personally support.

    Anonymity is a troll amplifier. And hiding a personal prejudice is simply more anonymity.

    #504 ::: Margaret Organ-Kean ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 01:48 PM:

    TNH - on the other hand, I'm glad to see you post. My knowledge of NYC geography is very sketchy and I was hoping you were not in the part affected by the blackout.

    #505 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 02:00 PM:

    Greg, on the flip side of the coin I would suspect that some editors don't want to get cyberstalked by people who disagree with them. I've seen it happen elsewhere and it isn't pretty.

    #506 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 02:05 PM:

    Greg, there is supposed to be real mediation as part of the dispute resolution process, and decisions are supposed to be by consensus, not by raw head count. We're supposed to talk things over until we arrive at a solution we can all live with - and that's exactly what I've been trying to do, these past two months.

    Karen, I understand what the dispute resolution process says. I have also seen it work on several cases. Arbcom is elected, same as administrators. And to get elected, you either get widespread public support, or you have a posse of fellow admins and editors who back you up and kick nay=sayers under the table. I've seen election campaigns that would make the Swift Boat Veterans For Bullshit green with envy for the effectiveness fo their character assasinations. I've seen good editors not get elected as an administrator, because they had previoiusly pointed out in an earlier dispute that an administrator was being biased in an article, and that admin showed up during election time with all his admin friends to put in a bad word for this person.

    Arbcom is no different. It is a popularity contest. and mob rule wins.

    So while the "rules" say one thing, the problem with wikipedia is that the rules must be enforced by admins and arbiters and for a biased editor who has learned how to work the mob, they quickly realize that being an admin or on arbcom is simply going to give them more power.

    Again it comes down to the structures of the rules that determine who gets put in power, not the rules about what NPOV is. The rules for becoming admin allow good people to become admins but it also allows bad people who know how to work the system to become admins as well.

    #507 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 02:09 PM:

    yes, cyberstalking is a problem. But if no one could edit an article without having their real name be public, then the stalker would be public too.

    Like I said, if everyone knew Will BeBack's real name, he would probably be less likely to stalk Teresa, knowing he wouldn't be wearing the Gyges ring of invisibility.

    #508 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 02:10 PM:

    Dog help me, I almost got drawn in. But not to something contentious, fortunately. It was just that the 1964 occupation was not mentioned in the history of Alcatraz. Other information, though not very detailed, was correct enough.

    #509 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 02:35 PM:

    Lucy - you never know what will or won't be contentious. I'm sure that there are one or two fanatics hovering over that Alcatraz article, and the Indian Occupations (there were three, the longest starting in 1969) may not fit their vision of how people should think of the place.

    Interestingly, if anyone tried anything similar today, they'd be labeled terrorists and the SWAT teams would be sent in.

    #510 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 02:44 PM:

    To Mark A. York:

    Mark, I'm very sorry to hear of your father's passing. Deal with all the problems and family duties that will be required of you in the next few days, and when those are over, please come back and let's try to discuss the matter again.

    #511 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 03:12 PM:

    Mark, if you're reading this,

    My sincerest condolences on the death of your father. I hope that you get through this trying time as well as you can.

    #512 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 04:20 PM:

    Mark, I'd like to add my condolences as well. Hang in there, and do what you need to do. Although I never met him, your father is remembered in my prayers.

    #513 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 04:36 PM:

    Teresa, you asked whether I've been saving historical versions of Wikipedia pages. No, I haven't, because I don't need to. The History tab of each article (and of each Talk page) should have everything you need. It's very useful for restoring stuff that's been deleted, either accidentally or on purpose. The only time History ever failed me was once when an article was temporarily deleted entirely.

    #514 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 05:40 PM:

    Greg London fumes about anonymity:
    Because it's far easier for some anonymous jerk to be an asshole in public if he/she knows they are immune from any and all repercussions.

    My experience on wikipedia would seem to indicate that the people who were open about their real names were the most able to resolve issues with other editors, and that the editors most intent on maintaining a secret identity were most likely to be a complete asshole. This rule seems to extend into administrators as well.

    I think you're confusing terms here.

    The issue that you're raising seems to be that individuals who are using obvious[0] pseudonyms (nyms) that don't appear to be their real names[1] are somehow less responsible than those that are using their 'real names'.

