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July 28, 2007

Open thread 89
Posted by Teresa at 01:58 PM *

Also Englischmen, þeyȝ hadde fram þe bygynnyng þre maner speche, Souþeron, Norþeron, and Myddel speche (in þe myddel of þe lond), as hy come of þre maner people of Germania, noþeles, by commyxstion and mellyng furst wiþ Danes and afterward wiþ Normans, in meny the contray longage is apeyred, and some useþ strange wlaffyng, chyteryng, harryng and garryng, grisbittyng. … Al the longage of the Norþhumbres, and specialych at ȝork, ys so scharp, slyttyng and frotyng, and unschape, þat we Southeron men may þat longage unneþe undurstonde. Y trowe þat þat ys bycause þat a buþ nyȝ to strange men and aliens þat spekeþ strangelych, and also bycause þat þe kynges of Engelond woneþ alwey fer fram þat contray.

—Ranulf Higdon’s Polychronicon, c. 1350; trans. 1387 by John of Trevisa; printed 1482 by William Caxton

Comments on Open thread 89:
#1 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 02:37 PM:

I love the ad at the side:

Discover the taste of Olde English

I suppose that'd help if I ever had to eat your words.

#2 ::: Angelle ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 02:41 PM:

As I was sounding out the excerpt, it took me right back to one of my favorite college professors, who spoke beautiful old and middle English, and taught me the Pearl Poet one summer.

I love texts like this because my eyes won't scan them, but if I say it aloud phonetically, the words magically resolve themselves into something familiar. A delightful form of code-cracking - thanks!

#3 ::: neotoma ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 02:52 PM:

That makes me wonder again why English got rid of thorns and eths. They seem like very useful letters to have. Anyone know?

#4 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 03:02 PM:

'Souþeron' is spelled "Southeron" in the third line from the bottom. Sic?

#6 ::: Jim Frenkel ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 03:24 PM:

Makes one yearn for the days before English was "modern."

#7 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 03:44 PM:

I wonder why we lost nice words like 'wone' (reside). Not to mention why we lost the yogh. (It was years before I understood that Puck, by swearing his oaths -- in Kipling's Puck of Pook's Hill and Rewards and Fairies* -- 'by Oak, Ash, and Thorn' was invoking lost letters of the alphabet.

* It was from the poem from which Kipling took that title, by seventeenth century bishop Corbet, oddly, that I first learned the world 'slut'...


Farewell, rewards and fairies,
Good housewives now may say,
For now foul sluts in dairies
Do fare as well as they.


#8 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 04:01 PM:

Fragano @7
The morpheme "wone" (to dwell) was ceded to the Dutch in the Treaty of Breda (1667), which ended the second Anglo-Dutch war*.

-----
* It is a little-known fact that the war started with the forcible annexation of the word "liefer".

#9 ::: LauraJMixon ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 04:07 PM:

Coolness! Startlingly readable.

#10 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 04:29 PM:

abi #8: Thus the Dutch exercise I did years ago -- ik heb een broeder, die in Chicago woont. Hij is matroos.

#11 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 05:09 PM:

My first thought was "Ah, Teresa's drunk again!"

#12 ::: Zander ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 05:12 PM:

Not much changes in seven hundred years over here...

#13 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 05:48 PM:

Why moderation matters: a case study

I did a little googling, and this was one classic toxic waste dump of a community.

#14 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 06:53 PM:

Avram, if I were that drunk I wouldn't remember to code the special characters.

#15 ::: Tim May ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 06:54 PM:

Technically speaking those should probably be yoghs (Ȝȝ) rather than ezhes (Ʒʒ), which Unicode regards as separate characters.

#16 ::: Teresa Rogers ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 07:09 PM:

I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the English teacher that required that we learn the first 34 lines of the prologue to the Canterbury Tales in Middle English before we graduated.

It's always a fun party trick to pull those lines out. But I can't say that I go to many parties where I manage to work it into casual conversation.

#17 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 07:12 PM:

"Plus ca change, plus la meme."[0]

[0] apologies for the lack of accents - I've eaten all my memory

#18 ::: Zarquon ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 07:13 PM:

This is the followup to PNH's xkcd Sidelight.

#19 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 07:14 PM:

Teresa 16: You haven't been to a party at the Nielsen Hayden house, have you?

#20 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 07:21 PM:

In partial recompense for being clueless about spoilers, I present a visitor at the farm of a rather more fictional sort than usual.

#21 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 08:02 PM:

Julia @13: And I thought 4chan was rough....

#22 ::: Lloyd Burchill ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 08:05 PM:

I've just now reading Pullman's The Golden Compass. Am I alone in picturing the villainous Mrs. Coulter as -- you know -- Ann?

#24 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 08:12 PM:

I think it must have been the photo with the Tommygun that got Teresa the job.

#25 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 08:22 PM:

JESR, bright visitor!

#26 ::: Keith ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 08:36 PM:

Lloyd at #22: I'm reading the Golden Compass as well and had the same thought. I also can't help picturing Nicole Kidman from the trailer for the movie, but she has blond hair, (like Ann) which only confuses matters.

It's odd how easily movies influence how we visualize characters in books. And hoe easily those of us who follow politics are influenced by current events.

I guess it's only natural that we reach for a familiar face but still, I've tried picturing Snape as someone other than alan Rickman and all I get are soft focus faces.

#27 ::: Megan Messinger ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 10:13 PM:

Teresa @ 16: I had to do that, as well, and I was tickled to recite it for my college Chaucer professor! I think he was tickled, too.

Also, I think my next story has to be called "Aliens That Speketh Strangelych."

#28 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 10:40 PM:

Wone is alive and well in Scots/Lallans.

Anyone else going to NASFIC?

#29 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 10:57 PM:

Marilee, bright indeed; I want to go into the Comicbook Store and see where they might have put it, as the place is jammed, already, but then I remember that they've moved the Serenity action figures right up front, and I don't trust my shaky impulse control not to spend money I don't have.

#30 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 10:58 PM:

Keith #26: I've been known to mentally substitute a young Trent Reznor for Alan Rickman when I need to visualize a younger Snape.

#31 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 11:02 PM:

Keith, I pictured Snape as Alan Rickman from the get-go, well before they announced the casting for the first movie, primarily based on his work in Dogma. Had they cast someone else as Snape, I don't know what I would have done.

#32 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 11:05 PM:

Er, that should be Alan Rickman as Snape. I think.

#33 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 11:49 PM:

#22, #26: Well, that's damn odd. I just picked up The Golden Compass and was planning starting reading it Any Minutes Now.

#34 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 11:55 PM:

Pat, I arrived at the same place after seeing An Awfully Big Adventure. If I'd known then what I know now about the character I'd've thought it was even more perfect.

Bonus: one of those rare evil spoiled little shit performances in which Hugh Grant is not annoying.

Warning: neck and neck with Breaking the Waves and Limbo as movie you really, really don't want to watch if you're feeling at all vulnerable.

#35 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 12:01 AM:

Saw, this afternoon, a wonderful documentary called Dr. Bronner's Magical Soapbox.

It is, duh, about the man behind the liquid soap that comes in bottles whose labels are packed with bizarre religious ranting.

Doctor Bronner was nuts. Certifiably crazy. In fact, he was committed to an asylum in the late 40s. (In his delusional universe, it was a communist concentration camp.) He got away (when his sister checked him out for a few hours so they could have lunch) and left his kids behind (well, they were in orphanages and foster homes anyway) to go to California and start his soap company. Apparently, his work ethic was as strong as his desire to rant, and his liquid soap became a hit with counter-culture types.

Bronner's kids and their families eventually took over the business. They're an interesting bunch too; hard working and off-beat.

The real star of the show is Ralph Bronner, who is the company's goodwill ambassador. He's kind of nuts too, but in a really nice way. He travels around putting on a one-man tribute show to his dad, dispenses free samples of soap, and offers hugs. He is unworldly, saintly nice. Like a Health Store guru version of Mister Rogers.

#36 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 12:05 AM:

Poul Anderson used liefer in at least one of his books, Three Hearts and Three Lions, maybe.

#37 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 12:19 AM:

Others are probably already aware of this, but I just found out that Zachary Quinto--as in, Sylar from Heroes--has been cast as Spock in the JJ Abrams Star Trek movie.

Part of me is like, oh, yeah, I can totally see that, he could totally pull that off, but then the other part of me is gonna be all, "No, Cadet Kirk! Don't trust him! He's going to chop off the top of your head and steal your special powers of self-righteousness and sexual atavism!"

I can already tell it's gonna be at least as weird as when Sarah Michelle Gellar was a Dead Dumb Blonde in I Know What You Did Last Summer, and I kept going, "God, Buffy, you know you shouldn't have just run up those stairs. Seriously! Just stake him, for frack's sake!"

#38 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 12:27 AM:

Stefan Jones @#35: Awesome! I used to use Bronner's all the time back in college...back before I realized that my skin is as dry as tissue paper, so castille soap is verboten.

It is really good soap, and you can do your laundry (hand-washing, anyway) with it, as it says on the label. The label also has instructions for using it as a contraceptive douche, but I never tried that (and don't recommend it, not least because "contraceptive douche" is a contradiction in terms).

#40 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 12:46 AM:

The theater gave away little sample bottles of Dr. Bronner's.

Too small for the rants, and the skipped the Essene birth control directions, but it does suggest using it to wash your car.

ALL-ONE! ESSENE MORAL ABC BRINGS TOGETHER ALL PEOPLE OF ONE-GOD SPACESHIP EARTH!

#41 ::: TChem ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 12:58 AM:

#26 Keith:

You might have ended up with that mental-imagery combination even without having seen the trailer. I read the books a few years ago and was flipping back and forth between Ann and Nicole in my mind; that one bit of casting alone got me really excited about the movie.

I think it's the descriptions of Mrs. Coulter which add up to, roughly "this person *should* be beautiful, according to society's standards, but is terrifically creepy anyhow" that does it.

#42 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 01:08 AM:

ethan @ 37... Is JJ Abrams's movie a reboot of Star Trek, or an origin story in a setting where very few unexplored nooks and crannies remain? I hope it's the former and I'll drink trania to that.

#43 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 01:27 AM:

While we're on the subject of casting, something everyone here already knew: Johnny Depp to play Barnabas Collins in big-screen Dark Shadows. Personally, I think he can and will pull it off without having to out-Collins Jonathan Frid, in the same way that Jack Nicholson recreated the role of the Joker without deposing Cesar Romero from his iconic place of honor.

(And with the trailers and preview stories for The Dark is Rising convincing me that they won't get my money even if they offer to show it to me free, I need something to look forward to. Of course, The Golden Compass looks awesome, and that will be out first.)

#44 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 01:29 AM:

Um/Er/Uh/Whatever mumbly non-word indicates genuine confusion/mild disbelief and doesn't offend:

People don't use the words "lief" and "liefer" in everyday conversation? Are we supposed to be paying some sort of import duty or tariff in each instance of use?

::wails:: Why didn't anyone tell me??

On other topics, I too had to learn parts of Canterbury Tales in the original. However, I've always been jealous of the Italian exchange student that was in the class with me, and she shared that back at home, she had to read Dante and Boccaccio in the original. I quit feeling sorry for myself over a little bit of memorization.

#45 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 01:37 AM:

me, previously. Floggings for grammar errors. Don't post when tired and monitoring multiple household situations. ::thwack thwack::

#46 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 02:17 AM:

Apropos of nothing, I'm watching a HILARIOUS Miami Vice rerun from a season I apparently missed the first time around. Sonny seems to have gotten amnesia and became a smoove crime kingpin, complete with a blond moll and a pet black panther. He's wearing his mullet in a daggy little ponytail, too.

He's having flashbacks of Sheena Easton right now. Ooo, now he's walking out on the blonde girlfriend, who is wearing a headscarf in the same pattern as her dress.

Girlfriend (hollering): "You think you can just turn me on and turn me off whenever you feel like it? After I slept with Nicky and helped you take out the old man you think you can just walk out on me?" (Throws pillow)

Oooh, now there's a car blowing up! And a different blond girl running to Sonny's rescue. I wonder if being knocked out by the explosion will have any affect on his amnesia?

#47 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 02:19 AM:

*effect,* damnit

#48 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 02:31 AM:

FLUOROSPHERE BUTTONS FOR NASFIC

If anyone else is going to be there and wants one (and hasn't already responded), let me know NOW, preferably by e-mail to the mailto link on my name. We leave on Wednesday, and the next few days are going to be very busy. The buttons will be available at the Instant Attitudes table in the dealer room. We'll have some extras, of course, but so far the response has been limited.

Teresa R., #16: I can still do most of the opening to the Prologue and the naughty bit from the Miller's Tale (starting with "The nicht was black as pitch or any coal..."). I adored my college Chaucer teacher -- he had what I, at least, perceived as a very good Middle English accent.

JESR, #20: Coolness!

Bruce, #43: Even more coolness! If anyone can do justice to that character, it's Depp.

#49 ::: moe99 ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 03:09 AM:

A dear recently departed friend, and John of Trevisa scholar, Dr. David Fowler, Professor Emritas at the University of Washington would so have loved your post. I'm enjoying it for him and for myself.

#50 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 03:30 AM:

Linguistic worriting and close analysis compels me to wonder if perhaps "fluorosphere" is not quite right for Making Light.

"Fluorescence" derives from "fluorspar", which in turn derives from "fluorine", which does not, in point of fact, have anything in particular to do with light.

Of course, habit and custom being what they are, it is no doubt Too Late to change or modify. Still.

Phosphorosphere, anyone?

#51 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 04:15 AM:

Well, there's always "dixitque Teresa fiat lux et facta est lux"....

#52 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 04:34 AM:

Or photosphere, which, despite being taken by astrophysicists, has a particularly light-filled meaning, and is full of gravitas as well.


Incidentally, I was browsing the online OED, looking for the earliest citations of "sphere". While the earliest is 1300, I also found this, which seemed appropriate somehow:

c1340 HAMPOLE Pr. Consc. 4867 Alle þe fire þat es in þe spere, And under erthe, and aboven erthe here.

And speaking of appropriate citations, I went looking for the earliest ones the OED had for light, and found these:

c1000 ÆLFRIC Gen. i. 3 God cwæð þa: ʒeweorðe leoht, and leoht wearð ʒeworht.
c1250 Gen. & Ex. 44 Al was ðat firme ðrosing in niȝt, Til he wit hise word made liȝt.
1398 TREVISA Barth. De P.R. VIII. xxviii. (1495) 339 Lyghte shedyth itselfe fro the hyghest heuen anone to the mydle of the worlde.
c1460 Towneley Myst. i. 23 Darknes from light we parte on two.


Hm. This character—"ᵹ"— should be an "insular g". Does it work at all for anyone? I get a question mark (Firefox on Windows). I wanted to use it above, but ended up going with the ezh, because insular g failed.

#53 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 05:23 AM:

For a good chuckle, check out:

SF writers as high school student/cliques

#54 ::: Nina Armstrong ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 05:57 AM:

Sege @42-The movie isn't really a reboot I don't think,this comes from Lee and-it's going to feature Kirk and Spock on their first voyage of the Enterprise together,and maybe some stuff from Starfleet Academy. Not much more has been said-Lee was at that panel at Comicon,so I'll see what I can find out.

#55 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 06:00 AM:

Lisa Spangenberg @28
Wone is alive and well in Scots/Lallans.

That I haven't heard these 14 years in Edinburgh. Ken, kirk, and kist, yes. I missed out!

I seem to recall that there was an exception written into the Treaty for Scots dialect, in honour of the Dutch gables in the Kingdom of Fife.

Tania @44
People don't use the words "lief" and "liefer" in everyday conversation? Are we supposed to be paying some sort of import duty or tariff in each instance of use?

Yes; the rate is calibrated by the size, importance and average cubic volume of hair (uncompressed) of your listeners. It is denominated in guilders, however, which are no longer valid currency since the Euro came to the Netherlands. I doubt anyone will be around your place to collect.

#56 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 06:33 AM:

Top five Dr Bronner's bottle exclamations:

5. Essene, Chinese, and other birth control methods must reduce birth or Easter Isle type overpopulation destroys God's Spaceship Earth!

4. As teach astronomers Abraham-Israel-Moses-Buddha-Hillel-Jesus-Spinoza-Paine-Sagan & Mohammed, inspired every 76 years, 6000 years by the Messenger of God's Law, the Messiah, Halley's Comet: WE'RE ALL ONE OR NONE!

3. More good is caused by evil than by good, do what's right!

2. Don't Drink Soap! Dilute! Dilute!

1. All-One! All-One! Exceptions eternally? Absolute none!

#57 ::: chris y ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 07:04 AM:

Zander @12: At least in the middle ages they had a Council of the North.

Yoghs fixed. This is my favourite comment of all time, anywhere.

#58 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 07:18 AM:

Keith @26: It's odd how easily movies influence how we visualize characters in books.

I saw a talk by David Cornwell (aka John le Carré) which had been carried on CSPAN. He said that after Alec Guinness had played his character George Smiley in the TV adaptation of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, he was not able to visualize Smiley as anyone but Guinness.

Apparently they became good friends. During his talk, Cornwell slipped into an credible imitation of Guinness.

#59 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 08:21 AM:

Nina Amrstrong @ 54... The movie isn't really a reboot

Thanks, Nina. I think it's a mistake not to reboot, and it's not like the public wouldn't have accepted it. They did it for James Bond. They'd have done it for James Kirk. Hmm... Daniel Craig as Kirk... What a concept.

#60 ::: Scott H ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 09:06 AM:

Speaking of Daniel Craig, I watched Renaissance last night. It was very smart and visually amazing, though I'd suggest you watch it in a darkened room. Highly recommended.

Julia #13:

Great story. I'm just amazed that more of that sort of thing doesn't happen. In many ways the internet is just a high-tech bathroom stall.

Lisa #28:

Keep an eye out for the mug.

#61 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 09:15 AM:

Scott H @ 60... A few weeks ago, The Cate Blanchett movie about Queen Elizabeth was on TV. We were sort-of watching although we got a kick out of recognizing Christopher Eccleston. Then that assassin monk showed up and my wife said "Hey! That's Daniel Craig!"

#62 ::: Martin Wisse ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 09:23 AM:

61: that's the problem with a lot of Serious BBC Dramas: they star a lot of the same people over and over again and you get quite sick of them after a while.

Re liefer: it's spelled liever these days in modern dutch. Me mum always said liever koekjes worden niet gebakken ("rather cookies" won't be made) when we were whinging for something.

#63 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 09:32 AM:

Martin Wisse @ 62... Actually that movie about the Virgin Queen was a big-screen thing (with Fanny Ardant as the Queen of France - be still, my heart). And from what some people said in these parts, it had so many inaccuracies that I doubt it could have been considered a Serious BBC Drama. (Then again, a couple of years ago there was a Serious BBC Drama with Ray Winstone as Henry VIII. Talk about weird casting.)

#64 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 09:57 AM:

Just thought I'd mention.

"Ripper" may finally get filmed. Joss Whedon said yesterday at Comic Con that things look good for filming "Ripper" in 2008 as a 90 minute TV-movie for the BBC.

("Ripper" being a BtVS spinoff movie focusing on the character of Rupert Giles.)

#65 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 10:14 AM:

#16, Teresa R, from memory:

Whan that Aprille with hys shoures soote
The droughte of March hath perced to the roote,
And beythed every veyne in swich liquoure
Of which vertu engendred is the floure,
Whan Zephyrus eek with hys sweete breethe
Inspired hath in every holte and heethe
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram hys halve course yronne,
And smale foules maken melodye
That slepeth all the nyghte with open eeye
So nature priketh hem in hir corages,
Thanne longen folke to goon on pilgrimages.

(my pronunciation is worse than my spelling, though, so not much good at parties)

Bruce @#43, I did NOT know that and I am GOBSMACKED! I used to run home from school in the 4th grade to catch Dark Shadows! Thank you for the heads-up.

Since this is an open thread, I present this random comment: my new favorite word is "toerag". Thank you, J.K. Rowling.

#66 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 10:30 AM:

The Cate Blanchett movie about Queen Elizabeth was on TV.

A sequel will be coming to the big screens this October.

It's going to focus on the Spanish Armada, with a side-order of infatuation with Ralegh (Clive Owen)

When I watched the concluding naval battle in POTC3, I thought it was about time for a big-screen version of the Armada battle.

#67 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 10:48 AM:

Scariest thing about the "for lack of moderation" particle:

"Tavares took leave from his post as a weapons systems operator at the AEGIS Training and Readiness Center in Dahlgren, Va...."

Holy cow. Al-Qaeda is apparently ignoring a vast untapped resource: easily tweaked unstable nerds with access to useful military intelligence.

From Dahlgren's website:
The AEGIS Training and Readiness Center (ATRC) is staffed and maintained by a team of professional military and civilian instructors and technicians who provide training to both enlisted and officer personnel in the skills they will need to operate the United States Navy's most sophisticated warships, the Ticonderoga class cruiser and the Arleigh Burke class destroyer, both equipped with the AEGIS Combat System and the AEGIS Weapons System.

#68 ::: Nomie ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 10:59 AM:

I had to memorize the opener to the Canterbury Tales as well, back in high school. Coincidentally, this class was in the fall before "A Knight's Tale" came out in theaters - a fluffy movie that happens to have Chaucer as a secondary character (played by the lovely Paul Bettany). I went to see it with a load of friends who'd been in the class with me, all unsuspecting, and we rolled about in the aisles and left chorusing the prologue together. Oh, to be young and geeky.

Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap: scent of my childhood, bane of my stinging eyes and dry skin. Dad still gets the giant gallon jugs and can't believe that my sister and I use - o heresy! - body wash.

#69 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 11:04 AM:

I'm half and half about what this new Trek movie could be...part of me thinks a reboot would be a great idea (as it most certainly was for Bond), but then if they reboot they're committed (it seems to me) to retracing the continuity from the early Kirk-Spock days. I've already been pissed for a while now that we got left in the 24th century at the end of Nemesis and never came back--I want more of that world. New creative team, new creative direction, that would definitely be ideal (the old one was getting mighty stale), but I wish it didn't have to start over entirely.

Although the movie poster is pretty awesome.

#70 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 11:11 AM:

ethan @ 69... The important thing is that a reboot would have allowed them to keep the essence of Star Trek without being bogged down with the specifics of the existing continuity. Look at Galactica... It took the original concept and ran with it.

#71 ::: LauraJMixon ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 11:16 AM:

Yes, photosphere is perfect for Making Light. Chromosphere is also nice...

#72 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 11:19 AM:

Owlmirror, I use "fluorosphere" based on "fluorescence." A material is fluorescent if it absorbs light, then emits light at a different wavelength. (Fluorite does it, but so do lots of other things.) It's not just the raw photons, it's the conversation, and the way we inspire each other.

#73 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 11:29 AM:

Adrian @ 72... Let's not forget that ML is sometiems refered to as the flourosphere.

#74 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 11:43 AM:

#4: Speaking as someone who spent 15 months fighting with character representation:\any/ variations in a widely-used alphabet are a pain in the neck; having a common character set across languages is a Good Thing, even if you disagree on how they're pronounced (cf 'x', 'j'). Teresa: any comments on where the assorted continental "th" pronounced "t" come from? Was the Scandinavian parliament once pronounced with a thorn? (I've heard of massive vowel shifts but had the impression consonant pronunciation tended to be stable.)

#75 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 11:50 AM:

#55:
Yes; the rate is calibrated by the size, importance and average cubic volume of hair (uncompressed) of your listeners.

Doesn't that give preference to the tribe of the hair-inflating? Not that I imagine they'd make all that much use of it, but still.

#76 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 11:56 AM:

chris y (#57): Yoghs fixed. This is my favourite comment of all time, anywhere. But now they can no longer reproduce!

I too had to memorize that passage in college, though the only bit that really stuck is the opening, about showers and drought. Teresa, as an Arizonan did you want to update that a few months so it would fit monsoon season? It has been very soggy here lately, though Prescott's mostly too hilly for actual flooding.

#77 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 11:56 AM:

@#72:

A material is fluorescent if it absorbs light, then emits light at a different wavelength.

Granted. Yet consider that phosphorescence is an extension of the phenomenon of fluorescence; hence phosphorosphere.

Do we stop making light when not on Making Light?

#78 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 11:58 AM:

chris y (#57): Yoghs fixed. This is my favourite comment of all time, anywhere. But now they can no longer reproduce!

I too had to memorize that passage in college, though the only bit that really stuck is the opening, about showers and drought. Teresa, as an Arizonan did you want to update that a few months so it would fit monsoon season? It has been very soggy here lately, though Prescott's mostly too hilly for actual flooding.

#79 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 12:00 PM:

@#73:

Let's not forget that ML is sometiems refered to as the flourosphere.

With many the jape about Baking Light, too. "I got this excellent set of croissant recipes from the flourosphere."

#80 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 12:04 PM:

Owlmirror @ 77... Do we stop making light when not on Making Light?

Think of us as the light that comes on only when you open the fridge door. (Does that mean there are elements in ML's hidden corners that's turning into horrible biological experiments, the equivalent of that bow of potato salad?)

#81 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 12:20 PM:

@#80

(Does that mean there are elements in ML's hidden corners that's turning into horrible biological experiments, the equivalent of that bow of potato salad?)

You mean like the spammers and young punks who use old threads (and sometimes new threads) as their own personal graffiti walls?

#82 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 12:22 PM:

I think we all make light in different ways, some folks are positively incandescent, some have a soft little phosphorescent glow of their own, some of us need the input of some outside energy to fluoresce, others reflect or even focus the brilliance of others. Bill Higgins, of course, scintillates by the decay of high-energy sub-atomic particles.

#83 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 12:29 PM:

Owlmirror @ 81... Yup. As for your suggestion to rename the site to Baking Light, I think that, should that be implemented, an image should then be displayed at the top showing Kenner's EasyBake Oven.

#84 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 12:30 PM:

Lila at 67, yes, that scared me too. I also wondered if Tavares was/is a member of the NRA. Just askin'.

If the movie The Golden Compass looks as good as the material on the website, it's going to be f*cking awesome.

Laura, I like chromosphere...

BTW, I saw Sicko last week. If there's anyone left who hasn't seen it, go thou and do so. It's tremendously entertaining, and you get to see some great footage of Richard Nixon, with subtitles.

#85 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 12:39 PM:

Serge #70: I'm a bit embarrassed to say it, because I made ruthless fun of all the BSG purists, but I don't want anything that extreme happening to my Star Trek.

Or, OK, maybe if it's that good, I could handle it. But I don't have nearly the faith in JJ Abrams that I do in Ron Moore.

#86 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 12:43 PM:

Lizzy L @ 84... I like chromosphere

Remember the following episode of The Outer Limits?

The Mice
Original Airdate: 01/06/64

"In dreams, some of us walk the stars." - narrator

Henry Silva pops up again, this time as a prisoner who is given two choices: life imprisonment on Earth or the chance to take part in the so-called "inhabitant exchange" with the planet Chromo. Of course he chooses Chromo, but it seems the Chromoites have a slightly more devious plan in mind, and only Silva can potentially save the day. Dabney Coleman has a supporting role in this episode.

#87 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 12:49 PM:

ethan @ 85... I didn't mean to suggest making Star Trek into the pit of despair that BSG is for those who are prone to depression. BSG's very premise in both incarnations is that humanity has pretty much been wiped out and must try to survive. Star Trek without the optimism that we can keep from killing each other and that we can indeed flourish? That wouldn't be Star Trek. But starting all over again would give us some suspense. There's no suspense when you know that Kirk dies from falling off a collapsing platform while defeating Malcolm McDowell...

#88 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 12:56 PM:

Let a thousand light-related words and phrases bloom. Or rather, shine.

"Jim McDonald's post on emergency tracheotomies had quite a photoelectric effect on me"

"It's quite fascinating how an idea will propagate through the luminiferous æther of Making Light."

OK, I just wanted to use the 'ae' ligature there.

I was pondering other light-related compound words like "luminasphere", but I think that sounds like something vaguely steampunk. Which I suppose isn't entirely inappropriate either.

"Luxosphere" makes me think of vacuum cleaners. I would prefer not to associate Making Light with sucking.

#89 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 02:23 PM:

A question to the fluorosphere: would someone who knows something about cosmology take a look at this (scroll all the way down to the last item) and tell me whether or not the writer is barking mad?

#90 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 02:50 PM:

I'm correcting a glaring omission in my exposure to the classics by reading Earthsea, and I want to applaud the author and publisher (Bantam) for including maps. If you're going to make up a world, it surely helps the reader if you draw the geography.

#91 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 03:34 PM:

Fragano at 89: I scrolled up and found this.

Our group is studying coherent population control of electrons in atoms. We are developing analytic methods to understand how to move electrons from one state to another in an atom when we want, where we want, as completely as we want, as fast as we want, keeping it there as long as we want, using simple mathematics.

I don't know how to answer your question.

#92 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 03:35 PM:

Michael I @#64:

"Ripper" may finally get filmed.

Oh, crap, another chance for Joss Whedon to xvyy n snibevgr punenpgre.

#93 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 03:49 PM:

Fragano:

I have gathered that Tipler is or was a fairly respected physicist, but that does not preclude barking mad. I think he started out by drawing some interesting conclusions that if certain conditions were met or assumptions made as to physics principles, then information would be conserved over the lifetime of the cosmos, including in the Big Crunch which occurs for some ranges of the cosmological constant. He then went on to argue this meant there would be a kind of apotheosis at the end into an omniscient intelligence, or ultimate Singularity. It now sounds like he is taking that conclusion as an article of quasi-religious faith and arguing that therefore physical constants and laws must meet the requirements for it to be true. Current discoveries in physics, however, seem to be pointing the opposite way. So, yeah: if not barking mad, meandering in that direction.

#94 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 04:07 PM:

Fragano @89, Lizzy L @#91:

I followed the link to the head researcher's web page...

In a compelling example, he illustrates how the God depicted by the Jews and Christians is completely consistent with the Cosmological Singularity, an entity whose existence is required by physics. His discussion of the scientific possibility of miracles provides an impressive, credible scientific foundation for many of Christianity's most astonishing claims, including the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, and the Incarnation.

I suspect his work is a bit on the fringe.

#95 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 04:41 PM:

Lila @65, if memory serves, "Toerag" was also the name of an evil little character in The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul," by Douglas Adams.

#96 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 04:41 PM:

Thanks, Mary. I read the first chapter of Tipler's book, The Physics of Christianity, online, and I think the response to Fragano's question should be, Sadly, Yes.

I mean, he talks about Jesus's DNA and asserts that an analysis of the Shroud of Turin can be used as evidence for what he claims, with not a footnote in sight... Nuh-uh.

#97 ::: MD² ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 05:03 PM:

Eternel baptême d'une luminescence et ses origines: coruscation d'une photo-genèse, by the Making Lighters, soon in an online shop near you.

Grumble... one accent and the French title would have perfectly worked.

#98 ::: Nina Armstrong ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 05:28 PM:

Serge-I do think a reboot is necessary-I agree that J.J. Abrams is not the person to do so. I do have hopes the film will at least be entertaining,which is more than the last couple.
What I would've liked to have seen was the J. Michael Straczynski reboot of the show-it sounded really interesting.

#99 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 05:38 PM:

Nina Armstrong @ 98... What would Straczynski's reboot of Star Trek have been like? I'm one of those people who were very unhappy with Babylon 5 after Sinclair got whisked away, but I loved its first year.

#100 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 05:41 PM:

Lizzy L @ 96

Sadly, indeed, I have to echo what you said. Tipler was in fact a very well-respected physicist; he published a paper in the early '70s which was the first* to show that closed timelike curves were possible in an Einsteinian universe in which General Relativity applied. In other words, that time travel is at least theoretically possible. This is quite orthodox physics, these days.

Reading the first couple of chapters of "The Physics of Immortality" was extremely painful for me, because it was clear that much of it was written as a result of emotional trauma, not from rational thought. Some of the physics is fascinating, but has a highly questionable basis in observed fact. Some of the later conclusions are, to be kind, shakey.

Since then, Tipler and his work have become the basis of a cult related to the Extropians: they believe in the resurrection and subsequent immortality of all intelligent beings, as the work of beings resulting from the evolution of intelligence through something like the Singularity. It sounds to me a lot like a sort of scientific cargo cult based on a retelling of the Christian myth of the Resurrection and the Final Judgement.

"Barking mad" is a little too harsh, I think, but Tipler and his followers are not what I'd call sane.


* Actually, I believe Gödel did some work on this towards the end of his life, but I don't believe he published it.

#101 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 05:46 PM:

Re: Tipler.

I have to confess to not having followed the evolution of the Tiplerite cult, any more than I've paid much attention to the Extropians in the last 10 years or so. If anyone in the Fluorosphere has had more recent contact or at least knowledge of them, please let me know, by email if you think it offtopic enough. I've been thinking about writing a story based on some of the Tiplerite mythology, and I'd appreciate an additional objective view of their current beliefs.

#102 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 05:57 PM:

Fragano @ #89 - my cosmology is about 10 years out of date and never really on that level, but it reads like a lot of possible or conceivable (but mostly not the most accepted) ideas put together into one grand theory. Or, as other commenters have said, on the fringe. Which may or may not mean barking mad; they are all things to investigate, but maybe all together at the same time is putting the cart before the horse.

#103 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 06:19 PM:

pat green @95, yes, Toerag is the old man's minion, although not responsible for the vital work of changing his high-count linen sheets every day.

#104 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 06:25 PM:

Lila says,

Holy cow. Al-Qaeda is apparently ignoring a vast untapped resource: easily tweaked unstable nerds with access to useful military intelligence.

What makes you think this firebombing wasn't an Al-Qaeda plot?

Tonstant vigiwance is the pwice of fweedom!

#105 ::: Nina Armstrong ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 06:26 PM:

Serge 2 99-I don't remeber the details-when Lee gets home from San Diego I'll ask him.

