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September 15, 2006

Open thread 71
Posted by Teresa at 11:00 PM *

“The author makes a tacit deal with the reader. You hand them a backpack. You ask them to place certain things in it—to remember, to keep in mind—as they make their way up the hill. If you hand them a yellow Volkswagen and they have to haul this to the top of the mountain—to the end of the story—and they find that this Volkswagen has nothing whatsoever to do with your story, you’re going to have a very irritated reader on your hands.” —Frank Conroy
Comments on Open thread 71:
#1 ::: D. ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2006, 11:35 PM:

Not to mention readers who will remember until the end of time that they were forced to haul a useless chassis.

Also, the Mets should clinch soon.

#2 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2006, 11:36 PM:

Since I just finished reading Od Magic by Patricia McKilllip, which is the most luminous, beautiful fantasy I've read in a while, I'll second that. It gave an 'aha' moment about my own writing, but it also carried me along on the trip and I enjoyed it immensely.

There were not many spare words in that book, I'm gonna read it again in a week or so and post a review on my LJ.

#3 ::: Sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 12:18 AM:

TNH, do you have a citation on the roman folding knife in the sidebar? I would like more details if you've got them.

#4 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 12:24 AM:

Just wanted to say thanks for the link to the Sharpe's essay in the sidebar.

I might have something intelligent to say about it at some point, but for now, just: Thanks!

#5 ::: sdn ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 12:29 AM:

i like how that was the one thing you pulled from the website i sent you.

also, it sucks being home. that is all.

p.s. the chewable toothbrush and the musical toothbrush.

#6 ::: Annalee Flower Horne ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 12:32 AM:

But if you make the reader carry bacon to the top of the mountain, they may just resign themselves to being the internet flavor of the week.

#7 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 01:02 AM:

I wouldn't mind the volkswagon so much if it hadn't been masquerading a yak, which I subsequently had to shave ...

#8 ::: Scott W ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 01:18 AM:

Might modern readers instead get into the Volkswagon and use that to get up the mountain? And then, of course, when it runs out of gas complain loudly (maybe all the way to court) that there wasn't a warning label on the vehicle notifing all and sundry that the author neglected to top off the tank and is also not responsible for any damages that may occur from the unintended uses of the vehicle.

#9 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 02:37 AM:

If it were a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, I wouldn't mind carrying it up the hill, even if the writer never used it again... As long as I got to keep it in the end... And assuming it was in decent shape.

Back when I drove a VW Bug, I always wished it was a Karmann Ghia instead. I think the body pan, engine, transmission, and suspension is the same for a Bug and KG, if I recall the manuals correctly.

#10 ::: Nick Fagerlund ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 05:14 AM:

Speaking of machinery.

I spent a fair amount of time over the spring and summer trying out various text editors, so I've been thinking a lot about tools. What software do people around here do their typing in? What does it do for you that makes you prefer it?

Not to spark an editor war, or anything; I'm just really curious to see a wider cross-section than my own front yard/recent college bubble. (Undergrads all seem to use MS Word.)

I'll go first: I ended up deciding I really like BBEdit. All the amenities of a programmer's text editor, but accessible in a way that's kind of hard to describe. It also integrates really well with various Mac-isms, and (the real kicker) just tends to work the way my brain does. A very touchy-feely sort of preference.

#11 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 06:18 AM:

Isn't this volkswagen quote just a slightly clunky reformulation of Checkhov's Gun?

Nick: I have vi (or preferably vim) hard-wired into my fingertips. I used to write novels using vim as an editor and Perl's POD macro system (and a custom makefile, and rcs for version control). However, a while ago I let myself be strong-armed into using first MS Word for OS/X, and then NeoOffice, for novels, due to the annoying tendency of publishers to demand Word documents (and in some cases edit them using Word's change tracking mechanism), but I have just discovered this OpenDoc to POD conversion module in Perl and I think I might just be migrating back to vim ...

#12 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 07:49 AM:

Hi, Sharyn. I've fixed the credit line.

The SNAFU at Newark sounds atrocious, especially since it means you're not in Montreal so we can't see whether you're up yet and want to go check out the Bretagne Creperie two blocks over.

Woe!

#13 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 07:56 AM:

Sisuile, I got the folding Roman knife from Jo Walton. It's in a museum in England. I found the museum's site the same day I put up that Particle, but I can't find it now, and I'm on a different computer in a different city with very indifferent connectivity.

#14 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 08:03 AM:

Nick: Lotus WordPro 96.

I like it because, having used it for ten years (actually longer, since I started with AmiPro around 1993), I know it extremely well, because it does everything I need my word processor to do (which is quite a bit), and also because it's paid for.

Charlie:

"Hang the phaser over the holographic fireplace in the Captain's quarters, Mr. Chekov! Chop down the cherry orchard, Mr. Chekov! Embarrass yourself with Harcourt Fenton Mudd's three so-called 'sisters,' Mr. Chekov! Let me tell you something, Gospodin Sulu: if the Captain ever orders Mr. Chekov to take the phaser down from over the holographic fireplace, you had better not go on the Bridge until the zapping stops."

#15 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 08:09 AM:

Woe, a creperie.

Not that I'd have been awake to go if I'd been there.

But woe, a creperie.

#16 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 08:16 AM:

Right, now that I've got lamenting over my crepe-less state out of my system:

Nick @ #10: NoteTabPro for HTML, WordPerfect for work.

Re: the open thread quote: and if I haul that Volkswagen all the way to the top and find the author wanted it, but only to toss carelessly in the junkyard . . . I'm probably going to be just as annoyed.

#17 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 08:16 AM:

Oriana Fallaci has died. She was 76.

Guardian obit here.

If I'd had more to say, I would have put it on the front page, and I might yet, but as those of you who've followed her career may imagine, I'll have to do a bit of thinking and sorting out first.

#18 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 08:28 AM:

I used the free version of BBedit for a long while, but I recently started using TextWrangler from the same stable. It's much the same, but when I'm hand-coding HTML it handily colours up the tags.

Using anything more sophisticated than a text editor for writing is too much like my day-job; I start thinking layout and my graphic design lobe fires up and starts consuming the energy my writing composition lobe needs. I guess if I were writing professionally and my editor demanded it, I'd start books in a text editor and port them over to Word the night before the deadline.

#19 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 08:28 AM:

Kate:

"Today on Scrapheap Cha -- uh, sorry, Junkyard Wars, our teams have to convert one of these yellow Volkswagens into an armour . . . sorry again, armor-plated Careless Author Pursuit Vehicle. Once complete, the teams will take off across this course -- which you'll note is rather short on auctorial hiding places -- after either A. N. Wilson or Bevis Hillier, target to be chosen by lot, and no fair slipping a ringer into the draw box."

[Music: "Big Yellow Taxi"]

#20 ::: G. Jules ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 08:29 AM:

I will forgive the writer the Volkswagen if they make it a very entertaining Volkswagen indeed. I suspect I'm unusual in that, though.

#7 xeger: Did you save the yak fur? It's expensive stuff, although not as expensive as vicuna.

#21 ::: sdn ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 08:53 AM:

woe indeed.

request, if possible: could you buy me some sucre à la crème? it's a candy like butter tablet, but made with maple sugar.

if not, not, but i thought i'd ask ...

#22 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 09:02 AM:

When does a yellow Volkswagen became a red herring?

#23 ::: Deborah Roggie ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 10:48 AM:

When does a yellow Volkswagen became a red herring?

When the smell distracts you.

#24 ::: JmariC ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 11:06 AM:

Nick:
I use AbiWord.
It is a GUI program and it is free. I have it on my windows box and my linux laptop. It allows conversion to and from many different applications. I have converted MSword files to my Abiword, which worked beautifully. It has the ability to convert files to MSword, I just haven't gotten around to seeing how that works out since I don't use MSword.

As a bonus, I use a free version of Natural Voice Reader to give my writing a different format for editing. Hearing it is different from reading it in your head. The free version comes with one voice which sounds like Stephen Hawkings. I laughed alot the first time I used it, but I still caught errors I hadn't noticed before. When I start making cash for my writing, I plan to upgrade and get new voices.

#25 ::: sara_k ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 11:10 AM:

And if that volkswagon has nothing whatsoever to do with this story but then gets a whole story of its own, don't expect that the reader is going to trust that you will not repeat the ploy.

Ok, so the reader may fall for it once more but after that this reader will no longer read any of your books.

#26 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 11:43 AM:

JMar my experience, AbiWord is as buggy as an ant-heap, and highly allergic to documents longer than, oh, about ten pages -- not to mention having weird rendering glitches that make it barely usable on OS/X.

I'd like to love it for its open-sourcey goodness, but every time I've tried it it's bitten me within five minutes. No wonder the project logo is a fire ant ...

#27 ::: Clark E Myers ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 11:51 AM:

#13 - the folding Roman knife

Not exactly - this,with much omitted, from:
http colon whack whack www dot romanarmy dot com whack rat whack viewtopic dot php?p=88059

active link to the discussion board = extended discussion.

There is also a find from St. Albans in Hertfordshire, England of a 'Swiss army knife' which features a spoon, fork, earscoop, nail cleaner, toothpick and knife blade.

The fork is assumed to be for eating snails with. Len morgan makes beautiful replicas of this find.

Len Morgan posted:
I've made several pictures of the original years ago, unfortunately they were not of good quality, so I asked for a good picture. I got a angry letter back "no one is allowed to make pictures of the original" Sorry.
But fortunately there is an article about the Roman 'swiss' knife in "The Antiquaries Journal in 198? p. 310-311 PL XLIX" (sorry I was so stupid not to write it down properly). I've reconstructed the siwss knive in bronze (the original is in silver).
The original was sold by Christies in 1986 by a swiss dealer. It's probably late second or third century.
I have also seen folks in the Neaples museum dating from 79 AD so forks were used in the first century.

And from Paul B who is hosting the pictures linked to in the sidebar
And here is a picture of the Len Morgan replica- having used it, I can testify that it works well. Does anyone have a picture of the original?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v221/PaulHB/IMG_0478.jpg


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v221/PaulHB/IMG_0480.jpg
_________________

More information at the link.

I have had no correspondence with these folks and if anybody does I'd like to know if the Warncliffe blade is a significant modification of the original.

#28 ::: Peter Hentges ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 12:06 PM:

Oh my. I am a bit flustered. A friend of mine just passed on a link to Red Hot Library Smut. Not what you think; its a blog post about a book with stunningly lovely photos of libraries. Book lovers must, simply must, have a gander. You know you want to.

#29 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 12:07 PM:

There be but 3 days until Talk Like A Pirate Day.

Be ye ready?

#30 ::: Clark E Myers ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 12:10 PM:

More on the folding Roman knife - the replica is offered for sale at pounds 40 on the maker's website at: knives for sale including replica Roman hobo with photograph as a composite pen knife - others are also pictured with a Warncliffe blade and sold as pen knives. I'd not be surprised to find a price increase as the last modified date shown is 2004.

#31 ::: tavella ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 12:30 PM:

It's funny that Paula brought up _Od Magic_, because it was a book that triggered thoughts of Chekov. I enjoyed it, but it did have an, um, odd, feel. As if she had intended a longer or different book.

In particular, (mild spoiler)...


...the protagonist's brother features at the beginning of the book, and takes off for the same big city as the protagonist later does. The protag thinks or talks about him several times after he hits the big city, including wondering how to look for him. But this never goes anywhere and the brother never reappears, which is a bit distracting since the repeated references result in the reader waiting for him to come back into the plot.

Also, the ending is such a rehash of something from the Hed books that it again feels like McKillip throwing up her hands and wrapping the book up hastily.

#32 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 12:33 PM:

Last night I went to an not-exactly open house at a Historic Mansion in town owned and restored by Middlesex Community College. There was an art event there, part of a set of weekend festivities, I will shortly be heading out to go to some more of them.

On the Usual Topic, Mr Ney of Ohio is pleading guilty to accepting illegal gifts from Jack Abramoff. Is he out of Congress yet?

There's another of the Republicrap sacks of useless shit (once upon a time one of my coworkers explained to me, I don't know how truthfully, that the excrement from racehorses didn't even make usable manure...) who won't be back next year in Congress. On the other hand, given the situation with voting machines in Ohio that loaded dice are more honest than....

One second thought, "useless" isn't a term that is appropriate. It indicates a no-op. Ney has been an actively malicious and malevolent force in Congress, to the enormous detriment and deterioration of the quality of life in the USA today and for a long time to come--and to increased misery in the rest of the world, too. Four dead in Ohio, more than a hundred thousand in Iraq, and millions women being persecuted into chattledom there. Some record...

#33 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 01:54 PM:

Nick --

Another vim user, here; two (drawer) novels, well over a million words of usenet posts, and some effort so I can use mutt (and thus vim) with exchange at work, because, indeed, the keys are wired to my brain.

OpenOffice, if you happen to like GUIs, doesn't abjectly suck; if you're not planning to use any multi-page tables, kword (the KDE office suite text editor) was ok the last time I looked at it, which was admittedly awhile ago now.

It's important to figure out what you're trying to do -- get words into a file, format the file for output, programmatically manipulate the contents of the file, etc. -- before you start deciding on tools.

#34 ::: Kayjay ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 02:26 PM:

Speaking of Volkswagens...

Are there any German speaking and/or publishing savvy people around here that could tell me anything about "Gipfelbuch-Verlag_ in Waldsolms"? I'm trying to find out if it is a legit house.

A German author is trying to get me to let her use a photo of mine for a cover a her new book, but she doesn't speak English very well, and I speak no German, so we have a bit of a language barrier, and it is hard for me to tell if any of this is sketchy.

#35 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 02:57 PM:

I use StarOffice as well as MSOffice at home, partly because my verion of MSOffice is 4.2, and it doesn't understand any format more recent than that. StarOffice understands HTML and XML also. It just doesn't have some of the neat bells-and-whistles that make Word so handy.

You can have an antique Porsche that will get you there but has fuel limitations, or you can have a VW that runs on almost anything but won't go more than 55.

#36 ::: sara_k ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 03:30 PM:

I got an email today from William Sonoma with this unfortunate headline:

Shun Cutlery Sets by Ken Onion

with links to http://www.williams-sonoma.com/shop/cut/cutb/cutskob/index.cfm?&bnrid=3101590&cm_ven=KANA&cm_cat=EDM&cm_pla=060913%20ShunRem&cm_ite=060913%20ShunRem%20CollBNAV

#37 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 03:36 PM:

My question of the author would be: Does the VW have a bud vase or not? If not, why should I carry it up the mountain? If it does, can I use the whole thing as a planter?

#38 ::: Individ-ewe-al ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 03:38 PM:

Teresa @13: I'm fairly certain the English museum you want is the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge, which was local to me for much of my life. Unfortunately, I can't find anything about the knife itself within their site.

Have I been quick enough to provide some useful information about something I know about before half a dozen other people get in first with something more comprehensive? That would be cool!

#39 ::: Nick Fagerlund ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 03:46 PM:

Graydon(33): Precisely. I suspect that's why it took me two seasons (or wait, was it longer?) to pick my weapon of choice.

Mike Ford(14): Wow, no kidding?! I used WordPro 96 for all my writing on our family's first PC! I always liked it; I remember it being a little more agile and a little less aggressive than MS Word.

That program was also my first introduction to file format lock-in--we managed to lose the install disc sometime between the point where we became dependent on it and the point where we had to wipe the hard drive and re-install everything. I still remember frantically converting the whole family's documents, one file at a time, to MS Word files.

Everyone: Thanks, this is fascinating. Keep 'em coming!

#40 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 03:59 PM:

John M. Ford: I wrote my dissertation using AmiPro. Unfortunately, it didn't catch on within the academy so, if I want to share anything with my colleagues, I find that I have to use MicroSloshed Turd.

#41 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 04:15 PM:
Are there any German speaking and/or publishing savvy people around here that could tell me anything about "Gipfelbuch-Verlag_ in Waldsolms"? I'm trying to find out if it is a legit house.
Based on limited research I would tentatively say that it is a small but normal publisher - i.e., not a vanity press or a scam operation. I am actually fairly confident that it isn't any kind of scam, since I can't find anyone complaining about it - vanity press is a possibility, although I don't know how usual it is for vanity press books to get listed on Amazon, which theirs are.
#42 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 04:21 PM:
Teresa @13: I'm fairly certain the English museum you want is the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge, which was local to me for much of my life. Unfortunately, I can't find anything about the knife itself within their site.
According to someone commenting in the thread Clark linked to in #27, it's the Verulamium Museum in St. Alban's. No picture of the knife on their site, but one could e-mail and ask for one (the aforementioned commenter did, but if he got the picture he did not display it).
#43 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 05:15 PM:

The first WP program I used was MultiMate, which from what I was told was very similar to the proprietary Wang WP system. I use Editpad for blog posts, MS-Word for letters.

#44 ::: Clark E Myers ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 05:24 PM:

Replica Roman folder #13, #38, #42 more quotes from the pre-Scadian period folks doing Roman army reenacting:

The replica tool Ambrosius mentions with it's[sic] fork spoon knife, nail cleaner, ear scoop, and pick is shown here [same links as the Particle].. ....
I am awaiting photographs as we speak from the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge of the original find.....

------------------------------
Actually, Len Morgan makes .......It is a copy from an original in the museum in Cambridge, near to where it was found. ......And there is another 'winkle-picker' tool on it - for tackling snails, etc - as well, so the fork
was definitely intended for use in eating regular food. Rumour has it they found another one... Who says Romans never used forks?.....
Ambrosius/Mike

I'd not be surprised to find another replica and/or more information in the daily life exhibits at Caerleon which would be England's greatest resouce for Roman occupation research if it were English. The geography of course ties in so very nicely with the Arthurian knights as Cataphracts - as so many have duly noted obs sf(s) omitted as an excercise for the readers

#45 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 06:04 PM:

I had information at one time about a word-processing program named WordSmith, which looked really neat - this was in the late 70's to mid '80s, and word-processing was very young. IIRC, you could do things by word, by paragraph, and in other-sized chunks also. The finer details have, alas, long since fled, along with the hard-copy of the stuff. ISTR all I could afford was one binder of instructions, although I'd have liked to get the whole thing.

#46 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 06:35 PM:

Sara: One imagines James Bond in Manhattan (well, one Bond or other, anyway), being handed a note telling him where to meet his contact:

SHUN LEE PALACE

"Someone must be having me on."

#47 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 06:45 PM:

bOINGbOING has a somewhat disturbing link to a zombie story on the Laos/Cambodia border. Mosquitoes reanimate the dead? Who then act violent for two hours? Sweet Mother of Romero!

#48 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 06:56 PM:

Teresa (Authorized torture #175):
...disasters caused by human volition -- the Great Chicago Fire of 1871...
Michael Weholt (#176):
I thought that was caused by bovine volition.
Teresa (#177):
Michael, you wouldn't believe the quantities of scholarly and semi-scholarly ink that have been spilled trying to settle that inherently indeterminate question. Reconstructing the night's events from the fragmentary testimonies (some of them given years later) of people who may or may not have been sober on the night is only part of it. I believe there's even a theory involving meteor showers.

Can't we just agree to compromise and say that the fire was caused by an incadescent cow at terminal velocity named Mrs. O'Leary that was invited for a sip of poteen in the barn?