    Anonymous: having no outstanding, individual, or unusual features; unremarkable or impersonal

    This isn't the case as you describe it. You're describing entities that can be separately identified and tracked, and that clearly have linkages (and, in fact, one of the complaints in the wikipedia discussion tab for disemvowelment is that one of the editors -has- been identified and linked).

    IMNSHO anybody who's going to be a jerk will be a jerk no matter what they get called. Many of the people on Making Light use nyms when they post - and a variety of the trolls that we've seen have used their (apparently) real names.

    It's the content and behaviour that are important, not what they call themselves.

    That aside, I suspect that you're making the case for associability and responsibility - that the identities in question perceive potential societal repercussions to their behaviour which will result in limiting more eggregious outbreaks.

    [0] Obvious varying dramatically of course - 'Fook Yu' is a perfectly reasonable name in China
    [1] Whatever 'real' happens to mean in this context - I suspect that you're aiming at "what the ID cards the governments and banks give me say". I don't have any idea if 'Greg London' is actually your 'real name', anymore than you have any idea if 'xeger' is my 'real name'. What I care about is whether your actions as 'Greg London' are consistent across a sufficient timespan to result in a reasonable prediction of future behaviors.

    #515 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 07:00 PM:

    Larry, thank you for knowing that there were three occupations of Alcatraz. I couldn't find a source last night for the first one, and the date I found for the second one sounded wrong (because it didn't leave much time for the first one to have occurred after the closure of the prison), which made me think that the source I found had conflated the two earlier ones. I tried searching on the name of one of the participants in the first one, but got garbage.

    Somewhere there is a book published on the 25th anniversary of the 1969 one, with interviews and clippings and things, and if I remember rightly, there are correct dates and personnel for the first two occupations.

    See: I wasn't ready to annotate, but I was drawn in.

    #516 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 07:08 PM:

    Lucy: See: I wasn't ready to annotate, but I was drawn in.

    You are the Lured Man of Alcatraz. Except, you know, you are woman.

    #517 ::: Bill Blum ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 08:39 PM:

    Apropos of nothing, my son tries to eat his feet ( link to Google Video, SFW unless your employer has a thing against laughing babies. )

    #518 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2006, 09:38 PM:

    Glenn, that's kind of you, but Mrk . Yrk is banned from Making Light.

    #519 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2006, 12:24 AM:

    Okay, the Disemvoweling article is currently about three paragraphs long, and deprecated as to sourcing as well. I am uncomfortable about changing it, but I probably will, not to the full version but at least restoring History and Spelling.

    #520 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2006, 03:39 AM:

    Teresa: I know, but Mark's now shown up over at my blog. On the likely chance that he's reading here more regularly than over there, I figured I'd post here as well.

    #521 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2006, 10:55 AM:

    xeger, no, I meant real life actual names. like whatever is on your driver's license or credit card or whatever. not pseudonyms.

    At the very least, wikipedia administrators should use their real names. But I think many more problems on wikipedia would be solved if all editors had to edit under their real name.

    Not all pseudonymonous editors are assholes, but assholes seem to be drawn to pseudonymonous usernames.

    There would be some disadvantages if wikipedia were to go to using real names, but wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and anyone who needs anonymity to get some important information into the public can do it via other channels, maintain their anonymity, and then wikipedia can report it.

    I'm not saying Making Light must require real names. This is specific to wikipedia.

    #522 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2006, 11:13 AM:

    Apropos of nothing else in this monster Open Thread, did any of the cavvy-philes out there know that there is a Nerdcore Hamster Rapper out there, laying down funky, furry little tracks? Yeah, I'd never heard of Ham-Star, either, but he's awesome.

    I found out about Ham-Star, along with a bunch of other Nerdcore artists, through the new Nerdcore Hip-Hop Compilation from Rhyme Torrents. More than 80 tracks, and a surprising number of them are actually good!

    #523 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2006, 12:57 PM:

    Skwid -- great minds must synchronisticize or something. I was wondering idly in this morning's bath how Porco Bruno is doing.

    #524 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2006, 01:18 PM:

    Is this the right time to mention HamsterSter?

    #525 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2006, 01:26 PM:

    Greg London wrote:
    xeger, no, I meant real life actual names. like whatever is on your driver's license or credit card or whatever. not pseudonyms.

    Just to clarify quickly - I was actually commenting on two things, but didn't distinguish them well.

    The first is that there's a significant difference between anonymity and the use of pseudonyms[0].

    The second is that the use of pseudonyms is in no way a direct linkage to poor behaviour, Making Light being an excellent counter-example to (some of) Wikipedia.