#106 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 06:37 PM:

I'm now reminded: fans of both Alan Rickman and Kevin Klein should add January Man to their queue of obscure, under-appreciated films..

#107 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 06:47 PM:

Nina Armstrong @ 105... Or the two of you could tell me in person, provided you're still planning to come to Albuquerque for Bubonicon. I'm not attending, but it's a 10-mile drive from here to there so there's no reason I couldn't meet you at the con's hotel.

#108 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 07:11 PM:

Serge, 73: "Let's not forget that ML is sometimes referred to as the flourosphere."

Well, we were originally hosted on Panix.

#109 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 07:18 PM:

Taking a break from domestic chores, I was watching a rerun of the first episode of Brimstone, still one of my favorite supernatural stories from TV. And I suddenly realized, the hero, Detective Ezekial Stone, is the only character on television who has a real excuse for always having a one-day growth of beard: he is dead, but is resurrected every morning, always with a day's beard, his clothes and a raincoat, and $37 and change in his pockets, the only money he ever has.

#110 ::: Bruce ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 07:20 PM:

#7
I think in England 'slut' means 'lazy housekeeper'. The USA meaning of 'good date' is much younger- Kipling probably meant the housekeeper thing

#111 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 08:21 PM:

þeos offereode; þisses swa meag.

Now if only I could remember the other phrase, the really good one that's a variant of, "Well, I guess we're going to die, then."

#112 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 08:35 PM:

Lizzy L #91: That wasn't the one, it was the astrophysics research piece at the end, which Clifton Royston, I've just noticed, picked up on.

#113 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 08:40 PM:

Clifton Royston #93: I'm no physicist (my older son is planning to start grad school next year, and I've been encouraging his search which is how I came to find this page -- my lad wants to do astrophysics, after discussing this strange piece, the conclusion was that Tulane is probably not the place for that), but the life at the final singularity will be 'collectively intelligent computers' trope gave me the willies. I think you're right.

#114 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 08:43 PM:

@#110:

I think in England 'slut' means 'lazy housekeeper'.

It occurred to me that I could check that.

The first def in the OED says "A woman of dirty, slovenly, or untidy habits or appearance; a foul slattern."


Random thought: Could a shining magic crystal ball on Discworld also be called an octarine phosphorosphere? ("Bloody useless thing's been stuck on 'Reply Hazy, Try Again' for nearly a year. I think it might be traumatized from when the Librarian sat on it.")

#115 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 08:44 PM:

Mary Dell #94: A bit on the fringe sounds like an understatement.

#116 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 08:44 PM:

Fragano, I know -- I saw it. See my comment at 96. I just wanted to bring attention to the idea of population control of electrons...

But as I said upthread, yeah, the guy's bonkers. Wacko. Three queens short of a deck.

#117 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 08:48 PM:

Lizzy L #96: Thanks. I thought so, but not being a physicist or anything near one, couldn't be sure.

(I'm not looking forward to one of the tasks I have tomorrow, which is asking the editor of a volume of essays what persuaded her to include a collection of apodeictic assertions about Greek myth in the volume -- I'm copyediting/critiquing the thing.)

#118 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 08:49 PM:

pat greene, sorry for the lacking "e."

I need to wear my reading glasses more regularly, although they only solve the smaller of my posting problems.

#119 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 08:51 PM:

HOLY CRAP RIPPER!!!!

Ahem, sorry.

#120 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 08:52 PM:

Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) #100: That is sad. However, when I read about life becoming 'collectively intelligent computers', I tend to think 'barking mad' about right, but that may be an overreaction.

#121 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 08:55 PM:

Neil Willcox #102: Thanks, that does clarify things.

#122 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 08:58 PM:

B Durbin #111: You mean, of course 'Hige sceal the heardra, heorte the cenre, mod sceal the mare, the ure maegen litlath', which a friend of mine used to recite frequently when we were undergraduates. Never having studied Old English myself, I have to resort to a translation, which goes: 'Mind must be firmer, heart be keener, courage stronger, as our might grows less' (though, frankly, 'littleth' is a fine word).

#123 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 09:54 PM:

Bruce #110: Originally 'slut' was synonymous with 'slattern', but the terms have diverged.

#124 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 10:18 PM:

B. Durbin, Fragano: You mean that quote that is revealed when you mouse over the Making Light title thingummy?

#125 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 10:36 PM:

Fragano, my dictionary says that "apodictic" -- that's how The American Heritage Dictionary spells it -- means "clearly proven or demonstrated; incontestable." Please tell me why you object to including a collection of such statements in the volume you are editing. I think I know -- there are no incontestable statements about Greek myths -- but I am mightily curious...

#126 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 10:46 PM:

To whom it may concern: eye-of-partridge sock heels in super-stripey handpainted yarn are made of awesome.

#127 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 10:48 PM:

@#124: ? Title thingummy? What... oh, you mean the ... subtitle. Motto. Epigraph. Thing.

<a title="Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare þe ure maegen lytlað.">
<div class="description">Language, fraud, folly, truth, knitting, and growing luminous by eating light.</div></a>

#128 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 11:00 PM:

You know, my HTML checker is unhappy with the above code. Among other things, <a> tags aren't supposed to cross <div> tags. That is, the "a" should be inside the "div" rather than outside.

There are similar issues with the boilerplate code.

#129 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 11:05 PM:

Fragano:

Thinking about Frank Tipler later today, I was reminded of Fred Hoyle (astronomer, cosmologist, and SF author) and his "constant creation" or "steady state cosmology" theory which involved cosmological expansion through continuous slow creation of new space and particles. IIRC at the time he proposed it, there was no conclusive evidence in favor of the Big Bang, and his theory was an intriguing alternative. However, within a few years the evidence for the Big Bang started turning up in spades - microwave background radiation was recognized as red-shifted emissions from the Big Bang, different populations of stars when you looked back in time far enough, etc. I believe Hoyle never managed to retreat from his theory and say "Oh well, it sounded good at the time but I guess it was all wrong."

With the growing recent evidence for accelerating expansion of the cosmos, I think any theory which hinges on a final singularity, aka "Big Cruch", is now in the same shape.

#130 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 11:07 PM:

Chip 74: Consonant pronunciation is anything but stable. In many languages 'th' spells an aspirate 't'.

#131 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 11:28 PM:

TexAnne (#126): Picture! Picture!

It's been a good weekend for finishing knitting projects in the debcha household - I sewed the buttons on a sweater that was complete except for that (this is the sweater that prompted the question about how to pick up and knit over on Open Thread 87) and I finished everything on a second sweater except the buttons - I plan to drop by my Local Knitting Shop tomorrow and buy buttons to finish it, together with yarn for the next project.

#132 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 11:42 PM:

Julia (13), thank you. It's a sad and scary story. I found myself feeling sorriest for Tavares.

Lisa (28): allas, no hope of it. New job, major deadline.

Ethan (37), I know the feeling. It's when you want to say "Guys, that's not an evil mind-controlling alien god from another dimension; that's Zoe Washburne, and you're in real trouble."

The one there's no help for is when you get your first look at Lethe's Bramble, shake your head, and say "No, Statice limonium."

Mary Dell (38), I've seen it recommended by some sex techies for removing nasty-tasting substances from prospective tasting areas, but they're careful to recommend the almond, not the peppermint, for use on sensitive tissues.

Tania (44), some of us do. Then we get looked at funny.

Lee (48), is there any way to get a fluorosphere button without going to the convention?

Owlmirror (50), where were you when the word was being invented? But yes: too late.

Scraps (56), that's beautiful, is what that is.

Adrian (72), you get a gold star pasted to your forehead.

Chip (74), vide JEGP, passim.

Faren (76), I gave up on expecting literature to match Arizona's climate when I started school and was told that leaves turn bright colors in the fall. Britain came as a surprise: it not only matched the literature, but the language.

Except in the Canterbury Tales, at least according to one of my instructors. He explained that Chaucer was picking up the weather sequence from Italian models, and that it wasn't correct for GC either.

#133 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 11:43 PM:

I've been doing a practice run on one of Lucy Neatby's 'Fiesta Feet'. It's going to be a Christmas stocking, simply because I'm using worsted weight instead of fingering. (Variety of patterns (mostly textured) and I haven't done one from the top down, so there's new techniques involved also.) I'm down to the foot, having gotten around the heel corner.

#134 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 11:52 PM:

re Depp: When I was looking that up, I also found a link to his doing a Sweeny Todd.

The heart rejoices.

#135 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 11:58 PM:

Teresa notes:
The one there's no help for is when you get your first look at Lethe's Bramble, shake your head, and say "No, Statice limonium."
and I feel that old shock of recognition. I will add, in mitigation, that the next year they got Passiflora caeroleum right, at least. But it's that kind of small stupidity that kills a story dead, for me; which is why I have no business at all reading fanfic for The Sentinel, being an anthropologist and a mossback. A perfectly engaging story can be killed dead by an archaeology site with pottery or a venomous snake in the wrong environment. Of course canon in that verse is just as bad as the worst fanfic; the show is apparently based in the same part of Washington as "Here Come the Brides."

#136 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 01:33 AM:

TNH #132, JESR #135: Maybe Lethe's Bramble just looks like Statice limonium. That's why Tara didn't recognize it! She was like, "Aww, how sweet, Willow left me some Statice limonium. Ha ha! Good thing it's not Lethe's Bramble, that'd be weird, right?"

That's what happened. I understand now!

#137 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 01:47 AM:

Teaberry and wintergreen are the same plant. And wintergreen leaves are a traditional ingredient for a luck pillow for a child. If I called it Child's Luck, would you say "no, that's wintergreen"?

Perhaps Lethe's Bramble is just one of the names for statice limonium. Wouldn't be the first time magical practitioners called a plant by a different name.

#138 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 02:04 AM:

But, Xopher, see, thing is, the names for herbal ingredients are consistent within themselves; Statice spp. aren't brambles- brambles are trailing thorny vines, usually roses or blackberries. I know why they chose to use Statice limonium: cut at the right time and properly dried, it's durable as iron and photographs well, is easy to burn, and a ten-stem bunch is about two bucks at the florist's supply places. Dried roses are not sturdy, and rose or blackberry cane dry enough to burn is utterly sucky to handle without gloves, what with the thorniness. That's the other thing about Statice- it looks convincingly thorny, but isn't a bother to handle.

Those are all valid production reasons to use that plant material for that series of shots, but when you've got a mind that runs to botanical Latin, the end result is a small rift in the third wall.

#139 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 02:23 AM:

ethan, #119: That's almost exactly what I said; I just didn't post it. :-)

Giles is sexy enough just as Giles. But the absolute dead-sexiest moment in the series was when he reverted to the Ripper persona in "Band Candy"! When he broke the shop window to get Buffy's mom that coat she wanted, my hormones went nuts. (My brain wasn't so impressed, but my body wasn't listening.)

Teresa, #132: Drop me an e-mail with your mailing address, and I'll send you a couple once we're done with the Two Weeks From Hell. (Cons in St. Louis and Louisville on successive weekends, and we have to drive back to Houston in between. Not Fun. I'd rather take a week's vacation in Nashville, but that's not feasible.) I assume you want at least two.

Xopher, #137: Teaberry and wintergreen are the same plant.

Wow, a decades-old mystery solved! Some kids' book that I read involved a character who loved teaberry (gum? candy?), and I never could figure out what it was. Thanks!

#140 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 02:51 AM:

Serge, #42, it's a prequel.

Did y'all know that Blair Underwood wrote a book with Tananarive Due and Steve Barnes?

#141 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 02:54 AM:

open thread announcement:

Over on the Harry Potter thread, I was talking with some folks about Harry Potter and the way the story employs the use of force at various stages. Seeing the use of force, violence, war, and similar concepts presented in fiction in a unrealistic manner is a personal pet peeve of mine. Which caused me to not like some plot turns in the Harry Potter series.

The gist of it is that the whole thing got me to thinking about the fictional portrayal of violence/force/war in sort of the same fashion that one might study the phenomenon of what is a "Mary Sue".

I think think what it basically boils down to is a term someone already came up with called "war porn", although it doesn't have to be limited to a fictional war. Force, violence, and similar acts would qualify.

Anyway, I wrote up my own attempt to describe war porn and came up with a sort of litmus test to see how close a work of ficiton is to being pure war porn or just gratuitous violence.

Anyone interested can read it here.

If anyone knows of similar discussions on the web, litmus tests, etc for war porn, I'd be very much interested.

Thanks.

#142 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 03:14 AM:

Fragano Ledgister @ 120

As I say, they, especially Tipler, are not at all sane. I just feel sorry for Tipler himself (his followers AFAIK are generic acolytes from Cults R Us, a dime a dozen to anyone who's had to deal with Ufologists, Flat Earthers, or Extropian Singularitarians). His reasons for believing are made amply clear in his book, and they have to do with emotional pain that he could not square with his physicist's view of the world. Maybe it was because I wasn't expecting anything like that in a book ostensibly about eschatalogical physics, or because not long before I had finished reading* his and Barrows' "The Anthropological Principle" which I thought a tour-de-force of mathematical reasoning, however much I disagree with the conclusions. For whatever reason, I was primed to be hurt by his pain, and I still feel sad that the classic Problem of Pain is so hard for some people to deal with.

* I doubt there are very many people who did finish reading it.

#143 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 04:15 AM:

Greg London @141: It would be an interesting homework assignment for the reader to apply your War Porn Scoring method to an evening of Fox News coverage of the war in Iraq.

#144 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 04:21 AM:

Greg London @141: While waiting for my previous message to post, it occurred to me that your War Porn Scoring method would be easily translatable into a War Porn Drinking Game. Best not played solo or within easy access to firearms, though, as it could be really depressing....

#145 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 04:24 AM:

Terry Karney @134, the heart rejoices even more because Judge Turpin will be played by Alan Rickman. Helena Bonham Carter will play Mrs. Lovett.

Oh, and JESR? Don't worry about dropping the terminal "e" -- even my boss forgets and does it sometimes.

#146 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 05:14 AM:

Open thread/packing rant:

Why can't children's book publishers standardise the sizes of their books?

URGH

#147 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 07:38 AM:

Marilee @ 140... Bummer.

#149 ::: Jakob ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 08:39 AM:

abi #146: Because books are too fine and individual to be limited by restrictive standards?

More seriously, I know there are traditional (quarto 8vo etc.) book sizes; how widely were they adhered to?

Terry #134 pat # 146: I hear from reliable sources involved in the production that the lad can *sing*. Apparently there was some worry about this as Depp wouldn't let anyone hear him until his first day on set...

Teresa #132: 'sex techies'? Not a coinage I am familiar with - is this similar to theatre tech? It certainly sounds like advice to heed...

#150 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 09:10 AM:

#126 ::: TexAnne

To whom it may concern: eye-of-partridge sock heels in super-stripey handpainted yarn are made of awesome.

Link to photo(s) please?

#151 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 09:19 AM:

Teresa #132: 'sex techies'? Not a coinage I am familiar with - is this similar to theatre tech? It certainly sounds like advice to heed...

Do they have a helpline?

"...OK, well, have you tried getting completely out of bed and then getting back in again? That sometimes works..."

#152 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 09:23 AM:

Lee, #139: Was the book character a New Englander? Teaberry chewing gum was relatively easy to find when I was in high school, and, as you can see by the link, is still available if you poke the Web.

I liked clove chewing gum better, though.

#153 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 09:38 AM:

Ajay @151: "Bad sex usually occurs when the relationship has crashed, you'll have to restore from backup.... You didn't backup your relationship?"

#154 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 09:41 AM:

JESR @#135: A perfectly engaging story can be killed dead by an archaeology site with pottery or a venomous snake in the wrong environment.

My solution for all problems of this type is to assume that the thing I'm reading is set in an alternate universe. It works amazingly well.

#155 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 09:42 AM:

#143: Or anyone else's coverage, for that matter. I wouldn't be surprised if Fox outscored other networks, but *most* US media are predisposed to glorify the war. (Contrast the media of some neutral nation? I was going to say BBC, but they're a cobelligerent, although the BBC still manages to retain some journalistic standards and credibility IMO).

#156 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 09:44 AM:

Teresa @ #132 and JESR @ #135, my version of the Statice limonium problem is illustrations in children's books that show, e.g., narcissus and asters blooming together.

But alas, I am a total Sentinel slut. The anthro howlers pass right by me, but having Peru look just like Cascade was hard to take.

#157 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 09:49 AM:

Jakob @#149:

Teresa #132: 'sex techies'? Not a coinage I am familiar with - is this similar to theatre tech? It certainly sounds like advice to heed...

Once you move beyond basic organic practices, the proceedings can become astonishingly technical.

#158 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 09:59 AM:

There seems to be a problem with seeing Girl Genius on the web today. Maybe it's just me. ("Of course, Serge. It is all about you.")

#159 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 10:17 AM:

Earl@143: apply your War Porn Scoring method to an evening of Fox News

Yeah, it occurred to me this morning that there shouldn't be any reason the test could not be applied to alleged non-fiction as well as fiction. I'll add that next time I do an update.

Need to add some stuff about good intentions, and whether the world follows good intentions or whether the world is more like reality and good intentions don't mean a damn.

#160 ::: Samuel Kleiner ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 11:23 AM:

@Bruce Cohen

I think you have to be very careful tarring people with the same brush. Not all those are the same wicked folk, and not all those believe in nonscientific ideas.

#161 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 11:35 AM:

Serge-- the problem is that the 101 class has caught up to the advanced class. So now everybody like me who has only ever read it on the web is clicking through the ~300 pages of the rest of the story. There *was* a link on the page to a backup server, but as the page is now completely inaccessible, and I was idiotic enough not to make a note of it, I can't give it to you. :(

#162 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 11:48 AM:

#161: The advanced class is having the same problem, which is that the site has exceeded alloted monthly bandwidth. The trials of being popular ...

#163 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 11:57 AM:

The clack currently blocking access to Girl Genius will unlock the door on August 1st, allowing the hordes clamoring at the gates access to catch up. Or at least that is what happened last month - just not as early. I don't think it makes sense for the Foglios to pay for more bandwidth unless this becomes a regular event, not just due to the transition from 101 to Advanced Class that caught so many of us.

#164 ::: JillC ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 11:59 AM:

Just today's Girl Genius is here:
http://kajafoglio.livejournal.com/121100.html?thread=2468364#t2468364

#165 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 12:17 PM:

Along with "war porn", the media also offer something more like "war cutesy" -- soldiers with happy little kids who have just received their official US candy bar (or whatever). You see this in the military service ads too. I don't think it's really "war pedophilia," but some opinions may differ. Whatever it is, it's exploitive and looks pretty darn phony.

#166 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 12:43 PM:

Faren Miller: @#165: That's just good old-fashioned propaganda art.

#167 ::: Jon Sobel ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 12:44 PM:

The letter ash - æ - is alive and well in Danish. I had to learn how to pronounce it when I lived there (lived in Denmark, not inside a pastry). Along with the å which is a modern shortened form of double-a, and the ø which was a Danish latter before it became the computerese way of indicating zero.

My mother's doctoral thesis was the generative phonology of Danish. Come by any time if you'd like to have a look at my copy.

#168 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 12:45 PM:

Faren: The "war cutesy" you refer too is a piece of iconic coverage, going back to WW2, when the GI's, being, basically, decent, would toss kids things from their C-rats.

There are no small number of Germans who report the first tastse of chocolate they ever knew was from a C-rat Hershey bar. I recall one which was incredibly poignant (though it was a French child) becaues he went on to become a chocolatier.

That same sense of liking kids was seen in Korea and Viet-nam. I think part of the outrate about the water-bottle incident in Iraq was that it violated this mythic-trope, that no matter how battle hardened and brutal our guys might be to adults, they were nice to kids.

re the suspension of disbelief: I have a number of things which shock me out of acceptance. Weapons, military relationships; and a bunch of things which relate to social interactions at a cultural level. The whole "social justice" subplot/text of Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, which was put in Christian Slater's mouth bothered me more than anything else; though the witch in the garret pulling all the strings came a very close second.

#169 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 12:46 PM:

Thanks, all... I need my Agatha fix, but, if I must wait, then I shall. I'll refrain from sending in my dingbot army. For now.

#170 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 01:05 PM:

168: watching Robin Hood: Piece of Tosh with various compatriots...

OLD WITCH: You must seek help. Hire the men of the North.
ALAN RICKMAN: The Scots?
(curls lip, sneers)
ENTIRE FEMALE AUDIENCE: squee!
ALAN RICKMAN: (in disgust) But they drink the blood of their dead!
ENTIRE SCOTTISH AUDIENCE: Hurrah!

#171 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 01:07 PM:

Lila, I can take the anthro howlers in TS canon by reminding myself that one of the creators is from a family which has not worked outside the movie industry since before the turn of the 20th century (Danny Bilson) but I expect better from fic writers, who are not trying to shoot on a shoestring and with limited time.

And the big howlers make me regret the inability to dope slap the writer through the internet: there's one long story that, after a promising start, devolves into a long digression on how dangerous it is to take women on anthropological expeditions, at all, ever. The sheer offensive wrongness of that assertion is given a particularly strong odor of irony by the fact that the lead up to the discussion has pretty much pinpointed the expedition's territory as the same part of Melanesia that Margaret Mead was working in in the 1920s. The fact that this also violates Blair Sandberg's characterization (re his mother) is also special.

The Sentinel canon has a botanical blooper to end all bloopers: an episode where a big deal is made of a gun runner's dedication to his orchids, with several scenes shot in a "greenhouse" which has not even one orchid. Not even a few stems of silk orchids stuck in the Deiffenbachia and Arum to lend versimillitude to an otherwise unconvincing story.

And Serge at #148, you are an evil, evil man.

#172 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 01:07 PM:

Lila, I can take the anthro howlers in TS canon by reminding myself that one of the creators is from a family which has not worked outside the movie industry since before the turn of the 20th century (Danny Bilson) but I expect better from fic writers, who are not trying to shoot on a shoestring and with limited time.

And the big howlers make me regret the inability to dope slap the writer through the internet: there's one long story that, after a promising start, devolves into a long digression on how dangerous it is to take women on anthropological expeditions, at all, ever. The sheer offensive wrongness of that assertion is given a particularly strong odor of irony by the fact that the lead up to the discussion has pretty much pinpointed the expedition's territory as the same part of Melanesia that Margaret Mead was working in in the 1920s. The fact that this also violates Blair Sandberg's characterization (re his mother) is also special.

The Sentinel canon has a botanical blooper to end all bloopers: an episode where a big deal is made of a gun runner's dedication to his orchids, with several scenes shot in a "greenhouse" which has not even one orchid. Not even a few stems of silk orchids stuck in the Deiffenbachia and Arum to lend versimillitude to an otherwise unconvincing story.

And Serge at #148, you are an evil, evil man.

#173 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 01:12 PM:

JESR @ 171... And Serge at #148, you are an evil, evil man.

Flattery will get you nowhere. So says General Zod.

#174 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 01:19 PM:

Faren@165: soldiers with happy little kids who have just received their official US candy bar

I am working on a story and the chapter I just finished has a scene to that effect. The thing is that individuals often natually want to help, to do the right thing, and so on. So I don't have a problem showing it. The next combat scene will show the same protagonist have to shoot a different kid because the kid's got a gun and is shooting at the protag and his unit. And there's a whole lot of ugliness that comes with that action which I think disqualifies it as war porn.

Even adults can have good intentions. It's whether or not those good intentions are what controls the story, or whether good people end up committing terrible things because, well, that's what a war really is.

#175 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 01:23 PM:

ajay@170, w00t!

(wipes spittle off monitor...)

#176 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 01:27 PM:

Samuel Kleiner @ 160

You're right, they're not all the same. I was referring to the ones in all those groups who really believe, for whatever reason. I've met enough of them to feel sympathy for the some of those reasons, and to not want to make fun of them (except in the most gentle and understanding way, the way I hope people make fun of me). The con artists and control freaks are another story entirely.

#177 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 01:40 PM:

Mary Dell at 184, I meant to say that it is my guiding goal, as a writer, to keep my readers from having to work at maintaining their suspension of disbelief, because it is, in fact, very difficult for me to do so. I am not the ideal fiction reader; out in the real world I am prone to see the forest as made up of individually perceived and catalogued trees.

#178 ::: Tim Kyger ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 01:59 PM:

I'm at work, catching up on my surfing during a break. I came by Making Light, and I read Patrick's latest Particle. The last time I had a comment on a Particle, I did it in private email to pnh, and Patrick was emphatic that I should post here instead, in front of everyone.

Patrick, your comment about Ellen Tauscher shows how ignorant you are of how Washington works. *TAUSHER* didn't write that letter; some 19 or 20-year-old intern did (It's summer time and we flog the interns with having to do this crappy job). The issue isn't Tausher's intelligence (which I know nothing about one way or the other) but the operation of her office staff. Who is supervising the interns who are doing the mail-answering scut work? Anyone? Bueller?

Letters had to go through at least two other layers of scrutinity in the two Congessional offices I worked in -- and you can be sure that my principal -- the Senator or the Congressman I worked for -- had no idea of what letters I *ever* wrote.

Tauscher is guilty of having a problem on her staff, or with her staff, or with the organization of her office; a letter like that should have *never* been mailed out.

And until the blogosphere makes her staff aware of it, um, she won't be aware of it. Nor will her staff be.

Letters to Congresscritters don't mean much, folks -- not most of the time. (That's the subject of a couple of thousand words on techniques of what works and what doesn't...) And that's why the interns are doing it, when they're in the offices on the Hill during the summer. The LA's get to foist their letter-answering job (done in addition to their core job) off on the interns. A learning experience! Heh.

#179 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 02:27 PM:

JESR @#177: An excellent goal. I'm not suggesting it's good for a writer to screw up facts, but when they do, my alternate-universe trick is a handy one. It made HBO's ROME very enjoyable, for example. I've read some history books about the Rome in our universe, so the show would have been frustrating for me if I thought it was taking place on Earth One, as it were. Mainly I have to do this when people write about computers. Computers on Earth Two respond to standard written English, and if you want to encrypt something, you just have to put it in Klingon font.

A particularly fun game, if you're a real geek, is to spontaneously fic about the turning points where the Earth you're reading about or watching diverged from Earth One. If you're a botanist, for example, try to figure out what evolutionary events could have made something look just like plant A, but behave like plant B.

You can apply the same technique to unrealistic human behavior, too. After reading a review of Star Trek: TNG that pointed out how stupid the humans of that future are, Hub and I went on to therorize that some kind of mutation occured between TOS and TNG that removed everyone's natural agression and sex drive, and reduced their overall intelligence, so that they constantly let people shoot at them and so forth.

#180 ::: Kylee ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 02:28 PM:

Marilee@140: I found Casanegra to be a lot of fun, though somewhat eye-rollingly smutty.

#181 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 02:31 PM:

Mary Dell @ 179

Well, that might also explain the Klingons and the Romulans.

#182 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 03:35 PM:

TexAnne #124: Aye.

#183 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 03:44 PM:

Lizzy L #125: The OED gives both spellings but the same meaning. The problem with apodeictic assertion is precisely that it is presented as indisputable (Was Ouranos so called because he urinated rain?) in conditions in which the very meaning of concepts is contested (and in this case because the Freudian conceptions the author uses are highly contested).

#184 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 03:53 PM:

Teresa #132, Lee #139:

This might be a useful thing for cons other than Nasfic, ala the rasfc cat-vacuuming pins. Perhaps a larger supply could be envisioned?

#185 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 03:56 PM:

Bruce #110, Owlmirror #114:

ISTR "slut's wool" as an earlier locution for dust bunnies. Which would certainly go along with the slovenly housekeeping thing.

#186 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 04:21 PM:

Clifton Royston #129: I gather that as a physicist Hoyle was a good writer of sf (at any rate, I enjoyed The Black Cloud when I read it back in 1968). Thanks for that clarification.

#187 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 04:27 PM:


I should preface this by saying that I'm definitely a lazy housekeeper. That said, my favorite synomyms for 'slattern' (for obvious reasons) are dowd and malkin.

#188 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 04:30 PM:

Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) #142: That is interesting. Most of the nuts I have to deal with are people who write long letters (and send out self-published books) with simplistic solutions to complex problems (or truly dumb explanations of very complex matters), or who have grabbed hold of batsh*t insane ideas available from specialty bookshops (a quick turn of my head shows me a copy of The Isis Papers by Frances Cress Welsing, a book that causes me to apologise to random trees)which satisfy their need to have the world be even more evil than it actually is.

I can understand emotional pain driving people to religion, in much the same way that it drives some people to drink or drugs.

#189 ::: Sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 04:30 PM:

abi@146

Amen. I gave up on packing the silly things and transported them in bags.

Jakob @ 149
I was about to say "pretty widely" until I remembered the b**** of a time I just had packing, esp my academic works. Those boxes were the worst- what standardization I have in my older works is completely abandoned with anything published in the last 15 years. I think some fields have managed it, but in my library they've just become catagories meaning These Books Don't Fit on That Shelf.

And now I get to go experience the joys of home ownership. Roof bids, fixing plumbing, and unpacking boxes.

Teresa? I have the Collected Proceedings of the Pseudo Society to mail to you once I dig it out of the box- I'll need a snail mail and I'd been planning on sending it in to Tor. ;) drop me a mailing address at dimmi004 at umn dot edu?

#190 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 04:35 PM:

Mary Dell @ 179... After reading a review of Star Trek: TNG that pointed out how stupid the humans of that future are, Hub and I went on to therorize that some kind of mutation occured between TOS and TNG

Therorize? Is that what Klingon academics do? If so, it gives an interesting meaning to the phrase publish or perish...

#191 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 04:37 PM:

Julia #187: Fortunately, I had just put down my mug of tea.

#192 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 04:40 PM:

Serge @190:
Theorize or agonize, as they say at the U of Klinzhai...

#193 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 04:45 PM:

Fragano at 183, thank you.

Tim Kyger at 178, thank you also, and could you, would you tell us what techniques work to get one's Congresscritter to pay attention? I call DiFi's San Francisco office when I want to let her know what I'm thinking. The staffer on the other end of the phone always asks for my zip code. I e-mail Boxer and George Miller in the House. What should I be doing? I don't have random wads of cash to donate to anyone's campaign -- and I shouldn't have to donate money to get my representative to listen to me. Right? Right?

#194 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 04:53 PM:

abi @ 192... And Klingon grammar teachers mean it when they talk about split infinitives.

#195 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 04:54 PM:

Serge @#190: I have the version of the mutation that makes me unnabel to sphele porperly.

#196 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 05:05 PM:

Mary Dell @ 195...Time for you to put on the agonizer dunce hat. (I wonder if Klingons have nuns who are also teachers. What a scary concept, to me, considering my experiences with the human ones.)

#197 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 05:36 PM:

Xopher (137), it doesn't have thorns, it doesn't grow like anything that gets called a bramble, and it's no relation to the real brambles. Roses, strawberries, and potentillas are all closer the mark.

#198 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 05:42 PM:

Serge:

Just substitute a batlef for the ruler. Otherwise, it's the same experience.

#199 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 05:45 PM:

TNH @ 132: I'm used to the funny looks for using "archaic" words.

I figure if people I know are still using them, they are in current usage, and not archaic. Hah!

abi - I don't have any guilder, but I might have some kroner on hand. Would that work? I'd liefer pay now rather than later.

#200 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 05:54 PM:

Greg 141: I think your cannon fodder score is messed up; it's +1 for nameless death on either side, which doesn't fit your discussion.

#201 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 06:37 PM:

it's +1 for nameless death on either side

ah crap. cut and paste error.

I'll fix it as soon as I can log in.

tnx

#202 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 07:06 PM:

Serge @ 190

There's a reason it's called a thesis defense

#203 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 07:15 PM:

Fragano @ 188

"Religion is the opiate of the masses", no? More seriously, that is the purpose of a person's religion, to clarify the relationship between self and universe. If that relationship involves great pain, acquiring simple convictions from others who profess no doubt is often an easy way to relief, and it is quite understandable why someone might choose that. What that says about the morality and character of those offering the relief is left as an exercise for the reader.

#204 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 08:03 PM:

Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) #203: That's exactly what Marx meant when he coined the phrase: 'Religious suffering is the expression of real suffering, and at the same time the protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the opressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, as it is the spirit of spiritless conditions. It is the opium of the people.'

#205 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 08:05 PM:

My slightly surreal Amazon.com email from earlier today:

We've noticed that customers who have purchased or rated The Chantry Guild (Dorsai/Childe Cycle) by Gordon R. Dickson have also purchased Steiner, Marx and a New Paradigm: Technological Progress as the Way of Following Christ and Concretization of the Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception. by Vladislav Stanko. For this reason, you might like to know that Steiner, Marx and a New Paradigm: Technological Progress as the Way of Following Christ and Concretization of the Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception. is now available. You can order yours for just $29.99 by following the link below.

This is certainly one of the more interesting suggestions Amazon has offered.

#206 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 09:25 PM:

Is there a word for words that look like they would rhyme but don't, such as 'good' and 'food'?

#207 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 09:27 PM:

Tania @#205: I wonder if that's spam from the book's author. The book in question is from BookSurge publishing, which is a self-publishing/POD outfit, and it was just released a couple of days ago. Any chance you have your email address attached to a wishlist or something with Dickson's book on it?

Amazon's suggestion for me today is to upgrade from Adobe Photoshop to the new Adobe Production Suite: "You can order yours for just $779.99...."

#208 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 09:32 PM:

Serge @#196: Mary Dell @ 195...Time for you to put on the agonizer dunce hat.

Already grafted on, I'm afraid...have I not mentioned that I'm an I.T. middle manager?

#209 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 09:41 PM:

Jen, 206: "Sight rhymes."

Various people: No sock heel pictures, alas; my camera is misbehaving. The effect is a lovely pointillist blending, if that helps at all.

#210 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 09:45 PM:

TexAnne @ #209, do these symptoms afflict your camera? If so, most of the manufacturers seem to be willing to repair free of charge. My Canon SD110 is in Illinois being fixed right now.