#49 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 07:13 PM:

If, on the other hand, the yellow VW is in fact a magic vehicle which may, with the proper incantation, be turned into a Yellow Submarine, a 747, a trireme, a Brough Superior, a surfboard, a kayak, a Harrier, the Millenium Falcon -- well, you have yourself a very useful little bug.

#50 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 07:40 PM:

Lizzy:

You left out an airship, a whatever-that-guy's-name-was Trimotor, a Temporal Displacement Widget,* the Nautilus (the one with the sense of interior design), the C-57D, and a Mechanical Mole. The last one would have to be capable of reaching Symzonia/Pellucidar/Anyplace Down There That Isn't Real Hot and Preferably Supports Dinosaurs.

Of course, all those vehicles need to reach all their relevant fictional destinations. Singly or in combination.

Fortunately -- and I would imagine this was your point -- we can do that. We have the technology.
I like a fountain pen for initial development, going to larger hardware for implementation.

*Preferably as small as possible, as large ones are inevitably left in places that end up behind Great Big Bolted Doors or on the other side of a River of Molten Sugar. Not that that's bad for the story, as long as it does not become a plot, you know, device.

#51 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 07:52 PM:

I used to have WordPerfect and loved it, but that secondhand computer died and the guy who sold it to me didn't include the program disks. Budget constraints forced me to buy a Cheapobox Home Edition with the complimentary bundle o'Microsoft kludge. At work, I had already realized that I didn't like Word when I tried to line up four items in two columns and discovered that TrueType means having to set up a table for every little thing. Oh, well. A spell-checker dictionary that hasn't been spell-checked itself? It happens. Letter templates that made my Business English teacher reach for the Tylenol and her red pen? I could live with it.

Now, however, I use Word for my church newsletter (eight pages, columns, graphics, drop caps) and hate it with every fiber of my being. It's like finally having a reason to go over 35 miles per hour in your marvelous shiny heavily advertised car and discovering that over 40 it shimmies, over 45 it pulls to the left (when it isn't pulling to the right), and over 50 it randomly goes into reverse now and then, plus two of the gears don't actually do anything. And you paid for this piece of crap. Gah!

#52 ::: mary ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 09:06 PM:

Charlie Stross--

Ah, another vi user. I've been teased about using vi for years. My coworkers use emacs, which they consider vastly superior. Like you, I have vi programmed into my fingers. Old dogs, new tricks...

#53 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 09:51 PM:

#28 -- that link to Red Hot Library Smut was posted here in Particles a couple of weeks ago.

It is beautiful, though. It made me think of the scene in Disney's "Beauty & The Beast" where Belle first sees the Beast's library....I want a moment like that in my life, someday. "Here is this huge, beautiful library, and it is all yours."

#54 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 09:54 PM:

#52 -- Not to restart the editor wars, but emacs is programmed into my fingertips.

Happily, the scientist who is effectively my boss (I'm a grad student) is also an emacs person. When I told him I prefer emacs, he got all excited. So there you have it -- using the same editor as your boss is helpful to your career.

#55 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 10:03 PM:

John Ford @ #50: I think part of the fun of "McGyver" for us non-engineer types was the feeling that any minute now the guy was going to invent time travel.

Jenny at @51: my first word processing program was Wordstar, and I used it for years. Now I use Word, and yes, gah, and also ugh.

#56 ::: Lynne ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 10:20 PM:

Wow, someone still uses Word Pro and remembers Ami Pro! I salute you, John M. Ford! I was a software tester for those products for more than four years, and to this day, there are things Word Pro can do that other products can't do nearly as well. If I still had a copy of Word Pro (I prefer the 97 and Millennium editions), I'd be using them today. I wonder if they still sell them?

#57 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 10:20 PM:

I prefer textedit, which is only available on Sun Solaris, on something called "open windows", I believe.

Anyway, the Sun is setting on OW, and rising on Common Desktop Environment, which, most unfortunately, doesn't appear to have textedit on it.

So I coded an editor up in perl using TextUndo and got it rolled into the standard perl TK release. It's called "gedi" which does most of what 'textedit' does.

"gedit" is available on linux, but doesn't quite do everything that textedit or gedi do.

I hate just about every other editor I've ever used. What I've discovered is that a lot of editors are "hands-on-keyboard" mode, while I prefer "hands-on-mouse" editing. the ultimate HOK editor is xemacs, which has a keystroke sequence for everything, but disables ctrl-C and ctrl-V. HOM editing, such as textedit, lets me do a compile, and when the error message scrolls up, I double click on the line number, use the mouse to select the pulldown menu for "go to line", and the line number is automatically pasted in, then mouse click on "ok". Once my hand touches the mouse to click on the line number, it doesn't leave until the editor cursor is on that line. Which seems to be a rather seemless and intuitive transition, but no editor I know of, save textedit and gedi, does that simple little thing.

There were a number of things you could do with textedit that were like that: grab the mouse, click, click, click, and you're done and ready to return to the keyboard.

#58 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 11:13 PM:

Tavella, that's why I'm waiting to review and perhaps read it again. My brain says there is something that is bothering me about it, but: between not having weekends because of our Renaissance festival (I'm shop help for a jeweler) and the fact we're in "fall crunch' == I work for a trade show publisher and, well, lots of trade shows happen in the fall and early winter, my brain isn't quite working right. My critera are a bit lower right now because the desire to be entertained is higher.

Now I've got a manuscript that a fellow writing workshop member is marketing, and that I've only read pieces of (the group had been critiquing it a lot longer than I've been a member and by the time I joined she was offering rewritten pieces to be refined). My main critique was, "I want to read the whole thing." and since she considers it finished I now have a copy in my hand.

#59 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 11:19 PM:

I've heard RUMORS of this before.

Now it's the top story on MSNBC.

Thank you, MSNBC:

* * *

Ties to GOP trumped skill on Iraq team
In rebuilding effort, loyalty to Bush administration was paramount

After the fall of Saddam Hussein's government in April 2003, the opportunity to participate in the U.S.-led effort to reconstruct Iraq attracted all manner of Americans -- restless professionals, Arabic-speaking academics, development specialists and war-zone adventurers. But before they could go to Baghdad, they had to get past Jim O'Beirne's office in the Pentagon.

...

O'Beirne's staff posed blunt questions to some candidates about domestic politics: Did you vote for George W. Bush in 2000? Do you support the way the president is fighting the war on terror? Two people who sought jobs with the U.S. occupation authority said they were even asked their views on Roe v. Wade.

Many of those chosen by O'Beirne's office to work for the Coalition Provisional Authority, which ran Iraq's government from April 2003 to June 2004, lacked vital skills and experience. A 24-year-old who had never worked in finance -- but had applied for a White House job -- was sent to reopen Baghdad's stock exchange. The daughter of a prominent neoconservative commentator and a recent graduate from an evangelical university for home-schooled children were tapped to manage Iraq's $13 billion budget, even though they didn't have a background in accounting.

The decision to send the loyal and the willing instead of the best and the brightest is now regarded by many people involved in the 3 1/2 -year effort to stabilize and rebuild Iraq as one of the Bush administration's gravest errors. Many of those selected because of their political fidelity spent their time trying to impose a conservative agenda on the postwar occupation that sidetracked more important reconstruction efforts and squandered goodwill among the Iraqi people, according to many people who participated in the reconstruction effort.

* * *

I'd say "unbelievable," but I have no problem believing that this is exactly what the overconfident, arrogant bastards would do.

#60 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 11:24 PM:

At one time I had the WordStar "cursor diamond" and other keystroke commands memorized.

Just a few weeks ago, I ditched the very last copies of WS 4.0 and 5.0 that I had left. (Along with almost every other floppy disk I had.)

No regrets. I appreciate the GUIshness of Word for applications where appearance is important, use TextPad for entering code on Windows, and I know vi and an even more primitive text editor when I need to work on Suns and the like.

#61 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2006, 11:32 PM:

Greg@57: the ultimate HOK editor is xemacs, which has a keystroke sequence for everything, but disables ctrl-C and ctrl-V.

because they're unnecessary; long before they existed; emacs had set-mark, {copy,kill}-{word,line,region}, paste, and pop-paste cmds. The problem I have with HOM editing is that even with thorns I miss the proper keyboard position 5-10% of the time I return to 2-handed touch typing. (I'd also debate whether any emacs is the ultimate HOK editor compared to vi, but each has its own issues. I nearly went crazy writing a 30,000-word report in vi, but still use it for small things simply because I want not to forget it entirely; it's more likely than emacs to be installed ab initio.

#62 ::: A Series of Tubes ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 12:06 AM:

PNH & TNH,

I think you might find this (via Miss Snark) amusing, especially since you both work for Tor. I'm sure you've seen worse but I think this has to be high on anyone's list. And yes, I'm being purposefully vague because it's best to read the post than have it described.

#63 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 12:11 AM:

I am an emacs girl. I am a HOK person; every time I have to take my hands off the keyboard to use a mouse or it slows me down. I suffer GUIs nongladly when I must and use whatever is given me, but if I have the chance, I work in emacs.

I read mail via a shell account, too. GUIs for mail waste way too much time.

#64 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 12:19 AM:

Lamest line ever when suddenly confronted with someone who used to be Dennis and is now Denise:

(brightly) "I never realized you had ink."

I'm going to go try to extract my shoelaces from my small intestine now. My only excuse is that I really didn't recognise her and was suffering the paralytic social terror of "omigod this person knows me really well and I have no f'ing clue who she is..."

Arrgh.

There's evidently a Story to be had here on how macho soldier-guy transformed into serious girly-girl, but now I'm too embarassed to ask for it.

#65 ::: Mark DF ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 12:23 AM:

I basically use wordprocessing as glorified typing. I like the functionality of cut and paste, font change, etc. I use MS Word simply because it comes loaded and I'm lazy. What I can't stand about it is that it really doesn't have a "reveal codes" function anymore--what is there is basically paragraph marks and tab arrows. I'm thinking more along the lines of the earlier WordPerfect where if your formatting went widgy, you revealed all the codes--and IIRC you really did get all the formating codes--you could actively edit the format coding (almost like in a text editor like Notepad). Any suggestions? I don't need all the bells and whistles.

#66 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 01:09 AM:

I'm on a Mac running OS X most of the time. I'm using MSWord for my disse%^&*#& and for the books I work on because my committee and the publishers like it that way. I don't.

Before the committee was involved, I used Mellel, which handles many languages, Unicode, double byte characters and bidirectional mixed text, with footnotes, beautifully, but is in every other way idiosyncratic and not simple to learn.

I use BBEdit Pro for HTML and text. I use Mariner Write for my own stuff, like blog posts. Sometimes I use TextEdit, which has much more going for it than most people think.

I mourn MacWritePro.

#67 ::: Dori ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 01:13 AM:

Interesting question, and now I'm wondering myself why I use what I use:

- Writing code and markup, or for taking notes by myself and for myself: BBEdit.
- Taking notes in groups when there are other Mac users around that I can convince to also use said tool: SubEthaEdit.
- Blog posts (when I use something other than just a Safari text box): MarsEdit.
- Pay copy: MS Word.

That last is because every editor I work for wants the file submitted in MS Word, so it's simpler to just start there as well.

#68 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 01:44 AM:

A quick Google showed Lotus WordPro, as part of the Smartsuite pack, still being advertised by a dealer in the UK. First response on a search for "Lotus" and "WordPro", and the OEM version is pretty cheap.

I bought a copy years ago. An earlier version was given away with one of the UK computer magazines as a promotion when the Millenium edition came out.

More sources may be found if you Google for Smartsuite.

For a lot of things, file compatibilty is the problem. Unfortunately, MS Word is a moving target, and there are problems with older Word formats not being readable by current versions.


#69 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 01:55 AM:

Paula @ 32: (once upon a time one of my coworkers explained to me, I don't know how truthfully, that the excrement from racehorses didn't even make usable manure...)

Kevin Conley reports in his book Stud: Adventures in Breeding that Campbell's uses the manure from Storm Cat, the top Thoroughbred sire in the world by some measures, to fertilize its mushroom fields.

I believe I have also read that Bill Veeck sold the manure from the backstretch when he ran Suffolk Downs.

#70 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 02:39 AM:

Nick Fagerlund (#10): What software do people around here do their typing in? What does it do for you that makes you prefer it?

I do most of my writing for the Web, and I use a text editor called Notetab. Specifically, Notetab Pro, Version 5. I like it because it's a text editor, rather than a word processor, so it delivers unformatted straight ASCII. It's got a spell-checker, it does word-wrap, and word-counting. It keeps a list of favorite files open in a panel to the right of the document Window, so I can click on a file and have it pop open. It automatically generates some HTML. There's some other things I like about it, but those cover the basics.

I use Word on a daily basis as well. I write fiction in it. Also, I 'r an editor myself (of the journalist variety), and (like Charlie's editors) I like its track-changes and comments mode for discussing editing changes with my vast legion of minions.

There's a third app I use regularly, called Wikipad. It's a single-user desktop Wiki, I use it as a to-do manager. And then I can fiddle with Wikipad instead of getting stuff done.

Charlie, what do you dislike about MS Word?

Kate Nepveu (#16): Ah, another Notetab user! Notetab roolz! All other word processors and text editors droolz. Uh, drool! C'mon, Kate, gimee a high five!

(Kate does not give Mitch a high five)

(Mitch puts an I-meant-to-do-that expression on his face, and is left standing awkwardly with his hand above his head)

(everyone else looks embarassed, and looks away)

(Mitch combs his hair with the fingers of his upraised hand, as though that's what he intended all along)

#71 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 02:40 AM:

I mourn XyWrite.

#72 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 04:04 AM:

Hm. I'm also a vi user - emacs was far too much of a space and memory hog for the machines I started with - and by the time I had the standard use for emacs, vi was engrained.

These days I use vi regularly - XCode regularly (yup, that'd be OSX), subethaedit (mmmm!) and omnioutliner. I suffer Word when I must.

#73 ::: Fitzroy ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 05:51 AM:

#34 Kayjay -seems like it is a very small (think 30 books since 2003, half of them no longer available), but normal publisher.

The website looks a bit amateurish -they didn't even link to their online-shop! On the other hand, one of their authors apparently worked for half a year with an editor before they agreed to publish his celtic-boy-is-chosen-by-the-gods-to-become-druid-fantasy.

Doesn't seem to be a scam or vanity press, just a small publisher for authors who'll probably sell only in their hometown.

#74 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 07:31 AM:

3 days until Talk Like A Pirate Day

Yes, Josh, I'm ready. I already watched Robert Newton as Blackbeard a few months ago though and wouldn't care to watch that surreal exercise in movie-making again. Well, I do have a piratical t-shirt I could wear at the office.

(Speaking of surreal cinema, Turner Classic Movies on Friday showed nothing but short films, some by the likes of Scorcese, Lynch, Kubrick, Tony Scott and Ridley Scott. I missed most of them although I caught on tape Chris Marker's la jetee. It looks VERY unusual. Well, I'll finally see if it really was the inspiration for Terry Gilliam's 12 monkeys.)

#75 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 09:10 AM:

I use vi because emacs gives me RSI. Over the years I've tried to switch four or five times, and every time, within a couple of weeks, I've begun getting stabbing pains in my hands.

What I prefer, editor wise, is gvim. vim = vi iMproved; gvim = Graphical vim. (There's even an emacs emulator written in vim macros, if you insist ...)

Word processor wise, I'd switch to Nisus Writer Express in a shot if it had just one key feature -- the ability to have more than one window (or a split window) open on a given document. As it is, when editing a novel, not being able to see what happened on page 100 when writing page 200 is a crippling problem, in what is otherwise an excellent writers' word processor. (With Perl as a macro language, yet!)

NeoOffice, the OS/X port of OpenOffice, does what it says on the tin, and although it's still in beta it seems reasonably solid if a bit sluggish. Sluggish I can put up with: lacking vital features (multiple-windows-on-one-file, for example) or crashing and losing data regularly are another matter.

I still get nostalgic for Borland Sprint, back in the 80s, which most of my trunk of burn-before-publishing novels were written on. Requires DOS, 384Kb of memory, 4Mb of disk space when fully loaded on a PC-XT, and basically acted like a combination of Emacs and Scribe on steroids, with a whole bunch of then unheard-of features -- it saved edit state and open documents and windows between sessions, could emulate the keystrokes and menu hierarchy of other word processors, had a nifty external command-line file conversion utility that you could splice into batch scripts or call from a menu, the user interface and printer drivers and typesetting commands were all hackable in a couple of not-too-brain-dead macro languages, and so on. I can't help feeling that with the exception of WYSIWYG and XML, everything's been a step backward since then.

#76 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 09:26 AM:

Jenny Islander (51) -

OpenOffice (you want 2.0) supports page templates, page template sequences, and n-column layouts. It's also entirely free and Unicode-enforcing. Never tried drop caps, but a quick search indicates that the feature is there. (I have done 500 page technical documents in it, so this isn't a purely theoretical recommendation. Of course, if I was doing what it sounds like you're doing -- a purely to print newsletter -- it's at least possible I'd be doing it in troff.)

Mark DF(61) --

"Reveal Codes" isn't available in a current word processor. (Word Perfect is still available, though.) You can do use things that use text markup as the input to the formatter -- troff, TeX/LaTeX, XML/XSL -- but those, while highly suitable for high volume documentation, have substantial learning curves.

OpenOffice is based on an XML format -- Open Document -- and the "files" are really compressed (zipped) directories, so it's possible to go into the XML and edit it directly, but I don't recommend it. (On the other hand, you can use zip commands to pound the styles.xml file you want into all your OpenOffice documents, which can save a lot of time.)

#77 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 10:32 AM:

Mitch Wagner:

I mourn XyWrite.

I know it's a clone and sort of expensive, but what about Nota Bene?

#78 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 11:48 AM:

I am starting to warm up to OpenOffice though...

#79 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 12:49 PM:

Kip, your link doesn't work, and I don't see anything about mosquitoes or Cambodian zombies on BoingBoing's front page now, but this story has been circulating for a while now, over a year. It seem to have started from this 2005 April Fools day joke.

#80 ::: Sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 12:54 PM:

Open Office is my friend. The only thing is that I have to remember to do is save a copy of anything that I do asI'm pretty sure that I can change the default setting, but I kinda like the fact that it isn't MSWord.

I use notepad to code in, though. It's still my default, and I don't particularly do anything complex enough to require something more powerful.

Nice research on the knife. Thank you. Now to see if I can get one made as an experiment and challenge for the smith...I love geeks.

#81 ::: Clark E Myers ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 01:29 PM:

#76 - One of the real issues is keeping actual styles and markups up front and useful. Revealing a markup code leaves the actual visual undetermined - and styles contain a variety of changes such that styles of a given name themselves change both what they include and what the value of the included property is at the given moment - and changes can be applied globally or not.

As I say everytime the subject comes up I'm tempted to run WordPerfect 5.2 revised on a current machine but under DOS so that everything is at worst in high level cache.

Word 2003
Reveal formatting
Show All
Hide All
On the Format menu, click Reveal Formatting.
Select the text whose formatting you want to review.
The formatting information will appear in the Reveal Formatting task pane (task pane: A window within an Office application that provides commonly used commands. Its location and small size allow you to use these commands while still working on your files.).

