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September 1, 2007

We’ll be here all week!
Posted by Avram Grumer at 04:47 PM * 36 comments

  • Me: “This bus has more living space than our apartment. It’s like something out of a late-seventies TV show.”
    Chris: “Yeah, it’s got that Fred Silverman look. Superbus! Starring George Kennedy and Adrienne Barbeau!”
  • A Flickr collection: Science tattoos.
    Me: “You say you’d break up with me if I got a tattoo, but what if it was a tattoo of — the periodic table!?
    Chris: [thinks for a moment] “I’d still break up with you.”
Comments on We'll be here all week!:
#1 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2007, 05:04 PM:

Superbus! Starring George Kennedy and Adrienne Barbeau!

special guests: the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and Bert Convy

#2 ::: Skapusniak ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2007, 05:12 PM:

The Big Bus (1976)

Nuclear powered, it was, I seem to remember.

#3 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2007, 05:34 PM:

And with a bowling alley and flags of all nations, Skapusniak.

#4 ::: SKapusniak ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2007, 05:48 PM:

And with a bowling alley and flags of all nations

An Iron Lung guy? With a mirror? I seem to recall someone in an iron lung. Pretty sure there was a cheesy piano player too...

...needless to say it was many many years ago that I saw this thing. Tho' not 1976.

#5 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2007, 05:56 PM:

Serge is on vacation. I know he'd have suggestions involving Claudia Black, Cary Grant, and a supreme groaner of a pun.

When I see Superbus, I imagine it to be the vehicle that Superboy used to transport Krypto, Streaky, Comet, and Beppo.

#6 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2007, 06:13 PM:

to transport Krypto, Streaky, Comet, and Beppo
Reminds of my favorite dwarf joke:

It wasn't until the 50 original dwarves had been reduced to 8 that the suspicions of the survivors fell upon Hungry.

#7 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2007, 06:14 PM:

There was an old black and white movie about a plane crash where a passenger in an iron lung pretended he could breathe without it so that the pilot would take the batteries to use on the ignition. I can't find it on IMDB, which is really frustrating. I seem to remember a young woman who loved him...

#8 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2007, 06:32 PM:

Late 70's tv show with a bus: Shazam! Or maybe that was a Winnebago.

#9 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2007, 07:10 PM:

Um. That comment is now the second hit on that Google search.

#10 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2007, 08:46 PM:

There are some pretty cool tattoos in there, though Andy looked at one and said he wouldn't want it. I said "it's only lithium" and he pointed out that it was an atom with orbits, and they were all at the same distance. I have some cool geeks.

Also, if that trilobite and sea turtle qualify, I should point them at my coelacanth. It's probably not worth getting a Flickr account for, though.

#11 ::: Howard Peirce ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2007, 09:04 PM:

Vicki, you don't need a Flickr account. Just drop a link in the comments to this post on Carl Zimmer's blog, or email him at the address on his Contact page.

#12 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2007, 09:49 PM:

Not at all bad for a weekend excursion, though for a longer trip you'd have to arrange additional accomodations for the servants. (People who can afford something like one of those vehicles do not do housework, you know.)

#13 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2007, 09:56 PM:

Tania at #5,

I would think a movie titled Superbus would have something to do with the last king of Rome, Tarquinius.

#14 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2007, 10:08 PM:

Dratted typo! Thanks Nancy. It's good to know that I can Etruscan regular of ML to have fun with my errors.

On a different note, I'd forgotten about Tarquinius -- Rape of Lucrece, etc. I'm happy I had a rather interesting Latin teacher, she tried to keep us interesting by pointing out sex and bloodshed.

#15 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2007, 10:12 PM:

I'll have my people go out and purchase one of those fandangled buses for me at 3 a.m.

#16 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2007, 10:13 PM:

I'll even have my people install an extra 's' on those buses for me.

#17 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2007, 10:17 PM:

Second interesting should be interested. grr. Must go finish sending husband off to slay cervids, and quit haphazardly reading and posting.

#18 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2007, 11:01 PM:

No film starring Adrienne Barbeau and George Kennedy would be complete without either Erik Estrada or David Hasselhoff, or both.

And a superbuss would be even better, I think. Serge would nominate Claudia Black for that.

#19 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2007, 11:16 PM:

The second tattoo in that set has a comment that argues for the important of proofreading, though I don't know enough to say whether the comment is correct.

#20 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2007, 01:02 AM:

Even in a world where good taste and thrifty living were cherished, there'd be a place for vehicles like that giant bus. In flames at the bottom of a canyon, maybe.

#21 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2007, 07:32 AM:

Skapusniak @2: Thanks. I saw that film when I was about 10 and have been wondering what it was ever since.