#211 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 09:57 PM:

Mary Dell @ 208... (doing my best William Daniels / John Adams impersonation) Oh my God! Full power on the agonizer for you!

#212 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 09:57 PM:

I chanced upon something that has "Making Light" written all over it. It's The Poetical Cookery-Book, from Punch. It looks like you could actually cook from many of these, and they have (often familiar) tunes. So it's a sort of filkish cook book at that. Sample follows:

ROASTED SUCKING-PIG.
AIR--"Scots wha has."

Cooks who'd roast a Sucking-pig,
Purchase one not over big;
Coarse ones are not worth a fig;
So a young one buy.
See that he is scalded well
(That is done by those who sell),
Therefore on that point to dwell,
Were absurdity.

Sage and bread, mix just enough,
Salt and pepper quantum suff.,
And the Pig's interior stuff,
With the whole combined.
To a fire that's rather high,
Lay it till completely dry;
Then to every part apply
Cloth, with butter lined.

Dredge with flour o'er and o'er,
Till the Pig will hold no more;
Then do nothing else before
'Tis for serving fit.
Then scrape off the flour with care;
Then a butter'd cloth prepare;
Rub it well; then cut--not tear--
Off the head of it.

Then take out and mix the brains
With the gravy it contains;
While it on the spit remains,
Cut the Pig in two.
Chop the sage, and chop the bread
Fine as very finest shred;
O'er it melted butter spread--
Stinginess won't do.

When it in the dish appears,
Garnish with the jaws and ears;
And when dinner-hour nears,
Ready let it be.
Who can offer such a dish
May dispense with fowl and fish;
And if he a guest should wish,
Let him send for me!

#213 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 10:16 PM:

Linkmeister, 210: No, thank goodness. It's just taking for-freakin'-ever to download to my computer. Then again, it's something like 7 years old...my solution will probably be to poke around on that handy website you linked to and then go to Fry's.

#214 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 10:31 PM:

TexAnne, good, I'm glad it's not that. It's highly disconcerting to look at the LCD display and see nothing when you're attempting to frame a picture. Particularly when you can play back photos from the card on the same screen just fine.

#215 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 10:57 PM:

Greg London, I thought about your war porn theory today when I was stuck in a movie theater watching Transformers: the Movie. It made sitting through a movie with the logical consistency of Independence Day more bearable.

#216 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 12:04 AM:

Mary Dell @ #207: Nope, I just checked and it is a genuine Amazon suggestion email. How weird.

Kip W @ #212: That is wonderful!

#217 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 12:12 AM:

Serge, #148: What a blast from the past! I'd forgotten that Bobby Sherman was in that; I mostly remember him as a minor pop singer from that era. But I thought there were words to that theme. "The bluest skies you've ever seen, in Seattle..."

Rikibeth, #152: I don't think so; my memory of this is really hazy, but it seems to me that the story was set in England. However, I looked at your link for the teaberry gum, and damned if I don't remember that commercial with the Tijuana Brass music!

Mary Dell, #154: That's exactly how I handle the dichotomy between Kathy Reichs' books about Temperance Brennan and the Bones TV series. Reichs has said that TV!Brennan is an earlier version of book!Brennan, but I just don't see any way for that to have happened -- Bones is never going to be as diffident as book!Brennan, no matter how old she gets. So I think of them as being in different universes.

Faren, #165: This is actually a different advertising mechanism, called "babysell". The idea is that when the viewer sees a picture of a smiling baby or a cute kid, the critical-analysis part of their brain is supposed to shut down cold, leaving the path wide open for the advertiser's message. When you're childfree, you really start noticing just how many things are sold using babies and kids in the ad, even for products (and ideas) that have nothing at all to do with children.

JESR, #171: ...to lend versimillitude to an otherwise unconvincing story

Don't you mean, "to lend artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative"?

Joann, #184: They're easy enough to make, now that we have the design. Perhaps we should just keep the leftovers in with our stuff for future cons.

Julia, #187: Interesting -- is that usage of "dowd" related to "dowdy" meaning unfashionably dressed?

#218 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 12:14 AM:

TexAnne @ 209: Thanks!

pat @ 215: I saw HP&tOOtP at a drive-in theater a couple of weeks ago. During the intermission, the radio station that was playing our soundtrack switched to oldies music, and we turned around and watched Transformers playing on the other screen while listening to "Monday Monday" and such. It was like a kind of surreal music video. It may have made just as much sense that way.

#219 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 12:19 AM:

Lee, I was alluding to rather than quoting, y'know?

#220 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 12:22 AM:

pat@215: It made sitting through a movie with the logical consistency of Independence Day more bearable.

Hm, I'm not sure that was my intended effect for writing a war pr0n litmus test. Are you saying I've encouraged the watching of bad movies?

;)

#221 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 01:02 AM:

The HP thread now has a very minor two-person subthread about Spiderman, but is otherwise still HP.

#222 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 01:24 AM:

Re: Girl Genius

They ran out of bandwidth at the end of last month. So they switched to a new provider. Unfortunately, the script they use to serve the pages overloaded the new provider's server. So they switched back to the old provider...which ran out of bandwidth again. On top of that, this last weekend was the big Comic Con in San Diego, which both the Foglios attended. Plenty of people have offered to help them get a new provider and/or improve their script; with luck, now that the con is over they can turn their attention to making things work.

#223 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 01:36 AM:

Faren Miller #165: As for "war cutesy", you've seen the Hello Kitty Darth Vader costume, right?

One example which comes to mind is Michael Palin's disturbing baby faced torturer mask from the movie Brazil.

#224 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 06:40 AM:

Therorize? Is that what Klingon academics do? If so, it gives an interesting meaning to the phrase publish or perish...

Well, their society is (IIRC) ruled by a Chancellor.

Hmm. Presumably his role is largely ceremonial; the day-to-day running of the empire is the responsibility of the Klingon Vice-Chancellor. And a hierarchical society where reputation is the most important asset does sound pretty much like a university. Sports are also fairly important in both Klingon and university culture. As is Beer.

#225 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 07:22 AM:

Loosely connected to War pr0n; our semi-regular bad-ish movie* night reached the Chuck Norris classic Missing in Action. Watching 80's-style action movies makes you appreciate the wit, characterisation and storytelling of 90's-style action movies. Seriously. (And now I'm thinking about scoring Die Hard)

* mostly they're bad movies, but sometimes they're just ones we haven't seen and they turn out to be good.

#226 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 08:37 AM:

Neil Wilcox @#225: We keep our Die Hard DVD shelved with the holiday films, and come Xmas it gets shown in rotation with It's a Wonderful Life and the other more obviously Xmassy stuff, to, you know, lighten the mood a bit.

"Now I have a machine gun, Ho Ho Ho."

#227 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 09:27 AM:

226: It was long a tradition on British TV to show "The Great Escape" on Christmas Day. It was only recently that I thought "wait a minute. This is a film where basically every sympathetic character gets massacred by the Gestapo at the end? And it's considered suitable for Christmas showing?"

#228 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 09:35 AM:

Lee @ 217... You're right. There were lyrics to "Here Come the Brides". Maybe they were in the ending credits. I just checked in YouTube but found no other version of the opening credits, or of the ending.

But I did find something that might interest you. (Ready for this, JESR?)

Bruce Lee in "Here Come the Brides"

#229 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 09:44 AM:

Here's a vocal version of the Seattle song -- sounds like Perry Como, instead of Bobby Sherman (who I heard sing that on an hourly basis for what felt like years, on the radio station my school bus played). The lyrics are there too.

Caution: It'll start singing after a couple of seconds. Brace yourself.

#230 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 09:49 AM:

Kip W @ 229... I thought this sounded like Burl Ives.

The bluest sky you've ever seen, in Seattle.
And the hills the greenest green, in Seattle.
Like a beautiful child
Growing up, free and wild.
Full of hopes and full of fears,
Full of laughter, full of tears,
Full of dreams to last a year
In Seattle.

When you find your own true love you will know it
By his smile, by the look in his eyes.
Some set pine trees in the air
Or some stand around and stare
Look out everyone, Here Come the Brides.

#231 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 10:19 AM:

albatross@200, I managed to upload a new version of the war pr0n document, fixing those numbers.

I also added some text at the intro, and two new sections called "Meat Puppets" and "The High Road Bypass on the Road to Hell", with scoring rules for each.

#232 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 11:03 AM:

Lee @#217:

is that usage of "dowd" related to "dowdy" meaning unfashionably dressed?

I am not julia@#187, but I assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that when she had "dowd and malkin" in conjunction with "slattern", we were meant to infer "Maureen Dowd and Michelle Malkin".

But perhaps I am overly catty. Meow?

#233 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 11:06 AM:

Scotland's popular poet in the news.

I wonder if it's a coincidence that one of Harry Potter's professors is named McGonagall?

#234 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 11:12 AM:

Serge, it should be Perry Como- I remember him singing that song on a Christmas Special.

And YOW: Bruce Lee!

(Not awake, and in a bad way with the words, which have dried up to a trickle)

#235 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 11:20 AM:

"Dowdy" is derived from the same root as "dough", as used in "pan dowdy" to this day. Hence connotations like "plain", "unshapely", "ungraceful", "inelegant" and "commonplace".

Well, it seems reasonable to me.

#236 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 11:27 AM:

After reading Lee (#217) on a different advertising mechanism, called "babysell", I started thinking, but what of puppies and kittens? Lo and behold, Early Cooley III (#223) comes along with the link to a Hello Kitty Darth Vader! It could inspire a whole new generation of Marine recruitment ads (cue the nursery music, with twinkly little xylophones).

#237 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 11:41 AM:

JESR @ 234... A few years ago, there was a Green Hornet marathon on TV and they showed Bruce Lee's audition. Let's put it this way. The middle-aged white stuntman he was demonstrating his skills against wouldn't have stood a chance against him in a real fight.

#238 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 12:24 PM:

Tania #205:

Yours probably beats the Amazon mail I got yesterday, touting the large print edition of Robert Service (this likely also links in to the McGonagall citation further down the thread) just because I'd rated an M.M. Kaye book.

(On seeing the subject line, I'd figured it was because I'd bought my husband some Sandburg a year or so ago.)

#239 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 12:31 PM:

Mary Dell writes of Die Hard as a Christmas movie in #226:

"Now I have a machine gun, Ho Ho Ho."

"You'll shoot your eye out, kid!"

#240 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 01:01 PM:

Lloyd Burchill @ 22, Keith @ 26, & Stephan Jones 2 33, and anyone else who might be interested:

I've been meaning to reread His Dark Materials for a while now: would any of you be interested in discussing it over at my livejournal?

We could set something up - maybe have finished reading The Golden Compass by a certain date, and I can set up a post for it for everyone to comment on. I could put in a cut so that it's not spoiling anyone.

We could also go chapter by chapter, at an agreed upon reading rate, if that would be preferable.

#241 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 01:37 PM:

#226:

For many years, one of New York City's local stations ran "King Kong" every Thanksgiving.

#242 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 01:54 PM:

Neil@225: (And now I'm thinking about scoring Die Hard)

If you want to save the time, the movie pretty much boils down to this:

Mr Addison: I'll be home soon. Love you.

(Snape drilling into safe.)

Mr Addison: I'm just a fly in the ointment, a monkey in the wrench.

Snape: I'll take it under advisement. ... Hit it again.

Hans: Shoot the glass!

Mr Addison: Yippie-kai-yay, mother f****r!

#243 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 02:51 PM:

Tania @ 199:

I'm doing practice tests for the GRE/English Literature exam, and the questions that I consistently get wrong are the horrible "which of these words is used in a sense that is archaic or no longer idiomatic" ones.

Does anyone have a hack for that? It doesn't really address it in the study guides. It seems a bit rude, really, to expect someone to immerse themselves in the canon and not absorb the speech patterns.

#244 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 03:34 PM:

Sarah @#243: Oo, yucky. The test didn't have any of that when I took it (back in 1066 or so) but it did have "whose style is this a parody of?" questions.

Maybe the thing to do is to re-cast the question for yourself thusly: "Which century would this phrase be most at home in?" or even "Which author can you imagine using this phrase?"

That might jog hidden parts of your memory so if you think "Aha! Mallory!" or "18th century!" you can figure it's probably not contemporary.

Another trick is to picture a typical denizen of our century saying the phrase aloud, to see if it seems to fit. *Typical denizen,* not bookworm, so think TV anchor or store clerk, not the folks you've been spending your time with while getting edumacated.

#245 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 03:43 PM:

Sarah @ #243:
It seems a bit rude, really, to expect someone to immerse themselves in the canon and not absorb the speech patterns.

Yes! Also, the vocabulary, and some of the really wonderful words that deserve to be in regular and customary use.

I'm not good at identifying archaic words. My grandmother uses liefer. I use nought. I would cynically say, if it is an interesting word, it is probably an archaic word. Or try the "Have I heard this on PBS? Archaic. On network TV? Not archaic." test.

Vocabulary and appropriate usage depend on the audience. Dang it, the people writing the tests should realize that.* You have my sincere sympathies.

*And it makes me glad my grad work was in project management.

#246 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 04:00 PM:

Stefan Jones @ 241: My husband grew up in New York, and the annual Thanksgiving kaiju marathon has become a tradition around our apartment. While I'm planning a menu and visiting markets to make sure we have what I consider the essentials (you know, things like food and drink), he's stacking the Netflix queue with what he considers the essentials (things like Destroy All Monsters and Mothra).

#247 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 04:07 PM:

Lexica @ 246... Nothing but the best turkey for Thanksgiving, eh? My wife and I have quite the MST3K dvd collection, and tapes of our favorites, such as The Day the Earth Froze... And we have a non-MST3K tape of Jessie James meets Frankenstein's Daughter...

#248 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 04:35 PM:

Serge #247:

Yes, but when, oh when, will Hammer's Moon Zero Two be released?

#249 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 04:43 PM:

Bill Higgins @ 248... Ah, Moon Zero Two... I remember it well. It's hard to believe its director was the same man who directed Quatermass and the Pit.

As for myself, I am hoping for the day when the following non-turkeys are realeased on DVD... Scarecrow, with Patrick McGoohan as Father Syn.... Master of the World, but what can I say? Vincent Price's flying ship looked so great... Robinson Crusoe on Mars, where, if you look beyond the title, you find a neat little movie about being stranded on an alien planet and surviving by one's wits...

#250 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 05:02 PM:

Serge @#249: Quatermass and the Pit kicks ass. Seriously, it's one of my favorite movies. I particularly like the helmet that lets you see the memories of the dead grasshoppers...it just DOES, dang it! Don't ask questions!

#251 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 05:03 PM:

Bruce @110
The USA meaning of ['slut' as] 'good date' is much younger

You know, it's been two days since I first read this comment, and the usage still squicks me.

#252 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 05:46 PM:

Mary Dell @ 250... Quatermass and the Pit is also one of my favorite SF movies. It's smart, and is well served by good actors. A few years ago, I read that someone wanted to remake the movie, to launch a new series about Quatermass. It's probably just as well that it didn't happen.

#253 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 06:06 PM:

Assuming we're talking about the movie where an ancient martian spaceship is dug up, Quartermass and the Pit was shown under another name, at least on TV. "Ten millions years to Earth" or something like that.

Scared the buggars out of me as a kid.

#254 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 07:22 PM:

Stefan Jones @ 253... Quatermass and the Pit is the original British title. What you're thinking of is the American title, Five Million Years to Earth...

#255 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 07:30 PM:

Regarding the sidebar link on printing the Constitution in passports, have you heard of the "Liberty Bill" project?

It was the idea of a middle-school civics class, to change the back of the one dollar bill -- replacing the current masonic symbol and Great Seal with a condensed version of the U.S. Constitution.

I blogged this back in 2003, complete with a photo of the proposed design and a link to a news article about the project. Unfortunately the official site that I linked to is down, but it's still a cool concept that I'd support.

#256 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 07:34 PM:

Those of you who are Steven Brust fans would probably like to know he has a new grandson. Here's his wife's account.

#257 ::: Wesley ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 07:37 PM:

#249: Robinson Crusoe on Mars will be released in September by--believe it or not--the Criterion Collection.

#258 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 08:02 PM:

Wesley @ 257... Yay!!! Huzzah!!!

#259 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 08:51 PM:

There's this movie that my wife has long longed to see released on DVD. It is. Her joy now knows no bound.

Frankenstein meets the Spacemonster

It is also known as

Duel of the Space Monsters (UK)
Frankenstein Meets the Space Men
Mars Attacks Puerto Rico
Mars Invades Puerto Rico
Operation San Juan

Jeez.. What does Mars have against Puerto Rico?

#260 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 09:13 PM:

Serge #259: It has something to do with rum, radio telescopy, and tree frogs.

#261 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 09:31 PM:

Fragano @ 260, ah, the dreaded coqui frog! Scourge of the Island of Hawai'i! Target of State agencies! Recipient of caffeine spray!

Oh, sorry. Those noisy critters are an invasive species out here. They're not admired.

#262 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 09:35 PM:

Linkmeister #261: I didn't know that. In Puerto Rico the coquí is a national symbol.

#263 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 09:51 PM:

Fragano @ #261, believe me, we know that. The moment eradication was suggested the state started hearing from local Puerto Rican immigrants (there aren't many, but some). Then they passed the word along to P.R. and impassioned pleas started arriving from politicians there.

I'm not sure what the latest word is on this, but they're a serious problem for people who live on the Big Island. Google "Hawaii + coqui frog" and you'll probably find a bunch of links.

#264 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 10:41 PM:

Linkmeister@90: Unfortunately, maps have since become a debatable badge in fantasy -- too many authors spend more time on the map than on the story, or bend the story to fit the map.

#265 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 10:44 PM:

Greg @ 220, no, you weren't responsible for me watching a bad movie. Hasbro Corporation was, along with a casually tossed off "Sure, I'll take you to see the Transformers movie when it comes out! Spielberg's the executive producer, how bad could it be?"

I managed to impress my youngest son by identifying Optimus Prime before it identified itself. And it could have been much worse: Yugi-Oh!:The Movie and Pokemon 2000 were both pretty atrocious. (The original Pokemon movie was not that bad.)

#266 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 11:52 PM:

marilee: You beat me to it.

#267 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 11:54 PM:

So I'm thinking about buying Buffy on DVD, starting with Season 1 and continuing... Amazon.com has New and Used sets available. Has anyone on ML ever bought a set of used DVDs from Amazon? If so, comments as to quality, reliability, etc. would be gratefully accepted.

#268 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 11:58 PM:

my guess is that the Coqui frogs spread so well is the article that said Hawi'i 'has no native frogs.'

OOps for the introduction. That can be a very bad thing for the ecosystem.

#269 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2007, 12:12 AM:

Terry, I kept meaning to put it in earlier. I've been following the waiting for the baby. and now he's finallly here!

#270 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2007, 01:48 AM:

Bill Higgins #248: There are DVD editions of Moon Zero Two in the wild, including the MST3K episode where it was featured, but they all appear to be pirated, as far as I can tell.

http://www.thecinemalaser.com/hammer-warner.htm

#271 ::: Nenya ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2007, 01:55 AM:

Regarding Cory Doctorow, xkcd, and the cape/goggles, can anyone enlighten me as to whether the comic came first or the actual wearing of the costume came first? I saw the comic first, and then pictures of him wearing the cape (both several months ago), but I couldn't tell which had happened first. Just trying to get my recursives right...

#272 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2007, 03:40 AM:

Nenya @ 271, looking at the comments here, it seems to be the comic was first.

Lizzy L @ 267, the fluorospheric Buffy discussion spurred me into renting the series. (Available for $2/week/disc on Bargain Thursdays at my local place.) At a rate of a half-season every 2-3 weeks, I'm up to the first half of the third season out of seven. Looking at the non-declining & substantial price of the DVDs, there's no way I'll buy them new, and am not sure I'll even want to have them to keep second-hand, though much of it is quite enjoyable so far. My two Quatermass sets, tho', are keepers!

#273 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2007, 04:24 AM:

Lizzy L #267: I had been going to suggest going whole-hog and buying The Chosen Collection, which I did when it came time for me to own Buffy, but a quick look at the prices on Amazon makes it look like it's no longer cheaper that way.

As for used things on Amazon, I've never had a problem, but you are buying from individuals, not the company, so there's probably less recourse if there is one. I'd do it, if that means anything.

#274 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2007, 09:01 AM:

Nenya@271, the comic came first.

If you go here, you'll see the xkcd archive. If you hover your mouse over the entry that says "Blagofaire", you'll see a little popup text that shows the date of the comic to be "2007-03-23". (The individual comics do not seem to be dated, this seems to be the only way to figure out when an xkcd comic came out.)

Cory dressed up at the 2007 EFF Pioneer Awards, which according to this, took place on 2007-03-27.

So, it looks like the comic came out, and then a few days later, Cory dressed in a cape and goggles.

#275 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2007, 10:41 AM:

From the library, yesterday:
Some years ago I was told that audio books are the best way to experience the verse classics, not by reading them as text. True.

When I spotted Homer's Odyssey, it had been long enough that it was worth checking out (so to speak) but it was an off brand company.

I'm leery of them as the "actors" often are dull or histrionic.

This one is read by Derek Jacobi, translation by Allen Mandelbaum. I all but ran to the check out with it.

#276 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2007, 10:52 AM:

Epacris @ 272... My two Quatermass sets, tho', are keepers!

Which interpretation of Quatermass do you prefer? I'm familiar only with Brian Donlevy's and with Andrew Keir, as I've never been exposed to any of the TV versions. I definitely prefer Keir, whose Quatermass is a more compassionate scientist than Donlevy's.

#277 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2007, 11:04 AM:

Quality Control?
Bullshit...
This spammer earns special demerit, claiming to be a quality control agent.... my annoyed email response...

To "John C. Lindsay II"

Subject: Re: Introducing Dimensional Layout Services, Inc.

I have a very jaundiced, as in negatively prejudicial, view of any organization claiming positive expertise and excellence in "quality control" which seems to have failed at some of the most basic QC/QA concepts.

That is,
1. What don't you understand about "unsolicited commercial email," aka spam, and the abhorrence of it?
2. Your spam--and it is spam--is spam because:
a. You fail to identify the reason WHY the recipient is getting this email, that is a VALID reason to send email, as opposed to lowest common denominator ads for pharmaceuticals, scams, unwanted financial services, sleaze, etc., in either or both the subject line and the From address
b. You fail to provide any valid plain text or even formatted human-readable in Web browser email reading, information about your company and why anyone should think you have ANY competence for anything except annoying people,
3. You do NOT comprehend WHY people from especially places like MIT, DESPISE html etc. email and find it completely obnoxious.
4. You didn't even send the email from a corporate domain address--how credible is any "Quality Control" organization which uses {handle}@comcast.net for promotional purposes? and which MAIL BOMBS them? These are characteristics of an organization totally UNCONCERNED with customer needs, interests, and quality concerns!
5. You are a bandwidth hog and email box bomber-- 784 kilobytes of unsolicited email can and DOES bomb out end user systems from people on slow connections with older computer systems.
6. Why should I believe that someone who fails Technical Cognizant End User Marketing Concepts 101 (starting with, Do Not Tick Off Potential Customers by spamming them with mailbombs and failing to identify who you are and why the annoyed recipient is getting this--actually I suspect that people who have Bayesian spam filters your email goes directly to the bit bucket with!) has ANY credibility whatsoever and is anyone I would want to do business with?!
7. Your mastery of written English is poor, which lacks quality control.

And if you are a front for "work done in Bangalore, Roumania, Uzbekistan, Kiev, Vladivostock, Slovenia, the Phillippines, etc.," I've been entirely too polite here....

----- Original Message Follows -----
> This is a text part of the message.
> It is shown for the users of old-style e-mail clients
>
>








DIMENSIONAL
LAYOUT SERVICES, INC.


1200 DEGURSE AVENUE


MARINE CITY, MI 48039


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#278 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2007, 11:10 AM:

'Dimensional Layout Services'? That sounds like something from Eureka.

#279 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2007, 12:44 PM:

217 & 232: I'm afraid I couldn't say what the root is. I found them while looking for a synonym for Dowd to use with an April Fools day piece.

Owlmirror, I was in fact amused to find that two writers with so much in common 'shared' a name as well. That they're writers who are professionally, to say the least, un-rigorous gave it a nice note of irony.

Is that the catty reaction you were referring to?

#280 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2007, 01:45 PM:

Mary Dell & Tania, 244/245:

Thank you both; I think that will be a much better way to frame the questions in my head. It makes sense that they would test whether you can recognize the feel of Chaucer or Wordsworth; I don't know why I got so hung up on "well, I use that word, so..."

Sometimes I worry that, even if I do get accepted anywhere, I will have used up my entire brain on this exam. Sigh. Really, I just want to read Jewish diasporan literature and have a nice discussion about it.

#281 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2007, 02:31 PM:

julia@#279:

Huh. I thought that the use of the words was based on the people whose names they are, but now that I have checked the OED, I see that the primary definition for "malkin" is indeed a "lower-class, untidy, or sluttish woman". Although the British meaning of malkin seems to overlap with the American meaning of slut; Chaucer says: "It wol nat come agayn..Namoore than wol Malkyns maydenhede, Whan she hath lost it in hir wantownesse."

But "dowd" is not synonymous with malkin, is it? Although way down the page, there is the cant phrase "malkin-trash": "a person dressed in dark gloomy clothes." Which I suppose is close enough to "dowd".


I see that another definition for "malkin" is a Scottish term for the female genitals, but I am not sure that that is quite applicable, since the Scottish word is pronounced "maukin".

#282 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2007, 02:41 PM:

For those here who don't keep up with Fragano's livejournal, he is celebrating August 1 in verse.

#284 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2007, 04:55 PM:

Linkmeister #263: Wow! I definitely did not know that.

#285 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2007, 05:58 PM:

Yesterday's episode of Eureka was quite nice, especially when we find why Jack sees town people disappear one after the other and nobody else remembers that the missing ones ever existed. Very nice. Next week promises to be scary. Wouldn't you be nervous going to the science fair held by the kids of Eureka?

#286 ::: Nina Armstrong ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2007, 06:44 PM:

Nancy C. Mittens@240-I'd also be interested-i"ve not read it yet either, and would be overjoyed to do so with a group with which to discuss it.

#287 ::: Nina Armstrong ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2007, 06:44 PM:

Nancy C. Mittens@240-I'd also be interested-i"ve not read it yet either, and would be overjoyed to do so with a group with which to discuss it.

#288 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2007, 06:57 PM:

Nancy Mittens @ 240... Unfortunately, I haven't read His Dark Materials yet. I'm saving that for after seeing the Golden Compass at Christmas.

#289 ::: Nenya ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2007, 07:00 PM:

Epacris 272, Greg London 274, thank you. The comic makes sense with or without it being a reference to a pre-existing event, but it's quite funny if he wore the costume afterward. Indeed, xkcd changes the world. :D

#290 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2007, 10:10 PM:

They're invoking executive privelege for Rove: http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/08/01/attorney.firings/index.html

#291 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2007, 10:11 PM:

The HP thread is still intact. The Spider-man minithread is gone, and there's an undertow of Hermione as Mary Sue.

#292 ::: Epacris spots Potter recipe ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2007, 02:11 AM:

Recipe alert on the 'Thoroughly spoiled Harry Potter' thread — There's a Pumpkin cookie recipe from rm at comment #625, with thanks to Madame Rosemerta (aka mr?). Don't forget the ginger :)

#293 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2007, 06:57 AM:

Fragano @ 186:
Clifton Royston #129: I gather that as a physicist Hoyle was a good writer of sf (at any rate, I enjoyed The Black Cloud when I read it back in 1968). Thanks for that clarification.

To be fair, Hoyle was actually a brilliant physicist -- probably one of the most important astrophysicists of the 20th Century, particularly for his work on the nucleosynthesis of chemical elements in stars. Some people suggest he ought to have received received the Nobel prize for his work in that area (as his collaborator William Fowler did).

But Clifton Royston is quite correct, in that Hoyle refused to give up on the Steady State theory long after the evidence had ruled it out, adding increasingly elaborate and unlikely features to try to reconcile it with the evidence.

#294 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2007, 07:22 AM:

I remember an interview with Hoyle in the New Scientist some years back in which he said it was very unlikely that he would be able to make a big contribution in the mainstream ever again, since big breakthroughs these days come with big teams, huge telescopes, and large budgets. The only way he could imagine making a big contribution to science was by backing some way-out notion which no-one in the mainstream would back, and having it turn out to be correct. Obviously most such notions will turn out to be incorrect, and Hoyle knew that perfectly well.

So he wasn't just losing his marbles as he got older, he was deliberately championing wacky, unlikely causes like germs from space, Steady State theories and Archaeopteryx frauds.

#295 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2007, 07:47 AM:

Anyone remembers Hoyle's novel where some people there's a weird radio signal being sent from the Sun to Out There then people realize that some aliens had basically been scanning Earth's History for a long time? Next thing you know, various eras of History are made to co-exist.

#296 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2007, 08:47 AM:

Sarah @#280: Really, I just want to read Jewish diasporan literature and have a nice discussion about it.

Make sure the program you choose has a strong focus on the study of primary texts. Seriously. I went to IU, which was great for undergrad, but at the grad level was trying to compete with Duke and, I dunno, U-Nanterre-France for hugest amount of intratextual wankery. We read about 500 pages of philosophy and lit crit a week, and maybe 50 pages a week of primary text. Feh.

#297 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2007, 10:12 AM:

Serge @ 295

That sounds like "October the First is Too Late". An interesting book, which I took to be a response to the mildly social Darwinist and species expansionist bent of people like Heinlein. The "we must go to the stars because it is our Destiny, and anything we suffer to do it is worth it" philosophy.

Unfortunately, not his best book, IMHO; IIRC (I read it more than 40 years ago), it falls apart towards the end; the revelation of the mystery behind the jumbling of time leaves everything else pretty much an anticlimax.

#298 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2007, 10:20 AM:

Bruce Cohen @ 297... That's the book. I wasn't sure if the French title was anything like its original. I read it a long time ago, in 1970, after all. That's also why I don't remember how good or bad the book was, besides this being the days when I was discovering real SF and so everything looked great.

#299 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2007, 11:25 AM:

Peter Erwin #293: Thanks for that clarification. So Hoyle was a brilliant physicist who, when the paradigm of astrophysics shifted didn't follow to the new normal science. What about the diffusionist theory of life?

#300 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2007, 01:29 PM:

Serge #298:

I enjoyed the book, particularly for the tone and atmosphere. It's been some years since I read it, but I still have it.

#301 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2007, 02:27 PM:

Fragano @ 299:
I'm not sure I'd put it in "paradigm-shift" terms, really. It's more a case of there being two rival theories in the 40s and 50s: his theory and the Big Bang theory[*]. I think Hoyle basically invested too much of his time, effort, and intellectual prestige defending the Steady State theory to just give it up, even when everyone else could see it had failed. I keep his story in the back of my mind as a cautionary tale about getting too attached to one's own theories...

His "panspermia" idea was, I think, actually tied in to the Steady-State theory. He had argued that it would take an insanely long amount of time for random molecular collisions to produce a living cell[**], so there was no way for life to have started on the Earth in just a few billion years -- or anywhere in the Universe, if it was only 10 or 20 billion years old, as the Big Bang theory suggested. But if the whole Universe was infinitely old, as the Steady State theory asserted, then life could still get going somewhere during the past infinity of time, and then [somehow] waft through space, infecting newborn worlds.

(There were some interesting/amusing papers in the early 1980s from him and a collaborator, Chandra Wickramasingh, claiming that certain mysterious features seen in newly acquired infrared spectra of interstellar gas and dust clouds were due to dessicated bacteria....)


[*] As you may know, he's responsible for labeling the rival theory with the name "Big Bang"; this was the dismissive nickname he gave it during a British radio program about cosmology.

[**] He famously compared it to a tornado going through a junkyard and spontaneously assembling a Boeing 747. I believe his calculation was technically correct -- except that it completely ignored how chemistry actually works.

#302 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2007, 02:59 PM:

Peter Erwin #301: I'm surprised he isn't quoted a lot by the Creationist crowd.

#303 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2007, 03:07 PM:

Fragano @ 302:
Peter Erwin #301: I'm surprised he isn't quoted a lot by the Creationist crowd.

Alas, it turns out that he is some of the time. (See the discussion here, which mentions a creationist site flogging Hoyle's statistical argument.)

(Though they mostly ignore the fact that he and his collaborator Wickramasinghe would hardly have agreed with the "Earth is 10,000 years old" crowd!)

#304 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2007, 11:15 PM:

Speaking of tornadoes, I recently heard a rather chilling description on a cable weather show of 2004's Category Four Hurricane Charley as basically a ten-mile wide F2 tornado. (shudder)

#305 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2007, 12:56 AM:

Tim Kyger, #178: "Patrick, your comment about Ellen Tauscher shows how ignorant you are of how Washington works. *TAUSHER* didn't write that letter; some 19 or 20-year-old intern did (etc)"

Right. Powerful, influential United States Representative Ellen Tauscher doesn't exercise any control over her staff; they don't have regular meetings in which they get their story straight. The entire practice of "message discipline," as practiced by a million and a half tech startups and entertainment-industry marketing operations, is wholly alien to her, so we can't possibly hold her to the words she allows to go out over her name.

Also, the reason windows fog up when it's cold is because of all the fish in the atmosphere.

You are one of my oldest friends, but I keep getting the sense that I'm supposed to clutch my heart and cry out to God when you point to my dread ignorance of "how Washington works." Instead, I keep saying, yes, that's extremely hypocritical and undemocratic; remind me again why I'm supposed to have any respect for it?

I'd be more impressed if you ever weighed in to call me naive for failing to understand something good about how Washington gets business done. So far, though, not.