Do any of the following:

To change any formatting properties, click the text with a blue, wavy underline, and then change any options you want in the dialog box that appears.
To determine the formatting source, such as whether the formatting comes from a style (style: A combination of formatting characteristics, such as font, font size, and indentation, that you name and store as a set. When you apply a style, all of the formatting instructions in that style are applied at one time.), select the Distinguish style source check box.
To show formatting marks, such as paragraph marks (paragraph mark: The nonprinting symbol that Microsoft Word inserts when you press ENTER to end a paragraph. The paragraph mark stores the formatting you apply to the paragraph.) and tabs, select the Show all formatting marks check box.
To format a text selection like the text that surrounds it, select the text. In the Selected text box, click the arrow, and then click Apply Formatting of Surrounding Text.

#82 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 01:59 PM:

Mitch @ #70: C'mon, Kate, gimee a high five!

(Kate does not give Mitch a high five)

Dude, it was 2:39 in the morning. Despite the dog's best efforts, I was asleep.

*high-fives Mitch*

Graydon @ #76: "Reveal Codes" isn't available in a current word processor. (Word Perfect is still available, though.)

Are you trying to say that WordPerfect doesn't do Reveal Codes anymore? I don't have their most recent edition, but the FAQ for it says that Reveal Codes *is* included.

(I went out and bought WP 8 as a starving college senior because I refused to attempt anything as complex as a thesis without Reveal Codes. I'm still running that edition on my home computer.)

#83 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 02:30 PM:

Kate (82) --

I am more saying that Word Perfect isn't a current word processor. It's still being released -- I think they're up to version 11 -- but it's not in active design.

Clarke (81) --

That's what's really good about XML as an authoring format; you get pure semantic tagging and the writers doesn't have to worry about the output formatting at all.

Most technical writers I've encountered hate this, at least initially, but it's got a lot going for it when it comes to high-rate documentation production, which resembles making a book a lot less than an example of the typical process would indicate.

#84 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 03:03 PM:

Actually, WordPerfect went up through 12 and then switched to a ridiculous hybrid numbering system, calling its most recent "X3."

I don't know what your basis is for saying that it's not in "active design," particularly since you didn't know of the release of the two most recent versions, but I find that I don't really care very much either.

#85 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 03:35 PM:

I'm currently doing as much of my writing as possible in plain text (because it's future-proof), using Markdown or MultiMarkdown to generate XHTML, RTF, or whatever from the plain text original.

For an editor, I use TextMate, the latest hot new thing that all the cool kids are using on MacOS X. It's a Cocoa app, so I get the default system-wide OSX spellchecker, and it's heavily extensible.

And I've been experimenting with using Merlin Mann's method for naming and organizing text files.

#86 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 05:05 PM:

Kate: CORELDraw also hit the "X3" designation, and I'm assuming that someone at the company was superstitious about calling something "version 13." Or maybe they weren't, but worried that some of the customers might be. Hey, if it works for hotel floors . . . (The Marketing People, they live in a dimension not of sight and sound, but of Mind.)

Or maybe the new versions will give you mutant powers, like Resize Window and Select All Bezier Nodes.

#87 ::: Nick Fagerlund ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 05:17 PM:

Avram @85: Yup, I'm a Markdown user too. I'd actually been considering learning LaTeX and writing in that, which, of course, would have been completely insane. All I really needed were some simple machine-readable placeholders for things like emphasis, headers, and footnotes.

I'm actually aiming for pretty much the same thing as Charlie Stross is with that POD <--> OpenDoc converter he's playing with (see #11). What I really want is a good way to build a rigorously-styled MS Word or OpenDoc document out of Markdown-formatted (or Markdown-like) text. Even though I prefer not to write in a word processor, the text is going to have to end up in one eventually. It'd be cool to do that in a way that takes advantage of Word's nice features. Maybe I'll have to eventually write one.

(Also: I was impressed with TextMate; it was one of the big contenders when I was figuring out what I wanted. Didn't match up with my brain quite the way BB did, but a damn fine app nonetheless.)

#88 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 06:04 PM:

Peter Hentges writes:

Oh my. I am a bit flustered. A friend of mine just passed on a link to Red Hot Library Smut. Not what you think; its a blog post about a book with stunningly lovely photos of libraries. Book lovers must, simply must, have a gander. You know you want to.

If you are looking for a gift for someone with this fetish, I recommend watching the Renaissance Libraries Calendar site for the 2007 calendar to come out. Or just buy one of their posters.

#89 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 06:39 PM:

Mitch @ #70:
(Mitch puts an I-meant-to-do-that expression on his face, and is left standing awkwardly with his hand above his head)

Free-associating happily:

Not to inspire Bush or anything, but apparently one of the hot new tortures for the Elizabethans (used on Catholic priests caught in England, according to this interesting book called God's Secret Agents) was to suspend the victim by the hands. Weirdly, one contemporary, um, torturer, cheerfully says that this is just like in [the dance] Trenchmore, which makes me think that Trenchmore must have been a much more exciting dance in the 16thc than it was in the 17thc when it was actually written down.

(Do I get a little gold star for getting current politics, religion, and dance into the same post?)

#90 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 06:52 PM:

Silly repeating sentences like "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo".

#91 ::: Trip the Space Parasite ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 07:25 PM:

I've used both vi and emacs, but at some point vi got the edge in familiarity (not to mention startup time) and the positive feedback loop has by now erased all my emacs skills.

Not only do I write in vi, but I write text as HTML in vi -- most of what I write ends up on my web site anyway. The few times I've done anything submission-like, I went to Kinko's, downloaded the HTML into Word, redid all the formatting Word ruined, and then printed it there.

This is because I'm a loon.

#92 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 09:02 PM:

Stefan Jones, #59, I hope MSNBC has that attributed to the WashPost because that was the front page WashPost article today. The author, a WashPost writer, adapted the article from his book.

#93 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 09:03 PM:

You guys see that ad for Dr. Danger up there on the right side? It took me a long time to figure out why they were calling a guitarist "Dr. Danger."

#94 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 09:10 PM:

Kate (84) --

I know people who used to work for Corel, who continue to know people who do work for Corel, and we use Corel Draw in my team at work, so the subject of the development schedule has come up. (We really wanted to know if Corel Draw had W3C compliant SVG in its roadmap anywhere.)

Nick (87) --

You can go from text markup (ReStructured text is the one I've used) straight to PDF or print output by a number of means, with no intervening word processor required. You may not want to, but the possibility exists.

My experience is that this is miles more consistent than passing anything through a word processor, which is inherently inconsistent about styles. (If you can override the formatting of anything to which a style has been applied, it's inconsistent about styles.)

#95 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 09:14 PM:

"I hope MSNBC has that attributed to the WashPost because that was the front page WashPost article today."

Yes, the article has the Washington Post logo with the byline.

I didn't notice that book adaptation angle until I went back to look.

I am really glad this shit has finally hit the fan. I just hope the fan is spinning fast enough, and that the shit hits the right people.

Arrogant phuqtard Young Republican carpetbaggers . . . I can just imagine them waking up with hangovers on the day they're due to be coptered out of the green zone, seeing the chaos and misery around them, and blaming the Iraqis for not having the strength to believe in the glorious vision provided them.

#96 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 10:11 PM:

Nick, you can go from Markdown to RTF. TextMate's Markdown bundle has Convert to RTF (and PDF, and LaTex) as a command.

Word will read RTF, and I assume OpenOffice will too.

#97 ::: Nick Fagerlund ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 11:01 PM:

Avram @ 96: Yeah, but isn't RTF all inline-formatted instead of styled? Styles are the coolest part of MS Word; I was hoping to be able to (for example) make emphasized text show up as underlined instead of italicized, mess with the way blockquotes and bullets show up, etc. (And does RTF do footnotes correctly?)

I hope I'm mistaken, though, because that would be sweet.

#98 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2006, 11:30 PM:

Susan #89: Weirdly, one contemporary, um, torturer, cheerfully says that this is just like in [the dance] Trenchmore,

That's only because the 'greek' system hadn't been invented yet, so he COULDN'T compare torture to fratboy hazing.

#99 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 01:41 AM:

p1. I use Pages 2 for editing my manuscripts on Mac OS X. It's fast, has all the built-on Cocoa goodness you Textmate people are raving about, handles ridiculously huge documents, reads and writes MS/Word documents, RTF, etc. You couldn't pay me what I'd demand in exchange for using any of these other editors mentioned so far in this thread.

p2. A friend of mine claims that using a Dvorak keyboard alleviated the stabbing-pains-in-the-hands problem for him (and two of his friends who recommended it to him). I think people who write novels in VIM are probably geeky enough to use a Dvorak keyboard to do it. (Come on, you know you want to...)

YMMV. (Disclosure: In my day job, I work for the same corporation that makes Pages, but I swear: I'd endorse it even if I worked for Microsoft.)

#100 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 02:35 AM:

Bruce E. Durocher II (#77): I know it's a clone and sort of expensive, but what about Nota Bene?

Thanks, but NB is $400. I don't mourn XyWrite that much.

Kate Nepveu (#82): Your high-five arrives too late. All die. O, the embarassment.

#101 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 02:49 AM:

All die. O the embarrassment.

"Important message for the King of Denmark. Sorry about the delay; had to wake up the Minister of Shriving Time to tell him he wasn't needed. Long story. Anyway, your two chaps, choir invisible, high-five dispatched per instructions. . . . Just a literally bleedin' minute 'ere, don't you people own a mop?"

--To Carry On or Not to Carry On (1962)

#102 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 08:09 AM:

Tomorrow, September 19, is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Because of a flaw in US law, there are no penalties for noncompliance; please write your Congresspersons to protest this gap.

Meanwhile, do your part by talking like a pirate tomorrow. If you haven't had your training sessions yet (and again, appallingly this training is not required in the United States), here's a website that may help.

Practice tonight, talk like a pirate tomorrow!

Avast!

#103 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 08:31 AM:

I have my Enron quotes all ready for tomorrow.

#104 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 08:40 AM:

But what if the pirate isn't Robert Newton, Xopher, but Peter Ustinov? Or don't you remember Blackbeard's Pirate? Maybe you erased from your memory anything having to do with Dean Jones, who was well known for that movie about a certain Volkswagen - a white one, true, not the yellow one that initiated this thread.

#105 ::: Meg Thornton ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 08:47 AM:

Nick in #10 - Notepad for small jobs (under 26KB). OpenOffice Writer for the larger ones. Notepad because I sometimes get distracted by Macdinking away at fonts until I've got everything *absolutely* right, and by using just the plain text editor I wind up less distracted and better able to just put the text on the screen. OpenOffice because the document size is about 1/3 of a Word doc to start with, and just keeps getting smaller (no kidding, I have one document which is 100KB in .sxw format, and over 700KB in .doc format. I grew up with limited storage space, and still tend to port things from A to B on floppies. Small is beautiful).

That said, I'm reasonably fluent in both Word and Lotus Word Pro, I've been forced to use the rather tautological MS Works at one point, and if someone handed me a version of First Choice I could probably remember a lot of stuff in that too (I've probably just [carbon-]dated myself and made all the Unix geeks look at me down their noses for being a Winders slave). I could also manage to work my way through things in vi if I had the man pages printed out.

Yes, I've used a few different word processors. I'm also able to work straight to page on a typewriter (I learned document layout in typing class at high school, and it stuck - I still tend to stick to minimalist layout styles) and I have reasonably legible handwriting. Now if only I had something decent to write *about*...

(Oh, and HTML is either Notepad for small changes, or Dreamweaver for the big stuff. My tendency to hand-carve HTML in Notepad is what put me off the whole business of web design a long time ago; Dreamweaver is rekindling my interest).

It's probably not a coincidence that I work tech support. Over the last seventeen years, I've been forced into contact with a lot of different types of software, not all of it friendly.

#106 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 08:49 AM:

Oops. I meant to write Blackbeard's Ghost... My apologies. My only excuse is that I haven't yet had my first cup of Folger's instant crap.

#107 ::: Margaret Organ-Kean ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 09:15 AM:

Breaking in with a serious note - are we seeing the October surprise?

Gas prices have dropped here by forty cents or so - over ten percent.

I'm willing to bet they pop right back up after the elections.

#108 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 10:15 AM:

I'm currently doing as much of my writing as possible in plain text (because it's future-proof),

Microsoft just recently announced that Longhorn (or whatever the codename for the next windows version is, I keep forgetting) won't support plain text because plain text can enable copyright violations. They have dropped the plaintext format and replaced it with a DRM-enabled text tool that beta testers say is as easy to use as FrameMaker. Microsoft's new operating system will take any plaintext file you try to open, wrap it in the DRM-enabled format, and delete the original. Rumors that the OS will then email the FBI have been vehemently denied by Microsoft.

#109 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 10:23 AM:

I'm currently doing as much of my writing as possible in plain text (because it's future-proof),

Microsoft just recently announced that Longhorn (or whatever the codename for the next windows version is, I keep forgetting) won't support plain text because plain text can enable copyright violations. They have dropped the plaintext format and replaced it with a DRM-enabled text tool that beta testers say is as easy to use as FrameMaker. Microsoft's new operating system will take any plaintext file you try to open, wrap it in the DRM-enabled format, and delete the original. Rumors that the OS will then email the FBI have been vehemently denied by Microsoft, prompting some experts to speculate that the OS might actually email a division within Microsoft tasked with determining whether the uncontrolled text file is the result of copyright piracy and whether any money might be made from a lawsuit.

#110 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 10:25 AM:

echo? sorry, don't know how that happened.

#111 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 12:43 PM:

#99 ::: j h woodyatt pondered:
p2. A friend of mine claims that using a Dvorak keyboard alleviated the stabbing-pains-in-the-hands problem for him (and two of his friends who recommended it to him). I think people who write novels in VIM are probably geeky enough to use a Dvorak keyboard to do it. (Come on, you know you want to...)

FWIW, the navigation in vi was clearly designed around the qwerty keyboard. It's not nearly as visually intuitive under dvorak, but since most people who take the time to learn dvorak don't hunt-and-peck, I suppose it's not really an issue.

#112 ::: Doug K ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 01:43 PM:

I use a Windoze shareware editor Textpad, which is similar to Notetab. It understands Java, HTML, and easily manages files of several mb. Everything I do is written there in good old ascii, then ported to whatever moronic productivity-killing information-eating app is required - PDF, Word, etc. Before this vim was the choice.

I like OpenOffice for producing pretty-print, since the .odt output is just a zipped-up collection of XML documents. This gives at least a fighting chance of recovering the data in the future. It also has a good set of convertors to/from the proprietary formats.

Admittedly the new Word also saves as XML, but it's MS-proprietary XML, golly what a surprise.

#113 ::: Lisa Goldstein ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 02:06 PM:

Aye -- Talk Like a Pirate Day -- I work in the library that day, so I'm going to take all the kid's picture books about pirates and put them on display, working on the theory that it's never too early to warp their little minds. So far I have:

Little Badger, Terror of the Seas
Pirate Girl
Rabbit Pirates
How I Became a Pirate
and a book by Jane Yolen that is still %$#@#% checked out but had better come in by tomorrow.

(Unfortunately, suggestions won't be helpful -- this is dependent on what books we have in the collection at the time.)

#114 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 02:17 PM:

What about Tim Powers's On Stranger Tides, Lisa?

#115 ::: Sarah S ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 02:22 PM:

Lisa--

_Treasure Island_, surely.

#116 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 02:23 PM:

#107 -- Breaking in with a serious note - are we seeing the October surprise?

Nope, it's not surprising enough. In fact, no real surprise at all.

#117 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 04:09 PM:

Serge: Great book, but not quite the read for small children?

#118 ::: MWT ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 04:16 PM:

Admittedly I haven't read this thread and won't have time to do it for a few more hours, but I was wondering if anyone has seen this:

http://community.livejournal.com/veronicamarsfic/1352553.html

If so, is it a real concern? Or something being wildly misinterpreted?

#119 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 04:20 PM:

True, Clifton, true. Powers's book might be too much for kids.

#120 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 04:29 PM:

#118, MWT, fanfic is already a derivative, so it doesn't really matter who else "owns" it, because the fans don't really "own" it in the first place, the original author does. There are other possibilities for abuses, but fanfic isn't the big one.

#121 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 04:38 PM:

MWT, I think it's something being slightly misinterpreted. The proposed WIPO Broadcast treaty is bad crazy law, but I don't think it applies to posting fanfic on LiveJournal.

#122 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 04:51 PM:

I do about 40% of my writing in a text editor, Notetab Pro. As a matter of fact, that's what I'm using to write this post. The stuff I write in a text editor is intended for publication on the Internet, either on the Web or in e-mail newsletters.

However, there are two occasions when I find Microsoft Word to be just dandy:

- When I'm writing a document that will ultimately be printed out in a prescribed format. The overwhelming majority of the time, for me, that means fiction, or cover letters for fiction, although I do sometimes write the occasional business letter or complex memo for internal use.

- When I'm editing a complicated article or, more rarely, when I'm writing a complicated article that will be edited by someone else. In those cases, I work with "track changes" switched on, so the writer can see what changes I've made, and I use the comments mode to make comments and ask questions on specific phrases, sentences and paragraphs.

I use Word for only about 5-10% of my writing -- but it's an *important* 5-10%. Word is great for that because it's the standard -- if I create a document in Word, and send it to someone else, I can be assured that the person I'm sending to can read it and change it. And vice-versa -- people writing for me can assume, without even asking, that I can read and change Word documents.

I do about half of my writing in various other applications that are neither text editors nor word processors. My company is standardized on Lotus Notes for e-mail, I use Yahoo Small Business for my personal e-mail, I write reminders to myself in Wikipad, and of course I do a lot of writing in browser forms, like this one.

#123 ::: Pantechnician ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 04:56 PM:

The Escapist has posted an interview with an online shill that's relevant to the astroturf issue. The interview is more shallow than I'd like, but there are a few interesting bits:

"About 25 percent of my day is spent switching between different ISPs, proxies and other forms of IP spoofing. Would a post from a sergeant in the military who has commented about how crappy Iraq feels compared to home be posting from New York, Michigan or Canada? Course not, his IP traces back to Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, but not Iraq because I haven't found a way to do that yet."

#124 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 05:01 PM:

Serge #s 104/106: I saw Blackbeard's Ghost a couple of months back on the BBC. Enjoyed Ustinov immensely.

#125 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 05:37 PM:

Agreed, Fraganao... The thing about Ustinov is that one always got a sense of fun from watching him act, even when he played Nero in Quo Vadis...

#126 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 09:17 PM:

Microsoft just recently announced that Longhorn (or whatever the codename for the next windows version is, I keep forgetting) won't support plain text because plain text can enable copyright violations. They have dropped the plaintext format and replaced it with a DRM-enabled text tool that beta testers say is as easy to use as FrameMaker. Microsoft's new operating system will take any plaintext file you try to open, wrap it in the DRM-enabled format, and delete the original. Rumors that the OS will then email the FBI have been vehemently denied by Microsoft, prompting some experts to speculate that the OS might actually email a division within Microsoft tasked with determining whether the uncontrolled text file is the result of copyright piracy and whether any money might be made from a lawsuit.

My husband and I are considering building my next computer. He insists on loading XP because he really doesn't want to learn Unix or another OS; I would rather not be the only one who knows how my beepy box works, so XP it is. After reading this thread, I'm inclined to download OpenOffice and just make XP last as long as I can. Thoughts?