#22 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2007, 08:49 AM:

elise @19: I'm an amateur at this myself, but it appears to be correct. See, particularly, the wikipedia article for glutamine, and note how complex it is compared to glycine. Now look back at the tattoo. You can see a glutamine at the right-hand end of the chain. But what's next to it certainly isn't another glutamine, and glycine looks approximately right.

#23 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2007, 08:51 AM:

And, of course, you obviously meant to say "the importance of proofreading." Which just goes to show how important proofreading comments about proofreading is.

#24 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2007, 11:13 AM:

The bus looks cool, but I guess it's a concept model, put together for the show where the photos are taken (except the last picture which is a different vehicle). For one thing, the Merc only just fits into the under-floor compartment, and to get it there, you have to be on a geometrically-flat smooth surface such as an exhibition hall, but improbable in real life. For another, few jusrisdictions permit a TV to be placed so that the driver can watch it when he should be looking at the road. And how clean the engine is!

I've seen such buses around North America, though they're usually less pretentious, and usually towing the car rather than carrying it underneath. One couple we met had converted a Greyhound bus and were spending their retirement driving it around the US and Canada. I never discovered how they got their mail.

#25 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2007, 11:39 AM:

elise @ 19, Jules @ 22 -- I think the comment is wrong (and I've just added my own comment to that effect). There appears to be a side chain hanging off the third amino-acid group which is consistent with glutamine and not with glycine, though it's mostly hidden by the angle of the picture.

I double-checked by running the PRO-SER-GLN-GLN structure through a molecular-modeling package I have handy. :-)

#26 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2007, 12:11 PM:

And, of course, you obviously meant to say "the importance of proofreading." Which just goes to show how important proofreading comments about proofreading is.

Indeed so. Is that somebody's rule, that comments about typoes have typoes in them, and comments about proofreading must have errors?

#27 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2007, 12:25 PM:

Elise @ 26:

Maybe Hartman's Law of Prescriptivist Retaliation, which states that "any article or statement about correct grammar, punctuation, or spelling is bound to contain at least one eror."

#28 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2007, 08:24 PM:

John Stanning (#24): I'd assumed that the small screen next to the steering wheel was a GPS/map unit; the larger screen in the previous picture seems to be behind the driver's line of sight.

#29 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2007, 08:40 PM:

I've been thinking about getting a tattoo for about fifteen years. I still haven't found something that looks cool enough that I'd feel confident that 40 years later I'd still think, yeah, I like that.

Course, the longer I wait, the shorter duration the tattoo has to look cool...

#30 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2007, 08:54 PM:

Re: #29: Working as an artist, I'd never drawn anything that I was happy with two weeks later. It follows that I have no tattoos.

#31 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2007, 10:50 PM:

John Stanning #24 -
I've seen such buses around North America, though they're usually less pretentious, and usually towing the car rather than carrying it underneath. One couple we met had converted a Greyhound bus and were spending their retirement driving it around the US and Canada. I never discovered how they got their mail.

A Question!
Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born. I have awaited a question.

(okay, maybe not).

The way my parents do it is they have a permanent mailbox at a particular location (theirs is in Texas, since that was their home locale for a significant period of their retirement), and when they drop into a location they're going to be in for more than a few days, they call the mailbox company, and tell them to ship a package of mail to [location.current] - this is a service provided by the mailbox company.

Then, if they're going to be in a location for a time (like right now, they've been in an RV park outside Mesa Verde National Park), they can have forwarding turned on. When they're getting ready to leave, bingo, they turn it off, and mail stops showing up a couple of days later. They pay extra for this (naturally), but it's worked out pretty well for them.

And Now You Know...

#32 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2007, 05:55 AM:

Christopher #28 : I guess you're right. I was misled by the size of the screen, but in that bus nothing can be too big...

Scott #31 : Aha! so that's how it's done. Neat.

#33 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2007, 08:56 AM:

The trick to getting mail is that you need to set up a post-office or private postal box before you give up your permanent residence. In order to get a post box (even from a private company) you must have a verifiable fixed address. There are some exceptions for the homeless, mostly about being able, under certain circumstances, to be able to get mail at General Delivery for more than 30 days.

#34 ::: --E ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2007, 02:54 PM:

The RV is lovely, but there is nary a bookshelf in sight (nary a book, either). Therefore, it is an uninhabitable hovel.

#35 ::: --E ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2007, 02:56 PM:

Whoops, took another look, spotted a couple of decorative books on surfaces. But still--no bookshelves. That would never do.

#36 ::: Jacob Davies ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2007, 09:00 PM:

I believe there is a service that will open and scan your mail for you, and shred or forward it as you indicate, but I don't remember the name now and I'm too lazy to look it up.

I own a 26' Airstream trailer and am at the stage of redesigning the interior layout, and books are a pretty big problem. They're heavy and bulky and slippery and non-uniform. I hope to find enough space for maybe 10 linear feet of bookshelf large enough for hardbacks, in various places, and will just have to select carefully before trips.

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