#306 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2007, 02:02 AM:

Serge/Bruce/joann et al: I'm very fond of October the First is Too Late; as Serge said, it's inherently tied up for me with falling in love with SF and what it could do. I don't remember how old I was when I first read it - 10? 12? - but I know it held up reasonably well when I reread it much older, and recognized some of the narrator's more adult interactions. I talked about this a little over on Charlie Stross's blog earlier this year, because his Missile Gap novella plays with some of its ideas rather differently, with an explicit nod-of-the-head to it by title.

Odd piece of my brain: the Beatles' song It's All Too Much is synaesthetically tied up with that novel. I always get a little flash of it when I listen to the song.

#307 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2007, 02:23 AM:

Patrick Nielsen Hayden @ 305

I want to expand on something you said, but I think it belongs in the "We're not led, we're kept" thread*, so I'm going over there.

* I'd like us to keep one thread clear of politics, so there's someplace to go where I don't have to feel depressed. My personal reaction, I know, but I'm not dealing well with the knowledge of our new fascist overlords just now.

#308 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2007, 12:38 PM:

I put up a first/organizing post in my lj here for anyone who was interested in His Dark Materials.

#309 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2007, 02:39 PM:

Peter Erwin #303: Creationists, being True Believers®, make highly selective use of sources, so that's not really surprising.

#310 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2007, 03:09 PM:

Mary Dell @ 296:

That's a good point, thanks. I'm meeting with an old professor* next week to talk about programs I should look at; I'll make a note to bring that up with him. I've been out of school for long enough now that I feel totally ignorant of the current academic memes.

*That'd be a professor I had as an undergrad, way back when. Not, y'know, an old professor. Probably not that much older than me, really.

#312 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2007, 03:31 PM:

I wonder how Our Woman in Amsterdam is doing now that the whole family has moved. That disturbance I feel in the Force is probably Abi tearing her hair out.

#313 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2007, 03:40 PM:

Clifton @ 306... How are the Beatles tied in with Hoyle's novel? I know that some of them liked SF, as the presence of H.G.Wells on the cover of Sgt.Pepper suggests.

#314 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2007, 03:42 PM:

Is that what it is? I knew something wasn't the same on Making Light. Hm, her last post was July 31. I do hope she is alright.

#315 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2007, 03:43 PM:

alright...

all right...

damn. I can never get those two right.

#316 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2007, 04:02 PM:

from the "Another way to game wikipedia" particle:

the text background of Wikipedia articles is colored according to a value of trust, computed from the reputation of the authors who contributed the text

They are going to calculate "trust" via a computer algorithm. The explanation is that "trust" is based on how long someone's text lasts on wikipedia. But unless they take into account the level of user activity on an individual article, contributing absolute crap to a seldom visited article would still give you a great "trust" score. Even contributing sentence rewrites about topics you know nothing about in seldom visited pages would up your "trust" score.

Oh my head.

#317 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2007, 04:14 PM:

Greg London @ 314... If I remember correctly, Abi's last day in Scotland was July 31. I'm sure she's ok, if a bit harried. But you know how resourceful those International Women of Mystery are...

#318 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2007, 05:48 PM:

Here's a question for PNH: do you plan to post your recent Nippon 2007 Press Release parody to ML? I think it deserves a wider audience than the SMOFS elist.

#319 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2007, 08:40 PM:

The HP thread is still just HP. Kip is being hilarious and Greg London has been told to cut it out.

#320 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2007, 10:49 PM:

wrt the "atrocious knitted garments": egad. But at least the underlying yarn seems inoffensive, which is not true of a certain knitting book that scarred my eyeballs recently. Don't miss the "More Photos" link, although that doesn't have as many pix as the "more" link from Google Books' copy. (The object on the second page of the table of contents looks like some hideous tartan of Muppet pelts.)

#321 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2007, 12:32 AM:

I want to say right here and right now that Greg London is a valued member of this crowd, at least as far as people named Nielsen Hayden are concerned, and we'd be sad if he went away.

He's an awkward pain in the ass sometimes. He also has some bad qualities.

#322 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2007, 01:12 AM:

I've been staying away from the HP thread, so I don't know what Greg may or may not have said. I hope this doesn't sound too presumptuous of me, but I think it doesn't matter what he said. He may be a pain in the ass, but he's by Ghu our pain in the ass, and I, for one, want him to stay.

#323 ::: MacAllister ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2007, 02:28 AM:

Greg's decidedly one of the good guys, and yes. What Bruce said. He's one of ours.

#324 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2007, 06:22 AM:

Bruce... Mac... About Greg, that all goes without saying. But let's say it anyway.

#325 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2007, 09:57 AM:

I was at the grocery store a few nights ago, and the cashier at the checkout had a name badge that read:

"KY"

And my immediate thought was:

"Ohmighod, she's been disemvoweled!"

#326 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2007, 10:07 AM:

Most of you have probably seen it by now, so I won't go back to find the link, but the new Mars explorer that was sent off today bears a copy of the disc with SF involving Mars that didn't make it there in a previous Russian attempt that failed. An exact copy, so the format is already out-of-date. (Typical)

#327 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2007, 10:13 AM:

re Greg: "cut it out" = / "go away"

I too value Greg as a regular poster. (God knows *I've* never posted anything here that anyone found annoying!)

re gaming Wikipedia: "If you don't measure what you value, you end up valuing what you measure."

#328 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2007, 10:46 AM:

Faren @ 326... I don't know if Sojournet is still putt-putting around on Mars, but it's my understanding that it contains a disk listing all members of the Planetary Society. Yours truly is on that list. I say dibs on Mount Olympus.

#329 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2007, 10:59 AM:

Allow me to add my own "hear, hear" to the pro-Greg sentiments being expressed here. And of course "cut it out" does not mean "go away"!

Yes, Greg can be a PITA—and boy is that helpful sometimes! He's truly one of the Good Guys.

#330 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2007, 11:24 AM:

Lila @ 327

"If you don't measure what you value, you end up valuing what you measure."

That neatly sums up the entire discussion of the acquisition of power on the "We're not led, we're kept" thread. Where is that quote from?

Serge @ 324

We should never go without saying good things about people who are close to us.

#331 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2007, 11:28 AM:

I appreciate everyone's kind words.

Thanks.

#332 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2007, 01:32 PM:

Bruce @ 330: "If you don't measure what you value, you end up valuing what you measure." Where is that quote from?

Well, it was used in a 2004 blog entry by Rob Styles, but it sounds more like something The Sphinx would say from the movie "Mystery Men". heh.

#334 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2007, 05:37 PM:

Mary Dell @ 333... I think it was Timothy Zahn who once suggested that the Enterprise's security people should wear a insigna showing a bull's eye in front of which a duck is sitting.

#335 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2007, 07:24 PM:

"Goddamit doctor, I am not paranoid. I'm wearing a red shirt!"

#336 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2007, 08:01 PM:

"Goddamit doctor, I am not paranoid. I'm wearing a red shirt!"

#337 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2007, 08:35 PM:

I'd just like to appreciatively quote Patrick's "He's an awkward pain in the ass sometimes. He also has some bad qualities."

Sometimes we need that. (We=people, not just we=this blog.)

#338 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2007, 08:51 PM:

[making the most of Open Threadness]

I saw this sign today, in downtown Boston, which I imagine would amuse/dismay most of the architects that I know.

I'm thinking they should have gone with 'Marc Truant and Associates.'

#339 ::: Abby ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2007, 08:59 PM:

Just an fyi from a lurker: the newspaper layout Sidelight is a scan from my local paper - the Victoria (BC) Times-Colonist. I didn't notice the irony at the time, but I recognize it from flipping through Wednesday or Thursday's edition because the whole page was bizarrely organized (article on top, then horizontal ad, then two articles at the bottom).

#340 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2007, 09:03 PM:

Julie L (#320): Yowch. Those yarns are indeed truly hideous. Although I guess if you are going to restrict yourself to garments that made only out of knitted squares, rectangles, and triangles, you have to try to make them interesting somehow. I think they might have benefited from a little more time to think of a theme for their knitting book.

#341 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 01:13 AM:

debcha @#340: What, "ugly" isn't a good theme?

#342 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 01:33 AM:

The Amazon reviews for that book indicate that not only is the yarn hideous (at least in this context; for all I know there *is* some way to knit a silk purse out of them sows' ears), but it's also expensive-- one person writes (probably about the Muppet tartan), "There is a blanket made of woven strips (more scarf knitting. How is this going beyond the scarf?)- how boring that would be to knit, and would cost over $400, if made in the recommended yarns."

OTOH, then there's the (five-star!) review that's titled, "Just jealous...they cant afford the fabulous", and then continues, "What a fabulous book - just because it says to use Trendsetter Yarns doesn't mean you would have to use them - I have been in plenty of yarn shops and seen comparable yarns that you could use with this book and have an identical item." (...thus presumably enabling more affordable fugly? O joy.)

#343 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 01:49 AM:

Oh, drat, I just learned that Tommy Makem has died.

Here's Hares on the Mountain, one of my favorites. This is a duet with Liam Clancy...Tommy Makem is the second voice to come in.

Sigh.

#344 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 02:28 AM:

Mild boggle of the day. We recorded the second show of a new series called "Saving Grace", starring Holly Hunter. I would watch her in almost anything after seeing her in A Life Less Ordinary. Saving Grace is much better than I feared it would be, given the religious theme of the movie; they've managed not to get too hung up on Christian mythology as opposed to other kinds.

But the boggle was the actor playing the guy who Holly Hunter's character was investigating. About half way through I finally realized that it was James Marsters. I knew he could change his voice that much (not just accent, but also pitch, cadence, timbre, and breath), but it didn't look that much like him. And the body language was very different from any other character I'd seen him play, most especially Spike. Very impressive.

#345 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 03:21 AM:

We watched "Masters of Science Fiction" for the first time (this was the first episode, right?) tonight. Overall, I'd rate it better than the Outer Limits and all but a lot of the Twilight Zone. Good acting on the part of Judy Davis (of course) and Sam Waterston (though he should floss some of the scenery out of his teeth), but V gubhtug gur fgbel gevrq gb mvt naq mnt gbb bsgra sbe gur snpg gung nyy ohg gur svefg mvt jrer gryrtencurq frireny zvahgrf nurnq. Gb fbzr rkgrag, gung'f orpnhfr V'z snzvyvne jvgu gur gebcrf gurl hfrq, ohg bayl cnegyl. Rin tbg gurz nyy gbb, naq fur qbrfa'g ernq zhpu fpvrapr svpgvba. And they really need to get rid of that synthesized announcer's voice; it's highly annoying. I'll watch it again, but I'm not really excited about it, as I am about some non-genre shows like "State of Mind" with Lili Taylor, or "The Closer", and may get to be about "Saving Grace".

On the other hand, Torchwood is coming.

#346 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 03:41 AM:

Bruce Cohen @ 344... Unfortunately, I found "Saving Grace" quite offensive in its depiction of atheists. The main character was bad enough in that respect (before an angel made her see the error of her ways), but having the first episode's villain be an atheist and a pedophile was a bit too much.

#347 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 07:02 AM:

Re: 342

"for all I know there *is* some way to knit a silk purse out of them sows' ears."

Yes, apparently:

http://libraries.mit.edu/archives/exhibits/purse/index.html

#348 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 08:47 AM:

#345: The computerized voice is Stephen Hawking.

"Jerry Was A Man" airs August 18, and a Harlan Ellison script August 25.

Link here.

#349 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 08:48 AM:

Mary Dell, #341: What, "ugly" isn't a good theme?

Based on the evidence presented on ML and elsewhere, I can only conclude that it's sadly overused.

#350 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 09:25 AM:

Bruce @ #330, I first heard it on slacktivist, but was unable to track down an original source. I got so many Google results I concluded it was a common aphorism.

#351 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 10:05 AM:

Bruce Cohen @ 345... Drat. I had forgotten to check for "Master of Science-Fiction". I knew it was coming, but I never expect new series to be aired on Saturday nights. (Except for Pretender and that was in the mid-1990s.) I remember that Ellison was very excited about it at LAcon, and how the network would air it the moment some other series failed. It doesn't sound like ABC was in a rush to show it though, since that was one year ago. Combine that with the slot they finally gave the show and one gets a sense they didn't have much faith in it.

Do you know if that first episode will be shown again?

#352 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 10:16 AM:

Speaking of TV anthologies, does anybody remember Welcome to Paradox? It was aired some time around 1996, and didn't last long. Which is too bad because its episodes were all adapted from real SF stories, changed to fit the premise of this being set in the futuristic city of Paradox, but still real SF. There was stuff by Varley. And by Goulart, which meant a story about a robotic car that goes crazy because its passenger spilled some coffee on the dashboard.

#353 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 10:35 AM:

ugly knitting: Who needs a book for that? I can do it for myself, thankyouverymuch. (The blue sort-of-striped shawl wasn't too bad in the picture.) Going back to the chair-pad I'm knitting, in decent wool ....

#354 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 11:46 AM:

Melissa #347, thanks for the link to the wonderful page "On the Making of Silk Purses
from Sows' Ears"!

That thought from the report's conclusion should be remembered everywhere:

Things that everybody thinks he knows only because he has learned the words that say it, are poisons to progress. The only way to get ahead is to dig in, to study, to find out, to reason out theories, to test them...

#355 ::: Iain Coleman ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 11:47 AM:

Serge @ 276:

The definitive Quatermass is Andre Morell, from the original TV serial of Quatermass and the Pit. Well worth seeking out: one of the best pieces of TV SF ever made.

#356 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 11:59 AM:

Jon Meltzer @ 348

It's the synthesized voice that Stephen Hawking uses, since his own voice doesn't work anymore, but it's still annoying. There have been better sounding voices for a long time now; if Hawking doesn't want to change because he considers it an identifying feature, that's fine, but for the show to use it is clearly an attempt to identify the show with him. And I personally would much rather thay didn't; the sound is very grating to me.

#357 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 12:39 PM:

Serge @ 351

I just checked the guide on my recorder; it looks like they're only showing Masters of SF at 10 PM on Saturday. Now I wish I had recorded it, I could burn a DVD and ship it to you, thus becoming a member in good standing of the pirate class. Unfortunately, we watched it live because we were staying up late anyway.

Maybe someone else recorded it, and hasn't deleted it yet?

#358 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 12:56 PM:

Serge @ 346

I honestly didn't see that emphasis on the atheism of the villain. I'm going to see if I can catch that again and look more closely; I would be disturbed if they meant to say that. My impression was that they were saying, for instance, that Holly Hunter's character was not an atheist, that she believed but her belief had been badly damaged by having to clean up in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing.*

* Graphic description of violence: Svfuvat gur obqvrf, be cnegf bs obqvrf, bs qrnq puvyqera bhg bs jerpxntr is very likely to disturb your belief in almost anything.

#359 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 01:25 PM:

Iain Coleman @ 355... Thanks. I'll have to look it up. I'd be interested to compare the TV version of Quatermass and the Pit, with the Andrew Keir movie, which is probably one of my favorite SF movies.

#360 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 01:27 PM:

Bruce Cohen @ 357... It's too early for Talk-like-a-pirate Day. I'll watch their other adaptations and, if I must, I'll beg someone for the temporary loan of their copy of the original episode.

#361 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 01:30 PM:

PNH @ 108... Serge, 73: "Let's not forget that ML is sometimes referred to as the flourosphere." (...) Well, we were originally hosted on Panix.

"And give us our daily dread."

#362 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 03:31 PM:

Re: #354: You're welcome!

#363 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 04:18 PM:

Bruce Cohen @ 358... I honestly didn't see that emphasis on the atheism of the villain.

Maybe it's because I'm one - an atheist, not a villain - that I saw the emphasis. If his atheism was not a factor in his being a Bad Person, why was it brought up at all? If they truly wanted to use dramatic shorthand to indicate his being a misfit, they might as well have said that he reads comic-books, which is also one of my pecularities - but my lips don't move when I read. Honest.

#364 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 06:01 PM:

Serge,

I believe you, about the lips for sure, and I'm willing to take your word that you saw a disrespect of atheism in the show. I just want to go back and see why I missed it. Being completely non-standard on religion (God refuses to tell me his plans; She'll talk to everybody else, why not me?), I tend to be sensitive about it.

#365 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 06:16 PM:

Serge @ 346... But don't you know? Atheists are much more likely to be Evil than Religious Folk, because they don't have a God telling them what's Right and Wrong, so how are they going to have morals without that? Of course they'll end up getting it wrong!

;)

#366 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 08:49 PM:

Bruce... Really, my lips don't move when I read comics. What? you don't believe me? It's clobbering time!

Jules... Of course this here atheist was raised as a Catholic and even did the altar-boy thing at the nearby nunnery so of course my criteria for what is right and wrong are based on that. I mean, on being a Catholic, not on having the nuns rap me on the knuckles with the rod. And, yes, the guilt complex still works big time.

#367 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 08:57 PM:

Bruce Cohen, #345, that synthesized voice was Stephen Hawking. I guess they thought it made it more sci-fi. I agreed with you about the story. The trailers and ads for Saving Grace looked too stupid, so I haven't watched it.

#368 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 11:28 PM:

The Harry Potter thread is at #705. Current topics include population sizes of various subgroups in the HP universe, a bit of quidditch trivia, links to some neat fan art, a bit of contention regarding "If you don't like it, don't read it", followed by "How do I know if I'll like it until after I've read it. And once I've read it, can't I critique it?", (this, as compared to the earlier "You haven't read all of it so you can't critique any of it" comments), and a very brief mention of Thomas the Tank Engine.

Other than the one Thomas the Tank Engine bit, it's all Harry Potter, all the time.


#369 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 11:35 PM:

I should mention that the fan art is neat in the "go have a look" sense, not the "all the colors stayed within the lines" sense.

And now I'm stuck wondering why they call a train engine a "tank". Odd.

#371 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2007, 11:46 PM:

Watching some movie previews yesterday, I realized that GEEKS HAVE TOTALLY FUCKING WON. The Dark is Rising! Stardust! The Golden Compass! I mean, cripes, even though one of them looked like cheesy crap that's a pretty solid mess of fantastic themed cinema.

Or maybe it's just that the entertainment industry has figured out that we're a good way to make money.

Yeah, that's it.

#372 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 12:24 AM:

Stefan Jones #371: The movie industry would have to pay me to go see The Dark Is Rising, not the other way around. The other two, we'll see.

#373 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 12:52 AM:

Serge @ 276 re preferred representations of Prof Quatermass. Apparently Nigel Kneale didn't like Donlevy's version. I had a look at this interesting blog about old UK TV programs, amongst other info, and find that he's been represented by seven different actors. The first three TV series from the 1950s were made with a different actor in each, with the three film versions using two actors. The fourth, much later — also set much later than the others — series (1979) was edited into a film for international distribution. Another actor was in a modern TV remake of the movie version of The Q Experiment (Q1). There's an audiobook of the Radio 'Q Memoirs' (downloadable), which gave Andrew Keir a second bite at the cherry in yet another medium. [List: Reginald Tate, (Q1 series) John Robinson (Q2 series), André Morell (Q3 series), John Mills (Q4 series & film); Brian Donlevy (Q1 & Q2 films), Andrew Keir (Q3 film & radio 'memoirs'); Jason Flemyng (Q1 remake).]

It's interesting that the recent (2005) live-to-TV movie was a remake of the first series. Perhaps because of its last episodes being missing, people "needed closure" :) I would have thought that some of the themes in the third (Q & the Pit/5M Miles to Earth) were more pertinent to contemporary issues. But perhaps that would have been too challenging. Because I was unprepared for the The Q Conclusion (Q4) when I saw it this year, it made a strong impact, so John Mills has stayed with me most so far, but this might change with time. My DVDs are of the 4 TV series, with scripts of the lost episodes, and I haven't seen the film versions to compare for a long time.

BTW, just looked at Wikipedia please, DON'T read the 'Character' section if you want to avoid some very nasty spoilers. Even the rest of it has some giveaways that I would prefer not to know if seeing a film or series for the first time.

The Knowing vs. showing thread last year had quite a good discussion of Quatermass & related subjects, including a nice contribution from Mike Ford.

#374 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 01:19 AM:

ethan,

If they screw up Stardust they will deeply regret it. That's one of the finest fairy tales I've ever read. And you know, Disney to the contrary not withstanding, it can be done; fairy tales can be filmed. Have you ever seen Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast?

#375 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 01:23 AM:

Ethan #372: Is that because of how badly they've messed up the story, or because you don't like the original? (I agree with you, for the first reason in my case.)

The Golden Compass looks like they've done a good job with it, though.

#376 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 02:05 AM:

Bruce Adelsohn #375: Partly because of how they've messed up the story, though that's secondary to how crappy it looks. I mean, if they messed with the story but still produced a good movie, that would be one thing (Children of Men, anyone?), but it just looks like a shabby piece of nonsense through and through.

I like the books an awful lot, despite what I may or may not have said here about epic good v. evil struggles boring me.

#377 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 02:08 AM:

Oh, oops, and Bruce Cohen STM #374: I have indeed seen Cocteau's Beauty & the Beast. The hands creep the living daylights out of me. Good movie.

I thought I had another good example of a filmed fairy tale working well, but it's slipped out of my mind. They're few and far between, to be sure.

Does Freeway count? That's a damn fine movie, though it's probably not in the spirit you were talking about.

#378 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 05:20 AM:

Epacris @ 373... Thanks for the information about Quatermass.

#379 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 05:24 AM:

Stefan Jones @ 371... The Golden Compass looks like cheesy crap? I must have seen a different coming-attraction because that one looked awesome to me.

#380 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 05:28 AM:

Onwe of the problems with Hoyle's theories, such as the "Diseases from Space" thing, is that he asked good basic questions on the subject, and proceeded to ignore the established answers. He gave different answers, but failed to explain why his were better.

Which doesn't make wrong his calculations about whether a virus could survive aero-braking.

A lot of his later stuff is in that borderland between hard SF and hard science, but he decided not to include dragons in his panspermia theory.

#381 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 05:33 AM:

That Redshirt Analysis leaves me wondering if Starfleet choses randy unmarried males as starship Captains so as to reduce the casualty rate, paternity suits being less expensive than training new crew and paying pensions to widows and other dependents.

#382 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 07:19 AM:

Dave Bell #380: The absence of dragons is.... disturbing.

#383 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 07:46 AM:

Greg, 368: "You haven't read all of it so you can't critique any of it"

No one has said that, Greg. Not even me.

#384 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 08:01 AM:

Fragano @832: However, they were anticipated by Cordwainer Smith (The Game of Rat and Dragon).

Watching Star Trek TNG once, I imagined some class in the far future looking back at our time (as we look back at Columbus) and discussing that while our early spacefaring society expected black holes, cosmic strings, and space-time anomalies, we totally failed to anticipate the dragons.

#385 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 08:14 AM:

Greg, #@368: "You haven't read all of it so you can't critique any of it"

Greg, leaving aside whether anyone actually said that, why are you trying to start that fight AGAIN over here?

#386 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 08:15 AM:

Rob Rusick #384: Hoyle says nothing about cats, though.

#387 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 08:17 AM:

Oh dear, I just realized that asking a question (#385) is way to perpetuate the conversation. Sorry. Instead just let me say: Greg, please, please drop it.

#388 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 08:51 AM:

A lot of his later stuff is in that borderland between hard SF and hard science, but he decided not to include dragons in his panspermia theory.

Back where this started on Tipler's description of his work, I now know what it reminded me of - someone trying to explain the concept behind a Greg Egan or Stephen Baxter novel. (And similarily, if you ask "Is that real science?" about it, the answer is "Yes - if you include scientific speculation about what we may find out after we get the answers to what we're looking at at the moment, and then attempt to put half a dozen of these speculations into a semi-coherent whole".)

#389 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 09:18 AM:

I confess I had much the same reaction to Saving Grace that Serge did; I wanted very much to like it, because, hey, Holly Hunter, but it kept offending me with relentless sanctimony and slut-shaming and twee preachiness. (I'm not an atheist myself, especially, but I am married to one, so the "You must have FAITH to be Good" thing irritates the hell out of me, npi.)

I'd be happy to hear it gets better as it goes along, especially if it winds up dealing with the issue of theodicy on a deeper than Hallmark-card level, though I find myself disinclined to put the effort into finding out for myself firsthand. (Well, okay, I confess that I'm torn now wondering if James Marsters would make it worthwhile. But based on the premier, well, Dogma it ain't.)

#390 ::: JennR ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 09:45 AM:

Bruce @375: I'm not Ethan, but based on what I've seen about Dark is Rising as a movie (mostly the production company and the director), it seems as though they're making into one of those 'Xtians all good, all the time; everybody else must bow down before our glory, etc'. Which, of course, completely misses the point of the series.

I didn't even know they were making the movie until I saw a "three from the circle, three from the track" icon on a hpknitting community. At which point I tried to figure out who (of the Ministry Six) were 'from the circle' and who were 'from the track'. Then my brain clicked in, and said "that's not HP, you silly".

After reading more about the movie, I think it's going to be one of those 'hey, that's a cool idea for a movie. But the hero needs to be older. and needs some family conflict. and scrap the Arthurian themes. and we need snakes.' type things. As far as I can tell, people who like the books will hate the movies, and vice versa.

#391 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 09:47 AM:

Dan @ 389... well, Dogma it ain't

Let's hear it for Alannis Morrisette. Oh, wait. she's silent thru all of Dogma. By the way, it seems that every time that movie is on, I almost always catch it at the scene where Alan Rickman explains why angels aren't allowed to get drunk.

Hmmm...

You know what, Dan? I'm going to have to ask my wife for that DVD for my birthday.

#392 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 09:49 AM:

Tomorrow night, on Erureka, sherriff Jack has to contend with the high-school science fair.

"It's Armaggedon with acne!"

#393 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 10:01 AM:

...Um, Greg? Within the semi-recent past, you mentioned some health worries that'd been causing displacement truculence; this segued into a nutritional discussion that suggested the need for preventative followup. Without needing to get specific, are you okay over there?

#394 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 10:58 AM:

Serge: If you're a DVD extras geek at all, make sure you ask for the special edition. Lots of good stuff on there.

#395 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 11:18 AM:

Dan Layman-Kennedy @ 389

Sorry, Marsters just had a guest appearance in Saving Grace; no long-term benefit there.

I had a similar reaction going in; I'm not happy at all with the way religion is depicted in the mass media, but I'm used to being out of step with the world in general on religion. I thought that the characters were treated with enough respect (with the exception of the one played by Laura SanGiacomo, who really ought to be left off the leash for awhile, I think she would surprise the producers), that it was worth watching some more. And the second ep featured a wrestling match (greco-roman style) between Holly Hunter and the angel, which ended in a draw due to exhaustion. They both cheated.

The jury's still out on this one, I think, and I still have hopes. So maybe I'm just a foolish optimist.

#396 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 12:35 PM:

#379: No, I thought the Golden Compass trailer looked top-notch. The Dark is Rising is the one that looked like cheesy crap.

(Mind you, today's Cheesy Crap would in almost every way be considered remarkable when I was growing up in the SF&F starved early 70s.)

#397 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 12:42 PM:

Stefan Jones @ 396... today's Cheesy Crap would in almost every way be considered remarkable when I was growing up in the SF&F starved early 70s

Ah, the 1970s cheese... Ah, At the Earth's Core...

#398 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 01:08 PM:

To totally change the subject...

Risks in Research

Note the following sentence toward the end of the article:

Whatever discussion led up to that approval is hidden from the public because of a federal rule change in 2000 that placed most such follow-on studies under confidential FDA review rather than a public NIH process.

I don't know for sure that this rule change happened under Bush's watch, but somehow it seems likely...

#399 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 01:23 PM:

Lizzy 398: If it happened in 2000, it was under Clinton's watch. He was President until January 20, 2001.

#400 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 01:52 PM:

Xopher, of course, you are right. I'm still pissed, but I guess I can't be pissed at Bushco about this.

#401 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 02:52 PM:

From JennR @390

Bruce @375: I'm not Ethan, but based on what I've seen about Dark is Rising as a movie (mostly the production company and the director), it seems as though they're making into one of those 'Xtians all good, all the time; everybody else must bow down before our glory, etc'.

Looking at the Wikipedia page for the movie*, it seems that may not be the case. It looks absolutely unforgivably crappy, but at least I'm not seeing any Christian Supremacism. Call it an upside.

* Yeah, I know, but I don't have any film-specific sources bookmarked, nor time to go dig any up.

#402 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 03:01 PM:

Abi and her family made it to Amsterdam. The reason for her silence in these parts is that her new home doesn't have an internet connection yet.

#403 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 03:21 PM:

Abi and her family made it to Amsterdam.

Yay!

The reason for her silence in these parts is that her new home doesn't have an internet connection yet.

Glad to hear the issue is technical, not other.

#404 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 04:59 PM:

Hooray for Abi and family! No internet connection, how shocking.

#405 ::: ben ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 05:16 PM:

...Just turned up in my time.com RSS feed, about OCD:

When Worry Hijacks the Brain

#406 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 06:08 PM:

Serge #402: Good news!

#407 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 10:08 PM:

Serge, Stefan Jones

Even the '70s had high-budget cheesy crap. If you remember Towering Inferno, for instance, you have my sympathy.

#408 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2007, 10:28 PM:

Despite the lack of connectivity, abi has posted a description of the moving process on her blog.

#409 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 02:23 AM:

Bruce Cohen @ 407... I never saw Towering Inferno until the late 1990s. That delayed TV viewing lent a certain weirdness to seeing OJ Simpson as a dedicated security guard who saves a kitty from the inferno.

#410 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 08:39 AM:

Exploiting the openness of the thread:

Anyone have any insights into why the Democrats in congress caved in on the warrantless wiretaps? I'd like it if I could have the Repubs and Demos competing for which one could *win* my vote, not for which one could *lose* my vote.

Back in the Clipper-wars days, there was a common story about the NSA/FBI giving Congress the "If you knew what we know...." presentation (claiming all kinds of amazing evils that had been prevented by free use of wiretaps). The common joke was that the rest of that sentence was filled in as "If you knew what we know about what you and that 19 year old blonde chick were doing at the Motel Six...."

I wonder what the current version of that briefing looks like, with several years of massive warrantless wiretaps done on a "trust me" basis. That could genuinely be, say, stories of two or three really gut-wrenching attacks foiled by wiretaps, or it could be really nasty blackmail material collected on various important politicians.

#411 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 09:03 AM:

JennR #390: Oddly enough, one of the things I've heard about the movie is that it's NOT very Christian-oriented; apparently gurer ner fvk QVSSRERAG Fvtaf bs gur Yvtug, abg fvzcyl gur pvepyrq pebff. V unira'g frra jung gurl ner, ohg V nz tvira gb haqrefgnaq gurl'er ABG nyy pebffrf be bgure Puevfgvna vpbabtencul.

I should also note that for years now, "three from the Circle, three from the track" is a major earworm for me. Fortunately, I have three versions of the song on my hard drive. Unfortunately, these days it's taking all three to get the song out of my head. (But on the gripping hand, I'm not so sure I want it out, right now :-)

#412 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 09:17 AM:

Serge @ 409

But they never did show us what he did with that kitty afterwards ... or what revenge the cats took:

im in ur gloves killin yr wife and her friend to frame u.

Just goes to show about the best laid plans of cats.

#413 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 10:36 AM:

albatross @ 410

You're not the only one wonderign about that. The current thought is that they were shown pages from their NSA files ....
(I'm also wondering what Shrub gives his guests that they don't know about, since they seem to come back with opinions that they didn't go in with.)

#414 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 10:51 AM:

Re: #410, 413

I read the Dems concession on the recent surveillance bill as being basically a tactical decision to refight the issue in six months, in the belief that they'll be on stronger ground then.

The extent to which this was a good tactical decision is a separate question...

#415 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 12:16 PM:

Michael 414:

But why give in at all? I can think of three reasons, but they're all pretty damning:

a. I can see this as insurance--some congressional Democrats think there may be an attack between now and the Presidential election, and don't want a vote against anything that might have prevented the attacks.

b. Perhaps some kind of agreement has been reached to make sure both Democrats and Republicans have access to the wiretapping power.

c. Perhaps Bush is acting on principle (the principle that the state ought to have near unlimited power, I guess) and the Democrats are anticipating a future in which they will have access to that wiretapping data, after winning the 2008 presidential election.

None of this suggests highly principled guys who are going to reverse the Bush administration's moves toward a police state. Instead, it looks like the Democrats are about as happy with a police state as the Republicans, and only differ on which people should be at the top.

#416 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 12:45 PM:

"They're not people. They're Democrats."

- one of those afraid of Klaatu in The Day The Earth Stood Still

#417 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 01:01 PM:

Every single one of them needs to be voted out, as soon as possible.

#418 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 01:07 PM:

ethan 417: While I agree, I'm not sure it will do any good. You'll still have humans in those positions.

What we need is some good ROBOT candidates. Three laws, no libido, honest as the day is long.

#419 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 01:15 PM:

Meh, three laws.

It isn't quite enough to guarantee good robot behaviour. I proposed a few ammendments to the laws. (I think you have to scroll down a bit.)

Of course, this assumes that the notion of robot slavery is acceptable. If not, then the three laws need some work.

;)

#420 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 01:21 PM:

I for one welcome our evil robot candidates.

#421 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 01:22 PM:

No, no, that should be "I, for one, welcome our new positronic overlords!"

#422 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 01:29 PM:

Greg 419: Or you could link to the permalink and they won't have to scroll down.

I'm against your amendments. I think if we're going to have robotic politicians they can't be owned by anyone (other than perhaps The People), or we're in the same situation we're in with our current lot. Or maybe slightly better, since the robots will stay bought.

I think a sufficiently sophisticated and influential robot politician would obey First Law, and the exclusions in the other two would make them virtually irrelevant.

#423 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 01:35 PM:

permalink. Cool!

I posted the ammendments on somerightsreserved, but the site has been down and the guy who runs it hasn't fixed it in a while. One of these days I'll post it on my homepage.