#127 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 09:40 PM:

Jennifer, sorry, that was a bit of parody taken a bit too far I guess. Microsoft had recently announced some sort of software that would put MP3's in a DRM wrapper, regardless of who actually owned the music, or whether they really wanted DRM software wrapping it. I extended the story to the topic at hand, i.e. plain text. I was never good at parody, or satire, or whatever you call it. Maybe if I could keep the definitions straight, I might be able to perform both properly. But no, as evil as microsoft is, they haven't tried putting DRM on plaintext.

Yet.

Anyway, this is the way I see it: (1) Find an external drive of some kind with a universal connector, such as Ethernet or Firewire or USB (in that order of preference). (2) Make sure the drive can handle data for all the major operating systems, Windows, Mac, Linux, etc. (3) Use whatever computer you have now to transfer all your data to that external drive.

(4) use your computer as long as possible. I use XP and OpenOffice that dual boots to RedHat Linux which also runs OpenOffice.

(5) When it gets to the time that the applications you want don't run on the computer you have, get a new computer with the least obnoxious OS possible. Plug the new computer into your old external drive, and continue on as before.

(6) repeat 4 and 5 as needed.

The availability of universal external harddrives is like that law congress passed that says phone companies must be willing to transfer your old phone number to them as a new account. It allows you to switch companies (cell phone or computer) without a whole lot of hassle. I bought a raid5 terabyte drive, with a gigabit ethernet port, that handles every possible operating system/drive formatting needed. I hope its the last storage system I buy for a while.

Meanwhile, I think the next computer I get might be a mac. And maybe I'll get a PC laptop for work. And I should be able to plug them into this drive and use them out of the box without playing musical harddrives with my data. All I have to do is install wahtever applications I need. And OpenOffice runs on every platform available, for free, and can be installed from the web, so there's one major battle right there.

#128 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 11:00 PM:

Greg London @ 127: [..] sorry, that was a bit of parody taken a bit too far I guess.

I was suspecting humor (but you don't want to be the one laughing when it turns out it wasn't a joke).

#129 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2006, 11:29 PM:

Greg:

It's the Microsoft Zune - their supposed iPod killer - which will put DRM on all MP3s, even if it's an MP3 you just composed or recorded yourself. In a stunning display of ironic naming, they have also said it will not support any media protected with Microsoft's own "Plays4Sure" DRM, e.g. the media sold by Microsoft's online music store. As a solution to this problem, so far the Zune development team has publically suggested using various anti-DRM hacks - like the ones MS is trying to have pulled off the Internet - to crack your MS-purchased media into an unprotected format such as OGG or MP3, so that they can then reprotect it for you with their own DRM.

It's a pretty impressive foot-shooting display for a product line in its early days; you don't usually see the foot-shooter pause to load a fresh clip before resuming full-auto fire. For all Apple's idiocy regarding DRM, they're not crazy enough to add DRM to the MP3s I've ripped from my own CD collection and loaded into iTunes, nor to suggest that you should go ahead and crack the copy protection on your music from the iTunes store so that you can more conveniently load it into your iPod.

#130 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2006, 12:20 AM:

Lisa #113: My childhood copy of Treasure Island had pictures...

#131 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2006, 01:18 AM:

Greg: The new* OS is called Vista. As in, "Vista Watson, he dead."

Lizzy: The best-known illustrations for Treasure Island are by N. C. Wyeth. Aaaargh, I mean, aaar, they be my favoritest of all them pictures. Yers faithfully, Blind Pew.

*So nu?

#132 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2006, 01:18 AM:

Particles: "Mary Sue hits the major media"

The Star-Ledger counts as "major media"?

Bigger than Making Light?

#133 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2006, 02:09 AM:

Bigger than Making Light?

Fox News please copy.

#134 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2006, 02:41 AM:

Mervyn Peake's illustrations for Treasure Island are amazing.

#135 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2006, 03:21 AM:

Do we know the guy from the Mary Sue story? I don't recognize his name.

#136 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2006, 03:52 AM:

Marilee: Which "guy from the Mary Sue story"? The Star-Ledger is the biggest paper published in New Jersey, and this guy is their TV columnist, so if you haven't heard of him, that's why, even if you live in New Jersey.

(Look, all I ever see is Nancy Franklin, and that's adequate to my needs.)

I assume you don't mean Aaron Sorkin, since his background is pretty completely covered in the piece. (He is also, of course, responsible for the line "You can't handle the truth," which it would be nice to put into the Do Not Use for Your Own Purposes Until 2106 box.)

#137 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2006, 07:34 AM:

Have been bemusedly looking at the Ads Picked by Google Apparently from Its Hinder Parts on the sidebar.

Over on "War with Them Guys" there was an ad for Ann Who Hath No Mind About Her's books, which was kind of amusing, but the best one was an offer of free copies of Memoirs of A Geisha, aimed at people who had only seen the movie, that concluded with "Offer Submission Required." Wow, I guess they read it.

And over here there are numerous ads for God, or at least his Googly associates. One tells me that "Jesus is the only way to Union," which fortunately didn't show up on the Montreal thread (and concludes, "the answer may suprise you," so I guess they're not hawking an inerrant text). Another asks me if I are righteous, and if I are sure I will go to Heaven, which for some people are two different questions, but the punchline has to be the site, which is "bjnewlife.com." Now, I do not believe there is any connection between one's state of grace and ability to write, and I would feel a lot better about my SoG if I did. But I think that someone offering religious commentary ought to be able to read for unintended content, especially if you are going to kiss somebody with the kisses of your mouth.

#138 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2006, 08:12 AM:

I wanted to celebrate Talk-like-a-Pirate Day by posting a link to a photo from Lost in Space of Albert Salmi doing a rendition of Robert Newton doing his rendition of Long John Silver, but no such luck. You'll have to rely on your imagination. If you dare...

#139 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2006, 08:59 AM:

MoveOn.org has a petition against the Senate's attempt to quietly vote on a bill that would Pardon emporer little boots for illegally wiretapping US citizens. The operative word here is priviledge.

You can sign it here.

#140 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2006, 09:21 AM:

Something that made me happy; the top story in today's (Canada's) Globe and Mail:

How Canada failed citizen Maher Arar

Maher Arar is an innocent victim of inaccurate RCMP intelligence reports and of deliberate smears by Canadian officials, a commission of inquiry says in a scathing report that suggests the federal government should pay him compensation...

Not because it happened, of course, but because it's reassuring (and, um, a pleasant change) to see one's government say 'This was wrong. We're sorry.'

#141 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2006, 10:52 AM:

We do be havin' a fine piratical time about the office today. I got me whole crew throwin' about "Arr"s and "Mateys" this morn'. Well, near to...we got one lubber from Vietnam who has a bit o' trouble wit' the accent...

Avast, a sample:

Skwid I see yer back from dry dock, ye scurvy dog.
Sean aye, I be
Skwid Ye got room in yer hold for a couple report requests?
Sean Likely. How hot be they?
Skwid High priority. Simple as lashin' down the mizzen, but a large period, so they may crunch for a while.
Skwid 1459&1460
Sean related?
Skwid They're both for Lineshare, so they probably sailed from the same port, aye.
Skwid And both are bound for the same merchant, as well.
Sean I'll give 'em a once-over wid me good eye
Sean if'n things be rotten, I'll be lettin' ye know
Skwid Aye. Much obliged, matey.
Sean Arrrrrrr.
Skwid Arrrrrrr.

#142 ::: cd ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2006, 03:23 PM:

Whoa.

Coup d'etat in Thailand, while the prime minister's in New York.

Also, major rioting in Hungary, "after the country's prime minister admitted lying about the economy 'throughout the past one and a half or two years.'" And the PM won't step down, either.

Meanwhile, in Sweden, the Social Democrat party see the worst election results since 1914, the right coalition has beaten them, and is set to take over (this transfer of power, however, will hopefully go peacefully).

#143 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2006, 08:47 PM:

Mike, I meant was he a fan? If not, how'd he find out about Mary Sues?

#144 ::: Lisa Goldstein ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2006, 09:10 PM:

So I told the children's librarian about the pirate books I'd collected for Talk Like a Pirate Day, and she loved the idea. Apparently they'd been talking about this in a children's librarian meeting, but no one could remember which day it was supposed to be celebrated. We did a big display in the children's room, and for the rest of the day I heard parents reading pirate stories to their kids, "Arrr" and "Matey" floating out into the room ...

Serge -- On Stranger Tides is not a good idea for this crowd -- this group of kids will put lit matches in their hair at the slightest provocation.

Lizzy -- No illustrated Treasure Island, unfortunately. Hey, if you're in the neighborhood (the library is down the hill from Charles) stop by. No, better call first -- I'm leaving at the end of the month.

#145 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2006, 09:54 PM:

Hm, this is interesting language I haven't heard before. Or maybe I just never noticed it. Gen. John Abizaid, central commander, told Congress that US troop levels in Iraq will remain the same or increase between now and next spring. Then came two interesting oddities:

"he said the Iraqi government must improve the political and economic conditions in the embattled country, as part of an effort to get the "angry young men" off the streets."

"U.S. experts studying what to do next in Iraq said Tuesday that Baghdad's government must make more progress toward controlling the violence and rebuilding the nation."

Well, that explains a lot. All this time, I figured we blew up the country, we're responsible for putting it back together. But all these Americans seem to be saying that it's the fault of the Iraqi government that they haven't rebuilt the nation yet.

Nice framing language that. It's their fault, not ours.

What are the Iraqi officials waiting for anyway? We blew up the nation's infrastructure, have detained 14,000 people without charging them with any crime, and shown that our ranks have committed rampant torture on a massive scale of Iraqi prisoners. Now all they have to do is rebuild a peaceful nation while a foreign army occupies their land. Do we have to do everything around here?

#146 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2006, 10:23 PM:

as part of an effort to get the "angry young men" off the streets.

now I'm just confused.
John Osborne, John Braine, John Wain, Alan Sillitoe, Kingsley Amis, et al. - aren't most of those guys dead by now?

#147 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2006, 10:35 PM:

John Osborne, John Braine, John Wain, Alan Sillitoe, Kingsley Amis, et al. - aren't most of those guys dead by now?

all the more reason to get them off the streets of iraq.

#148 ::: Brenda Kalt ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 12:14 AM:

For Nancy Lebowitz: Thanks for coming up with the story title. Yes, the story *was* "Shadow Show," by Clifford Simak. It has a very Cold War feel that I didn't notice when I read it the first time. (Humans must control all the planets we can, even those we have no use for, to protect ourselves because someday we might encounter an alien race and it might be hostile.) Anyway, that long-standing itch has been scratched. Thanks again!

#149 ::: J Austin ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 02:12 AM:

Nothing to do with anything, really, but I noticed the "Portrait of Dubai" in the Sidelights, and it coincided with a similar email from my mom earlier in the week.
Titled "Khalifa's doing WHAT!?" it had a link about the development of Saadiyat, a small island off Abu Dhabi. When I was small, that was where my father worked at an oil plant, and that was pretty much all that was there. All I can bring to mind is the thick, blackish sludgy sand that squished between our toes when we went wading in the sea, and the smell of it. Like...um...brimstone and fermenting despair.
They're turning it into a very clean-looking, very slickly presented resort.
The link is http://www.saadiyat.ae/
Amazing.

#150 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 07:18 AM:

John Osborne, John Braine, John Wain, Alan Sillitoe, Kingsley Amis, et al. - aren't most of those guys dead by now?

all the more reason to get them off the streets of iraq.

Otherwise Lucky Jim will look back in anger over Saturday night and Sunday morning in Fallujah.

Unless, of course, the angry young men all have an appointment in Samarra (which is entirely possible).

#151 ::: Ailsa Ek ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 08:05 AM:

Guess I'm the only one who uses TextEdit on the Mac. I find it does everything I need to do quite nicely, although I still miss ProWrite. And, although I hate to admit it, for anything that uses words and pictures I tend to use PhotoShop. It works, I know how to use it, and most of my words + pictures things are CD covers, which are more about the pictures anyway.

Oh, and I didn't talk like a pirate yesterday, but I did join the Pirate Party.

My favorite juvenile pirate book is Jade by Sally Watson.

#152 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 09:26 AM:

Back in 1977, when Star Wars came out, I read an interesting tidbit about its genesis in a French-speaking magazine. And it's something I never came across anywhere else since then.

Apparently, Star Wars came to be because Lucas couldn't afford the rights to do Flash Gordon.

It gets better.

That article then went on to say that the owners of Flash Gordon were asking so much because they were really hoping to get Fellini to do that project.

Like I said, that's the only place where I read about that. Still, it makes one wonder what movies would be like today if any of this had happened.

#153 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 09:50 AM:

I've run across the Flash Gordon story in a couple of places. Robert Osborne at TCM mentioned it after a documentary they did that included interview material with Lucas.

And of course, when Flash finally got back on the screen, they had Danilo Donati, Fellini's costume designer.

It's hard to say what would have happened if Lucas had done the picture. It probably would have been better, except maybe for the costumes, but I wonder whether Lucas would simply have remade one or more of the serials with fancier effects. The film Lucas ended up making -- Galactic Graffiti or whatever it was -- was a story people hadn't seen before. As Bill Warren said, people fell in love with that movie, wanted to see it over and over (we sat through three showings on the second weekend, which was the last weekend the theater wasn't jammed past allowing holdovers), wanted to, in the manner of Trek, go live in that universe. And they did that in spite of some less than wunnerful dialogue and a rather out-of-place Yojimbo reference.

I don't know what he had in mind for Flash -- I doubt as he could have gotten away with doing it as a period piece, but there would be room for stronger characterizations and cool visuals (which the movie that was made had, due to good supporting players and Donati) without breaking anything. But I'm not at all sure it could have been turned into a franchise.

#154 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 09:55 AM:

A woman who lived in my college dorm became a journalist and was killed in Samarra. I can't hear the phrase now without thinking of her.

#155 ::: Sarah S ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 09:56 AM:

This is totally OT, but someone here *must* be as excited about this as I am.

The Royal Society has put all its journals online and from now until December...they're *free*!

Useful Links Here

#156 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 10:04 AM:

Thanks, Mike. So, that article I had read wasn't full of crap. One does wonder what a Lucas take on Flash Gordon would have been like. You're right in that it probably wouldn't have knocked people off their feet the way Star Wars did. Still... I am also curious what a Fellini version would have been like. What we wound up is one of my guilty pleasures because, yes, it had those nifty retro costumes and a great supporting cast. Hell, Max von Sydow, Topol, Brian Blessed, Timothy Dalton and Peter Wyngarde... And, no, I am not forgetting Ornella Mutti. No way I could forget her.

#157 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 10:12 AM:

Greg London @ 120: fanfic is already a derivative, so it doesn't really matter who else "owns" it, because the fans don't really "own" it in the first place, the original author does.

This is not correct.

A copyright holder has the exclusive right to prepare, or to authorize the preparation of, derivative works.

However, the creator of the derivative work has a copyright in whatever's new in the derivative work, even if the derivative work itself violates the original author's copyright.

See 17 USC 103(b).

*makes a note for her relatively-long-threatened "you may not discuss copyright unless you can answer these questions" quiz*

#158 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 10:40 AM:

In that 1980 Flash Gordon Princess Aura's pet dwarf was named Fellini, played by actor Deep Roy.

#159 ::: rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 10:40 AM:

I say, does anyone know the status of Ellison's The Last Dangerous Visions anthology? Does someone keep an up to date list of who still has work in it?

yes, I know this is "stirring up the bees" as the Alpha-Shade guys would say. But I noticed that at one time George Alan Effinger had a story in the list and I'm curious if it has surfaced, and how many others have escaped.

Feel free to ignore this post. (Maybe that would be a better idea anyway...)

#160 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 10:49 AM:

I remember that bit, Niall. I guess that was a very telling comment about FG's producer, Dino de Laurentiis, and his relationship with Fellini, whose movies he also produced.

#161 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 11:01 AM:

Mr Ford at 131: Yes, that's the edition I meant. I no longer own it; some years ago I gave all my illustrated kids' books to a friend who collects them. But those were wonderful illustrations...

#162 ::: Christina Schulman ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 12:04 PM:

Marilee @ #143: I don't know if Alan Sepinwall, the Star-Ledger TV columnist who used "Mary Sue", is a fan; but he does seem to know the lingo: he used "tuckerization" on his blog in a review of this week's "How I Met Your Mother". (Spoilers, for them what cares.)

In completely unrelated Open Thread goodness, Book Burro is my new favorite Firefox extension. When you view a book listing at a supported online bookstore (Amazon, B&N, Powells, etc.), it gives you a drop-down of comparison prices for that book at the other stores. Power to the purchaser, baby.

#163 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 12:52 PM:

Greg London @ 145 quotes:
"he said the Iraqi government must improve the political and economic conditions in the embattled country, as part of an effort to get the "angry young men" off the streets."

Oh-h-h-h, I get it now. It's not insurgents, or terrorists, or Islamofascists, making all the trouble in Iraq. It's juvenile delinquents!

So the "War In Iraq" can now be known as "Mideast Side Story", the Sunnis and Shiites can henceforth be called Jets and Sharks, and everyone will sing and dance:

"We're gonna have a rumble,
tonight-t-t-t-t...."

#164 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 01:48 PM:

does anyone know the status of

(DM rolls dice ... )

#165 ::: RuTemple ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 02:05 PM:

Soooo... re 162, how come this Book Burro isn't on the Firefox extensions page? Does it work with the new release?

#166 ::: Christina Schulman ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 03:00 PM:

RuTemple @ #165, Book Burro works just fine with Firefox 1.5.0.7 (the latest 1.* release); I don't know whether it plays nice with the 2.0 beta.

I don't know why it's not listed with the main Firefox extensions page, either, but it started life as a Greasemonkey script and made the jump to extensionhood fairly recently. (For pure client-side scripty goodness, Greasemonkey users should also check out the regional Amazon library mashup scripts at userscripts.org.)

I have been thinking about working up a Greasemonkey script to do client-side pseudo-threading on Making Light comment threads. (As procrastination goes, this is more productive than solitaire.)

#167 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 03:18 PM:

Serge #156:
What we wound up is one of my guilty pleasures because, yes, it had those nifty retro costumes and a great supporting cast. Hell, Max von Sydow, Topol, Brian Blessed, Timothy Dalton and Peter Wyngarde... And, no, I am not forgetting Ornella Mutti. No way I could forget her.

I love that movie.

At or around the 1987 worldcon in Brighton, they were selling off many of the costumes from the film and a lot of costumers came home with pieces of them. I have a black "Hawkwoman bikini", and Kevin Roche (who starred in the "Lizard Lounge" thing in this year's worldcon masquerade) I think came home with one of Prince Barin's (sp?) green tunics.

At the 1992 worldcon we did a Flash Gordon costume group - there were maybe fifteen of us doing all the main characters and quite a few of the background extras. I forget the name of the ones I did; the courtiers in black and white fur costumes with giant hats and silver glitz on the front.

#168 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 03:24 PM:

At the 1992 worldcon we did a Flash Gordon costume group

Got photos of that, Susan? I've always wanted to dress up like Klytus, the masked character played by Peter Wyngarde.

My favorite line from the movie is the scene where Princess Aura is about to be tortured under the appreciative eye of her daddy and Klytus demands to be brought the bore worms, to which Aura exclaims:

"No! Not the bore worms!!!"

#169 ::: rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 04:17 PM:

in #164 ::: Jon Meltzer wrote:
does anyone know the status of

(DM rolls dice ... )

I disbelive! Er, ...wait.
Um, save vs petrification?