    I'm curious though - how would you verify that people were using their real name [here defined as 'government issue/bank issue ID']?

    [0] In the case of Wikipedia, the pseudonymns aren't anonymous.

    #526 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2006, 02:12 PM:

    When you create an account, wikipedia could require a credit card number, which could have a hold put on it then released, to verify the name of the card holder. That would then become the name of the wikipedia account. the CC# and any other financial information could be erased once it was confirmed.

    Not perfect, not fool proof, but should work for most. Those who bypass these rules will need something imposed on them anyway.

    And I did say that this wasn't for Making Light, just wikipedia. Wikipedia has by default an odd condition that the last person who edits an article "wins" in that they get to have the article say whatever they want. That isn't a problem on Making Light because someone starts a thread, and then posters add stuff to the bottom.

    Given this "last-edit-wins" configuration, and given the hotly debated political articles that exist on wikipedia, the automatic response becomes an edit war on any disputed topic.

    3RR is an attempt to limit edit wars, but what it does instead is change the system from "last-edit-wins" to "most-supporting-editors-wins". 3RR simply shifts the problem from the most insistent to mob rule and biggest mob wins.

    Now, majority vote doesn't neccessarily give bad results, but it isn't any guarantee to give good results either. And given that its impossible to keep track of every hot article on wikipedia, you don't have every possible person weighing in on any particular article dispute. You only get people who have a personal interest in the topic of the article, which means, people who have at least some interest in a particular point of view. And then take that and put "biggest mob wins" on top of it, and you've got trouble.

    Real name accounts would help improve behaviour without changing any of the logistical rules about how the rest of wikipedia works.

    If you want to change the rules of how wikipedia works, independent of whether real names are used, the first thing to do would be to have as the first step of any disputed topic is to require editors to state which side of the topic they stand. Pro choice or pro life? or whatever. Last I saw, it was considered in bad taste to ask people where they personally stood on an issue. Because editors are supposed to wholly neutral and their personal point of view isn't supposed to matter and all I can say to whoever came up with that rule is "what are you smoking?".

    The change would be to have editors state their personal points of view as they relate to the topic. Say pro choice or pro life. Then change the rules of wikipedia so that the number of editors who support any particular point of view doesn't matter. Instead, the pro choice editors get to edit the pro-choice poitn of view of the article and the pro-life folks get to edit the pro life point of view of the article, and never the two shall meet.

    This doesn't solve everything, and there are meta-issues with when do you present one view and when do you present the other view, but that issue already exists now. This just changes who gets to write the view. But then mobs never get complete control of an article. Only their particular point of view.

    Rather than have some article get mobbed by editors who all support one point of view and vote all opposing views out of the article, the most a mob can do is agree what their point of view should be, and they have no say over reporting the otehr points of view.

    This changes the system from "biggest mob wins all" to "mobs are limited to their POV and have no say over POV's they view as hostile"

    Then, if you have editors acting like mobsters, they are limited in the amount of damage they can do, and if you have editors who are actually trying to make a good article, they can get a good result.

    #527 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2006, 07:38 PM:

    Teresa wrote,

    ANNOUNCEMENT:

    If Mrk . Yrk shows up again, let me know -- and yes, I'll be watching more carefully. In the meantime? He's fair game. Wolf's head. You can do anything to him as long as it doesn't distress your fellow posters. He has no rights here.

    Oh goody! I was down in Gaithersburg briefly, my mother's in sad shape, my sister was the one who answered the phone Thursday when I called and she said, without preamble in not the politest tone in the world after saying "hold on a minute, while I go into the other room" "If you want to see your mother alive come down now." And then she told me that Sunday she was going off for a week to Boy Scout Camp with her husband and younger son who's entering his junior year in high school, and her elder son would be gone until [Sunday or Monday afternoon] when he would be back because he works during the week, so I should go down for a few days while she was away...." First -I- knew she was going to be away, she's only been away to Florida for part of a week a few weeks ago at her timeshare condo, and spent two weeks with her husband on a trip to Australia and New Zealand shortly after our father's funeral in mid-May....

    Who, me, who's solo and been mostly unemployed for -years- feeling irritated?!