I think the three laws could work with a robot overlord. I think the government, in general, should serve it's constituents. And the three laws are all about robot subjegation.

Of course, there's still the problem of finding a robot with a conscience.


#424 ::: MD² ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 01:49 PM:

Pleonastic redundancy of the day: "robot slavery". :D

#425 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 02:05 PM:

Greg @#419 & Xopher @#422:

In order to govern, our robot overloards would have to break rule #1, constantly. There's no way to enforce rules without harming at least one human. Even positing a war-free world, how would you punish a murderer without harming him in some way? Depriving someone of freedom is harmful. Making him eat institutional food is, arguably, harmful. Merely giving him a good talking-to could, gosh, damage his self-esteem.

And as for the "through inaction" clause...for our own good, they'd have to outlaw fun in just about every form, from erotic comic books to Gnostic masses to recreational drugs.* Who'd want to live in a country like...oh, right, never mind.

*like cylert, if your recreation consists of staying awake and/or paying attention to things, you bad, bad hedonists

#426 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 02:12 PM:

Xopher @ 421... I stand corrected. By the way, how many evil overlords have we welcomed so far? It's hard work, hating America, because we have to keep track of all those Evil Forces we'd happily make the Masters of America the Beautiful.

#427 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 02:15 PM:

I, for one, welcome our new uncertain overlords.

#428 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 02:45 PM:

No evil overladies?

#429 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 03:02 PM:

To misquote Tracy Bonham: "Behind every bad woman lies a trail of men"

I prefer to think of myself as the puppetmaster behind the throne, manipulating events. You could call me an overlady if you want, but don't call me late to dinner.

#430 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 03:15 PM:

Mary: In order to govern, our robot overloards would have to break rule #1, constantly.

I think it could be done, if you add the "ammendments" I had proposed, and then define "owners" to be the public as a whole.

If someone breaks the law, you can arrest them and put them in jail and that doesn't qualify as "causeing harm" in a strict interpretation of "harm" being "physical or emotional harm".

Incarceration could be implemented such that it isn't physical or emotionally harmful.

Then the issue is the law that says a robot has to do whatever a human tells it to do, as long as it doesn't violate #1. This is where you would have to define the robot's "owner" to be the population as a whole, and the only way to tell the robot a command is through voting or something. Otherwise the robot puts the bad guy in jail, the bad guy says "let me go", and the robot complies. Then the rest of the public says "put him back in" and the robot complies, repeat ad nauseum.

It still has the achilles heal of dealing with potential mob rule, but theoretically, it wouldn't have to be any worse than it is now. With the potential benefit, as Xopher pointed out, of no libido to satiate and no ego requiring chest pounding.

so it might be a net win.

#431 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 03:30 PM:

How about the Zeroth law Asimov added later:

"A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm"

This allows for all kinds of nifty workarounds without putting the robot into a tailspin. Of course it helped that some of the robots were telepathic.

#432 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 04:00 PM:

Mary 425: And as for the "through inaction" clause...for our own good, they'd have to outlaw fun in just about every form, from erotic comic books to Gnostic masses to recreational drugs.

I'm afraid we know how that comes out.

#433 ::: Sarah S ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 04:33 PM:

comes away reeling from the Evil Overlord's Tower particle

My eyes! My eyes!

I think that version is actually made of evil!!

#434 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 04:42 PM:

Sarah S #433: It also proves that evil causes diabetes.

#435 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 05:14 PM:

Sarah, Fragano:

I think that may be the vilest thing that I, as an art historian, have ever seen. What *do* you recommend as an antidote?

#436 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 05:46 PM:

The Evil Overlord's tower combined with all the H.P. Lovecraft I've been reading (thanks, guys!) made me wish I could paint. I want to see Cthulhu overtake Kinkade's world.

#437 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 06:42 PM:

ethan #436:

Just slimy monsters won't do it. You have to have an absolutely brutal style. I'm not sufficiently familiar with painters of that sort of thing, so can anyone else make a suggestion for the Cthulhu side?

#438 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 07:08 PM:

I think that, if he'd come up with the Robot Bill of Rights, Asimov would probably not have written so many Robot stories. But I would have been fascinated to see what he got of them.

(To a certain extent, almost all the Robot stories by Asimov deal with edge cases, or, to put it another way, all the cases that would have gone to the Robot Supreme Court).

#439 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 07:14 PM:

joann #437: Bathers at Asnières.

#440 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 07:19 PM:

Oops, that should have been a reply to number 435.

#441 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 07:21 PM:

Interesting riff on the three laws and behavioral safeguards on the last few installments of Freefall. (I don't follow the strip well enough to know why, but the bewigged wolf girl is legally classified as an AI.)

#442 ::: MD² ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 07:22 PM:

I want to see Cthulhu overtake Kinkade's world.

Though it's another kind of horror, ever saw that, by any means ?

My bet is on "yes", but still. ^_^"

#443 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 07:31 PM:

Now I'm thinking photoshop, like putting together this and this somehow. Unfortunately, I don't have photoshop, and when I do have it available I spend all my time using that silly "Makes everything look like it's wrapped in plastic" tool rather than figuring out how to use the damned thing for anything interesting. Ah well.

#444 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 07:33 PM:

Oh, shit.

On a different note, I have no idea how interested any of you would be in this, but Lee Hazlewood has died. People never take him seriously, but he's one of my favorite musicians of all time, and even though this has been coming for a while now, I'm not sure what to do with myself now.

#445 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 07:37 PM:

Re: albatross@415

What I suspect happened is that enough Dems from conservative districts/states were worried about recessing without a vote that the leadership in both houses felt that they needed to allow a vote.

(I would not be at all surprised if an implicit promise to support a tougher line next February was part of the package.)

Keep in mind that the Democrats are a coalition party. While the leadership has actually done a fairly good job keeping things organized on most issues, they still have to mediate among the various factions. It isn't like the top-down GOP where the leadership can just issue orders and everyone obeys.

A bit of reassurance, perhaps in what Ed Kilgore said back on May 30:

"Such divisions are inevitably going to happen in a coalition party, and for all its sometimes maddening disadvantages, it's still better than a party whose unity and ideological rigor can sometimes lead it down the road to perdition, with no road back (viz., a Republican Party still chained to its conservative base and its domestic and international delusions."

#446 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 07:47 PM:

Ethan @ 443 Fortunately I do have Photoshop and a fair amount of practice in its use. I can put those two together without too much difficulty but my next few days are so amazingly busy that you should probably distract yourself by browsing the Kinkade parodies at Something Awful here, here and here. I'm sure I remember a Cthulhoid horror in there somewhere.

#447 ::: CosmicDog ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 08:00 PM:

Hey guys, I'm just popping by to say that I bought the Cool Nabataean coin that Teresa mentioned in the sidebar a few weeks ago, and it is indeed very cool, though much smaller than I thought it would be. I've been reading up on the Nabataean empire and it is absolutely fascinating. Even more interesting, for me any way, is that it had such an impact on the world, yet I never heard of it before. You know Rome, always stealing the other empires' thunder...

#448 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 08:12 PM:

#425: "To serve and obey, and guard men from harm."

Now, where's that rhodomagnetic beam ...

#449 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 08:14 PM:

Fruit Bats Discovered To Have Menstrual Cycles

Part of me wonders how they figured that out.

Part of me is imagining the top shelf in Walgreen's feminine hygiene aisle containing teeny weeny pastel-colored packages for the convenience of the occasional bat customer.

#450 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 08:27 PM:

I had vaguely heard of the Nabateans previously, but was actually introduced to them via Last Act in Palmyra. In fact it's slightly embarrassing how much Roman history I learnt as a result of reading Lindsey Davis or Steven Saylor and then researching further. (You don't have to be embarrassed about learning things from Robert Graves any more do you?)

#451 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2007, 11:30 PM:

Ethan #436: I want to see Cthulhu overtake Kinkade's world.

Cthulhu is too busy with his day job as Those Annoying Post Brothers' cabana boy to be overtaking worlds at the moment.

#452 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 12:00 AM:

To The PDX Fluorosphere:

TexAnne will be visiting Portland this weekend and next week, and we're trying to organize a get-together. The current (tentative) plan is to go see Stardust on Sunday afternoon, then go out to dinner (seafood, if that's a problem for anyone). Anyone who's interested in joining the fun, please email me and I'll put you on the list to get the final details.

#453 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 12:36 AM:

Ethan @#443: Allow me. Thanks for the nifty idea, I giggled the whole time I was doing this.

The KinKade is called "Almost Heaven" so this version is, of course, "Almost Hell."

#454 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 12:52 AM:

Mary Dell,

Nicely done. You beat me to it; I have some free time tomorrow morning and I was going to try that out, but you beat me to it. I might anyway; I'm strongly tempted to have Cthulhu bite that guy's head off :=)

#455 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 01:05 AM:

#452: If my week isn't totally draining, that sounds cool.

#456 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 01:26 AM:

Mary Dell #453: Bwah! Thanks!

#457 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 01:26 AM:

Mary Dell, I can't tell you how much I needed to see that image, as my world, at the moment, is made entirely of annoyance and noise. (Chthlulu would be an improvement on my neighbors).

#458 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 01:38 AM:

Mary Dell, may I ask permission to use that picture on my mumble mumble myspace page mumble I don't have a myspace page mumble and/or blog? With attribution, of course.

#459 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 02:11 AM:

Oh my goodness. Mary Dell, that's priceless.

#460 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 03:38 AM:

The "Perils of Stuff" particle remimds me of the scene in "Labyrinth" where the heroine meets a bag lady who convinces her (temporarily) that only by hauling around everything she's ever owned will she have any security. It's the face of the old lady (a puppet, of course) that sticks in my mind, and the clear implication that Jennifer Connelly will look like her before too long.

On the other hand, I'm typing this on a computer I bought a month ago, and I just bought some new software for it, so maybe I'm not taking the lesson seriously enough?

#461 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 08:33 AM:

ethan @#458: Of course! It was your idea, I just executed the commission (and my flickr caption says so). More importantly, since I swiped the source images for the mashup, I'm not worried about attribution for myself, although credit to the original artists would be good. Unfortunately I can't find the name of the Cthulhu artist, but the page says it's from the Call of Cthuhlu game.

So, I'm fine with anyone grabbing and using this image, with the understanding that it's not really mine to give, which is why I didn't put a CC license on it.

Oh, and I'm glad everyone liked it. Bruce (and anyone else), I'd love to see your take on it...I kind of cheated and took his wings away so he's not as Dread as he could be.

#462 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 09:05 AM:

#444--ethan, I'd suggest telling people just how cool he was, and giving them every chance to listen to his work.

I hears a recent cover of These Boots Are Made for Walking, and when the song got to the part about "You keeping playing when oughts not bet", I thought about Bush. Now, Hazlewood couldn't have had that in mind when he wrote that song, all those many years ago (I am old enough to remember seeing the proto-music video made for the song on The Smothers Brothers Show), and I doubt the band covering the song was thinking of that. But still, it came into my head...

#463 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 10:12 AM:

Mary@453,

Wow. I'm always amazed when people do photoshop type stuff, get really cool results, and do it in a short amount of time.

And that picture is fricken hilarious.


#464 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 10:26 AM:

Mary Dell... Hats off to you.

#465 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 10:28 AM:

Admirers of Agatha Heterodyne.. The site's troubles with posting installments seem to be over. Huzzah!!!

#466 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 02:51 PM:

abi is still off-line? How long does it take for an International Woman of Mystery to set up a Bureau for U.N.C.L.E.?

#467 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 03:09 PM:

Car review to make you feel better about your day. (You can feel the snark coming off the hood. Also out from under it.)

#468 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 03:22 PM:

From car review link: attempting to drive this car in a sporting manner feels like trying to run a 440-dash with a lawn tractor on your back.

I don't know why, but this just keeps making me chuckle.

#469 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 03:30 PM:

P J @ 467... Cerberus Capital Management, the New York-based private equity firm that just bought Chrysler from DaimlerChrysler

Somehow, an outfit named after the three-headed dog that guards the entrance to Hell doesn't make me feel comfortable.

Down, Fido!

#470 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 03:35 PM:

Mary Dell #461: Great, thanks! Wow, I don't think I've ever commissioned an artwork before. I'm not really in a position to be your patron, I hope you don't mind.

fidelio #462: Since you mention it, I did write something on my silly little blog that's mostly a collection of some of Lee Hazlewood's songs, by himself and with/for others. Not trying to blogopimp or anything, but it's there for anyone who wants to poke around and hear some of the beauty he made.

As far as the "You keep playin' when you oughta not bet" line, I doubt he was thinking anything like that when he wrote it, but I bet it occurred to him after. As he says in "Anthem," from his pre-humous (is there actually a word that's the opposite of posthumous?) album Cake or Death, "I always did what my mama told me/But I never did vote republican."

#471 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 03:45 PM:

For anyone who's interested, I put up a quickie mashup tutorial on my blog.

#472 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 04:50 PM:

Bwah! I just realized that Cthulhu + Kinkade = Cthulade. As in, "Drink the..."

#473 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 07:16 PM:

::snort::
ethan, have I told you, lately, that I love your squirrelly self? Well, if not, consider yourself informed.

Think of the flavor name possibilities...

Dagon Punch
Yuggoth Berry Blast

I'm too tired to come up with anything actually clever.

#474 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 07:28 PM:

Aw, thanks, Tania.

According to wikipedia's list of current flavors, quite a a few of them are already pretty chock full o' nameless dread. Eerie Orange and Scary Black Cherry, particularly.

The only thing close to clever I can come up with right now is "Mi-Go Mango."

#475 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 08:03 PM:

Tania... Kadath Koffee?

#477 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 08:38 PM:

Greg London @#463: Actually, once you learn photoshop well it makes everything very fast, so this stuff isn't as hard as it looks for an experienced user, although having a good eye does count for something. It's a bit like touch typing or riding a bicycle--it seems impossible if you're new to it, but if you stick with it you reach a point where your momentum carries you and it's easy. Part of why photoshop is ubiquitous is that it's crazy fast once you get it customized for your workflow.

Oh and thanks, everyone, for the compliments.

#478 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 08:44 PM:

Yuggoth Yogurt...

#479 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 09:21 PM:

Squamous Strawberry? Eldritch Eldenberry?

#480 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 09:32 PM:

Dunwich Donuts...

#481 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 09:55 PM:

Linkmeister @#479: Squamous Strawberry?

I think you mean Squamous Squawberry.

#482 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 10:08 PM:

Normally a spelling error dents my ability to enjoy a joke, but this one is just too nice:

http://tunteella.dy.fi/1607.jpg

#483 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 10:14 PM:

Rugose Rhubarb...

#484 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 10:19 PM:

ethan, #444, the WashPost has his obit.

#485 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 10:43 PM:

#445 Michael I:

I'd like to believe that, but I don't. I expect to see the Democrats in the white house and in the majority in both houses of congress in 2008, and think the probability that they'll give up massive warrantless wiretaps is just a little better than the probability that I'll win the lottery.

I would really like to be wrong here. Please gloat at me in a couple years, if I turn out to be wrong. But what action on the part of the Democrats in congress in the last six years makes you optimistic here?

#486 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 10:48 PM:

Marilee #484: Wow, it's nice that they were aware of the second and third Nancy & Lee albums. Most people aren't, even if they do know of the first one.

#487 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 10:50 PM:

ethan @#472: Here's Cthulhaid Man.

Tentacles swiped from this cute wallpaper.

#488 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 10:53 PM:

Oh Jeez! I looked for other people's images tagged "cthulhu" on Flickr and found this Family Circus parody

#489 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 10:55 PM:

Mary Dell #487: My god, it would have been funny enough if it had just been a picture of him. But then you had to go put in that dialogue bubble...

YOMANK alert!

#490 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 11:02 PM:

albatross @ 485

Every time I start thinking they'll do the right thing, I get squashed by them doing the wrong thing, so I'll take 'none of the above' for $0.02.

#491 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2007, 11:02 PM:

ethan @#487: well, the dialog bubble was already there, but Kool-aid Man was saying "oh yeaahh!" which wouldn't suit Cthulhaid Man. Also, where Kool-Aid Man bursts through walls, Cthulhaid Man should burst through the barriers between sanity and time and whatnot, but that's beyond my 'shop skills, I'm afraid.

#492 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 12:28 AM:

Mary Dell @ 487-488... You are sick. Want some Ipswich ice cream?

#493 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 12:34 AM:

Mary Dell where in Hell (and I don't just use that word for the rhyme) do you find these things? Do you have some kind of infernal search engine that ferrets out squamuousness on the Web?

#494 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 12:57 AM:

Bruce Cohen @#493: Oh, I made Cthulhaid Man from a Kool-Aid man image, but if you want squamousness, a little google'l do ya.

#496 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 01:18 AM:

There's a certain kind of perverse pride in knowing this is all my fault.

#497 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 01:35 AM:

Serge: @#492: Ipswich ice cream

Scream, all! Dread Cthulhu demands that you scream for Ice Cream!

#498 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 01:37 AM:

Bruce Cohen @#495:

That is AWESOME. *applause*, particularly for the flying blood.

#499 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 07:16 AM:

There's a new social networking search engine named Spock in public beta. I'd like to know how the heck they got as far as they did without Paramount Pictures legal department popping them like a zit.

#500 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 07:49 AM:

albatross@485

Aside from anything else, the fact that the bill WAS for six months is a strong indication that the Democratic leadership did not support the idea of making the powers permanent.

What will happen in February is another question. That's the real fight. Six months to mobilize.

(Post 9/11, the Dems have only had a real ability to act since thCe new Congress was seated in January 2007. For much of 2002, Bush was still riding a 9/11 blank check. And after the 2002 elections, let's just say that congressional minorities without the backup of a President have very little power when the majority party is as unified and unscrupulous as the GOP has been. The Dems have been cautiously moving to confront Bush since they gained a fragile majority. A lot of what they've been doing is renewing oversight. Which has had at least some results.)

#501 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 08:09 AM:

ethan, Mary Dell... Tekelili Tea?

#502 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 10:56 AM:

earl @ 499

Because names can't be copyrighted, I suspect.
(Haven't you heard of Dr Spock? Predates ST by more than a decade.)

#503 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 10:56 AM:

earl @ 499

Because names can't be copyrighted, I suspect.
(Haven't you heard of Dr Spock? Predates ST by more than a decade.)

#504 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 11:09 AM:

What I remember of my favorite Kool-Aid flavors is Ice Blue and Blue Moon Berry (if I'm going to drink something unnatural, I'm going to make it *really* unnatural). I once mixed Black Cherry and Ice Blue to make something that looked very like watered-down blood, but tasted okay. It was Hi-C that had Ecto Coolers, wasn't it?
It's not so much of a stretch to Cthulhu Ctherry. Ohh iaaaa....

#505 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 11:27 AM:

Mary Dell: #487 -- Brilliant! (or should that be 'Way cthul'?) #488 makes me wonder whether anyone has Simpsonized HPLian squamousness yet. Tentacles writhing through donuts would be too easy, though....

#506 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 11:50 AM:

Batrachian Berry?
Arkham Apple?

Mary Dell, those are wonderful! If it gets to be as easy as you say after a while, I'll have to AVOID getting PhotoShop™; I would spend all my time playing with it.

#507 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 11:51 AM:

So I have this somewhat tasty, somewhat sickly liquor in my house that's called "Shaid," which calls itself "Gnac Vodka," and describes itself as possessing "Deep flavors of cognac, vodka, and shadow fruit." In trying to discover something about this mysterious beverage, my extensive googling only brought up one thing on the internet about it, which was this one woman's equally puzzled (and hilarious) set of Flickr pictures, while googling shadow fruit only came up with fictional results.

Moral of the story: I want to say there should be a flavor of Cthulaid called "Shadow Fruit over Innsmouth," and I'm not sure if the dubious reality of shadow fruit itself makes it less or more appropriate.

#508 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 11:54 AM:

PS: The fact that neither I nor the roommate remember where the Shaid came from makes it even more dread.
PPS: Batrachian Berry is hilarious, Xopher.

#509 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 12:25 PM:

507: For heaven's sake, if you value your immortal soul, don't drink it, man! Those grapes were trodden by no human foot!

#510 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 12:33 PM:

Xopher @#506: Photoshop is like crack to me, that's for sure. I'm also addicted to about 8 other graphics applications (just got ZBrush, woo!), so finding time for writing is a perennial challenge. That and spending time with, like, people.

#511 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 12:50 PM:

Rugose Rasberry, perhaps?

#512 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 02:18 PM:

Mary Dell @ #481,

Of course!

#513 ::: KristianB ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 02:56 PM:

Polish writer writes book about murder, is charged with committing it:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article2224874.ece

"Where reality ends and fiction begins in the stomach-turning novel Amok is the central task before the jury in Poland’s trial of the decade. Four years after he published his bloody bestseller, Krystian Bala has found himself on trial for the same torture and murder that he detailed in his novel."

/relurks

(note, that guy is Krystian B with a Y, not me)

#514 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 03:29 PM:

KristianB #513: Wow, that article sounds like Basic Instinct meets HARM.

Crazy.

#515 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 03:48 PM:

Mary Dell, 497:
Scream, all! Dread Cthulhu demands that you scream for Ice Cream!
Snort! Worst brain freeze ever, I imagine.

Since Abi isn't here to give us a sonnet, may I offer a villanelle for the topic at hand?

Drink not the liquor born of shadow fruit
If you yet value heart and soul and mind -
Those grapes were trodden by no human foot.

Too late, too late, to kill the cursed shoot
Already is the wholesome tree envined;
Drink not the liquor born of shadow fruit.

With notes of death and madness, blood and soot,
(Pray that it will only leave you blind)
Those grapes were trodden by no human foot.

A single drop sets madness in pursuit:
Dread, formless shapes loom behind.
Drink not the liquor born of shadow fruit.

And worse - within your dreams, some brute
Whispers secrets: a terrible blasphemous kind.
Those grapes were trodden by no human foot.

Though risen horrors render caution moot
--From deep R'lyeh will Dread Cthulhu climb--
Yet, drink no liquor born of shadow fruit;
Those grapes were trodden by no human foot!

#516 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 03:57 PM:

ethan @ 507... Sickly liquor, or liquid ichor?

#517 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 04:10 PM:

Long ago (Torcon II, 1973) there was a party where someone brought Hungarian pear liquor which ATE through the bottom of styrofoam cups. A Famous European Artist whose name I can't think of who sometimes did SF art for the fun of it --ah, dredged up his name, Karel Thole, disposed of a cup of the corrosive stuff by quaffing it down...

#518 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 04:18 PM:

Sarah #515, that's incredible.

Serge #516: Gah! I hope it's just sickly liquor...I drank some of it!

Paula Lieberman #517: If that stuff can eat away styrofoam, maybe waste management people should know about it...

#519 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 04:34 PM:

P J Evans #502: Not Spock the copyright, Spock the trademark. That's a whole different bowl of plomeek soup.

#520 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 04:48 PM:

I think trademark for a word like "Spock" would have to specify what market or product it is trademarked in.

i.e. someone probably has a "Spock" trademark for a pointy-eared, green blooded, so and so in the Star Trek universe.

Which would not conflict with a "Spock" trademark for a search engine.

Probably.

See also, "Apple(tm) Computers" and "Apple(tm) Music" to see how real life fits (not) theory.

IANAL, TINLA, ETC

#521 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 04:51 PM:

Mary Dell... Could you photoshop TV show Love Boat with Cthulhu?

"It's the Loooooove Craft..."

#522 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 06:59 PM:

#521 Serge:

Ouch! My brain hurts now....

I've got this mental image of The Love Boat with tentacles sticking out the portholes, waving in time to the theme song. And Isaac offering you a nice glass of something trod by no human foot.

Probably Ricardo Monteban will have to fight it off when the boat reaches Fantasy Island.

#523 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 07:12 PM:

As Tattoo is being crushed by the dread tentacles of the elder god:

De pain! De pain

Ricardo Montalban, wearing his corinthian leather, no doubt. I suppose Fantasy Island is enroute to R'lyeh. It would only make sense.

#524 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 07:13 PM:

albatross @ #522, as long as we're mixing TV shows, Mr. Howell with Cthulhu's head?

#525 ::: Wesley ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 07:39 PM:

Speaking of Cthuloid Kool-Aid, Boing Boing recently posted a picture of an Iranian Kool-Aid packet and it looks like the woman with the pitcher is drawing Kool-Aid Man's face in her own blood.

#526 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 07:46 PM:

#524 Linkmeister:

(Pray it will only leave you blind.)

#527 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 08:03 PM:

Linkmeister... as long as we're mixing TV shows

I'd have suggested Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, but Irwin Allen's fertile mind had already populated it with stranger monsters than Lovecraft ever conjured. There were the lobster men, and the goldfish given too much of an hormone treatment that turned it into a giant humanoid fish-thing...

#528 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 09:30 PM:

Serge @521: "It's the Loooooove Craft..."

Wikipedia's Love Boat entry contains the trivia item, "A 1994 episode of Saturday Night Live featured a parody entitled Love Boat: The Next Generation, featuring host Patrick Stewart playing Captain Jean-Luc Picard, who, with his crew, gets involved in Love Boat-type adventures on a starship. Bernie Kopell made a surprise appearance, reprising his role as 'Doc'."

Combine that with the Star Trek manga I've been seeing in stores lately, and someone may have to splice a stylized version of William Shatner into The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife (NSFW 19th-century woodcut warning).

#529 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 09:55 PM:

Julie L @ 528... the first instance of tentacle eroticism

I think I'll suggest that to my wife's agent as the theme for an erotica anthology.

#530 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 10:32 PM:

Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) #495: Wonderful.

I would recommend Call of Cthulhu Bear, myself.

#531 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 10:40 PM:

"Oh, bother," said Pooh, as the unclean emanations of the Old Ones manifested as squamous and rugose tentacles that were of no earthly color.

#532 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 11:05 PM:

This is a wonderful website. Thank you, Fred Clark.

Flood Map

#533 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 11:35 PM:

It's the stuff you find when you're not looking for it that makes the web interesting. In this case, it's the winged puppy playing lead guitar that kind of boggles me.

#534 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 11:38 PM:

Serge @#521:

My pleasure...here you go.

I didn't do anything to whatsername's face because she clearly already drank the Cthulhaid.

#535 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 11:41 PM:

Mary Dell @ 534... I didn't do anything to whatsername's face because she clearly already drank the Cthulhaid.

Her mouth was filled with teeth of no earthly origin.

#536 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2007, 11:55 PM:

Xopher, 533:

That's really - confounding.

Well, now I certainly know how to spell "weeoow," don't I? Maybe it should be added to the spelling list?

viking kittens ... mumblemumble ... ia! ia!

#537 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 12:12 AM:

The Sebring review reminded me strongly of Car & Driver's famous 2002 Cadillac Escalade review. Apparently they pulled it from their site, but it can still be found quoted here:

The great Cadillac Escalade review

(All the parenthetic editorial comments are sic.)

A fairly typical excerpt:

Cadillac’s brand manager says, “Cadillac research showed that there was a real need for the EXT.” A real need for a Cadillac pickup? Really? If so, then here are a few things that I really need: An air-conditioned front yard. Iguana-skin patio furniture. Stigmata. Mint-flavored Drano. Gold-plated roof gutters. A 190-hp MerCruiser SaladShooter. A dog with a collapsible tail. An office desk that converts into a Hovercraft. Chrome slacks. A lifetime subscription to Extreme Fidgeting. A third arm. A fourth wife. A smokeless Cuban Robusto. Reusable Kleenex.

#538 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 12:18 AM:

Mary Dell - I like how you left Julie untouched. Apparently her character was/is terrible enough without enhancement?

#539 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 12:19 AM:

Speaking of the Love Craft, I ran across this page of Love Boat toys when I was looking for 'shoppable images...kind of a great toy set, actually. The site is chock full of cool mego toy stuff.

#540 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 12:31 AM:

Wesley, #525, anybody drawing a face on an iced or refrigerated pitcher filled with red liquid can be considered as looking that they're drawing in their own blood.

Xopher, please warn when there's loud music. My upstairs neighbor is an elderly man. He's getting hard of hearing, but I don't want to take chances at waking him up this late in his night.

#541 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 01:00 AM:

As long as I'm on the subject of great, insane, and insanely great vehicle reviews, here's the Road and Track review of the Zamboni 500. I found this while looking for the Escalade review.

#542 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 01:04 AM:

Sarah @ 515

That was, um, interesting. Seriously, I liked your villanelle a lot, but I'm having trouble finding an appropriate adjective. I mean, would you say you had fun at a production of Hamlet, or really enjoyed ("got joy from") a production of "Death of a Salesman"?

#543 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 02:58 AM:

Fragano Ledgister @ 530

Hmm ... cute, yet squamous. I especially liked the "humongous shrine".

The style was a sort of mashup of Lovecraft and Jim Buthcer ("The Dresden Files"). Exemplius gratuitus:

"The entire cosmos reverberated to a nameless dread that froze the very soul, and it wasn't my fault!"

#544 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 03:18 AM:

Open Thread:

Does anyone know of any good Star Trek fiction, pro or fan or anywhere in between, that deals in-depth with the horror (non-Cthulhu related, I hope) of being Yeoman Janice Rand? I've been thinking about her a lot recently.

#545 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 03:36 AM:

Fragano @ 530: I note one of its related links on everything2 was headed "The Lovecraftian compulsion to keep writing even as one is being devoured." A curious point we've all mused about at one time, I'm sure.

#546 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 05:24 AM:

#531: "Oh, bother," said Pooh, as the unclean emanations of the Old Ones manifested as squamous and rugose tentacles that were of no earthly color.

from "The Dream-Quest of Pooh Corner"...

I am forced into speech because Rabbit and other Organdized People have refused to follow my advice without knowing why. I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and so it is altogether against my will that I tell my reasons for opposing this contemplated Expotition to the East Pole - with its vast Woozle hunt and its wholesale boring and excavation of Heffalump Traps. And I am the more reluctant because my warning may be in vain...

..."It's All Right," said Eeyore, looking into the dark waters again. "This Sort of Thing was Bound to Happen. Just a question of the Stars being Right, I suppose."
"I mean," he continued, as the surface of the water was torn asunder and a mass of hideous, churning flesh rose into view, "what else was I supposed to Expect?"
"There's Rabbit," he said, as the blasphemous mouth of the being from the depths opened in a scream. "He's Energetic, Rabbit is, but he will Meddle in the Forbidden Arts. And then there's Owl. Owl is very intelligent, but I'm afraid that in some of the older and more unsettling texts in his house he may have seen things that have driven him into shrill unreasoning madness. And then there's Tigger. No earthly creature could possibly Bounce quite so much as Tigger."

#547 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 07:46 AM:

Hoping that this link to The Call of Cthulu Bear will work.

#548 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 08:13 AM:

It's probably been linked here before, but Tales of the Plush Cthuhlu is pretty great. The FAQ at that site has a link to where you can buy your own Plush Cthuhlu.

#549 ::: Wesley ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 08:16 AM:

#540: anybody drawing a face on an iced or refrigerated pitcher filled with red liquid can be considered as looking that they're drawing in their own blood.

Well, yes... I hadn't thought it was deliberate. It's just that it's often amusing when something easily misinterpreted goes out on a package design.

#550 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 09:04 AM:

Speaking of Dread Things...

Vincent Price is today's Star of the Day on Turner Classic Movies.

And Flash Gordon premieres on the SciFiChannel tonight.

#551 ::: Russ ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 09:50 AM:

Since we're (highly indirectly) on to movies...y'all know Stardust is out today, right?

http://www.scalzi.com/whatever/2007/08/07/stardusts_chances.html

I'll be at the Edinburgh Fringe just too late to catch the UK premiere (and oh, how I tried to get up there earlier! Fingers crossed it'll make best of the fest)and I don't think we get it properly 'til October, but lucky USians get it this weekend.

If Matthew Vaughans description of the movie as a "mashup between The Princess Bride and Midnight Run" doesn't grab and, uh, utterly confuse you, you're better people than me. Well, I knew that anyway, but still...

Ok, I'll be quiet now :D

#552 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 10:03 AM:

Russ @ 551...

"This luminous, magical movie, based on the Neil Gaiman novel, will dazzle even the fantasty-film phobic."

So says Stephanie Zacharek in Salon.com. Sounds promising. And I understand that Gaiman is happy. Definitely sounds promising.

#553 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 10:20 AM:

Tania @#538: Yes, exactly.

ethan @#544: You should write it! I always knew there was something evil about her basket-weave hairdo, but I could never quite put my finger on it.

#554 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 10:25 AM:

May Dell @ 553... I could never quite put my finger on it

Had you done so, you'd have found that her 'hair' really was a lovecraftian horror with lots of sharp teeth and tentacles. (Thus do we veer back into Cthulhu Country by way of John Waters.)

#555 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 11:14 AM:

Bruce Cohen, 542:

Thanks! I did once have fun at a production of Hamlet, but it had gratuitously-placed rousing fight scenes entirely out of keeping with the play itself. Because, you know, what Hamlet really needs is *more* bloodshed.

#556 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 11:27 AM:

Mary Dell #553: You should write it! I always knew there was something evil about her basket-weave hairdo, but I could never quite put my finger on it.

One of the reasons I was asking was that I didn't want to be redundant if I did try to write it.

...of course, that's not the kind of horror I meant. I meant more along the lines of "Captain! Look at my legs!"

#557 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 11:44 AM:

Fragano 530: That doesn't go to anything called Call of Cthulhu Bear when I click it. It goes to a cool blog, but I see nothing squamous or rugose there.

Marilee 540: My apologies. I will.

ajay 546: I'm in awe. But you know, we could rewrite a whole Pooh story as Lovecraft would have told it, without actually changing any of the events.

Epacris 547: OK, that works. Fragano, never mind.