-r.
btw, you made me laugh out loud

#170 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 04:49 PM:

However, the creator of the derivative work has a copyright in whatever's new in the derivative work, even if the derivative work itself violates the original author's copyright.

Which is a useless distinction when someone else is complaining about a law that says they don't own the fanfic. The fanficcer can't distribute without the author's implied consent, so if the hosting company suddenly owns it, they can't do anything with it either.

It sounds just a tad hypocritical for Alice to violate copyright by writing fanfiction of Bob's work, and then have Alice complaining that Charlie is going to try and take ownership of her fanfic. Charlie can't do anything with the work anymore than Alice can, they both need Bob's permission, either explicit or implied.

#171 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 05:02 PM:

Greg London: whether it's a "useless distinction" or "hypocritical" is an opinion.

I was talking about facts, and it is a fact that (1) the creator of a derivative work holds a copyright in whatever's new in the derivative work and (2) therefore that copyright can be infringed in any of the many and varied ways that anyone else's copyright can be, _whether or not_ the derivative work is itself an infringement.

I prefer to base my opinions on a correct understanding of the facts.

#172 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 05:33 PM:

No big deal, but were you aware of this site, which would seem to be designed for people who don't know how to spell your name, or those who do, but inadvertently mistype it?:

http://www.neilsenhayden.com/new_site/index.php

#173 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 05:34 PM:

Greg, it seems to me (although, unlike Kate, I am not a lawyer) that the creator of the derivative work may not have the right to distribute that derivative work, but s/he does have the right to prevent anyone else, including the holder of the copyright on the original, from doing so without permission. If no copyright applied to a derivative work created without permission, the owner of the copyright on the original could reproduce and sell the derivative work. (I think that third parties would be forbidden to because of the original copyright, but again, IANAL.)

#174 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 05:39 PM:

No big deal, but were you aware of this site, which would seem to be designed for people who don't know how to spell your name, or those who do, but inadvertently mistype it?

Uh... I don't think that's what it's really designed for...

The "Related Search" links list is kind of amusing...

RELATED SEARCH
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Diana Gill
Karen Holt
Military Sf
Senior Editor
Trade Paperbacks
Credit Reports
Bad Credit Loans
Betsy Mitchell
Jaime Levine
Lucinda Dyer
Paula Guran
Sheila Gilbert
Warner Aspect
Payday Loans
Cash Advance
Credit Cards
#175 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 05:39 PM:

Also, the most recent post to the thread in Bruce Schneier's blog on RFID passports (linked as a particle) says that all new US passports now have RFID chips. Thus, it's no longer "renew immediately," it's "hang onto your old one as long as possible, unless they're about to implement some other annoying new function" (like additional biometrics).

#176 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 06:00 PM:

Bad Credit Loans then Betsy Mitchell?

#177 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 08:01 PM:

whether it's a "useless distinction" or "hypocritical" is an opinion. I was talking about facts,

Well, in #118, someone linked to this article that is not only reporting facts, but also trying to sway everyone's opinion that the legislation is bad/evil especially for fanficcers. The title of the article is "Should LJ have copyright-like rights over your fanfics?"

I am not swayed towards the opinion of that article with regard to fanfic.

I think the proposed law is bad for other reasons. I don't think broadcasters should have rights on anyone's works, but I don't see fanfic as being an example that really sways my opinion that way.

#178 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 10:04 PM:

Got photos of that, Susan? I've always wanted to dress up like Klytus, the masked character played by Peter Wyngarde.

I don't have one, but I've written to the group-leader to ask her to email me one. We had a Klytus, though I can't recall who wore the costume. Magicon was a blur to me - I was combining running a five-night open party in the Costumers' Suite with entering the masquerade, which two things pretty much ate my entire convention.

#179 ::: Pedantic Peasant ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 11:17 PM:

Just got back on-line for the new school year, and I'm behind in reading all the posts, so if this is posted on one of the more political entries, I apologize, but I didn't want to go off-topic there either.

Has everyone heard of the president of Venezuela's speech at the UN today, saying that yesterday Bush sounded like he though he owned the world, calling him "the devil", and -- my favorite part -- saying that today at the UN you could still smell the brimstone from his visit?

[And both frighteningly and satisfyingly, the rest of the UN (except the US) had no reaction to these statements!

The White House said the remarks don't deserve comment ... of course.

#180 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 11:43 PM:

I use Lotus WordPro (and SmartSuite in general). Currently on Millenium but have used it since it was Ami Pro 3.1. The main issue is that it can't import file formats from the most recent iterations of MS Word. It's not an issue for dealing with people who are happy to use rtf or older .doc formats, but I recently installed OpenOffice as a means of communicating with those editors who insist that anyone submitting to them must be able to supply/read WordXP .doc files. (I have encountered one or two who don't appear to have heard of macro viruses. I have o far resisted temptation...)

And on another subject, my shiny new .uk passport was chipped, so the UK embassy in Washington is certainly supplying the things to its customers as of August. I think I'm finally going to have to make a tinfoil hat, though for my passport rather than for myself.

Melbourne airport is equipped with readers for .au chipped passports, though there were few customers for them when I went through a month ago. At the moment they only read .au/.nz chips, although the queue herder assigned to find people with chipped passports and take them to the reader said they planned to be compatible with other countries's passports in the near future.

#181 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2006, 11:57 PM:

Pedantic, and he crossed himself, which made it even sillier!

Did y'all notice the ad for the Feder book in the right frame is published by Authorhouse?

#182 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2006, 12:01 AM:

Erm, the Feder book in the ad in the right frame is published by Authorhouse.

#183 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2006, 01:29 AM:

I *can* spell Millennium, honest guv. I'm just cross-eyed and cross-fingered from spending the last two days trying to set up my dad's new LAN.

#184 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2006, 02:29 AM:

The long awaited spelling mistake....

#185 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2006, 07:37 AM:

Thanks, Susan. If you can get a JPG of the Klytus photo, I'll probably use it as wallpaper for my desktop computer at the office.

#186 ::: John Aspinall ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2006, 09:50 AM:

This is an open thread, right?

The Financial Times (London) is reporting on the front page of its US edition that "CIA agents 'refused to operate' at secret jails" (that's the headline) and that is what forced Bush's hand in transferring suspects to Gitmo.

I haven't seen this anywhere else yet. Is this because US media are still so cowed by the administration, or is it the flip side -- so blase that everyone assumed there was a forcing factor?

#187 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2006, 10:03 AM:

Saon.com posted after Chavez called Dubya the Devil at the U.N.: American protests over the improper tone of Chavez's speech were led by U.N. ambassador John Bolton, who decried the "comic book approach to international affairs"

Bolton decrying that others take a comic-book approach to Reality, that's rich.

Flame on!

#188 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2006, 10:05 AM:

Avram #79 (all you other Avrams, tough luck): Diligent searching on BoingBoing shows no trace of the story from when I posted the link. It took me to a BBC site with the story.

What we now have is a zombie-inducing mosquito in SE Asia who can revive the dead and remove all traces of its action! I find this much more sinister and disturbing than mere zombie-inducing mosquitoes, and the fact that they can get it dismissed as a hoax puts me in a positive tizzy.

#189 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2006, 10:11 AM:

#90 eric and "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo Buffalo." I read the Wikipedia, but didn't see my own contribution to the genre (which may have occurred to others as well):

"John where Jim had had had had had had had had had had had had had had had had had had had had had had had had had had had had had had."

The solution, cleverly ROT-13'd for those who wish to cipher it themselves:

Wbua, jurer Wvz unq unq "unq" unq unq "unq unq unq unq unq unq unq unq unq unq unq unq unq unq unq unq unq unq unq unq unq unq unq unq unq."

Didn't see that one coming, eh, Reader?

#190 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2006, 10:40 AM:

"CIA agents 'refused to operate' at secret jails"

That seems plausible, especially given other reports saying CIA agents are getting insurance for being sued or getting hauled into court.

#191 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2006, 10:54 AM:

We Yanks are so blase -- no mobs rioting in the streets and burning Chavez in effigy (maybe because he's right!). But the cross sign was a bit much....

#192 ::: rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2006, 04:01 PM:

If "religion is the opiate of the people", then immersive multiplayer 3D virtual worlds are hard-core Afghani heroin.
-from the Sidelights.

PNH for teh w1n!
-r.

#193 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2006, 08:16 PM:

#186.

I"m a little slow sometimes, but it just clicked that this means Bush didn't shut down the prisons for any moral reason but because officers were disobeying orders, refusing to torture. Which means the push for defining terrorism in american law has everything to do with opening those camps back up again. Bush isn't protecting his ass, he's not even thinking ahead to a time when he isn't in power. He is simply doing what he thinks might get those officers to agree to torture again. legal protection from geneva.

What would be interesting is how many of those officers refused on the grounds of it being illegal and they might get convicted of war crimes, and how many refused because they thought it was morally wrong. That would at least point to whether or not legally sanctioning torture would open those prisons back up or not to the scale they were before.

#194 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2006, 10:09 PM:

Has anyone else had trouble connecting to Steve Gilliard's News Blog the last few days?

Tried about half a dozen times yesterday, at varius times from morning to evening. Each time, the green background color would come up on the screen, but none of the content. AND, while the cursor would move around on the screen, it wouldn't relay any click command. I had to use Control/Alt/Delete to finally quit Explorer altogether.

Tried again today, got content coming up on screen, but again could only move the cursor around on the one screen-worth showing on the monitor. Couldn't page-down or get a click on the sidebar to work. Again, had to use C/A/D to back out and restart Explorer.

Gilliard tends to bitch mightily about Blogger whenever his blog has technical problems, but I cruise a number of Blogger blogs, and The News Blog is the only one that seems to be having this particular set of problems.

Is it his blog having problems, or has my computer suddenly developed a strong personal dislike for Steve Gilliard?

#195 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2006, 11:33 PM:

#186 -- Air America Radio picked up it.

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

Tonight I was fighting with storm windows trying to get one back in... #@U@N!!#YG## vandals had smashed a storm window some months ago, and I had removed the frame with the smashed glass, gotten the glass replaced, and put the window between the screen window and the main window, it was more effort to try to put the window back into the frame. I spent at least a half an hour tonight putting it back in where it was supposed to go, cursing out vandals while doing so and also saying, "Make God not have mercy on their souls!" I should have, but did not, wash the window off first, either.

{expletive deleted} vandals had egged the window. I HATE those alleged "people"...

Air America was allegeding the Schmuck as a youngster was among other things malicious to animals...

#196 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2006, 01:38 AM:

Update to my 194:

Aha! All it took was posting a query here about my trouble connecting to Gilliard's blog, and *poof* the next time I tried, everything was back to normal.

(Behold, the power of Making Light....)

#197 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2006, 04:02 AM:

#195 -- Air America was allegeding the Schmuck as a youngster was among other things malicious to animals...

That is consistent with so much.

Not that such consistency is any proof of the allegation. But, whatever happened to Socks?

#198 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2006, 05:10 AM:

It's not often I laugh out loud at the news, but this morning there was a clip of Musharraf being interviewed on CBS. He said Richard Armitage threatened to bomb Pakistan back into the stone age if he didn't help fight Al Queda, and the interviewer asked if he was insulted.

Musharraf, deadpan: "I think it was a very rude remark."

#199 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2006, 10:07 AM:

Serge (187):

Saon.com posted after Chavez called Dubya the Devil at the U.N.:
American protests over the improper tone of Chavez's speech were led by U.N. ambassador John Bolton, who decried the "comic book approach to international affairs"
Bolton decrying that others take a comic-book approach to Reality, that's rich.

Flame on!

Amen, amen! And here's the comic. Bolton is a thug.

#200 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2006, 11:16 AM:

While I certainly don't agree with Hugo Chavez on all topics, I must say I've been smelling the brimstone for a while now. And I don't mean that I had garlic last night, either.

#201 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2006, 01:34 PM:

There is a jackass on the Boston City Council who wants the Citgo sign in Boston taken down and replaced, presumably at taxpayer expense, with a giant Old Glory... my irriated email to him and CCin the Major of Boston:


Jerry.McDermott@cityofboston.gov

The Citgo Sign
I very much object to the objection to the Citgo sign. The current incumbent in the White House is an intolerant vicious jackass, who's done everything he can to:

- abrogate and rape the Constitution of the United States [gag orders on government scientists and rewriting of reports on health matters (ban on information about birth control and use of condoms for reducing the transmission of diseases), on global warming, on salmon in the Pacific Northwest, on climate changes, on stem cell research, suppression of reports with results that run contrary to his credo about economics, forcing Creationist religious tract literature to be places in the SCIENCE books sections of US national parks (e.g., a book claiming that Noah's Flood created the Grand Canyoh, in the national part service store at the Grand Canyon!); abrogation of the provisions of the Bill of Rights regarding searches and seizures without warrants, prohition of cruel and unusual punishment, rights to trial and presumption of innocence until proven guilty, promotion of Christianity and articularly evangelical Christianity as essentially state religion contrary to the freedom of religion...]

- force women to become baby factories against their will,

- inflict his narrow intolerant and ruthless variety on Chrisitianity on the world, [James Dobson, religious extremist with free run in the White House, the scandals about the promotion of evangelical Christianity and preferential treatment of Christias and discrimination against non-Christians at the Air Force Academy and the Navy Academy, contrary to the provisions in the Bill of Rights regarding freedom of religion, imposition of utterly counterproductive "abstinence-only" curricula in
schools which are completely based on particular religious sects' materials and values (note that the highest rates of teen pregnancy are in states which push those programs, down in places like Mississippi and Alabama and Texas.. )

- exterminate any species of wildlife that aren't either domestic flora and fauna or pests that thrive where people take them (he doesn't support programs for rat and mice and ailanthus and oriental bittersweet suppression),

- destroy the ecology (the "vernal pools" so key to New England wildlife are banned from federal protection under his ukase that only waterways and bodies of water with water in the 365/366 days a year come under federal wetlands protection...) and replace "healthy" forests with monoculture clear-cut tree farms for megacorporations and their wealthy investors who reap both fat profit and tax writeoffs while paying minimal fees for logging federal land,

- destroy the US military as a force with competent, decent, citizen-soldiers by his abuses of the National Guard and Reserves and regular troops, with cutbacks in VA program and medical care for veterans, with sending Reservists and Guard troops, who are supposed to be the forces for national emergencies, not the stupidest and blindest and most counterproductive and most incompetent invasion and occupations ever presided over by the US Government (Saddam Hussein would have been gone if Daddy Bush hadn't intervened in the Iran-Iraq War, or had actually provided US support for the Shi'ite rebellion after the Gulf War which Daddy Bush had promoted... shameful actions in US history, urging the Shi;ite population of Iraq to rebel and then providing no protection to prevent Saddam's lethal and vicious suppression of the rebellion and diversion of of the water flow into the marshes, wrecking the ecology of the area and drying up the marshes and destroying the livelihoods and lives of the Marsh Arabs, something like a million of them took refuge in Iraq not only to avoid Saddam;s murderous reprisals, but because the very marshes that had supported them with food and livelihoods, had literally dried up, they fled to Iran where they saw better opportunities for food for survival and for survival...) where the US is bogged down worse that it was even in Vietnam... the Reserves nd Guard were NOT sent in year after year on "temporary" duty for month after month after month for up to 15 months, and then sent BACK to Asia after having returned to their "civilia" lives for only a few months, before being called -back- onto active duty. That's not "weekend warrior" service of one weekend a month and two weeks a year, it's being given the responsibilities of active duty full time military but without the benefits....

- destroy the US as a democracy and turn it into a fascist plutocratic theocracy--the top 1% of the population has a huge percentage of the wealth and assets and income of the USA, the bottom more than half of the population economically, have been steadily losing ground the past six years, with their wages actually DROPPING, their share of of income and assets dropping, their access to healthcare and abilty to afford it becoming worse and worse bad jokes, their access to education above K-12 getting worse and worse... the bottom 80 percent of the US population economically, has what, ten to fiteen percent of the wealth now? The compaction is horrendous... the rich get ultrarich richers, and the rest of the country slides into a banana lip-service republic...

Basically, I agree with most of what Caesar Chavez said, and the lout in the White House, Karl Rove, Rumfeld, Cheney, belong in jail cells as oathbreakers--they swore oaths to uphold and defend the US Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. They have lied, repeatedly, to the US public. They have abrogated the Constitution. The have violated just about every principal espoused by John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Huntingdon, and all the other founders of the United States of America. They are oathbreakers and traitors.... and insulting the lout in the White House, is the LEAST he has has earned from his offenses against "We, the People of the United States of America," and the rest of the world.

The Citgo sign is a historic edifice in Boston. Demanding that the taxpayers of Masschusetts' money be spent putting up something else is an offense to the taxpayers of the Commonwealth and an economic offense to the overburdened, departing the state for better economic climes, citizens... The US flag has been DISHONORED by the White House lout's actions. A friend who's was a 17 year veteran of the US Navy is in mourning over the dishonor brought to this country by the lout in the White House and his corrupt fascist buddies, and is NOT flying the US flag free until the bunch of them are out of power--assuming that they haven't permanently gotten control by continued perverting of the election process (read what MIT professors had to say about the Diebold machines. "Vote fraud in Ohio" is not a myth, and the Florida election results in the previous election are, frankly, illegal. Gore was the winner according to Florida law....)

#202 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2006, 01:42 PM:

Paula...they won't read all that. No chance.

#203 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2006, 12:14 AM:

The villanelle is what?

Enter Mr Jno. Ford (the Elizabethan one) as King Edward the Fourth.

I am the King now, and I want a sandwich.
This monarch business makes a fellow hungry.
I wonder where my brother Richard is.

What happened to the kippers left from breakfast?
Or maybe there's a bit of cold roast pheasant.
I am the King now, and I want a sandwich.

A civil war is such an awful bother.
We fought at Tewksbury and still ran out of mustard.
I wonder where my brother Richard is.

Speak not to me of pasta Marinara.
I know we laid in lots of boar last Tuesday.
I am the King now, and I want a sandwich.

The pantry seems entirely full of Woodvilles
And Clarence has drunk two-thirds of the cellar.
I wonder where my brother Richard is.

If I ran England like I run that kitchen
You'd half expect somebody to usurp it.
I am the King now, and I want a sandwich.
I wonder where my brother Richard is.

#204 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2006, 12:41 AM:

Oh, good. I was hoping somebody would post that.

*smooches Mr. Ford*

#205 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2006, 01:19 AM:

What I intended to post before the outage:

Even Bush's READING program is corrupt!

Report Says Education Officials Violated Rules
By SAM DILLON

'Department of Education officials violated conflict of interest rules when awarding grants to states under President Bush’s billion-dollar reading initiative, and steered contracts to favored textbook publishers, the department’s inspector general said yesterday.

In a searing report that concludes the first in a series of investigations into complaints of political favoritism in the reading initiative, known as Reading First, the report said officials improperly selected the members of review panels that awarded large grants to states, often failing to detect conflicts of interest. The money was used to buy reading textbooks and curriculum for public schools nationwide.

[snip]

In one e-mail message cited in the report, from which the inspector general deleted some vulgarities, the director of Reading First, Chris Doherty, urged staff members to make clear to one company that it was not favored at the department.

“They are trying to crash our party and we need to beat the [expletive deleted] out of them in front of all the other would-be party crashers who are standing on the front lawn waiting to see how we welcome these dirtbags,” Mr. Doherty wrote.'