    I drove down Saturday, with the weather horrendous (flooding highways, rain so hard cars were pulled off the road in Connecticut...), a minute from my sister's house about quarter of 9 (I did call twice earlier reporting that there were delays en route, getting answering droids... I HATE automated voice fake-polite crap!) she called me telling me she needed to go out to her friend who's professionally in social service and is helping out with my mother apparently, I managed to prevail upon my sister to take me over to see our mother together for a few minutes then went with her to the supermarket where she picked up half a cake to bring to her friend, she dropped me off at her house where my brother-in-law shut the door to his study on my and my nephew was not any more eager to be sociable and my sister went out for the remainder of the evening to her friend...

    She had told me I should got see "Mom" ("Mom." Grrr... "Mom" and "Dad." Whatever happened to "Ma" and "Mother" and "Father?" ... yeah, I'm a literary snob who hates most pop culture terminology....) and started writing down directions. I don't do well with serial linear audio-stle direction, "Simon says do this now!" and I hate one another, always have, always will, I want a -map- that shows -relationships- not "do this, then that, then something else." She finally did draw a map... but after I had been driving all day long alone in the car down the coast in rotten driving condition, I did NOT want to go driving around by myself in the dark in gawdawful Gaithersburg (the area gives me the squicks... "houses starting at $1 million!" reads the sign by ONE of the hordes of developments of pigpeoplemonsterhousesonwhatusedtobefarmlandorforestandisnowacresofbiodeadversityChemLawndevastationwithMonsterBeyondMcmansionEgoSprawl in the area...)

    The next morning I left my sister's house as she did--after her husband and son left 20 minutes earlier, in their other car), drove over to stop in and visit my mother for an hour, she was dozing in and out, sitting in a wheelchair in the common area of the floor of the assisted living care facility she is in, paralyzed on her right side, her speech center scrambled, blind from diabetes and on dialysis three days a week... and after the hour, headed home, among other things I seemed to be coming down with a cold and did not want to spread it to someone whose health is poor to start with.

    ====

    Getting back to Mrk Yrk:

    1. Sounds like one of the NASA types who implements Gag Order Gorge's gag orders on science... le not research results go unedited or stay in public distribution which don't comply with Gag Order Gorge's social values and policies and Beliefs, and let no NASA employee comment upon any issue in any fashion with does not comply with Gar Order George official policy and values...

    2. I've known a number of people who've worked for NASA. M*rk Y*rk sounds like a political appointee/flunkee, not one of the researchers I've known, some of whom I had actually worked with....

    #528 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2006, 07:40 PM:

    Oh, I left out my amusement with the "bifrickaton" or however he bifurcated bifurcation.

    #529 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2006, 08:12 PM:

    Partisans who can't/won't/don't put aside their partisanship when reporting are very much the contemporary style in US alleged nonfiction.... I find that extremely dishonest, noxious, and offensive when they're supposed to be doing reporting as opposed to acting as people identified as partisan promoters pushing their particular agenda.

    There are partisans who can put aside their partisanship at least enough to give equal time and attention to different sides of an issue and the different people and groups involved and not bias their reporting to their particular take on the situation, or rather, give relatively impartial reporting even with specifying where their particular loyalties lie.

    But, that's not what the media seems to favor these days, the media favors putting partisans on pushing their values and attitudes and short-shrifting and/or maligning others.... not "reporting" but rather pushing agendas, often without stating what there allegiances and agenda are. It's opinion-pushers and propaganda pushers masquerading as reporting, and if someone is reserving their opinion or equivocal or disinterested, much of the media doesn't want that person as journalist/reporter/commentator!

    #530 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2006, 08:22 PM:

    Regarding Anonymous Assholes:

    Recall the issue of anonymous names on convention badges....

    A name or handler that provides identification of a person, such as tnh or Teresa Nielsen Hayden or Ctein or such, is non-anonyomous/limits the realm of identifying the person. "kitsune" has a lot of ambiguity, as does "John Smith" or some other name which there are huge numbers of people who go by that appellation. Then there are the truly or near-truly anonymous names, of "who's behind that mask, anyway, and how does one find out who the responsible party is for the words and actions posted/performed fronted by that mask?"

    Regarding people who are regular posters on Making Light, many of us have, in the words of Leslie Fish in Banned from Argo left "a trail a mile wide." I suppose I could post masquerading behind a pseudoynm but I suspect I would have to work at it to avoid falling into habits such as writing long complicated elliptical rambling sentences, such as this one is.