#558 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 12:24 PM:

Request for eyes: can other people look at the youtube video of 500 years of portraits of women that's been going around, and tell me how many women of color they see in it? To my viewing, there are no black/African women in it, possibly one or two Spanish portraits, and no Asian of any ancestry. I'm curious to learn if other people perceive it the same way.

#559 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 12:26 PM:

Bruce Cohen (542), Sarah (555): I once (twice, actually) had great fun at a production of Hamlet, but it was Hamlet: The Musical, which is truly warped and hilariously funny--and yet builds the tension such that the last scene (which was played absolutely straight) *worked*, the way the ending of Hamlet should work. I am still trying to figure out how they pulled that off.

#560 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 12:37 PM:

Clifton in #541:

As I have mentioned before, another memorable Road and Track article in 1985 covered the crawler that transports Space Shuttles to the pad.

The text is not online, but long ago I wrote a summary:

Kids, you want to go find a copy of *Road & Track*, I'm pretty sure it's the April 1985 issue, page 192. (If I messed up, look at other issues that year.) Every once in a while, as a sort of April Fool's thing, *R&T* would run a deadpan road test of some exotic vehicle like the Goodyear Blimp or the Gresley A3 Pacific Locomotive. Well, in 1985 Ted West, Engineering Editor, reported on "The KSC 554,756 Hardtop: Longer, Lower and Weirder for 1985."

If you have any interest in the crawlers, you *must* read this. West has lots of tongue-in-cheek fun with it, but I've never seen more technical information on the vehicles. There's lots in the article, and even more figures in long tables accompanying it, in the manner of auto-magazine tech evaluations. Some quotes to get you galvanized and headed down to the library:

"If you're looking for traditional, massive American *horsepower*, the KSC 554,756 is yer kinda car. Its raucous 554,756 cc are packaged in no less than six different containers. And 350,342 of them are enclosed in a pair of 2750-bhp 16-cylinder Alco diesels. An additional 180,070 cc come wrapped in two 1075-bhp 8-cylinder White diesels. Finally, 24,344 cc reside in a pair of very pedestrian 6-cylinder Cummins truck diesels. There is also a paltry 7.5-bhp Onan compressor-drive-- but the less said about that little wimp the better."

"...Speaking of steering, we found the KSC's just a trifle, dare we say it, heavy. However, directional stability was exemplary, we felt no buffeting whatever in stron sidewinds and thought nothing whatever of hands-off steering for long periods while running flat out. More top marks."

"There was a great *Cluuunk!* and not quite a *lunge*. We said we'd bet our left shoe the thing would be geared too tall, but, to our great surprise, the 554,756 got off the line smartly and was up to cruising speed in just under no time, leaving our left shoe behind at a steady, smooth 1.0 mph. The 554,756 is said to be capable of a brisk 2.0 mph flat-out-- `and maybe more'-- but we were told that, somewhat like the *Queen Mary's*, the 554,756's true top speed is known only to God and a certain electrical engineer (`poor soul') living in seclusion for the past 20 years in a small auto court outside Marion, Ohio."

#561 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 01:18 PM:

Quick request for travel advice:

I will be, for the first time in many years, in Portland tonight with no family to visit and a chunk of time to kill. Does anyone have advice for what to do/where to go with two adults and a night-owlish toddler? We'll likely get in around 5:00 and will stay overnight in NE.

Can you bring children to any of the McMenamins theatres, maybe?

#562 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 01:19 PM:

Velma, assuming you're talking about this?

Yeah, looks like a bunch of white ladies to me.

#563 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 01:21 PM:

Mary Aileen, 559:

That sounds like a great show. My fun Hamlet was a student production that passed over from bad to funny. I think they were trying to show the effects of violent society on impressionable youth or something, but it didn't work.

My friend and I did have a great time during intermission guessing who Hamlet would try to gut next, though.

#564 ::: Harry Connolly ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 01:40 PM:

Teresa, thank you for the "Perils of Stuff" link. That's something my wife and I are trying to deal with right now.

#565 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 02:06 PM:

ethan@562,

Nice video.
The morphing is amazing.

#566 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 02:30 PM:

Bruce Cohen #543: Cute yet squamous seems right.

Epacris #547: Thanks! My link-fu is weak. Any idea what I'm doing wrong?

Clifton Royston #545: Indeed!

#567 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 02:34 PM:

Sarah @ 563... they were trying to show the effects of violent society

Coming soo to a theater near you, Quentin Tarantino's Hamlet!

#568 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 03:40 PM:

Serge #567: Coming soo to a theater near you, Quentin Tarantino's Hamlet!

don't be a fanboy don't be a fanboy don't be a fanboy OH MY GOD THAT WOULD BE AWESOME shit shit shit shit shit you were a fanboy

#569 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 03:53 PM:

Quentin Tarantino's Hamlet!

Yeah, I must admit that seeing those words strung together caused a Pavlovian response over here too.

Poor Mr. White! I knew him once, Mr. Pink. He was hilarious. Where are you tricks, jokes, or songs now that made everyone laugh? Not one left?

Also, picturing Christopher Walken giving a monologue about, oh, who the hell cares, it's Christopher Walken giving a monologue!

#570 ::: Harry Connolly ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 06:09 PM:

Actually, my high school class saw Christopher Walken play Hamlet at the Malvern People's Light and Theater company. Fred Gwynne was Claudius, and our teachers were not impressed with him.

No Quentin Tarantino in sight, though.

#571 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 06:48 PM:

Fragano, Xopher, et alia:
I see you've stumbled on Everything2. That was my old hangout, before I got burned out on Communities Trying To Make Something Greater Than Themselves on the web†.

Most of my old stuff is still there, from the serious and the factual to the silly.

I left for the same reason that people leave Wikipedia - watching any narrow power structure deal with work one has done for a wider audience is dispiriting. Not that they did it to me; it was worse than that. They did it to my Mom.

I miss it sometimes.

(I am still on stolen* bandwidth here, so my postings are going to be infrequent for a while yet. I'm like that poster on A Fire Upon the Deep who keeps thinking the number six is significant to humans...fundamentally out of touch.)

-----
† One thing I like about Making Light is that we are not trying to achieve anything for the future here. When we do, great. When we don't, it's because we're having fun in the present.

* borrowed without permission, anyway

#572 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 07:46 PM:

abi @ 571...

"Officer, I swear I didn't steal that bandwith. I was only borrowing it."
"Yeah, sure, save that for the judge, Lexine Luthor."

#573 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 08:11 PM:

Groklaw reports that, after 4 years, SCO has just effectively lost its case attempting to hold Linux hostage, as judge Kimball in SCO vs. Novell rules that SCO owned no copyrights in Unix, that SCO is liable for licensing fees to Novell, and that Novell can rightfully make them drop claims against IBM.

Technically, it's not over yet, but that's pretty much fatal to SCO's game plan, and most likely to SCO itself. One long-awaited victory against shakedown outfits.

#574 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 08:45 PM:

Abi #571: 'Stumbled' isn't exactly the term. The piece I pointed out is by someone I know well.

#575 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 08:57 PM:

Sarah: Powell's, the independent bookstore that occupies an entire city block. (See the pillar our hosts signed!) Portland is also a great walking city -- fountains and interesting architecture everywhere, although I've never looked in the evening to see if the fountains were lit. (I found a walking-tour leaflet in 2001, but don't remember where.)

#576 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 10:19 PM:

Those of you who are not watching Flash Gordon because you thought it would be bad...eat your words now. Really, you'll be wanting to do that.

#577 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 10:56 PM:

Stardust was wonderful in a lot of ways. It told a satifying story in a beautiful way. I was in need of something complete, especially after Order of the Phoenix (last movie I saw, while it hit a goal it was strangely unsatisfying).

It may not be great art, and I feel the reviewers criticizing Claire Danes performance didn't get the story at all. (spolery rot13-d) Fur'f n fgne sbe tbbqarff fnxr, abg n uhzna orvat ol ovegu. Bs pbhefr fur'q frrz fgvss... fur'f tbg n ybg gb yrnea naq yrneaf vg gb gur shyyrfg.

I would not have regretted paying for it--we saw it on a free preview. And I AM going to go see it again, paying for it.

#578 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2007, 11:41 PM:

abi@571, after a week's absense:

Welcome back!

Hope the move went well.

#579 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 12:19 AM:

Xopher @ 576... My in-laws are visiting from out of town otherwise I'd have watched Flash Gordon. I will withhold judgement in spite of my earlier comments. Yes, really. I'll try to, anyway.

#580 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 12:23 AM:

Fragano @ 566, 530 The link I searched out at Everything2 is one of the types (becoming more common) that looks like this:

http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1862753&lastnode_id=124

When I looked at the properties of your link it only went as far as the first equals sign, thus:

http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=

That might have happened in several different ways. I try to compose my posts & links separately in a 'notepad'-style text editor, as vanilla-plain as possible so I can see all the ingredients, then use the site's preview to check first that the links are functional and secondly that they go to where I want them to. It does take time & energy that sometimes I don't have spare.

One common fault, which I've even found on professional commercial sites, is leaving out the http:// part inside the <a href=""> part of the link. Making sure all your " (ditto or double quote) characters are there, in the right place, and balanced (paired) correctly is another part to watch carefully.

[Now returning you to normal programming. Thank you for your attention.]

#581 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 12:33 AM:

Paula Helm Murray @ 577... Thanks for the recommendation. If Stardust and Golden Compass both turn out to be as good as I hope, this will finally beat 2000 as the movie year for me.

#582 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 12:45 AM:

Harry@570: Actually, my high school class saw Christopher Walken play Hamlet at the Malvern People's Light and Theater company. Fred Gwynne was Claudius, and our teachers were not impressed with him.

Not impressed with Chris? Or not impressed with Fred?

More cowbell!

Sorry, that just slipped out.

#583 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 01:42 AM:

ethan @ 556

I meant more along the lines of "Captain! Look at my legs!"

Kirk could never bring himself to look down. He wasn't a leg man.

#584 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 01:52 AM:

Mary Aileen, Sarah,

I was orginally going to use "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" as an example of a play nobody could have fun at, but it just doesn't work as a good example. I think that "Hamlet" is a great play, and I have a certain respect for "Death of a Salesmen", but I think "Virginia Woolf" sucks the big one with a large Electrolux. I've seen it several times (the curse of having been a drama major for awhile, and being interested in the mechanics of plays and not just how they look), but I don't like it a bit.

#585 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 02:14 AM:

It sounds like I've got a lot to look foward to this weekend. Flash Gordon on the DVR, and going to Stardust on Sunday (see next post). Yumm!

#586 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 02:43 AM:

This is an offical TexAnne bulletin to the PDX Fluorosphere. As I mentioned before, TexAnne is coming to Portland for a few days, and I think that's an excellent excuse to have a Makeing Light gettogether.

The current plan, still somewhat tentative, is to see Stardust on Sunday afternoon, then go out to dinner to discuss it and whatever else seems worthy.

The movie is playing at 4:00 PM at the Tigard Regal Cinema, 11626 S.W. Pacific Hwy. I suggest we plan to meet in front of the theater between 3:30 and 3:45 so we can introduce ourselves. Just so you'll recognize me, I look like this lousy picture.

After the show, my thought was to eat at Seasons and Regions, a seafood restaurant at 6660 SW Capitol Hwy in Hillsdale, Southwest Portland. If you plan on coming, please let me know, so I have a rough idea what to tell the restaurant about the size of our party.

If you send me email I'll send you my cell phone number so you can contact me for last minute changes in plan.

#587 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 03:37 AM:

I think the great thing about the Harry Potter series ending now is that it has left a whole lot of readers casting around for "where can I get my fantasy fix now?"

That's judging by my experience today at my new workplace, where 3 of the 4 people sitting nearest me are happily discussing just that. (They're engineers, what do you expect?) Vinh has already started reading the His Dark Materials trilogy, and was discussing the prospects for Stardust being a good movie with Dave, who sits next to him, when I butted in. Within a few minutes, Dave was going "Wait, let me write down some of those titles!" I think I've sold both of them on trying Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

#588 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 03:53 AM:

abi@571: You do know that hexapodia was an important fact, right?

(I'd expand further, but I think I need a ruling from the moderators...should I be worrying about spoiler protection for a book that's 15 years old by now? I tend to think that two years or so should be the limit. But I don't want to overstep.)

#589 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 08:01 AM:

Totally off any previous topic on this thread...

Serge, had you noticed a book titled Comics Gone Ape (The Missing Link to Primates in Comics)?

I gave you a link to Amazon, but consider buying it at your local comic book store (I know you want to)...

#590 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 08:27 AM:

Rob Rusick @ 589... Oh goodness... Magilla Gorilla? That takes me back a few decades, to the days of Atom Ant and Secret Agent Squirrel...

#591 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 08:29 AM:

Bruce Cohen @ 586... You really are A&E's Jack Perkins, aren't you?

#592 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 11:01 AM:

Mary Dell! Re: #453: Your picture was highlighted on Pharyngula.

#593 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 11:49 AM:

Epacris #580: Thanks. I'll copy links to Notepad in the future, inter alia.

#594 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 03:25 PM:

Clifton, you've found new employment out here in Islandia?

#595 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 05:29 PM:

Serge @ 591

. You really are A&E's Jack Perkins, aren't you?

I am large, I contain multitudes. They sometimes sneak out and go on television; what can you do?

#596 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 05:34 PM:

Bruce Cohen, one of the things I'm feeling cranky and deprived about this week is that I just made a bat-out-of-hell run to PDX and points south yesterday (where bats out of hell can take an hour and forty fucking minutes to get from Sunnyside Road to I-5 southbound) that included new shoes from the Clackamas Rack (where I have some sort of strong mystical ability to find shoes that exists nowhere else), eight roses at Heirloom (where, alas, I also found that John Clements had died right before the sale) and, for my sins, incurred a massive consumer debt at the Washington Square Apple store acquiring a new 20" iMac.

So I can't see any of you, and I'm feeling all snittified.

And also I need advice on WP programs, as I could not spend the time I wished to play with the things there, mostly because my bad knee was already hurting too much but also because there was a flickering fluorescent bulb just above eye level at the machine I was using.

#597 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 06:38 PM:

Rob Rusick @ 589:

Do you suppose it has Weeping Gorilla, too?

#598 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 07:17 PM:

JESR @ 596

Well, this won't be the last time we'll have an outing, I'm sure. There are a lot of us around here, and a lot of excuses to meet.

On the subject of word processors: I've been trying out Pages on my laptop for a week or two, and just sprang for the license. It seems to have most of what I need without too many menus buried below in the sub-sub-sub basement of the user interface. There'll be a trial copy on your iMac; give it a whirl and see if it works for you. Oh, and note that what's on the iMac is likely to be the old version; the new one (the one you would buy if you were going to) was introduced last week and so probably isn't loaded on that machine. Especially by the guys at the Sub-Genius Bar in Washington Square; they're one of the reasons I didn't buy the laptop at Apple, but went to the Mac Store instead.

#599 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 07:56 PM:

Linkmeister: Yes, about a month and a half ago, I experienced the contractor's full "famine to feast" experience when I got offered a 6 month f/t stint at essentially the same time another client accepted my proposal for the equivalent of about a month's f/t work. I'm doing the former a regular 40 hours a week, and the latter from home, weekends + some evenings. My fortunes are gradually being restored, but I have virtually no free time and I'm becoming a bit of a wreck. That's why I've been posting here less.

#600 ::: Harry Connolly ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 08:34 PM:

Greg London at #582, not impressed with Fred.

#601 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 08:41 PM:

Bruce, I got my iMac at the Washington Square Apple store, where I confused the hell out of a young lady named Katie by deciding to buy the iMac instead of the Mac Mini I'd originally come for after about ten minutes of mousing around- this being because I've been using a Mini off and on for over a year and appreciated the differences.

Pages seems a little less crazy-inducing than the stuff I've been using- you can use a blank page to write first drafts on, for instance, which has been my dearest desire since I put down the Power Mac three years ago.

I was still sort of disconnected by finding out about John Clements; he was a feature on the landscape, so to speak.

#602 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 09:27 PM:

not impressed with Fred.

Oh, phew.

;)

#603 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 10:13 PM:

I saw Stardust with my father, brother, and brother's girlfriend last night. Afterward, I heard a group of young-seeming-- 14 to 16?-- girls trying to figure out if the movie was meant for kids or not. It was not perfect in every way (complete perfection would have included a dress for the star that I can both make and wear for Halloween, but no one looks very good in grey satin) but at some points, I could hear the entire audience giggling madly. I haven't seen a lot of movies where everyone wants to laugh but also doesn't want to make too much noise for fear of missing something.

#604 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 10:48 PM:

Xopher, #576, I taped it and watched it later last night. I never watched the original -- was this anything like it?

#605 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 11:51 PM:

RE the new Flash Gordon:

Fjrrg Wrfhf, gung fhpxrq uneq rabhtu gb chyy n jngrezryba guebhtu n tneqra ubfr.

Yrg'f fgneg jvgu Zvat. Ybbx, V xabj gur Lryybj Crevy bevragny jneybeq guvat vf greevoyl ha-CP, ohg jnf gur bayl nygreangvir fbzr inthryl crghynag PRB jvgu n jngre zbabcbyl? Puneyrf Zvqqyrgba unf orra qrnq sbe 56 lrnef naq uvf pbecfr pbhyq qb n orggre Zvat gur Zrepvyrff guna gung oynaq mreb.

Jurer ner gur sevttvat fcnpr fuvcf? Jul qbrf Unaf Mnexbss ybbx yvxr Pbel Qbpgbebj?

Jurer vf gur cntr ba gur fpvsv.pbz fvgr jurer V pna chg va n erdhrfg gb trg gung ubhe naq n unys bs zl yvsr onpx?

#606 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2007, 11:56 PM:

Rob Rusick @#592: Ooh, goody! I'll go look now, thanks for the link!

#607 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2007, 01:32 AM:

Xopher @ 576, Stefan Jones @ 605

I guess this is one show that people are either going to love or hate, nothing in between. I just finished watching it, and I have to come down on the side of love. I grew up on the original serial, it used to be on TV every day back when I was in the 3rd grade, and I watched it religiously. That first serial, the TV show in the 50's, the movie in the 80s and this production all have one thing in common: they don't take themselves too seriously, and I like that.

I'm not thrilled about Zarkov's character myself, but I can live with it because I think they've got Dale and Flash just right. Flash is strong, fast, loyal, brave, and not too bright. Dale can handle herself (the original was a bit of a wimp, it's true).

The sets and costumes are nicely done, and the special effects are interesting. And there are at least airships, if not spaceships. So they've got me as long as they keep up this level of fun.

#608 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2007, 01:46 AM:

I watched and loved the serials too.

I want spaceships. And Les Preludes. And hawk men. And guys shoveling radium into atomic furnaces. Dimensional rifts? Bah!

#609 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2007, 01:49 AM:

DON"T READ MY POST 607 IF YOU HAVEN"T SEEN FLASH GORDON YET!

I am terribly sorry for that last post. It contained rot13 spoilers, and they somehow got un-rot13ed when I posted it. If someone with admin powers is available to remove the post, or just rot13 the whole thing I would appreciate it.

Again, my apologies for posting spoilers in the clear.

#610 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2007, 01:53 AM:

Stefan Jones,

Well, I can sympathize with that. I want Brian Blessed as the King of the Hawkmen. Before I saw that, I never knew that Falstaff had wings.

#611 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2007, 07:29 AM:

One question about Flash Gordon... To me, this kind of story should have a 'big' feel, something larger than life. Does its being a TV show somehow manage to overcome that?

#612 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2007, 08:33 AM:

Peter Erwin @597: Do you suppose it has Weeping Gorilla, too?

I would bet not, but I do.

#613 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2007, 05:57 PM:

For those of us who don't have cable, iTunes has the Flash Gordon pilot available as a free download as of right now. I've no idea how long it will be up and available.

#614 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2007, 05:58 PM:

Saw No End in Sight yesterday.

It's a indie documentary about how the Bush administration screwed up Iraq war planning, and further screwed up the early days of the occupation and reconstruction. A surprising number of insiders give candid accounts of what happened and their roles in the fiasco.

I wouldn't recommend seeing it. Not because it isn't good (it's good), or not relevant (it's relevant), but because you'all probably know most of the details already, and seeing it all laid out in one slick package is just so fucking depressing, especially when you realize that the people who really need to see this movie won't, ever.

IMDB entry)

#615 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2007, 06:09 PM:

#611: Serge wonders:

'To me, this kind of story should have a 'big' feel, something larger than life.'

V guvax gur YNPX bs n "ovt" srry vf jung qvfnccbvagrq zr zbfg nobhg gur arj Synfu.

V pna yvir jvgu ybj ohqtrg. Urpx, gur bevtvany frevnyf jrer jnl purnc. Gur qvfnfgref fgevxvat Rnegu va gur svefg frevrf jrer ercerfragrq ol arjferry sbbgntr bs sverf naq uheevpnarf. Gur fcnprfuvcf qnatyrq ba fgevatf. Gur pbfghzrf jrer evtug bhg bs gur EXB Uvfgbevpny Qenzn Pbfghzr Ercbfvgbel. Ohg gurl unq na haqravnoyr thfgb. Urpx gur cergragvbhf gvgyrf nybar fpber cbvagf: Synfu Tbeqba Pbadhref gur Havirefr!

Arj Synfu: Qnqql'f zvffvat. Synfu yvirf ng ubzr naq unf qngvat gebhoyr. Zbz vf guerngrarq. Unaf Mnexbss vf n perrc jub qevirf nebhaq va n Jvaarontb naq juvarf n ybg. Bu, naq Qnqql'f zvffvat. Ohg znlor abg!

#616 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2007, 07:28 PM:

Mary Dell @ 453:
I suppose I should have expected to be beaten to the punch but not quite so quickly. Anyway, the overloaded schedule that got in my way at #446 is temporarily unloaded so here's what I put together:

Almost R'lyeh

Too late or better late than never?

#617 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2007, 08:05 PM:

Stefan Jones @ 615... That's what I was afraid of. Drat. Well, I'll see for myself as soon as my in-laws fly back to the Bay Area.

#618 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2007, 09:41 PM:

Heavens, a LOLcat that actually made me laugh.

#619 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2007, 10:52 PM:

RE the k. d. lang Particle: that was presumably from her concert tour following the release of Hymns of the 49th Parallel, which is mostly covers of songs by Canadian songwriters, including Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Jane Siberry along with Leonard Cohen. The whole album is excellent.

#620 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 01:08 AM:

Todd Larason (#619): The whole album is excellent.

Seconded. Continuing the theme of cover albums by Canadian female vocalists, I also recently picked up Jann Arden's Uncover Me; I recommend that, also.

#621 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 02:22 AM:

Alas, Tania (#613), the Flash Gordon pilot is only (officially) available to the elect within the Magic Circle of the iTunes US Store. Those of us in the Outer Darkness, with iTune accounts in other, lesser, lands are not permitted access to those sunlit golden plains of (legal) television downloads. I know that many of my fellows do it, through alternative channels <ahem>, but heaven forfend that I should. They've lost quite a few sales too. For the last 9 months, all the different things I've tried to get there haven't been available to me.

[I've really got to get myself one of those mail forwarding, billable, addresses in the US of A. There are atoms (e.g. books) people won't send me, as well as bytes/electrons. Can be very frustrating.]

#622 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 02:28 AM:

Paul Duncanson #616: Excellent!

Re: Flash Gordon, the pilot seems to be available at scifi.com. I haven't had a chance to watch it yet, but I plan on it.

#623 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 03:15 AM:

Mez - what a bunch of shortsighted spavined nitwits!!

I sympathize with your molecule issues, as likely would Linkmeister and Clifton Royston. Shipping to Alaska and Hawaii is usually treated as shabbily as shipping to foreign shores.

#624 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 03:15 AM:

The k.d. lang link reminded me to post this:

Most of Sally Cruikshank's fabulous animated works are on YouTube here, as she's posted them there herself. Very cool stuff, including a number of animations she apparently did for Sesame Street. If you never saw it, her work is wonderfully surreal constantly-changing and flowing animation.

The piece I totally go wild for, in particular, is Face Like A Frog.

This particular piece is kind of Halloween-spooky themed, with music by Danny Elfman and the Mystic Knights (the original persona of Oingo Boingo.) I first saw it on 'Alive From Off Center' in the '80s. (Wny, oh why, was that entire series never released as a DVD set? I would buy it in a shot, especially the season hosted by Laurie Anderson and her clone.) We taped it off PBS, and my daughter, then 2 or 3, used to watch this little clip over and over again.

#625 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 04:10 AM:

Reading the latest Wikipedia particle, I'm almost glad I live in a country with strict firearms laws: it turns out that the guy who posted it is a "Legal intern" who used to be on an Army sniper team in Iraq.

I'm guessing that there's some missing context, because I can see how demanding credentials can become a destructive Wikipedia pissing-match. On the other hand, an administrator who says things like that with no apparent reference to a specific context is asserting some of the worst of Wikipedia--the insignificance of credentials and experience.

(And the guy presents his own credentials and experience on his talk page.)

#627 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 06:34 AM:

Paul Duncanson @ 616

We should set up a separate website for Cthulhu mashups and similar weirdery. Concentrate enough in one spot and maybe it will show up? Wait, maybe that's not such a good idea.

#628 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 08:42 AM:

Paul Duncanson @#616: Definitely better late than never! Very cool.

#629 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 08:47 AM:

Stefan Jones @ 615... One can dream and wonder and ponder what George Lucas's Flash Gordon would have been like, had he been able to acquire the rights to it.

#630 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 08:59 AM:

On the k d lang youtube.

I thought I'd have a look. Modern pop diva, with a twist, I used to think. Never was moved to listen before. God, it feels good to have my expectations obliterated, combusted, run over with a dumpster and deep-sixed forever.

Man, that is righteous singing.

#631 ::: Jakob ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 09:12 AM:

Dave Luckett #630: I wonder whether INFERNOKRUSHER MUSIC!! would have the same effect. On one's expectations or sensibilities, rather - I can't imagine Hallelujah being very INFERNOKRUSHER, even if it was played from an amp mounted on the back of a monster truck. That was on fire. And smashing things.

#632 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 09:52 AM:

sidelight: "The ultimate Wikipedia talk-page comment"

(head -> desk)


#633 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 10:41 AM:

I've been hearing a lot of covers of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah lately, including college a cappella groups covering Jeff Buckley's cover. I'm starting to think that a lot of his music becomes more accessible when other people sing it -- with his own understated versions you have to pay more attention. But fie on you Teresa, now I need to get a copy of the k.d. lang version and I've already overspent my music budget for the year.

I was amused recently when a passerby heard me singing it, and tried to start a religious conversation with me. I had to stifle myself from explaining the lyrics to her (the version I know is from the Cohen Live album which is fairly explicit sexually). Not that it's not religious, mind you.
But I've just had a fun tour through various covers, successfully wasting an hour or so...

#634 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 12:44 PM:

#624 "I would buy it in a shot, especially the season hosted by Laurie Anderson and her clone."

Whew.

So someone else does remember that.

I was starting to think that I'd just imagined it all.

#635 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 01:26 PM:

"Do you like these chords?"

#636 ::: Stephen Frug ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 01:27 PM:

Has anyone here read Adam Gopnik's piece on Philip K Dick in the most recent New Yorker? I'd be very curious what people thought. I usually like Gopnik a lot, but this piece seemed rather off to me.

(Funny how he lists (in his second paragraph) as among the "encumbrances of genius" the existence of "gently disparaging comprehensive reviews", which is more or less what his is... although not always that gentle...)

#637 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 01:44 PM:

There's a fairly sizable collection of Hallelujah covers here. Some are better than others, of course; it's been a while since I listened, but I seem to recall particularly liking the Arooj Aftab one.

John #633: Some of Mr. Cohen's songs seem to me to need covers, while others very emphatically do not. I had heard the Cohen Live Hallelujah many times without really noticing it, then I heard Buckley's and it was something un-ignorable. Similarly for Democracy from The Future; nice song and all, but then along comes Judy Collins' version and I'm almost pulling strangers off the street to come listen to it.

But then there are songs like Everybody Knows; as much as I like Concrete Blonde (and I do), Leonard's voice fits it better than Johnette's does. And I'm not going to make myself listen to the Don Henley version again to comment on it. I can't even imagine someone else trying to sing Teachers.

#638 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 01:46 PM:

John Houghton @ 633: I'm starting to think that a lot of his music becomes more accessible when other people sing it -- with his own understated versions you have to pay more attention.

In my experience, it's more that people go "that guy can't sing." Which, although I like his non-singing, is hard to argue with.

In the case of "Hallelujah," Cohen is the only one I know of who sings the best verses, so people who don't track down the original are missing out regardless of whether they like his vocal stylings.

#639 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 02:35 PM:

I'm concerned that "Hallelujah" is getting overexposed and misused.

It turns up as incidental music on at least one sitcom ("Scrubs"), apparently to signal profound / wistful / mournful moments. Grrr!

Oddly, Shreck used it appropriately, over scenes of love-gone-painfully-bad.

I suppose we should be glad that it's too long and slow to use in advertisements.

#640 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 02:39 PM:

Tania @ #623, you're absolutely right. Mez, my sympathies.

Some of our snarkier newspaper and magazine columnists used to offer "statehood recognition awards" to people and/or organizations which insisted that Hawai'i was a foreign country, but I haven't seen any of those recently, which isn't to say there aren't frequent occasions where they could be given out. We still get hit with surcharges from mail-order outfits.

We're potentially on the verge of getting an import we'd prefer would go elsewhere; that's Flossie.

#641 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 02:46 PM:

Tim Walters (638):
Leonard Cohen can sing, his singing is closer to Tom Waits than to Loreena McKennitt or Hayley Westerna, I'll admit. But he has tone, pitch, and a decent range. His voice doesn't support a wide range of tone, and he has limited emotional range (which may only be a feature of his songwriting). Competent, not flashy.
Leonard supposedly wrote 15 total verses originally (probably not ever sung in one version), so I'm not sure which count as the best verses. At least some of the covers I listened to this morning used the verses from the 1988 live recording (or close to them).

#642 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 03:01 PM:

Sigh. Hayley Westenra. I cut-and-paste googlechecked my spelling, and hit a site that makes money off of misspelling her name (they'll sell you an album for $25 that Amazon has for $14). Should've know better, I've been burnt that exact way before -- at least I don't follow the Google ads to ebay anymore when I'm looking for something out-of-the-ordinary.

"Looking for Transdimensional Flux Capacitors?
Find exactly what you want today.
www.eBay.com"

Internet and Tragedy of the Commons go together well, don't you think?

#643 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 03:34 PM:

John Houghton @ 641:

> pitch

Not to my ear (although, as I said, it doesn't stop me from enjoying him). Short of whipping out the frequency analyzer we may just have to disagree on this one.

The verses of "Hallelujah" I miss most are:

You say I took the name in vain
Well, I don't even know the name
And if I did, well, really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light in every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

I did my best; it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, but I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the lord of song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

#644 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 04:07 PM:

Re "Hallelujah", I first heard it on "House", and loved it. (Jeff Buckley's version, season 2, in the episode "Acceptance")

#645 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 06:10 PM:

Michael Swanwick has a blog, E-I-E-I-O
Flogging Babel is its name, E-I-E-I-O
With a blog post here,
And a blog post there,
Here a post, there a post, everywhere a blog post,
Michael Swanwick has a blog, E-I-E-I-O


[Who says I'm poetically challenged?]

#646 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 06:17 PM:

#645: John beat me too it.

Plate of shrimp.

#647 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 06:35 PM:

Serge 629: One can dream and wonder and ponder what George Lucas's Flash Gordon would have been like, had he been able to acquire the rights to it.

What a disgusting idea! How about Peter Jackson instead.

Or...dare I say it...Joss Whedon?

Dave 630: Me too. I knew she was an incredible singer, but that was frelling magic. I wonder who she sold her soul to...and whether they're still buying.

#648 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 06:38 PM:

John @ 645:

In much the same spirit: Doo Dah News.

#649 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 11:06 PM:

Earl Cooley III #626: Top White House aide Rove resigns

Given the lack of comment, I guess I picked the wrong thread to post this in. heh. Medal of Freedom in 5... 4... 3... 2...

#650 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 11:36 PM:

Xopher @ 647... Actually, George Lucas did try to film Flash Gordon in the early 1970s, after the success of American Graffiti. Unfortunately, the owners of the character were asking too much money because they were hoping that Fellini would do it. George gave up and instead went on to make some thing called Star Wars.

This isn't a hoax like Orson Welles's Batman. Still don't believe me? Check what Mike Ford posted almost exactly one year ago in response to my inquiries.

Joss Whedon's Flash Gordon... That would be something to behold.

#651 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2007, 11:58 PM:

Tim Walters @ 643, I downloaded The Essential Leonard Cohen CD to my iTunes. Halleleujah includes those two verses....

Just saying....

those are two of my most favorite CDs....

#652 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 12:01 AM:

My two second favorite Leonard Cohen songs are Who by Fire and Closing Time.

#653 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 12:19 AM:

Serge 650: Well, I'm glad he did SW and nearly as glad he didn't do Flash Gordon. I don't think GL has a goofy enough sense of humor. FG needs to be gonzo, IMO. Outrageously worng* as SW often is, it's seldom if ever funny.

*typo too appropriate to fix.

#654 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 12:34 AM:

Paula:
I don't know 'Who by Fire', but I agree with 'Closing Time', though it's hard to pick 'em. 'The Future' is one of my favorites just for sheer bleakness.

Earl: I haven't said anything about the Rove resignation because I'm too flabbergasted to know exactly what to think about it. I somewhat expect, though, that despite all the spin it will prove to have something to do with the AG investigations.

#655 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 12:51 AM:

O.K. A dumb question here but it involves two areas I'm weak on: Buffy and Fan Fiction.

First of all: I've seen about five episodes of Buffy, total--I've never had the DVD's and I missed out of the series first-run. (I have seen all of Angel and liked it very much because it kept reminding me of my favorite Raymond Chandler quote and because USA ran the episodes in order when I was unemployed.)