#206 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2006, 01:53 AM:

A small change of pace here: an ethical problem.

There is a company that makes a device (he said, obscuring details madly) that's the most reliable and affordable in it's class: there are different designs from other companies that work better but cost hundreds more, and there are other devices that cost less but are lousy.

I managed to get one from someone on craigslist.org that was slightly damaged. I e-mailed the company about getting a replacement part and they informed me that they don't sell replacement parts but would send me a whole new unit in place of the one I had. When the new unit arrived defective they sent another one, a call tag for the first one, and said I didn't have to start sending units back until I got one that worked. In other words, they've been great.

The problem is this: the device is a high-tech version of the old Gillette razor trick. The unit is built like a tank but part of it is made of plastic coated cardboard filled with consumables that wears out once a month and has to be replaced. There are several companies making the raw materials, but they have the lock on the tank and consumables.

I looked over the design and realized it could be duplicated quickly and cheaply with some easily obtained plastic material that wouldn't wear out, so I went down to Tap Plastics and bought a sheet and had a replacement made in about two hours max: I could do it faster next time.

My problem is this: I could write this up and try to sell it to Make, or put it on instructables.com, but I worry that if someone with the company spots my name and sees it all over their e-mail and shipping logs the company may not be as helpful to the next person with a similar problem and might even fire the woman that helped me out. Should I go ahead with it?

#207 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2006, 02:00 AM:

Crumbs.

Thanks a lot, Bruce.

I'm not going to be able to sleep until I figure out what the hell you're talking about.

#208 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2006, 02:06 AM:

Stephan, why am I not surprised.

Mr. Ford, you're brilliant as usual. Thanks!!!!

Bruce, I'm thinking too. I'm sure it's not something anyone in my household uses daily. (we've got two males, no every day shavers here .... at least that's my assumption on what that deals with.)

#209 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2006, 02:25 AM:

Stephan Jones: I live to serve. In this case, clearly I'm serving Sominex by promoting consumption among Making Light readers, which was not what I'd planned.

Paula Helm Murray: No, it has nothing to do with shaving--my mention of the Gillette trick must have confused you. Gillette used to give away razors for free (I got one sent to me as a freebie when I got my Network Admin AA two years ago, so they still do it from time to time) because you'd end up paying more for the blades in the long run than it cost them to send you the razor. In this case, the device itself isn't obscenely priced (the class leader, at $500.00, is), but at 15 dollars every two to four weeks the consumables sure add up. And I can't say if any members of your household use it daily: I'd need more info since it's not gender dependent.

#210 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2006, 03:19 AM:

Mr. Durocher, how big a market is there for the widget itself (not your fix, but the metaphorical safety razor handle)? If you could anticipate making a bazillion dollars by selling the fix, you might hire an attorney and then go ahead. If you anticipate sales in the low $100s, why bother? Give it (or the idea for it) away to your fellow users.

Your ethics and mine may not match, though.

#211 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2006, 07:47 AM:

Xopher@202: but maybe they'll read mine, which was shorter -- especially since I am, to my shame, in his district. (Thanks to Paula for the address; I found the City of Boston website especially impenetrable this evening.)

#212 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2006, 07:52 AM:

PS: Paula, the speaker at the U.N. was Hugo Chavez; Cesar (not Caesar) Chavez was the late labor leader.

#213 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2006, 08:07 AM:
failing to detect conflicts of interest

Yes, a failure to detect. That's what it was.

#214 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2006, 08:59 AM:

Gore was the winner according to Florida law.

And Kerry was the winner according to reports of what happened in Ohio.

New bumper sticker?

"Reelect President Gore 08"
"Reelect President Kerry 08"

Just to put the spotlight on the corruption. Maybe a Kerry-Gore ticket even...

#215 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2006, 09:01 AM:

The bonus of a Kerry-Gore ticket is that anytime an interviewer asks some question like:

"Do you think you represent the views of a majority of Americans?"

They can answer it everytime with:

"A majority of americans already agreed that we do."

#216 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2006, 11:40 AM:

Linkmeister: can't make a bazillion dollars off it for several reasons. I'm just worried about their customer service getting sacked for helping me or turning hostile to the next person with a problem...

#217 ::: rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2006, 12:39 PM:

In #206 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II: wrote:
My problem is this: I could write this up and try to sell it to Make, or put it on instructables.com, but I worry that if someone with the company spots my name and sees it all over their e-mail and shipping logs the company may not be as helpful to the next person with a similar problem and might even fire the woman that helped me out. Should I go ahead with it?
Uh, anonyomous email account + bogus contact information? This is the internet, right? *waves hand mysteriously*
Nothing is as it seems.

-r.

More seriously, any customer of this product could have figured out a replacement part, so this is no big. The number of people willing to roll their own is going to be smaller than the number willing to pay for a replacement, even with clearly labeled directions, CAD schematics, bits of plastic to order, etc.

#218 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2006, 01:13 PM:

I read the article in US News & World Report about Corruption on Capitol Hill. On reflection, what a crock of crap article that is. It goes after mostly symptoms and ignores lots of causes. It focusing on former Rep. Cunningham and mentions not at all on Mr what's-his-name from Texas the former Speaker of the House. It doesn't mention any of the ilk of Rick Santorum. It does NOT say anything about "what happened to federal oversight and the Defense Contract Management Agency and the auditing it used to do of government contractors"?!

It says nothing whatsoever about how federal oversight and auditing used to be done, and why it seems to have completely evaporated since the Republicraps took over Congress and the Lout was appointed POTUS.

It focuses rather narrowly on a few selected scapegoats--it of course is not calling them scapegoats, but thinking about it, the particular folks focused are are indeed being scapegoated, with

- no mention of generals on active duty then or now other than one particular one held up as supposedly uncorrupted who was a business partner of one of the scapegoats, which general was mostly shoved out of the business,
- no mention of any part played by the Lout, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, or any other person in the Executive Branch of US Government in exterminating oversight and auditing and competitive bidding practices regarding military contracts and the awarding of military contracts,
- almost no mention of Abramoff,
- by-the-way mention of Rep. Ney
- narrow focus, again, on particular people and focusing deeply on them and ignoring, again, just -how- the government arranged for such cozy relationships and lack of oversight.

The lack of oversight had to have involved collusion of all three branches of US Government, and the dismantling, intentionally, of all effective auditing and controls and oversight, and recourse and paths for raising objections that get heard and acted upon.

So, out comes this article, which sacrifices a few people whose careers and reputations have already been flushed down the toilets, and puts -more- insulation and isolation between the worst villains, who are the architects who designed and implemented the conditions which so inevitably produced such massive fraud, waste, corruption, and exploitation. The most basic culprits in the mess are getting even protection from this article, which mostly, thinking about it, is a gigantic piece of distraction and evasion and subterfuge. It focuses on several particular people, taking all attention away the Lout and his fascist associates, and putting the blame on the identified several particular people--and, once again, completely obfsucate and ignores just how the conditions arose to make the corruption so possible, so blatant, and so inevitable.


The Lout removed ALL controls and auditing and oversight, and the people focussed on in the article, exploited the removal of controls. But the people who were focussed on, were NOT the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, were NOT the head of the House Judiciary Committe, were not the head of the the Senate Armd Services Committee, were not the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, were not the POTUS, were not the Secretary of Defense, were not the Judiciary of the USA which was apparently not hearing any complaints of criminal activity or malfeasance on the part of the Executive Branch or Congress regarding removal of federal anti-corruption controls and oversight... they were individuals who included Rep Cunningham, and the head of a powerful defense contractor which got all sorts of interesting "sole source" contracts.

Lots of other people are being protected, is what this article reeks of, to me. It's even more carefully crafted and promulgated spin and damage control. It narrowly limits the scope of attention by the public, throwing those already convicted and in the public eye for malfeasance into the arena to be shredded. The architects whose policies intentionally removed all effective oversight and review and control and openess and honest operations sit up in the Emperor's Preferred Protected and Highly Defended Seating. Their Praetorian Guard bristles out from them keeping the trash they regard the public as away, as they continue ruthless enjoying their unconstitutional perks and privileges and restraint of others's lives, and enjoying the spectacle of others taking falls, while the likelihood of their being prosecuted and/or thrown to the shredders and jail cells, grows ever more remote...

#219 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2006, 04:48 PM:

rhandir #217

This is the internet, right? *waves hand mysteriously* Nothing is as it seems.

Shouldn't that be *waves paw mysteriously*?

#220 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2006, 06:47 PM:

Woof!

#221 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2006, 09:39 PM:

#218: Paula, if you write it all up in short narative form, maybe one-paragraph per evil-person, I'll start forwarding it to all my friends.

#222 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2006, 10:04 PM:

I tried to link to this last night; the story has since . . . hit the fan.

File under "We TOLD you this would happen you stupid bastards!"

Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terrorism Threat

"WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 — A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks."

Neocon reaction: Well, obviously, we didn't bomb them hard enough! Five or six MOABs on major population centers, bunker-busting nukes on Shi'te shrines. Yeah, that would have done it. Well, there's always Iran.

#223 ::: Lokki's Secretary ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2006, 11:59 PM:

in #219, abi quoted and wrote:

rhandir #217 This is the internet, right? *waves hand mysteriously* Nothing is as it seems.

Shouldn't that be *waves paw mysteriously*?

*sigh* No, no, that's the dyslexic answer. It's supposed to be:
"On the internet, no one knows you are a god."

#224 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2006, 12:16 AM:

Well, here in Hawaii, US Rep Ed Case (the brother of that Steve Case) just lost the primary for Senator to the incumbent, Senator Akaka. Even Senator Akaka's supporters concede that he is damn old and a whole lot less effective than he could be, especially given his seniority. The significance here seems in large part to be that as a Democratic Representative Case voted for the Iraq war and continues to defend it, and voters here would rather have an ineffective Senator than a Democratic stooge for the Bush administration. Consider it Lamont-Lieberman on a smaller, milder scale.

#225 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2006, 02:09 AM:

Clifford, did you notice that several of the candidates for the 2nd District also made Iraq the principal issue (Hirono, Schatz and Hee)? There was an attempt to nationalize that race as well.

I voted for Akaka because I don't like Ed Case's record on Iraq, on the bankruptcy bill, and on taxes. I also didn't like the PACs he had supporting his candidacy. When the US Chamber of Commerce puts out a flyer supporting one Democrat in a primary and as one of its reasons cites the other one's voting against the "death tax," that's enough guilt by association for me.

#226 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2006, 02:28 PM:

I was just in Hawaii (Wailea, Maui) for a weekend and was amazed at the number of lawn signs and the apparent fervor of the primary.

Hopefully this will lead to an energized election season in the state. Was there a strong turnout?

#227 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2006, 03:31 PM:

Larry,
From the Honolulu Advertiser:

Voter turnout for Saturday's primary was 42 percent, only slightly higher than the past two primary elections despite a record number of absentee voters and the heavy media attention on the Democratic primary for Senate between U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka and U.S. Rep. Ed Case.

What was really interesting was that some 30% of the votes were absentee/mail/early walk-in. I did the early thing myself; the local satellite city hall had a back room with about a dozen regular booths set up. Hawai'i still uses the scanner ballot (SAT-style circles, although ink rather than Nbr. 2 pencil); there was one electronic touchscreen machine for those who can't use the other variety.

Hard to say what the turnout will be in the fall; we're so Democratic that the Akaka-Case primary was the big political story this year, at least on Oahu. Governor Lingle is widely expected to win handily in November; the Democrats have felt that all along, which is why they had so much trouble finding a candidate to oppose her. That may diminish turnout in a non-Presidential year.

#228 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2006, 09:55 PM:

Larry, we don't have election signs up, but there's political signs. The Lutheran Brethren church has big signs and a lot of houses have small signs that say: Pray for Peace and Seek Peace and Pursue It

#229 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2006, 05:55 AM:

I just came across this video on Talking Points Memo, of all places, advertising a new building project in Dublin. I love the giraffes.

#231 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2006, 01:05 PM:

#223 ::: Lokki's Secretary ::: says:
*sigh* No, no, that's the dyslexic answer. It's supposed to be:
"On the internet, no one knows you are a god."

Well, if you're a god posting on the internet, you can be low-key about it.

#232 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2006, 05:04 PM:

#231 ::: Erik Nelson quipped:
> >#223 ::: Lokki's Secretary ::: says:
> >*sigh* No, no, that's the dyslexic answer. It's supposed to be:
> >"On the internet, no one knows you are a god."
>
> Well, if you're a god posting on the internet, you can be low-key about it.

Now, now ... there's no need to hammer it in...

#233 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 01:01 AM:

"The Words That Rang Around The Sacrificial Bulls" Harry Martinson! "The galaxy swings around / Like a wheel of lighted smoke, / And the smoke is made of stars." (Aniara, song 85).

#234 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 02:18 AM:

Niall - Surely that's some sort of parody of the wacky stuff they're building in Dubai. Where on TPM did you see that?

#235 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 02:32 AM:

Well, I laughed until my thideth were thor.

#236 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 04:07 AM:

Larry, that Shamrock City video is running as a Flash advertisement just under this article on TPM, which is currently second on the TPM front page.

At least, when I look at TPM from here in Ireland, it is.

#237 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 06:27 AM:

I was going to compose an Odin honour of the late Mr Ford on the appropriate thread, but I was a-Freya-d it wouldn't match his own poetry. I know I criticise my doggerel in Baldur terms than anyone else would, but still, I found myself posting bad puns here instead.

#238 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 07:49 AM:

Abi #237: I know, the death of Mike Ford has left us all feeling a bit Loki.

#239 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 09:02 AM:

Ash-ually it's left me raven, unable to think or remember a friggin' thing.

#240 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 10:18 AM:

My heart is thor, too. It's like some yegg drizzled hot oil on it.

#241 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 10:59 AM:

This pun chain has used up the good ones. OTOH, it does make me want to brun hilde brandt art. And tirs came from my eyes when I heard; it's left our online heim dall and empty. Though I've been a vegetarian for most of my life, I'm tempted to eat bifrost.

#242 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 11:00 AM:

(Off the pun chain:) Weeks before Chavez, I remarked that Bush can't be the devil, because the devil knows his power is limited.

#243 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 11:10 AM:

OTOH he does quote Scripture for his purposes.

#244 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 11:37 AM:

"The devil is a gentleman, and doesn't keep his word."

#245 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 11:46 AM:

Graydon, I make that one against and one for Dubya being the de'el.

#246 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 12:07 PM:

And talk about your banality of evil. Can't think if his banality makes Bush more or less the devil, though -- certainly not more like the sexy Miltonian rebel in the sidebar link, but perhaps more like the soul-sucking bureaucrat of the Screwtape letters...

#247 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 12:31 PM:

hugo he came here just a week ago
praised noam chomsky and said that boy george
was just like satan going to and fro
turning the podium to a sulphurous forge
john bolton spoke his face shaped to a frown
declaring that he need not give reply
hugo said he was nothing but a clown
and of his marbles he was somewhat shy
the scandal drove that quarrel re the pope
and byzantine emperor right off the front page
we seized on it hungrily in the hope
that truth so spoken might all hearts engage
the fact is that when all has been explained
the devil still walks on the earth unchained

#248 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 12:48 PM:

The UN still smells of sulfur? I told you idiots not to pull his finger!

#249 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 01:10 PM:

I am going to have the ingredients for several Schadenfreude Pies on hand on the evening of November 7th.

If things go well, I'll be baking into the night and bringing them to work the following morning.

#250 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 01:14 PM:

Fragano, that does my heart good.

#251 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 01:16 PM:

"Schadenfreude? What's that?"

"'Schadenfreude' is a German word meaning 'joy at the misfortunes of others'."

"'Joy at the misfortunes of others'...that is German!"

--Avenue Q

#252 ::: Laurence ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 02:38 PM:

How about

"I am the devil, and I want a sandwich"?

#253 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 03:04 PM:

Can someone give me an idea of, or point me at a page that explains, how to do the "Below the Fold" thing in Blogger? Or just give me the proper term for it? Thanks in advance.

#254 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 03:14 PM:

NelC: Blogger appears to use a CSS to hide text for its "Below the Fold" effect. (Moveable Type calls it an "extended entry"; LiveJournal calls it a "cut tag"; in both of those cases, the text isn't hidden by CSS but actually isn't published on the front page at all.)

I can't seem to get a link through the spam filters, but you want Blogger Help > Advanced Use > Blogger Hacks, and then "expandable post summaries" and "show/hide links".

#255 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 03:16 PM:

Thanks, Kate, that's just what I needed, and was too dense to find myself.

#256 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 03:24 PM:

TNH #250: Thanks. I'm not in Mike Ford's league, but I do my best.

#257 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 04:14 PM:

A full Sixty-Five percent of Iraqis polled stated they wanted US forced to pull out of Iraq. Immediately. 71% supported a pullout within a year.

77 percent of those polled said the United States intends to keep permanent military bases in the country and never leave.

This from polling by the US State Department.

Welcome us with flowers, eh?

#258 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 04:37 PM:

Welcome us with flowers, eh?

Well, that was never going to happen. But to be fair (and I can't believe that I am actually trying to be fair to those bastards), the percentage of Iraqis wishing we would leave might have been smaller three and half years ago, before they watched the looting of the musuems and hospitals, before the militias formed, before we tried to force Achmed Chalabi down their throats, before Halliburton, before Paul Bremer, before it became clear that we wee never going to get the lights turned on in Baghdad...

#259 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 07:29 PM:

woah. 4 out of 5 Iraqis polled say the US provokes more violence than it prevents, and 6 out of 10 approve of attacks on U.S.-led forces.

We have so lost this war, it's just a matter of when it's politically possible for our government to admit it.

#260 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 07:45 PM:

Not "politically possible," Greg.

Politically advantageous.

They're waiting to blame it on the new congress.

[2008 campaign slogan]
The cut-and-run, weak on terrorism Democrat Congress.
[/2008 campaign slogan]

#261 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2006, 08:48 PM:

Since this is an open thread, I'd like to pose the question to the room: Know anything about 'Stores Online' (of Orem, Utah)?

I was invited to go as a guest with a small group of friends who were attending an all day seminar put on by 'Stores Online', an outfit interested in selling software and services for developing online storefronts. Going in, they were saying "we're just going for the information, we're not going to buy anything, we'll check out what we learn, and we can always buy later." I left after the first hour, because it was apparent to me that it was all about the hard sell.

That was yesterday. I find out today that the three of them went in on a 3-pack of whatever it was that was being sold (at a cost of more than $2,000 on their credit cards).

I had done some Google-searching, and the negative indicators top the lists. My impression is this company is to web site design and online stores like PA is to publishing.

I believe there is supposed to be a three-day cooling off period for these type of sales, but I don't know how you'd invoke it. Frankly, I'm not sure I could get these guys to take that step; they are still swept up in the enthusiasm of their purchase.

I found links for free open source software for store design, and sites which offered free search engine tools. My friends seem to think that what they've bought has been so well parsed out, that they will be able to follow through the tutorials and create a functional store site (me, I doubt the tutorials could be that well written or complete).

So, does anyone have any stories to share? Has anyone done well by this company?

#262 ::: Raven ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2006, 03:41 AM:

Re 113, Lisa Goldstein:     "Rabbit Pirates" ???

[borrowing a tune from "Sweeney Todd" and smacking it hard to make it fit]

                The Pirate Bunny
               (a hare-razing tale)

I'll tell you of the Pirate Bunny,
A fluffy tale, but never funny:
A mad hare with a lust for money.
          Ahoy, the Pirate Bunny!