    #531 ::: Clark E Myers ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2006, 11:28 PM:

    There are partisans who can put aside their partisanship at least enough to give equal time and attention to different sides of an issue and the different people and groups involved and not bias their reporting to their particular take on the situation, or rather, give relatively impartial reporting even with specifying where their particular loyalties lie.

    I believe you but I can't think of any examples. What comes to mind are some who give relatively informed reporting, e.g. Cokie Roberts, with the benefit of their experience. It's often been observed that the disinterested are inclined to be uninterested. See e.g. the notion that folks who have neither knowledge nor opinion about a major legal case - well covered in the news - are the only ones fit to decide it.

    I don't know whether it's the media or the audience that asks for reinforcement over information but when I see sloppy errors on topics I know something about I wonder how badly done the subjects I don't know about are. It seems to me to be an iron law of sour grapes and sweet lemons in everything from Apple vs. PC (Linux vs. Windows) to NASA Ames vs. Bell Helicopter flight simulators - I shut up when a NASA manager told me their airplane simulators paid as much attention to ground detail as a good helicopter simulator even though I knew the helicopter pilots relied more on visual cues and demanded a higher standard - no point in arguing with a man who saw life through Powerpoint.

    Once upon a time I would amuse myself by using the driver's license name of people known in a community only by their assumed identity/nickname; I suppose it made me feel superior - I'd cheerfully allow people to separate identities asking only that they use an identity consistently. Security by obscurity ought to be allowed as a social lubricant/politeness. See also the discussion here based on the NYT story of a family a nanny and her blog. Perhaps with a public figure by invitation only exception. Rosenberg/Meeropol was wrongly decided IMHO.

    For my money Wikipedia is almost useless as a reference on any matter of controversy but useful as an example of the controversy. FREX looking at Howard Fast(ov) I am more amused than annoyed to find his autobiographical Being Red does not appear in the list of his works, possibly limited to his fiction but that's an opinion as well? - the sort of factual information that might be derived from ABE or Amazon as a source and Jon Udell long ago suggested links that would allow a user to check the user's local library collection semi-automatically. I'd guess only those interested in writing hagiography or its opposite bother to post on people of some political controversy. See also the Wikipedia history on Paul Robeson. Is there any reason to expect otherwise?

    #532 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2006, 12:20 AM:

    Synchronicity: Very good article on Wikipedia in this week's New Yorker. Brings a certain degree of insight to the discussion.

    #533 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2006, 09:55 AM:

    Glenn, thanks for providing that link. It is indeed very appropriate to the current edit war. I must give it another read after the second cup of coffee has hit my brain. ;-)

    #534 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2006, 10:39 AM:

    Nice article, Glenn. My favorite part:

    In March, 2005, William Connolley, a climate modeller at the British Antarctic Survey, in Cambridge, was briefly a victim of an edit war over the entry on global warming, to which he had contributed. After a particularly nasty confrontation with a skeptic, who had repeatedly watered down language pertaining to the greenhouse effect, the case went into arbitration. “User William M. Connolley strongly pushes his POV with systematic removal of any POV which does not match his own,” his accuser charged in a written deposition. “His views on climate science are singular and narrow.” A decision from the arbitration committee was three months in coming, after which Connolley was placed on a humiliating one-revert-a-day parole. The punishment was later revoked, and Connolley is now an admin,

    The fact that "arbitration" was clueless towards an expert in the field is no surprise to me. Wikipedia arbiters are little more than judges in a popularity contest.

    #535 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: February 25, 2007, 05:53 PM:

    A very late reply to Larry Brennan @ #203:

    I am also among the inked. My "ARG" was in response to the idiotic phrase "24%...that's almost 1 in 4!"

    #536 ::: Xopher sees SPAM of a spammish nature ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2009, 12:05 PM:

    Spam, spammity spam. KEVEPILIA is barely better than "I find your ideas most thought-provokind and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter."

    #537 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2009, 01:46 AM:

    Xopher @537:
    barely better than "I find your ideas most thought-provokind and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter."

    That's a spam marker? Darn it, I thought I was aware of all internet traditions!

    #538 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2009, 02:36 AM:

    Provokind? As in agent provocateur?

    #539 ::: Leroy F. Berven ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2009, 03:27 AM:

    Naaaah . . . offspring of a recent Irish revolutionary, especially if in conjunction with a Baader-Meinhof alumnae.

    Choose:
    Smaller type (our default)
    Larger type
    Even larger type, with serifs

    Dire legal notice
    Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.