Second of all: I haven't read more than about five pages of fan fiction, mainly because the examples I've seen have been very dumb and I start feeling embarrassed. (We're leaving out the non-dumb Everybody's Favorite Duck by Gahan Wilson, O.K.?)

With this in mind... Today I was looking for the words to the Robert Graves poem about St. Trinians School for Girls and found a link to a Buffy/St. Trinians crossover. (Considering the amount of demon spawn and appearances by Satan in the original cartoons I suppose it's a logical next step.) My question is this: has anyone here read "Deeds of Maidenly Unkindness" and, if so, am I likely to be able to make heads or tails of it--and will I hate myself in the morning? Thanks!

#656 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 01:01 AM:

Mez:

Alas, Tania (#613), the Flash Gordon pilot is only (officially) available to the elect within the Magic Circle of the iTunes US Store.

I'd have more sympathy if I hadn't repeatedly tried to buy The Ying Tong Song at iTunes UK from my in-the-USA ip address with no success...

#657 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 01:10 AM:

Clifton @ 624,

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!

I can die happy now. I still haven't outgrown my adolescent fannish obsession with the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo and the works of Sally Cruikshank. I never knew there were animations!

#658 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 01:15 AM:

Ooops. I made a mistake. I managed to confuse Sally Cruikshanks with Georgeanne Deen. I promise not to do that again. Still, very nice animation. Thanks again, Clifton!

#659 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 01:41 AM:

Bruce, go and read it.

The two big late-Buffy elements are that there are now a lot of Slayers, rather than just one, and Willow does magic as well as computers.

#661 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 02:18 AM:

Leonard Cohen's voice might be the most beautiful I've ever heard. I don't particularly care about its technical merits.

I've also long maintained that kd lang is not only much better than people think, but also much cooler.

#662 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 03:08 AM:

Dave Bell: The link didn't paste correctly on that one. Try again?

#663 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 03:08 AM:

dave bell,

oh no! i am a will eisner fan, and i have been known to attempt to draw an m16! if only your link worked! (or if i could be arsed to google!)

#664 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 03:09 AM:

For those who are going to Burning Man: I've posted my schedule (musical and otherwise), to the extent that I know it. I'd love to get together with any Making Lighters there.

#665 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 03:33 AM:

JHW: In that case, you're familiar with The Forbidden Zone, right? Definitely one of the odder movies I've seen in a while. (For the rest of those playing at home, it ties in with the Love Boat and Unspeakable Things meta-themes above, in that it features Herve Villechaise as King Fausto of the 6th Dimension, making out with his witch Queen, Susan Tyrell. And Danny Elfman plays Satan.)

#666 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 04:41 AM:

BTW, the Hurricane Flossie situation is not looking too good for us island-dwellers. Not disastrous yet, but it's not significantly weakened and each time the course becomes clearer, it's been more directly lined up on all of the islands.

At this point, the good case is that Flossie passes slightly south of the Big Island, whomping it with 60-70mph winds and big surf, and then passes along parallel to the entire island chain to the south but without getting so close to the rest of them. The bad part of this is that at every stage it will have the opportunity to swerve north and hit one or more of the islands dead-on, with no more than a few hours warning. (In case you're wondering what the worst case is, it could still veer north-west briefly before resuming its current course, and then plow straight over every island in succession. We're hoping it doesn't do that.)

#667 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 05:03 AM:

This isn't a hoax like Orson Welles's Batman.

True. Everyone knows that the 1950s Batman project was helmed by Carol Reed, with George C Scott as Bruce Wayne and Ralph Richardson as Commissioner Gordon.

No, I'm not coming back into the real world. I like it in here. The cinema's better.

#668 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 07:01 AM:

Hurricane Flossie

will be followed by its twin storm: Hurricane Freddie.

(Groans welcome.)

#669 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 08:47 AM:

Dave Bell @#659:

Also, Willow's into chicks now (probably self-evident in much fan fic!), and Buffy has a teenage sister named Dawn.

#670 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 09:24 AM:

ajay @ 667... I'm not coming back into the real world. I like it in here. The cinema's better.

David Lean's Foundation and Empire, with Alec Guiness as Hari Seldon... William Wyler's Last Son of Krypton, with Gregory Peck as you-know-who, Katharine Hepburn as Lois Lane, Yul Brynner as Lex Luthor - and Humphrey Bogart as Perry White...

#671 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 09:34 AM:

Xopher @ 653... You didn't think that Revenge of the Sith was funny?

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Annakin Skywalker are fighting to the death in the middle of a lava lake.

Obi-Wan: "The Senator is evil!"
Annakin: "He is not, from his point of view."

#672 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 09:36 AM:

Dave Bell @ 660

One of the very few good things about being in the army during the Vietnam War and having a technical MOS was that Eisner regularly illustrated a monthly newsletter on equipment maintenance that was sent out to all maintenance organizations. Of course there was something surreal about looking at Eisner illos of guys taking apart a Huey while watching the photolab's* cat playing with a cicada that was alightly bigger than it was and listening to (and feeling!) the sound of blockbuster bombs being dropped on the Cambodian border 25 miles away.

Aside from PTSD, one of the hardest things for a soldier to do on returning to the World (note the phrase) is trying to figure out what's real and what's a figment of the war.


* Where I hid on my off-shifts to keep sergeants from finding and inventing work for me.

#673 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 09:51 AM:

Serge @ 670

*wipes drool off face thoughfully*

Hepburn and Bogart, eh? I never considered a threesome with Lois, Perry, and Clark. If you're playing that card I'd prefer Spencer Tracy for Perry. I bet Bogie could play Clark with a good script and a tailwind.

Oh, and Laurence Olivier as the Mule (he did Richard III, didn't he?). And before I forget, Christopher Nolan's The World of Null-A, with Ray Milland as Gosseyn.

Curse you, Serge, I should be getting ready for work, not dreaming up alternate cinema.

#674 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 10:04 AM:

Jon at 668, I thought I was the only one who thought of the Bobbsey twins. What was Flossie short for, anyway? Did their parents decide that three fairly professional names was enough?

#675 ::: cmk ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 10:15 AM:

#674: Flossie is (or it can be) a nickname for Florence.

#676 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 10:23 AM:

Mary Dell@669 Buffy has a teenage sister named Dawn.

Of course, technically Dawn's not quite two in Season 7. Or at least several thousand. Depending on how one counts...

#677 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 10:25 AM:

Of course "Not quite two" should be "not quite three" in my #676 above.

#678 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 10:26 AM:

Bruce Cohen @ 673... Curse you, Serge

You're welcome.
Bwahahahah!!!

#679 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 10:49 AM:

More bad hurricane jokes: just wait for the headlines if tropical storm Dean (now in the Atlantic) gains strength and turns inland.

"DEAN SCREAMS THROUGH SOUTHEAST" ...

#680 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 11:15 AM:

Actually, the bad hurricane joke that came to mind for me was (admittedly cumbersome) "Don't forget to Flossie!"

#681 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 11:24 AM:

Bruce Cohen @ 673...

Speaking of alternate cinema...

Originally, The Day The Earth Stood Still was going to have Klaatu played by Spencer Tracy, who was interested. Robert Wise, the director, opposed the idea. His feeling was that, the moment Klaatu stepped out of his spaceship, te audience would exclaim: "Hey! That's Spencer Tracy!" Nothing against Tracy, but it was wise to use an actor without all that baggage. Besides, Michael Rennie looked right.

#682 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 12:28 PM:

Serge, this seems like the sort of thing you'd find interesting/amusing, even though the proposed films are about 40 years too new:

10 Movies that will never be made

#683 ::: ironymaiden ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 12:34 PM:

a constructive thought: the care and effort that have gone into "Occasional Works" deserves its own page on nielsenhayden.com with a permanent link in the sidebar on Making Light. quotes could be added as they were found by any of the mods. it would be easy to visit, and easier to maintain an archive of existing and ongoing collection posts.

Theresa, it's your playground and i appreciate your firm moderation. i've moved to a summary feed, thanks to a coolheaded commenter. fwiw, i don't participate here often, but always under the same username and with a valid email address.

#684 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 12:39 PM:

Tanya @ 682... No Rendez-vous with Rama. Bummer.

#685 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 01:07 PM:

Surge @ #684: No Conan the King. Sigh...

Of course, without Mako, it wouldn't be worthwhile.

#686 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 01:15 PM:

Can't say I'm hugely distraught about losing "Rendezvous with Rama"... or the Lucas "Apocalypse Now" for that matter.

Noel Coward's script for the David Lean-directed The Spider Man, on the other hand...

-- Mary Jane... darling... there's something terribly important I have to do.
-- Peter - you will come back to me, won't you?

Edward G Robinson as the Green Goblin, Tom Courtney as Peter Parker...

#687 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 01:16 PM:

Tania @ 685... without Mako, it wouldn't be worthwhile

Agreed, but what if it meant Arnie leaving his governor job?

#688 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 01:21 PM:

Alfred Hitchcock's War of the Worlds... And he really worked on this.

#689 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 01:36 PM:

There was a story in Asimov's a while back where a guy visits a video store in an alternate universe...where lots of mediocre movies were made instead as tours de force by masters.

I can't think of any examples, but if you cite them I will further them. (JUST KIDDING!)

#690 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 01:57 PM:

Faren Miller @ 680 -- too much commercial radio in the car, combined with a brain that auto-loads songs from any given word, causes me to start singing "Glamorous" when I hear the word "Flossie."

I still don't know what it means in context of the song. ("By the glamorous, oh, the flossy flossy"?)

I also admit, the first time I heard of Fergie, to thinking "Wait, what? The Duchess of York is going into pop music now?" (Possibly this was because the first song I heard of was "London Bridge.") It took me a while to figure it out. Let me tell you, that was some mental image.

(I just turned 25 and the generation gap is already sneaking up on me.)

#691 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 02:27 PM:

Xopher @ 689... You are tempting Fate.

#692 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 03:44 PM:

caroline,

I still don't know what it means in context of the song.

hee. i always hear "flopsy, flopsy," as in peter rabbit's eldest sister.

i knew fergie from the black eyed peas. doesn't mean i was any better prepared for her singing career (or her "singing" "career").

#693 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 03:57 PM:

We were listening to music in my wife's car and the same line caused a similar onversation. "What the hell did she just say? Fonzi? Fonzi?"

My wife explained that she thought the "flouncey flouncey" was talking about wardrobe behaviour. A flouncy dress? or something.

I couldn't really identify.


#694 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 05:27 PM:

Regarding the new particle, "Michael Swanwick has a blog":

Doo-daah, doo-daah.

#696 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 05:47 PM:

Serge 671: 1. Unintentionally funny doesn't count. 2. I never saw ROTS, having been unable to stomach the previous episode.

#697 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 05:55 PM:

Greg London @ 693, that actually makes so much more sense. I was having mental images of tassels or something. I have no idea. It was bothering me.

At least people are going to know how to spell glamorous.

#698 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 05:57 PM:

James Fallows recommends seeing No End in Sight to mark Karl Rove's departure.

#699 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 06:15 PM:

Xopher @ 696... Unintentionally funny doesn't count

It wasn't meant to be funny?

But seriously, folks... I didn't see most of it. I had some time to kill before Fantastic Four started so I snuck in and caught the end of Sith. I then dragged back next door to see FF. Let's put it this way. That afternoon wasn't as pleasantly memorable as the 1982 Saturday when I saw The Wrath of Khan and Bladerunner.

#700 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 06:46 PM:

Clifton @ 665 writes: "...And Danny Elfman plays Satan."

In which he performs a fabulous filk of Cab Calloway's "Minnie the Moocher" that absolutely rocks.

(Note: some critics have complained that the film is racist and anti-semitic. I'm not sure I'd agree with that, but I won't dispute their grounds for making the argument. The film is certainly intended for an outsider audience, but I sincerely doubt its themes would appeal to real white supremacists and anti-semitic extremists.)

#701 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 06:57 PM:

Clifton @ 665 writes: "...And Danny Elfman plays Satan."

In which he performs a fabulous filk of Cab Calloway's "Minnie the Moocher" that absolutely rocks.

(Note: some critics have complained that the film is racist and anti-semitic. I'm not sure I'd agree with that, but I won't dispute their grounds for making the argument. The film is certainly intended for an outsider audience, but I sincerely doubt its themes would appeal to real white supremacists and anti-semitic extremists.)

#702 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 10:02 PM:

#676-7: technically Dawn's not quite two in Season 7. Or at least several thousand

"teenage" is qualitative, not quantitative.

#703 ::: DavidH ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 10:41 PM:

Xopher @ 689: I'm guessing that's the story available here as a podcast.


#704 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 11:21 PM:

Question about the book version of "The Prestige" -- no spoilers in the question, but possibly in the answer.

Near the end, there are some cards shown with place names, dates and times, as well as numerical inscriptions like '2359/23' through '2361/23'. What do those numbers represent?


I started reading the book hoping for a clear answer to a question that puzzled me about the movie (movie spoiler rot13ed) -- Jul qvq Natvre, bapr ur unq gur Grfyn znpuvar, abg whfg hfr vg bapr naq gura hfr Obeqra'f fvzcyre (naq zber uhznar) gryrcbegngvba zrgubq? I have a possible answer (Vs ur'q qbar vg gung jnl, vg jbhyq unir orra gur fnzr gevpx, abg n orggre gevpx.), but I don't find it wholly satisfactory.

The book has been a wholly different, also very enjoyable experience, (spoiler for whichever form you don't know) ohg bs pbhefr qbrfa'g nafjre gur zbivr dhrfgvba ng nyy, fvapr gur Grfyn znpuvar jbexf qvssreragyl.

#705 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2007, 11:53 PM:

DavidH 703: The very one! Thanks.

#706 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 01:40 AM:

Oh, damn you for posting that Hallelujah.

I'm pretty happy with my own voice, but every now and then I hear someone who makes me want to trade all mine in for theirs: Beverly Sills, Sarah Ramirez, Jane Monheit, Anne Sophie von Otter... now I have to add k.d. to my list.

I'm going to have to listen to that song again though - I've heard it as so much aural wallpaper on TV shows where it seems the screenwriter just gave up and decided to rely on that chord progression to supply the drama (House and Lost, just off the top of my head). The lyrics are tricky and meaningful and I need to pay more attention.

On the plus side, despite the fact that I am flat broke for the next two days (have subway fare in laundry quarters!) I discovered I had all the ingredients for a righteous pan of brownies. The downside is that my roommate is out of town, so it's just me and the dog (who is not allowed to eat brownies.) Anyone want some?

#707 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 01:59 AM:

ajay @ 686

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a high school student in possession of a radioactive spider, must be in want of a bite.

#708 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 02:04 AM:

Andrew Willet @ 694

eyi-eyi-oh

#709 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 02:20 AM:

#708: And on his blog he had some trolls ...

#710 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 05:11 AM:

689: I read that story online. Tim Pratt's "Impossible Dreams". Hugo shortlisted.
http://www.asimovs.com/_issue_0704/Impossibledreams.shtml

"The shelves yielded miracle after miracle. Here was The Death of Superman, directed by Tim Burton, starring Nicolas Cage; in Pete’s universe, Burton and Cage had both dropped the project early on. Here was Total Recall, but directed and written by David Cronenberg, not Paul Verhoeven. Here was The Terminator, but starring O.J. Simpson rather than Arnold Schwarzenegger—though Schwarzenegger was still in the film, as Kyle Reese. Here was Raiders of the Lost Ark, but starring Tom Selleck instead of Harrison Ford—and there was no sign of any later Indiana Jones films, which was sad. Pete’s hands were already full of DVDs, and he juggled them awkwardly while pulling more movies from the shelves. Here was Casablanca starring George Raft instead of Bogart, and maybe it had one of the alternate endings, too! Here a John Wayne World War II movie he’d never heard of, but the box copy said it was about the ground invasion of the Japanese islands..."

#711 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 06:34 AM:

Re alternate movies/movies that never got made:

I seem to recall a small visual joke near the end of the second Jurassic Park movie, where some characters are in a video store and you can see, briefly, a big display poster for King Lear, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

#712 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 06:41 AM:

ajay @ 710... I think Casablanca originally had Ronald Reagan as Rick, but the studio moved it from a "B" project to an "A" project, for which Ronnie just wasn't good enough. I don't know if that's when Raft stepped in.

I'd have liked to see Nicholas Cage as Superman, but, from what I heard of the proposed film, I'm very glad that this never happened. I still haven't forgiven Burton for Planet of the Apes.

#713 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 06:44 AM:

j h woodyatt @ 657:
I can die happy now. I still haven't outgrown my adolescent fannish obsession with the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo and the works of Sally Cruikshank. I never knew there were animations!

Have you seen the clip of the Mystic Knights' appearance on The Gong Show?

#714 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 06:57 AM:

Serge @ 712: I think Casablanca originally had Ronald Reagan as Rick

Snopes.com debunks Reagan's Casablanca.

#715 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 07:17 AM:

Earl @ 714... I'm very glad that there never was a chance of a Ronnie Reagan Casablanca. I'm quite happy with the one that we did get in this Reality.

#716 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 08:24 AM:

Re Spanish translation particle: ¡Sabrosa!

In other news, Forbes reports that the U.S. is now 42nd in life expectancy (down from 11th a generation ago) and has the highest rate of obesity in the world.

#717 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 09:55 AM:

Caroline (#690): At a bit more than twice your age, I had the same puzzlement after hearing about Fergie, so I'm glad to hear that someone *young* shared my moment of confusion! But I'm sure my list of "who the hell is that?" stretches way, way longer than yours -- in regard to modern celebrities, anyway.

#718 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 10:05 AM:

Faren @ 717... This here 52-year-old had the same perplexed reaction upon hearing of Fergie. As for your list of "who the hell is that?"... The TV monitors at my gym show music videos non-stop and most of the recent stuff elicits the same reaction from me. (It also makes me realize how unimaginative most of the new videos are... True, it's cheaper to have a bunch of young ladies wriggling their bottoms than to cook up Tom Petty's homage to Little Nemo in Slumberland.)

#719 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 02:26 PM:

Faren @ 717 -- maybe. I've never been very good at celebrities. I still don't understand how most people connect actors with movies and movies with actors, or recognize an actor in one movie from a completely different role in another movie. Unless someone is particularly distinctive, or I have some outside context, I only see characters, not actors.

As for modern pop, I usually have to be told that two songs are by the same person, again unless they are particularly distinctive. I can sing you any amount of songs, but identifying title and artist is more troublesome.

nerdycellist @ 706, it's one of the three songs that reliably make me cry. (Unfortunately or fortunately, the verse that gets to me isn't in the posted version.) The other two are Nick Cave's "Into My Arms" and Tom Waits' "Please Call Me, Baby." Anyway, I agree, the lyrics are well worth carefully listening.

#720 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 02:30 PM:

Serge @ #718, that raises the question "How many wriggling ingenues does it take to match one Tom Petty?"

#721 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 02:54 PM:

Caroline@719: I still don't understand how most people connect actors with movies and movies with actors, or recognize an actor in one movie from a completely different role in another movie.

I tend to do that with movies, although I haven't been seeing a lot of movies lately, so, I'm getting out of touch myself. I tried some improv acting and found out just how hard it is to get up on stage and not be me, which makes me appreciate it when I can see someone do it really well. And sometimes it's about watching them being them.

I love watching Christopher Walken in just about anything from his monologue in "Pulp Fiction" to a powerful senator in "Wedding crashers" to "More cowbell".

Peter Weller is that way for me as well. Part of that is because he's in my favorite movie of all time, "Buckaroo Bonzai and the adventures in the Eighth Dimension". Campy, funny stuff. I watched him narrate a program on teh history channel once was was enthralled. (He has a PhD in history now and teaches somewhere)

I like John Leguizamo. His standup got my attention, he's got amazing energy. When I see him in a movie or in a billboard ad, I notice.

I absolutely love Eddie Izzard. The man is hilariously funny and I always like watching him in movies.

One actor who has fooled me in more than one movie (i.e. I didn't realize it was him until afterwards) is Gary Oldman. He is just amazing.

John Cusack is always fun to watch.

I like Janeane Garofalo. She's good.

Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal are both pretty amazing.

I don't know how to explain it. I guess I'm just a fan.

#722 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 03:35 PM:

Caroline #719: I still don't understand how most people connect actors with movies and movies with actors, or recognize an actor in one movie from a completely different role in another movie.

In one sense it's rather like connecting authors with books, although the greatest practitioner I know of recognizing actors in other roles, my husband, took until he was sixteen or so to realize that authors had oeuvres, and that you could find more stuff by an author in the same place you found the first thing. (If, of course, you could remember the author's name in the first place, which he usually couldn't.)

Anyway, we're fond of Brit mystery and Masterpiece Theatre shows, and Brit actors tend to wander all over the place: you see a chap in Inspector Morse, and then he shows up in Midsomer Murders, and of course the star of that was also the star of Bergerac. Etc. But my husband does this weird thing: he cannot give me the name of the actor, but he can say, "that was the guy who was the murderer in X." And he's always right, even when I say "No way!" He claims that it's facial tics, every time.

#723 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 03:38 PM:

I'll watch any character Brian Cox wants to play. The guy is terrific even when the role sucks.

#724 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 04:19 PM:

Now that I can has internet, I can listen to the kd lang particle.

Ah. That's one of the songs I like from Shrek.

Spot the parent.

#725 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 04:40 PM:

I'm the same way, Abi. I'd never heard it before and thought it was absolutely perfect for that bit of the movie. It's been going through my head as a result of the discussion here, and while I didn't respond as strongly to the particulated version as others, boy do I like that song. It's at the low point of my voice on the Shrek soundtrack, but I always try. There's a tenor in me yet, I guess.

#726 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 04:46 PM:

Diatryma @725

There's a tenor in me yet, I guess.
I'm in that club. I sing alto, but I can do high tenor parts in a pinch.

However, I can't read bass clef at all, so I have to stand next to another tenor and draft off of him. (I'm out of practice reading any notation, but I never progressed past treble clef and Gregorian notation.)

#727 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 04:54 PM:

When I was learning bassoon, I had to switch from treble clef to bass, and pick up a fair amount of tenor clef. I never considered French horn, and they have to be able to transpose in their heads (Mom plays horn in park band. Periodically, she'll start on the wrong note and we all get to laugh at her). Singing's easier; I don't have a great sense of... is it absolute pitch? Where you see a D and sing a D? I do not have that.
The weird thing is, I'm a soprano. When I sang alto in my youth (up to tenth grade) I chose alto because they were the big, cool girls who had all the fun parts. Then I actually auditioned and hey, I can hit some highish notes. In college, I stepped down to mezzo because there is no reason for a bio major to aim for a high C.
My high school went to a music festival every year that included two or three other schools. One or another would always bring a female tenor. We often looked sadly upon that school, for they did not have the tenor section we did, and also because we had a huge idea of our own musical superiority.

"Hallelujah", right at the edge of my casual-singing range, is not nearly as annoying as some other songs, which are right at the break between low- and high-voice.

#728 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 05:02 PM:

Nerdycellist @ 706: I'm pretty happy with my own voice, but every now and then I hear someone who makes me want to trade all mine in for theirs: Beverly Sills, Sarah Ramirez, Jane Monheit, Anne Sophie von Otter... now I have to add k.d. to my list.

Yes. And Sally Wolfe, and Annie Haslam.

#729 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 05:25 PM:

Diatryma @727
I thought I was the only one who tested soprano (I can hit some pretty high notes when my voice is in condition) and sang alto.

I don't really prioritise carrying the melody, though I enjoy it when it falls my way (thanks, Handel). I like how it feels to sing low.

Mind you, it's been so many years since I was in any kind of choir. I've never had perfect pitch either, and only my shower knows how badly my singing has deteriorated...

#730 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 05:35 PM:

The version of Hallelujah in the Shrek movie was by John Cale; I'm not sure if it's the same recording which is on the LC tribute album I'm Your Fan or not. The Shrek soundtrack album features a new recording of it, by Rufus Wainwright.

Presumably coincidently, my first conscious exposure to Leonard Cohen's singing (but not his songs -- I was already familiar with Suzanne, at least) also involved a movie / soundtrack discrepancy. His recording of "Everybody Knows" is prominent and haunting in Exotica, and I got the soundtrack just to find out who and what that song was. Alas, it wasn't on the soundtrack and it wasn't until the video release till I could find out.

#731 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 05:51 PM:

My first exposure to Leonard Cohen's singing was also via a soundtrack: "Ain't No Cure for Love", which came at the end of a movie called Love at Large. I'd heard his name before via a slightly odd conversation at a party, and it had somehow stuck in my head, though I had no idea what his songs or his voice was like.

(I managed to catch his name during the credits, so rather than hunt down the soundtrack, I hunted down his album.)

#732 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 05:52 PM:

Abi, all the fun sopranos I know wanted to be altos. Harmony is more fun, as long as the songs aren't stupid. My college choir was not particularly good-- I'd call it upper end of high school, really, all the people who didn't make it into the upper choir, scholarship students (I was paid more per hour for being in choir than for TAing Gen Bio), music majors who had to do voice when they were actually trombonists, things like that. We had some horrible songs. Some of it's my own baggage related to voice, some is... one song had the first alto section sing one note in a specific rhythm through the entire thing. No words, just don-don-don-donnnn on and on and on. I wouldn't want to be those altos.
Now I have the Hallelujah chorus, a la Handel, bouncing through my head. Mmmm.

#733 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 06:23 PM:

Singing alto was fun once I got out of my toxic high school choir (conductor was obsessed with show tunes and did not believe in allowing HS students touch classical stuff.) I was placed as an alto because as a cellist, I had a very good ear, knew all about dynamics and blend, and unlike most of the other kids in his choir, could actually read music. Most voice teachers figured I was actually a soprano - I had most of the notes. A lot of drama was created by that conductor, much of it by treating the singing of high notes to be the acme of of musical achievment.

When I started singing seriously in college they tried to make a soprano out of me, since they told me most women were, and that choir altos were actually just the sopranos with IQs. A few years of highly frustrating voice lessons (ask the woman who thought I should sing Der Holle Rache and spent an hour trying to find my non-existent whistle register) and by my mid-20's, it was finally determined that hey, maybe I really was an actual mezzo! Unfortunately, at that point I stopped with the voice lessons.

I keep thinking about going back to The Voice - serious classical stuff - but then I remember the inevitable frustration of not being able to sing as well as the music demands. Maybe it will be OK now, as I've gone back to the cello and am now OK knowing that I'll never be appearing with the CSO. Maybe I can take enough voice to achieve my life-long (well, since 13) dream of singing Mozart's Requiem.

#734 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 07:47 PM:

I don't care so much about singing solo-- that always went well-- but I would like to be in a good, big, healthy choir again. Something where my own sticky-outy voice isn't frowned upon just because it's bigger, something where I can sing... okay, not Mozart, he doesn't do much for me, but we did this requiem by Lukas(h?) that I've never been able to find otherwise. Songs with texture to them, or volume, oh, give me another director who will ask for more sound because sticky-outy voice or no, I have sound.
From the last Open Thread (was it the last? The one where we went all Old Time Religion, anyway) I will share the Dies Irae RAH RAH RAH bit. I consider it my duty to infect others with nonunlearnable facts.

#735 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 07:47 PM:

abi@726: what were you singing that wrote the tenor part in the bass clef? I've seen one obsolete score that used C-clef instead of treble, but never one that used bass.

Todd@704: Gur ovt punatr va gur zbivr vf gung Natvre'f jvsr qvrf vafgrnq bs zvfpneelvat, chfuvat uvz evtug bire gur rqtr; ur jnf cnenabvq rabhtu gb fubbg gur svefg qhcyvpngr engure guna gel gb artbgvngr jvgu ]vg[. (V'z nyfb abg pbaivaprq gung ur rire svtherq bhg gung gur funttl glcr jnf n qvfthvfrq gjva.) Cyhf, ur sryg ur unq gb \gbc/ uvf eviny, abg whfg qhcyvpngr gur gevpx.
I don't remember what the cards were for.

#736 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 08:03 PM:

what were you singing that wrote the tenor part in the bass clef?

Chorales are often written on a piano staff with SA in treble and TB in bass. In music theory classes, anyway.

#737 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 08:12 PM:

Chip @735: thanks.

The second part of your answer agrees with my best theory. I think he unq gb ernyvmr, ng yrnfg riraghnyyl, gung gur znpuvar jnf znxvat gjvaf -- ur _jnf_ gur fheivivat gjva rnpu gvzr ur cresbezrq gur gevpx.

The cards were (in the book) ynoryyvat gur "cerfgvtr zngrevny", gur Natvre obqvrf va gur snzvyl pelcg. Gurl vapyhqrq gur qngr, gvzr, ybpngvba naq cnlzrag sbe gur cresbeznapr, nf jryy nf gur ahzoref V qba'g haqrefgnaq. Gurer jnf nyfb n pneq sbe gur puvyq Avpxl'f obql, ynoryyrq jvgu n "0000/23" (??) naq (0t -- 0 thvaarnf cnlzrag).

And yes, I feel a little bit silly concealing spoiler material for year-old movie and a decade plus old book, but they're both so very good I'd hate to ruin them for anybody.

#738 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 08:22 PM:

leonard cohen:

i was exposed to leonard cohen at the exact right time: right when i was becoming an arty, introverted, romantic (in the, you know, dying-of-consumption sense), bisexual teenager. through mixtapes sent to me by another arty, bisexual teenager. first hallelujah sung by jeff buckley, then hey that's no way to say goodbye sung by the man himself.

when my sister & i were living together in israel as arty, romantic teenagers, we started buying up his cds in earnest. i think my favourite song for sheer knock-me-down-&-sit-on-my-chest value is famous blue raincoat, but i also love who by fire for its liturgical in-joke.

singing:

i have an abiding dream of someday, when i have money, taking private voice lessons. just so i can really sing my favourite songs. a friend who knows a bit about these things says i have a good ear but my voice is just weak: i break on high, low, & loud.

#739 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 08:27 PM:

My high school music teachers forced me to stay in the alto section because I #1 could really read music (having been in band for years - it's amazing how many choir students couldn't read at all), #2 had pretty good relative pitch, so I could always find *a* harmony, even if I missed the actual part, and #3 I had the ability to blend with other singers - I would match tone and even vibrato if needed, it was just something I did instinctively. I didn't realize it then but what was good for the choir wasn't so great for me. I just always thought I was supposed to be an alto.

But my college music professor placed me as a 2nd soprano in the Madrigals ensemble when I auditioned for that and I sang the same part in the college choir. After graduation, when I joined a large church choir led by a wonderful director with a PhD in voice, I was placed as a 1st and he gave me private lessons. From that point on my voice blossomed - I used to have a great range and did some solo work at that church, too. I miss it.

#740 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 08:30 PM:

Speaking of Leonard Cohen covers in general and Famous Blue Raincoat in particular, Jennifer Warnes' cover album Famous Blue Raincoat has just been re-released in a 20th anniversary edition, with a remastering and 4 new tracks. To be honest, I don't actually care for it very much -- her voice is very pure and sweet and doesn't do much for me, but I seem to be a minority there.

#741 ::: Carol Witt ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 08:39 PM:

abi #729: I thought I was the only one who tested soprano (I can hit some pretty high notes when my voice is in condition) and sang alto.

Well, I'm a soprano who sings tenor. Does that count?

I don't really prioritise carrying the melody, though I enjoy it when it falls my way (thanks, Handel). I like how it feels to sing low.

I'm happy to sing wherever the director wants me to be (in my last full year of choir (2005-6), I sang parts from first soprano through baritone). I really enjoy the variety.

#742 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 08:43 PM:

Sorry, I need to let off steam...

According to Newt Gingrich, the "war" against illegal immigrants is "more deadly" than the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Because, no doubt, of all those terrible bombs which illegal immigrants have been planting in schools and government buildings and shopping malls and subways all across America, which have been killing American citizens by the thousands...

//snark

#743 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 08:45 PM:

Todd @ 740: The stereotypical Eighties production on FBR is also questionable. That said, I find her versions of "Joan Of Arc" and "Song Of Bernadette" very moving.

#744 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 08:49 PM:

Lizzy L @ 742,

I'm reading the quote as "Newt Gingrich says illegal immigrants are dying all over the place because of the efforts to keep them out of the country." But I suspect that's not what he meant, given your next sentence. Either way, it's a strange assertion for the man to be making. Do you have a link to the quote?

#745 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 09:12 PM:

Diatryma 725: There's a tenor in me yet, I guess.

abi 726: I'm in that club. I sing alto, but I can do high tenor parts in a pinch.

Funny...I'm a tenor, and I've been known to sing second alto in a pinch! My current choir has too many altos and not enough tenors, so they've pressed one of the altos into singing tenor, like you two.

#746 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 09:19 PM:

Tim @743 The stereotypical Eighties production
What do you mean by that? I'm not disagreeing, but you're not the first person I've heard say something like that, and I don't hear whatever it is you apparently are hearing.

It's possibly because so much of my musical taste was set by 80s 'alternative', I suppose, so what you hear as "80s production" I just hear as "music"?

#747 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 09:38 PM:

Fade @ #744, here.

The federal government's incompetence, timidity and uncoordinated efforts to identify and deport criminal illegal aliens have had devastating consequences for innocent Americans.

Same old bomb-throwing Newt, with the same target: the evil federal government.

#748 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 09:44 PM:

Linkmeister @ 747,

Thanks. That does clear up the quote. I am woefully undereducated in politics, but I had at least a vague notion that Gingrich was not the sort of politician likely to stridently defend the rights of illegal immigrants.

Are there any politicians who do so? Or is that too deadly a position for anyone to take and get re-elected? It seems that there ought to be people who hold that position, but I only hear about them as volunteers and activists and organizers, not politicians.

#749 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 09:46 PM:

All of you folk liking alto parts lets me know that you aren't Sacred Harp singers -- the alto parts are frequently notable [sic] for unrelenting monotonous blandness.