The gold rings in his tattered ears
Marked all the ships he'd sunk in years
Of causing seven oceans' fears:
          The Dreaded Pirate Bunny!

Two buck teeth showed in fearsome grin
The merry lack of conscience in
A lepus deeply steeped in sin:
          Har-HARRH, the Pirate Bunny!

He had one pink and maddened eye.
His legends made the sailors cry:
"Do not surrender — better die   *
          Than face the Pirate Bunny!"

He’d haul your vessel to a stop,
Line up the crew and make them hop
Into the ocean with a plop!
          Yo-HO, the Pirate Bunny!

The stories flew from shore to shore,
And legends grew, how more and more
This bunny bathed in grue and gore:
          The Bloody Pirate Bunny!

The end is short, but not too sweet:
At last a massive Navy fleet
Cut off both the rabbit's feet:
          Unlucky Pirate Bunny!

Don't be too quick to count your eggs!
The Committee for Public Safety begs:
"Run from a rabbit with wooden legs,
          For it's the Pirate Bunny!"
                    Yo-HO!


* Clearly TPB's public-relations strategy anticipated the later brilliant hearts-and-minds campaign of GWB in Iraq.


                                              ©1994 C.M. Joserlin, "Raven"

#263 ::: Eimear Ní Mhéalóid ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2006, 10:09 AM:

Niall at #236:

I watched it without sound, but got the general gist. I particularly liked the caption which says "Warning - Exposed to partial flooding during the rainy season (all year)."

#264 ::: Harriet ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2006, 10:23 AM:

Er, I gather that "View All By" is currently not working for any names at all, and not restricted to JMF and PNH, which are the only names I remember reading advisories about, a couple of days ago. Or is there just something wrong with my iteration of Firefox? (not a poke at the proprietors for swifter resolution, just a request for confirmation of my results)

#265 ::: rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2006, 10:32 AM:

Harriet,
ya, is broken, all of them.

-r.

#266 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2006, 01:24 PM:

A day or two ago, various retired general officers talked to an audience composed of Democratic members of Congress and one member of the police state party, at a hearing. The generals' words included that the SecDef strongly indicated that he would fire anyone who wanted to do any planning in DoD regarding what to do after invading in Iraq. That seems to have been including, that e.g. anyone who wanted to bring up issues such as providing basic services in Iraq, policing the country, dealing with the general population, dealing with demobilizing the military and outprocessing soldiers, preventing sectarian hatemongers and vengeance sprees, preventing women from being disenfranchised of self-determination and abused into Islamic modesty dress and exiting the labor force (losing their ability to earn income and have economic self-determination) and locked into purdah, etc. etc. etc.

Translation--the SecDef was setting up Iraq to be a giant unprotected target for wholesale looting and piracy by the likes of any contributor to the fascist right wing buddies and associates and bedfellows of the SecDef, the Lout, Darth Cheney, Mr Dobson, Bob Ney, former Representative Cunningham, and another other politically powerful member of the police state party.

Object, and get disenfranchised, fired, attacked and slandered and calumnified by the fascists' pet attack media personalities (Chris Wallace, Hannrity [spelling], Limbaugh, Malkin, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fux News, etc.

#267 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2006, 01:34 PM:

Listing right now to TechNation, an interview with Eileen Gittens, Founder, President and CEO of Blurb, Inc.

According to the promo: "Moira speaks with Blurb's EILEEN GITTINS - Finally! The ability to publish profesional-quality books! What it took -- and the economic premise behind it ..." Anyway, it sounds a less scamful than most self-publishing companies. Anyone heard of them?

Aside from the heartwarming stories of dreams come true through self-published books, she told an interesting story about a businessperson who published a proposal or prospectus in book form rather than the usual comb binding, with the result that people treated it like a book and didn't throw it away, rather than toss it like usual with more disposable-looking proposals. Actually, this does make sense. How many books have you thrown away?

#268 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2006, 02:11 PM:

Oh, the police state party in New Hampshire got caught again (One of them actually spent time in a jail cell, for jamming the Democratic Party's phones lines on election day two years ago. The person got his old job back involved with PSP's election strategies and operations literally as soon as he was let out of jail) for action below and beneath. This time, it's astroturfing (t wasn't called that, the term/technique hasn't achieved visibility in broadcast media yet apparently), an apparatchik caught posting on liberal/progressive blogs involving false identity and misresprentation.

I can't remember the source--it was probably either WBUR which is an NPR affiliate or AirAmerica's local news (ironically there are two stations in eastern Massachusetts broadcasting AirAmerica and they are both Clear Channel stations...).

#269 ::: Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2006, 02:30 PM:

Forgive me if this has been addressed but:

When Chavez alluded to Bush as devil did no have a shiver of fear? The Devil is temptation and what could have Bush offered Chavez which tempted him?

And should we be proud that he refused?

#270 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2006, 04:20 PM:

#267: Tracie, I took a quick look, every book being sold is listed at Thirty Dollars or more. That is really, really steep. They're hardcover with color interiors, but still, that seems awful expensive.

#271 ::: Lisa Goldstein ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2006, 04:58 PM:

Raven @ 262 -- Thank you! The original is not nearly as interesting, I assure you.

#272 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2006, 05:36 PM:

Since this is an open thread, I want to take a moment to point out that the Congress of the United States will be voting any minute now on a bill which, when it passes, will amend/nullify/destroy the Great Writ, habeus corpus, and bring us that much closer to a dictatorship.

I am sickened.

#273 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2006, 05:56 PM:

And explicitly allow US citizens to be declared Enemies of the People...excuse me, Enemy Combatants, and thus have no rights at all, not even the right to contest such a declaration in court.

We no longer live in a free country. We live in a police state, governed by fascist monsters. I will keep saying that, loudly and to anyone who will listen, until they come for me in the night.

#274 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2006, 06:08 PM:

" . . . and bring us that much closer to a dictatorship."

Don't worry. You only need to be afraid if you're a terrorist. Or drug kingpin. Or belong to an environmentalist organization. Or get fingered as a threat by the Total Information Awareness SurfTrend v0.97 expert system.

Or have the same name as someone who qualifies for any of the above.

Stefan

#275 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2006, 07:13 PM:

Oh, now that's a good sign:

MSNBC article on new Woodward book

'Woodward also reveals that President Nixon's Secretary of State Henry Kissinger often meets with President Bush, advising him to stay the course in Iraq.

According to Woodward, "Kissinger's fighting the Vietnam War again, because in his view the problem in Vietnam was we lost our will."'

#276 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2006, 07:21 PM:

Right, we lost our will. Sure. Never mind that 4 out of 5 Iraqis polled say the US provokes more violence than it prevents, and 6 out of 10 Iraqis polled approve of attacks on U.S.-led forces.

see #257 and #259.

#277 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2006, 08:14 PM:

I want a uterus and ovaries implanted so I can have Ken Olbermann's babies:

You are the wind beneath my wings.

#278 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2006, 08:23 PM:

Yeah, yeah, Keith Olbermann.

#279 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2006, 08:46 PM:

Shite.

I have to confess, I was reading the headlines tonight that the Senate passed Bush's torture bill, and for the first time since 9-11, I was legitimately entertaining the idea of leaving this country, of giving up, of finding a place where humanity still shines some light in this ever darkening world.

I watched Olbermann's video and wept.

I think perhaps I shall stay a bit longer.

#280 ::: Georgiana ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2006, 09:57 PM:

That was wonderful. Thank you so much, Stefan, for posting that. Brilliant perfection.

You're more than welcome to my uterus et al, my family is as big as it's going to get. Let me know the best way to get them to you and I'll get right on it.

#281 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2006, 10:00 PM:

#272. I've been sickened since this first became a possibility. It is at least prima facie unconstitutional; who knows how the Roberts Court will rule, however? As for the Democrats: "this is not my party." They set this up, they let it happen, they allow a Supreme Court majority which may allow this to be law, some of them even voted for the law itself, how could they be such fools? At least my Democratic senator voted against it this time; last time he didn't.

Who can anyone in New Jersey vote for in good conscience now?

#282 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2006, 10:08 PM:

Greg @ 276
And more than half the residents of the US agree with them.

I have commitments to work, friends, plants, and cat that keep me from leaving easily. However, I am going to make a will and stash it elsewhere in case I 'disappear' involuntarily. (I need one anyway; this is another reason to do it.)

I'm p*ssed enough about this to want to curse the people who voted for it knowing perfectly well what they were voting for; for sure, the people who wrote and introduced it. I'd like to know what these so-called Christians will say when they meet the Powers and get asked why they did it, because I don't think any of the reasons they've given us are going to fly.

I do want the signers of the Constitution and the Declaration to haunt the members of this Congress for a while.

#283 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2006, 10:35 PM:

One of my coworkers was griping about Rosie O'Donnell or someone regarding rightwing "Christians." I told him to google on e.g. "Army of God." He misunderstood what I'd said, then googled on it today. He hadn't had a clue that those sorts of people were around, and serious in their beliefs. "Those are the sorts of people she was excoriating," I said. He was appalled at what he read about them and considers them horrendous. But he hadn't had a clue that that's what's meant by "rightwing extremist Christians who are essentially the same as the extremist jihadi Muslims."

I also mentioned Phelps to him and Phelps' picketing of soldiers' funerals with "Thank God for 9/11!" signs.

I wonder how many other people have been that unware.

#284 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2006, 10:37 PM:

"The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid 'dens of crime' that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labor camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clear, carpeted, warmed, well-lit offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices." This is probably the blackest day in the history of the USA I have lived through.

More, probably when I've thought it through (perhaps not here), but what is there to add? Our course remains clear.

#285 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 28, 2006, 11:44 PM:

Bad language, bad taste, and entirely un^H^Hcalled for:

Stick A Yellow Ribbon on your S.U.V.

Don't play this if there are kids around.

Really, I could hardly believe I was watching this. It's like Tom Lehrer started writing again.

#286 ::: Raven ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 02:47 AM:

"The Democrats" in Congress can't be lumped together on this one... but nearly all "the Republicans" can be.

34 House Democrats voted for torture and against habeas corpus; another 7 didn't vote; but 160 voted to oppose this evil bill, despite Bush's accusations of appeasement -- and these holdouts deserve our continued support. (7 Republicans and 1 Independent joined them in holding out.)

Likewise, 12 Senate Democrats voted for the torture bill, but 32 voted against (along with Independent Jeffords and one lone Republican, RI's Chafee).

Remember which of your elected officials voted which way, especially at the next primary.

House Roll Call.   Senate Roll Call.

Meanwhile, let's get the majority control out of Republicans' hands this election.
 

#287 ::: rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 08:58 AM:

On a lighter note,
Fanthropology is having a crossover by name challenge:

Your goal is to take two series/media whose names have some similarities, and fuse them, and describe them.

Such as Doctor Whose-Line-is-It-Anyway, ...Freddy Versus Jason and the Argonauts...

All are invited to attend. BYOP* Current highlights include "When Harry Potter Met Sally" (via tears_of_nienna)

-r.
*bring your own pun

#288 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 09:43 AM:

If anyone deserves to use that sign off of "Good night, and good luck," it's Olbermann. That man is a hero in a cohort of scandalous wags.

I was coming over here this morning to post that if no one else had...just beautiful.

#289 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 10:19 AM:

Are the Democrats going to repeal this, if they get a majority? Based on their recent performance, it seems unlikely. Would they even have rejected it, if they had a Senate majority and the Bush administration proposed it? Perhaps not.

Sure, let's put the Dems back in; they're not completely insane. But we need to reform the party, too, or else implement the instant runoff, and I must admit I have no stomach for reforming the Dems, though I have supported them for many years--they have consistently listened more to their opponents than their constituents and have now fallen short of even basic humanity. To regain our freedoms, let alone the respect of the world, we need reforms, and I do not yet know what forms those will take.

#290 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 10:33 AM:

Re the recent Democrats' record on "standing up" to Bush: It's My Party, and I'll Cry if I Want To.

#291 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 10:55 AM:

Re crossover name challenges:

My 5 year old insists he plays Katamario Damacy, though the plumber hasn't turned up yet.

And, in honour of his middle name, I'd also submit "Who's Afraid of Virginia Beowulf?"

#292 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 11:42 AM:

Stefan Jones #274: Or are, like me, a resident alien.

#293 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 11:45 AM:

Paula Lieberman #283: 'Is it possible,' a student asked, 'that there is something that liberals and conservatives can both hate?' 'Yes,' said I, and brought up Fred Phelps's webpage.

#294 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 11:54 AM:

Wow, both of my Senators, both Democrats, voted Yea.

I just can't deal. I think I'm going to vomit.

I think they should both be waterboarded, subjected to hypothermia, and then sleep-deprived until they admit that they raped their grandmothers, masterminded Watergate, and are responsible for the Fall of Rome.

#295 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 12:01 PM:

Xopher -

One of my Senators and my Rep voted nay. The other "Democratic" Senator...well, let's just say it's one more reason to work for Lamont. I'm sickened (more) but not exactly surprised.

#296 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 12:38 PM:

both my state's senators, and both senators from my "home" state (back in farm country), voted Nay. some congressidiots voted aye. I feel a little better today than last night.

I did watch the Keith Olbermann video again this morning to get a shot of inspiration.

#297 ::: Georgiana ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 01:01 PM:

Everyone that represents my family voted no, thank goodness. I've already called and thanked them all.

Xopher - I'm sorry about your reps. I'm a strong supporter of Ben Cardin, if he had voted yes I'd be extremely upset.

#299 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 04:41 PM:

Speaking of physics and Presidents, I just remembered the joke about big Texans and enemas...

#300 ::: Harriet ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 06:44 PM:

Re: Particle "Moose eats a grape"...

How is Porco Bruno doing these days, anyway?

#301 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 08:29 PM:

That second "Moose eats a grape" photo looks like maybe the grape's being squeezed out of him, like he's some kind of bizarre new Pez dispenser.

#302 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 08:43 PM:

I was looking at Moose and Grape a minute ago... well, a minute before catching up on the thread, anyway... and I must say, the "Browse Images" extension for Firefox is certainly swell. I was looking, specifically, at the Particles page that I get from my LJ link, and Browse Images shows me each image that is linked from the page when I click the Forward button, so first I saw Vitis Brevis, and after that the Roman cutlery.

Reminds me of how much clicking back and forth it saves me on pages with a lot of linked images.

#303 ::: rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 09:44 PM:

in #291 ::: abi wrote:


Re crossover name challenges:

My 5 year old insists he plays Katamario Damacy, though the plumber hasn't turned up yet.

And, in honour of his middle name, I'd also submit "Who's Afraid of Virginia Beowulf?"

That is very cool.
I came up with one that I'm particularly proud of:
2. Portrait of Dorian Grey's Anatomy
Despite sleeping with ever increasing numbers of inappropriate people, Meredith, Izzie, Karev and George never age, acquire STDs, or suffer any serious long term consequences whatsoever, while their med school yearbook photos become decayed and corrupted in their place.

#304 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 03:01 PM:

who is moose, anyway, and does his jaw dislocate so he can swallow grapes whole?

#305 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2006, 12:48 AM:

I bought a DVD of 1950s vintage space opera a week or two back. $.39 with coupon at Walgreen's.

There were two episodes each of "Flash Gordon" (filmed in West Germany) and "Rocky Jones, Space Ranger."

"Flash" suffers from some of the most incredibly turgid dialog I've ever heard. Much of each episode consists of characters sitting on cheap sets explaining what was happening over and over and over. ("YEAH, OK, IF YOU GO FASTER THAN LIGHT YOU CAN GO BACK IN TIME AND RESCUE DALE! I GET THE FRIGGING IDEA ALREADY!") It doesn't help that many of the actors have German accents.

Pro: Flash wears a T-shirt with a lightning bolt.

Con: Dale Arden looks like a middle-aged school teacher.

Rocky Jones is a bit sprite . . . spright . . . spry . . . moves a bit quicker, and has some attempts at humor. (The base commander keeps getting a busy signal trying to call Rocky's room with this video phone because Rocky's roommate is looking for a date.) The special effects aren't as horrible as you might expect. But there are some incredible lapses in logic:

A known criminal steals a space patrol space ship to escape earth with a couple of suitcases full of cash. Rocky, his side-kick, his girlfriend (?) and a ten year old boy who apparently has permission to ride military spacecraft take off in persuit. The bad guys' ship gets damaged by a meteor. Bad guy calls for help, lets his henchman asphyxiate so he doesn't have to share the loot, and then . . . gets a ride to an inhabited planet by Rocky and his Friends. There's some talk of jurisdiction and the rule of law but . . . guys, he stole one of your spaceships.

Rocky eventually tricks the gangster into confessing (with his lady sidekick standing by to write the words down in a big notebook) by using a remote-control toy ghost.

Pro: Woman answers video phone while in the shower.
Con: Space Patrol craft use Barc-a-Loungers as acceleration couches.

#306 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2006, 09:37 AM:

The History Boys. I would say run, don't walk, to see this on B'way while it's still open, but it's closing this afternoon so unless you're got the dedication to queue for returns and then get really lucky, it's hopeless.

The audience literacy level was probably higher than that of the crowd of tourists queuing up for Phantom next door (and when did Broadway ticketholders acquire this sudden taste for forming a block-long line instead of a decent milling mob in front of the theater?) That was good, because the play doesn't condescend or cater for a single moment. The poetry - Hardy, Housman, Auden, more - flies back and forth with minimal explanation; someone with a better background in poetry than myself would probably have an even better time with this. One scene is conducted entirely in the French subjunctive; my hysterical laughter at the triumphant announcement "un soldat blesse!" [sorry, no idea how to put an accent on the final 'e' there] was several beats ahead of the rest of the audience, who seem to have been stuck laughing only at the vigorous miming that accompanied the dialogue. Their loss.

What's it about? High school boys with Oxbridge ambitions in England in the 1980s. Education. Knowledge for sake of knowledge. The truthfulness of truth and its uses. Facts, and angles on the facts. History vs. journalism. Getting into the right schools and the right careers. Poetry, studied in high school, as a trailer for the rest of your life. (That, in response to a boy's complaint that all the things in the poems haven't happened to them yet.) The value of useless knowledge. Proportion and the Holocaust. History vs. histrionics. Words and literature. Knowledge vs. marketing. Topical? The opening scene drew a collective gasp, as an as-yet-unknown teacher carefully explained to his students how to sell the government removal of the right to trial by jury: convince the people that they have more rights by losing their rights. It's not about the truth, it's all about how you sell it. Just like a college application essay.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who wondered for most of the play if they just inserted that scene yesterday.

What's on the surface? A deliciously witty script by Alan Bennett that I can't possibly do justice to by quoting the bits that are stuck all over my brain. They don't have the same zing out of context anyway: "He'd like c*ntstruck; it's a compound adjective." "I'm small. I'm a Jew. I'm a homosexual. And I'm from Sheffield. I'm f*cked." And the delicious demolishment of the fourth wall by the one female character, who turns to the audience to blandly announce, "I have not previously been granted an inner voice."

What's lurking underneath? The erotic thrill of the transmission of knowledge and how this may or may not - explain? justify? - what the boys joke about as "genital massage" by a teacher. This precedes a jaw-dropping bit of reverse-harassment-cum-seduction by aggressive use of gerunds and follows a scene in which the actor playing the Falstaffian teacher nicknamed Hector manages to hold the audience frozen in anticipation for several long moments without either moving a muscle or speaking, in a manner that reminded me irresistibly of Hutt's same trick in his own turn as Falstaff in Merry Wives of Windsor at Stratford (Ont.) many years ago. Acting by lack of acting. Ye gods, I love the theater. I haven't had such a stimulating time on Broadway since The Pillowman.

The good news: it's a movie, with the cast carried over and a screenplay by the playwright. If my google-fu is in order, it's opening in the U.K. this week and in the U.S. in November. I'm a little afraid it will be destroyed by being opened up into a film, or just overdone like the McKellen RIII was: fine needles morphed into bludgeons for the benefit of a mass audience. Offstage bits shifted from beautifully recounted - the ornate buildup of war as a metaphor for seduction and its abrupt demolishment by another boy's practical commentary - to shown on the screen; not an improvement. And of course the brilliant use of video will be lost when it's all video.

I'll go see it anyway. After I get a printed copy of the play to savor.

#307 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2006, 12:44 PM:

the Falstaffian teacher nicknamed Hector

That would be Richard Griffiths, who has actually played Falstaff for both the RSC and the BBC.
He's already won four different Best Actor awards, including a Tony, for The History Boys.

(The hoi polloi will know him better as Harry Potter's Uncle Vernon. Those of us somewhere in the middle think of Withnail's Uncle Monty, or, on a less avuncular note, of DI Henry Crabbe.)

#308 ::: DaveL ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2006, 04:49 PM:

Re: that last picture of Moose eating a grape:

"Never eat anything bigger than your head."

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing."

His cute little beady eyes are so bugged out! Sam the Ham loved grapes but we usually cut them in half for him.

#309 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2006, 09:01 PM:

On a totally different topic,

http://www.maysville-online.com/articles/2006/09/26/local_news/3628orloff.txt

Fortunate accident ...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006 9:51 PM EDT Print this story | Email this story

19th century storm drain discovered in Old Washington

By MISTY MAYNARD Staff Writer

OLD WASHINGTON -- An accidental discovery by crews working on excavating a trench in order to bury utility lines in Old Washington brought to light an 1830s dry laid stone box cistern...

It's basically a handmade 19th century storm drain," Miller said. "The city didn't know it was there. It's draining most of the south end of Old Washington."...


#310 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2006, 11:36 PM:

Heh. Stirling Newberry at TalkingPoints Memo refers to Dennis Hastert as "Hastert the Unspeakerable." Nice genre reference.

Hastert May Be Guilty

#311 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2006, 12:14 AM:

In another blog I frequent, the resident conservative commentator seems to think ABC is the real villain of PageGate:

Why, why did the ratings-hungry media giant allow children to suffer in silence by waiting until election season to reveal Foley's dirty-emailing ways?

#312 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2006, 12:22 AM:

Avram., Dave L.. Hamsters have extremely expansive mouths (I've witnessed one issuing a war cry to a cat and it was impressive--the kitten in question backed down, thank ghu, though she didn't stop trying to shuck Amber-hamster out of her habitrail house).

They also have cheek pouches to carry stuff back to a Safe Place to eat/store. They can amass a great deal of Stuff in those cheek pouches. And do, especially if you give them something they think particularly delectable.

Of all the critters I kept before cats, parakeets and hamsters I miss most. But I ain't ever keepin' any prey creatures with cats around, especially because Right Now I have one that would just pounce and break a hamster before it got wise. And I am not getting a parrot because at my age, that's a 'I won't live long enough to make sure it's treated okay..." pet. Even though it would probably scare all my cats.

#313 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2006, 12:30 AM:

Huuuhhhhhh?

Hello? Values voters? You still out there? Paying any attention to this?

GOP Staff Warned Pages About Foley in 2001

"Republican staff member warned congressional pages five years ago to watch out for Congressman Mark Foley, according to a former page.

[snip]

Several Democratic pages tell ABC News they received no such warnings about Foley."

#314 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2006, 01:50 AM:

#310:

(waves to Alex)

#315 ::: Raven ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2006, 03:26 AM:

Re #306, Susan: How to put the accent on "un soldat blessé!" --

Replace the final e with &eacute;

Here are other HTML special characters, all expressible with &[code]; --
http://www.chami.com/tips/Internet/050798I.html

 
Re #307, Paul A.: Richard Griffiths also played the brutal head cook Swelter in Gormenghast, fighting a duel to the death with Flay the butler (Christopher Lee) as they walk beside their serenely oblivious master, the mad Lord Groan (Ian Richardson).

#316 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2006, 05:04 AM:

For the moment, this is for adventurous Firefox + Greasemonkey users only:

http://www.molehill.org/~jtl/userscripts/makinglight-read-comments.user.js

It Works For Me, Right Now, but no other guarantees are made. I am so very much not a Javascript expert it's not even funny.

That said, any feedback is more than welcome.

1. When you follow a link to a comment and aren't using the teeny-tiny stylesheet, you don't end up at the right comment. This fixes that.

2. It's hard to keep track of what comments you've already seen. This helps with that; any comment you've already loaded will get a grey background. Additionally, any comment link in the 'recent comments' sidebar you've already loaded will be marked as if you'd followed that link, even if you didn't follow that exact one.

#317 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2006, 08:23 AM:

Yet more shenanigans from the House of Representatives -

House Bill seeks to abolish lawyers' ability to recover fees over First Amendment violations

Basically, 42 United States Code section 1988 allows for lawyers who have brought suit over alleged constitutional violations by the government to seek redress for expenses and profits lost while undertaking the case, if they win. The House seeks to eliminate this provision for First Amendment cases.

Yeah. Not seeking to undermine the separation of Church and State much, not at all.

This should be the link to the bill's page in Thomas - but linking to there gets wonky sometimes.

#318 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2006, 10:41 AM:

Presentation I might attend just for the title if I didn't know what it was actually about:

"Basement membranes and the podocytes who love them"

#319 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2006, 08:26 PM:

I found it remarkable that "All-purpose blog entry template" could have been entitled "All-purpose apazine template" many years ago.

But maybe it's not remarkable.

#320 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 12:22 AM:

Sorry, I've been a little out of the loop lately. I just read the Mark Foley transcript, and I just had to say

whoah.

That is seriously messed up.

Keep cheerleading the pervert, Ann Coulter, it'll help your ratings, I'm sure.

#321 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 02:04 AM:

See the louts in American Congress,
Hypocrites who show as gongless,
They write laws they don't obey,
But one of them got caught today!

Mark Foley, Mark Foley,
The latest lout in the news,
What moral agenda,
Male pages he wanted to screw!

See the fall of Robert Ney,
Powerful pol left yesterday,
Corruption stink caught up to him,
After years of acting prim,

Mark Foley, Mark Foley,
You just one more of those scum,
But why has the public,
Continued acting so dumb!

See the fall of Cunningham
Fell from the sky in an awful jam,
Once he fought in the Marines,
Now he's wearing prison greens,

Mark Foley, Mark Foley,
Another Congresscreep canned,
But why leave out Hastert
Why is he too not yet banned?

See that evil President,
Thinks he has been heaven-sent,
Got us into fruitless war,
It what he thinks we are for

Mark Foley, Mark Foley,
The rot comes down from the top,
The whole GOP
Meeds the world's largest mop.

Abramoff spread lots of perks,
Facile with each scum pol's quirks,
Passed around the baksheesh thick,
Gave out trips from which to pick.

Mark Foley, Mark Foley,
You had your place in that club,
Will you now do time in a jail
Intead of a pub?

Mark Foley, Mark Foley,
You're just one scum of a pot,
Get rid of the whole bunch,
Replace the whole lot!

So in the elections
Don't for Republicans vote,
We're lambs for slaughter,
They poisoned the water,
Throw them out the boat!


#322 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 10:10 AM:

when others sin it's their own bloody choice
when our boys sin we know they're not to blame
we are the ones who have the godly voice
with us they should all slink off in shame
if our men stumble it is not their fault
for we know god's truth and thus are always moral
over all errors we will lightly vault
and leave to lesser men the vain old quarrel
look how hypocrisy will stretch to cover
the criminal with its sheer shroud of white
turns the shrill liar and the caught boy-lover
into the most noble most inspiring sight
this comment might to many seem too flip
but see the rats as they desert the ship

#323 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 11:52 AM:

In the "Work, but no functional gain." particle, Charlie says that Microsoft OS's require 1 person working maintenance for every 40 computers running their software. And he then compares this to large-scale UNIX desktop installations have staffing ratios between 1:200 and 1:1000.

Anyone know if this included Linux open source installations too? Or does anyone have some numbers for how many support people are needed per X number of linux boxes? A citable source would be nice.

I sent Charlie an email, but then saw on his blog that he's got his head down working hard on a book right now, and might be away for a bit. Thought I'd ask here.


#324 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 12:18 PM:

As someone currently working in a corporate support environment with Microsoft sofware, I would dearly like to see the documentation on that 1 per 40 workstations number. It would call for a support staff far greater than I have seen in any organization I have worked in to date. In my current case, direct workstation support is about 1 FTE or contract equivalent to 200+ workstations. The rest of us do stuff that simply is not dependent on workstation OS, such as network or database administration.

#325 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 12:30 PM:

I've been googling and found this article
http://linux.sys-con.com/read/32850.htm
which states Windows-based support per desktop ratio is 1:30. It doesn't state the Unix numbers straight out, but based on the scenarios it presents, it's 1:100 or better.

#326 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 12:58 PM:

Greg, I find that article reminicent of a discussion of Chevrolet reliability in a Ford magazine.

If that ratio was correct (1/30) by my back of the virtual envelope (and therefore suspect) numbers the typical IT cost expressed as a share of overall budget would top 5% for the typical food processing concern where I have worked. The typical share is 2.5 to 1.5 percent (or lower), with the higher number in a rather high-tech firm.

One example of a problem in that article is comparing NSTL statistics to the numbers from Bugtoaster. There is more than a little to criticise in NSTL, but Bugtoaster is (or apparently was) by its very nature a responding sample, not a random sample, no matter how large the database.

#327 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 01:03 PM:

Well, Greg, I'd just point out that Linux users are oranges and Windows users are pears (Mac users, of course, are the Apples). The average person can come up to speed on Windows (from a user standpoint) in fairly short order; I'm not sure the average person can come up to speed on Linux at all. They need more support in part because they're not as system-savvy (that is, the company can hire people who aren't).

This is assuming there isn't some GUI interface for Linux that I don't know about, of course. No one has ever told me about one. GUI is better for the average person, for exactly the same reasons system geeks prefer command-line interfaces.

Now take the rather below-average (in terms of technical competence and just general "I can figure it out" character) person you get in the corporate world, and try to teach them that no, you can't just click on a picture of a printer, or select "Print" from a menu, you have to type "cat" ("'Cat'? WTF is 'cat'?!?!?") and the filename and then a pipe and then the name of the printer, and you've got troubles.

Now I may be a couple of decades out of date on how various Unices (such as Linux) work. But I do know that no corporate environment I've ever worked in has had any form of Unix for the operating system ordinary people, even people in technology, use on a daily basis. At my current job we have some Linux boxen, but they're all in the data centers, and only the data center people are allowed to touch them.

It's like comparing COBOL to C (to be clear, I mean Old C). COBOL totally sucks, and anyone with the programming talent of a roadkill armadillo will hate it, but anyone can learn it. C is much, much better, but has a much steeper learning curve.

#328 ::: Paul Lalonde ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 01:17 PM:

Xopher - I never thought I'd be defending COBOL, but there's no way you can say "better" about C without a metric. If I have to process a stack of uniformly-shaped records I'll be heaps more productive in COBOL than in bare-bones C - C has no knowledge of data records and file structures, you have to build that yourself.

Regarding Linux, modern distributions include reasonably good GUIs that let you manipulate your files, start OpenOffice, web browsers, mailers, etc. For 90% of office use that probably suffices. And it's smart enough to keep people from configuring new printers and such, which in the short term causes load on admins, but in the long term reduces admin debugging time trying to figure out how the "power" user mucked up his machine.

Where desktop linux falls apart is still on interoperability with MS server-side applications: Outlook calendaring, for instance.

Developpers are a whole other kettle of fish as far as support goes - you need fewer, but better admins.

#329 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 01:22 PM:

...you can't just click on a picture of a printer, or select "Print" from a menu, you have to type "cat" ("'Cat'? WTF is 'cat'?!?!?")

I use a unix command-line interface in my shell account, but without any particularly in-depth understanding of it, or even much out-of-depth understanding. I just learned the half-dozen commands that I need to function and merrily proceeded to do so. I've been blithering around cluelessly in unix for seventeen years now, and (now that you mention it) I've always wondered....wtf is 'cat'? Why 'cat'?

#330 ::: DaveL ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 01:23 PM:

Xopher, there are several very nice GUI interfaces for Linux these days. Most distributions (Red Hat, Fedora, etc.) come with them as the "normal" interface.

They are very easy to use, IMHO. (And I am a conscientious objector in the OS wars.)

(Disclaimer: Your wording makes it slightly unclear to me whether you have seen these interfaces and don't think they are easy, or have never seen one.)

#331 ::: Paul Lalonde ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 01:31 PM:

Suzan - 'cat' is short for catenate. In general the command takes a set of files as input, and catenates, in order, to the output. When you give one file it "catenates" it to the output, which is usually your terminal or window. It's the simplest way to show a file's contents, but doesn't do any paging or anything else clever.
[geek on]
Where it really comes in handy is that some programs expect their input to come from the "standard input", which is usually your terminal. But sometimes you want to feed them a file, or set of files instead. You can use 'cat' to spit the file contents into another command: 'cat file1 file2 | sort' would take all the lines of file1 and file2, and put them through the sort program, alphebetizing them, for example.
[geek off]

#332 ::: Fiendish Writer ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 01:38 PM:

Paul #331: I do think the word is concatenate, no?

#333 ::: Paul Lalonde ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 01:43 PM:

Fiendish Writer - you are right, of course. Although a frightful number of programmers have been shortenning it to just catenate.
Which brings up an interesting language question: I can think of a few examples of words getting shorter in usage by dropping trailing sylables (tab stop for tabulation stop, meds for medication, etc), but can't think of any except concatenation for trimming from the front. Any other examples?

#334 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 01:49 PM:

Paul Lalonde writes in #333:

I can think of a few examples of words getting shorter in usage by dropping trailing sylables (tab stop for tabulation stop, meds for medication, etc), but can't think of any except concatenation for trimming from the front. Any other examples?

Omnibus.

Less commonly, helicopter.

Fanzine.

#335 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 01:57 PM:

'newspaper' to 'paper'

#336 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 02:02 PM:

DaveL: I've never seen one. Hmm, this may change my opinion of what to use for my home system. But probably not.

Bill H-BJ: The shortening of 'helicopter' to 'copter' fooled me into being unable to come up with its etymology. I ultimately had to resor to looking it up, which is, of course, defeat. Of course, it's from the two morphs 'helico-' and '-pter', not some imagined 'heli-' (as in Helios, perhaps?) and '-copter' (having to do with something Egyptian?). It's a spiralwing.

#337 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 03:01 PM:

Xopher --

Linux GUIs are at the point where if you plug in a USB device, it asks you want you want to do with it.

I don't know what the support ratio is at work; then again, my work computer runs linux, so I'm probably not a good person to ask.

#338 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 04:01 PM:

Why 'cat'?

feline oppression, of course, and prejudice. YOu won't find a "dog" command on linux anywhere, which is a reflection of both oppression and prejudice.

More fairly, "cat" should have been called "dog", because what does the command do other than to fetch your file for you like a good and faithful dog fetches your newspaper and lays it at your feet.

But once again, cat dominance shows through, attempting to apply its revisionist history that "cat" had anything at all to do with "concatenate", when it was really just the feline species walking away with its tail high up in the air, telling the dog world "I am cat. look at my butt".

#339 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 04:05 PM:

for trimming from the front.

bicycle

telephone

weinerdog

#340 ::: Paul Lalonde ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 04:31 PM:

bicycle
Isn't cycle a different thing?

telephone
Given!

weinerdog
What's a nerdog? Certainly a weinerdog is a near-dog. Are they also nerd-dogs? There needs to be a separate category for puntables.

#341 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 04:32 PM:

#336 ::: Xopher wrote:
DaveL: I've never seen one. Hmm, this may change my opinion of what to use for my home system. But probably not.

There's a ton of GUI interfaces and tools for various *nix systems - for myself, I'm currently split between OSX (personal) and KDE under linux (work).

#342 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 04:37 PM:

refridgerator shortens to "fridge"

#343 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 04:44 PM:

xopher, I think Linux has come a long way. It used to be damn hard for me to install it on my home PC. The first couple fo attempts, I gave up. The next few attempts worked, but were rather painful. The last couple times were surprisingly easy. They have a decent GUI. And there are GUI tools for a lot of things that used to be arcane command line interfaces.

The one thing that I have been frustrated by is the lack of printer drivers. Last time I checked, I still couldn't use my inkjet on Linux. That may become less of a problem in the next couple years if we transition to laser printers and inkjets dry up. Generally laser printers have a decent processor and can handle postscript and that becomes a generic interface from linux to teh printer.

I am considering my next computer to be a Mac, but that's more for my wife than me, she hates computers and has very little experience with them at all.

#344 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 05:37 PM:

telefacsimile = fax

weblog = blog (I can't believe no one else mentioned that yet!)

taxicab = cab (also 'taxi'; are there any other words that can be shortened from *either* end?)

--Mary Aileen

#345 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 08:11 PM:

Mary Aileen Buss #344: Of course, 'taxicab' is a contraction of 'taximetre cabriolet', a phrase I rather like.

#346 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2006, 03:11 PM:

Fragano (#345): I did not know that! Thank you. That is a cool phrase.

--Mary Aileen

#347 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2006, 03:25 PM:

Paul @ #331:

Thanks for the useful explanation of "cat".

Greg @ #338:

Thanks for the entertaining explanation of "cat".

(I am reminded of Diane Duane's explanation of CATNYP...)

#348 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2006, 03:57 PM:

Mary Aileen Buss #346: You're most welcome. I came across the term in my childhood and relish the way it trips off the tongue.

#349 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2006, 04:05 PM:

You won't find a "dog" command on linux anywhere

I evaluated a system once that had a "wombat" command. Its description was "print a picture of a marsupial". (I presume the programmers implementing a test-the-printer feature were having some fun.)

#350 ::: Akachukuw ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2009, 03:29 PM:

I need to have woman that not married, let us own our self and plan if we can be together for married.

Regards

Akachukuw.

#351 ::: Terry Sees Strange Spam ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2009, 03:40 PM:

This doesn't seem the place to be looking for a bride.

#352 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2009, 03:52 PM:

That is utterly bizarre, but I'm not certain it's spam. There isn't any kind of link to a website, commercial or otherwise.

On the other hand, the name is commonly Nigerian, the note was posted from Africa ... and this thread hasn't seen any activity in nearly three years.

On the other other hand, this is an open thread.

We'll see how this plays out.

#353 ::: some sshl spammer ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2009, 06:40 PM:

IP address: 89.43.30.233

#354 ::: Xopher sees spam, spam, spam! ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2009, 06:46 PM:

Now THAT's spamamatic.

#355 ::: Yay, Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2009, 06:58 PM:

Thanks for the catch.

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