#750 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 09:53 PM:

Newt has said some other unexpected things, such as admitting that Hillary Clinton had some health care policy expertise.

#751 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 09:59 PM:

Todd @746: It's been a while since I heard it, but I remember a lot of big, fizzy reverb (especially on the BigBalladDrums™), bright early digital synths (seems like every record around that period had the DX7 imitation Rhodes), and a general willingness to flirt with Starsearch-itude. On the other hand, there are some very nice touches like the slide guitar intro to "Joan Of Arc," and the otherworldly choir in "A Singer Must Die." And I don't remember any production element that was actually cringeworthy; I just wanted the gloss knob turned down a bit.

Now I want to hear it again. I'm going to the record store tonight, and will look for it.

#752 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 10:03 PM:

John @749: I've often speculated that the alto parts in The Sacred Harp were added retroactively to existing three-part arrangements. I don't have any evidence for that except that I've seen some of the songs in old-looking three-part editions.

#753 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 10:10 PM:

Fade @ #748, it's a dangerous position for a politician to take publicly. My feeling is that's because of a nativist streak that runs through parts of the American population. That streak is exaggerated during hard economic times, or even times when the economy as a whole could be said to be growing but at the same time the income gap is rising (like now).

Why immigrants should be blamed for the rich getting richer is beyond me, but there it is.

#754 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2007, 11:02 PM:

Taking off in a different direction (but still aliens, in a sense), CNN.com has, in Science, a report that an intact Etruscan tomb has been found:

ROME, Italy (Reuters) -- Archaeologists have discovered a more than 2,000-year-old Etruscan tomb perfectly preserved in the hills of Tuscany with a treasure trove of artifacts inside, including urns that hold the remains of about 30 people.

The tomb, in the Tuscan town of Civitella Paganico, probably dates from between the 1st and 3rd centuries B.C., when Etruscan power was in decline, Andrea Marcocci, who led digging at the site, told Reuters.

"It's quite exceptional to find so many objects in a tomb so small," Marcocci said. "Some of the vases (urns) were fairly small, so we think they were probably for children."

#755 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2007, 12:36 AM:

My introduction to Leonard Cohen was, as for so many people of my advanced years, hearing Judy Collins' cover of Suzanne. Rather than immediately look up his albums and listen to his own versions of his songs, I hunted up his novel, Beautiful Losers; I figured anyone who could write lyrics like that would be a good prose writer too. I liked it, mostly because it read like Jack Kerouac with a sense of humor. But I really didn't take Cohen seriously until a few years ago when I saw him on Austin City Limits, and got to appreciate his showmanship along with the songs.

#756 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2007, 11:23 AM:

It was twenty years ago today...

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1057/1138660962_0d4a76ee4f_o.jpg

Sorry, my linking isn't working.

#757 ::: Andy Wilton ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2007, 01:19 PM:

Ah, alto parts: I had two years of singing all those beautiful baroque alto lines ("In Tears of Grief", anyone?) before my voice finally hit its natural level. I was hoping for tenor, would have settled for baritone, but what I got was right down at the bottom of bass. *Sigh*

#758 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2007, 04:36 PM:

Totally tangentially, lovers of small furries may enjoy Bitch, Where’s my Kale? A pigumentary. (From Theriomorph's sequel to hir duckumentary post, and featuring Beyonce & Hatchethead.)

Described as “Two minutes and fifty eight seconds of what Guinea Pigs do:

Absolutely nothing.

At great length.”

#759 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2007, 05:03 PM:

I made the mistake of checking on the current temperature here in Nashville. It's now 105ºF (41ºC for Fluourospherians in the rest of the world.) I do not happen to live in an air-conditioned house, and I am wondering if I can get away with sleeping under my desk at work tonight.

If it's cool and pleasant where you are, if it's raining where you are, if you thought it was hot where you are until you saw this post, if you live in a desert and deal with this every summer, I don't mind if you gloat, as long as you don't do it too loudly.

I shall now cease whining and allow you all to return to other other distractions.

#760 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2007, 05:23 PM:

Fidelio, can you afford a hotel for the evening? Fans and ice?

#761 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2007, 05:39 PM:

I am on the track of a spot with an air-conditioned friend; otherwise, I may see if I can sleep in a bathtub full of cool water.

#762 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2007, 05:45 PM:

fidelio, try the movie theater technique. Go to a late-evening show at one which has A/C and hope that it's cooled down into the high-90s when you get out.

#763 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2007, 05:51 PM:

I found the following on Superherohype.com...

MTV talked to Neil Gaiman, who revealed that Hard Candy and 30 Days of Night helmer David Slade will direct a big screen adaptation of Gaiman's Neverwhere. Gaiman and Lenny Henry developed Neverwhere into a TV series in 1996, and then Gaiman adapted the story into a novel on the set. (...) So Neil's getting a do-over, because he got a call from Lisa Henson (who helped make "MirrorMask") letting him know that Harvey Weinstein was interested. "They're using my script from 2000, and they want me to polish it up a bit," Neil told me. David Slade, who directed "Hard Candy" and "30 Days of Night," is aboard to helm it as well.

#764 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2007, 06:01 PM:

#762 Linkmeister (BTW, have you all dried out from Flossie yet?), that's always a favorite fall-back plan of mine--and it may be down to 89º bt midnight.

There are also bookstores open late.

I'm wondering if the local emergency plans for this are holding up under the strain--we've been dealing with this since early last week.

#765 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2007, 07:28 PM:

fidelio, thank you for asking. Flossie had minimal impact on "the smaller islands," as our local weathercasters began calling us non-Big Island residents during the whole episode. I've lived here nearly 30 years and I've never heard Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Niihau, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe referred to that way. We could have used a few hours or days of steady rain, too; we're getting into drought condition.

The Big Island had some pretty hefty winds and some dynamite surf (15-20 feet along the south and east shores, which is really really big for those locations).

I seem to remember that one of the early major selling points in hot climates for movie-going was exactly that: "We've got air conditioning!"

#766 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2007, 07:40 PM:

Rob Rusick @589: [..]had you noticed a book titled Comics Gone Ape (The Missing Link to Primates in Comics)?

Peter Erwin @597: Do you suppose it has Weeping Gorilla, too?

Rob Rusick @612: I would bet not [..]

Flipping through the book at the comic book store, I was wrong; there is a paragraph on Weeping Gorilla, with an illustration.

Grease Monkey is also covered.

#767 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2007, 08:47 PM:

Fidelio #759: And I thought Atlanta was hellish (not to mention my office building, where the air conditioning and the lift have been out for months0. That's just terrible.

#768 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2007, 08:56 PM:

Tim: #736: D'oh! I should \not/ have forgotten that, seeing as I was trying to sing out of a hymnal (like most, divided as you describe) barely two months ago. Chorales I haven't seen that way, but I work from chorus scores rather than study books (didn't advance that far when I studied composition in high school).
And #752: I have been told your supposition as fact, by people referring just-short-of-sneeringly to "Denson altos" (after the producer of the 4-part editions). The alto part can also blur the melody, which is in the tenor rather than the soprano (\that/ Denson didn't touch as far as I've looked).

Andy@757: I went from 1st soprano to 2nd bass, fortunately in a year when I was way out of town. IME, good Baroque music is equally good in all parts -- but there's a \lot/ of bad Baroque.

Linkmeister@753: the obvious argument is that an increased supply of non-union labor makes labor cheaper, allowing the rich to get the same income with lowered expenses. I doubt that this effect is negligible, but it's complicated by the fact that "illegal" immigrants can be further abused.

#769 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2007, 09:48 PM:

Rather than mentioning it again in the Internet Time Sink thread, I'd like to mention my favorite Mozilla add-on: LeechBlock.

It's a program for putting limits on when you visit websites. If you tell yourself you're only going to LJ for 1/2 hour, and next thing you know it's 2 hours later, this program is for you.

You can create sets of sites to block, and then you block them by either/ both of fixed times or time limits*. A nifty new feature is that you can tell Leechblock to keep you from changing the rules for a set while that set is blocked.

--------------
* the first 10 minutes of every other hour, or up to 10 minutes per hour, for example.

#770 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2007, 09:59 PM:

Sad: I just bought Richard Thompson's Hand of Kindness on record, only to find that EVERY SINGLE SONG SKIPS to the point of unlistenability. The record itself looks practically in mint condition. It was only six bucks, but still. Hrmph.

#771 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2007, 11:04 PM:

fidelio @ 759, I'm right in that boat with you here in NC. I do have central air, but it's completely failing to cope with these temperatures. It can't get the house cooler than about 87 degrees during the day, and this is with heavy dark curtains blocking the two biggest windows.

My power bill more than doubled for last month because of the air running constantly. So I just gave up and set the thermostat to 87 during the day.

Kathryn from Sunnyvale @ 769, I downloaded Leechblock a few weeks ago and had all manner of good intentions -- Internet only on the lunch hour, and only one hour in the evening! But I just found myself using Safari to waste time instead.

I didn't consider the option of allowing 10 minutes per hour, though. That might help me, since I usually use the Internet to procrastinate on work that's dull or frustrating -- when I get so fed up that I want to smash my computer, I surf the web. Knowing that I have that safety valve, that I'll get that brain break for ten minutes, might keep me from just blowing the whole thing.

#772 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2007, 11:21 PM:

Grr. I want to watch the Flash Gordon pilot, but it looks like I was wrong about it being on the SciFi channel website, and I can't find it on iTunes. Boo!

#773 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2007, 11:44 PM:

CHip @768: I was going to pat myself on the back, but a quick look into my copy of The Sacred Harp shows that most of the songs have three parts, so it was a pretty easy guess.

Ethan @770: That is sad. Life without "Devonside" is no life at all.

#774 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2007, 12:23 AM:

Caroline: I have always been the same way and have been completely baffled by how other people manage to recognize actors in movies - at all, ever.

I finally figured out in the last year or two that I have a moderate degree of what's called prosopagnosia: almost everyone has special hard-wired face recognition circuits in the brain, to make recognizing specific people automatic, but a few of us don't (or have only very weak ones.) Suddenly this seemed to explain certain things to me.

#775 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2007, 01:45 AM:

Ethan @770: You may want to consider using vinyl to cd transcription services to recover the information from your record.

#776 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2007, 04:29 AM:

Nasa opts not to repair shuttle

If Endeavour burns because a critical repair wasn't made, then all of the managers in the chain of command who signed off on not doing the work had damned well better be prosecuted for negligent homicide.

#777 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2007, 09:04 AM:

I saw Stardust last night (*). I liked it, but I must say (and this is no criticism of the main actors) that Robert de Niro got me laughing the most. V zrna, Eboreg qr Aveb fnfunlvat nebhaq va 19gu praghel srzvavar haqrejrne gb gur fbhaq bs Bssraonpu'f Sbyvrf Oretrerf?

(*) Along with the ads for some neat-looking fantasy movies, and a featurette about Bionic Woman, with Katie Sackoff as an evil BW.

#778 ::: Jennifer Barber ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2007, 10:19 AM:

Fragano: And I thought Atlanta was hellish

At least the humidity's gone down recently--I'll take "oven" over "sauna" any day.

I did have to turn on the A/C a couple of weeks ago in order to sleep, though; fans just weren't cutting it anymore.

#780 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2007, 11:02 AM:

Jennifer Barber @ 778... fans just weren't cutting it anymore.

The younger generation, bah!
When we were their age, they called us the Flashing Blades of Death.

#781 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2007, 11:14 AM:

#767 Fragano--we were a little behind you for most of this, but we appeared to have managed to pass you all yesterday. My sympathy on your office malfunctions--I'll share a maintenance office remark that drove my father nearly to apoplexy over 35 years or so ago: "Well, we didn't think we needn't to hurry and fix that, since there are just professors over there right now."

#771--Caroline--87º indoors sounds rather pleasant by now.

#778 Jennifer Barber--Amen to that. If we had much humidity to add to the heat, we'd be dead in this part of the country. Because things have been so dry, we've just been roasted, and not braised. Although as a result of the drought, TVA has significantly less hydrolectric generation capacity this year.

Yesterday, on my way home from work, I saw a Pop Warner football practice in Morgan Park, and a man riding a bicycle down Main Street in East Nashville.

It's only supposed to be in the 90s today--we may need sweaters.

#782 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2007, 11:47 AM:

Ethan @ 770 - did you try the "penny on the tonearm" trick? I remember that sometimes that helped stop the skipping on records that weren't badly/visibly scratched.

#783 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2007, 11:59 AM:

ethan@770, I have on rare occaission taken audio tracks such as that and then massage them through a waveform editor to output a single, consistent, nonskipping track. If you output your player into your computer and can manage to get the needle to hit every part of the song at least once, you can cut and paste the wave around to make it fit. I had a skip in a chorus part and turns out I could snip the second chorus and drop it into the first without anyone noticing.

Alternatively, I subscribe to Rhapsody, $10/month and you get to listen to anything in their music library, and I just checked and that album you mentioned is available for play there, as often as you like, for just the monthly subscription fee.

No, it isn't the same as the physical thing. I know the feeling. But physical media and music haven't been getting along very well lately.

#784 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2007, 01:15 PM:

Ethan, it has been available on CD for a while. While I love the charm of vinyl too, you might hunt for a CD copy. (In fact, it's even available on Amazon right now.)

#785 ::: Howard Peirce ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2007, 01:47 PM:

I have to share this with the knitters on ML. You all remember the knitted brain that was all over the web a while back? Well, Mark Dow of the Brain Development Lab at the University of Oregon has produced a 3D composite MRI scan showing the internal structure of the knitted brain.

Embedded flash video and more info and links at Omni Brain here.

#786 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2007, 01:56 PM:

Howard Peirce @ 785...

...must.. knit... braiiiiiinnnn...

#787 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2007, 03:12 PM:

Wow, I like the range of solutions I got for my Richard Thompson problem.

The one I'm most likely to try is the penny one (works sometimes, but this one skips so badly I don't know how hopeful to be), but it's good to keep the other ones in mind.

I'm not ready to give up my outdated media, dammit!

#788 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2007, 03:46 PM:

ethan @ #787, if the penny doesn't work, escalate inflate. Try a nickel and then a quarter if the nickel doesn't work. More weight.

No data on whether Buffalo nickels work better than Jeffersons (? Can't remember who's on it) or standard quarters better than newly-minted state commemoratives.

#789 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2007, 03:57 PM:

The Last Legion opened today, but I don't see a single review anywhere. That doesn't sound too promising, which is a shame.

#790 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2007, 04:17 PM:

Fidelio #781: That sounds like here, except as a matter of university policy rather than maintenance staff taking it easy. The past couple of weeks have been hellish. Just walking the 3/4 mile to or from the main campus is an unpleasant experience, and I feel truly sorry for those people who have to work outdoors.

#791 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2007, 04:19 PM:

Serge (#798)

It's got costumes, Colin Firth and Kevin McKidd; I don't care how crap it is (and I already have to put my "alternate universe" cap on just for the commercials) I'll be seeing it in the theatres.

More hopefully, I will be seeing Stardust this week. At least that won't end up in the "guilty pleasure" pile!

#792 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2007, 05:12 PM:

nerdycellist @ 791... Who knows? I too might like it. I even liked King Arthur (that's the one with Clive Owen and Ioan Gruffud) enough that I bought the DVD.

#793 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2007, 08:43 PM:

How does one pronounce "Ioan"? Is it similar to Johann? In other words, his Americanized name would be "Joe", right?

#794 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2007, 08:47 PM:

Earl @ 793... My understanding is that Ioan Gruffud's name is pronounced 'Ewan Griffith'.

#795 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2007, 08:52 PM:

ethan - I'm glad I could be of assistance! Doesn't happen often around here since the topics discussed are normally so far beyond my usual areas of expertise.

#796 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2007, 11:09 PM:

Arrrrghghghgghgh!

My three and a half year old HP laptop isn't booting. Over the course of may 20 startups, it got past the POST twice, then froze at the "Windows couldn't start normally, what should I do now?" prompt.

Most of the time it is not even getting to the memory test, with nothing on the screen.

All of the accessible things -- memory, hard drive -- are firmly in place.

I'm going to see how much diagnosis and repair costs, but I'm guessing I'll be buying a new laptop.

Any recommendations? Fancy isn't a requirement. My desktop machine is plenty powerful; the laptop would be for word processing, WWWbrowsing on the road, and storing pictures taken on roadtrips.

#797 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2007, 01:13 AM:

Stefan Jones @ 796... Sorry. I can't help you.

#798 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2007, 01:23 AM:

Seen The Last Legion yet, nerdycellist? Reviews have started appearing and it looks like we'll have to pass on that and wait for the DVD.

Speaking of DVDs and things of uncertain quality... I bought the direct-to-video animated film Doctor Strange because, well, this is Doctor Strange. No idea if it's any good, but I find it interesting that he now looks the way Edward Norton did in The Illusionist. I also like the redesign his costume went thru, something that one could actually wear in the real world although a bright red floor-length coat with bright golden edges might stand out a bit. Hmm... I wonder if I should hire someone to make me such a coat. To wear only as a hall costume at cons. Of course.

#799 ::: Nina Armstrong ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2007, 01:34 AM:

Serge@763-Neil debunked that on his blog today-said the whole thing came from an off the cuff remark to an MTV journalist and that nothing's really set yet.

#800 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2007, 01:40 AM:

Nina Armstrong @ 799... Drat. No Neverwhere movie then? Doubledrat. Well, I do have the DVD of the original, which is due for a new viewing.

#801 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2007, 04:20 AM:

Tim @664,

I'll try to catch a show and say hello out on the playa... heading out there in less than a week.

There's a few of the usual fen who'll be there, but I haven't heard of any other fluorospherians specifically.

Not that I didn't try*- I mean, just the phrase Steampunk Ponies! should be enough. Or 'thousand-foot-high flame'.

Next year Burning Man is 2 weeks after Worldcon**. Buy a ticket early, sell it if you can't go.

-----
* via a couple of mentions here here or on my blog. Per the mention here last year- the dieselpunk robot spider will be back in our village (2:45/Esplanade).

** possibly in 2009, too, if Montreal wins***. Go Montreal!

*** Although the real impetus for earlier-than-Labor-day Worldcons is school start dates (besides any con-specific logistics), based on my anecdotal knowledge of parents who can't go vs. burners who can't go to Worldcons. I've met far more of the former.

#802 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2007, 04:55 AM:

Does Burning Man still have an anti-tourist bias?

#803 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2007, 08:33 AM:

Kathryn from Sunnyvale @ 801... Do you think that this year's Burning Man will have creatures like that Martian Brain Spider that eventually wound up near the Oakland West BART Station? If so, do put photos up on your LJ. (And when you do, remember to set your name up here so that clicking on it takes us to your place.)

#804 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2007, 11:24 AM:

Since we had that discussion of proselytizers a while back, I thought I'd mention that I just had a couple of very nice but VERY VERY VERY covered in cologne Jehovah's Witnesses come around. I have a couple of boxes of records left over from a yard sale that I keep meaning to take to the Salvation Army or something, and hilariously one of the Witnesses seemed way more into looking through them than talking to me. Which was fine by me. I told him he could take whatever he wanted and skedaddled.

#805 ::: Lance Weber ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2007, 11:25 AM:

Stefan Jones #796: One of my blanket recommendations for Windows users is to always have a Knoppix Rescue CD on hand. This is a self booting Linux distro that works on just about any desktop/laptop and has a bunch of tools for fixing Windows.

If you have access to another machine, I'd definitely burn one and at a minimum boot your laptop and backup your data. You can also use the tools on the disk to fix your MBR, replace corrupted files, etc, but that's probably beyond the limits of an ML advice post - try googling for more info.

#806 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2007, 11:57 AM:

Kathryn from Sunnydale, what this world needs is a "Freezing Man" festival for those of us who, for reasons of health or mere preference, cannot hack the desert. I suggest Ellensberg, WA in February, when the winds off the Cascades have all sorts of creative possibilities.

(Guaranteed Nonsarcastic Comment: I envy, every year, those who can face temperatures that high, because it sounds like a grand way to shed ones mundane identity for a while).

#807 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2007, 12:05 PM:

JESR @ 806... A "Freezing Man" festival? Sounds like a normal winter in Québec. How I miss the shovelling of snow... Not.

#808 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2007, 12:18 PM:

Serge (#798)

Haven't seen it yet - my roommate's out of town and I'm looking for excuses to get out of the house for a few hours (the dog and I are driving each other crazy). This afternoon is "Stardust". I'll check the reviews and see if I'd prefer to see "Death at a Funeral" (naked Alan Tudyk - what's not to like?) bearing in mind that if "The Last Legion" sucks as hard as the reviews have it, I might not be able to see it next weekend on the big screen.

I'll gladly pay to see a crap movie on a big screen, and I'll be fine so long as I'm aware that it's crap in advance, and it isn't offensive - for example, glowing reviews did not prepare me for thorough and casual misogyny of "Perfume".

(so saith the Industry Tool)

#809 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2007, 11:43 PM:

#805: I'll look up that rescue CD for future use, but in this my poor HP won't even go to POST. I put in a bootable CD (a memory test disc) and it didn't try to read it.

I pulled the memory chips and it didn't complain; any PC that is even remotely functional will beep a few times when it can't find memory.

Fortunately, there's nothing too valuable on the machine. It was my travel computer.

#810 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 12:04 AM:

nerdycellist @ 808... If even a fan of Colin Firth such as you is hesitating about The Last Legion, that's not encouraging. I definitely think I'll be waiting for the DVD rental.

#811 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 01:41 AM:

Farewell for three weeks or so. I'm off to Japan, for a tour and then the WorldCon. Back 4 September. Hope to see anyone here, there. If you see what I mean.

#812 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 01:57 AM:

Well, "Stardust" was lovelier than I had anticipated, although the score made me want to smack someone around in a few places. I do wish the ladies next to me had gotten the memo that half the reason people pay the $3 premium to see a movie at the Arclight is to avoid the morons who talk through the movie.

Still, saw the 11am showing, then went a block to Staples to pick up a couple of things, 4 blocks to "Big Lots" to see if there was anything cheap and useful (nothing this week) and then about 1/3 mile home. Made a mental note to wear thicker soled shoes, as the cement was burning my poor feet through the soles of my shoes. Went out again after sunset to run a Target errand, and came home absolutely exhausted from the heat and the carrying crap. Since my roommate is out of town and I'm left to my own devices, I have to rely on public transport - not normally a problem, but it's hotter than (insert typically hot thing here) around LA and I'm trying to keep my errand-running in the early morning and after dark. I need to get a bus pass, but conveniently all the stores that carry them only sell that during very specific hours - neither early morning, nor after 7pm. (stupid MTA, stupid grocery stores...)

If my early morning Trader Joe's run and half-day of cleaning the house doesn't wipe me out, I will catch an afternoon showing of "Death at a Funeral". I think I'm going to take my chances that "The Last Legion" will be around long enough for me to catch it with my Colin-Firth-adoring roommate. The bad reviews all seem to agree that it was cheesy, so it sounds like just my thing right now.

#813 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 03:31 AM:

nerdycellist, I've never lived anywhere less walker-friendly than Los Angeles, and I spent most of my time there in West L.A., which seemed to be a little more townlike than other parts of the metro area. I don't envy you trying to get around.

Funny how you can buy lottery tickets anytime of the day or night in that city, but bus pass sales are limited to certain hours.

#814 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 03:46 AM:

nerdycellist #812: I do wish the ladies next to me had gotten the memo that half the reason people pay the $3 premium to see a movie at the Arclight is to avoid the morons who talk through the movie.

A situation like that is one of the myriad reasons that Ghu invented Tasers and Jury Nullification. heh.

#815 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 05:01 AM:

Earl @802
Does Burning Man still have an anti-tourist bias?

Short answer: sure, because tourists have an anti-burningman bias. A generally good idea for tourism is "respect the local culture." What if the local culture's first and oldest rule is "No Spectators"?

Long answer:
As background, two one-page summaries of Burning Man: the org's 10 principles and then me on why fans should go next year. That read...

If by 'tourist' you mean a person who has never been before, who shows up with all their necessary supplies, but they're still unsure about what they're about to do and what's going to happen- well, everyone on the playa started there. To some extent we've built it for new people*: the sensawunda of your first year can be intense.

But if by 'tourist' you mean someone who shows up with a camera, two 6-packs, enough money for tickets, and an expectation they can buy supplies inside? (Someone who doesn't even know they're rejecting The Petermans?**) They're not going to get in, not until they've gone back to Reno for supplies.

[I should ask what 'tourist' means, but I'm almost at my ML time limit for the day.]


----------
* I've used the analogy of a child's first Christmas, where they walk into a world transformed into a bright and shiny gift. Except on the playa you're both the child and Santa. Although the analogy fails somewhere around when the Xmas tree is covered in fireworks and lit with blowtorches.

**no, I've never met the Petermans, but I've been to their village.

#816 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 05:21 AM:

JESR @806,

There are regional burns in places with humidity- B.C. and Washington, for example. And iirc Dan Simmons has a burn take place in the Antarctic.

If it's just the heat and not dryness that gets you, the Black Rock Desert isn't a Sonoran 'cactus and 120 in the shade' type desert. 4000 feet up means that most year and most days I've been there it's topped out in the mid-80's/ low 90's, rarely more. Nights can be anywhere from the 70's to almost freezing.

That said, there've been days where it got into the low 100's, and one year where it never got above 70.

But RVs have air conditioners and heaters, and our village will have over 100 kw of generators* powering our local grid, enough for every RV in it to simultaneously start and run their ACs all afternoon. (Last year I ran the AC maybe a total of 3 hours.)

Now if you're sensitive to noise, that might be a problem. A friend of mine went to Burning Man once. For 24 hours. Had a great time, but she's on the flat part of the bell curve for noise intolerance.

---------
* biodiesel and carbon credits, yup.

#817 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 06:29 AM:

Kathryn @816:

Now if you're sensitive to noise, that might be a problem. A friend of mine went to Burning Man once. For 24 hours. Had a great time, but she's on the flat part of the bell curve for noise intolerance.

Oh. Now I don't have to regret being unable to go. The thing I value most about the desert is the silence.

#818 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 07:28 AM:

Has anybody heard anything about the movie 3:10 to Yuma? It's a remake of a western that originally starred Glen Ford and Van Heflin. Even though this new version has Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, there's been no promo for it, except for one single ad on TV.

#819 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 07:43 AM:

One movie for which I have seen more promo is Across the Universe. It's a musical directed by Julie Taymor (Titus) set in the Sixties and using the music of the Beatles. Looks interesting.

#820 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 08:02 AM:

Serge @ 818:
There's a preview for 3:10 to Yuma at the Apple previews site; it might be longer than what you saw on TV.

There's a fairly positive review of sorts here. I say "of sorts" because it's Hollywood Reporter, and the review is as concerned with its commercial prospects as it is with the film's intrinsic quality. Looks promising, though.

Apparently it's a remake of a 1957 movie of the same title, which was based on an Elmore Leonard short story.

#821 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 08:23 AM:

Peter Erwin... The original 3:10 was quite good, with Glen Ford as a bad guy who loves playing mind games with the farmer who's holding him prisoner while they're waiting for the next train. As for the remake's commcercial prospects, yeah, I can see how that could be a problem in this day and age, especially when people don't promote it.

"We're not promoting it because we don't think it'll do well. (later) It didn't do well, so we were right not to promote it."

Boy, does that sound familiar.

#822 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 08:59 AM:

nerdycellis @ 812

There's a scene in the first episode of the new TV series Californication that convinced me to keep watching new episodes. David Duchovny wrestles a cell phone away from an annoying person in a movie theater and throws it across the room. He gets a round of applause from the rest of the audience.

#823 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 09:25 AM:

Serge @ 818

I saw that promo for Across the Universe a few days ago. For reasons I cannot now recall, I was tuned out for a few seconds at the beginning and didn't realize what I was seeing until the visuals started getting ... [lame word choice] interesting [/lame word choice]. The more relevant past work of Taymor's to remember may be The Lion King or the Green Bird; the scenes in the promo are beautifully choreographed, with gorgeous costumes and puppets.* There's no way in the world short of complete collapse of civil order in all of North America that I'm not going to see that movie when it comes out next month.

In the early '70s I fell in love with Indonesion, especially Balinese, gamelan music, and from that became fascinated by wayang kulit shadow puppets. As a result, I'm pretty much hardwired to adore anything Taymor does.

* I deeply admire the stagecraft and dramatic presentation of Titus; unfortunately I could only watch it once, and never again. The graphic violence of the rape and mutilation is much too nasty for me, perhaps even more so because it is so highly stylized.

#824 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 09:28 AM:

A random, bizarre thought that struck me as I was posting my last comment: you could think of Stanley Kubrick's last movie, Eyes Wide Shut, as a sort of (very!) slow motion take on a Julie Taymor production, especially the ceremonial costume scene in the mansion.

#825 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 11:27 AM:

I do pretty OK with public transit normally. I live in Hollywood, within walking distance of a red-line (subway) station, a really nice movie theater and a so-so bookstore. Technically, I'm also within walking distance from a couple of grocery stores - Food4Less, in which you pay low prices in exchange for a lack of choices in fresh meat and tons of screaming children, and Ralphs, which you pay extra to avoid the above inconveniences. However, with grocery stores there is more to "haul" so the half to 3/4 mile walking you tend to feel like a pack mule. And with this heat...

Also, one residential block to the north or south of me are fairly frequent buses, although again, the frequency seems to change based on the weather. LA also doesn't seem to be fond of bus shelters or even benches. I've taken to carrying a parasol so I always have a bit of shade - the money saved on sunblock and re-touches of the red dye in my hair compensates for looking like a doofus.

#826 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 11:56 AM:

Serge #818: I saw a trailer for 3:10 to Yuma at...er...either Sicko or Sunshine. It looked markedly unappealing to me, but I remember not being able to tell if it was a bad movie with an OK trailer or a good movie with a terrible trailer. Sometimes you can tell, sometimes not.

I'm excited for Across the Universe, myself. I can't help but love Julie Taymor.

Bruce Cohen (StM) #824: That's...totally right! Now I want to watch that movie again. I mean, I usually do, but now I want to even more.

#827 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 12:21 PM:

Haven't seen a trailer for "3:10 to Yuma", but I'll probably see it; Bale and Crowe are both very interesting actors and fun to watch. Also saw the trailer to "Beowulf", which I'm really on the fence about - I'd love to see that story (or variation of it) retold and the casting looks great, but I'm not sure about the animation.

Saw the trailer for "Across the Universe" yesterday and was intrigued until the music started playing. I was born in '72, and at the point the Beatles are aural wallpaper. It's a shame, because I do recognize the genius of a lot of their songs - it's just that the entertainment value has been sucked out by their over exposure. I suspect the next generation might say the same thing about U2.

#828 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 12:44 PM:

nerdycellist #827: I know what you mean about the overexposure of The Beatles--I felt about the same way until fairly recently. What changed things for me was reading an appreciation of them Douglas Adams wrote (reprinted in The Salmon of Doubt). After I read it, I put on a few Beatles albums--and my God, suddenly I was hearing them the way he did!

I don't know if it would work for everyone, but for me it was dreadfully exciting.

#829 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 04:21 PM:

I've seen two trailers for Across the Universe.

The first made it seem way intriguing. Heavy on the puppets and surreality.

The second -- saw it yesterday, before Stardust -- made it look like a remake of Hair, and I got the impression that the surreality was perhaps a acid trip sequence.

* * *

I thought Stardust was an utter charmer. As entertaining and diverting as last week's movie (No End in Sight) was a total demoralizing bummer.

Stardust had music? :^)

#830 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 04:58 PM:

nerdycellist #825:

Bicycle?

#831 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 08:17 PM:

Bruce Cohen @ 823... I understand what you mean about Titus. Still, it had great costume design and I wouldn't mind just looking at photos. I especially liked Jessica Lange as Hera, with that headdress made of knife blades. (In fact, when Teresa intervenes in an ML thread that's going out of whack, that's how I visualize her.)

#832 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 08:33 PM:

Serge @ 831

Hmm ... Hera, interesting choice. I see Teresa when she takes up her aspect as Moderator, as Atropos, the cutter of threads.

#833 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 08:51 PM:

Serge @ 818

I've been seeing lots of ads for it on the sides of buses. I don't know if that's good or bad.

Nerdycellist
Hot, yeah. I'm hoping that some of my plants will survive: the nipple that the hose bibb was on died Wed, and was supposed to be replaced Thursday morning. The person who was supposed to do it didn't, which I found out Saturday. The mint has one live branch on it, but the two-year-old valley oak looks very bad. I may forgive the person, if the oak survives.

#834 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2007, 09:27 PM:

I saw Stardust again today. It was just as good the second time, though the company was better the first time. (Hi, Bruce! Hi, Randolph!)

For the sock knitters, the geek knitters, and the geeky sock knitters among us...you must all go look at Cat Bordhi's new sock book immediately. Gussets? We don't need no stinkin' gussets! We put our increases anywhere we want...on the top, on the bottom, in a V, in straight lines, and my own personal favorite, in a spiral from toe to calf. It's a good thing I've been collecting sock yarn everywhere I go--this book is going to positively dissolve my stash!

#835 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2007, 12:36 AM:

Sadly, Cat Bordhi's writing style makes me want to jab sock needles into my eyeballs-- at least judging by her first Moebius book, which I checked out from the library and returned with great haste and vehemence. Sheesh, all that hype about simply adapting the invisible cast-on method onto a long circular needle with awkwardly tension-sprung and gappy results? With that sort of reputation, I'd been expecting something really mindblowing like Beverly Royce's work on double-knitting.

#836 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2007, 04:15 PM:

This'll end up here anyway, so why not now? YouTube video of Finnish exercise 'n' dance cover of YMCA. Thanks to bOINGbOING. Oh yeah, it's called NMKY. Of course.

Now, dance, DANCE!!!

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